In a sea of black handles and industrial machined blades is it possible to find a knife maker that uses some of the latest cutlery steels with high quality natural materials and hand craftsmanship without having to go custom? It is now. For the first time in many years Citadel Knives and Swords’ line of knives are available in North America from CAS Iberia. Citadel is perhaps best known as the maker of some of the most collectible and sought after Samurai Swords outside of Japan, but they also happen to make some exceptional custom-level knives.
Citadel’s knives combine imported European steels with the highest quality grip materials to create unique working knives at a custom level fit and finish, for far below that sticker price. Their knives are completely made in-house by master artisans. The high carbon blades are hand forged in a coal bed and highly polished to a keen convex edge. Most of their materials are imported but in some cases high quality local options are sourced, specifically the ray skin used in the Saigon and Husky models for the handles.
Citadel purchases rays from local fisherman and processes the skins themselves. This ray skin is used in the handle wrapping of Samurai Swords and is renowned for its natural grippy texture. The tough leather is then glued to a carved wood core and finished as raw or dyed and polished making for a unique knife. Many of the knives have spines and spacers that are hand carved.
Citadel’s folding knives are available as small EDC pocket knives up to large camp folders in traditional Kukri designs and a whole lot in between. They are made from European imported high carbon Bohler N690Co stainless steel, a highly regarded steel that takes a good edge and is easy to maintain. The knives feature stout liner locks or a back lock in the case of the Phobos Outdoor Folder. Other knives in their selection such as the traditional Japanese pocket knife the Higonokami are simpler friction folders, held in the open position by the hand via a forged blade extension. Grip scales come in a wide range of options from horn, Palisander hard wood, Rosewood, bone and even the ray skin mentioned above.
Their range of fixed blades run from large camp knives and medium size hunters down to 2” bladed EDC knives. Each is made of hand forged high carbon DNH7 (similar to AISI1075) imported from Europe and are differentially hardened in the Japanese tradition. This process produces a hard, long lasting edge with a softer, more resilient spine and tang better suited to taking the shock of hard use. As with their folders Citadel sharpens each knife to a full convex edge. Full Grain stacked leather sheaths are double stitched and provide a number of carry options depending on the knife.
Crafting knives in this way means availability will be quite limited. Ask your local knife or gun store for a catalog, available from CAS Iberia, today!