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The Wyrm: Dervish Knives Midtech available on Kickstarter

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Custom knife maker John Gonzalez of Dervish Knives has a brand new Midtech design coming soon and you can get in on it by jumping on his Kickstarter project. It's called the Wyrm.

Born from one of his mini-knife designs, known as the Silverfish, users and collectors praised the minimalist attributes and concealability but some found the handle a bit too small to tackle serious cutting chores.

Dervish Knives Silverfish

Dervish Knives Silverfish

So, John did what he does best: He improved his own design to make it more user-friendly. When this prototype garnered serious attention, he decided to take it further and asked his Midtech partner to see what could be turned out on the CNC.


Now, if you're not too familiar with knife making terms, you may be wondering what a “Midtech” is, especially since I hit you with the term a few times, now!

According to definition, a custom knife is one that is made entirely by hand by a single knife maker. In addition to grinding or forging the blade from steel, the maker makes the handle or scales, liners and everything else needed to complete the knife. The process is time-consuming and often makes novice knife collectors balk at the final price. A novice will see perhaps $150 in materials and question the $450 price tag without accounting for the 150 hours of work put in by the maker.

Grinding a blade with sparks flying everywhere.

Grinding a blade with sparks flying everywhere.

A Midtech by comparison, allows the custom maker to cut a few corners. This allows the maker to farm out some or most of the parts that require less skill to make. Sometimes this is accomplished by machine and sometimes by other people. Most often for a stock removal knife, the maker may have the blade blanks cut out via water jet or CNC or have the handle scales made by a third party. In extreme cases, another entity may make the entire knife and the “maker” simply puts the final grind on the blade.

Knives on their way to the inspection process.

Knives on their way to the inspection process.

Some makers may take offense to the term Midtech being used to describe using a machine to cut parts. I lean toward their side in this in most instances as a laser cutter, water jet or even a CNC machine is in theory just a more expensive metal cutting band saw. I am just repeating what most collectors and purveyors use when describing the term.

Rather than doing a standard Midtech run, Gonzalez thought this knife project would give him an opportunity to experiment with Kickstarter.

The Design

Behold the Wyrm

Behold the Wyrm

Gonzalez initially called this design a “pen knife”. Not because he designed it to trim down the quills of a secretary bird for calligraphers or Revolutionary War reenactors into writing instruments, but because the knife felt and carried like a pen. On first glance, collectors remarked that it looked like a scalpel, which it does.

According to Gonzalez: “The slight overall curve of the design isn't just attractive, it mimics the shape of the inside of your palm and provides a controlled and comfortable grip. The very sharp 1 5/8-inch blade is large enough for most cutting tasks, from peeling apples to cutting open boxes; from sharpening pencils to cleaning trout. It's the ultimate EDC tool for both urban and rural environments, and the blade length is legal in areas where many other knives aren't.”

The Wyrm is a small knife that packs a lot of punch.

The Wyrm is a small knife that packs a lot of punch.

For making the Wyrm, Gonzalez chose AEB-L steel. This is a very fine-grain stainless that takes and retains an excellent edge. I was not familiar with this type of steel, but a little searching and sleuthing revealed that is used to make high-end straight razors. So these knives should be perfect at slicing and dicing and other cutting chores.

The pocket clip on the Wyrm is sculpted Titanium.

The pocket clip on the Wyrm is sculpted Titanium.

Interestingly, this fixed blade knife sports an optional pocket clip. No, you don't stick a bare blade into your pocket. The Wyrm will come with a simple Kydex sheath. With a little paracord run through the eyelets and the other end tied to a belt loop, the knife can be quickly drawn from the pocket while the sheath falls away. Or you can opt out of the clip and wear it as a neck knife.

Personally, I think the clip makes more sense, not only as a carry option, but as a sort of “scale” to allow you to wield the blade more comfortably in the hand. It is sculpted from 6AL-4V titanium for strength and spring retention, and the finish is blue anodized for looks and durability.

The pricing is more than reasonable, especially for a Dervish knife that you can get without the long wait. I've been on John's list for one of his customs for more than a few years and think this is the knife deal of the year!

To get in on these knives, visit his Kickstarter page.


Overall Length: 6″
Blade Length: 1.63″
Steel: AEB-L
Pocket Clip: Titanium (6AL-4V)
Grind: Flat
Sheath: Black Kydex
Price: $135 ($115 without the clip)

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