Time and the years just seem to fly by. I first met Dirk Pinkerton at the Atlanta BLADE Show roughly 10 to 12 years ago, I’m not exactly sure what year it was, but it was way back when. Like a lot of makers, Dirk has been around the block a bit working with several companies like MTech, HTM and more recently Kizer on his production knives.
Dirk and I have stayed in touch via social media over the years and I recently saw a Pikal reverse grip folder by him that really caught my eye. For those who are not familiar with what a Pikal grip is knife is, it’s basically a term that describes upside down reverse grip with the edge facing the inside. A Pikal knife is basically a knife built with this grip intentionally. A lot of Combatives practitioners will gravitate to the Pikal grip because of how well it lends itself to fighting tactics.
The design that caught my eye is the Inversion folder that Dirk recently made with Kizer Knives. I guess what made this particular knife stand out is the fact that Dirk had it done up in Stormtrooper colors (black and white). Anyone that knows me know that the guaranteed method to draw my geeky attention to something is to find a way to connect it to Star Wars.
So, I messaged Dirk and let him know that I wanted to check out his new Imperial edged weapon. He had one Ceracoated and sent my way.
Within the next week or so I received the titanium frame lock knife. My first thought was that I liked the packaging that the CPM-S35VN reverse Wharncliffe blade came in. The Kizer box and presentation was very impressive. What was inside the box was even better. The black blade with the white Ceracoated titanium scales is ergonomic and capable of hosting the reversable titanium pocket clip in a left- or right carry position. The black screws and accents on the white handle really set off the Stormtrooper vibe.
While the Ceracoat does have a really smooth finish, the milled scale provides a lot of grip. The way the blade is offset from the handle allows me to get a good purchase like a finger guard and eliminates the fear of my hand sliding down on the blade. The liner lock fells rock solid and is easy to release and operate with one hand. One feature that I really appreciate is the disc pocket snag, I have always like a good pocket snag and the Inversion opens up lighting fast and does not disappoint. If you a fan of knives with a flipper, the Inversion has that too, this is a really well thought out knife.
I figured that while Dirk was sending out this new blade, I’d ask Chris Caban at Hog Mountain Tool and Tactical make me a polyurethane training version so I could play with it in class and of course Chris sent one straight out. I also asked Dirk to kindly answer a couple of questions about himself and his thought process behind the design. So, without further delay please allow me to introduce our readers to the man of the Galactic Empire, Mr. Darth Pikerton.
MTEDC: Hey Dirk, thanks for joining us today, please introduce yourself to our readers.
DP: My name is Dirk Pinkerton of Pinkerton Knives. I have been a full-time maker and designer since 2008.
MTEDC: Please share a little bit about your background with our readers:
DP: I spent 18 years in private/corporate security. That career brought me in contact with everyone from celebrities, high level politicians to those living on the street, those suffering with mental health problems. I was fortunate enough to receive a wide range of training from local police and fire, S.W.A.T, federal agencies etc. This really helped form my approach to knife design.
MTEDC: You have worked with a lot of well-known companies. How did you hook up with Kizer Knives?
DP: David Sun reached out to me back in 2014. The funny thing about it was I almost didn’t work with Kizer. At the time, I never heard of Kizer and thought he was just offering manufacturing services. So, I ignored him for several emails. I can’t say how fortunate I am to have finally answered his emails.
MTEDC: We are glad that you answered those emails too! Tell us a bit about why you chose to make a PIKAL style folder? And what was your thought process behind your Inversion?
DP: I have had an interest in Pikal /reverse grip methodology for quite some time. I made several Pikal fixed blades over the years, with the Smilodon being the one I am best known for. Since, seeing Spyderco’s P’Kal folder, I had the idea of making the Smilodon a folder. A few years ago, Kizer asked for a unique design. That is when I designed the Inversion. It is actually a hybrid between the Smilodon and my Orion folder that Kizer has in their Tangram line.
MTEDC: How important is function when it comes to your designs?
DP: When I design a knife, the function or primary use of the knife is where I almost always start. Function drives the process.
MTEDC: Ok, you had me at “Stormtrooper” on this one, I had to cover it when I saw it. Are you a big Star Wars fan?
DP: The Stormtrooper started out as a customer request. I showed it around a bit and got a huge response! This is something I plan on doing regularly. I would like to say that I am a Star Wars geek, but no. I do enjoy all the movies and shows, but I don’t go to deep into the stories.
MTEDC: Anything big in the works that you can share with our readers?
DP: Currently, I am designing for Kizer, Artisan, Kansept and just started working with David Sun again at BeyondEDC. There are interesting projects in the works with each of them. I am hoping prototypes for each company will be completed in the next few months. These will definitely be some new design ideas from me. I am very much looking forward to seeing them.
MTEDC: Any closing words of advice for those who want to get into knife making/designing?
DP: For new designers and makers, I would offer this bit of advice, start by doing things that you like. This is where you develop your style. Don’t start by trying to develop something that everyone else will like.
- Overall Length:7.33″
- Blade Length:3.28″
- Cutting Edge:3.00″
- Blade Width:1.00″
- Blade Thickness:0.20″
- Blade Material: CPM-S35VN
- Blade Style: Wharncliffe
- Blade Grind: Flat
- Finish: Custom Stormtrooper package (black and white)
- $240 and up.