Today’s installment of 5 from the Grinder features Ed Desch, a Montana maker whose work blends practicality, traditional materials, and artistic flair with Ed’s filework setting his work apart from the mere utilitarian. If you are new to our series, you can find out more about 5 from the Grinder here.
Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives
I started cutting steel 40+ years ago as a lathe operator, then toolmaker, then moldmaker, then lastly mold designer.
In 1990 I purchased a “Western” knife and looked at it and said ” I can make that”.
I never read any books on the subject. I just built knives and designed knives the way I wanted.
In February 2020 I decided to retire early and make knives full time. I am currently approaching knife #1000 with hopes of reaching #2000 before I fully retire.
What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
A. G. Russell Fine Knives
What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
Not sure, there are a lot of great knifemakers out there doing some awesome custom handmade work. But I see a lot of CNC type work coming out. Which is an art in itself.
Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?
My “Western” pattern that is closely modeled to the one I bought 30 years ago.
What is your EDC and why?
A Benchmade McHenry & Williams folder given to me by my wife probably 15+ years ago.