Columbia River’s M40
By Frank Karl
Upon opening the package the first thing I noticed, aside from the good looks of the M40-03, is the large prominent, cross-hatched button at the knife’s pivot. This is the Deadbolt lock and it is quickly becoming my favorite locking mechanism. The Deadbolt lock was designed by Flavio Ikoma, the Brazilian knifemaker. Ikoma is one of those ‘overnight’ successes who started developing his skill more than 20 years ago.
He started as an adolescent working in his father’s knife shop where he was encouraged to make knives. This sparked an enduring love of edged tools. In 1993 Ikoma started making knives professionally and was determined to make his mark in the cutlery world. I think he has.
Collaboration with Ricardo and Roberto Lala of Korth Cutlery saw the development of the IKBS (Ikoma-Korth Bearing System) that supports the blade and allows a butter-smooth opening. This system has been made available to all knifemakers for the good of the community.
But it is the Deadbolt lock that is the most interesting. Two solid pieces of steel slide into the blade and lock it to the handle’s steel liners. It is reported to be the strongest knife lock available in a production knife. I doubt we‘ll ever truly resolve that question until there is a standard test all the manufacturers agree to – and honestly, that’s not in their collective best interest. Nevertheless, this is one of the strongest locks I’ve experienced.
This article originally appeared in the July 2020 issue of Knife Magazine. It would normally be paywalled for our Premium Online Members, but we are making it available free for a limited time. Click the blue button to read the whole thing.