My father taught me and my brother at an early age that a knife can be your best friend. It can tighten a screw or save your life. A knife is an important tool for a man. If my brother or I ever needed a knife and didn’t have one on us, we knew we could ask our father because he always had one on him. Once we asked him if he had one, he would always respond with the same question, “Do I have pants on?” Implying that as long as he had pants on he had a knife in his pocket. I have yet to see him without a knife.
An essential part of everyday carry, also known as EDC, is a blade. The type of blade differs from person to person. Some people like a multitool that has a blade integrated. Most people, I believe, carry a folding pocket knife. I know I did and I still do most days. But some folks like the fixed blade. I am new to that crowd. I never really carried a fixed blade knife that was part of my EDC unless I was out camping or on a military exercise. That was until I discovered Stand Watch Knives.
SWK is a LEO owned and operated business located in Northern California. SWK is a two man show, Andrew (Founder and Bladesmith) and Justin (Operations and Logistics). I spoke with Andrew awhile back about why he started SWK. He began forging knives as a way to decompress from the stresses of working in law enforcement. It started as just that, then he began making tools for his fellow officers that could be used in the field. What started out as a process for himself, quickly became something that others were wanting for their own personal or professional life. The birth of SWK came shortly after.
I, like most people I assume, do not know the process of making a knife. I first picture a large forge filled with hot lava. Then hammering a piece of iron on top of an anvil. Then sharpening it on a stone wheel until the blacksmith is satisfied with his work and awaits for a warrior to retrieve it and use for battle. Maybe that’s how things were done in the Middle Ages but not so much the case now.
SWK orders sheets of 1095 High Carbon steel then has them cut out with a water jet. Andrew then bevels each blade by hand before starting a four-step heat treatment process. Each blade is heat-treated to 60-65 HRC. For reference, most average pocket knives are treated at 57-59 HRC.
Once the blade is done with heat treatment, he will clean them up and begin to form the handles to each blade. The material for the handle varies, the handle on my SWK blade (pictured) is made from DymaLux. After the handle is created, the blade is then Cerakoted to the desired look and laser etched. SWK laser etches their logo and a serial number to the blade. Once the Cerakoting is complete the blade goes through the final sharpening phase and the handles are glued to the blade. Each blade is shipped with a Kydex sheath and a Tek-Lok mounting attachment.
I have used knives my entire life. From camping to military to “can’t leave the house without one”. But I have never, I repeat, never, owned or used a knife that is near the high quality of my SWK blade. It is by far the coolest knife I own as well. It’s a part of my EDC and when I go to work it’s proudly placed on my plate carrier. I have been using it for months now, and not “baby-ing” it either, and it still has held it’s sharpness.
In my book, it was checked every box that I need of a knife that I intend on using. Plus, and my favorite part, it was forged by an officer, one that I consider now to be a good friend, who was just looking to better himself and working through the stress of our daily life. I will always stand by my SWK blade and be a returning customer and advocate for their products. I have nothing but praise for Andrew and Justin and what they are doing with SWK.
SWK currently has two blades, the Sentinel which is the original SWK blade, and the Guardian (pictured). The way that SWK sells their blades is through a limited drop on their website. If you are interested in getting your own (highly recommend that you do) you will need to follow them on Instagram of Facebook and visit their website for more information.
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions the best way to reach me is through Instagram – @the_tylerashley