Our friends over at  TFB and Soldier Systems ran a story about Up Armored Knives a while back, piquing our interest. We did some following up with Will, the man behind the knives, and found out his work was just recently featured on the cover of Tactical Knives magazine.  No surprise there: the painting he does look absolutely phenomenal and his knives seem to have a good reputation (to be fair, we haven’t gotten our hands on one yet, but we’ve read numerous glowing reviews). We figured we’d ask how he got his start and see if we could get some back story. Like, how did he get started, and given the amount of detail and labor that goes into each piece (and the fact that he works full time as a LEO), just how many knives does he build?

Turns out he was assigned as a sniper on his department’s tactical unit and started camo-coating his own equipment about twelve years ago. Other snipers on his and other department units noticed the result and he started working on their equipment. As his skill improved he started developing his own patterns (including the distinctive skull patterns which have become one of his signatures).

 

“As a law enforcement officer, guns and knives are part of my basic tools of the trade,” he told us. “Like many fellow officers, I have a passion for both. It wasn’t long before cops, military personnel and collectors started sending me their knives to coat. That’s how Up-Armored was born.”

After working on many high end knives for a while, Will decided to try his hand at knife-making. After several years of honing his knife craft (pun intended) and giving away a lot of knives, he added custom knives to the Up-Armored line-up.

“I turn out around 25 knives a year,” Will told us, “the majority of them tacticals made of 1095 chorme vanadium, which I can get hair-popping sharp with a convex edge. I apply Duracoat, a firearm finish, in a variety of colors and patterns. My sheathes are constructed by lining Kydex with leather—this both eliminates the scratches and the rattles assocated with Kydex.”

Team Six Menace Fighter

Team Six Menace Fighter from another angle

Although a good share of Will’s knives never venture far from his customers shelves or drawers, many have made their way into the hands of military personnel and law enforcement officers, which gives him a “warm and fuzzy feeling”.

These pictures shown above are his custom Menace Fighter, coated in the Up-Armored “Team Six” pattern, developed in honor of the personnel assigned to Seal Team Six. The Up-Armored Menace Fighter is Duracoat, Team Six Pattern, 1095CV steel .170” thick with a flat grind. Heat treat and cryo by Peters Heat Treating 58-60RC. Blade length 5.75″, TOL – 11.25″, Micarta Handle, ¼” Flared stainless tubing for the handle connection. It has a convex edge, and a scabbard of leather lined kydex.

This is by no means Will’s only knives. He has an incredible array of blades and some truly amazing ‘paint jobs’ to his credit. Pretty great accomplishment considering he’s also a family man and a detective. You can see what Will’s up to currently by watching the website or checking the Up Armored Facebook page.

Another Up-Armored Piece: Mineral Mountain Hawk coated in Desert Skull

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

David Knuth October 30, 2011 at 4:31 am

Where the heck do I get one of those 1* Special REsponse Team patches? I'd love to add one to my patch board.

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mpower6428 October 30, 2011 at 8:39 am

WHAT !?!? is that axe…?

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Tiger1 October 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

Mountain Hawk (Toma-Hawk)

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kyle October 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

id lose it

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Morgan October 31, 2011 at 12:41 am

I can't help but imagine turning around to grab my knife and… wait… it was here a minute ago, i put it right here. I think. Ah geez.

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Casey October 31, 2011 at 11:34 am

If that is not just the definition of tacti-cool and something I will never buy.

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Daniel Glass October 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

If I buy a knife, I intend to use it heavily, and I'd be too scared to use those in camp and mess up that pretty finish. It's a nice display knife, but I'd be more interested if it was a basic black or neutral matte coating where scratches show character rather than damage.

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hamchuck November 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm

In my hands, that would go from zero-to-lost in no time flat. But I like his idea of using leather inside of the Kydex.

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rusty November 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

be great for award/presentation pieces. Q: doesn't leather hold moisture? isn't that, in the long run, bad for the blade?

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mike Chavez msgt usm March 8, 2012 at 10:31 am

Love the Blades I have been collecting for a long time . I love the knives you have!!!

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SGT ROBERT A DE SAND June 25, 2012 at 5:21 am

I WOULD LOVETO OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY TOO,I AM A FORMER RANGER AND A NAM VET,1/75TH RGR BN,OPERAION NOBLE EAGLE,OIF IRAQ AND SO ON NICE KNIFE TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION TANGO YANKEE

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SGT ROBERT A DE SAND July 28, 2012 at 7:33 am

I WOULD NOT MIND WINING ANY OF THE NEW KNIVES,WHEN IT COMES TO SOME ONE SCREWING UP AND YOU GET OVERRUN A GREAT KNIFE WILL MATTER EVEY TIME OR WHEN YOU WANT TO ADVANCE THROUGH AN ENEMYS POSTION SWIFT AND SILENT A KNIFE HAS TO PREFORM AS BUTTER THROUGH MEAT AND NO NOISE AT ALL.

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