By Nicholas Italiano
K Paw Custom Knives
K Paw Custom Knives is a one man operation, owned and operated by Jason Kishpaugh. Each knife is made personally by Jason in his work shop in Forge Ridge, Tennessee. K Paw specializes in making fixed blade knives geared toward outdoor activities including bushcraft, hunting, and fishing as well as some excellent everyday carry options. In addition to making every knife, Jason also makes the leather sheaths that are included with every one of his knives.
My family currently owns the three K Paw knives pictured above and it’s no secret we are big fans! I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jason about what got him started in knife making and what direction he is taking his knife making business in.
How K Paw Custom Knives Came To Be
Knives have been a part of Jason’s life since he was a young child, receiving his first folding knife from his grandfather at the age of 5 and from there he was hooked! Growing up in the country gave Jason plenty of opportunity to use knives on a daily basis, from cleaning game, cutting bailing twine for hay, and chopping down tobacco plants during harvest time. Jason remembers the old men gathering in the Pavillion before church whittling cedar sticks and boasting about how their knives were better then one another’s.
When he was 13, Jason’s father started making fixed blades knives out of old saw blades and a grinder made from an old washing machine motor. Jason was fascinated by the process and he finally decided to take the leap into learning how to make knives in 2017. He took out a small loan to buy some basic equipment and materials and started to teach himself how to make knives. What initially started as a hobby living out a childhood dream became a small business, when to his shock, people were interested in purchasing his knives. Flash forward a few years later K Paw Custom Knives has become a thriving business!
Plans For The Future
Jason primarily uses 1084 steel, as it is easier to work with using the limited equipment he has at his disposal. Fortunately for him, and for us, K Paw has grown to the point where he could obtain more advanced heat treating equipment. He has plans on bring a few different Carbon steel options to the table in 2022 including 8670 and 80CRV2, as well as introduce some stainless steel options in AEB-L. While knife making is not replacing his day job, Jason plans on continuing to strive to make improvements on his already excellent work. Personally, I can’t wait to see what’s to come from this exceptional knife maker!
About The Knives
K Paw Custom Knives currently produces a number of different models including the bushcraft capable Hybrid, the Bird and Trout Hunting Knife, and the very EDC friendly Stowe Away. In addition to these models Jason has also created a few one off customs and made modifications to his standard models to suit individual client tastes.
Jason really goes the extra mile to ensure your custom blade is truly customized for you by making the handle scales out of just about any material you want, providing he can get his hand on it. Some of his previous work includes g10, micarta, various woods, and laminates. He will also build custom leather sheaths to your color and carry style specifications.
In my experience he has been absolutely phenomenal with keeping his clients up to date with where their knife is in the building process. He regularly provides pictures of the work in progress and asks additional questions to make sure the knife is just truly customized for you.
I’ve included some samples for Jason’s work below but you can find many more on his Instagram page, which is also linked below. The best way to contact him with questions or should you want to add one of his handcrafted knives to your collection is also through his Instagram page.