Story and Photos by Michael Janich
Jason Knight is a name that should be very familiar to every savvy knife enthusiast.
A former judge on the hit television show Forged in Fire, Knight is an American Bladesmith Society (ABS) Master Bladesmith who has earned numerous awards for his work, including the ABS’ coveted B.R. Hughes Award for the best knife by a Mastersmith candidate.
Although the scope of his skills includes a wide range of styles and designs, he is best known for his highly refined expressions of the iconic Gurkha kukri knife. Although a Jason Knight custom kukri might be out of reach for most, not so with his production models, detailed below.
Like most world-class bladesmiths, Knight’s handmade knives are in extremely high demand. To be able to share his innovative designs with a broader audience, in 2017, Knight teamed up with AJ Singh, owner of Tactical Elements, Incorporated, one of the premier purveyors of elite tactical tools. Knight wanted to create a production version of one of his kukri folder designs and was looking for an apt company.
His Forged in Fire colleague, Doug Marcaida, had a developing relationship with Italy’s Fox Cutlery and offered to help broker a deal. With Marcaida’s help and Tactical Elements’ backing, the MK Ultra Kukri Folder was born.
The original version of the MK Ultra Folding Kukri was unveiled at Blade Show 2017, winning Blade Magazine’s prestigious Knife Collaboration Of The Year award. Demand for the knife was extremely high and soon Tactical Elements, who distributed the knife exclusively, had sold through the entire production run.
Convinced that they were on to something, Knight and Singh did a “lessons learned” assessment of the project. They also strategized to create a road map of what they really wanted to achieve moving forward. Ultimately, in 2019, they developed Knight Elements—a partnership that combines Knight’s exceptional design and knifemaking skills with Singh’s business, marketing and customer service acumen.
With the strength of this “best-of-both-worlds” formula, they forged a direct relationship with Fox Cutlery and got to work on the first two Knight Elements products: The Knight Elements V2 Ultra Kukri Folder and a matching fixed blade.
Although many companies have tried to adapt the classic Nepalese kukri to a folder format, Jason Knight’s original Ultra Kukri was one of the very few to do it right. Not only was it ergonomically sound and fully functional, but it also actually had the unmistakable look of a true kukri.
The V2 Ultra Kukri Folder faithfully maintains all of Knight’s original design’s key qualities while taking a step closer to perfection by incorporating a few subtle but crucial changes.
Its blade is precision machined from Böhler-Uddeholm N690Co stainless-steel and boasts a sophisticated grind, consistent with Knight’s coveted custom kukris. The grind’s high, flat bevels begin with a gentle plunge at the ricasso and widen to a full flat near the point—creating a subtle distal taper. Broad fullers (grooves) on both sides start deep, near the ricasso, and shallow with the blade’s distal taper.
A raised ridge extends along most of the spine of the blade, terminating far enough in front of the handle juncture to offer a smooth, comfortable thumb ramp. The ridge is beveled on both sides to create a swedge that further enhances the blade’s dramatic looks and ensures an acute point. Purpose designed as a flipper opener, the V2’s flipper also does double duty as a highly effective lower guard.
The knife’s handle is home to most of the improvements to the first-generation version capturing the classic lines and ergonomics of a traditional kukri, through state-of-the-art materials and design.
While the original’s obverse-side scale was linerless, the V2’s obverse scale has a nested, partial stainless-steel liner to reinforce the structure around the components of the lock. The addition of this liner supports a pair of low-friction, ball-bearing washers around the pivot pin.
Crafted from black G10, with a subtle peel-ply texture, the near-side scale is balanced by the reverse-side scale, which is beautifully machined from solid titanium and forms the basis of the knife’s sturdy frame lock mechanism. To ensure a long service life, the lock bar includes an inset stainless-steel interface that also serves as an overtravel stop. The relief cut for the lock release is even more generous than the first-gen version and noticeably more comfortable to operate.
Designed for dedicated right-side, tip-up carry, the V2 Ultra Kukri features a short, low-profile clip secured by a stout single screw—another upgrade over the more extended two-screw clip of the original.
At 6.15 ounces, the V2 has significant heft but carries amazingly well. Its sturdy pocket clip is a bit tight, but drawing the knife is smooth and positive. The well-designed flipper is easy to index and works in concert with the blade’s ball-bearing washers, perfectly tuned in 2017, and sub-180-degree opening arc, to make swift openings a cinch.
As long as I grip the knife properly, my preferred inertial opening is also extremely quick and positive. Once open, the blade locks securely with no hint of vertical or lateral play.
The other inaugural product under the Knight Elements brand is the V2 Ultra Kukri Fixed—a near-identical fixed-blade counterpart to the folder.
Its profile is nearly identical to the V2 folder, except that its blade is about a half-inch longer. The blade, however, is crafted from .240-inch-thick N690Co stainless-steel and has full-tang construction. The result is a hell-for-stout mini kukri that tips the scales at 10.65 ounces and has serious heft for its size.
Depending upon the exact model, the handle scales of the V2 Fixed are beautifully contoured G-10 or Micarta® secured with two sets of Torx® screws. For fans of lanyards and wrist thongs, the butt end of the handle features a generously sized lanyard hole.
The V2 Fixed comes complete with a custom-molded Kydex® sheath that provides excellent snap-fit retention, yet allows a smooth, fast draw. Of two-piece construction, the sheath is assembled with numerous eyelet fasteners and comes with two Pull-the-Dot® MAD straps that allow it to be easily configured for belt or inside-the-waistband carry, in a variety of positions.
Both V2 Ultra Kukri’s handle, cut and puncture extremely well. The handle-to-blade angle of their design complements the natural angle of the wrist, putting the blade’s point instinctively on line with the axis of the forearm. This allows them to thrust with amazing power and accuracy—especially compared to a traditional kukri.
The dropped angle, between the handle and blade, also lowers the edge in relation to the hand. Despite the significant belly to the blades, this design dynamic and the outstanding edge geometry of the blades enables them to cut with impressive power and control.
If you’re a fan of Jason Knight, kukris or just exceptionally well-made, truly bad-ass knives, you’ll love the Knight Elements V2 Ultra Kukris.
Both models are available in three different configurations: black G-10 scales and a stonewashed blade, black G-10 scales and a black-coated blade, or green canvas Micarta scales and a black blade. The folder retails for $275 and the fixed blade for $225 and are available exclusively from www.TacticalElements.com. K&G
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V2 Ultra Kukri FolderBlade Material: Böhler-Uddeholm N690CoBlade Length: 4.40 inchesOverall Length: 9.25 inchesClosed Length: 5.375 inchesBlade Thickness: .16 inchWeight: 6 ouncesHandle/Frame Material: Black G-10 with black blade, Black G-10 with stonewash blade or Green Canvas Micarta with black bladeLock Type: Frame lockMSRP: $275.00
V2 Ultra Kukri FixedBlade Material: Böhler-Uddeholm N690CoBlade Length: 5 inchesOverall Length: 10 inchesBlade Thickness: .24 inchWeight: 10 ouncesHandle Material: Black G-10 with black blade, Black G-10 with stonewash blade or Green Canvas Micarta with black bladeSheath: KydexMSRP: $225.00
Tactical Elementswww.TacticalElements.comInstagram: @Tactical_Elements_
Knight ElementsFacebook: @KnightElementsInstagram: @KnightElements
V2 Ultra Kukri FolderTactical Elements
V2 Ultra Kukri FixedTactical Elements
Nine-year veteran of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Michael Janich also served a 3-year tour at the National Security Agency. Highly decorated, Michael is a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute and served around the world in intelligence and investigative capacities for many years. Utilizing his extensive training in various martial arts and military/LE combatives, he established Paladin Press’ Video Production Department in 1994, running all aspects of video production for 10 years – personally recruiting some of Paladin’s most popular authors and being selected to work with the late Col. Rex Applegate as the producer of his landmark instructional videos on handgun point shooting. Published book and magazine author, Michael has been featured on various television programs and designed knives for many different knife companies throughout the industry. Michael is the founder and lead instructor of his signature knife defense program, Martial Blade Concepts.
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