Story and Photos by Waysun Johnny Tsai
From the STRAAK RYP Design DEMO flipper press release, “’Why the hell would anyone want my name on their knife?’ were Billy’s exact words, when Robert Young Pelton wanted to originally put his name on a Parang- esque jungle knife.
When it came to the DEMO, RYP disobeyed orders and recruited legendary Special Forces knife designer, William Harsey to make Billy proud. They collaborated on a design only a warrior of Billy Waugh’s level could sign off on.”
Man, I for one am glad that RYP disobeyed orders, the DEMO is one sweet knife.
Produced in collaboration with STRAAK, the DEMO is a really nice knife. The DEMO is a mix between a well-built classic drop point knife and some sneaky, less than lethal self-defense tool.
What I mean is, the DEMO has an Awl/Spike that folds out of the backside of the handle. The awl is useful for less than lethal kuboton pokes and applications. An Awl is generally found on a multi-tool. A traditional Awl is used for poking holes in wood or leather. But this one can be used for poking holes in people that piss you off.
Like many of RYP’s knives, the RYP Design DEMO flipper is made by LionSteel Knives in Italy. The stonewashed M390 stainless steel Drop Point blade has a length of 3.78 inches. Whereas the knife overall length, when open, is 9.13 inches.
The handle is 3D milled titanium, with a pattern that offers a very solid grip. The knife feels hefty in the hand, weighing in at 6.8 ounces, and that is a good thing. It’s nice to have a good hand full of metal with an Awl/spike protruding out the bottom of it. Just in case you want issue out some pain in a self-defense situation—but not actually stab someone.
Another great feature is the Tungsten carbide glass breaker. Every time I see a glass breaker on a knife, I look around for a window to test it on. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe breaking windows with a glass breaker is just plain fun.
The DEMO flips open with extremely smooth action, due to the custom IKBS pivot system.
The knife carries tip up, either right- or left-hand carry, with its reversable clip. I had a chance to spend a week in the Endless Mountains, PA, and carried the DEMO the entire time. While I didn’t do my normal hard use testing, I did use it for some daily light chores.
I cut up some fresh apples, right off my wife’s uncle’s apple trees and whittled a couple of sticks. I can say that the DEMO is extremely well built and shaving sharp right out of the box. Which is expected since it is manufactured by LionSteel, who is known for its award-winning designs.
I met Robert Young Pelton about 10-12 years ago while building a reputation as a YouTuber/Knife reviewer. I would walk around large trade shows like SHOT Show and Blade Show with a little camera to film videos. Camera in hand I would create out of focus and poorly edited videos with knife designers and makers.
When I first introduced myself to RYP, he was beyond cool and easy to talk to. Over the years we have become industry friends and have toasted a drink or two at the Blade Show Pit.
Robert “RYP” Young Pelton, is one of those guys that has been around the world on some pretty incredible adventures. A warzone journalist hanging with BLACKWATER, a published book/magazine author and producer of television show “The World’s Most Dangerous Places.”
Pelton is that guy most of us want to grow up to be—but more hardcore. When RYP turned his attention to knife making, people paid attention. He banged out some very cool and popular knives like his H.E.S.T., and latter his extra-large bush chopper, the H.E.F.T. Chop 12.
One constant with RYP designs is that they are all very stylish. Nothing RYP designs is run of the mill or boring. There is something slickly unique to each and every one of them.
I can honestly say that I have yet to see a RYP design or DPX Gear knife that I didn’t want to write about or own. The DEMO is no different.
It’s obvious that RYP holds a high level of respect for Billy Waugh and his achievements and wanted to honor him with this design.
According to details from STRAAK.com, “Robert Young Pelton (founder/designer of RYP Design) first met Billy when he was writing his book Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in The War on Terror. Driving his cop Harley Davidson across the country during the winter, Billy graciously took out time from his wedding day to meet at the local Waffle House.
“The two men – one an author, and one an operator, both veterans of numerous hot spots, often at the same time – hit it off immediately. They have been fast friends ever since.”
I am not entirely sure what percentage RYP plaid in the design, but he teamed up with legendary knife designer William Harsey on this one. Maybe they spitballed ideas back and forth between them, I don’t know. Whatever the process was, it worked out really well. For those who are not familiar with him, William Harsey is a big deal the knife industry. I mean HUGE.
William W. Harsey is the creator of the Applegate Fairbairn Combat Folder and the equally famous “Yarborough” design. The Yarborough design is issued to each Special Forces graduate.
Having these three gentlemen work on this design together is big treat indeed.
Billy’s signature is laser etched on the pocket clip. In addition, William Harsey’s signature is laser etched on the blade. There will only be 250 copies of the Billy Waugh signature edition. An unsigned version of the DEMO will go into production runs later this year.
I wouldn’t really consider myself a knife collector, but if I were, the limited-edition DEMO would be a center piece in my collection. Since I received it I haven’t stopped carrying it, and that speaks volumes.
I highly recommend this knife to anyone that is serious about owning knives.
Kudos to STRAAK for teaming up with RYP, William Harsey and of course Billy Waugh to produce this knife.
Get yours today at www.STRAAK.comM. K&G
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Blade Material: M390 Stainless SteelBlade Length: 3.78 inchesOverall Length: 9.13 inchesClosed Length: 5.35 inchesBlade Thickness: 0.16 inchesWeight: 6.8 ouncesHandle Material: 3D TitaniumLocking Mechanism: Frame LockPocket Clip: Tip-Up, Right/Left CarryDesigner: Billy Waugh, Robert Young Pelton, William HarseyMade in: ItalyMSRP: $495.00
DPx Gear(619) 780-2600 – Text Onlywww.DPxGear.com
Billy Waugh (current age 91) has a military and intelligence career that can only qualify as legendary. Prevented from enlisting for WW2 because of his age, Billy signed up for the newly created Special Forces – choosing the most dangerous tasks our nation demanded.
Billy is the recipient of eight Purple Hearts and has a lifetime of service to America. Billy Waugh continued his Special Forces career all the way to the opening months of the war in Afghanistan. His 20 years of service to the CIA post retirement made Billy officially the oldest serving CIA contractor in history.
Billy’s book “Hunting the Jackal” covers his time tracking Carlos the Jackal and Bin Laden, and “Isaac Camacho An American Hero” is his homage to a fellow Green Beret.
SIJO Waysun Johnny Tsai is a Chicago native and the founder of C.U.M.A. Combatives and the C.U.M.A. Survival School. A Master level Instructor, Sijo has over 33 years of combined experience in teaching practical street defense in the civilian, military and law enforcement sectors and is considered one of the World's foremost experts in practical street defense and Combatives. He is a published book, magazine and DVD author, as well as a highly established impact and edged weapons designer. Sijo has knife designs on the market and available through TOPS Knives, Slysteel Knives, Day One Gear, Combat Ready Knives and Grunt Style.
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