Kizer is turning to longtime collaborator Dirk Pinkerton for the latest addition to their Tangram line, the Progression. The new knife is the final evolution of a design that began as a custom fixed blade.
A 3.46-inch drop point blade will be the Progression’s main attraction for those who want to put the knife to work. It is made from Acuto 440 steel, an untested entry in the budget steel market but one that Kizer showed great faith in when they debuted the Tangram line last year. The no-frill handle comprises G-10 scales over steel liners, and according to Pinkerton, all the material selections are thinner on this knife than on his previous Kizer collaborations. The Progression uses a flipper and rides on washers instead of bearings.
Pinkerton notes that he chose the name of this knife deliberately. The Progression is the result of years of tweaking and refining one of his knife designs. “I keep going back and evolving them,” Pinkerton admits. The Progression started life as a custom sgian-dubh, a small Scottish fixed blade. “It evolved and changed over the years as customers looked at it and made some requests,” explains Pinkerton. “It became a more utility-first design instead of the classic self-defense, dagger-style blade shape.”
When Kizer came knocking for collaboration designs, Pinkerton took the significantly-altered sgian-dubh and turned it into the Escort, a folder in Kizer’s Bladesmith line. Then, when they asked him for a Tangram design last year, it set off a spark and he evolved the Escort further. Pinkerton thinned out the handle and tweaked its shape for added contact points during use. He narrowed the blade and ditched the fuller too, creating a relatively compact package for this mid-sized user. Thus was born the Progression, a blade that Pinkerton says can go anywhere and do anything. “To me, ‘tactical’ means a knife that you can flex into any role you need at the time.”
He goes on to say that participating in the Tangram project was a refreshing change of pace. Pinkerton may come from the world of custom and high-end production knives, but he sees making budget-friendly knives as anything but a downgrade. “I’m all for budget knives – especially when they’re made to today’s standard,” he says. Pinkerton has already turned in additional designs for the Tangram series and says fans should keep their eyes open this year. “I’ve submitted other designs for Tangram so hopefully we’ll see some prototypes by the middle of the year.”