Burchtree Knifeworks Dao IKBS Flipper Knife

Reviewed by corwin99 on April 14th, 2013


Michael Burch of Burchtress Knifeworks has been dazzling knife collectors for years with his awesome Asian-inspired folders and fixed blades, most noted for the unique blade shapes and visible hamon lines in his carbon steel blades. He stopped taking orders a long time ago, and his folders command a premium on the resale market. If you’ve ever handled one of his knives, you will know that this is for good reason.

The Dao IKBS Flipper is one of two knives I purchased from Michael a long time ago, when he only had about a 6 month wait time to get a knife from him. When he sent me the first Dao, it actually got lost in the mail and he had to make a second one! The first one was returned to him by USPS shortly after he sent the second one out to me.. but finding a buyer for that one probably was not a problem.

The blade is a flat ground 1095 Carbon Steel, with a beautiful executed hamon line, and then given a cool antiqued sort of satin finish that gives the knife an aura of ancient Japanese mystery. The edge is sharp, and cuts well, though (if you were crazy enough to use this knife) the sabre/flat grind is quite short, and the blade quite thick… which means the knife has poor slicing properties. But very few people are going to use a $1500 knife to slice. The blade has no thumbstuds and is opened via the flipper/handguard and rides on IKBS bearing system. The blade is marked with both the Burchtree Knifeworks logo and the IKBS logo on the front side of the blade.

The handle is made of anodized blue titanium, and given a surface treatment that is pretty neat. The treatment is done to both the front and the back of the handle and has sort of grooves that are lightly machined into the handle. The grooves look to be machined almost by hand lightly giving them a ‘handwritten’ sort of look. The handles then appear to have been given a tumbled finish with some intentional wear marks in the vein of Strider. Overall they are pleasing to look at and comfortable to hold.

The pocket clip is mounted for right hand tip up carry, and cannot be changed to a different position. I’m sure Michael would be happy to change it for you on a custom job, however. The handle has a framelock mechanism built into it with the recess on the outside of the handle, and locks positively and substantially.

Fit and Finish
In a word, Superb. Michael does an amazing job with his pieces, and they really do have that x-factor that you can’t explain when you hold them. It is something of that Japanese Mystery that I alluded to in the opening paragraphs that just gives you a sense of awesomeness when you pick it up. The hamon lines are exceptional and give each knife that extra bit of personality and uniqueness that you won’t see another Dao Flipper ever have that’s quite the same. The knives have a sense of craftsmanship to them that feels handmade, and that is rare these days.

Overall, Burchtree Knives are probably some of the nicest custom knives on the planet, and there is a reason that they demand such a high price. While many other high-priced custom knives seem to achieve prices that are unwarranted, Burchtree Knifework’s prices are indeed warranted. Very impressed.

Blade Length: 3.5″
Overall Length: 8.625″
Weight: 6.5 oz
Handle Material: Titanium
Blade Steel: 1095 Carbon Steel

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