It might be easy to assume that custom knife makers only have custom blades in their pockets – after all, they’re surrounded by the the things day in and day out. But that’s not always the case. There are lots of makers who, as knife fans themselves, appreciate a good tool, whether its production or custom.
The standard Broken Skull came into being as part of a collaboration with legendary pro wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. In addition to his other, flashier pursuits, Austin is a bit of a knife enthusiast, and he lent the name of his Texas ranch, Broken Skull, to a line of larger, hard-working folders for Cold Steel. Demko was the designer of the Broken Skull and the knife it evolved out of, the Lone Star Hunter.
The Broken Skull reeled in praise for its high-performance CTS-XHP (and later S35VN) blade steel, light weight relative to its 4-inch blade, and, of course, the extreme durability of its Tri-Ad lock. The model has since been discontinued, but evidently Demko liked it enough to keep one around in his personal collection. He succinctly sums up the appeal the Broken Skull had for him: “Super light weight and thin overall, great edge and blade geometry, and awesome steel.”
And despite the discontinuation, Demko’s Broken Skull clearly hasn’t been babied. It has the well-worn look of a knife that has worked hard. But even more eye-catching than the wear and tear are the changes Demko made to the knife so it would suit his needs better. He altered the blade shape, turning it from a California clip to a modern clip point. Then milled the handle into something more Demko-ish, creating a pronounced bracket profile. “While I did design the original knife and its predecessor, they were designed per Cold Steel’s request as a ‘modern classic,’” Demko explains. “Basically the handle and blade were too ‘old-fashioned-‘looking for my tastes.”
One more changed rounded out his modifications. “I milled a groove in the rear of the handle to aid in getting the knife out of the pocket, as its pretty deep carry and has a strong pocket clip,” Demko tells us. On top of the pocket clip carry option, Demko also had fellow custom maker Mike Wallace make a Kydex neck sheath for his Broken Skull. And while it is a large knife, Demko says the linerless construction, which keeps its weight down to 3.1 oz., makes it a reasonable option for this sort of carry.
Demko says that he usually has a custom of his own on his person. “I always carry a custom knife, usually a new prototype or my next new design.” But he likes to roll with a second, production knife on his person as well, and tells us that’s where his Broken Skull has accrued its mileage. “I very often carry a Cold Steel knife as well, usually a 5.5″ Clip Point Voyager or my Broken Skull.”
Knife in Featured Image: Demko Knives Modded Broken Skull