Thursday, December 12, 2013

WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Inlayed Titanium Gripsets

These Inlayed Titanium grips are a new product – the first to celebrate my having been successful in finding a new location for my workshop!

See the Grips in Stock page of my main website to see exactly what I have in stock at any given time.

New Colors! WilkinsGRIP BMGmini Gripsets

I have two new colors available in WilkinsGRIP BMGmini gripsets, both in anodized Alu.

First up is one I'm calling Steely Blue. This is a darker, more subdued blue than the others I have offered and I hope you folks will like it as much as I do. These look great with a spacer in hardcoat Black, Blood Red or Orange.

Next up is a color I'm calling Metallic Turquoise because it's quite pale and the metallic nature of the aluminum showing through the anodizing gives it a kind of iridescent sheen. These look great with an Orange, Blood red or Hardcoat Black spacer.

Both colors are in stock for immediate sale!

Friday, December 6, 2013

WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Titanium Grips are in Stock!

These are ready to ship with your choice of 1 Alu Spacer, Hardcoat Black, Blood Red, Blue or Hunter Green. Each gripset comes with 10 screws, 5 natural stainless as shwn and 5 black stainless. While supplies last, I am including an Allen Key for the clip screws free (one per order).

Standard finish is Grey Ghost Titanium as shown, however if you prefer Natural Tumble Polished Titanium, let me know when you order, price is the same.

These really came out great!

Price per Gripset (not including the knife!):
€178.50 incl. 19% German VAT for EU orders
€150 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping additional: €10 standard insured airmail to most destinations

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Good News at Thanksgiving Time

What better time to have some Good News than at Thanksgiving?

I have located a new space for my workshop and after some negotiation, the lease is signed! I don't know how many places I looked at, heard about, tried to find out about ... but I only needed one and I'm very happy with the new space. The rent is double what I was paying but the space is larger too. The owners are doing some considerable renovations after which I will be having an electrician run new electric and laying lines for compressed air, painting and whatever else I find money for. The Move should take place in early Spring 2014. I expect I will effectively shut down production for 4-6 weeks around the time of the move. Riggers will move the heavy machines, but I will have a lot of other stuff to pack, sort and try and see what I can throw out.

Obvioulsy, this is a great relief right here before Christmas. I would like to thank everyone who has written and encouraged me over the past months. I really appreciate it!

On the Product Side:
I will have the first WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Titanium grips ready next week. I will also be introducing a new design variation in Titanium featuring inlays on both sides. These should be ready in another 10 days ... just in time for Christmas! ;-)

I will be posting pics asap!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Titanium has Landed!

I finally located a good batch of 5mm Titanium sheet stock for the new run of Titanium WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 grips I have had planned for a while. I started machining these today and should have them for sale during the first week of December. Just in time for Christmas!

These will be priced at €150 per set for sales shipping outside the European Union. EU buyers will have to add 19% German VAT (€178.50). Shipping extra. This is the same price as the WilkinsGRIP BMG mini Titanium Series grips.

Basic Military Fixed Blade Update
Basic Military Fixed Blades ground from German Becut Stainless are now in stock and shipping. These are priced the same as the Sandvik steel Basic Militaries and all come with a Spec-ops sheath! See the Knives in Stock page of my website for details.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Make SURE your email address works when writing me!

One problem that comes up more often than you might think goes like this:
  • I get an email from someone wanting to buy something or with a product question.
  • I replay to their email.
  • My reply bounces as undeliverable.
  • I try again. Ditto. Bounces again.
  • I start getting email from the person who wrote asking why I don't answer their email... from the same email account that bounces.
  • I try again. Bounces again.
  • This goes on for while, wasting a lot of time and costing me a customer.
The thing is, if your email won't work, I cannot answer your email!

I also cannot write to say, Hey, your damn emali is broken, try another account.

This seems to happen a lot from accounts coming from

So if John from California is reading this right now... get a gmail account!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WilkinsGRIP BMGmini Titanium Back in Stock!

I finished up a new run of the WilkinsGRIP BMGmini Titanium grips yesterday. They are ready to order right now, I will get my website updated asap but readers of my blog get the News first. ;-)

I have your choice of Grey Ghost matt grey, Natural Titanium lightly stonewashed or Fire anodized, each with your choice of spacer: Black Hardcoat, Blood Red or Orange. Each set comes with black and natural stainless screws. Price per set remains unchainged at €150 for sales shipping outside the European Union. EU buyers must add 19% German VAT. Shipping is €10 to most destinations.

Workshop Update
Things are at last looking very well indeed and I believe I will have a new place lined up by end of the year. Can't say too much now, finges crossed!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Bit Late for Halloween

Wanted to get these up before Halloween, but what the Heck, Orange and Black are fine anytime!
The new Orange Anodized Alu Spacers for all WilkinsGRIP BMG mini Grips – shown here on Hardcoat Black Alu grips – these look good on any of the darker colors or combined with Toxic Lime Green, they really pop.

Titanium BMG X2 Grips Update
I hope I have finally located some 5mm titanium stock and start working on these later this month.

Basic Military Fixed Blade: BECUT Stainless Edition
I am finishing the grips for an all new Basic Military Fixed Blade ground from BECUT Stainless. Becut is the same tough stainless used in my large Ryback Series 2 kitchen knives. A patented alloy developed specially for industrial food processing machinery, BECUT is produced in Germany and combines toughness, edge-holding and corrosion resistance. These will be priced the same as the current Sandvik bladed knives.

Workshop Space Update
I have spent a great deal of the last several months looking for a new location for my shop. I have to vacate my present location in early Spring 2014. I may finally have something in the works. I don't to say too much for fear of jinxing it. As soon as I have anything for certain, I will post!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Next Wednesday Update... ;-)

I was hoping to start on a new run of  Titanium WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 grips this week but when the shipment of titanium arrived, the 5mm thick plate had somehow become ... 6mm. Now I buy this stuff from a large, reputable dealer here in Germany so I called and said, hey, looks like somebody cut up the wrong piece of titanium! They replied, "No! That is 5mm ... it's just OVERSIZE." I shit you not. Are we talking "Relaxed Fit?" Are well talking jeans or titanium sheet?

So I asked, well, is the 4mm I ordered and received actually oversized 3mm? Why even have thicknesses? Just sell 1mm OVERSIZED?. Is a $5 bill an undersized $10 bill? Next time I buy something for $10 I'll hand over a $5 and try that line, see if it works.

Long and the short of it ... I ain't got no damn 5mm titanium like I thought. I already bought $500 worth of carbide cutters to mill it with. So I am looking for some real, actual 5mm Ti. If I find any, I will make those Titanium grips.

In the meantime I do have 2-3 sets of Titanium grips for the Mini Griptilian left in stock. I received some more 4mm titanium, so I will be making another run of Minis in the near future too.

I ended up buying the 6mm titanium sheet for a reduced price. I am such an idiot. I don't know what I will make out of it now. With the future of my shop still very much in doubt, I am only buying new materials I plan on using in the near future.

I am still spending a lot of time looking at real estate -- or at least looking through real estate ads -- trying to find a new location for my shop. Several times I thought I had something, but nothing panned out. Right now there are a couple of things in the works, keep your fingers crossed one will work out. I'm loosing my mind.

If anyone in the Berlin area has any CNC machining work, let me know, I will need to keep my machines running more hours in the future in order to pay the higher rent. Doesn't need to be knife-related. Must be profit-related! Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BMG mini Grips in Swimming Pool Green are Ready

Got these WilkinsGRIP BMG minis in Swimming Pool Green G11 finished up today, they look pretty cool with a Blood Red spacer – or as desired, with a standard hardcoat Black anodized one – the choice is yours. Price is unchanged from all other plastic WilkinsGRIP BMG mini Grips:

€113.05 for EU sales, €95 for sales shipping outside the European Union.
Shipping is extra: €7 Germany, €10 to Most of the rest of the World

Let the Good Times Roll!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Status Update

WilkinsGRIP News:
Swimming Pool Green BMG X2 grips for all large Griptilian Folders are in stock and selling fast. Get a set before they're gone!

Swimming Pool Green WilkinsGRIP BMG mini grips are in the works right now. I hope to be able to deliver the first ones end of the coming week, a lot will depend on when the anodizers finish the last batch of spacers.

Workshop Relocation News:
I am still looking like mad for a new space. One option does look promising, one or two others are long shots that might be doable. The rents are the main hurdle. I just can't swing the asking price on many spaces – which also have rent increases built into the leases so that they start out too high and get a lot worse over time.

If anyone out there knows of any industrial space in Berlin for rent, drop me a line! It cannot be a store front or located in a residential building. I need 80-120 square meters with industrial power and accessible for heavy machinery – either at ground level, through a large freight elevator or through a window with a crane.

Also, if anyone out there would be interested in buying my Haas CNC milling machines and / or other machinery, drop me a line. I don't plan on selling them yet, but if all efforts at relocation fail, I will be forced to do so in early 2014.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Just in Time for Fall: Swimming Pool Green is Back!

Finished the first new run of WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 grips mahined from Swimming Pool Green G11 yesterday. These are ready for sale today.
This G11 is really tough to machine and hard on the cutters!
Pic is an older one, all gripsets now ship with all black stainless screws, if you prefer natural stainless, let me know when you order.

Price per Set: €142.80 for EU orders (€120 for non-EU orders)
plus shipping: €7 inside Germany; €10 to most other destinations
Price does not include the knife!

Shop Move Update
I am looking at places and calling... looked at one place this week which I had to turn down because the ceilings are too low. They have been doing auto body work in the space and there was a 1960 Ferrari 2 seat converable still in the back all torn down. I did tell the owner that if I were to take the space, he could just leave that old "junk car" parked back there and I'd tow it off for free. I like to help when I can... ;-)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Workshop Lease has been Terminated

I received the final written termination notice on the lease for my workshop in Saturday's mail. The property was sold last year and the new owners have refused to negotiate new leases. It's not about paying a higher rent and staying. The new owners want to totally renovate the old building and turn it into luxury offices.

So not only will I have to go, but also everybody else. A sheet metal fabricating company, a cabinetmaker and his employees, a company who make transport belts for assembly lines and vocational school, among others. Some of my neighbors have been in the space over 30 years. I have been there almost 10 years.

We initially thought this was going to happen right after the building sold, but it took an extra year for the new owners to finalize their construction plans. Or whatever.

My lease ends 31. January 2014. The new owners have indicated verbally that they will not be starting construction before early Spring and it would be possible to stay several months after my lease ends if necessary. I don't have that in writing but I hope they will keep their word.

I have already been searching like mad for a new location, however it is not easy to find a small space where I can install heavy machinery. Rents are also high. I cannot pay €2000 and more per month for a space. I also cannot drive 100 kilometers every day. Although I have used the last year to get my operation in shape as best as I can, there is a limited amount of money to be made in this business.

I have talked things over with my accountant and I cannot let myself fall into the trap of Going Broke in Installments. Either I find a new location that is viable, where I have a chance to make a living, or I have to sell off the machines and shut it down. At least if I do that, I will have the money from the sale of the assets to give me some time to figure out my next move. If I spend every cent I have moving into a space I cannot hope to pay for, I will end up ruined. And out of business.

I am also searching for spaces suitable to share with one or more of my neighbors – all of whom have multiple employees and much larger space requirements. Maybe something will work out there? The real estate situation in Berlin is very difficult to say the least.

So, I do not expect to introduce any new products until I have this situation sorted out. No new long-term projects. Certainly no more new knife models or custom orders.

I will continue to produce WilkinsGRIPs in batches I can complete and have ready for sale. I have the largest stock of grips on hand right now that I have ever offered. I also have a fairly good stock of knives. If you have been thinking about buying something from me, the next few months would be the time to do so. If I am able to find a new space, the move will cost a good €10,000. That money has to come from product sales.

So if anybody knows of workshop space in Berlin, I need 80-120 square meters or 300-600+ square meters that could be divided and shared, drop me a line ... and keep those orders coming!

Kevin Wilkins

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Update

Working in the office today, my desk looks like the paper recycling bin only some of the stuff on my desk is important! I forgot which ones are the important ones. Oh well...

Big News: I finally managed to get some more Swimming Pool Green G11 and will start turning it into WilkinsGRIPs in the coming weeks. This stuff has really gotten expensive! I expect to do WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 grips first, them BMG minis and some D4s. I am working on a run of mini spacers right now. Doesn't make sense to do grips for which I have no spacers.

Starting next week, buyers of WilkinsGRIP D4 grips for the Spyderco Delica 4 will have a choice of colored spacers. These should be done next week and I will have the following colors from which to choose:

  • Black G10
  • Toxic Green G10
  • Military Olive Drab G10
  • Orange & Black layered G10
  • Sky Blue G10

Pics asap.

Reduced Prices: I have further reduced the price of the Mini Thorn Classic to €99 for the knife alone or €120 for the knife and a hand made leather sheath. 

That's the final reduction and as low as I can go. (European Union Buyers will have to add 19% VAT to those prices and all buyers will have to add shipping) See my website for full specs on these little knives. They are Carbon Tool steel and hand ground!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spec-ops Combat Master Mini Sheaths have Arrived!

A lot of planning and effort went into getting these sheaths but the wait was worth it.

Now every Basic Military Field Knife sold will include a Spec-ops Combat Master Mini sheath in your choice of Black or Coyote Cordura. I will no longer be selling the knives without a sheath.

The Spec-ops Combat Master series has been setting the standard for lined Cordura tactical sheaths from the very beginning. This smaller version was developed by Spec-ops with my Basic Military Field Knife in mind and I have received the first production run. The sheath incorporates the same winning features found on both larger Combat Master Sheaths, including:

  • Split-Loop hanger fits a wide variety of belts comfortably and stays put
  • Adjustable front pouch holds a pistol mag, multi-tool or any small gear
  • Fits most modular web gear systems with a variety of tie-down options
  • Adjustable keeper holds the knife securely
  • Kydex liner prevents injury to the wearer
  • Durable 1000D Cordura fabric
  • 100% Made in the USA quality

Price for Basic Military Field Knife with Spec-ops Sheath:
for orders shipping inside the European Union (includes 19% VAT)
€199 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping Extra! €7 inside Germany via DHL; €10 to Most of the rest of the World via insured Airmail

Here are a variety of pics showing knives and sheaths, see my website for more info and detailed specs on the Basic Military Field Knife!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

NEW WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Gripsets in Stock

Here are the newest WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Gripsets for all large Griptilian® folders. These are in stock and ready to ship.

The Pale Green grips are made from high strength G11 and are semi-translucent. That means you can kinda see through them and they let light through. They are a real pain to photograph! These look great with a Hunter Green spacer but you have your choice of Hunter Green, Blood Red, Intense Blue or Hardcoat Black anodized Alu. I don't sell extra spacers, they are too expensive.

The other grips machined from standard G10 FR4 and I tried a few new tricks making these.

New Colors are:
  • Pale Green G11 (your choice of spacer, Hunter Green, Blood Red, Intense Blue or Hardcoat Black)
  • Aircraft Grey & Black Layered (the grey is slightly transparent and the color varies according to the layering, each set is slightly different)
  • Desert Tan & Black Layered (there are 2 variations to choose from, standard and subdued)
  • Lizard Green & Black Layered (these do look wild, should be worn with faux Leopard Skin pants)
  • Black & Lizard Green (2 variations to choose from, Mostly Black with Lizard highlights or Sick Lizard ... both are also on The Wild Side)
Each Gripset includes the grips, one spacer, 5 black stainless screws and (while supplies last) a USA-Made Allen wrench to fit the 3 clip screws. Knife not included.

Price per Gripset:
€142.80 for orders shipping inside the European Union (includes 19% VAT)
€120 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping extra, €7 Germany, €10 to Most of the rest of the World

Drop me a line if you'd like to purchase a set!

Pale Green G11 – these have been a favorite from the very beginning, now back in stock

Aircraft Grey & Black Layered – this color combo is new to me!

Desert Tan & Black Layered –  Versions to choose from, top pic: Standard, bottom pic: Subdued

Lizard Green & Black layered – faux Leopard Skin pants are a Must

Black & Lizard Layered – again, 2 Versions, Mostly Black (top pic) and Sick Lizard (bottom pic)

WilkinsGRIP D4 Titanium in Stock

Finally got these finished! I'm offering the same 3 finish options as on the BMG mini Ti grips:
  • Natural Titanium (slightly stone washed, all sharp edges softened)
  • Fire Anodized (same as Natural, with added Color!)
  • Grey Ghost (bead blasted and stone washed for a durable, matt finish)
Each D4 gripset includes a Black G10 spacer with steel cross pin, 7 slot head stainless screws, a RECA Norm screwdriver & a WilkinsGRIP Glowing Logo soft PVC Velcro Patch.

Price per D4 Gripset:
€148.75 for orders shipping within the European Union (includes 19% VAT)
€125 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping charges extra, €7 Germany, €10 to Most of the Rest of the World

Let me know if you'd like to buy a set!
Most buyers may re-use the original Torz screws from their Delica4 if desired – with the exception of the 3 clip screws. The originals are too short.

I will be putting the final finish on these as ordered, they're all natural titanium now. So it will take a day or two for me to ship. This way I don't don't do too many Fire Anodized when suddedly everybody wants Grey Ghost, etc.

Grey Ghost below (shown installed, knife not included)

Fire Anodized (pic shows only the grips, you will receive the entire kit)

Natural Titanium (pic shows only the grips, you will receive the entire kit)

Each D4 Gripset order includes a RECA Norm screwdriver free – at least as long as my supply lasts.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Update

Fall seems to have arrived in Berlin, time to dig out those fleece jackets!

I am moving along with the new BMG X2 grips mentioned in my last post. I finished the first set yesterday and will be milling on the remaining ones todays as I proceed with hand finishing and assembly.

The D4 Titanium grips are also about done, I just have to take care of some final details there and shoot pics.

A good deal of time and energy are going into looking at commercial space where I can relocate my shop. This is frustrating but a couple of locations are looking very promising. Whatever happens, my rent will double. This will naturally increase the financial pressure each month but my only other alternative is the liquidation of my business. I may have to expand or die. Now I know how the Universe feels! ;-)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Run of WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Grips

I've had quite a few emails lately from folks wanting more WilkinsGRIPs for their large Griptilian folders. I am working on a new run right now. Hopefully I will have these ready to sell by end of next week give or take.

The colors in the works are:

• Pale Green G11– these have been one of the most popular colors since I started
• Tan & Black Layered G10 – only a limited amount of G10 in this color on hand
• Toxic Lime Green & Black Layered – I'm changing how I mill these, the new ones will be black with Green highlights, light the Lava Flow grips in orange and black on my site
• Steel Grey & Black G10 – this is a NEW color for me!

I also plan a run in Titanium coming up as soon as I can manage to buy the titanium sheet.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Morning Report

I'm shipping the new WilkinsGRIP BMGmini Titanium grips. I still have some in stock, so have a look and drop me a line if you'd like a set. I am finishing these as ordered, rather than going ahead and doing some Fire Anodized and some Grey Ghost, etc. This way I don't end up with too many of one finish. It may mean that it takes me a day or two to finsih your grips and get the order out.

Also: I am including both black and stainless screws with all Titanium mini orders. Turns out it is easier to just shorten 4 screws instead of trying to keep track of who wants what. The first few orders went out with only the screws as requested, now everybody ordering gets both.

Looks like next up will be WilkinsGRIP D4 Titanium grips! Buyers of the D4 grips -- including one buyer associated with Spyderco -- have been very pleased with the way these grips transform the Delica4. I plan on the D4 grips becoming as much a part of my business as the BMGminis. As soon as I have time to get back to making the drawings and prototypes, I will finish the new WilkinsGRIP product for Spyderco's Endura series.

On another subject: Last year there was a lot of drama when real estate investors bought the commercial building complex where I been renting shop space for the last 9 years or so. Word was, they were kicking me and all the other tenants out to make way for luxury lofts. The new owner ended up delaying their plans for one year and extending my lease until the end of January 2014.

That year is almost up. I was able to finally speak with one of the managing directors of the investment company owners in June when he was touring the property with their architects and other partners. He told me straight out that I should expect no further extension of my lease and that they plan to convert the building to modernized office space and ... kick us all out. Evidently they plan to begin construction in the Spring.

I am doing everything possible to get exact information in writing from the managing company. So far without success. The real estate market in Berlin has gone insane and prices are insane. Not knowing what the immediate future will bring makes it impossible to plan. Should I invest in producing a new knife when I may not have a shop in which to finish the knives next year? I recently went ahead and bought a used Haas Mini Mill because I know I can resell it if I have to. But still, this shit is driving me crazy.

I am looking like mad for alternative locations for my shop, however there is a limit to what I can pay. It has become pretty obvious that it is practically impossible to find anything under €1000 per month. That is a lot of money for a small 100 square meter room and just about the limit I can even consider.

Light manufacturing is being destroyed in this city by real estate speculation. So many of the traditional commercial properties in Berlin that have housed light manufacturing have been converted to luxury lofts or to office space. Foreign investors are paying enormous prices. I cannot place my machinery in an apartment house or storefront, it must be commercial space suited for manufacturing. The other firms in my current complex -- most of whom have 4-8 employees -- are also under enormous pressure to find space where the rent will allow their businesses to survive.

So, wish me luck. Obviously this is also taking a lot of time. Time I could be better spending in the shop making products to sell. And of course, if anybody knows of some commercial space in Berlin ...

Friday, August 9, 2013

WilkinsGRIP BMGmini Titanium Grips are in Stock

I was able to obtain some very nice, brand new Grade 2 Titanium sheet with a fantastic orange peel texture. This run of BMGmini grips is available in three finish options. Choose from:

• Matte Grey Ghost – which is bead blasted and then tumble polished. This finish is very scratch forgiving for using knives
• Natural Titanium - these are machined and have the edges lightly polished, also making for a good user
• Fire Anodized Multi Color - these are natural titanium heated with a torch until the titanium takes on color, predominately blue. Each set will vary slightly as they are individually heated

And all three finish options come with your choice of either a Black hardcoat anodized Alu spacer or a Blood Red anodized Alu spacer. Buyers can also choose either black spacer screws (as shown in these pics) or stainless screws.

If you'd like a set, send me an email. It may take a few extra days to ship as I will be finishing these as they are ordered.

€178.50 for orders shipping inside the EU 
€150 for orders shipping outside the European Union
EU orders include 19% German Sales tax
Insured Shipping:
€7 to Germany, €10 to Most of the Rest of the World

Thanks to everyone for your patience and support!

Grey Ghost Titanium

Natural Titanium

Fire Anodized Multi Color