One to Watch-Gough Made Resolute Mk. III
Tony Sculimbrene 07.23.18
In today’s knife market the idea that a custom maker would make one knife, and only one knife, for his entire career is kind of nuts. In many ways knives have become fashion items and only the newest, latest, and greatest make it to Instagram. Wave after wave of “hot knife” come and go, and knife collectors are constantly pursuing the next “amazing blade.” This trendiness has resulted in an absolute explosion of new knives from custom makers and high end production companies. This is good for the market as there is something for just about everyone, but it might be bad for knife design. Instead of carefully honing a design, makers and companies go back to the drawing board each and every time. There is no chance to make useful tweaks or improvements, only the new and the next get made.
But Aaron Gough of Gough Made Blades resists this trend. The entire time he has been making knives through his own painstaking process, he has made exactly one model—the Resolute—and has iterated three times, hence the current model being the Resolute Mk. III. Gough has documented his journey with the design through YouTube and Instagram and the result is proof that this is one of the most carefully made and thoughtfully designed knives in the world. This knife is basically what would happen if custom makers and high end production companies stopped chasing trends and started honing their work.
The Resolute Mk. III itself is a remarkably simple design—a classic “all around fixed blade” with the well known proportions (9” OAL, 4” blade with a 5” handle). The knife is produced only in A2, no powder or crazy nitrogen-swap-out steels. The knife comes in a handmade kydex sheat that like the knife has been iterated on over and over and over again by Gough. Every detail has been considered and reconsidered (there is even a video documenting this on Gough’s YouTube channel). Only recently has he started offering DLC coated blades and that, like everything, was the product of massive testing and refinement. An entire batch of coated blades failed to meet Gough’s incredibly high standards and were tossed.
The handle, like the rest of the knife is simple and thoughtfully considered. The design is a full tang knife and the handles are fully contoured with a prominent indexing notch. The rear of the knife has a glass breaker that it is carefully concealed in the rear of the knife as a simple point at the back of the blade. Like with the coatings on the blade itself, Gough has meticulously refined the process used to make his handles. The tolerances are so tight that the scales “stick” to the blade stock even without epoxy or bolts.
The only issue with Gough’s knives is that all of the attention to detail has served to severely limit his output. There is simply no way to make these knives in any real numbers. As a result there are very few available and when they do come up for sale, they are instantly snatched up. Still, get on his email list and wait. Based on the YouTube and Instagram information, it seems impossible that you would be disappointed.