Fred Perrin, the knife user’s knife maker, has been a fixture in both the custom knife world, as well as the production knife world for decades, and in many forms. He has been referred to as the most controversial knife maker and knife writer in France, and his knife reviews have helped numerous people choose the right knife for them, as well as providing some much-needed humor in the tactical knife realm. One of my all-time favorite articles Mr. Perrin wrote was “I Love My Shovel”, a review on the Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel, and it definitely helped me decide to buy one at the time.
Most people in the American tactical knife arena first became aware of Fred Perrin through the LaGriffe knife, which was first a custom, handmade knife from Fred’s workshop in France, and then became a production knife by Emerson Knives, Inc, which still produces their version to this day. Hands down, I still think the LaGriffe is the perfect urban self-defense/utility knife, no matter which version you have, custom or production. I do have to say, the custom versions have a different feel, and Fred really has a rustic/tribal vibe to his custom work. He has also had several successful collaborations with Spyderco, including the Street Bowie, Street Beat, and the first folding knife collaboration he’s done, the PPT. Word has it that soon, there will be another fixed blade collaboration between Spyderco and Fred hitting the market.
“There are no tactical knives, just tactical minds” – Fred Perrin
As mentioned, Mr. Perrin tends to make tactical knives, and other self-defense-oriented tools, while maintaining a sense of art and creativity about what he makes. He does this by understanding what an EDC/self-defense tool needs to function. As one of the most in-demand instructors for government and military in Europe, he also gets feedback from real hardcore end-users, to better understand and make improvements, which is important when that tool is trusted to save your life or complete a mission. He is also influenced by his own military service, and years of real-world experience in violence, as well as training in martial arts, including pentjak silat and old school, street style savate.
Several years ago, Mr. Perrin started working with a French company, Max Knives, to make production versions of his most popular models, so more people could access good tools, without the wait time always associated with custom knife makers. Through Max Knives, there are several versions of the LaGriffe, the La Shark, Tri-folder, several of his Bowie models, as well as throwing knives, daggers, push knives, and other, limited production runs of special products, all of which are priced at a very good point, making them a great value in the self-defense world. We are proud to carry his production knives in our store, as they are very high quality for a very reasonable price point.
One of the primary issues with any custom knife, but especially with Fred’s knives, is supply. Coming from Europe, shipping, customs departments, and currency exchange rates can take a long time. Also, for many years, Perrins production knives were only available online or sold at higher prices through secondary distributors. Luckily, at CEBLADES, we have a long-time relationship with Fred, which allows us to import directly from Mr. Perrin, and bring the product line at more affordable pricing while being able to maintain a decent stock level.