Interview with Fox Kinves USA
In 1977 Oreste Frati established the now legendary FOX Coltellerie in Maniago, Italy. The name of the company whose letters are synonymous with the owner’s name, is known for producing some of the finest knives in the market for more than 30-years. A prestigious brand built on passion and craftsmanship, FOX now produces more than 100,000 knives and penknives every year.
In 2008 Oreste Frati’s hard work and quality products attracted the attention of Mike Vellekamp, a passionate knife designer who started in the industry at age 18. Mikey got his start in Golden, CO where he worked at GMI before that company was successfully purchased by then up and coming brand, Spyderco, Inc. Vellekamp continued forward with Spyderco for twelve and a half more years before making the move to Blade-Tech Industries in 2005, where he has continues to be a vital part of the design team.
Blade-Tech Industries he was presented with several unique business opportunities, one of which, eventually prompting him and business partner Steve Avila to visit Italy for a meeting Oreste an Gabriele Frati. The four would discuss the possibilities of importing the FOX brand into the US marketplace and providing OEM services. In 2008, Euro Knives Italia s.r.l. was established and FOX KNIVES USA became the exclusive importer responsible for design, manufacturing and distribution of FOX’s high-quality cutlery to the USA.
The following year 5.11® Tactical released a new knife collection which featured the designs of Mike Vellekamp. The 5.11 Tactical knife collection includes the Alpha Scout Folder and Scout Folder, the Side Kick Boot Knife, Tanto Surge, and the XPRT Folder. It’s no coincidence that’s Vellekamp’s creativity and artistry won him “Most Innovative American Knife Design” at the 2009 Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair for the “REZ-Q2” prototype.
Unfortunately, the Rez-Q2 has not been released for production, yet. We hope it will be soon.
“We’re currently manufacturing 8 different knife models for Browning, using Russ Kommer’s Black Label designs,” says Vellekamp.
Now entering 2012, FOX KNIVES USA has continued to grow at an exciting pace for more than three years. With five full-time employees, more than 600 sku numbers and five individual catalogs Vellekamp is constantly scaling his operation. Sharing a manufacturing space with Blade-Tech Industries, the companies work together to deliver fine products to shared clients expecting the very best tools. FOX KNIVES USA has executed OEM projects with some major brands of the tactical products and outdoor sportsman industry, offering:
- Top-notch Laser Cutting services for the following materials: stainless and high carbon steel, aluminum an titanium
- Heat Treating services for many materials, as well as Cryogenic equipment and temper ovens
- CNC Machining for a variety of parts and components, and CNC screw machine capabilities
- "Hollow" & "Fiat" CNC bevel grinding for knife blades of various configurations
- A variety of finishing processes from sanding and profiling, de-buring, bead blasting, and tumbling, to manual satin Scotch-brite(TM) and steel mirror polishing
- YAG and O2 laser marking capabilities
- Highest-quality cutting edge in the industry with years of hands-on expertise, along with Goneometer and CATRA testing
Vellekamp has recently become involved with state legislation regarding current laws over automatic knife production. Currently, FOX KNIVES USA manufactures these knives in Oregon, but getting laws amended will allow FOX to bring this process in-house at their facility in Washington State.
To learn more about FOX KNIVES USA visit www.foxknivesusa.com or call (303) 263-2468.
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