THE COVERT CUSTOM KNIFE
A PERFECT CONCEALEDCARRY COMPANION
Biegler Bladeworks utilizes extensive martial arts training and Asian travel experience to redefine the fixed blade EDC. Find out how it performed.
Brian Biegler is a Texas man who has amassed considerable experience and knowledge about Southeast Asia. For much of 10 years, Brian traveled and lived there.
When I interviewed Brian at his shop in Dallas, Texas, I found him to be soft-spoken and highly intelligent. He told me he has always loved martial arts and the feel of a good knife. He explained that he had been making his own knives for the better part of 15 years. That experience led to the design of the Covert Custom Knife.
Student Turned Teacher
As Brian advanced to the top of his martial arts training, he began training with masters who supplemented sticks with knives and other edged weapons. It turns out that Brian is a highly skilled Thai-boxer who has taught this martial art in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is nothing short of amazing that a Westerner was teaching Thai-boxing to Thai students.
Brian went to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to continue his studies and to achieve his goal of getting his doctorate in biomedical science (biomedical science is an applied science for furthering public health, finding cures for diseases and other similar types of research). In fact, he was the first Westerner to receive a doctorate in science at Chiang Mai University.
The Third Time is the Charm
As a Westerner living and traveling throughout Southeast Asia, Brian became aware of personal security concerns. He soon found a need for an easily carried, fixed-blade knife—one he could carry concealed. He could not find a suitable fixed blade he felt he could rely on. As a result, he decided to design and make a custom, everyday companion. Brian was a researcher by nature and via his academic pursuits, so he studied ethnographic blades in places such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and, of course, Thailand.
“BRIAN WAS A RESEARCHER BY NATURE AND VIA HIS ACADEMIC PURSUITS, SO HE STUDIED ETHNOGRAPHIC BLADES IN PLACES SUCH AS MALAYSIA, INDONESIA, LAOS AND, OF COURSE, THAILAND.”
While in Laos, he befriended a senior monk at the 16th-century Wat Mai Buddha temple. The monk would sometimes allow him to visit a locked temple to view and handle stacks of ancient polearms and other weapons used to fight battles … or tigers.
This research, along with a good feel for what he needed, prepared Brian for his own knifemaking attempt, so he acquired a small stock of ATS 34 stainless steel. He attempted three different knives before he felt he had reached perfection. He calls this design Caprica Six, which served as his constant companion while traveling. It worked so well, the experience inspired Brian to continue expanding his knifemaking career.
The Covert Custom Knife
Brian partnered with Tim Waid, a former Marine and Pekiti-tirsia Kali (Philippine martial arts) expert, after returning to Texas. Tim is the president of PTKGO, which provides training in knife defense and offense worldwide for military, law enforcement and corporate security, including the Philippine marines and police. He also
has designed several blades that are commercially produced today. Together, Brian and Tim created the Covert Custom knife. In my opinion, it is the perfect martial arts, personal-protection, fixed-blade knife. The design was mainly Tim’s, with Brian’s assistance and knowledge of knifemaking.
I am truly impressed with this design. The Covert Custom is very well balanced (this is intentionally incorporated into the overall design) and comfortable to hold in the hand. With my martial arts, law enforcement and international trainer background, I can see the applications this knife will have in the hands of trained military personnel, as well as in the private sector.
My Covert Custom sports a 4-inch CPM154 stainless steel blade that measures 1 inch at its widest point.
I call this blade design a “super-modified tanto.” The OD green-textured G-10 handle has a grip of about 4 inches. Making this knife exceptionally strong is the full tang blade that is 0.125-inch thick. The entire knife weighs 5.6 ounces, and with the neatly designed Kydex sheath, its total weight is 7.4 ounces.
“… I CAN SEE THE APPLICATIONS THIS KNIFE WILL HAVE IN THE HANDS OF TRAINED MILITARY PERSONNEL, AS WELL AS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.”
Anything You Can Dish Out …
I put the entire package through some serious testing.the Covert Custom took everything I put it through. I used a ¾-inch-thick treated board for the penetration test. Using a leather glove, I one-handed an overhanded stab into the board, penetrating slightly through. I found this amazing for a 5.6-ounce knife.
I removed the blade from the board and found no change in the sharpness of the point or edge. Then (with one false start), I chopped two times, cutting through a 1-inch stalk of green
bamboo. Not bad for a lightweight knife not intended for chopping.
“TOGETHER, BRIAN AND TIM CREATED THE COVERT CUSTOM KNIFE. IN MY OPINION, IT IS THE PERFECT MARTIAL ARTS, PERSONAL-PROTECTION, FIXED-BLADE KNIFE.”
As you know, most knives are not made for prying things open. They are tools—but not that type of tool. Even so, I used the Covert Custom’s point for some prying; there was no breakage or damage.
Excellent Carry System
The Covert Custom comes with a Kydex sheath made to carry this fixed blade concealed inside the pants. The sheath slides inside the pants at the beltline. The attached leather strap then comes through under the belt and up to snap to the sheath. As a result, the sheath stays in place when the knife is drawn. I carried my sample Covert Custom concealed for a two-week test period.
The first time I went out, I forgot that the knife was even attached to my belt. It carries very comfortably and remains concealed, yet handy for use.
I also had my 1911 .45ACP on. The Covert Custom and the 1911 make a perfect partnership. Drawing this knife with the offhand from its Kydex sheath is smooth and natural.
A word of warning: The Covert Custom is a very sharp knife. When practicing the draw, use extreme care. No matter how good you are, you can injure yourself in practice. The carry system requires the knife to be very close to your side. It can happen to anyone. To illustrate: A friend of mine, an officer and martial arts expert in several disciplines—including edge weapons— had a moment of relapse in practicing a draw of another brand of knife. He inflicted a serious, 4-inch slash to his torso.
Made in America
The Covert Custom is a well-designed, well-made knife with an excellent carry system. I highly recommend this knife for those of you who require quality equipment. Each Covert Custom is made individually in the United States, by an American and made with U.S. steel. KI
Right: Covert Custom is an exceptionally made and designed knife. Many trial-and-error efforts went into the final product.
Top If you are a professional in the military, law enforcement, contractor or security business, or someone who simply appreciates the finer things, the Covert Custom is worth investigating.
Bottom Left: The Caprica represents the knife Brian Biegler first conceived a need for. The need for security, self-defense, mobility and concealment dictated this knife.
As the Covert Custom is drawn, it is in a perfect position for an offensive strike or defensive block.
Tuhon Tim Waid begins to deploy the Covert Custom. Notice that he pulls up his shirt with his left hand and slides the right thumb down his side to the knife handle.
Tuhon Tim Waid is pictured here with a Covert Custom on his right side with just a shirttail concealing the handle. This knife and its carrying system work amazing well.
Top Right: The Covert Custom’s blade point. After the author slammed it into the board and chopped through the bamboo, he found no damage to the point or edge.
Top Left: The 5.6-ounce Covert Custom is a light knife that is not intended for chopping. However, the author chopped this 1-inch green bamboo stalk with just two whacks.
Bottom Right: With a glove on the author’s right hand, he uses an overhead stabbing strike, penetrating a ¾-inch treated board. Because this knife is light and not a true dagger design, he found this impressive.