Bestech has graced a popular Grzegorz Grabarski/Kombou collaboration model with a lower-cost variation called the Kasta BL. Changes to blade steel and handle materials make this new Kasta fall into a lower, although not bargain basement, price range.
The original Bestech Kasta came out in 2019, and it was our introduction to Grabarski’s work at KnifeNews. The knife was hard to ignore with a 3.46-inch blade sporting a dramatic, sweeping, cleaver-inflected profile. Of course this blade is carried over wholesale to the Kasta BL, as are its dual opening methods of flipper tab and thumb cutout. The blade steel is altered from M390 to 154CM – a step down, to be sure, but only from a great steel to a very good one.
When a knife gets rejiggered for budgetary reasons you know that, most likely, titanium is off the menu. And indeed the Kasta BL trades in the original’s full titanium scales for ones made of two-tone G-10. Worth noting, however, is that while the Kasta BL is more budget-focused, it is not a budget knife; with an MSRP of $150 it falls into a middle ground price tier that still allows for some flourishes. That’s why it has 154CM and, in the case of the handle scales, why the dynamic, flowing cuts and texturing of the titanium model have been retained even if the material wasn’t. A liner lock underneath the off-side scale replaces the titanium frame lock, but the sculpted ti clip is still here – and it’s attached to a very slightly lighter knife, too: 4.76 oz. compared to the Ti Kasta’s 4.8 oz.
In a recent post on Instagram, Grabarski said that the material and finishing choices on his production collabs are very important to him. “As a huge fan of premium folding knives I had some ‘artistic’ doubts to make one of my favorite designs as a liner lock with g10 handles.” But he went on to say the final result exceeded his expectations, even with humbler materials. Moreover, he hinted that more Kombou designs will make the transition into the affordable territory in the future. “KASTA BL is the first, but not the last design to be transferred for more affordable release. Stay tuned for more info.”
Knife in Featured Image: Bestech Kasta BL