Kevin Johnson, the man behind the LeftyEDC YouTube channel, is the latest person to make the jump from reviewing knives to making his own. Johnson partnered with designer Colin Maisonpierre to found a new production knife label, Divo Knives, and their debut model, the Stout, is set to drop later this year.
“Reviewing knives on both YouTube and Instagram has given me a chance to handle hundreds if not thousands of knives over the past couple years,” Johnson reflects. Scrutinizing the performance of pocket knives in a structured way gave him an enthusiast’s eye for the details. “This has helped me really dial in my preferences and was critical in how I initially drew up the Stout.”
But the inspiration goes deeper than that: the Stout’s blade profile and general capabilities are also informed by the less talked-about aspects of the knife hobby”I spend a lot of time opening and sending packages because I review so many knives,” Johnson explains. “Simple tasks like cutting open a box or package, cutting shipping labels, and cutting tape are some of the things I do a lot of. So, I wanted to design a knife that would be perfect for those situations.”
Johnson and Maisonpierre came up with a 3.3-inch “SheepsPoon” blade shape as a result. “[It] is great for utility cutting such as cutting cardboard, indexing cuts, or opening packages, but it is also useful for getting underneath things like cutting straps or zip ties,” Johnson says of his sheepsfoot/harpoon hybrid. “It is extremely versatile with its mostly straight edge, but has a little belly to it.” He confirms that the harpoon swedge was a detail he originally included for artistic reasons, although it ended up playing an important role in the ergonomics. “The harpoon design on the spine is an aesthetic feature, but also creates a perfect landing spot for your thumb or index finger when using the knife choked up or in a pinch grip.”
The actual handle is just as accommodating, with a clean, linear profile behind its forward finger choil. There is a titanium frame lock beneath the 2/3rds scales, which can be made from Micarta or copper carbon fiber. “The Stout was designed to be used for everyday carry, but also can handle some harder use with its very comfortable ergonomics and ‘stout’ blade,” Johnson continues. “It can be a dressed up knife, a user, a fidget toy, or all three.”
Divo Knives will open up for Stout pre-orders on April 9th, with delivery expected in the August-September window. “We plan to have some extras to sell at shows like Blade Show West and possibly have a drop after all pre-orders are delivered, but the pre-order is going to be the best and most guaranteed way to purchase a Stout,” says Johnson. The Stout will eventually join the Divo lineup as an ongoing product, but the preorder price will be lower than its eventually MSRP. “We also have a budget priced knife (around $100) called the Growler coming this year, as well as the Mash, which is a titanium liner lock with premium materials similar to the Stout, and finally we have some collaboration projects in the works as well,” Johnson reveals. “We are very excited to be a part of and work with the community, and it all begins with the Stout!”
Knife in Featured Image: Divo Knives Stout