Patrick Famin is hard at work, tweaking and tuning the latest batch of his DOTF automatic knife. This is a design that Famin has had in the pipeline for more than 10 years, and now that he can produce them in a timely fashion, he says he has big plans for the future of this custom piece.
Way back in 2010, after creating some other double action auto designs, Famin knew he wanted to create the most representative type in the genre. “I started to work on my first OTF prototype,” he says. His experience in the D/A format helped to keep the testing and refinement period relatively short – but that was the only part of the process that was short. “After two months of hard work I got something working as expected,” Famin explains. “But what I did not expect was that it would take so long to make.” A lack of machinery to help speed the process along meant that Famin worked on each element of these prototypes by hand; and for that simple reason, he had to shelf the project for the time being. “The reason was easy to understand, I could not spent two months making one knife,” he summarizes.
Fast forward to 2020, and Famin realized he was ready to bring his OTF back into circulation. “I decided to work on my DOTF project again, knowing that I had increased my skills over the years and had invested in a lot of new milling, drilling, and grinding machines.” The 2020 prototype took considerably less time to make, and, not long after Famin was able to release his first batch of custom DOTFs.
The DOTF is a large out the front automatic knife, with a 3.6-inch blade that Famin produces in several shapes: drop point, spear point, even a sheepsfoot. The blade opens and closes via a spineside toggle with three anodized titanium pins set into it – which is where the knife gets its name from (“Dot OTF”). The frame is a conservative, rectangular shape – we’d say “traditional” if such a term can be applied to the relatively new OTF genre – but Famin goes all out in terms of materials and construction, so despite the single handle pattern, each DOTF looks wildly different from its brethren and sistren. Mammoth ivory, black pearl, even meteorite have made appearances on DOTF models.
In fact, it is this unpredictable element that Famin says makes the DOTF stand out from other similar customs. “Day after day I improve my DOTF, and my goal in the near future is to make the best OTF on the market, and make it more fully handmade, because the luxury of handmade components is what makes each knife so unique.”
Knife in Featured Image: Famin Knives DOTF