A custom knife can be many things to many people — a showpiece, a daily-carry item or simply an investment. Most custom knife makers cater to these needs, rather than the needs of an actual working tool. Jake Hoback is a notable exception.
Known for their excellent craftsmanship, Jake Hoback Custom Knives are meant to be used. If you’re looking for a unique blade to really get some work done, look no further than Jake Hoback’s collection.
Much like any other ‘80s child, Jake Hoback started exploring things in his backyard as a young kid. While most kids were falling out of trees or playing in the street, Hoback was using a framing hammer to make blades out of fence post nails. Luckily, he had an outlet to pursue his interest — his best friend’s dad owned a blacksmith shop and let him work there in the summers.
Hoback began making knives for a simple reason: He couldn’t afford a high-quality blade. Once he recognized his talent, that simple reason transformed into a goal of making the most perfect blade that could handle myriad tasks. He began making knives professionally in 2003, and though he believes he has reached his goal, he continues to refine his work to make each blade even better.
Hoback credits much of his success to his faith. Inspirational verses are written in permanent marker all over his shop, and you’ll find “Psalm 23” engraved on each of his custom knives. Through his faith, Hoback believes the Lord guides him and gives him the strength to create and the skill to succeed. His faith also leads him to help the less fortunate, which he does through a variety of outreach work.
Through the success of his custom knives, Hoback has been able to support some inspiring outreach missions. Among the programs he supports is Bamba Forge, a workshop where young Ugandan men are taught the trade of tool making to help combat the staggering 60-plus percent unemployment rate in that country.
He also supports Blind and Vision Impaired Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh. Vision-impaired workers make his wooden display boxes and custom leather pouches. When you purchase a Hoback Custom Knife, you are also supporting Hoback’s inspiring outreach programs.
Knife-Making and Repair
Hoback prides himself on making virtually indestructible knives. His excellent custom knives “are built to be tools, not just trophies.” He sketches initial designs on pad and paper, but to design a precision tool, he uses a 3-D CAD program.
Designing in the computer program means his creations can be easily translated to the CNC routing machines that create each component of the knife. The direct relay of information from the computer to the machine ensures the best possible fit when each component comes together to form the finished product.
Even the best tools need to be serviced periodically to perform at their best. Jake Hoback Custom Knives offers knife service packages to keep your blade in perfect condition. Every detail is covered, including sharpening, oiling and blade centering.
You can trust these knife experts to keep your blade in excellent working order. If there is a bigger issue than routine maintenance, the Hoback Custom Knives warranty will cover any defects in materials or workmanship.
There are a few different knife series for which Jake Hoback Custom Knives is known. The first knife Hoback created was the A10, which began his A series of folding knives. The A8 followed soon afterwards when he received requests for a more compact knife. The next series, the Kwaiback, is referred to as the “gold standard” in knife making.
This series of heavy-duty folders is a result of Japanese-style blades that inspired Hoback. He liked the thin, sweeping lines of the traditional kwaiken, or dagger, originally carried by Samurai soldiers.
Hoback and his custom knife team have also worked on some notable blades in collaboration with other prominent knife makers. One of the most recent and successful partnerships is with Alphahunter Tactical Design.
The knives of Chad DeTalente, owner of Alphahunter, are very rare and highly prized, and his collaborations are always critically acclaimed. His partnership with Hoback has produced the Black Stallion line of WarHorse folders. These knives are universally admired for their incredible durability and superior hand-feel.
If you want a hard-working custom knife that won’t let you down, start your search with Jake Hoback Custom Knives. Each detail of craftsmanship is carefully considered and perfectly executed. Choose from a wide variety of his popular designs, or delve deeper into his collection for the rarer, fixed blade knives. No matter the shape or size, you are investing in a superior tool that will serve you for years to come.