Frank Centofante, one of the pioneers in the custom knife making movement, passed away in September of 2009 before he could see this lockback design go into CRKT production. After a few moments of reflection, we decided to name the series the Centofante Tribute™.
Frank was not only highly successful, winning countless knife awards internationally, serving as President of the Knife makers' Guild, and being inducted into the Cutlery Hall of Fame, but he was a genuinely nice person who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. While you'll find many of Frank's customs made with Damascus steels and exotic handle materials, he was perhaps best known for his sleek and simple lockbacks.
The Tribute™, Frank's final production collaboration, is a fitting statement of simplicity and craftsmanship. It is a classic drop point lockback folder, with no gimmicks, no frills, no complex mechanisms, not even a clip. His meticulous approach to knife making is detailed in his chapter in the "Bible," How To Make Folding Knives, published in 1988, and that is exactly how we are making the Tribute.
First, there is the 3.125" drop point Razor-Sharp blade of premium 7Cr17MoV stainless steel in a satin finish. It has a high flat grind and a nail nick for opening. That's it. No bumps or facets, just the cleanest and simplest shape possible, ground and finished by hand.
The 4.06" open-build frame is simply two pieces of strong and lightweight resin impregnated fiber, layered in chestnut brown and black. There is the stainless steel lockback lever which forms the spine, and a stainless steel back spacer.
The pivot is peened in the style of Frank's customs, as are the assembly pins. Finally, the handle is shaped and polished by hand.
The result: Two knives for gentlemen (or ladies) that are at home anywhere. Yes, they look and feel like works of art, but these are knives that fit with Frank's philosophy that a knife is built to use. Think of them as our tribute to Frank.
For quite some time, I have been looking for an every-day-carry knife that I could carry in the pocket of dress slacks or in my suit pants pocket, yet was not butt-ugly. In the "Tribute", I found it. This knife is elegant in its appearance. Its construction follows the standards of fit, form and function. There are no parts on it that will snag on your clothing. Esthetically, I believe its simplicity is its best feature. The knife arrived razor sharp with no blade play whatsoever. It truly lives up to its billing of being an "every day carry" instrument. It is an elegant piece of work. Frank Centofante really knew his business. Rest in peace, Frank.