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™ 2, 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 2.875" 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 3.875" 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: 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.
I've had this knife since they were first offered. I love it. I carry it in my pocket everyday. It is beautifully made and is light and thin. It opens easily and locks up tight with a snap and closes equally as easy with another snap. It is simply a good looking knife to carry in your pocket and never even know it is there until you need it.