When I see someone with a folder clipped to their pocket, I can’t help but ask what they are carrying and, if the environment permits, if I might see it. I like hearing why they picked a particular knife and what features they do and do not like. Oftentimes, price is one of the determining factors in the knife’s selection, but not as often as you might think. High-end custom folders have always been popular, with customers waiting as long as a year-plus to get one. While any knife will cut, provided the blade is harder than the item being cut, knife features and quality manufacture can lead to greater utility in the field, as well as enhanced pride of ownership. And sometimes you just want something made in America instead of overseas. Spartan Blades is certainly a “Made-in-the-U.S.A.” type of company, which is part of the reason their popularity continues to grow.

Veteran Owned

Spartan owners Curtis Iovito and Mark Carey possess over 40 years of combined military experience. Both retired from U.S. Army Special Forces, they have been involved in the development, marketing and management of tactical gear and ballistic armor products ever since returning to civilian life. Curtis has made custom knives for years, mostly for colleagues in the Special Forces, but also for other companies. With Spartan, Mark and Curtis have combined their love of knife-making, their military experience and their knowledge of tactical equipment to form a company with a singular mission: “Manufacture finely crafted tactical and field knives—knives with intent!” It is their goal to provide the modern warrior or outdoorsman with knives that will perform in a variety of missions and environments. They are interested not in providing a “cool” knife or the next SWAT pry bar, but in building a highly functional knife, made from only premium materials, which just happens to look great.

All Spartan knives are manufactured in North Carolina with U.S.-origin materials only. Their sheaths are made by U.S. veteran-owned businesses using only the best U.S.-origin and Berry Amendment-compliant materials. Both Mark and Curtis have spent a lifetime serving their country, and their commitment to U.S. materials shows. Not surprisingly, Spartan Blades is located in Aberdeen, North Carolina, just west of Fort Bragg, home of the 82nd Airborne Division, the 18th Airborne Corp and Army Special Forces headquarters.


Spartan has focused on fixed blade knives in the past, but has recently introduced the Akribis folder. Greek for sharp and precise, Akribis is an appropriate name for this exceptionally well-designed folding knife. The combination titanium and S35VN folder is the end result of concentrated development in an attempt to create a knife that encompasses all the right features for a modern folding knife. Form, function, ergonomics and craftsmanship were all words that came to my mind as I handled the two knives sent to me for test and evaluation. During the development of the Akribis folder, Spartan reached out to knowledgeable end users throughout the industry for guidance and insight, and their feedback is readily apparent when handling the blade. The design craftsmanship of this folder is easy to see, from the chamfers on the frame to the intricate machining of the blade’s spine jimping. With a blade length of 3.5 inches, an overall length of 8.5 inches and a weight of 5.2 ounces, the Akribis is one of those “just-right”-sized knives for everyday carry.

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