For the last two years, Spartan Blades has won the American-Made Knife of the Year at the International Blade Show in Atlanta. Last year, the award went to the Spartan-Harsey folder, a collaboration with celebrated knifemaker William Harsey, Jr., of Oregon. This year’s winner was the Kranos folder, a collaboration with machinist and knife collector Keith Edick of New York. The full-size titanium knife makes use of a mechanical trigger mechanism that allows one-hand operation while not running afoul of restrictions on automatic releases. Co-founders Curtis Iovito and Mark Carey took 30 knives to the show and sold all of them plus the one in Carey’s pocket. The duo met as snipers in Southeast Asia and were subsequently sent to Fort Bragg. Upon retirement they wanted to go into business manufacturing sniper rifles, but they decided liabilities were too great and profits too slim in the gun business. Making knives, however, afforded the latitude for creativity they sought. Their knives, which retail for around $500, are sold worldwide through 185 dealers.