I really first started getting into going to knife shows
about 4 years ago I met Al
Polkowski at the New York Custom Knife Show.
At a master firearms instructors course several years
ago I was involved in some “off line” edged
weapons training and was introduced by a classmate to
his Polkowski / Kasper Companion. His was a custom and
one of the nicest knives I had ever handled.
At the time there was no way that I could afford one,
lucky for me Columbia River Knife and Tool was making
a production model which I ordered the day I got back
from that course. Until this day the CRKT model is the
finest inexpensive self defense blade ever produced.
Upon meeting “Uncle Al” at the NY show that
year I mentioned the name of the man who had introduced
me to his work. Al and I became fast friends to the
point where he jokingly refers to me as his son.
After several years of prodding Al finally has
gotten a website up. While he was in the mist of
that process we began to talk about him making a knife
for me. After years of fondling all of his martial offerings
I settled on the Polecat
and its 4-inch blade.
The only thing I asked Al to do different was file work
forward of the top guard to allow more force to be brought
to bear on the tip of the knife just by sliding the
thumb forward. I also asked that Al provide me with
two sheaths. One for my Mercharness
and one for the Tactical
I call this the PCO
Carry Option. Upon taking receipt of the Polecat
at the 2006 NY Show I actually got three sheaths. The
last one had a J hook for IWB carry. That was Al's
idea. Now I am not a fan of IWB carry using the J hook
until I realized what it allowed me to do. I am able
to snap it onto the internal divider in the bag of evil
for quick access. The J Hook IWB carry is absolutely
the fastest way to don a fixed blade when the need arises.
For over a month now I have been
carrying the Polecat using a Tactical
Tether when off duty. When I run I use a Mercharness
under just a t-shirt. The knife lies very flat and stays
put even during wind sprints. At the least the Polecat
is clipped inside the Bag of Evil and always within
If I had to choose one word to describe Al's knives,
customer service and personality it would be “classic”.
While I continue to support up and coming custom knife
makers I have to encourage anyone who needs a knife
to go into harms way to contact Al for one of his legendary