Todd Rexford's fascination with knives began in his childhood, when he visited gun shows and fairs with his father. His passion for sharp blades eventually led to a desire to build his own knives. Like most knifemakers, he started with the simplest tools and machines and perfected his own style over the years. The American from Colorado designs both pocket knives and trip knives.
What was your first contact with knives?
When I was a young boy I went everywhere with my father. Anytime we would head to a gun show I was allowed to get a new knife for my collection. Since I was 5 or 6 years old we would do this and it solidified my love of knives.
When did you make the first knife by your own?
I built my first knife in 2004.
For how long do you already work as a custom knifemaker?
The first knife I sold was in 2005.
What profession did you learn or practice in the past?
I learned automotive repair and fabrication growing up in my father’s shop. This was also my first learning experience on machine tools and machining. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering.
Is there anyone you would call your mentor?
I learned how to build knives on my own, but of course there have been some great makers along the way who have pushed me in my craft.
Where do you see your biggest talent as a knifemaker?
This is a big question. I would say the blessing for having ideas. I attempt to translate those ideas into building a high performance tool.
From where do you get your inspirations?
They just come to me. The interesting thing though is that they only come to me when I am outside of my shop.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
The fact that I can build knives! Not only that though, I love the people and collectors in this industry. The other makers and customers are an excellent group of people.
What would you recommend to start with when making the first own knife?
Oil quench carbon steels to start with of course.
What does a typical working day of yours look like?
I’m up at 6:30am drinking my coffee. Get the shop turned on and machines warmed up and ready for the next set of parts for the folders I’ll be working on. While I’m working on those folders parts are usually being run for production projects and other various things I make in my shop.
Can anyone just order a custom knife from you?
No. My order book closed down in 2009 and I have not accepted new orders since then. Right now I sell my products via lottery or auction a few times a year.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve got four folders on the bench which will be auction and lottery pieces. They will take me about 2 months to complete. I also have some research and development work in progress on a modification of my RDLM locking module system.
Do you sometimes get tired of knives?
No. I do sometimes get burnt out in the shop on specific operations. When that happens I focus on something different.
What about your wife? Does she share your passion for knives?
She does, in her own way. For her they are always tool and carry focused, and she would feel uncomfortable without one.
Do you have any time for other things besides work, with all its different tasks you have to fulfill?
I do. Having other things to do is very important for me. I have 2 children, my son Ben who is 8 and my daughter Amelia who is 6. We spend a lot of time together doing a variety of things.
If you have free time, what is important for you, and what do you do for relaxing/recreation?
I do a lot of shooting and have numerous ranges here on my property. My wife and I used to shoot competitive multi-gun before our children were born. I also do a lot of Rock Crawling in my 4 linked truggy which I finished about 6 years ago.
Do you have any hobbies that have nothing to do with knives?
Rock Crawling. But knives go hand in hand with that. I will use my folder for all sorts of tasks on the trail. I also carry one of my CTU fixed blades in the rig and it gets used all the time. I have taught so many people on the trail the usefulness of a good knife.
What can’t you do at all?
There is a lot of things I cannot do. Aside from all of the things my wife would tell you I can’t do, I’m pretty bad at fishing, and I’m terrible at ball sports (all of them: basketball, baseball, football, etc.).
What would you get up for in the middle of the night?
Aside from someone walking in my door, Apple Pie. I’d definitely get up for a slice of apple pie. Maybe some carne asada tacos too.
Is there anything else you would like to tell our customers?
Don’t stop enjoying your tools! There is a reason knives have been around for this long, and will continue to be around forever. Nothing can replace a good knife.