Erin Healy Blog

Midweek Maker Military-Style: Dustin Driver

Dustin Driver owns Driver Defense Knives in Guntersville, Alabama.

We’re kicking off a new series at BLADEmag.com called Midweek Maker. Each Wednesday we’ll feature a different knifemaker. The first six installments feature active-duty military or veterans. This week: Midweek Maker Military-Style: Dustin Driver of Driver Defense Knives.

Dustin Driver of Guntersville, Alabama served in the U.S. Army from 2004 to 2010. He was a communications expert, deploying to Iraq, 2005-2006, and Kuwait, 2007-2009. He uses that training and experience in his current job as a system and network administrator for a government contractor.

In October 2015 he was looking for a hobby. “I have always been into knives and have always been creative and good at making things,” Dustin noted. Aside from some You Tube videos and Internet research, he is essentially self-taught. “I have a beautiful daughter who has cerebral palsy, so I try and do a few charity knives a year to benefit cerebral palsy and other special needs areas.”

  • Best-selling knife patterns: Belladonna, an EDC mini cleaver; Toxin, an everyday carry with several blade styles; Timber Rattler, a small neck knife
  • Favorite blade steels: 1095 for consistent heat-treat; S35VN as a good all-around steel; pattern-welded steel from Alabama Damascus Steel
  • Blade grinds: flat with plans to offer hollow. “I like thick blades with full or high flat grinds. The thick spine makes for a strong blade, and the high flat grinds make them nice slicers.”
  • How he tests his knives: chopping 2-by-4s, field use, slicing paper
  • Favorite handle materials: canvas Micarta; combinations of stabilized woods, carbon fiber, G10 liners.
  • Price range: $95-$500
  • Knife shows he attends: BLADE Show®
  • Forums he participate in: Usual Suspect Network
Dustin Driver of Driver Defense Knives enjoys the look of a fuller, especially when it ends in a bevel.

Dustin Driver bought a mill and he’s experimenting with fullers. He likes the looks of them when they end in a bevel. His Toxin model comes in a variety of blade styles, including a drop-point with or without hamon.

The 7.5-inch Driver Defense Toxin is a tanto-bowie with fuller made out of S35VN steel. The flat-ground blade measures 3 inches. The scales are stabilized spalted maple with carbon fiber bolster and orange G10 liner and spacer. Maker’s list price: $350 with Kydex sheath.

Contact Dustin Driver, 256-975-9857, driverdefense@yahoo.com, on Facebook at Driver Defense and on Instagram @driverdefenseknives. His Facebook Group is Driver Defense EDC. You’ll want to ask to join that one. Dustin makes beef jerky, too, and he’s a big-hearted guy with frequently donates portions of proceeds to charity.

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