Gayle Bradley is a name that should be very familiar to Spyderco fans. One of our most prolific collaborative designers, he has also been instrumental in inspiring our efforts to adapt exotic, high-performance blade steels to commercial knife production.
A proud native Texan, Bradley began making custom knives in 1988. As his skills and reputation as a maker steadily grew, so did the demand for his meticulously crafted blades. By April 2002, he hit the tipping point and decided to become a full–time knifemaker. That decision is one that both he and his devoted customers will never regret.
In addition to being a voting member of The Knifemakers Guild, and a former member of the Board of Directors of The Texas Knifemakers and Collectors Association, Bradley is also a former competitor and world record holder in BladeSports International cutting competition. The demanding challenges of competitive cutting provide an excellent opportunity for courageous custom makers to test their blades. In Bradley’s case, it also gave him an exceptional understanding of the finer aspects of knife design, edge geometry, steel selection, heat treatment, and real cutting performance. That understanding is what continues to distinguish him and his knives from his knifemaking peers.
Bradley is best known for making high-end fixed-blade and folding knives using the finest materials and time-tested old-school craftsmanship. To date, his traditional custom designs have inspired Spyderco collaboration models such as the Bradley Folder™, the Bradley Folder 2, the Air™, the Bradley Bowie™, and the new Junction™ fixed blade. Bradley’s collaborations, however, are much more than just knife designs. They also mirror his use of exotic, high-performance steels like CPM®
M4 and PSF27, faithfully translating his elite custom work to factory-made knives and in the process significantly pushing the envelope of production-knife blade steels.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Bradley has recently been concentrating on developing designs with a more tactical flavor. Not surprisingly, his tactical blades are every bit as impressive as his utilitarian designs—and every bit as inspiring. His latest folder collaboration with Spyderco—the newly released Advocate™—is proof of that.
Gayle Bradley is a remarkable combination of designer, craftsman, and salt-of-the-Earth American patriot. We are honored to be able to share his designs with our customers and to have him as a member of the Spyderco team.