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Robert Terzuola

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Title: Robert Terzuola  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: American Bladesmith Society, Knives, Aitor Knife Company, Taping knife, Fillet knife
Collection: American Businesspeople, American Inventors, Knife Makers, Living People, People from New York, Weapon Designers
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Robert Terzuola

Robert Terzuola
Born Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Knifemaker, jeweler

Robert G. Terzuola is an American knife maker who popularized the type of knife known as the tactical folding knife.[1]

Early life

Terzuola was born in Brooklyn, New York on 14 September, 1944 and attended New York University where he studied vocational education. Upon graduation in 1966 he went to Panama as a Peace Corps volunteer after which he was invited to become a Peace Corps trainer in Puerto Rico. He worked as a field supervisor for several experimental education projects in Guatemala and in the mid-eighties, directed the War Damage Surveys in El Salvador and Guatemala for AID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. Terzuola later taught himself jade carving and became General Manager of a Jade Jewelry company in the town of Antigua,Guatemala.[2] By 1980, Terzuola began making knives and in 1981 joined the Knifemakers' Guild on an endorsement from Bob Loveless.


Terzuola's first knives were fixed blade, combat designs, made for soldiers, CIA trainers and security operators working in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

In 1981 he relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico and began making folding knives. Seeing a need for a knife that could be carried discreetly he developed a model using black micarta for the scales and bead-blasted titanium bolsters; for this effort he coined the term "Tactical Knife".[3]

Terzuola's most popular model is the ATCF (Advanced Technology Combat Folder), a linerlock folding knife. This was his first tactical folding knife, although he makes it with non-tactical materials on occasion with ivory or stag scales and damascus steel blades.[4] He is widely considered to be the first maker of tactical knives.[5]

Terzuola has authored a book about the design of tactical knives and has authored articles about tactical knives and knifemaking for Blade, Soldier of Fortune and other publications. In 2006 he relocated his shop to Albuquerque, New Mexico.[3]

Terzuola has collaborated with other knifemakers and production companies including Spyderco, Strider Knives, and Microtech Knives. Terzuola's first factory collaboration was with Spyderco to produce the C-15 model in 1989. This knife became historic because it was the first liner lock system folder produced by a commercial factory, was the first production knife to use G-10 scales and ATS-34 steel, the first production knife to have parts blanked by laser instead of stamping and the first knife to be produced by a new, start-up company named "Benchmade".[6][7]


  1. ^ Burch, Michael (2011). "Tactical Tuxedos". In Joe Kertzman. Knives 2012: The World's Greatest Knife Book (32 ed.). Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 52.  
  2. ^ Feldman, Lawrence H. (1975). "Jade workers in the Motagua Valley: the late classic Terzuola site". Museum briefs (Museum of Anthropology, University of Missouri--Columbia) (17): 1–4. 
  3. ^ a b Terzuola, Robert (2000). The Tactical Folding Knife: A Study of the Anatomy and Construction of the Liner-Locked Folder. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications.  
  4. ^ Dick, Steven (1997). The Working Folding Knife. Stoeger Publishing Company.  
  5. ^ Delavan, Dan (2014). Shackleford, ed. BLADE's Best Knifemakers: The Best Knifemakers of BLADE's First 40 Years. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 64–65.  
  6. ^ Walker, Greg (1993). Battle Blades: A Professional's Guide to Combat/Fighting Knives. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press. p. 42.  
  7. ^ Delavigne, Kenneth (2004). Spyderco Story: The New Shape of Sharp (Hardcover). Colorado: Paladin Press.  
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