Obituary – Ed Halligan
We were saddened this week to hear of the death of Ed Halligan, one of knife making’s most revolutionary designers. Halligan was a renowned knife maker for over thirty years, getting into knife making after he started as a mechanic with Delta Airlines. As a mechanic, he would always carry a knife as one of the tools of his trade. Whenever a knife would break or wear out, he’d disassemble it to find out what went wrong, which started him on making his own knives, becoming established in the illustrious American Knifemaker’s Guild. Ed acheived the acclaimed “Mastersmith” ranking with the American Bladesmithing Society, making his own Damascus steel, as well as working up his own steel for knives he made.
Later, he became interested in making his own folding knife, going through some 20 iterations before he came up with the idea for the KISS (Keep It Super Simple) knife – a folder with two main components – the handle and the blade. The KISS become established as the exemplar, simple knife, and put into production by CRKT, it has been widely copied. The PECK is the smaller brother of the KISS – the Perfectly (or Precision) Engineered Compact Knife.
After ten years of KISS production, Halligan improved the design so that the lock was incorporated into the frame – and that’s the design which has stood the test of time. He also designed the UK friendly SLIP-KISS – a slipjoint version of the locking KISS, now sadly no longer in production.
We’ve noticed sales of the KISS and the PECK rising in recent weeks – you too can own a piece of knifemaking history – get your hands on a KISS or a PECK today. A fitting tribute to a legendary knifemaker.
Here’s Ed Halligan, in his own words: