- Parent Company: Reate Inc.
- Headquarters: Guangdong, China
- Product Focus: EDC, Mid-Tech, Collector
- Target Markets: High End ($250-$400), Ultra High End ($400+)
- Production Facilities: China
Reate is a relatively small production knife manufacturer and machining company located in China that has gained international appeal since about 2014. Still a relative newcomer in the cutlery industry, Reate and owner David Deng have continued to turn heads by creating extreme high quality products with a reasonably affordable suggested retail price structure. That coupled with fast design to production times has elevated the Reate brand status as a mainstream high end knife company.
Not Just a Brand
David Deng has taken a somewhat unorthodox approach with his company. David and his company Reate create knives and machine products for other Brands and manufacturers, without his brand or name on the product (similar to OEM). Though not completely unique, it is unusual for a company with the (now) reputation of Reate to utilize production resources for contract while continuing to succeed with the Reate Brand proper. Reate has also produced a few collaboration items that have added to this as well, though most of the OEM style work is without brand or label recognition on the product.
It seems that word is getting out on this topic, because the list of known custom makers utilizing the skills of David Deng is getting longer. The most notable of these companies/makers is Todd Begg Knives, with his successful high end production line called Todd Begg Steel Craft Knives. Rumors continue to circulate that David has to repeatedly decline accepting additional work because he and his team just do not have the time or resources to meet the growing demand for his machining and production services. Regardless, it is apparent we will continue to see David working with other custom makers to manufacture and produce high quality products.
A rather interesting point to clarify is that Reate knives produce folding knives that utilize a flipper style deployment mechanism virtually exclusively. Though we could be mistaken, it appears every single full scale production run model that produced by Reate employs a flipper tab. Given the popularity of flippers, and the exquisite manner in which Reate executes the flipper design and mechanics, it is no wonder why this is the case. Reate knives are hailed as excellent flippers.
Reate knives appeal to many different knife enthusiasts, but one type is without question always smiling when holding a Reate knife… we are referring to the ‘knife fidgets’ among us. In case we are not being clear, these are the people who enjoy fondling and opening a knife for the pure fun and amusement of it. If you fall into this category, you need a Reate. These knives are executed with a flipping action that are as good as some custom knife manufacturers can achieve, and perhaps in some cases better than many mid-tech offerings available.
Not Made in the USA
Perhaps a better way of stating that these knives are produced in China is to say that they are “not made in the USA”. For some that can be an issue. For others, the fact that Reate makes product out of China is a larger issue. Either way, this ideology and mentality can be appreciated by many Americans for sure. However, we must caution that Reate is not a cheap knock-off Chinese company that utilizes dangerous work practices and poor business ethics. Actually quite the opposite is true.
David Deng of Reate knives is a Chinese native, a citizen from birth. He is not some guy who decided that he would profit from producing items in China because it is cheaper. Similar to Shirogorov knives being made in Russia because, well they are from Russia. David works and manufactures his products where he lives, and that is perfectly fine to us. No need to knock a person or company purely because that is the location in which they were born and live.
Even more fine is the standard of quality that he employs in machining, and his machinist prowess. Both the equipment and his handle of how to use high tech machining equipment continue to raise the bar in this industry and astound onlookers who know just how difficult it can be. Other production manufacturers have looked at what Reate can achieve, and are beginning to elevate their production level quality and techniques as a direct result. To us, this is the best possible thing that can happen and we are confident that Reate will continue to be on the forefront of leadership in this manner.
Reate has made a large list of folding flipper knives since they became mainstream in 2014. Some of the various models branded with the Reate name include:
- Horizon models A, B, C, D Ti and D CF
- District 9
- District 9 Plus
- Event Horizon
It is also worth mentioning here again that David Deng manufactures items from Liong Mah Designs, and Todd Begg Steel Craft series, among others.
Reate has a history of producing very usable, often strong, and beefy style knives. Even though they focus on larger styles of knife dimensionally, they never seem to forget about details. These details are what make a knife feel and look much more valuable, and in many cases with other brands quite literally more valuable, as the prices are directly affected. However this is not usually the case with Reate. The quality level and attention to detail provided are very high and yet the knives tend to cost less than one might have otherwise have expected after reviewing all the detail work that was put in.
Reate tends to provide finishes such as a “faux-timascus” style anodization that at first glance really appears like the real thing. Standard anodization’s and inlays that are performed to the level of some custom makers further embellish so many of the offerings they have available. Compound all that with the contoured machine edging and hand fitted detents and blade fitting, and you begin to wonder if what they offer is really a classic take on production knife at all? Perhaps Reate, and now others following in the trail Reate has blazed may be the new wave of production makers –it certainly appears that way.
Reate is one of the top high-end production knife manufacturers as of this writing. The design, and manufacturing execution, along with the materials used continue to surpass most other production companies. As they continue to refine and evolve, Reate has started to even best themselves with increasingly higher end production knives that offer rarer and more costly materials that astound and baffle. The only negative to this continued onslaught of production and manufacturing ingenuity is cost.
As materials and time to produce complicated knives and knife parts increase, so too will the overall end price; the cost of Reate knives have consistently increased in price over that last 2 years. This is the inevitable reality to a successful company continuing the pursuit of growth and refinement.
Though in many cases Reate is far from a budget knife manufacturer, the brand has managed to achieve a reputation of excellence and a relatively lower price point. The cost of a Reate knife may not be exactly cheap, but do not confuse that statement with Reate being a bad bargain – Quite the opposite. Reate as a brand, and in terms of the products they offer is without question one of the best values available in the knife industry for what you are able to get for your hard earned money. If you are a knife enthusiast we would recommend keeping Reate firmly on your radar for a very long time – they are among a handful of exciting new players in the knife world to compare all other production knives to.