Michael Burch is a young custom maker from Missouri. He is also one of the four hosts of the excellent knifemaker podcast, Mark of the Maker. Despite his youth compared to many custom makers (who often begin their journey after a career), Burch is not an up-and-coming maker. He arrived more than a decade ago pumping out exquisite custom knives and production collabs with Spyderco.
His custom knives have always stood out from the crowd. They’re stout and showcase extremely difficult build techniques and flourishes. Their compact frames remind me of what an EDC folder would look like if it was designed for a Tolkien Dwarf King.
Burch’s prodigious talent at tackling challenging techniques made his customs iconic, pocket-friendly masterpieces. He made integral knives in a way no one else did, and produced ghostly hamons on folders well before the small handful of other makers who mastered the notoriously fickle technique.
A Burch custom, unfortunately, is both exceedingly hard to find and quite expensive. If you want something that speaks the Burch design language — without a trip to the bank to rearrange accounts so as not to default on a mortgage — the Euclid is your ticket.
In short: The Euclid is a very heavy, expensive, well-made, and idiosyncratic knife designed by one of the best custom makers in the world. This is a self-published blade where Burch supplied the design and Reate did the manufacturing.
- Steel M390
- Grind Partial flat grind
- Lock Framelock
- Blade length 3.125"
- OAL 7.50"
- Weight 5.08 oz.
- Price Starting at $380
- Country of origin China (made by Reate)
- Amazing flipper tab geometry
- Nice blade length
- Superb fit and finish
- Introduction to Burch designs
- Exceedingly heavy
- A bit old-fashioned
Burch Bladeworks Euclid Review
The Euclid is part of a trend among custom makers whereby they supplement their income from custom knives with small runs of self-published blades — their design made to high standards by OEMs.
In this case, the OEM is Reate, one of the very best knife manufacturers in the world. Because custom makers know these knives target collectors and folks already OK with high-end knives, they can use more premium materials.
The Euclid has a titanium handle with an insert of carbon fiber or micarta. The M390 blade sports a flat grind and a modified wharncliffe blade with a pronounced harpoon. This blade shape is instantly recognizable by knowledgeable knife folks as a Burch design.
The knife opens via a flipper tab and runs on bearings, and it employs a framelock. Finally, the pocket clip is a sculpted titanium clip.
Construction & Feel
Michael Burch is a mechanical whiz. Using those insights to make a truly unique flipper tab results in a distinctive appearance. With an angled face and fine jimping, the Euclid has the best flipper tab I have ever used. It feels so nice and fidgety. It’s equally clever how nicely the knife fits in your hand. Thanks to some interesting curves and a smartly hidden choil, the Euclid just locks into the hand.
This has an exposed choil (meaning nothing prevents your hand from slipping forward on the blade), but a little bit of common sense is the most important feature of any knife. Finally, the grind and fit and finish are what you would expect from Reate — excellent.
Burch’s design language is incredibly distinctive, and the Euclid gives you that in spades. As referenced above, it’s notably stout and curvy. While compact, these aren’t light designs. No one is going to mistake a Burch design for a Bugout.
The blade-to-weight ratio here is terrible, especially compared to what the market is trending toward. In an era where the Bugout is par, a 5-plus-ounce knife with a 3-inch blade is definitely out of step.
Other things are out of step here, too. The blade steel, M390, isn’t bad, of course, but again the market is ruthless. You can get an excellent blade in MagnaCut for less than $200. Asking almost $400 for M390 seems gratuitous. Of course, this has to do with the country of origin. MagnaCut is made in the U.S., and it hasn’t quite percolated overseas yet.
Lastly, the clip here is a bit old-fashioned. Compare the squared-off end here with a bunch of other sculpted clips that have rounded over faces and ramped ends.
A simple summary of the Euclid is really hard. It scores well for giving the look, feel, and ingenious design of a Burch. As an entry point into his customs, it is superb and not too pricey.
But if you are not a Burch fan, this knife stands out negatively. It is heavy, expensive, and squared off. Compared to other Reate-produced knives, like the Pena X-series, it seems somewhat primitive.
For me, however, these negatives are offset by the flipper tab and the excellent in-hand feel, but this is not a knife for everyone.
If you are looking for a one-and-done blade, you should look elsewhere. If value is important, keep going.
But if you want to know if you’d like a Burch custom, this is a good place to start. And you really should try a Burch custom. They are stunning works of craftsmanship and design showcases.