UNITED CUTLERY DESIGNS BY KIT RAE
Outside of the Kit Rae Fantasy Art brand, Kit has designed numerous knives, weapons, and tools for various companies, mostly in the tactical and sporting catgories, and he supervised the replicas for many licensed film and video game weapons. After constant inquiries about these items we started sort of a scrapbook list. The Brands Kit has designed for include Honshu, M48 Kommando, United Cutlery, Combat Commander, Black Ronin, Tailwind, Rigid Knives, Colt, Harley-Davidson, Stanley, Remington, Gil Hibben, among others, going way back early in his career. It is by no means complete, but most of his designs are listed, to the best of our memories. The list goes back to approximately 1985 when Kit first started in the knife business. Click on a Brand to go to that section.
UNITED CUTLERY 2007 - present
UNITED CUTLERY 1984 - 2006
Much of this work was done in the early days of my career, doing quick and cheap design work for quick and cheaply made products. One day I would be asked to come up with some boot knives, the next some throwers, then paint some box art or an ad, next a novelty knife shaped like a shotgun, then a survival knife, et cetera. It was all quick and dirty import design business. Some of it is so bad that it makes me laugh now, but as the years went by I was allowed more time to develop designs, hire staff in my product development department, and the quality impoved vastly. Most of the early products were stricly cheaply made novelty knives, but we progressed into some rather nice, high quality collectible knives in later years, and lead the way for fantasy collectibles. Eventually China came along, killing that whole market with knockoffs, but by that time United had brabnched off into specific brands covering a wide category of knives, quality levels, and price points - Kit Rae
UC78 Smuggler Shoulder Harness Knife - An early nutty idea - turn a knob on the handle to unscrew a hidden pommel blade. Hand painted box art.
UC148 Bladelight – This was actually the very first knife I designed for UC, and I had no clue what I was doing. The president of UC, Kevin Pipes, had an idea to combine a flashlight into a knife handle, along with several other features, so I made this sad attempt to combine everything. This knife is so bad it is laughable now, but none of us knew what we were doing at the time. It was certainly a learning experience. At least I got to have some fun painting that goofy box art.
UC196, UC197, UC221 Tarantula Boot Knives – One of my early UC boot knives with a little fantasy styling thrown in, and my hand painted box art.
UC204, UC205, UC208 Black Widow Boot Knives – A few of my very first knives, and my hand painted advertisement art. A standard UC boot knife for many years.
UC206, UC214, UC215, UC217, UC210, UC216 Little Protector - a cheap survival knife, and my hand painted advertisement.
UC234 Igniter - One of Kevin Pipes ideas. A case to hold a lighter with a sliding knife blade in the back. Around this time miniature sized cigarette lighters started appearing everywhere on the market, so we were the wrong size.
UC252 Liberty Eagle Bowie - My take on a vintage America west bowie. I was till hand painting box art, and not improving much.
UC699 Dragon Claw – My first real UC fantasy knife from 1991. I had designed the knife when United had me come up with a series of fantasy inspired boot knives in the late 1980's, but it sat unmade until I swiped the blade to use on the Gil Hibben Double Shadow. Since I could not put my name on the Double Shadow knife, this version went into the UC line.
UC725 Crusader Dagger (on right in photo) – My first Legends in Steel dagger, although we did not use the Legends name at that time.
UC726 Phoenix (AKA Bird of Prey) – My version of the Klingon D’k Tahg knife from Star Trek. I took some of the clunkiness out of the original and redesigned my own handle. We tried and tried to get a license to do an official version from Paramount but they had a “no weapons” policy from the Rodenberry days. Our version did eventually get used in the Star Trek: Generations movie and was featured in Star Trek: Deep space Nine. See the Hibben knife list for more Klingon stuff. I also painted an advertising poster that was sent to dealers.
UC943, UC1261 Stargate Ra Dagger (2nd knife from bottom in photo) – The night I saw the film I was blown away with the visual imagery and the incredible design work. The film itself needed some story help in the third act (the directors cut is better) but the art and sets were stunning. Partick Tatopoulos was the production designer who created the look of the sets and props (he also did Underworld, Pitch Black, Bram Stokers Dracula, and the Chronicles of Riddick). I had alwasy been an ancient Egypt buff and when I got home that night I started drawing Egyptian knives. This was the first design I came up with. I liked it so much that I went to the boss at United and told him we must get the Stargate license so we can call this the Stargate knife! After the license was secured I updated the design to include Patricks engraving style I remembered from the film. I still get asked which scene it was in.
UC1093 Orion Liner Locks (top knife in photo)
UC1123, UC1227 Fossil Hunter (left knife in photo above) – The first knife I designed in the Relic collection. I thought it was very unique until I later saw that a few custom makers had done something similar years before I thought of it. I think everything has been done at least once before. The knife was seen briefly in the film Queen of the Damned.
UC1144 Knight’s Dagger (1998) – My second, and probably most popular Legends in Steel design. This one was featured in the Spider Man 2 film, used by Harry Osbourne. Unfortunately, the knife in the film is the China knock-off version. It was also featured on the cover of the January 2002 issue of Playboy magazine and I was told it appears in a pictorial inside.
UC1149 Leviathan (upper left knife in photo) – The first knife I designed for the Blades of Atlantis series. Originally it was going to be a Gil Hibben knife.