Michael Walker is a sculptor and custom knife maker located in Taos, New Mexico. Walker is the inventor of more than 20 different knife mechanisms, such as the Walker Linerlock for which a trademark was obtained in 1980. He influenced other custom knife-makers like Bob Terzuola and Ernest Emerson with his knife-making and inventions.

Michael Walker custom knife dealer Michael Walker Arrow Lock Tanto Knife Legends

Before 1975, Walker worked as a jeweler until his wife, Patricia Walker, gave him a Gerber Knife and a copy of American Blade magazine. Seeing similarities between his jewelry and custom art knives, Walker decided to make his own knives.

In 1980, Walker began focusing exclusively on fixed-blade knives. As a result, Walker found the task of making sheaths for the knives far more labor-intensive and less enjoyable than producing the knives themselves. Due to this experience, he developed the Walker Linerlock folding knife, which did not require a sheath. Walker became a voting member of the Knifemakers’ Guild in 1985.

Walker has patented or trademarked over 20 different mechanisms related to the design of pocketknives. Among these are the “Lake and Walker Safety System” or LAWKS, BLADELock, Linerlock, Ball bearing lock, and Tough Lock.

Walker has partnered with several companies in order to make his knives more accessible to the public, since his original handmade knives are in demand and sell in the thousands. Spyderco, Columbia River Knife and Tool, Schrade, Böker, and Klotzli are some of the production companies he has partnered with.

Several custom knife-makers have taken inspiration from Walker’s knives, including Bob Terzuola and Ernest Emerson. As a custom knife-maker, Ernest Emerson credited Walker with helping him create his first knife, a linerlock folder, after seeing one at a gun show. Terzuola credits Walker with teaching him how to design a knife, and Emerson credits Walker with encouraging him to become a custom knife-maker himself.

Walker was inducted into the Cutlery Hall of Fame in 2004 by Blade Magazine.