Gear we Like: The Ed's Manifesto x Kopis Designs L-Via Knife

Review by: LJ
Country: FR


For the background story, Elvia is the name of Ed Calderon's mother. In her honor, he created a very specific knife design with a recurve blade and reverse edge that came alive through different renowned makers such as Tracker Dan (Elvia), Eric Kramer (Am-E), or more recently Ernest Emerson.

All those design iterations keep the same distinctive specificity and share the name Elvia. The L-Via is a collaborative effort between Kopis Designs and Ed Calderon to bring the first midtech version to the knife market. This knife has been very successful; every drop from Kopis sold out within a few minutes.

The L-Via has set a new level of the defensive blade that is accessible to everybody. The blade is available in 3 different finishes: satin, stonewash, and acid stonewash.

There are different custom versions either laser-engraved or with modified blades but those are very rare.

The knife comes standard with a kydex sheath but you can find different options such as a deep carry sheath on the secondary market.


Ed was a big promoter of the Victorinox fruit knife, an easy to carry blade that is concealable and especially easy to ditch with no second thoughts because of the very cheap price. But the fruit knife was very limited, mainly because of the tang, which rendered the blade totally bendable or breakable when hitting a hard target.

The L-Via is relieved from all the imperfection of her distant cousin. The blade has a tang that fills 80% of the handle, it's thicker, with easy to sharpen CPM154 steel that has good retention properties and hardness. The handle is very ergonomic with jimping strategically placed and slightly recurved (compared to the fruit knife which has a straight handle).

The weight, balance, and feel in hand is great and comfortable. Jon Bahlatzis from Kopis has done a very great job to translate the original design to the final product.


Due to its shape and design, the L-Via's limitation to self-defense is obvious. However, a knife is a knife and you can use it perfectly to unbox, cut fruits, gardening, or eat even if in that case it is not the most practical. Aside from that, regarding its size and weight, this is an edc that you can even forget in your pocket.


Like every tool, if you want to use it to its full potential, you must train with it. The reverse edge methodology is not something you acquire just by owning a knife. But if you are getting familiar with it, you will understand quickly that the L-Via is a very great pocket friend. She is light, very sharp, with superb ergonomics. The only downside is that it is such a good knife that I would blink before ditching it.


  • Manufacturer: Kopis Designs
  • Designer: Ed Calderon
  • Manufacturer's Website:
  • Price: $98.79 - $110.89
  • Weight: 34 g for the knife, 55 g with sheath
  • Dimensions: total length: 165 mm, blade length: 63.5 mm, blade thickness: 1.58 mm, handle thickness: 9.5 mm
  • Material: steel: 154CM, handle: glass-filled nylon
  • Package includes: knife, kydex sheath, and sticker

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Gear we like