Welcome to the HEPK page!

The HEPK association was founded by my friend and mentor Ed Fowler. To date there are 13 HEPK Mastersmiths that I am aware of and I am honored to be among them.

Ed Fowler had a very specific vision in mind when he had the idea for the HEPK. What he wanted to promote was his vision of absolute dedication to performance in cutlery, hence the name High Endurance Performance Knife. Knives that were the best of the best, built by makers with a passion for squeezing every last drop of performance that their hands, minds and hearts were capable of bringing to the knives, whatever class of knife that might be. If its a hunter, it should be safe to use, friendly to the hand, and excel at the work a hunter needs to do. If it is a rough use knife, It must be tough and dependable, get into your work easily, get the work done, and return safely to the scabbard ready for the next time it is needed. If a kitchen knife, it should make your work in the kitchen as pleasurable as possible, be thin to ease through your work, and take and hold an incredible edge. A straight razor should make shaving a joy instead of a chore, be friendly to the hand and face, easy to hone and strop, and hold an edge for a good lenth of time.

Here is the mission statement for the HEPK, its retyped from the original, and a small copy of the original below:


The High Endurance Performance Knife Association


The mission of the High Endurance Performance Knife Association is and will be, to pursue a greater understanding of the knives we create. The steels we use and the process necessary for them to reach their maximum performance potential. As well as to share this understanding with any and all who seek it. All information should be shared openly and honestly in simple words so that all can learn and gain from it. Our goal is to provide the most durable and appropriate knife for it’s intended task, and to present it’s strengths and weaknesses.


Mastersmith status will be approved and awarded by the Chairman, as well as reversed if a member is found to be dishonoring the mission of the association. Any knife maker pursuing the mission stated above can be considered as an Apprentice Member. The Mastersmith title will be considered by the Chairman either personally or on the recommendation of another Mastersmith with in the association who feels the apprentice posses the necessary skills and knowledge.

Regular and consistent performance testing is encouraged for all members to ensure the quality of their work, both for themselves and their clients. It is also the guidline by which Mastersmith status will be awarded.

A Mastersmith will be able to produce a 5 inch blade capable of 200 cuts on 1/2 inch hemp rope and 4 – 90 degree bends without cracking at the edge. The tip of the blade should be able to be driven into mid steel with no damage or deformation. The edge should be able to be flexed the full length of the cutting edge on a steel rod without chipping.

Since all members are encouraged to make whatever type and style of knife they choose, no other specific performance criteria will be required. It is the responsibility of the maker to decide what is appropriate for their knives and the clients needs. The only additional requirement is that any and all aspects of the makers design be explainable and defendable by the maker.


Chairman- Ed Fowler

Vice Chairman- Chris Amos

East Coast Representative- Joe Szilaski

List of HEPK Mastersmiths

Ed Fowler — www.Edfolwer.com

Chris Amos —

Butch Deveraux —

Mark Reich — www.reichprecision.com

Joe Szilaski — szilaski.com

Joe Calton — www.Caltoncutlery.com

Jared Williams — Jaredsforge.com

Louis Goodman

Lar Burstein

Kevin Gray

Matt Maurer

Rex Walter

Nathan Summers —  natetheblademaker.com

HEPK Apprentice Smiths

Casey Perdue —

Daniel Rohde — Rohdedge.com

Dennis Mashburn —