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CKF is taking steps to expand its market share with the introduction of a lower-priced brand, called MKAD.
The Anton Malyshev-designed Empat, the fourth MKAD knife, functions as a bridge between the traditional higher-end CKF offerings and the new MKAD strategy. “People were asking for M390 for $250-320, so we did it,” says CKF Founder Mike Kulygin. “It’s our way of saying, ‘Hey knife world, hello from MKAD (The Moscow Automobile Ring Road, MKAD, МКАД) again.’” The Empat features a 3.62-inch blade and a titanium frame lock.
“We are not running for high profits,” CKF team says. “We’re just trying to make our mark on knife history. We want CKF (or MKAD) to be in every knife collection. It sounds ambitious, but it’s true.”
MKAD (МКАД), is a ring road encircling the parts of the City of Moscow, the capital of Russia. For a long time the MKAD served as the administrative boundary of Moscow city, until in the 1980s Moscow started annexing territory outside the beltway.
According to Mike Kulygin, he has been thinking about a more budget-friendly CKF line for the last years. The high-end knives CKF made its name on continue to perform well with loyal customers, but he is targeting a new audience to grow the company. “We’ve had tons of letters and calls saying, ‘Unfortunately I cannot afford your knives, I buy knives only at 200-350 price range’ or ‘Come on guys, make budget knives too,’” Kulygin explains. “Our goal with MKAD is to expand our presence in the knife market, to make more knives – and to gain new clients, of course.”