The Dutch Blade Works Xerxes introduced in august of 2019, is the first product/knife of this recently founded company. DBW is founded last year by friends(from The Netherlands) Toni, Cees and Hans. All three knife addicted and Toni is also a well known knifemaker (currently a ABS Journeyman). The three friends founded DBW with the idea to bring collaborations with respected European knifemakers and designers. Production is outsourced at the best manufacturers.
Originally Tashi Bharucha designed the Xerxes for his friend Gudy van Poppel. Tashi’s idea was that Gudy could use the design to modify with Gudy’s own ideas to use for his custom knives. Toni is a good friend of Gudy. And so the Dutch Blade Works Xerxes is born.
So, the Dutch Blade Works Xerxes production knife is a collaboration between DBW, Tashi Bharucha and Gudy van Poppel. As said, the original design is Tashi with some key elements added by Gudy. For example the pocketclip and the tapered backspacer.
To start with the last, a tapered backspacer is very difficult to do in a production knife. So, in fact, this design element in the end determined the choice for the partner to manufacture this knife. The only company able to process this design element in a production knife, is WE Knife Company from China. The other manufacturers are not able (or willing) to do this.
Continuing on the choice of manufacturer, the build quality of the Dutch Blade Works Xerxes is of an excellent level. WE Knife produced all parts with a very high level of consistency . The same for the fit & finish: excellent. The Xerxes is not a small knife, but it certainly is neither an overbuild chunck of titanium as well. So let’s just call it in between midsized & fullsized.
It carries okay (not too heavy) and the clip is functional. The Xerxes will stay in position in your pocket but the clip makes it easy enough to slide in or out the pocket when you need to.
The action is great: very smooth, flies out when flippered. And certainly very fun to play with (flippering all evening while watching a movie). It runs on ceramic bearings.
DBW only uses the best materials for the Xerxes. 6ALV4 Titanium for the frame, 20CV bladesteel (which is comparable with M390), Ceramic caged bearings and Titanium hardware. So really high end!
M390, 20CV and comparable steels currently are the best choice when you are looking for the perfect balance between performance, rust resistance and grindability.
Regarding the ergonomics, I have medium sized hands, for my hands all grips on the Xerxes are fine. A controlled forward grip is not possible because there is not a fingerchoil providing this grip. But I didn’t miss it while using the knife, because -as stated before- it is not a very large knife. So in all grips the blade is always close to your hand and controls it perfectly.
Cutting and slicing is not a problem at all. Out of the box it is sharp. As with a lot of knives, I personally would have preferred a slightly thinner blade, which would have increased these capabillities. Hence my rating <100%. But a thicker blade adds rigidity and strength which makes it suitable for hard use.
The knife comes with a nice padded pouch with 2 pockets inside and the DBW logo on the outside. It’s kind of the standard packaging these days.
I can imagine not everyone is pleased by the Persian style of the Dutch Blade Works Xerxes. I like it though. It has a very recognisable Tashi signature and it is not as common as a lot of other knife designs. Let’s not use too many words. I am just enthusiastic about the Xerxes. I own two handmade Xerxes, custom made by Gudy van Poppel, which cost almost 10 times as much as the DBW production variety. But the way DBW produced the Xerxes, the used materials, ergonomics and the action, make this version come very close to a custom version. So yes, I am enthusiastic about the idea that a lot more people can enjoy this design in a production version for just a fraction of the custom Xerxes. If you want one, just don’t wait too long. DBW only made a limited number for the first production run.
- Bladesteel: 20CV
- Blade thickness: 4mm
- Frame: Titanium
- Backspacer: tapered
- Clip: 3D milled titanium
- Pivot: Ceramic Ball Bearings
- Lock: Framelock with steel insert
- Total length: 22c / 8.6″
- Blade length: 10cm / 3.9″
- Weight: 143gr / 5oz.