Ricardo Lala

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  • Surname: Lala
  • First name: Ricardo
  • Country: Bresil

Could you depict a self-portrait ?

I started making knives in 1989 due to my passion for blades and the difficultY to obtain a good quality knife in our country, at that time I used to work with a partner that no longer work with me, in 1992 my brother Roberto joined the business and since theN we are working togeter.
Most of our machines are made by us, due to the lack of suitable machines for knifemaking in our country, what give us a good mechanical knowledge.
For a long time we made knives only for the Brazilian market, we only started selling to other countries like US and France after 1999 when we sent some knives to be sold in a Blade Show

How have you come to balisong, and why do you like this kind of knife ?

The very first balisong made buy Korth was ordered buy an Brazilian client in 1991, it was a brass channel balisong with D-6 tool steel clip point blade (maybe I should buy it back)

How have you come to produce balisongs ?

About 4 years ago a local dealer asked us for balisongs to be sold for US market, the first prototype was sent to Chuck Gollnick for evaluation, and he suggested us to add bearings in the pivot, if we managed to do it, it would "cause a stir" in the bali world, then in a joint effort with Flavio Ikoma, we developed the IKBS.
Then a year later we met Duane Weikum (www.edcknives.com) that become our exclusive dealer for balis in USA, what has been of great value for us.

What inspires you, what is your muse?

My design is based on fluid curves and lines searching to unite beauty and functionality, leading us to look for new designs and shapes for the balis.

Which is your favorite blade profile and why ?

Personally I like Persian daggers they have a very fluid and beautiful design, maybe in the future I will make a bali with this kind of blade, as for Roberto he does't have a favorite blade profile.

Do you use CNC machine or do you work exclusively manually ? What do you think the CNC machine brings ?

Currently we don't have any CNC machine, but we have some small parts made out in some Laser cutting companies, all the other parts are manually made in our shop.
I think CNC technology as well as any other technical evolution are useful and can be implemented in knifemaking, allowing new ideas to come up increasing the possibilities of new designs. But we shall never forget the importance of the craftsmanship.

Do you flip balisongs ?

Yes, but I am not a good flipper, I need my finger to make more balis ;).

How could you describe your creations ?

I describe my knives as the result of the search for a beautiful and functional tool, using high tech techniques and materials but also some more traditional materials like mother of pearl and fossil ivory.

Could you give some advice to amateur or professional knifemakers who wants to start making balisongs ?

For all the makers that want to start making balis, we suggest to work hard and do your best to achieve your goals.

How do you think that the world of balisong will evolve in the future ?

We believe that the future of balisong looks bright, with the possibility to turn balisong flipping into a sport and the fact that balisong are gradually getting more popular and some custom pieces are faced like collectible knives.

It is said that you could bring out something technically new, could you talk a little more about it ?

As Flavio said in his interview Korth and Ikoma are working together on a new Balisong, we are working hard to come up with something new.

In your opinion, what are the benefits of IKBS ?

After all this years using IKBS (around 400 balis and folders were made with it by Ikoma and Korth so far and none of them present any significant problems) we can state that the advantages of IKBS are:

  • Enhanced smoothness;
  • Zero blade play;
  • Long durability;
  • Adjustable tightness;
  • Low maintenance need;
  • Low production cost;
  • Dependability ( it can work even with some balls missing);
  • Good lateral strength;
  • Fits in very tiny space;
  • No need to drastically change the knife design;

And to top it of it kind of resurrected the sandwich handles that were not on demand, but have some advantages like allowing new handle design.

Thank you Ricardo for taking the time to answer our questions.