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DESIGNERS / Jim O'young

In 1999, after a 20 year career as a Mechanical Design Engineer in the Silicon Valley electronics industry, Jim O’Young retired from the corporate world to pursue his passions: competition pistol shooting at the highest level and partnering with his friends & shooting sponsors to design, manufacture & market innovative products for the firearms & cutlery industries.
His philosophy is: like a pistol, a knife is a tool and a natural extension of the user’s hands. Properly designed, the functional controls are simple, intuitive & effortless and the grip interface should feel solid & comfortable, without hot spots or sharp edges- much like a “well used bar of soap.” Most importantly, it must perform well at its intended task and be a joy to use, all while looking good and displaying a sense of style & flair.
Jim levered his knowledge & experience to design & engineer the SpeedTech Synergy using SolidWorks, a state of the art, 3-dimensional, solid modeling CAD software tool. It was the very first knife created using this technology and featured several design elements never seen before in a production folding knife: an ergonomic, fully 3-D digitally sculpt surface handle machined from a single, solid billet of material, a captive floating bearing system and a button lock with increased engagement geometry. The Synergy was truly way ahead of its time and was awarded the Most Innovative American Design at the 1999 BLADE Show by its industry peers.
On the 20th anniversary of the original Synergy design, Jim is proud to partner with WE Knife to continue the legacy and introduce an updated & re-engineered Synergy2 to a new generation of cutlery enthusiasts.