Era3 Origins - Limehouse Cleaver

Era3 Origins - Limehouse Cleaver

January 10, 2018

Cleav-er (noun)

  • a tool with a heavy broad blade, used by butchers for chopping meat. A butcher's implement for cutting animal carcasses into joints or pieces.

Limehouse (noun)

  • fucking rad stuff, function following form creating the ultimate… thing

By now you may have noticed those ridiculously bad-ass knives that look an awful lot like a cleaver, popping up on ERA3 the past couple months. These limited edition meat-mangling devices are more than just a knife, they’re a hand crafted means to an end. It serves its purpose equally well in the kitchen or base camp where it will dissect your game and sculpt it into edible BBQ-friendly portions as effortlessly as you can slice a lime for a G&T.

But where did the idea for this knife come from and why would you want one? Because you are lot like us. So we have to assume you can appreciate a man made tool that can be used to satisfy our most primal needs, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

It would’ve been real easy for us to simply scratch our name on the side of a cool knife and call it a wrap, but honestly that doesn’t cut it in our book. Instead we teamed up with renowned blade-smith Matt Helm and VZ grips to bring you the finest cleaver you’ll ever wrap your mitts around.

It all started a couple years ago at SHOT Show. Our team was at the PROOF Research booth showing off our rifles while Sheri was singing calendars for her legions of fans. The entire event was super awesome and we were having a good time. Then we noticed this guy lingering around on the periphery of the crowd at our booth. He was there for quite a while and was clearly not leaving. He was obviously curious about what we had going on but he didn’t want to interrupt, was very polite as he waited for the right opportunity to talk with us.

Finally, we were face to face but we had no idea who he was. It was awkward for a few seconds then he unzipped his pack, reached in and pulled out this knife. When he pulled it out the first thing you noticed were the signature scallop cuts on the profile…we knew exactly who it was. It was Matt Helm.


He said “Yeah man, I made this knife for you,” and handed Sterling the original Limehouse. He hand crafted this specifically for us just as a gift. We had never been formally introduced before but we were obviously fans of each other’s work. It was almost like we felt we knew him but now, boom: There he was...

“So, he handed me this knife and it was just awesome,” Sterling recalls. “It didn’t have any grips on it, but it felt good in my hand because it was finished that way. It was awesome and I was like thanks. Then poof... he vanished. Matt helm was gone.”

But the knife was so rad, and we thought it was great so when we got home we contacted him. Sterling talked to him about his business, he explained how he hand shapes these knives one at a time and long story short, we asked if he would he be interested in making a signature design knife with us, co-manufactured by ERA3 and Matt Helm. He agreed.

We took the original knife he gave us and we digitally reproduced it, created a solid prototype and added the VZ grips to complete the look we had envisioned since the beginning. We sent it to Matt for approval and he signed off on it. The rest as they say, is history.


Together we have manufactured 70 of the original small knife design as well as another 50 of the large versions. The process starts with the S7 blacks being machined at the Era3 shop. The signature scallops are carved into the blank and the traditional cleaver hanging hole is now the ERA3  logo.

These hunks of steel are then placed in Matt’s care who then grinds the asymmetrical cutting edge into every one of them, by hand, in his shop before being heat treated. Afterwards, Helm puts the finish grind on the blade which is what sets this cleaver apart from the rest. Then we install the custom VZ grips and place each knife in a custom box along with a certificate of authenticity.

“Matt went out of his way to hand us the original custom knife as a gift and it was so nice,” el Jeffe continues. “Usually, SHOT Show is a big blur, but that moment we met Matt is something I will always remember. He’s such an awesome dude, an artisan, a craftsman and those are the kind of people that are fun to work with.”

If you want to be the envy of all your friends at hunting when you break out your Limehouse cleaver. This is no three-inch pocket knife with a pay-to-play logo stamped on the side. Oh no, this is the ultimate signature knife, the coolest cleaver on Earth and the culmination of some serious effort from three companies that prefer to stand out from the crowd.

All we can say is, they’re super, fucking rad.

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