As a direct result of watching his fellow martial artists train with a fixed-blade fighting knife in class, yet carry some type of a folding knife when they left the training area, Emerson decided there was a need for a sturdy folding knife designed primarily for combat. Although Emerson had always maintained that the knives he made were built as fighting knives first and foremost, in October 1988 he stripped down five of these designs to simpler materials. He continued his use of linen or canvas micarta because of its high tensile strength and superior gripping surface when wet; he decided on black or dark grey for the color instead of the brighter colors used previously. He retained the titanium for the liners and bolsters but chose to bead-blast them a flat grey matte color as opposed to the colorful anodizing which used to appear on his knives. The reasons for using titanium were its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance.
Emerson ground the blades of these knives from ATS-34 steel with a Rockwell hardness of 57–59 and made them thicker toward the tip, creating a stronger-tipped blade than he had made previously. He bead-blasted the blades as he did the liners and bolsters instead of rubbing or polishing them, giving them a matte finish as opposed to the mirror-polished finish common on his earlier knives. Emerson designed each one of these knives for a specific purpose. The slender Viper 1 and smaller Viper 2 were designed for use as a police officer's backup weapon. The Viper 5 was designed to be used by naval boat crews, as the handle was contoured with a rear brake so as to not slip from the user's hand when wet.
Viper Knives logo
Emerson's goal for this Viper line was to produce a working knife which would be more resistant to the elements and more durable than the "art knives" for which he had become known. These knives were created to satisfy the demand for a practical field-grade combat knife which could be carried discreetly and accessed quickly. He sold these five models under the name "Viper Knives" and changed the logo on the blades to read the same.f Emerson makes these models to this day on a custom basis under the names MV1–5, "MV" standing for "Model Viper".coloured contact lensescalderas de gas