Mule Team™ 07 Damascus
In the English language the term mule has multiple definitions: There's the obvious equine reference being the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. It can be a coin minted from two dies by mistake and the auto industry refers to their test vehicles as a mules. Spyderco also calls knife models designed and built for testing and evaluation Mules. When a group of these are brought together they make a team of mules, thus the name of our new knife release: The Mule Team.
Knife and steel-devotees love trying out new blade steels. Spyderco leads the industry in offering, testing and manufacturing knives using new and exotic blade steels. Taking that idea a step up, why not offer a series (team) of blades using different, exotic and freshly unveiled steels? In doing this steel-obsessed knife knuts can try, test and use something normally not offered to the industry.
Spyderco's Mule Team is a single-piece fixed blade pattern. The blade is leaf-shaped with a sharpened and finished PlainEdge blade but with an unfinished handle providing some a do-it-yourself opportunity. The unfinished handle has a series of holes for attaching a custom handle or for wrapping in cord. All Mule Team Pieces are sold without handle scales or a carry sheath focusing the project on the blade steel and opening the door for the owner to create his/her own handle scale and carry options.
The Mule team project was created as a simple, inexpensive venue for "steel junkys" to have an opportunity to test different blade steels themselves. Each run will have different interesting steel. Each run will have the same pattern, a fixed blade with a full tang. Each run will have the same thickness, grind, edge and will be heat treated to the optimal hardness for that steel. No handle, scales or sheath are provided. This not only saves you funds, but gives you the opportunity to make (or have made) custom handles and sheaths.
Spyderco's Damascus Mule Team is a laminated fifteen-layer steel with a Suminagashi pattern. The Damascus Mule's steel is composed of layers of erosive and non-erosive material over a VG-10 core center. The erosive layers are hard martensite stainless steel and the non-erosive layers are anti-corrosion nonferrous metal. These layers block carbon particles in the core from spreading to the outer layers. After layering the blade is forged to intentionally distort the layer-lines making a complicated, artistically beautiful pattern called Suminagashi. Suminagashi is the traditional Japanese art form of creating ripples of Chinese ink on the surface of water. This steel mimics the art form with interesting results on a knife blade. Once the layers are distorted, the blade is bathed in acid etching the pattern to vivid relief.