Things have been getting interesting in the world of production knives these last ten years or so. Crucible, Hitachi, Carpenter, Bohler, and others have provided us with steel that is by far and away better than anything we'd ever seen, and the designers we've worked with have been pulling out all the stops with some amazing collaborations.
Beginning this year, things are going to get even more exciting. We've got an exclusive arrangement with a to-be-named foundry to provide a brand-new metallurgy for a few of you to whet your appetites with.
The steel is really something special. We've had good success with high-carbide content in a few well-known steels, and we know you like them enough to make the increased cost of production worthwhile, but this time we think we've really got something special. There's no branding for the composition yet, but the R&D team has been calling it "FeC^n" which has lead to the informal nickname of "freakin' amazing." And it is. Basically, the carbide volumes have been treated with a special process of heat, temperature, and time to yield the longest-wearing, hardest carbides we've ever seen. On the Moh's scale, the blade comes out at a 10.
That's right, we've made a blade that's as hard as a diamond.
Now this whole process requires a bit of a different procedure when it comes to design, compared to what we're used to. Basically, the steel can't be ground, and it really has to be fused into a near-finished state inside the PM foundry oven under vacuum. So we're working with the mill to get the blades made as inserts for a carefully-machined Titanium "chassis" that will provide the ideal profile for slicing, and of course give plenty of room for the trademarked hole-opening system. I think you'll all be really excited to hear about who we've got working with us on the machining setup and design for this blade; let's just say it's a design that lives up to his reputation in the semi-production knife world. We're happy to announce that this will be the first production knife in the world to feature the patented "Stop Lock" mechanism.
In my informal tests, I haven't been able to get this stuff to dull. It won't wear, it won't roll, it won't chip. It holds up well under a torsion load, and it's never going to rust.
The kicker is, of course, that it isn't cheap. The pilot run will be two units; one for destructive testing, and one that we'll keep here for further development. At some point in the next year, we should be able to release a slow, but steady stream of production models. Now, this presents us with a problem, as we won't actually have enough to supply our CC members or our regular dealers with any kind of fairness or equitability. So, rather than just putting them up on ebay (yes, that crossed our minds) we're going to hold a lottery-based draw for distribution. Basically, everyone who wants in will get a knife eventually, so there's a $20 deposit, but we anticipate that you might be waiting a few years if you're not lucky. Collectors are automatically granted one free entry; entries are limited to one purchased ticket, plus your free ticket if you're a CC member. We know this won't make everyone happy, but there's really no other way we can see of doing this.
The price will be reasonable based on our production costs, but it's quite a bit higher than the other products you've seen from us. As an upside to the slow and laborious production process, we'll be giving each selected buyer the option of a variety of handle materials, including:
Carbon Fiber w/inlay, Titanium w/inlay, "picea glauca" Hardwood over titanium liners, or machined titanium.
We'll give more details as we're ready to roll things out, but I thought I'd let you folks on the forums know what's coming. It's an exciting development in metallurgy that should have some very interesting implications for a number of industries, but we're proud to be able to offer some of the most obvious benefits to the dedicated knife enthusiasts among you.