There has been a lot of spirited discussion about our latest Para Military 2 Sprint Run. I’d like to provide some clarity.
First, the basics.
Spyderco is the first production company to use this unique and very exotic, composite blade steel from Crucible Industries of New York. The manufacturing process is in itself unique. It begins with a 1-inch thick plate of CPM S90V. The plate is placed in a specially engineered and built steel can and the voided areas on either side of the plate are filled with CPM 154 powder. The can is positioned on a vibratory table to ensure consistent density in the packing of the powder and then it is welded shut and subjected to a vacuum to evacuate any oxygen. The can then enters an autoclave under extreme heat and pressure where the powder forge-welds with the plate. Afterwards, the can is machined off; the remaining slab is cogged-down in a roller into flattened sheets suitable for making knife blades. Where many layered steels are produced by heating plates and then sandwiching the steels together, this process uses specialized equipment and welding techniques commonly featured in the manufacture of aircraft parts where steels are held to rigorous specifications to avoid structural failure.
The blade is ground full-flat, and additional surface jimping is machined on both the spine and the forefinger choil. A line marks the juncture where the two composite steels meet, giving each blade its own unique pattern that is the result of the homogeneous transition of two extraordinary modern powdered metals.
The handle scales:
Peel-ply Carbon Fiber
$469.95 Our formula for pricing is based upon true cost and very small margins. We don’t price anything at what we think the market will bear.
Next, I’ll tackle many of the questions/speculation that has come up.
We set out to make approximately 300 C81CFPE2. The number was based solely upon the amount of steel we had at the time. Did we know we’d get more steel? Yes, but the lead-time for steel is longer than most people think. Particularly when you consider it’s a new, exotic steel composite. There’s also lead time for all the other materials that go into building a knife.
Knowing that we would ultimately obtain more CPM 154/CPM S90V composite we planned to use the future stock in other models. We knew that the Para Military2 would be a great choice for the first-ever offering. We also knew that to release a small quantity now and then release more later would have consequences. Historically speaking, we’ve been down that road before and it was a less-than-friendly journey. We make it a habit to listen to our customers (you) and we learned from that journey.
The small quantity was a reasonable test for us to determine what it would take to work with CPM 154/CPM S90V composite. I don’t know how many of you remember the first time we worked with pure CPM S90V, but there was a wicked learning curve and numerous adjustments that had to be made from a production perspective.
Did we know that such a limited run would be highly collectable? Of course we did, that’s why it’s available to the members of the Collectors Club. Given the commitment that our CC members make, shouldn’t they, every once in a while, receive something that is truly collectable?
Why did we choose the Para Military2? Honestly, there are a LOT of factors that go into that decision. It’s not just about the popularity of the model. Some of the factors include working it in to an already packed production schedule. Our goal was to get this new composite steel manufactured into an unbelievable knife. But that goal had to be balanced with real-world production challenges as well as the challenge of not knowing what it would be like in production. No one had done it before.
If we held of, announced a Sprint of say 1200 or more, and then ran into production delays… well you all know how that story goes. We’ve been there too.
There will be other models produced with CPM 154/ CPM S90V composite steel. There will be real-world testing to come in the future.
This wasn’t about addressing the situation with “flippers” and the Mule Team (or any other limited run).
Spyderco does not have a “Board”. Our company culture is very much so the opposite of “Corporate”. We try, very hard, every day to do business in a fair, proper and honest way. Our mindset is not about how much can we get. It’s usually more along the lines of “it’s never been done before… how can we do it.”
Could we have done a better job of releasing more information about this one knife? Yes, yes we could have. I can’t explain it, I can’t give you an excuse for it. I’ll just offer our apology for not making an announcement sooner.
We promise, there was no conspiracy on this one. Just a crew pushing forward through the next challenge.
We do appreciate your passion and your commitment to Spyderco. We value each of you.