Mar 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm #1288137
EDIT: Update: Ok so a few people have decide to drag this project back from the dead. ;)
I've gotten some PM's requesting some of these. The original run ended up only being a small handful, and I never posted final pics, but Mr. Evans was kind enough to post a review and some photos at: http://www.suluk46.com/RandD%20-%20RD38%20UL%20Titanium%20Knife.html
I'll leave some of the original post for posterity, and because I don't want to retype an explanation.
Price is $100 shipped, for the cordwrapped, sheathed version. I'll try to come up with some alternative sheaths, but for now, it's kydex. $80 for the stand-alone blade. $90 without cord.
I never settled on a UL sheath I liked, but as mentioned, these can be safely carried a number of ways, as they're not as "finger sharp" as a steel edge. I admit it sucks to have a sheath that weighs almost as much as the knife, although it's still a 15gram package. I do still have some ideas for other options.
I'm *NOT* taking upfront payment on these. My schedule is chaotic, and I can't handle the stress of owing people products they've already paid for, so if you are interested in one, just PM or email me, I'll make a list, and contact you when I've got a batch ready.
Anybody I promised one before that I never sent one, let me know.
OLD POST; edited.
It's about time right?
New from me, TSS Ti Field Scapel.
This is self sharpening, chisel ground, industrially carbide impregnated' titanium utility knife, which requires little or no maintenance, excels at cutting tasks, and weighs roughly 8grams.
OAL is 5", 0.5" wide, 0.063 thick.
The pictures following show the final proto, which was hand ground out of 0.075 6al4v Titanium, and weighs 9g. The production pieces will be waterjet out of 0.063 6al4v, and weigh a little less. The edge bevels will be hand ground by me, and the carbide spark deposited also by me, using a very expensive industrial spark depositor made by Electro Arc corp. While some of you may be familiar with hobby carbidizer units, and their poor performance, rest assured that the results from the industrial machines are nothing similar. This unit will deposit a single pass layer of tungsten or titanium carbide of 25 micron, where as the small units are at best around 2 micron. On the max setting, this machine sparks like a mig welder.
This blade as mentioned, is self sharpening, due to the single side deposition of carbide, and the chisel grind, which implements the so called "beaver tooth" effect. The softer titanium wears down at a higher rate than the thin layer of ultra hard carbide, which exposes the carbide layer, creating a micro serated edge. In fact, the sharpness will increase after use from the initial grind.
These blades are microserrated and work extremely well for cutting tasks, slicing, cutting rope, bags, sticks, clothes, food, etc, however are not a substitute for a steel blade where impact use is required. These blades are not suitable for batoning or axe type chopping, and won't be warranted against such abuse.Mar 31, 2012 at 7:13 pm #1862032
BTW those pics were taken with my tablet unfortunately. If it looks dirty, its the camera, the blade is actually heat colored, but its not showing worth a crap in the photos. I'll try to get better photos tomorrow.Apr 1, 2012 at 10:56 am #1862180
I got an email asking about durability of these. I've been using the first test piece for nearly two years, almost daily. Its still going strong. However, if for some reason they wore out from normal use (not abuse), I will replace them.Apr 1, 2012 at 11:19 am #1862189
@moxfordLocale: Silicon Valley, CA
I'll drop on in, just so you're not left in a vacuum… :)
Most knives are relatively multi-purpose. If you don't want the weight you'll probably end up with a standard razor blade (which is lighter still, and far far cheaper.)
So you have a relatively expensive single-usage product, but I'm unsure what pain-point/niche you're filling with it.
I don't care for the handle design, as there is no tang for wet environments. I could para-cord wrap it. Also the cutting surface is relatively small (your 'scalpel' analogy is good) which further limits use, pushing it more into direct competition with your basic razor blade. I don't know the metallurgical-aspects of the forging and such, so I cannot comment well on rockwell-levels or durability over time.
But it really comes down do: what would I use it for and does it have a place in my pack? Unfortunately, and especially for that price, I can't find one. =/
-moxApr 1, 2012 at 11:19 am #1862190
@kalebcLocale: South West
Cool knife, I would rather have a pointed blade rather than a tanto tip. I myself use a 50 cent paring knife that weighs 8g.Apr 1, 2012 at 11:28 am #1862195
Yep, its definitely a niche product. No arguement. A razor blade has its purpose in a minimal gear list, although I find these much more versatile. They're much more effective at cutting things like rope, stick ends, etc, and the handle is just long enough to get a good purchase on.
These aren't a replacement for a full sized fixed blade, but a great alternative to a small fixed or folder.
Those interested in a more traditionally shaped edge profile, Josh over at Ruta Locura is offering something along those lines.Apr 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm #1862290
Impressive, Javan! Will this be a short run or an ongoing product?
DMApr 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm #1862348
Everything from me is likely to be a short run, unless some other vendor decides to pick up the design.
Also, unless I get some commitments on some of these, it won't be a run at all. ;)
I know how particular our community is regarding edged tools, so maybe there isn't a place for these in it, although I find my user to be one of the most useful on a daily basis.
I've got enough tied up in this project that I've got to see some return or I'm scrapping it. Maybe I should stick to making knives for the appropriate user base.Apr 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm #1862405
@joshleavittLocale: Ruta Locura
Responses to this same thread circa 2005:
So its 6 times thicker than a razor blade, and three times thicker than a paring knife, but still Ultra light, thats awesome!
I'll take 5, can I pay more for them?
So it will never rust, even in marine enviroments, thats just amazing!
Its semi self sharpening? My stainless blades wont hold an edge for $hit.
Made in the USA, thats what I like to see.
Javan, I think this must be some of that "market stagnation" I read about. Why didn't you foster some relationships with asian manufactures, have kids build them working overtime in China, get the price down, and sell UL to the masses. Rather than kicking out, one off, pieces of $hit, made from inferior materials, out of your gargage. Come on man, get a hair cut, shape up, and sell out, its 2012. Oh wait, no… you should have probably gone the kickstarter route, and secured a Made-in-USA prototyping-to-production process, that hard goods market is ripe for the taking, I mean no one has ever done that.
I think I know whats stagnate……….
Yep, I light my canister stove with a ferro rod, but a real knife, what would I use that for?
Anyway, I use obsidian, its all natural, light weight, and free….huh!Apr 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm #1862408
Tell us how you REALLY feel, Josh.Apr 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm #1862409
@joshleavittLocale: Ruta Locura
I was going to, but I didn't want to come off too rash.Apr 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm #1862415
Thanks Josh, you made my night man. ;)Apr 2, 2012 at 9:32 am #1862527
Nice work. I think that's pretty cool. This may be a dumb question, but where on that blade is it sharpened? If I was looking at the pictures you posted, would it be the lower left half aswell as the left (angled) side? When I read the word scapel, it makes me think only the angled (short) side is sharp.Apr 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm #1862601
Stephen, that's not a dumb question at all, since apparently I was so focused on showing the carbidized side that I didn't post a pic of the sharpened side. I'll get one up in a bit, but its chisel ground on the opposite side following the carbides, so 1.5" long on the length of the blade, which leaves a short section of full material to get comfortable purchase with the index and thumb, and then of course also ground on the angle section.
A chisel grind with one side carbidized is the only way to get a strong enough edge geometry from such a thin cross section of material that won't cause excessive edge rolling, unlike some other offerings out there.Apr 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm #1862602
BTW its the right side that's ground, if looking down on the blade in hand, which is appropriate for a right hand cut. I could easily accommodate the leftys though.Apr 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm #1862641
Another advantage worth mentioning, these blades aren't dulled by cutting spectra/dyneema like steel is. Like cutting anything else, it just sharpens them.Apr 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm #1862803
Thanks for the explanation Javan. I got it now.
I have been using a derma-safe folding knife for years, weighs 8 grams, and I could use an upgrade, but I'm curious why you would stick to the basic rectangle design if you are getting it cut on a waterjet? Why not add a few bells and whistles like the the Ruta Locura blade? Not saying one is better than the other, I actually know very little about knives (but plenty about titanium) I'm just a sucker for cool shapes.Apr 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm #1862906
You answered your own question, and it's late, so I'll only elaborate a bit. For me, and it's an obsession, form follows function. The evolution of curved edges, had evolved in conjunction with human evolution and human function. As one of the oldest tools of humanity, all aesthetic can be traced to either a) necessity of function, or b) consequence of construction.
Counter curved (hunter/skinner/drop) style blade profiles have gained primary predominance as a result of classic, survivalist, and regional function, along with a basic consequence of the physics of forged metal; I.e. forging edge bevels, causes an automatic curvature as the thicker cross-section flexes under the expansion of the thinning bevel. Stock removal wasn't an option during a time when material costs far outwrighed the value of extensive labor. Josh's design, facilitates those agendas perfectly, in a very efficient package; namely skinning game of various type, and other misc. hunting/fishing tasks, so why overlap?
I can't comment too heavily on the ubiquity of primary curvature in western blades, but I will point out that they're not universal, or in my opinion, *ideal* for most average cutting tasks.
As ubiquitous as the common curvature is, so is the recurve in other cultures, a geometry which has been demonstraited to be more effective at localized cutting/slicing numerous times over in objective testing.
Ask yourself; "What is the advantage of a curved blade for slicing "x"?" I doubt for 90% of tasks you can find an objective answer against a straight edge.
I have in fact, three more progressive designs of functionality, in succesively larger profile, already designed, but I chose to premiere the most versatile and minimal, due apparently to a misconception of communal reception. On top of that, if its not obvious already, I work synergystically with Ruta Locura, and found their skinner so ideal to task, that I saw zero need to envade the well covered territory. In fact I'll be working with them directly on the grind geometry and spark deposition of their offerings.
Woops, I got long winded anyway…. :/Apr 3, 2012 at 5:04 am #1862935
Totally get it with the form follows function…
OK, so I'm sorta sold on one of these. I mean, someone's gotta bite, right? :)
I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit skeptical on how sharp the blade is but you're a well known guy in this community and I suspect you wouldn't offer something that wasn't up to your standards (very high judging by your quilts). Plus I think it will be much more usable compared to the dermasafe at no real weight penalty.
I'll take one off your hands and get the ball rolling on this project.Apr 3, 2012 at 7:12 am #1862961
@clebowLocale: Orange County
I'm in. Never can have too many knivesApr 3, 2012 at 7:37 am #1862972
I'm also in. Hope there are sufficient interest to make this a go.
***Edit: Paypal sent***Apr 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm #1863180
I understand the skepticism regarding sharpness, but I just ask that those of you who end up with one of these just keep an open mind. Much like a convex ground steel blade, which usually doesn't "feel" razor sharp after the first cut, but maintains a working edge for days beyond a flat or hollow grind, the microserrated edge of these won't feel razor sharp, in fact once you start breaking it in, it will feel very toothy, almost jagged. It will continue to cut and cut and cut however, and if it seems to become less effective, cut some cardboard (the most notorious dulling medium for steel), a few swipes, and it'll be good as new.
You won't be shaving with these, it's not that kind of edge, but it'll handle much bigger tasks than the dermasafe; which doesn't allow any leverage or force, and is very easy to break.
As far as the project goes in general, I'm willing to make 10 or 12 of these by hand, immediately. If you want one, just paypal me $68 and you're guaranteed to have one. If I get atleast 10 orders in the next few days, I'll send a sheet of ti off to the waterjet, and get a large batch cut out. If I don't get that many orders, I'll be moving on to another project to cut my losses, and whoever ordered will be the only ones that get one of these. Regardless, anybody who pays for one now, will get one, and subsequent support of the product, should it be necessary.
Also, I have had some mention of interest in a UL straight razor for shaving/etc, so if there's anybody real keen on that, let me know. It would be steel bladed with a titanium body.Apr 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm #1863200
Any luck with any idea for some sort of sheath?
My interest is piqued, but without a sheath I can't use it on the trail.Apr 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm #1863393
I'm working on something tonight sheath wise. We'll see how it pans out.Apr 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm #1863595
Last night I was able to make an approx 3.5g sheath by heat molding and welding some thin hdpe. It was just rough rough prototyping with limited tools (I have no experience working with these types of plastic) but it was successful and functional, albeit pretty ugly.
At this point, I think I'm going to continue in this direction, I just ordered some thin stock of various plastics, so I'm going to try a few different possibilities, but I will have a sheath solution worked out by the time I ship these.
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