I am reprinting the following post by Ernest Emerson from Emerson Knives, Inc. I think it provides great insight into how a knifemaker enters into a collaboration with a large(r) company, what with the many considerations of branding, business models, and motivations…
“Well, I guess the cat is now well out of the bag. Most of you have now
become aware of the Emerson Kershaw Knives. Due to a family emergency
we (the Emerson family) were not able to attend the SHOT show or
participate in the pomp and circumstance of the debut of the
Emerson-Kershaw partnership. But it looks like everybody did our job
for us in lieu of our absence. Thank you.
“At the BLADE show in June 2013, we had a meeting with Craig and Thomas
of Kershaw knives. Over the last two decades the name Emerson has
grown from the simple name of a knife company into the most coveted of
categories, a “Lifestyle Brand.” As such, that put us into a category
alongside of names like Harley Davidson, Body Glove, Jack Daniels,
etc. where the name no longer represents just a product, but a much
broader category, a lifestyle that people identify with. When a
company brand achieves that status, the brand itself becomes a symbol
of status much as wearing a Rolex watch became the symbol of personal
success. When a brand gains such respect and value, many opportunities
manifest that are not available to the status quo. Over the years, as
the name Emerson developed this cache, we were approached by a number
of companies interested in purchasing our company outright. Some of
these came from within the Cutlery Industry, some from the Tactical
Industry and several from interests completely outside of “our world.”
The amounts have been tempting, in fact big on a scale that my Great
Grandchildren would never need to work. But, as a family we all felt
we were not done yet, so we kept our company. Continue reading
Seriously dumbed down. Please do better research than this if you must, I implore you! Friends don’t let friends use infographics.
Tim Tang founded Maxpedition Hard Use Gear in his parents’ garage after dropping out of med school in 2003. The Los Angeles company began designing, contracting, and selling nylon everyday carry equipment such as backpacks, bags, and accessories. Tang has said that he has always been a “knife guy” and knew he wanted Maxpedition to eventually reflect that.
At SHOT Show 2014, Maxpedition displayed some of their existing folder and future fixed blade offerings. Following SHOT, Maxpedition followed through with information on their line of D2 fixed blade knives. Here are some photographs and copy from their press release.
The Hogue EX-F03 is available at some outlets now. I saw the hawkbill on a site for about $60.00. I first viewed the prototypes for these knives at last year’s Blade Show. These production models have the same basic profiles and construction as the ones I was able to hold. One difference was that the protos had a really dark stonewashed or tumbled finish. That made them striking. I would love to see the particular treatment on future production EX-F03′s. Below are the prototypes I photographed. Continue reading
I could not wait to order the new 2014 Benchmade Stryker. Since I have been wearing business casual of late, I decided to buy a Stryker 904SB because it was the “gentleman’s folder” of the line. USPS kindly delivered on time and I was made very happy on the anniversary of my birth. I talked about the Benchmade/Elishewitz Stryker’s lineage in a previous post, so here are my impressions of the latest version and its comparison to the original 905 Stryker.
I slid open the butterfly-adorned black Benchmade box and smiled that the 904 was enveloped in a microfiber cloth bag with drawstring. When I shimmied the knife out, it was more like meeting a new friend than revisiting an old one. The 904′s handle shape is somewhat edited from that of the 905.
Each year, I look forward to coverage of the Spyderco Amsterdam Meet by Wouter, known as Mr. Blonde on Spyderco Forums. He is web-published as Spydercollector.com. Sal and Eric Glesser and the crew make the annual journey to the Netherlands, where prototypes are revealed.
Wouter has high quality photographs and commentary of Golden, CO’s latest. Click on the hyperlink above and visit his site over the next few weeks. You will not be disappointed. The proto for Spyderco’s ARK neck knife is up right now.
The Roach Belly was an 18th Century knife pattern used by British, French, and Colonial American traders of that era. Generally, the blade consisted of a straight-spine, acute point, and a pronounced curve, or belly, along the cutting edge. Cold Steel Knives makes a really inexpensive modern version that cuts like mad. Really!
I bought a Cold Steel Roach Belly for several reasons. I liked its sleek fighter looks. There is enough metal at the choil to act as a lower finger guard for serious work. The $12.95 price meant I could take it on a trip to Zion without worrying about losing it from my luggage. A 2.6 ounce weight made for extremely light carry in my hiking pack.
Roach Belly’s 4 1/2″ Krupps 4116 stainless steel blade can pass for a kitchen knife. And I have used it as such. The hollow grind has an effective edge geometry. It cuts meat, veggies, or cardboard equally well. A Rockwell hardness of 56-57 makes for ease of sharpening.