Research and Testing Worx, Inc. is better known in gun circles as Rat Worx. Several years ago, they decided to branch out into knifemaking with an innovative design called the chain drive. As simple as it sounds, the knife is actuated by dual nested coil springs pulling on a short length of roller chain to bring the blade to lock up via a plunge lock.
At Blade Show 2014, Rat Worx designer Allen Millhouse showed me the chain drive system on a number of their automatic folders. He was most proud of the limited edition Nautilus model shown here. It is a send up to the look popularized in the 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, from the novel by Jules Verne. I also heard the word Steampunk bandied about the show floor.
If you remember the Nautilus submarine in the movie, then you will spot many familiar design cues such as the bow serrations on the blade spine, the plate and rivet look of the hull, and an iris viewing port. The aluminum bronze of the handles is stunning, as is the Alabama Random damascus used to imitate the shimmering sea on the blade.
Allen said he was going for the look of the Nautilus in this special knife. With its chain drive and Old World style, it could have been made by Captain Nemo himself. I definitely think Allen got it right!
Other Rat Worx models include the MRX, which, coincidentally, won the Blade Show 2014 People’s Choice Award! It had to be the innovative chain drive. Smiling people crowded the booth on the day I was there to check out the knives.
Rat Worx even brought a torture test machine to their booth to demonstrate the chain drive being run through tens of thousands of openings without fail. Check out Rat Worx videos below.
Guardian Tactical (I have an article in the works…) deserves a tip of the hat for their CNC brilliance in constructing the Rat Worx knives.