Brace yourself. You’re about to see the first major advancement in knife-making technology (in this category) in over 100 years!
Behold, the Ultimatedge Bushcraft & Survival Knife!
A company called Ultimatedge Knives (sometimes referred to as Ultimate Edge) has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a fixed blade knife that uses “patented metal alloy matrix developed by NASA and Cal-Tech then combined with tungsten to produce a cutting edge second to none.”
I am a marketer so I understand the need for hyperbole when promoting knives but the writing on this Kickstarter project oozes of exaggeration and infomercial nonsense. Here’s a sampling of the claims:
So we began our search for a way to move knife-making forward into the 21st century. Our search led us to a patented metal alloy matrix that was developed by Cal-Tech and tested by NASA. We acquired the rights to use this material in the world of bushcraft and survival knives – and our Ultimatedge Knife is the result.
The patent-pending edge bonding process is part of what sets the Ultimatedge Knife apart and makes it possible for it to become the new Gold Standard of excellence in the bushcraft and survival knife field.
We believe the combination of the metal alloy matrix and this bonding process will revolutionize the knife-making industry. YOU can be one of the first consumers to experience this Ultimatedge Knife.
You can have a bushcraft and survival knife that is ultra sharp (and proven so by testing and analysis) – and lasts 10 times longer than ordinary knives. This is what is truly different about our knife – and is what makes it different and better than anything else you have ever owned or used.
OK. So I’ve had my fun pointing out the absolutely bonkers claims. But let’s actually dive into the knife and whether it can possibly live up to a fraction of the hype.
I haven’t actually used or held one of these so I had to do some old fashioned research.
The specs were a little difficult to find amid the marketing, but here’s some:
- Blade length: 3.89 inches
- Total length: 9.27 inches
- Edge material: 70% tungsten and 30% LIQUIDIAMOND matrix
- Blade material: 2Cr14N heat treated to 49-50 HRC
- Coating: Diamond-Like Carbon
- Handle material: G-10
To be honest, I know little to nothing about LIQUIDIAMOND edges. I believe it is amorphous metal with no crystaline structure like regular metals. As a result, the edge can be really keen but the material used to sacrifice toughness. I’m not sure if it really does have trouble with brittleness any more.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the material was made by NASA and Caltech though. There was a briefing from JPL in Pasadena on the material back in 2013.
Here is an unwieldy block of words from an article you really should read:
In the current work, the inventors have applied more than a decade of research on BMGs from Caltech and JPL to develop a better understanding of how to make BMG knives that exhibit an optimal combination of properties, processing and cost. Alloys have been developed based in titanium (and other metals), that exhibit high toughness, high hardness, excellent corrosion resistance, no ferromagnetism, edge-retaining self-sharpening, and the ability to be cast like a plastic using commercially available casting techniques (currently used by commercial companies such as Liquidmetal Technologies and Visser Precision Casting). The inventors argue that depending on the application (diving, military, tactical, utility, etc.) there is an optimal combination of design and alloy composition. Moreover, with new casting technologies not available at the inception of these materials, netshaped knives can be cast into complex shapes that require no aftermarket forming, except for sharpening using watercooled polishing wheel. These combinations of discoveries seek to make low-cost BMG knives commercially viable products that have no equal among metal or ceramic knives.
There isn’t much information out there about the actual use and function of this material. However, there is one video from Dutch Bushcraft Knives that looks at this knife:
From this one video, it doesn’t seem to be as impressive as the claims. They said it was similar to super steels (3V) but not the best they had dealt with. I would love to see what Cedric & Ada could do with this knife.
Here are some other “testimonials” but we’ll see what the public has to say:
The design looks solid but I would hold off on any once-in-a-lifetime advances claims until more people can actually use it. Still if you’re interested, you can grab one on Kickstarter right now for $129. The project will be funded because it has already exceeded its goal of $5,000. There is currently more than $60,000 pledged from hundreds of backers to the campaign with 24 days to go.
Fund it right here if you like and let us know your thoughts if you do.