"I'd like to see budget versions of these…. A few 'standard' sizes, adjustable with
cord wrap… More common steels…Stamped/pressed/die-cut fabrication vs
'hand rubbed on the thighs of virgins' custom work." -- Pluvo from GlockTalk
|1.5 years in process... the $69 Utility HideAway is born.|
"looks like the biggest bargain in tac knives today." -- Joe C
This 1.5 year effort was spent looking at different places who could manufacture, mostly under one roof, HideAways in larger batches then what I do for the customs. I rejected lots of samples, and finally found one that was high quality. I almost gave up after a year of not being satisfied, but seeing that quote above on GlockTalk gave me a good laugh and made me try again. And I told my Ace collaborators to please not leave out the thigh rub process as they create the customs.
|What is the Utility HideAway?|
It is a HideAway that you can afford to lose. One thing people don't realize about the custom-finished HideAways is that many of them are not replaceable at any price in terms of getting that same artist's finish on that same model, etc.
This first batch of Utility HideAways will have a two-tone, stonewashed-and-satin finish.
1) I love all the micro-scratches that stonewashing puts on the surface. It makes it resistant to kydex scuffs, and is interesting to look at close-up.
2) My first folder that I really liked, the Microtech Vector, had gorgeous stonewashing on the entire blade and I've liked it ever since.
3) I made the bevel satin, because that gives it a cool contrast to the stonewashed flats. The stonewashing micro-lines are in random directions, the bevel lines are directional. The effect is a grey tone-on-tone. Yes, I nearly drove the vendor crazy till I saw exactly what I wanted here :-).
|How will they be sheathed?|
The Utility HAK will come with the new FS-logo bikini sheath that I spent about 8 weeks perfecting last year. It will come pre-drilled for SheathStick holes.
Check out Mr. Iguana-With-Attitude wearing a Utility HideAway. Is that not the cutest iguana you've ever seen in your life :-)?
OK, back to the FS bikini sheath and why I spent so much time working on that. It boils down to the whole point of the HideAway: So that it is incredibly easy to have with you when you need it. Constant and Consistent.
The FS bikini sheath is plug-and-play compatible with lots of my carry systems, which means you don't have to buy a special custom-made sheath to make them work! Ex: the Belt-Wrap, the Bro-Clip, the Bra-Clip, the Ripp-Cord, and SheathSticks. Some people do add the "Extra Bikini Sheath" option to their basket so that they can leave it attached to one of the carry options as well as have the regular one available. For example: FS bikini sheath + Belt-Wrap, FS bikini sheath + Ripp-Cord, FS bikini sheath + Bro-Clip. You can add a bikini sheath to your order by clicking on "I Want One".
This first batch of Utility HideAways are made of 440a stainless steel.
Why that steel?
A lot of people are wearing their HideAways right on top of their skin. I wanted one of the most rust resistant stainless steels possible. That put the search in the 4xx-line of stainless steels. According to Allegheny Ludlum Corporation, a world leader in the technology and production of specialty materials including stainless steels, "Types 410, 420, 425 Mod, and 440A exihibit good corrosion resistance to atmospheric corrosion, potable water, and to mildly corrosive chemical environments because of their ability to form a tightly adherent oxide film which protects their surfaces from further attack."
I looked to see what companies used what steel. I saw that Kershaw, Buck Knives, Gerber, Boker, etc., all use 440A on many of their folding production blades.
|Why do the Utility HideAways cost less then the customs?|
The custom process involves each knife getting shipped around about 11 different times to various machine shops, to Paul Bos or Chris Reeves' heat treat, to the finishing artist, and to anodizing or IonBond for DLC (Diamond-Like-Carbon) coating. The Utility HideAway process does not. 440a costs less to purchase and also less to process at every step of the way than the premium steel, Crucible's CPM S30V, which I use on the customs and will hold an edge forever. (Ok, not forever, but long enough to annoy me when I'm trying to dull it to test out a new sharpener.)
The Utility HAK process is a lower cost process, but most importantly to me, it takes a ton less time then the customs. The custom process is exhausting! I need more free time to play, and my bills-paying job (as opposed to my knife hobby) is very demanding. Also, I have several other cool carry option projects in the works and I need to create time to finish those.
Many thanks to my collaborators Mick Strider and Ken Onion for helping me navigate these waters last year.
|What is similar between the Utility HideAway and the Custom HideAway?|
You will be getting a personally-fitted edge that allows hands-free use with extreme concealability. My sizing algorithm has not changed. You can check "Available Now" to see if there is one that fits you.
|Will this model Utility HideAway always be available? |
No. The next batch of Utility HideAways will be different. Still lower cost and non-custom, but different. So if you'd like a non-coated, very stainless, stone-washed-and-satin flavor of Utility HideAway, get one now!
I created a size distribution following the statistics of my current ordering trends, so if you have very small or very large fingers, you might want to get one sooner rather than later, because I have very few of those sizes.
|How is your logo different for the Utility HideAways ?|
I have a "USA" under my FS logo. This is a nod to my former collaborator Rob Simonich who died in an auto accident on the way back from a hunting trip. Rob put "Clancy Montana" under his non-customs.
|When will you start shipping these? |
The first mailing to new HideAway customers goes out Saturday, May 28, 2005. Shipping has already started for current HideAway owners.
|How will they be shipped? |
S&H is $5, and they will be mailed USPS with delivery confirmation. By ordering a HideAway, you are agreeing that a USPS delivery confirmed is proof you received it. If you would like signature acceptance, please request this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I shipped HideAways that way at first, but everyone wanted to be an exception.
|Do you ship to International Locations? |
Of course! For the Utility HideAways, total shipping to most countries is $20. You'll need to add "Global Priority" to your basket in the "I Want One" page.
|Just had this feedback from a HideAway owner:|
B. absolutely loves his knife! The only time he takes it off is to shower. He even sleeps with it on! It's a good thing you sent a Band-Aid as he had to use it. Saturday night we had a snow storm. It went from being in the low 70's to snow! Anyway, he was at a birthday party that night. Coming home the roads were very icy. There was a car in front of him that as soon as it started to go over a bridge, it lost control and spun out. The car was totaled. B. stopped and ran to the car. There was a girl inside and he thought for sure she was dead but thank God she wasn't. Although B. carries other knives, he first instinct was to pull out his hide-away. He used it to cut away the air bag and he had to cut the seat belt. He said it cut everything like butter! He was amazed! The girl was OK and Hide-Away saved the day.
My knife came today and it is beautiful! We can't speak any higher about the quality of your knives! I also just went and picked up by CCW license!. I do have some stupid questions. What are the ties for that you sent with each knife? Also I can't figure out how the pocket protection sheath is suppose to fit or work. I tried looking on the carry option site and still couldn't figure it out. If you could call us we would really appreciate it. I know most knife makers don't have the time to call their customers, however, I think you are a "cut above" the rest of them. If you can call us anytime you have a chance that would be great. Our home phone # is [...]"
The person who wrote the above was the woman who ordered the knife for her husband. (have had a few like that!) Spoke with B. on the phone.
The other cool thing was how surprised he seemed that in the moment, how much he needed the hands-free aspect. i.e. dialing 911 on his cell phone with HideAway in same hand.
Thanks to my friend and knifemaker extraordinaire Mr. Bill Harsey, Jr. He wrote the letter to Blade Magazine that appeared in their April 2005 "Letters to the Editor". She learned about my knife because of Mr. Harsey and Blade magazine.