Jump to content

I may go to the Dark Side: What is Tactical?


Recommended Posts

TACTICS means:

----------------

Tough

Active

Clean

Tested

Immoral

Cruel

Specialized

----------------

But if you want my very very private opinion on "how to make a coin" in the popular costumers area and still release a good pieces which your are proud of...

-The best tactical blade is actually an axe(personal experience here)

-Go for old style trade hawks, just make the heads a bit thinner and add a secure "quick-release mega-combo kydex sheath"

-If your create yourself a special line of "tactical hawks" you would be able even to add extra detail in some of them, thus increasing the price.

-The tempering should be around 58 HRC for best performance and no shiny surfaces/colors should be left on the finished piece.

... Again, knives can be tactical solution only for a policeman or fireman and those can choose from at least several brands which already offer great models for great price. Yet there is not hegemony of these companies in the hawks producing market. Your best chance will be to create yourself a name in the field before "the big guys" start doing it.

And there is nothing shameful of mass-forging weaponry. The shame goes for the Governments that rise an unnecessary conflicts.

Edited by Niaro To
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 66
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

There are two ways to define tactical, as it applies to knives and gear.   I once carried a two ft section of shovel handle in my truck, it was useful for many things... I drilled a thong hole in on

Tactical is really not all that different from a lot of what we do. It has a lot of very strict aesthetic and functional needs to be rite.   There is a definite reality to tactical, but also a huge

I think this image sums it up for me:   It's all about the bells and whistles!   Seriously though, I think that a brut-de-forge knife would work very well in that market. The blade needs to lo

@Niaro To tactical axes sound like an interesting idea, but given that he's a one man shop, I wonder if going for the second mover advantage would be a better strategy.

I enjoy arguing, btw, so I'd love to hear opinions to the contrary.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't say that there is no reason in what you say Jon, but other things matter most in my view. Like on what position Jupiter is for him, when starting his endeavor. I support the opinion that small projects, well planned are like a spear heading in mail armor, and the wrongly executed ones, being even well-financed might fail as the effort of peeling garlic with machete. For sure it won't be the easiest thing in life to start a hawk production, but hay, who at this board is fan of the idea that life should be easy job and battles fought only with the odds on our side?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahem...

http://www.rmjtactical.com/

Ryan Johnson has been doing tactical hawks for years now, as have our own James Helm aka Stormcrow and Geoff Keyes.  Not saying they are dominating the market, just saying they're out there doing well with it. No discouragement intended, just pointing out prior market research.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Niaro To to each his own when it comes to planetary influence. 

When it comes to strategy, I'm personally a fan of Bruce Lee's formless form, with a nod to Lao Tzu.

Any business is a risk, and if anyone tells you something is a sure thing, run other direction as fast as you can.

Completely off point, give me a head of garlic and a machete, and I'll bet I'll get at least one clove peeled before I'm done. :)

@Alan Longmire I guess he'd have second (fourth?) mover advantage after all. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess we are all under the same mist when it comes to business. If you ask me, I'd rather step blindly than sit and plan to the uttermost detail. The hawk idea seems good to me, from my perspective of Eastern European. I have no idea how that is going to work out for Kevin. However I keep rather positive attitude anyways, it is harming not to believe in success, even for your friend, or fellow forumer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Niaro To said:

I guess we are all under the same mist when it comes to business. If you ask me, I'd rather step blindly than sit and plan to the uttermost detail. The hawk idea seems good to me, from my perspective of Eastern European. I have no idea how that is going to work out for Kevin. However I keep rather positive attitude anyways, it is harming not to believe in success, even for your friend, or fellow forumer.

I'd prefer the middle ground, personally, but then I'll likely never be on the cutting edge. I'm okay with that.

My first reaction to hearing that major brands aren't making tactical Hawks is to ask "why?" Could be that the market is too small to support massive production runs, or projected profit margins are too low. Whatever the reason, knowing it gives me a handle to manipulate the idea with, and maybe find a solution.

None of that is to say your idea is poor, just that manipulating the shape of a why this size can take a lot of time, energy, and money. If our dear Kevin is trying to tackle it solo, it could prove too much for him. Especially with the new family.

Lucky for Professor K, other people are wailing on the same why. If they're willing to share their findings, tactical hawks may be just the ticket.

Or, what I just realized would have much more concise; if we're all in the same mist, then why not hold hands? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Jon Cook said:

if we're all in the same mist, then why not hold hands? 

If I wanted my hand held, I'd be in a different line of work. :D

Kidding. I like the sentiment, Jon, but could not pass up the opportunity for macho humor. I am very grateful that there is so much knowledge sharing and mutual assistance happening in the bladesmithing community. I've given away nearly everything I've ever forged because I have learned so much of the craft through the generosity of others that I have not felt entitled to demand payment. 

Also, just for the record, I wanted to point out that Gerber, CRKT, SOG, and Cold Steel all make pieces of metal that they are marketing as tactical tomahawks. Estwing is trying to get that train, though their offerings are kind of a train wreck. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jon Cook said:

it could prove too much for him. Especially with the new family.

 

I'd rather speak not of his opportunities and handicaps unless I knew him very well, which I don't. Also let me get it clear, I shared a very general Idea, not a concrete project plan. You start to sound like my wife Jon, please, we're not on this board to clean each others shoes. I guess Kevin have enough brains in his can and if the idea of the hawks is not achievable for him, he will not even bother to spill his coffee on the keyboard, to reply our little Faust here.

Edited by Niaro To
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Adam Betts given that some of y'all have no problem living on the backside of nowhere, I doubt this is a touchy crowd :)

I get where you're coming from. I've benefitted greatly from open source software, and if could code, you bet I'd release under an open license. But, you're crafting a unique physical object. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, but ultimately, your work can only come from your hands.

I feel that you should be entitled to the fruits of your labor, and pay back your giants by sharing your own knowledge freely. I'm no giant, but I figure I stand a hair taller than the next guy, and I can give him a boost so the actual giants don't have to lift as much.

You're free to disagree, of course.

I think not knowing that big names are making hawks is proof I spend too much time with abstractions. Gonna work on that

@Niaro To I tend to have difficulty processing idioms, so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm perplexed by your response.

I do know that, even if Kevin doesn't need the information, there's also an audience that may find it useful. I try to respond with that awareness. If you took it as a personal attack, I apologise. That was not my intent.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Jon Cook said:

You're free to disagree, of course.

I don't disagree in the slightest. I think my reluctance to sell comes from seeing what others on this forum do, and not feeling like I have a right to compete in the market until I'm producing a product of comparable quality--not so much that I don't value my own labor. I have donated tomahawks to a local wilderness school for a silent auction for the last three years, and they've gone for upwards of $150 every time, so I guess that's a sign that I'm moving in the right direction. If I was working with fancy stainless alloys and expensive equipment and fossilized ivory, I'd feel differently. I buy blade steel occasionally, but my handles generally come from the woodpile and my fittings are either brass or mild steel. I've only recently come to regard my own work as approaching saleability, but I'm a perfectionist.

 

1 hour ago, Jon Cook said:

I think not knowing that big names are making hawks is proof I spend too much time with abstractions.

As one who frequently thinks regular problems INTO abstraction, I'm certainly not going to fault you for that. :D
Axes and hawks are my first love in blades, so I happen to know a fair bit about what's out there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kevin (The Professor) I'd love to know where your thought process is right now. I like the idea of hard use vs what a friend of mine calls "tacticool." Any rumblings on your doubtless giant brain?

@Adam Betts at least three people were willing to spend good money on something you made. That's awesome.

I have the skill versus taste conversation a lot with my creative friends. I've fought with it myself. It sucks.

But, perfect is the enemy of good. And if you're good enough for people to pay you, take that money and run, bubba. Go ahead and be baffled, but get yours while you're working on better.

If anybody can do it, you can. Or, you know, that other guy. But probably you, too. Yeah. . . So. . .

Yay, axes!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Jon Cook said:

But, perfect is the enemy of good. And if you're good enough for people to pay you, take that money and run, bubba. Go ahead and be baffled, but get yours while you're working on better.

Welcome to the eternal argument going on inside my head!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jon Cook,

I am making a set of "working knives" right now. 2 wharncliffes and a simple clip point. micarta handles.

At a deeper level, I have a great friend, among my very best, who is just finishing his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psy. In a previous lifetime, he was in Special Forces, and he is also a smith. So, I am working with him to create a few knives that are actually likely to be usable and sturdy under a variety of field conditions. He at least knows what one needs for various applications that I don't. We aren't going to go nuts with it, but come up with a few designs that actually have shapes that work, good heat treatment, etc.

We will fall far short of, "cool." But, so what. A former farm boy/rancher type and a former soldier who are both Ph.D.'s and both smiths putting their heads together to make good knives. That's the idea.

 

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Kevin (The Professor) said:

We will fall far short of, "cool." But, so what. A former farm boy/rancher type and a former soldier who are both Ph.D.'s and both smiths putting their heads together to make good knives. That's the idea.

 

And a fine idea it is. I hope to see some of these appear in the show and tell.

Edited by Joshua States
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this thread is about tactical knives, but another "angle" I think someone else also mentioned in there is outdoor/bushcraft knives. If you're looking to make "working knives," this could be another good area to look into. Pretty much all of my knives (except the seaxes) are marketed that way, and from the feedback I've gotten from customers, it seems like that's what they're getting used for. 

 

If you don't want to work the "cool" angle, "bushcraft knife" could be a good style to go for. It's definitely broad and can include stainless full tang knives with modern designs or classic styles like puukkos (which have actually been what I've had the most luck selling on Etsy, partially since I can make them fairly cheap). Sounds like you've got a good thing going with your friend, you can make a few patterns and offer them with a variety of finishes (like satin, hand sanded flats w/machine finished bevels, etched, blued, hamon, etc.), handle materials (various woods, micarta, G10, etc.), and some fancier options like bolsters or a tapered tang. 

 

You do great work, which has definitely been an inspiration to me (I picked up my hand sanding and guard/butt cap fitting technique from some of your WIP threads), and I second Joshua in hoping to see some of your knew stuff in the show and tell forum. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

As I read through these threads it just occurs to me that tactical is a irrelevant point of the conversation. The style is Kevin the Professor Coldwell, whatever you decide to put out. In my humble opinion make what you can produce repeatedly and for your desired profit but can sleep with at night...even if you do wake up sweating a few times in the beginning. Your skills will find their market just put it out there and forget trying to conform to a label. It's just getting your skills distilled into an efficient and repeatable offering or offerings. Throw a jazzy new Facebook page together. Give the product line a jazzy name,  ___________ by Kevin and I'm sure you'll sell them. I think Walter Sorrels has done something similar with Tactics Armory. It's a cool name that I don't give two shits about it except for the fact it's by Walter. 

Edited by Charlie Meek
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...