One to Watch Bade Knife Works Wolverine
Tony Sculimbrene 10.15.18
Thus far Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been home to only a few legitimate knife launches. Time and again they have had “new” knives come up that are either revamps of old knives or “launches” from brands that spec out work. Truly new designs from real production companies or makers are rare. Kickstarter takes a lot of the blame because until relatively recently they have had a “no knives” rule (actually, it was a “no weapons” rule, then someone told them that 99.999999% of knife use is non-weapony and so they allowed knives). But Indiegogo, another crowdsourcing funds site, has allowed knives from the beginning and still very few have been real launches.
Among those knives that did launch two stand out—the DPx Gear Urban HEST and the Darriel Caston Kadima. Both were great launches and both did something different for their main brand and thus represented a perfect use of crowdsourcing funds. The Urban HEST was an EDC folder from a company that was as tactical in brand identity as it gets, while the Kadima was a production launch from a truly innovative designer best known for one-off designs. These new spaces were ideal extensions for both makers.
Bade Knife Works is trying something different—he is trying to launch its first mass produced knife on Indiegogo. The choice of knife looks spot on, but the lack of publicity has limited the knife’s ability to meet its funding goals. The Wolverine, on paper, looks like a winner—M390 blade steel, 3.2 inch blade, bearing pivot with ceramic detent, carbon fiber inlays, and an integral design. The real clencher is the price—the Wolverine is debuting on Indiegogo for $279.95. That price is staggering for an integral knife.
Integral folders are knives where the handle is a single piece of material, in this case titanium, and a channel is cut down the middle to house the blade. The idea is that an integral folder is stronger, more durable, and requires less maintenance than a traditional folder design. But the process to make them is both time consuming and wastes a significant amount of material. Those to aspects to integral folder construction have meant that integral folders have been exceptionally expensive knives. The two Spyderco integral folders, the Nirvana and the Paysan, have both MRSPed for over $500. Benchmade’s Anthem costs a similar amount. There is simply no way around it—integral folders are very expensive. So to see one for under $300 is pretty remarkable.
The Wolverine’s launch is not a foretold thing despite the shiny specs and integral design. As of right now the knife has only a few backs, many fewer than are needed to launch the knife. It also lacks a good deal of information in the specs section. For example, its not clear who is actually making the knife. Bade Knife Works has been on the Instagram knife scene before as a modder and custom maker, but its unlikely these will be handmade (though if they are, that should definitely be in the product text as that would be a huge bonus). Check Indiegogo’s failed backing policy before you back the Wolverine, but the risk is probably worth taking if you like integral folders. You’ll never see one this cheap again.
What: Bade Knife Works Wolverine
When: If funded, funding ends in around 23 dates
Specs: 3.2 inch blade, 7.6 inch OAL, 4.8 ounces
Highlights: Integral design, high end steel and features, $279.95 price tag
WARNING: This project has yet to fund, back with caution and read Indiegogo’s policies