My knife design [ pics ] - is it worth to start a Kickstarter?

Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
12
Thank you friend for your support. So far a few more pictures. )

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Quiet

"That guy"
Gold Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
15,657
So hey, since you're here essentially advertising for some possible upcoming products, why don't you invest in a Knifemaker/Craftsman membership:

https://bladeforums.com/pember/membership-new

I mean, unless you aren't actually a maker of any kind, just a dude who enjoys doodling a bunch of derivative, impractical designs in CAD or whatever it is. :)
 

herisson

Apple slicing rocking chair dweller
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
4,262
I was thinking the other way, i.e. that an automatic might be an interesting novelty, that people might be interested in just playing with its mechanism, opening and closing it.
And that may be the problem, as I see it. You design a knife as a toy (your yellow knife with the horrible blade shape and square handle goes that way, too). There may be a market of fiddlers who are waiting for such a product. No idea I have. But a knife, in my opinion at least, should be pleasant and efficient to cut things with. No need for outlandish lock systems or such. Good ergos, pleasant aesthetics, sensible geometry and you're on your way.
 

Sharp & Fiery

Leatherworks, Ti Anodizing, Mods - Canada
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
4,404
And that may be the problem, as I see it. You design a knife as a toy (your yellow knife with the horrible blade shape and square handle goes that way, too). There may be a market of fiddlers who are waiting for such a product. No idea I have. But a knife, in my opinion at least, should be pleasant and efficient to cut things with. No need for outlandish lock systems or such. Good ergos, pleasant aesthetics, sensible geometry and you're on your way.

^this. Most definitely.
 
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
7,122
The answer to the "should I kickstarter" question in my opinion is no.
There are two product categories that I've seen with a pretty poor kickstarter success rate of actual production. Knives, and "tech" products. Tech because unless the patents are bullet-proof (in which case the inventor has a better shot just selling the patent to an existing company in the field) the outcomes are "Scam" (sometimes I think unintentional, but math is hard and the laws of physics are pretty strict) and Scooped, where the product ends up being sold on amazon before the funding round is over.
With knives the exception being pocket jewellery "EDC" tools is that the margins are so thin that any cost over-run kills the project. This is a smaller community so you don't get multiple chances to try for it. You are relying on an unknown QC system to get your product to your customers, so you catch the rep of whoever does the OEM.

You need to set yourself apart from the crowd. In the current market, over the last 30 or so years, most designers have moved from cottage to market on a combo of craftsmanship and originality. Generally leaning more craftsman, but there are guys who made knives purely on design, then got good enough at the craftsmanship either through hiring the right people or time/practice that they became reputable. The kickstarter model tries to circumvent that, but doesn't bring good design or craftsmanship to the table in a verifiable way. Think about the complaints that people here make about big name knives, 1mm here or there that creates a hotspot, 1 point of HRC that makes a steel chippy or soft, 1 thou of an inch that makes a bevel not match. How are you going to prove from a CAD that you can create a viable tolerance stack? What happens when your whole production run gets canned due to a misunderstanding with your manufacturer, and they are unable to supply? Can you eat that?
Crowdfunding should be "Please gamble that I can create this product" but the reality is most people view it as a pre-order with a really long tail.
Maybe you are the guy who makes it work, but I can't think of a genuinely unique, well thought out, successful knife design that has been crowd funded delivered on time, and on budget.
 

Mecha

Titanium Bladesmith
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
9,174
I remember when I started in the trades, I had a lot of commentary like that. A laborer, I was in a little bit of awe of the work some of the cabinet makers were doing. My job was cleaning up, hauling materials, delivering cabinets and "holding that right there". I would ask them "how long does it take to get as good as you?", and the guys would look at each other and laugh, then tell me how long they had been making cabinets and doing custom wood work. I remember pointedly asking more than one of them "how long do you think it will take to learn what I need to before I can build cabinets on my own?"

They made a production out of the answer. Their eyes would narrow, they would look at me with slight disgust, and tell me //IF// I ever got good enough to build on my own, it would take about 15-20 years. They would take a pull of their smoke, and then tell me that would ONLY be if I had the skills. Then shake their head with doubt. It was almost a ceremony.

So I worked hard with the best guy the company had for a couple of years, worked on the weekends with another company, and studied on techniques, build procedures, hardware installation, cost to build, estimating materials, etc.

I sold my first full set of completely custom kitchen cabinets, made from raw materials and sheet goods about 3 years after I started in the trades. They took me about a month and half to build, but I got it done. Friends of my client liked the quality so much that they had me build their cabinets when they remodeled immediately after that. About 2 years later I had enough business to rent a small space and buy about (in 1977 dollars) $3000 of equipment.

I don't advertise, and all of my business is referral. I have a 4 month back log of work. I have been in business for myself now for 39+ years. I am glad all the time I didn't listen to those guys. I see those "you may never be as good as me" guys all the time, and the song hasn't changed.

I have a friend that makes knives full time and works part time for insurance availability. He is pretty prolific as day in and day out he makes about 3 - 4 finished knives a month. Using his numbers of about 40 - 50 knives a year, and your requirement of forging 1000 blanks just to see if he MIGHT be able to consider himself a knife maker, (maybe... possibly...), then it would take him well over 20 years just to see if he might have developed he skills to see if he could possibly make a quality knife. Not to be a knife maker, but just to see if he could be. If he falls off the pace of about 45 finished knives a year, then it would be 25 years or more to see if he had the stuff.

Seriously... did it take you 1000 tries to see if you might possibly be able to consider yourself a knife maker? I am surrounded by knife makers here in S. Texas, and I don't know that any of them have worked at the pace described above for over two decades to get to the 1000 knife mark.

My comments are not meant to be a personal criticism because I understand full well that you may have made 1000 knives before you got to your decision to call yourself a qualified knife maker. My thoughts are more that I like to be as encouraging as possible for anyone going into any kind of trades or craft work as a vocation as there are so few doing it these days. As a contractor, I NEVER see young guys wanting to learn to work with their hands. I try to be as encouraging as possible.

BTW, the resemblance to the Kershaw Launch and the Liberty knife is way too much to ignore. I know it is probably impossibly hard to come up with an original design these days, but wow... that's almost embarrassing. Nope... scratch that, it is embarrassing.

Robert


If you want to engage in internet bantz, I'll tell ya what the pro trolls told me: First go into the most cynical bowels of the internet chat boards, and pick 1000 chat threads about the most controversial topics you can find, from Ford trucks vs Chevy trucks, all the way to International Politics. Then go into each of the chat streams and argue with the most notorious and vociferous e-personalities you can find. After the 1000th e-argument has been won and that last troll has bowed out, then, then, MAYBE you'll be ready for real internet trolling.

o_O:D

Yessir, I wrote the "forge 1000 railroad spikes" short diatribe precisely because it's absurd, yet as you've said, it is the kind of thing you may actually hear out there in the world. It was tongue-in-cheek. However, there was another reason for saying it: because it's exactly the opposite of making a CAD design and having a Chinese factory produce the model for distribution. From computer screen to market, not a hair out of place. Two extremes.
 
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