Prototype to production

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Dirk Funk
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Prototype to production

Postby Dirk Funk » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:06 pm

How long does it typically take Spyderco to bring a knife to market? Should we expect a prototype displayed at Shot Show to be released soon?

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby JRinFL » Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:46 pm

Once it becomes an approved design it can take up to two years to make it to market. Of course, it can be shown for years as a prototype as well. The Native Chief took about ten years to make it.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Accutron » Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:47 pm

JRinFL wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:46 pm
The Native Chief took about ten years to make it.
Make that twenty.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby JRinFL » Tue Jan 25, 2022 7:23 pm

Accutron wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:47 pm
JRinFL wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:46 pm
The Native Chief took about ten years to make it.
Make that twenty.
Wow…you’re right. Time does fly by. ⏳🗓
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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Naperville » Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:33 pm

Doh! 20 years for my fav knife. I'm in the wrong hobby. :flushed
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Re: Prototype to production

Postby ZrowsN1s » Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:40 am

Even for a knife thats already designed it takes a while.

I started the Dodo 2019 thread on Jan 12th 2018. Im not sure how long after that (or even before that) BHQ decided to pull the trigger and commission it. But I didn't have it in hand until December 12th 2019. 1 month shy of 2 years.
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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Mr Blonde » Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:12 am

From what I've seen at the Amsterdam Meets over the years, is that that can be three stages in a design. It often seems to start with a Concept Model that will be shown at various shows to gauge response and help decide whether to produce that design or not. This stage can last a few years for some designs. It has always been 'verboten' ;) to photograph and publish a Concept Model online. In the case of custom collaborations, a concept model would often be a custom made knife by the custom maker involved.

After that, a design appears to become a Production Prototype, where the original design is translated into a production version. This stage appears to take between a year and two years. This is the moment when we -in the past- could shoot a photo and share it online, in close co-operation with Spyderco. In recent years, the production prototype appeared ever closer to the actual production model. In the past, I think I saw more tweaks etc.. to the production version versus the production prototype.

The last phase is the actual production knife. And this can be refined and changed based on customer feedback. CQI etc...

Now, this process is certainly not set in stone. A design can sometimes be too complicated to produce, and technology has to 'catch up' for production to become possible. I tend to think of the Tusk as an example of this, I recall seeing this concept model at one of the early Amsterdam Meets. Other times, it appears to be a matter of planning a new model in between many other ongoing production processes. But the above, is what I picked up from attending all of the Amsterdam Meets. The market can change it mind too ofcourse. It could very well be possible that the market didn't like the Native Chief design 20 years ago, when the Native itself was primarily known as an FRN handled design. Now that the market warmed up to a G10 Native, a larger Native Chief might have been more welcome. Again, this is just supposition on my part.
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Re: Prototype to production

Postby steeljustice » Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:37 am

If the Mfg. can get it to one of the large knife shows, it will sure help getting it out to the buying public.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby lilshaver » Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:03 am

Naperville wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:33 pm
Doh! 20 years for my fav knife. I'm in the wrong hobby. :flushed
Does UPS deliver to the cemetery?????? :eye-roll

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Naperville » Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:40 am

lilshaver wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:03 am
Naperville wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:33 pm
Doh! 20 years for my fav knife. I'm in the wrong hobby. :flushed
Does UPS deliver to the cemetery?????? :eye-roll
Yep!

I started asking for a Spyderco Native Chief XL a week or three ago. It would be a great knife. Could I wait 2 years? Sure. I think it's an excellent idea and I'd buy 3 as long as I have the funds.

But 20 years? I mean, sure as long as I am alive, but in reality I don't know if I'll be alive in 2 years. I'll keep hoping and I'll try to keep the thread on the Spyderco Native Chief XL going, but a 20 year campaign? Hahahahahaha.....if I'm alive 20 years from now, I'll buy the knives as a gift to myself for making it that long.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby steeljustice » Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:00 am

I have read where people have waited 7 to 12 years for a Randal Knife from the factory.
But they are told go to a major fire arm or knife show, find a Randal dealer they have the knife, but it will cost from 25 to 50% more.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Accutron » Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:17 am

Naperville wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:40 am

I started asking for a Spyderco Native Chief XL a week or three ago. It would be a great knife. Could I wait 2 years? Sure. I think it's an excellent idea and I'd buy 3 as long as I have the funds.

But 20 years? I mean, sure as long as I am alive, but in reality I don't know if I'll be alive in 2 years. I'll keep hoping and I'll try to keep the thread on the Spyderco Native Chief XL going, but a 20 year campaign? Hahahahahaha.....if I'm alive 20 years from now, I'll buy the knives as a gift to myself for making it that long.
As amazing as it would be, I won't be holding my breath for a Chief XL. Perhaps we can lobby for a Chief trainer though? That seems like a more low-hanging fruit.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby yablanowitz » Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:48 am

steeljustice wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:37 am
If the Mfg. can get it to one of the large knife shows, it will sure help getting it out to the buying public.
Not sure how getting it to a knife show would help any of the steps of getting it into production. Aside from creating a lot of animosity among those who "saw it at the show, but couldn't buy it because they only had the one". Spyderco doesn't seem to have any trouble getting them into willing hands once they have them done.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby steeljustice » Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:17 am

Many large dealers attend the major knife shows, and when they see a new knife they place orders for them they post it on their web sites and wam bam we place our order.
Spyderco attends these shows and it has paid off very well for everyone makers sellers and buyers.

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Danke
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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Danke » Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:24 am

The time it takes from when a design locks in and the orders are sent did appear to be a pretty solid 2 years in the past. That's probably worse now though.

The time it takes to go from a napkin sketch to a workable proto to a prototype that will be show to the public is impossible to gauge accurately. The best measure of that would be the Sal's casual bombshell thread. From when the word drops to when the cat's out of the bag to when the in stock alert goes out can be checked there but the prior time before the embargo on talking about what's in your pocket is lifted is just too variable.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby yablanowitz » Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:54 am

steeljustice wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:17 am
Many large dealers attend the major knife shows, and when they see a new knife they place orders for them they post it on their web sites and wam bam we place our order.
Spyderco attends these shows and it has paid off very well for everyone makers sellers and buyers.
Like I said, not sure how having a bunch of orders for something that doesn't exist yet is going to help solve supply chain and production issues. Once the knives have been produced and are ready to ship, sure. It might even help to decide the order of the production queue, which might speed up a given model release a bit. But selling them once they're made doesn't seem to be an issue, judging by the prevalence of "Out of Stock" notices I see around.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby steeljustice » Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:56 am

What i noticed is when John Wick used a Microtech Auto in his first movie knife fighting scene, Microtech was bombed with orders for the knife.
This shows how the media gets things moving quickly.
What i also can't understand is how quickly they drop a knife, even when it's demand is still great.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Evil D » Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:37 pm

Probably depends on so many factors we'll never know. Could be anything from working out the design itself and difficulties in reaching a goal (imagine what the Nirvana likely took in R&D time), while other knives may just not be very high priority and may constantly get pushed back in favor of others. There are definitely "bread and butter" designs that I think get lots of focus and there are "pet project" designs that I bet are so much longer in the design stages than we'll ever know and it may not be because they were necessarily difficult to do, they just get sidelined. I have a car in my garage that can tell you all about this.
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Re: Prototype to production

Postby yablanowitz » Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:55 pm

Just a random thought, but Spyderco has more different models/steels/edge types/handle material combinations listed in their current catalog than Microtech has put out since they were founded. If John Wick had used a one-off Marifone custom prototype of a radical new design he was working on, how quickly do you think Microtech could have dumped a load of them into the market? Bearing in mind that the movie in question was pre-Covid and would have fewer supply chain issues than are likely now.

If you had said "since a bad guy in "Parker" put a serrated Police Model through Jason Statham's hand, Spyderco was bombarded with orders for them and they magically appeared to fill the sudden surge in demand, that would be relevent. Untrue, but relevent.

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Re: Prototype to production

Postby Danke » Wed Jan 26, 2022 2:38 pm

Maybe it's just me but this sounds like the way it used to be. Spyderco would release a large catalog of all the knives for the year. People would freak out (more than the do now) about the new Purple Pingo and all day long for months it would be Is the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet s the Purple Pingo out yet

It would get tiresome and some folk would be deeply wounded by the idea that something they wanted now wasn't going to be sold till later.


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