Replaceable blade folding mule

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.

Replaceable blade folding mule?

Yes
25
47%
No
18
34%
Maybe
10
19%
 
Total votes: 53

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Doc Dan
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Doc Dan » Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 pm

I definitely want a sub-three inch folder so I can carry and use it everyday. I am not certain as to the blade change thing. Personally, I am dubious as to durability. But, I am certainly interested in seeing such a design. It is a good idea.

I am happy that the Urban LW keeps coming out in new steels. I wish an Elmax version would be released so those of us that BB refused to sell to because we were foreigners can have an Urban LW in this steel. Someone on the other thread mentioned a steel I am not familiar with, an Urban in K490 or something. Sounds good to me.
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby steelcity16 » Thu May 09, 2019 7:55 pm

Doc Dan wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 pm
I definitely want a sub-three inch folder so I can carry and use it everyday. I am not certain as to the blade change thing. Personally, I am dubious as to durability. But, I am certainly interested in seeing such a design. It is a good idea.

I am happy that the Urban LW keeps coming out in new steels. I wish an Elmax version would be released so those of us that BB refused to sell to because we were foreigners can have an Urban LW in this steel. Someone on the other thread mentioned a steel I am not familiar with, an Urban in K490 or something. Sounds good to me.

I'm with you on the Elmax after the BB fiasco and hope to see Sleipner as well. It seems like they are only using Bohler Uddeholm steels in the Urban (Elmax, K390, and AEB-L are all BU). M390 seems like a good possibility as well.
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby vivi » Thu May 09, 2019 9:06 pm

Bloke wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 1:26 am
I think if we must have a Folding Mule this seems like a logical option but as with all the other polls of late the $64,000 question is; what platform?
Exactly.

My answer is the same as the last mule thread.

If I like the platform, I'm in.

If I don't, I'm not.

There isn't any blade steel in the world that would make me interested in a Para 3. But I'd buy a Police in multiple steels.

Since opinions seem to indicate the majority here want a tiny knife, I'm expected to not be on board with whatever materializes.

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Bill1170 » Thu May 09, 2019 11:28 pm

If a swappable blade folding mule were to be a locking folder, it would make sense to have the locking parts be integral to the “handle,” and the blade part be set into that. Mating a bunch of blades to a lock seems like a risky task and more work than most would want for switching steels. It might be clunkier than a standard folder, but it simplifies the blade part and the blade/handle interface.

I voted “maybe.”

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby ugaarguy » Fri May 10, 2019 3:07 pm

Bill1170 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:28 pm
If a swappable blade folding mule were to be a locking folder, it would make sense to have the locking parts be integral to the “handle,” and the blade part be set into that. Mating a bunch of blades to a lock seems like a risky task and more work than most would want for switching steels. It might be clunkier than a standard folder, but it simplifies the blade part and the blade/handle interface.

I voted “maybe.”
I don't think that's practical. The knife would be very thick, or the steels we want to try wouldn't be available in stocks thin enough to fit into such a mechanism.

Besides, Buck has their interchangeable blade back lock, the Selector 2.0, out on the market, and spare blades (all 420HC, but different shapes) are sold separately. If Buck can do a changeable blade folder, then I have no doubt that Spyderco is at least as capable. I don't think the concept or mechanism is protected by patent any longer either, because the Case Knives XX-Changer uses a nearly identical mechanism. I'm not even sure which company was first to do it.

A Chap LW, Native 5 LW, or maybe even a Sage 4 revival as an FRN LW specifically as the folding mule base, would be pretty good options for this concept, IMO.

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Bill1170 » Sat May 11, 2019 9:37 pm

ugaarguy wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 3:07 pm
Bill1170 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:28 pm
If a swappable blade folding mule were to be a locking folder, it would make sense to have the locking parts be integral to the “handle,” and the blade part be set into that. Mating a bunch of blades to a lock seems like a risky task and more work than most would want for switching steels. It might be clunkier than a standard folder, but it simplifies the blade part and the blade/handle interface.

I voted “maybe.”
I don't think that's practical. The knife would be very thick, or the steels we want to try wouldn't be available in stocks thin enough to fit into such a mechanism.

Besides, Buck has their interchangeable blade back lock, the Selector 2.0, out on the market, and spare blades (all 420HC, but different shapes) are sold separately. If Buck can do a changeable blade folder, then I have no doubt that Spyderco is at least as capable. I don't think the concept or mechanism is protected by patent any longer either, because the Case Knives XX-Changer uses a nearly identical mechanism. I'm not even sure which company was first to do it.

A Chap LW, Native 5 LW, or maybe even a Sage 4 revival as an FRN LW specifically as the folding mule base, would be pretty good options for this concept, IMO.
You may be correct. I looked up the Buck product you described and it’s pretty neat how it works. A ball bearing lock seems like a natural because the ramp gives some leeway on tolerances. It seems to me that the blade would be stronger with a hole in the tang rather than a deep slot like in the Buck system, because of the different way the tang is stressed when a BB lock is stressed versus with a back lock. This has got me musing on designs for a change-a-blade folder. Hmmm...

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Doc Dan » Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 pm

It is a feasible idea. Whether or not Spyderco people will buy it remains to be seen. Truth be told, Spyderco people can be rather odd in the things they take to. Just because Buck and others have made such a knife and sold it successfully, does not mean that Spyderco folk will go for it. Many times people in Spyderville will clamour for a knife, and when Spyderco delivers, the people who clamoured for it do not buy it. Weird. So, even though Sal suggested it, and it is a feasible solution, I wonder if people would support this. What is clear is that there is a market for a folding knife of 2.6" to 3" blade to bring in new steels for us to test. If such a knife had no lock, our UK friends could participate.
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Bill1170 » Sun May 12, 2019 12:05 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 pm
It is a feasible idea. Whether or not Spyderco people will buy it remains to be seen. Truth be told, Spyderco people can be rather odd in the things they take to. Just because Buck and others have made such a knife and sold it successfully, does not mean that Spyderco folk will go for it. Many times people in Spyderville will clamour for a knife, and when Spyderco delivers, the people who clamoured for it do not buy it. Weird. So, even though Sal suggested it, and it is a feasible solution, I wonder if people would support this. What is clear is that there is a market for a folding knife of 2.6" to 3" blade to bring in new steels for us to test. If such a knife had no lock, our UK friends could participate.
Maybe a folding platform that doesn’t lock, unless a pin is inserted into a hole to lock it open? I don’t know if that would clear the European prohibition, but maybe? The lock would be for “hard use” testing.

The idea is a competent OHO slipjoint for EDC that could also be converted to a kind of fixed blade for specific testing.

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Doc Dan » Sun May 12, 2019 8:44 am

Bill1170 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 12:05 am
Doc Dan wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 pm
It is a feasible idea. Whether or not Spyderco people will buy it remains to be seen. Truth be told, Spyderco people can be rather odd in the things they take to. Just because Buck and others have made such a knife and sold it successfully, does not mean that Spyderco folk will go for it. Many times people in Spyderville will clamour for a knife, and when Spyderco delivers, the people who clamoured for it do not buy it. Weird. So, even though Sal suggested it, and it is a feasible solution, I wonder if people would support this. What is clear is that there is a market for a folding knife of 2.6" to 3" blade to bring in new steels for us to test. If such a knife had no lock, our UK friends could participate.
Maybe a folding platform that doesn’t lock, unless a pin is inserted into a hole to lock it open? I don’t know if that would clear the European prohibition, but maybe? The lock would be for “hard use” testing.

The idea is a competent OHO slipjoint for EDC that could also be converted to a kind of fixed blade for specific testing.
That's an interesting idea. I also wonder if maybe Spyderco could offer a locking and non-locking version?
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby ugaarguy » Sun May 12, 2019 9:47 pm

Looking at how shallow the lock face area is on the blades of the Buck design, I'm wondering if Spyderco could simply make a back lock bar with a radiused tooth that would no longer lock the blade open. Maybe sell the handle portion as a kit where customers could specify locking back bar or non-locking back bar. Make it liner-less like the Salt series or Native 5 LW to minimize the parts, and keep cost down.

As much as I like the wire clip, perhaps do it with thread inserts in the standard three screw clip pattern. To further cut costs, don't even ship it with a clip. Let customers buy a clip kit from the SFO or pay a little extra at time of order for clip screws only so they (we) can put our choice of aftermarket clip on it. Or would it be less expensive, and require fewer parts, to just mold in grooves for the wire clip and mount it with the rear-most handle screw as with current designs?

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby anagarika » Mon May 13, 2019 4:21 am

Spyderco can sell the blade & mated lockbar as a pair for lockback. It is easy to swapt and tolerances will not be an issue. They can also sell it as a pair of slipjoint version as a slipjoint is actually lockback with the back of mating notch ground off. Or locking version with tiny hole (non OHO) for Germany market if desired.

Voted Yes. Endela can be the ideal platform, not so small and not too big. Or Delica or Chapparal version.
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby steelcity16 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:39 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 pm
It is a feasible idea. Whether or not Spyderco people will buy it remains to be seen. Truth be told, Spyderco people can be rather odd in the things they take to. Just because Buck and others have made such a knife and sold it successfully, does not mean that Spyderco folk will go for it. Many times people in Spyderville will clamour for a knife, and when Spyderco delivers, the people who clamoured for it do not buy it. Weird. So, even though Sal suggested it, and it is a feasible solution, I wonder if people would support this. What is clear is that there is a market for a folding knife of 2.6" to 3" blade to bring in new steels for us to test. If such a knife had no lock, our UK friends could participate.

Yeah, I am honestly pretty surprised how many yeses there are in the poll. I don't see this doing as well as a complete folding mule. I really have zero desire to be swapping out blades all of the time. I want to be able to line up 5, 10, 50, however many knives and repeat a test back to back to back without stopping to swapping blades. So for me it is a HARD pass. It's an interesting idea, but I don't see the market acceptance for this. What do I know though? :confused: ;)

I mean I see the appeal from a cost perspective, having to only buy a blade vs a complete knife. But the UKPK or even the Para 3 LW and Native LW are cheap enough that most of us can afford 1-3 per year pretty easily. And the UKPK might be as cheap or even cheaper than buying the blade itself, depending on the model, COO, etc. If you look at the mule program in the past, there were only 1, 2, or MAYBE 3 release each year. So you aren't saving all that much in reality.

Not to mention that if Spyderco has to develop a whole new model for this, it could be years out. A Para 3 LW Mule could be in our hands in 2019 since everything already exists. Let's start with AEB-L, 3V, and CPM-154 for 2019!
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby ugaarguy » Tue May 14, 2019 1:18 am

anagarika wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:21 am
Spyderco can sell the blade & mated lockbar as a pair for lockback. It is easy to swapt and tolerances will not be an issue. They can also sell it as a pair of slipjoint version as a slipjoint is actually lockback with the back of mating notch ground off. Or locking version with tiny hole (non OHO) for Germany market if desired.
Buck's Selector series has proven that modern machining combined with a back lock (which can handle slightly looser tolerances than something like a liner lock or compression lock) eliminates the need to mate the blade and lock bar.
anagarika wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:21 am
Voted Yes. Endela can be the ideal platform, not so small and not too big. Or Delica or Chapparal version.
I think the Chap is the most practical. The Japanese makers are very reluctant and hesitant about working with imported steels. Taichung has proven that they can work with a wide variety of steels and do very well with all of them.
steelcity16 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:39 am
I mean I see the appeal from a cost perspective, having to only buy a blade vs a complete knife. But the UKPK or even the Para 3 LW and Native LW are cheap enough that most of us can afford 1-3 per year pretty easily. And the UKPK might be as cheap or even cheaper than buying the blade itself, depending on the model, COO, etc. If you look at the mule program in the past, there were only 1, 2, or MAYBE 3 release each year. So you aren't saving all that much in reality.
Have you looked at the prices on the Buck Selector 2.0? $90 for a full steel liner back lock with a set of three, 3.7 inch long, 420 HC blades. Additional blades (all 420 HC, but different specialty shapes) are $10 (Blade HQ) to $14 (Knife Center). That's a USA made knife, and USA made spare blades. The Urban in AEB-L is $65 MAP, and the N690 Urban is $58.50 MAP. The UKPK in BD1N is likewise $58.50 MAP. I think Spyderco could do additional blades for a much less than $60 MAP, even in more exotic steels. How much would a 3V Urban or UKPK cost as a complete knife? The Para 3 LW is $90 MAP with a BD1N blade - how much would it cost to get one in 3V? I understand your desire for complete knives, but I think you're overestimating the cost of the blade, and underestimating the cost of the handle and associated hardware.
steelcity16 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:39 am
Not to mention that if Spyderco has to develop a whole new model for this, it could be years out. A Para 3 LW Mule could be in our hands in 2019 since everything already exists. Let's start with AEB-L, 3V, and CPM-154 for 2019!
The changeable blade back lock is long existing technology that's not under patent. I could be very wrong, but I think that Spyderco could pretty easily modify an existing back lock like the Chap LW or Native 5 LW to a changeable blade version. Even if the Para 3 LW is chosen for this potential folding mule project, I doubt we'd see it this year. Based on the timing of first reveal and second reveal, we'll see the AEB-L Urban sometime between now and September. That indicates to me that the products for the last reveal of this year are already selected and are being readied for production and delivery by the end of this year.

I greatly prefer the compression lock to the back lock myself, so I definitely understand you wanting the Para 3 LW to be the basis for the folding mule. But I think the back lock (and probably the BBL/CBBL) is better suited to the changeable blade idea that Sal has floated.

Whatever is chosen, I'll probably support it. I had zero interest in any slip joint, but the AEB-L Urban sprint's $65 MAP pricing has put it on my must buy list.

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Bill1170 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:43 am

Maybe any folding Mule design needs to be “clunky” in some way so as to discourage the eBay flippers from playing. In other words, develop a design only a steel junky could love.

I really like the interchangeable blade concept.

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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby Doc Dan » Tue May 14, 2019 9:58 am

One thing that the replaceable blade folder could easily morph into is specialty blades for specialty users. Hunters wanting gut hooks and skinning blades, ranchers wanting Spey and sheep foot blades, vine dressers, you name it. Buy one knife then buy as many blades as you need.
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Re: Replaceable blade folding mule

Postby ugaarguy » Wed May 15, 2019 7:55 am

Bill1170 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:43 am
Maybe any folding Mule design needs to be “clunky” in some way so as to discourage the eBay flippers from playing. In other words, develop a design only a steel junky could love.

I really like the interchangeable blade concept.
I understand, but disagree. Having to add scales and a sheath on top of not carrying a fixed blade to begin with are what kept me out of the original Mule program. The new Urban in AEB-L, even though it's not a locking folder, appeals to me precisely because it isn't clunky. Switching from my Sage 2 to an Urban would be a very small change. I agree with the previous comments from folks who want this folding Mule to be as normal an EDC folder as possible, so that we'll actually want to carry and use them, rather than forcing ourselves to carry them.


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