Future of the Mule Team Project

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Cambertree
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Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Cambertree » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:20 pm

This is a thread for discussing the future of the Mule Team concept.

I always understood this project as being a kind of gift to the knife community. The idea of having regular releases of interesting steels in the same knife pattern is a great test bed for steel geeks. ;) :)

I'm sure producing small runs of steels which are not commonly used in production knives, can also be a right royal PITA at times for the people involved. It's one of the many reasons why Spyderco are an industry leader in the knife world.

As interest seems to have been dropping off in terms of sales - for example, despite the market appetite for Cruwear, the PD1 Mule has been available for a long time - where will the MT concept go from here?

There's been talk of using one of the inexpensive folding patterns instead. The Urban and UKPK have both been mooted as possibilities.

Sal has recently mentioned that we might have some interesting news coming up.

What do you think? Knife models, steels, the value of the project in general? Let's discuss here.

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Dazen
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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Dazen » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:46 pm

Someone mentioned using a small platform like the Swick to bring cost down a bit. Also, I would be nice if they kept previous mule steels going to allow late comers in on the testing.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby NWPilgrim » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:07 pm

I like the idea of the Mules, but I think the idea of using the exact same grind for all them skews the results in favor of those steels best suited to the standard grind (whatever ever it is/will be). I know this is done to save costs as well as provide a standard for comparison, but you can miss out on important advantages if the grind does not support or take advantage of a steel's characteristics. But if it makes it too expensive to be practical then just let the user regrind, but at least advertise the best grind for that steel (hard, tough, chippy, etc).

I missed out on the previous Mules but would definitely like to try some steels out on such a platform whether it was a fixed or folder. Whatever is cheaper and easier to kick out. Are the CARTA test results for different steels used published or is that just used internally?

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Mushroom » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:09 pm

I'm not sure what Sal and the Spyderco crew have in store for the MULE Team Project but if it is a folding MULE Team knife, I really hope it is a new design. Designed with the same design principles as the current fixed blade MULE Team, except as a folder.

Which means I hope they don't just settle on using an existing model for a "folding MULE team". In my opinion, that would be the equivalent of releasing sprint runs in the chosen model, but suddenly being sold under the guise of it being part of a new "folding MULE team series".
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The Mastiff
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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby The Mastiff » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:25 pm

I always understood this project as being a kind of gift to the knife community. The idea of having regular releases of interesting steels in the same knife pattern is a great test bed for steel geeks
I believe the same also. I think that it has run it's course and the folding mule will likely never happen for the same reason a folder wasn't selected for the project to begin with.

Having said that however I'd bet money Spyderco will continue to contribute time and resources to us steel junkies. I'm not sure if they really learn from us or not and if it's worth their time but I will always take advantage of any opportunities they are willing to give us and for sure I'll be grateful for it. The mule project was anything but insignificant in effort and time for Spyderco and I'd be surprised if they recouped their investment in anything but goodwill and a few new customers here and there. Another "only Spyderco would do this" project in a long line of them.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby TomAiello » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:30 pm

I'd still love to see it revived as a sub 3" slip joint, to allow a larger participation.

Basically sprint runs of the UKPK, Urban, or both, in interesting steels that people want to try. The K390 and AEB-L Urbans are a good example.

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Haunted House
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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Haunted House » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:58 pm

I don’t get the impression that there’s a lack of interest. No more so than any other fixed blade knife I’d guess.
There’s 26 different models and only one available (the newest one). There’s only about 18 available on eBay and prices are not cheap. 12 were sold on there last month.
That leads me to believe people are hanging on to them.

I’m pretty new to Spyderco and just discovered them. I think they’re awesome and definitely plan on getting one at some point.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Tucson Tom » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:04 pm

I discovered the original Mule Team project just in time to snag the last few offerings, and wish I had known about it all along.

I appreciate the incredible goodness of Spyderco to do something like this, and am eager to participate in whatever form may come along next.

I would be perfectly pleased to see it get going again in its exact original form, but I will be glad for whatever might be offered to us. Ultimately it is all about new and interesting steels, so it is a special thing for steel junkies. Beggars have limited rights to being choosers.

I have always felt a bit guilty that I didn't offer invaluable feedback and analysis. ;) Well I do seriously -- I had kind of expected that each offering would be followed up by a forum discussion of what people thought about each new steel. But that didn't seem to happen. I wonder if Spyderco expected this and was disappointed that it did not happen. Anyway, I would like to see some statement about what might be expected or hoped for along these lines.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Sumdumguy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:39 am

Backlock or Compression lock is a requirement. Don't alienate the majority of users by catering to the minority who have nasty knife restrictions.

If it doesn't lock, I'm not interested.

I still think the Caribbean would be the perfect folding mule platform. That would also eliminate the problem with sprint runs, as the Caribbean has none ;)

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Albatross » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:55 am

If the Mule Team return, or something equivalent is announced, that's really going to make a lot of us happy. There has been a lot of steel talk on here lately, which shows a potential increase in the steel junky market. I hope that's the case, helping to keep the potential MT return, a thriving, long-term success.

A subscription service would be great. Sign up, pay a yearly subscription fee, which includes the knife/knives(whatever the frequency will be), shipping, and taxes. Automatic billing and shipping to your door. Not only would that be great for Spyderco steel junkies, but it would be helpful for Spyderco to quantify interest, to a certain degree, before the knives are even made. If the terms of the program, required subscription, that might even work best for most people. A subscription service may preclude some people, but would make the most sense, especially since the MT program was previously cancelled. Maybe a "Collector's Club" for the Afi crowd, with numbered blades, to appeal to both collector's who will stash them away to keep the knives pristine, and for steel junkies, itching to use new steel and see how it compares with other steels or with personal preferences.

If the MT returns, I will buy at least one of each new release. Guaranteed.
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...But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of "deigning in the dark"...

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby kwselke » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:02 am

A folder with interchangeable blades would make a very interesting Mule test bed.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby standy99 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:09 am

I’m all for keeping it to a fixed blade. Keep the home science experiment going.

I have enough folders with different steels




:cool:

( I’m in for subscription mentioned above. 2 or 3 a year would see me use them for a 4-6 month period and have a good comparable amount of time.)
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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby mikey177 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:18 am

I hope Spyderco keeps the Mule Team Project alive. I only learned where and how to order Mules three months ago, so all I have is one in RWL34 and another one in the mail in PD-1.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby TomAiello » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:28 am

Sumdumguy wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:39 am
Backlock or Compression lock is a requirement. Don't alienate the majority of users by catering to the minority who have nasty knife restrictions.
I live in a jurisdiction without restrictions, but I travel enough to know that I'm not in the majority.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby prndltech » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:05 am

TomAiello wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:28 am
Sumdumguy wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:39 am
Backlock or Compression lock is a requirement. Don't alienate the majority of users by catering to the minority who have nasty knife restrictions.
I live in a jurisdiction without restrictions, but I travel enough to know that I'm not in the majority.
Very true. I have no restrictions but I also like the idea of a small slippy test bed
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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby TomAiello » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:12 am

I really like the subscription idea too. That would avoid the flipper problems on the popular ones and give a better idea of how many need to be made.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Doc Dan » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:28 am

I like a slip joint like the Urban or UK, but a backlock frn would be good also, as long as it is affordable. But, didn’t someone float the idea of a folder with interchangeable blades?
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Doeswhateveraspidercan
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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:42 am

Without reading the first thing that comes to mind is Gundam.

Those of you who know about the Gundam franchise know that Japan / Bandai have made a fortune selling plastic snap together colored injection molded model kits that once assembled form highly articulated robots from the Anime / Sci Fi series.

Some of these cost hundreds of dollars have LED lighting etc.

What is my point?

Well mule team folders of let’s say the Delica, the Endurance, the Military, the PM3 Para2 etc.

You pick your steel your liners your lock your slabs.

Then when it arrives you assemble the knife.

This is my suggestion. Whole untapped market there.

Should save allot of assembly cost in labor and give everyone the opportunity to make a Spyderco truly their own.
:)

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby jpm2 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:47 am

prndltech wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:05 am
TomAiello wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:28 am
Sumdumguy wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:39 am
Backlock or Compression lock is a requirement. Don't alienate the majority of users by catering to the minority who have nasty knife restrictions.
I live in a jurisdiction without restrictions, but I travel enough to know that I'm not in the majority.
Very true. I have no restrictions but I also like the idea of a small slippy test bed
Same here, no restrictions but I’d prefer something useful at work which would be a 3 inch blade or less. Non locking is ok.

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Re: Future of the Mule Team Project

Postby spyderwolf » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:03 am

I don't understand why this need to fix something that was not broken.The Mule was doing great as it was,the only thing hurting the sales was that it was a blank.Not all of us are crafty enough to put even o rope on the tang,so slap some FRN on it and it will sell like crazy,even without a sheath.
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