Mule Team

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
TomAiello
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Re: Mule Team

Postby TomAiello » Fri May 03, 2019 7:35 pm

fixall wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 7:20 pm
I never had much interest in one until I got the urge to try BD1N, and it's completely blown me away.
Pretty much the same story for me.

I thought I was just buying it as a carry knife for a trip to a restrictive (european) jurisdiction, and it totally blew me away.

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steelcity16
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Re: Mule Team

Postby steelcity16 » Fri May 03, 2019 8:06 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 7:35 pm
fixall wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 7:20 pm
I never had much interest in one until I got the urge to try BD1N, and it's completely blown me away.
Pretty much the same story for me.

I thought I was just buying it as a carry knife for a trip to a restrictive (european) jurisdiction, and it totally blew me away.

Fine, you guys finally pushed me over the edge. ;) I ordered the Heinnie Haynes Red UKPK! :D I really want to try the upcoming AEB-L Urban, so this is the trial run for me with Spyderco Slip Joints. If I like it enough, maybe I will concede to a UKPK for the next mule! :)
:spyder: CRU-CARTA THEM ALL! :spyder:

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Re: Mule Team

Postby David R » Fri May 03, 2019 8:20 pm

steelcity16 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:24 pm
David R wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 11:58 am

Maybe a stupid question, but how would this be any different from what Spyderco does now? They've released the PM2 with 15+ different steels. If they just keep going, is this not the same thing people are asking for?

My interpretation would be that it allows users to test the steel in an "unofficial release" before they invest in a large order of the steel for a full round of sprints in steels like Rex45. That way if the steel ends up a "poor performer" in the minds of the users, it isn't as big of a deal because it was part of a testing program and not an official Spyderco production release. So a Para 3 LW mule sold directly through Spyderco only, as a designated mule (mule-only unique FRN color, mule logo instead of spydie, etc) would actually be different then them just releasing a brand new steel as an official sprint that is sold throughout their distribution network.

Still not seeing the difference. A Mule was previously 600 knives or so? I'm guessing if they do a folder it will be more popular and probably closer to a regular sprint run of 1200 or so. So the difference between a Mule run of Para 3 LWs and a Sprint run is...?

I also don't see how Spyderco can call a production model with a different steel a "Mule" rather than a Sprint and undersell their dealers by selling directly. Retail sales of that model would drop like a rock. If they sell the Mules via the retail channel, it just looks like another Sprint. I'm not trying to argue - I don't see how a folder Mule sold at retail is any different than what we're seeing today. Perhaps the difference is that they would not be exclusive?

Are we asking for a Mule or for more non-exclusive sprints with new steels?

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steelcity16
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Re: Mule Team

Postby steelcity16 » Fri May 03, 2019 8:34 pm

David R wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:20 pm

Still not seeing the difference. A Mule was previously 600 knives or so? I'm guessing if they do a folder it will be more popular and probably closer to a regular sprint run of 1200 or so. So the difference between a Mule run of Para 3 LWs and a Sprint run is...?

I also don't see how Spyderco can call a production model with a different steel a "Mule" rather than a Sprint and undersell their dealers by selling directly. Retail sales of that model would drop like a rock. If they sell the Mules via the retail channel, it just looks like another Sprint. I'm not trying to argue - I don't see how a folder Mule sold at retail is any different than what we're seeing today. Perhaps the difference is that they would not be exclusive?

Are we asking for a Mule or for more non-exclusive sprints with new steels?

So you are saying retail sales of Para 3s drop like a rock when a dealer does an exclusive in a new steel as well? Sounds unlikely.

Already covered the differences many times. No need to repeat.
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Crux
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Re: Mule Team

Postby Crux » Fri May 03, 2019 9:16 pm

Maybe there might be a 24K gold mule. I have a forge and I can cast this. I have a Mule that can make the mold but it would be helpful if you could send me some gold odds and ends. Everyone has these. Some jewelry from that *** that did that and then WTH? Just send it.

Since this will be a museum object the gold value is multiplied by the historical and innovative way that Spyderco directed the "Mules" beyond the metal heads towards a sensible fixed blade knife that not only allowed testing of metals virtually unknown to the population but now has knife experts around the globe shocked to find the program is possibly ending.

As sad as it is I think this marks the end of the advancement of steel. It seems we've made the particles as small as they can get and have applied every mineral in every combination to achieve some of the greatest steels ever known, but it's for the most part it is OVER.

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Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Mule Team

Postby David R » Fri May 03, 2019 10:32 pm

steelcity16 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:34 pm
David R wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:20 pm

Still not seeing the difference. A Mule was previously 600 knives or so? I'm guessing if they do a folder it will be more popular and probably closer to a regular sprint run of 1200 or so. So the difference between a Mule run of Para 3 LWs and a Sprint run is...?

I also don't see how Spyderco can call a production model with a different steel a "Mule" rather than a Sprint and undersell their dealers by selling directly. Retail sales of that model would drop like a rock. If they sell the Mules via the retail channel, it just looks like another Sprint. I'm not trying to argue - I don't see how a folder Mule sold at retail is any different than what we're seeing today. Perhaps the difference is that they would not be exclusive?

Are we asking for a Mule or for more non-exclusive sprints with new steels?

So you are saying retail sales of Para 3s drop like a rock when a dealer does an exclusive in a new steel as well? Sounds unlikely.

No. The assumption is that if Spydero sells the new "Mules" direct they will be cheaper. If they are cheaper they are undercutting their retailers. I can't see this happening. And if it did, why would people pay for a retail version of that knife rather than just waiting for Mule version?

Imagine a new Para 3 LW comes out with some new steel we've never heard of. Say it costs ~$100 and is sold via retailers. Call it a Sprint or a Mule. It's still a new Para 3 for $100.

I'm really not trying to be disagreeable and I'd love to see more mules. I'm still not getting it. Likely I'm missing something very fundamental.
Last edited by David R on Fri May 03, 2019 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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steelcity16
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Re: Mule Team

Postby steelcity16 » Fri May 03, 2019 10:45 pm

David R wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:32 pm

No. The assumption is that if Spydero sells the new "Mules" direct they will be cheaper.

That's a big assumption. I'd assume they be priced at dealer MAP pricing (plus premiums for whatever steel) to be in line with dealer pricing on the standard models. Most companies in general that sell goods direct on their own website sell for the same price or more than what you would pay in a retail store. They have to have staff to deal with orders, shipping, managing inventory, etc and they now have to deal with returns, fraud, etc. I wouldn't see why they would sell them cheaper than what dealers charge. Plus, Spyderco charges shipping unless you order $150+. If they limit folding mules to 1, then you have to pay shipping on top of it where most dealers have free shipping.
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Re: Mule Team

Postby David R » Fri May 03, 2019 10:57 pm

Ahhh... now I'm getting it. It would be a folder sold at MAP only from Spyderco that dealers would not carry. This could work for us. Seems risky for Spyderco. They've been sitting on Mule inventory for a while. I'm sure they'd want these to move faster.

Thanks and sorry for the brain density.

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Re: Mule Team

Postby ZrowsN1s » Sat May 04, 2019 4:25 pm

Also bear in mind that not everyone is a steel head. And especially if they're all the same white color, dealers will have knives in colored handles with steels that have been established. Just look at the current M390, m4 craze, the market is nuts for it because they've heard the names and the steels have a reputation. Offer them 15V and most people have never heard of it, it doesn't have a reputation, and it probably wouldn't fly off the shelves. Look at how much people want 3V over 4V.

Dealers have nothing to fear from white handle UKPK's in new non-mass-marketed steels.
Carrying 3 knives is perfectly normal :D
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ferider
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Mule Folder ..... Re: Mule Team

Postby ferider » Tue May 07, 2019 2:46 pm

As I'm not really interested in the UKPK (too small), let me post here.

From Sal's comment above, it doesn't feel like a Mule folder would make business sense.

Now:

1) I have a couple (non-Spyderco) folders that can easily be field-assembled/disassembled. These are Ti frame-locks, typically.
2) One can safely assume that people buying a Mule would feel somehow comfortable doing 1)
3) Of all the Spydercos that I've maintained, the Military is my favorite, and the Ti Military probably the easiest Spyderco to assemble.

So how about Spyderco - via distributors - releases a Ti Military that can be assembled in the field (just needs different screws). And then afterwards, Spyderco follows up with Military Mule blades (only), sold as Mules were sold previously ? So you enter the program by buying the knife, and then, every so often, change the blade ?

And start the whole program with A11, K390, 3V, 4V, CW, PD#1, or similar :)

Just a thought,

Roland.

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Albatross
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Re: Mule Team

Postby Albatross » Tue May 07, 2019 3:08 pm

ferider wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:46 pm
As I'm not really interested in the UKPK (too small), let me post here.

From Sal's comment above, it doesn't feel like a Mule folder would make business sense.

Now:

1) I have a couple (non-Spyderco) folders that can easily be field-assembled/disassembled. These are Ti frame-locks, typically.
2) One can safely assume that people buying a Mule would feel somehow comfortable doing 1)
3) Of all the Spydercos that I've maintained, the Military is my favorite, and the Ti Military probably the easiest Spyderco to assemble.

So how about Spyderco releases a Ti Military that can be assembled in the field (just needs different screws), and follows up with Military Mule blades (only) ? So you enter the program by buying the knife, and then, every so often, change the blade ?

Just a thought,

Roland.
Now that's a good idea. It should be even cheaper(per blade) than the fixed blade Mules were. Initial cost would be higher, but collectors and testers would save money in the long run.

There is one issue I foresee with this though; fitment. Sometimes a blade swap means blade play, since there will always be slight variances in the tolerances. This is probably enough to keep people from accepting the idea.

If it could be done in a way that guarantees no blade play, I would be in for every release. Possibly multiples of some too. I think the only model that would work, without blade play, is a Manix, with it's cbbl. If they used bearings, instead of washers, the recessed areas in the blade, could mean the bearings are held on the blade(somewhat), making swaps a matter of removing the pivot and changing out the blade. The metal assembly that houses the ball lock would probably need to be loosened, but not removed, to insert the blade/bearings/pivot. Hold the lock back, slide the blade/bearings in, add pivot. More complicated, but no blade play. If a lock position could be added, that held it open during swaps, this would make the Manix an unbeatable platform for a folding Mule.

This would be a lot of changes though. Re-tooling would be expensive, BUT this could end up it's own model, with some slight visual changes, and a new name. This would separate it from the standard Manix sold through dealers and make it easier for Spyderco to sell directly to it's customers.
sal wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:01 pm

...But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of "deigning in the dark"...

sal

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ferider
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Re: Mule Team

Postby ferider » Tue May 07, 2019 3:12 pm

I was wondering about blade play but assumed tolerances could be made tighter than with the current Military.

I would also be very much OK with the Manix or a variant (with a somehow simplified lock) ! But then, start with Rex 45 please :)

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Re: Mule Folder ..... Re: Mule Team

Postby fixall » Tue May 07, 2019 3:30 pm

ferider wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:46 pm
As I'm not really interested in the UKPK (too small), let me post here.

From Sal's comment above, it doesn't feel like a Mule folder would make business sense.

Now:

1) I have a couple (non-Spyderco) folders that can easily be field-assembled/disassembled. These are Ti frame-locks, typically.
2) One can safely assume that people buying a Mule would feel somehow comfortable doing 1)
3) Of all the Spydercos that I've maintained, the Military is my favorite, and the Ti Military probably the easiest Spyderco to assemble.

So how about Spyderco - via distributors - releases a Ti Military that can be assembled in the field (just needs different screws). And then afterwards, Spyderco follows up with Military Mule blades (only), sold as Mules were sold previously ? So you enter the program by buying the knife, and then, every so often, change the blade ?

And start the whole program with A11, K390, 3V, 4V, CW, PD#1, or similar :)

Just a thought,

Roland.
A folder of that size is a complete and total deal breaker for me. I'd be interested in the idea on a smaller platform though.

I don't know that Spyderco would be able to just sell the replacement blades though... I think they would have to sell a kit with the blade and all the lockup hardware. If I recall correctly, I believe the blades are matched up to the locking mechanism and you can have issues swapping blades without using the matching hardware.

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Re: Mule Folder ..... Re: Mule Team

Postby DukeNiemand » Tue May 07, 2019 4:00 pm

ferider wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:46 pm
As I'm not really interested in the UKPK (too small), let me post here.

From Sal's comment above, it doesn't feel like a Mule folder would make business sense.

Now:

1) I have a couple (non-Spyderco) folders that can easily be field-assembled/disassembled. These are Ti frame-locks, typically.
2) One can safely assume that people buying a Mule would feel somehow comfortable doing 1)
3) Of all the Spydercos that I've maintained, the Military is my favorite, and the Ti Military probably the easiest Spyderco to assemble.

So how about Spyderco - via distributors - releases a Ti Military that can be assembled in the field (just needs different screws). And then afterwards, Spyderco follows up with Military Mule blades (only), sold as Mules were sold previously ? So you enter the program by buying the knife, and then, every so often, change the blade ?

And start the whole program with A11, K390, 3V, 4V, CW, PD#1, or similar :)

Just a thought,

Roland.
This might be the perfect solution, if feasible from a manufacturing/tolerances standpoint. I'd love it on either the Millie or PM2 platform.

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Re: Mule Team

Postby NickoP » Tue May 07, 2019 6:15 pm

Knife collecting being a relatively recent hobby of mine, I only found out about the Mule Team project a couple of weeks ago.
Around that time I had to cut a branch off a walnut tree in my garden. Just yesterday I retrieved that branch that I'd left laying on the grass, cut a piece off, placed it inside a shed, with the intention of buying a blade for which I could attempt to make a handle one day, having very little idea how to go about that, thinking youtube would get me started. I was very much looking forward to it. Today I find out ... no more mules. Disappointed !
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sal
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Re: Mule Team

Postby sal » Tue May 07, 2019 8:30 pm

Hi DukeNiemand,NickoP,

Welcome to our forum.

sal

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steelcity16
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Re: Mule Team

Postby steelcity16 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 pm

NickoP wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 6:15 pm
Knife collecting being a relatively recent hobby of mine, I only found out about the Mule Team project a couple of weeks ago.
Around that time I had to cut a branch off a walnut tree in my garden. Just yesterday I retrieved that branch that I'd left laying on the grass, cut a piece off, placed it inside a shed, with the intention of buying a blade for which I could attempt to make a handle one day, having very little idea how to go about that, thinking youtube would get me started. I was very much looking forward to it. Today I find out ... no more mules. Disappointed !

There are a few still available on Spyderco's website. PD1 steel would be the one to get.
:spyder: CRU-CARTA THEM ALL! :spyder:

DukeNiemand
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Re: Mule Team

Postby DukeNiemand » Tue May 07, 2019 8:40 pm

steelcity16 wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 pm
NickoP wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 6:15 pm
Knife collecting being a relatively recent hobby of mine, I only found out about the Mule Team project a couple of weeks ago.
Around that time I had to cut a branch off a walnut tree in my garden. Just yesterday I retrieved that branch that I'd left laying on the grass, cut a piece off, placed it inside a shed, with the intention of buying a blade for which I could attempt to make a handle one day, having very little idea how to go about that, thinking youtube would get me started. I was very much looking forward to it. Today I find out ... no more mules. Disappointed !

There are a few still available on Spyderco's website. PD1 steel would be the one to get.
Or the A11 mule (which I believe is the only other one still in stock). 10V class steels are not widely available at all so that one is a real bargain.

Also @sal, thank you! Looking forward to continuing to learn from and contribute to this great community :)

fixall
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Re: Mule Team

Postby fixall » Tue May 07, 2019 11:03 pm

steelcity16 wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 pm
NickoP wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 6:15 pm
Knife collecting being a relatively recent hobby of mine, I only found out about the Mule Team project a couple of weeks ago.
Around that time I had to cut a branch off a walnut tree in my garden. Just yesterday I retrieved that branch that I'd left laying on the grass, cut a piece off, placed it inside a shed, with the intention of buying a blade for which I could attempt to make a handle one day, having very little idea how to go about that, thinking youtube would get me started. I was very much looking forward to it. Today I find out ... no more mules. Disappointed !

There are a few still available on Spyderco's website. PD1 steel would be the one to get.
Absolutely this!

I'd go read up about CRU-WEAR and then go rush to buy the PD#1 Mule Team just as fast as you can (which is what I did, lol). Micro-Melt PD#1 is basically CarTech's (Carpenter) version of Crucible's CRU-WEAR. Really, really fantastic stuff!

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Wartstein
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Re: Mule Folder ..... Re: Mule Team

Postby Wartstein » Tue May 07, 2019 11:20 pm

ferider wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:46 pm

So how about Spyderco - via distributors - releases a Ti Military that can be assembled in the field (just needs different screws). And then afterwards, Spyderco follows up with Military Mule blades (only), sold as Mules were sold previously ? So you enter the program by buying the knife, and then, every so often, change the blade ?
A possible disadvantage I can see here: When you have only one handle, but several blades for that handle (or at least less handles than blades), you could never compare different Mules against each other directly at the same time.

I am, compared to most of you, not a steel-expert or "steelhead", but one way I'd like to compare different steels would probably be to just carry two Mules, and if there is spontanously something to cut, just do let's say 10 cuts with Mule 1, the nexr 10 cuts with Mule 2, and compare for example remaining sharpness at the end of the day or week... and I would not want to carry one handle, but two blades...
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