More, a magazine hype article released in 2000:
Schrade Builds Hot-Selling, Custom-Designed Knives
by Roger Combs
Custom-designed, factory-produced knives are a hot trend in the industry. Two new offerings from Imperial Schrade are destined to be top money-makers for dealers.
The new Schrade D'Holder Millennium is a fixed-blade hunter, the inspiration of well-known custom knifemaker D'Alton Holder of Peoria, Ariz. The Millennium provides customers an opportunity to own one of the world's finest knives by a real gentleman of knife-making, at a price well below what Holder's knives usually bring.
The second introduction is a joint effort by Schrade and custom knifemakers Ron Lake of Eugene, Ore., and Michael Walker of Taos, N.M. The new Schrade Lake & Walker folder, dubbed Tough Lock, is designed for the customer who demands innovation, blended with cutting edge technology, features and materials.
Exceptional Fixed Blade
The Schrade D'Holder Millennium knife has a full-tang blade of BG42 steel with a handle of Sambar stag. The blade is 3 3/4 inches long and the knife measures 8 inches overall. The sheath is fine premium leather with a basketweave design.
The limited edition Millennium hunting knife has a suggested retail price of $200. Holder commented that his own custom models would sell for more than twice the price. Retailers may ask more for the first serial-numbered limited production of 1,000. A production run of the Millennium using 440A stainless steel is scheduled for later in 2000.
The inspiration for the D'Holder Millennium design dates back to 1976 and one of the custom maker's students. Unfortunately, the student was later killed in a hunting accident. In 1990, Holder reexamined the student's design and was convinced the knife had to be made.
At about the same time, Schrade president Walter Gardiner was looking for a custom knifemaker who had the ability to blend materials and design a knife that could actually become part of its owner. Gardiner was convinced that Holder, who also is past president of the Knifemakers Guild, was the man to design a flawless, fixed-blade knife for the serious hunter and collector.
The Lake & Walker Tough Lock features a newly patented locking mechanism. The innovative lock is a major selling point for dealers. The lock's radiused, arc-shaped design permits maximum surface contact with the blade's tang. The tang's precision bevel insures the lock's effectiveness. Dealers, while demonstrating the mechanism to customers, should mention that the more the knife is used, the stronger the lock becomes. Another safety enhancement is the tiny sliding safety switch at the top of the bolster.
"The design turned out better than I had anticipated," said co-designer Ron Lake. "I opened and closed the folder thousands of times, but it never showed any sign of wear."
The new lock is one of those, "Why didn't we think of this before?" designs. It's simple, logical and solid. Customers are sure to want to handle the knife and open and close the blade. They'll be impressed with the design.
The blade of this limited production folder is BG42 steel. The metal was first used in the aerospace industry for parts like jet engine bearings. As a blade steel, it offers maximum toughness, corrosion-resistance, great sharpness and edge-holding abilities. It's no surprise that BG42 steel is used by many of the foremost custom knifemakers. According to both Lake and Holder, BG42 is more difficult to work with, requiring diamond-belt sharpening, but it's extremely tough.
The Tough Lock's handle is made of a new material called Zylite, a combination of Zytel and Kevlar. The new blend offers high-tensile strength and rigidity, light weight and flexibility.
All the pin, screw, back spacer and ferrule components are titanium coated for corrosion resistance and enhanced appearance. The pocket clip is also titanium coated. The 2 7/8-inch Schrade Lake & Walker blade features a deeply etched dual logo. The knife measures 4 inches when closed.
The suggested retail price is $200, certainly a bargain for buyers, and sure to bring new customers into your store. After the first 1,000 limited production run, Schrade plans to produce a less expensive version using 440A stainless steel blades.
"Dealers are encouraged to order both new models for their customers," said Gardiner. "Each may have the same serial number, if desired. Collectors will love it.
"Schrade has the strength of its distribution system for these new knives. We think they will be very popular."
To help dealers who are handling the new knife designs, Schrade has established a strong referral program, as well as a commitment to heavy advertising in trade and consumer magazines. It is expected that the limited edition production will generate additional floor traffic for dealers and lead to greater sales of the more standard Schrade knives.
"Mike Walker and I are rather well known in Europe," said Lake. "We think these new knives will be quite popular in Europe as well as in Asia."
Said Gardiner, "If these new knives are as successful as we hope, there will he more such designs from these three custom knifemakers in the future."