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Ask Toooj

Discussion in 'Ontario Knife Company' started by OntarioKnifeCompany, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. OntarioKnifeCompany

    OntarioKnifeCompany Moderator Moderator

    403
    Jan 3, 2013
    In keeping with the tradition of you guys having all the best ideas on BladeForums, Tdhurl1103 suggested we start an "Ask Toooj" thread for questions that can be directed to our Director of Engineering, Paul Tsujimoto. Paul has a wealth of experience and knowledge in this industry, and is usually who I run to when people here on BladeForums ask things that require me to sound smart.

    Happy asking!
     
  2. Tdhurl1103

    Tdhurl1103

    Dec 6, 2012
    Hello Toooj,

    The question below is what got me thinking about this thread. I'm sure someone else might be able to answer it, although no one has yet, but it seems like a nice easy one to get the thread started.

    Poster wants to remove the thumbstuds on his RAT1 but is unsure if they are screw in or peened in. Actually, I'm curious to know this one too.

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/1282634-RAT1-thumbstuds
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  3. Tdhurl1103

    Tdhurl1103

    Dec 6, 2012
    Helo Toooj,

    Product development question:

    While I like the OKC AUS8 steel and Zytel scales on some of the more popular folders, I am curious. Many "production" knife companies are slowly moving into high end folders, with blades made from super steels from companies like Crucible, and handle scale materials such as G10 or Carbon Fiber. While I understand high end fixed blades as permanent replacements for current design, aren't very viable options, could we see a shift by OKC into the folder area using these materials? Does OKC see this as a viable/profitable area of future movement, even if they are just limited runs a couple times a year?

    Case in point: Spyderco's Taichung, Taiwan models, many of which are made from titanium or carbon fiber, S30V are extremely well built and very good mid-level or high end production knives. They are also very good sellers, I mean they keep making knives there using the high end materials, so......

    The reason I am even asking this is I just picked up a Uttilltac 2, and I thought it would be cool to have G10 scales.

    Thanks in advance for any response
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  4. Toooj

    Toooj

    920
    Aug 8, 2006
    Hi Tdhurl,

    Glad to see you at our site.

    Okay Question #1: The thumb studs on the Rat Mod1 are screwed together. One thumb stud has a male threaded stud and the opposite thumb stud has the female threaded hole. There is a low strength loc-tite on the threads. Take two pliers/vise grips,etc. Cover the jaw teeth with a protective cover so that they don't mar the thumb studs surfaces and gently unscrew the two studs. That's it...easy

    Question #2 is more involved.
    What products are designed and produced have a lot to do with what the Marketing Dept thinks are valid sellers at a particular price point. It also depends on where the company is positioned in the knife market. Spyderco has typically been in the higher priced folder market. Ontario has not been. We could produce any type of knife with any material but the important question is whether it sells. Unsold inventory is the millstone around every company's neck. There is a huge cost and investment on any product and it must sell in order to get that investment out and ultimately make a profit. Several companies I have worked for have never been able to break into that high dollar market. William Henry seems to be the exact opposite. Over the course of my working career, I have seen more success with lower cost/high volume knives than high end/low volume knives.
    Now having said all of this, we are coming out with some high end knives; some for other people, some under our own flag. Time will tell if they are hits.
    I also like the option of doing small runs of existing products with changing handle material, blade steel, etc. It makes life interesting and it is usually easy as the biggest development has already been completed.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Director of Engineering
    Ontario Knife Company
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  5. CelticCross74

    CelticCross74

    501
    Oct 14, 2013
    Hey Tooj!

    I have much respect for you sir so this is nothing personal. The two Ontario's I bought out of curiosity have left me wondering what the manufacturing process is/was like for my two Ontarios which are an SP10 Raider and the other the Marine Fighting Knife. The edge on both out of the box looked like they had been put on with a hacksaw neither knife could literally cut a piece of toast. Worst of all are the deformed swedge line on one side of my SP10 yet it was fine on the other.

    That being said I have since had the Fighting knife professionally sharpened on a Wicked Edge I could actually shave with it now. I will be doing the same soon with the huge SP10. First question is the SP10. is it cast in a mold one by one or stamped out of sheet with a press? Second question is what is the difference between 1095 carbon and 1095 cro van? Thank you Tooj
     
  6. Toooj

    Toooj

    920
    Aug 8, 2006
    CC74,

    Sorry for the bad edges. We have a training program in place to improve the edges on our knives. Dan Maragni has been heading that up and we have made large strides. However, there are those knives in the supply stream that went out before our training.
    We are starting to concentrate on the grinding department so uneven primary and swedge grinds will start to disappear. (BTW: we have a new Siepmann VG CNC grinder on order which will help)
    I will offer to put an even shaving sharp edge on any knife if you send it in to us. However, it is also my belief that being able to sharpen a knife is the responsibility of all knife heads.
    To answer your questions: All of our knives are either blanked or Laser cut. Some knives from other companies have been cast but most knife companies use the traditional blanking method or newer laser cutting process. Casting is an interesting concept but there are many processing issues with them. So it is a trade off. Ontario choses the more tried and trued methods.
    Second question: 1095 is just plain carbon steel with approx. 0.95% of carbon and some manganese. 1095 Cro Van, as used by KA-BAR, is in actuality the old Sharon Steel Company 0170-6 Specialty steel formula. It is basically 1095 with small amounts of chromium, vanadium, molybdenum and nickel added. It is a nice steel. I would love to use it at Ontario but the quantities needed for ordering are just to much for our small company....maybe in the future. We make very good use with 5160 and straight 1095.
    Hope this helps.

    Thanks for supporting Ontario.

    Best Regards,


    Paul Tsujimoto
    Director of Engineering
    Ontario Knife Company
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  7. beachmaster

    beachmaster

    495
    Oct 3, 2014
    Hey Tooj, I have asked you this before, and i can't find the thread now.

    I am sure that the sp II line of knives have a low hrc, but what we're the exact reasons that such a low hrc was chosen? Guys are asking on Facebook, and i can't exactly remember, but a direct quote from the man himself would be best!
     
  8. Toooj

    Toooj

    920
    Aug 8, 2006
    beachmaster,

    I went out into the factory and took readings on both Gen II Spec Plus blades and some Bushcraft blades (both are 5160). They were all 57-58HRc after temper. This is perfectly acceptable for 5160 and for larger blades that will take a beating.
    I understand that our catalog lists our 5160 knives at 53-55HRc and our 1095 knives at 53-58HRc. I don't know who came up with those specs but I'm thinking they will be changed in the future. We should be able to list a closer Hardness Spec than that.
    As a general rule of thumb; larger blades that will be used as choppers, batoners, etc. will be tempered a couple of Hardness points lower than blades that need edge holding and sharpness. 5160 is an extremely tough steel but it can also be hardened to fairly high Hardness. There is only approx. 0.60% Carbon so that after saturation into the steel matrix, there isn't a lot of free carbon remaining to form carbides...not there are a lot of other alloys in the 5160 chemistry to form carbides. Interestingly enough, not having large carbide strings also allows the edge to not chip out as much. It is typically the large carbides that chunk out at the edge.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Director of Engineering
    Ontario Knife Company
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  9. LG&M

    LG&M

    Dec 19, 2005
    57-58HRc is where I would want it.
    The specs on my SP49 are listed at 53-55HRc & I thought that was low.
    Happy to hear it was a typo.
    Thank you for checking and responding so fast.
     
  10. Toooj

    Toooj

    920
    Aug 8, 2006
    LG&M,

    Not necessarily a typo. Those Hardness Specs have been around for a while but I'll push for more accuracy.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Director of Engineering
    Ontario Knife Company
     
  11. beachmaster

    beachmaster

    495
    Oct 3, 2014
    Wow, great info, thanks!
     
  12. SpikeHawk

    SpikeHawk

    365
    Jan 3, 2013
    Great to see Ontario making strides in quality. Thanks for the info, Tooj.
     
  13. GrReaper

    GrReaper

    487
    Sep 22, 2014
    Tooj, any chance of seeing the Hell's Belle and Fortress bowies back? This was recently brought up in the thread "Bagwell Bowie". There was an Ontario Fortress bowie on another website that got sold literally within minutes for $350 (arizonacustomknives.com). When there's that kind of demand for Bill Bagwell's designs, how could they not sell? I'm looking to get both the Hell's Belle and Fortress. Can't find them anywhere though for any price.
     
  14. Toooj

    Toooj

    920
    Aug 8, 2006
    GrReaper,

    With all due respect to what you said; Here is the skinny on products... Just because one went for a high price doesn't mean there is a large demand. It just means that someone was willing to pay for something that they thought would be a good investment or they were willing to pay for something they really wanted for their collection. Sometimes the high price is because there aren't a lot of them around. The reason there aren't a lot of them around is that they did not sell well when they were produced. It's a vicious circle. The secondary aftermarket is not the same as the primary product market.
    As I have mentioned before, it takes a lot of time, money and effort to bring a product to market and companies have to be fairly certain that it can make money off of lifecycle of the product. Companies that don't have that concept down are called Former companies.
    I wasn't at Ontario when they produced the Bagwell Bowies but I suspect that the reason they were discontinued was: 1) Low sales; 2) the level of quality and attention to detail drove the manufacturing cost sky high; or 3) both. If either of those things didn't happen, we wouldn't be having this conversation, you would be a happy owner of an Ontario Bagwell, we would be making money, and Bill Bagwell would be getting royalties...everyone would be happy.
    I know Mr. Bagwell and think his Bowie designs are classic and beautiful (I'd love to have a custom Bagwell in my collection) but in the same breath will say that there is a limited market for them...Now, if we can get upfront money from 1200 people a year for the next 3-5 years (3600-6000 pieces), then we would be very happy to rev them up again.
    Being a collector, the aftermarket is your best bet. It is challenging but the journey and eventual reward when you get the knives you want is immeasurable.
    Being a knife collector,you use your heart then your head. Being a knife producer, you use your head then your heart. If you interchange the two, you lose in both cases.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Director of Engineering
    Ontario Knife Company
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  15. Tdhurl1103

    Tdhurl1103

    Dec 6, 2012
    I'm sure this has been asked before; in fact, I'm sure it gets asked fairly often, but I was just wondering why the military machetes sheaths are sold separately.
     
  16. OntarioKnifeCompany

    OntarioKnifeCompany Moderator Moderator

    403
    Jan 3, 2013
    I wondered about this too, and it became clear when I started working on the website that there were two factors that made this happen:
    1) Not everyone buys a sheath with their machete.
    2) When you try to give options with and without sheaths, for that many machetes, you end up with a TON of item numbers. I tried to give people the option to get both items with one purchase on ontarioknife.com. It was chaos and was turning the machetes page into a mess.

    I may revisit this on our website in the future, but the fact remains that people buy more machetes than sheaths, so we definitely need to leave that option, probably as the primary way of purchasing. Maybe at some point, on the website, we can make it so that there's a page for machetes and a page for machetes with sheaths.
     
  17. Toooj

    Toooj

    920
    Aug 8, 2006
    Tdhurl,

    Interestingly, the US Military has a separate spec for both the Machete (A-A-2981) and the sheath (Mil-S-2329). There isn't an integrated spec for both like the other contract knives. I don't know why this is.
    In the third world where most machetes are used, very few of the indigenous natives use a sheath. This is in South America, Africa and Asia. Long knives are constantly out and being used. When not being used, the machetes are stuck, point first, in the ground with the edge against a tree or building. I have also seen them stuck in a tree above head level handle pointed down.
    Only in Merica do we need to have sheaths for all of our knives.
    That being said, having a sheath for our machetes is probably a good marketing strategy. Use it or not, customer's choice.
    So, sorry, I don't have a good answer for you. Maybe some others will chime in on the topic.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Director of Engineering
    Ontario Knife Company
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  18. bore

    bore

    487
    May 20, 2015
    Hi, I've just bought a used Rtak. It has a plain black blade with no markings or logos at all. Dark brownish grey handles. Any idea of the year of manufacturing? Maybe a transition period going away from RAT? Curious which steel it is and possible year. Thanks

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  19. Tdhurl1103

    Tdhurl1103

    Dec 6, 2012
    Thanks for the responses OKC and Toooj. It is what it is. I don't mind buying the sheath separately, I just wondered is all.
     
  20. Ptac157

    Ptac157 Gold Member Gold Member

    118
    Jul 23, 2013
    Hi Toooj,
    I've owned ontario machetes for years and only just realised that the 22 inch version actually uses 1075 steel as opposed to the 1095 of the 18 inch blade. Just wondering did the 1095 prove too brittle for the longer, heavier blade or were there other reasons for this?

    Thanks in advance
     

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