Trainers
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For reference: on the left is the Benchmade Greg Thompson SOCP. From the top down are the Fox 479TK, the Benchmade 551T, a Kershaw Emerson 6034 trainer with aftermarket modifications, and a Boker Plus Balisong Trainer.
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Why the Swiss Cheese look? Trainer knives, when properly made, have the exact same shape and weight as the regular knife, but the blade can't have an edge, even an unsharpened one. Because blade blanks that haven't been ground down or sharpened weigh more than ones that have, manufacturers mill speed holes in the blade to give the blade the proper weight and distribution. Often a different steel is used, particularly for knives with high end steel -- good ol' 420 stainless will do you just fine for a training knife, so long as it's milled to have the correct weighting and edge dimensions. The overall idea is to make the training knife exactly the same in the hand as the edged version. Not close, but dead on. Most are red, the better to identify them as training knives, but they should feel exactly the same in the pocket, when you're pulling them from the pocket, when you're opening them, and so on. I'd imagine at least a few people are going 'Forget all this precision for a second, TF's even the point of training knives? Like training wheels on a bicycle? Because I already know how to use a knife dood" and yup, I know. In fact, if you don't already know what they are, the chances are good that you're dead right: they aren't for you. Trainers are for knife owners who take self defense training, and want to incorporate their pocket knives into that training regimen, i.e. practice using knives with that exact geometry and weighting in defensive combat, without worrying about oopsies. It might sound a little extra, to you, for someone to go to those lengths in self defense training, and again - if you don't already kinda get it, it's not for you. If you're a soldier or a cop or a bodyguard or PMC or are a target for personal violence or you're just martially natured to the point where you're taking this training, you realize that what you're building is the muscle memory to make your reactions automatic in a real life threat situation, and that's why you need a trainer with the same weighting and dimensions, not just kinda close. Of course, there are others who get into trainers. Balisong owners who want to practice flipping their balisongs without the attendant risk of slicing up a finger or two are a big part of it, people who collect sets of knife models and the like do purchase some, and some folks just get them to piss about with them. Someone who wants a wave knife but is a bit awkward and would like to practice the pocket deploy of the wave knife with an unsharpened blade. For most others, the use case for a trainer knife isn't compelling, but Drop does seem to have a small but growing core of knife enthusiasts who might be in the market for one, whether they train and practice, or can see themselves taking that training. In manufacturing terms, offering a training version is about as difficult as offering your knife in serrated vs semiserrated -- get yourself an unsharpened blade with speed holes milled just so, get some red G10 scales for it, assemble the rest of the regular knife parts around those two changed components and boom, you've got a training version. I know all about how much having those two extra sets of components in stock can be a costly PITA but really all you're talking about is running the grinder different for a couple hours and using a different color of G10 to make handles for a couple hours, put trainer stickers on the boxes and sell them alongside regular copies of the knife in 'deluxe kits'. I'd like Drop to consider offering a trainer version with an in house collaboration and see how it goes. Not that I think it'd be some huge seller for them, but Drop could make it a preorder only thing, even, eliminate everyone's risk in case it turns out that comparatively few Drop buyers have any interest in training versions of Drop collabs and it's just us statistical outliers that are interested. The way the math works is that for the ones who are interested, if you give them the option to buy the knife and trainer as a set, you're selling two knives instead of one. If the reg version is a $150 G-10 Terzuola or Degnan with S35VN steel, you build the trainer from 9Cr18MoV or whatever and offer a twofer, the knife and the trainer, for $250 as a premium option. The $100 neighborhood is a respectable neighborhood for training folding knives and your ROI is good because you are mostly reusing existing investments to produce it. Benchmade has a few around that price. Spyderco has trainers for the Endura and Delica and P'kai and Yojimbo. Emerson has trainers that cost more for the CQC7, their Super Karambit and their SARK. This gives Drop some room to work with. For people like me, the presence of a training version of a premium knife in the set makes me more likely to be interested in general, so the math is less 'does the additional price of a trainer scare me away from becoming a customer' and more like 'do you want to sell me two knives vs the none I was going to buy because I wasn't interested'? That's where I am on the issue. I wouldn't want a training version of every knife I've ever bought, far from it -- but I'm distinctly interest in training versions of the knives I tend to pocket from day to day, and am willing to put money where my mouth is. How about you folks? Would you be interested in Drop collabs having a training option available on preorder, or am I the only one here that sees the point?
(Edited)
thumb_upKelly Reilly, piedrafria, and 16 others
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massfallout
0
Feb 16, 2020
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Where can I find the after market retainer ring?
Feb 16, 2020
massfallout
0
Feb 17, 2020
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Thanks for the help! I found a site that sells aluminum ones. https://wisemencompany.com/brands/Wise-Men-Company.html
Feb 17, 2020
reswright
1691
Feb 17, 2020
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Yeah, I own several of their signets. They're legit.
Feb 17, 2020
B_Trenchant
2
Feb 15, 2020
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What is the blue emerson?
Feb 15, 2020
reswright
1691
Feb 15, 2020
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that's actually a kershaw emerson 6034 that was modified with an aftermarket retainer ring, had its scale dyed darker, and replaced the thumb disk with the base of a .45 shell. One of my first project knives.
Feb 15, 2020
B_Trenchant
2
Feb 16, 2020
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Noice knoife
Feb 16, 2020
Omniseed
1571
Feb 7, 2020
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I think if they did, it would have to be for a very specific kind of knife. The Thresher, Crux, and Perpetua are the only current Drop knives that stand out to me as possibly worth a trainer version. Off the top of my head anyway. The Crux because it's a great overall package, the lockbar is sturdy as all hell, and the blade/handle profile would be compatible enough with an emergency weapon role. It's narrow enough and strong enough to do thrusting things without the concerns I would have with a framelock that has a light as possible lockbar. The Thresher doesn't have the same overbuilt lockbar, but its larger size and pointy/strong/big bellied blade profile would be nice features in the role, the size especially might make it more comfortable for some people to use while shaking with adrenaline. The Perpetua is an Axis lock and like the Crux, it's a great size format for a working/EDC knife that the owner happens to train with. Axis locks are super and the lockup tends to react to stress by getting more secure until the force is so extreme that you can deform the liners. Plus it's on the lower end of the cost scale, like the Crux, making it a reasonable prospect for a trainer model. The Reate made knives didn't even get considered for cost reasons. Oh I forgot the Bradford Guardian 3.5, it's a little fixed blade with a great secure handle, and so it would be the easiest/best suited out of all the Drop knives for a trainer.
Feb 7, 2020
reswright
1691
Feb 7, 2020
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The Guardian is probably the best choice of the lot. The Terzuola knives also come to mind as ones to consider.
Feb 7, 2020