|The Titanium Broadhead in its Kydex sheath, which features a distinctive resemblance to carbon fiber|
Dirk Pinkerton's Ti Broadhead is manufactured by Darrel Ralph's H.T.M. (that's Hand Tech Made), Darrel's mid tech fusion of hand work and regular production. HTM shares space with Ralph's regular shop and has a simple mission statement: "
|A closer look @ Ralph's HTM logo, with Dirk Pinkerton's signature custom logo.|
You can see the Broadhead in Ti, unlike other incarnations of Pinkerton's Broadhead designs (the Meyerco is ground and beveled on either side) is flat on the back side. This would appear to be for the same reason that a certain Mr. Ernest Emerson chisel grinds many, if not almost all of his knife designs, overall edge durability and strength. I guess technically the Broadhead isn't chisel ground in a typical way, but it is entirely flat on one side, while the "top" side of the knife is beveled on both sides, and shaped like a triangular, double-edged dagger blade. The triangular cutout follows the aesthetics of the design, and probably serves to lighten the knife in some small way. What Ralph calls the "futuristic, skeletonized grip traction system", refers to the handle portion. Both the cutouts in the handle and the sort of jimped texture enhance grip in an obvious way, you can feel the treads sink comfortable in the flesh of your hand, and when gripped white-knuckle style, the cutouts palpably improve the grip, especially with wet hands. I did my soapy hands, kitchen sink test where I slather the knife in my hand and run it under warm water, using various grip strengths and concentrating grip on select portions of the knife. I usually only do this test on single piece fixed blades, as with folders there can be places where leftover soap and moisture accumulates to the detriment of the knife later on. I found that the Broadhead performed admirably with wet & soapy hands, I didn't feel in danger of losing my grip, in large part to the smart finger ring design. After further consideration, I almost feel that the aforementioned "flatness" of the Broadhead might contribute to a positive grip as well, since there are no rounded off or smooth surfaces on one side, just a level slab side that feels pretty good in either direction in the hand.
I should mention too, that the fact that while the knife is a sort of natural Ti silver color, it's not super reflective. HTM didn't go and give it a super high polish, and for being a typically "metal" colored blade, it doesn't reflect light in the manner that even some bead blasted steel blades do. You can see in the flash photo above that instead of one sharp, bright (pun intended) reflective spot, the light is dulled and sort of defused over a wider area. This concept is nicely demonstrated as well in a couple of very high quality pix on Ralph's website, where the knife can be purchased.
|This sheath is every day Kydex, though it definitely breaks the so-called mold with its distinctive patterned exterior!|
So, we have two brilliant knifemakers who are known for both utilitarian and defensive aspects in their respective work, we have high tech production in Ralph's facility, we've got a knife that's only a tiny bit thicker than a quarter in a sweet looking sheath, that conceals well, and grips well under most conditions, even with wet hands. In a small, backup/hideout package there's not a whole lot more you could ask for. Oh yeah, a fully titanium knife around the $99.95 USD mark? No problem. If you've been looking for something unique for your collection, or always wanted a cool, small Ti fixed blade but were hesitant to shell out big dollars to some pricey company that does knives on contract for Navy SEALs, this might be your guy. Speaking of SEALs, and moisture, as I mentioned earlier, SB&T readers are always reminded of my disdain for the gray, bead blasted finish blades that so many factory knife companies use to dress up a less expensive knife. I've said it before, but I sweat like crazy, a product of inherited body chemistry, and probably other factors. I sweat to the point that if I help somebody move, for instance, my light gray t shirt is dark gray, all over, soaked through, and I usually need to bring @ least 2 shirt changes with me when I know I'll be doing something physical. I keep an extra t shirt in the car just in case, too. So that's the beauty of the HTM Ti Broadhead, I can wear it all day, every day next to my body, where sweat usually puts orange surface pre-rust spots on any bead blast gray blade, and even some higher polished stainless blades after a few short hours. Ti alloys resist corrosion like crazy, I think because it lacks carbon or iron possibly. But I've heard that titanium alloys can eventually rust, say if left in seawater for decades upon decades, but that Ti corrodes at what's been described as a "glacial" rate, ie: the movement of glaciers (well, until global warming got crazy) is invisibly slow. Alas, I'm not a metallurgist, and therefore, no expert, I do know that Ti is very, very corrosion resistant, and the Broadhead hasn't shown a single spot of any sort of staining, even after being under my shirt, amongst sweat (ok, TMI, I know) for hours! It would be cool to make knives though, I've been interested in learning some basics about knifemaking since I was oh, probably 12 years old! I'm consistently interested in materials and their individual properties combining to make something of beauty, that can withstand extreme environments. That's a big part of why I love knives, the knife industry, and most things knife related, it's almost like alchemy, using normal materials to make something extraordinary. Pinkerton's design, under Ralph's shop's manufacture started as some simple materials, and becomes something highly usable, and very cool.
|This picture is a good representation of the "flatness" of the whole package.|
Hit up DirkPinkerton.com to see Dirk's custom wares, and see Darrel Ralph's site, where you can look at, and purchase his great DDR custom and HTM mid-tech knives.