Crafting Excellence: A Personal Insight into the Craftsmanship and Costs Behind Making Spartan Blades by Curtis Iovito

Crafting Excellence: A Personal Insight into the Craftsmanship and Costs Behind Making Spartan Blades by Curtis Iovito

Posted by Curtis V. Iovito - Spartan Blades on Jan 19th 2024

Introduction: In the realm of knife making, we often face questions about the pricing of our knives, why they cost what they do, and inquiries about how we can enhance their quality. I want to invite you on a personal journey through the intricate world of Spartan Blades. Here, the meticulous craftsmanship of each blade intertwines with the complex processes and costs that define their exceptional quality. Join me as I unveil some administrative intricacies at key stages of Spartan Blades production, shedding light on the dedication and artistry that breathe life into each knife.

The Spartan-Harsey 3.25 Folder

The Spartan-Harsey 3.35 Folder

Material Excellence: At Spartan Blades, we lay the foundation of what we do on premium materials, from superior steels to handle components. Administrative costs tied to material sourcing involve meticulous negotiations, inventory management, and stringent attention to cost. Remember steel is a commodity and knife companies aren’t the only ones using it. Often, even the steel suppliers must gamble on predictive models of costing as they sometimes must sit on steel for a year or more. Changes in these commodities can wreak havoc on them. Delving deeper, certain Spartan Blades models leverage advanced steel variants, elevating material costs and underlining our commitment to crafting top-tier knives. The introduction of CPM MagnaCut stands as our latest offering in this endeavor – because our customers simply demand that we use the very best steel.

Steel Skeletons of CPM Steel after waterjet cutting

Precision in Every Stroke: Producing a quality knife requires precision grinding, a process demanding meticulous attention. Administrative costs cover the operation and maintenance of grinding machinery, rigorous quality control, and skilled labor dedicated to achieving the desired geometry and finish. Even those blades not ground in-house require certain costs to be covered for the grinds. At Spartan Blades, we ensure each blade is ground with precision, reflecting our commitment to excellence in every stroke.

Navigating Precision: Spartan Blades employs waterjet cutting for precise shaping of knife components to include blades and frames. Administrative costs in this phase include machine operation, maintenance, and meticulous oversight, and shipping of metals, all this adding to the cost of a quality knife. Drawing parallels to an aircraft's maintenance program, a stringent waterjet maintenance regimen for optimal performance and accuracy is required. In other words, they are expensive!

Folding Knife Blades after heat treatment waiting for finishing

Crafting Durability: Spartan Heat Treating, the soul of Spartan Blades' commitment to durability lies in the heat-treating process. Administrative costs encompass the energy, equipment, and quality control measures required for the precise treatment of each blade. We ensure that every knife undergoes a double deep cryogenic heat treatment process for enduring strength and performance. While most companies don’t do this due to the increased cost, it is optimal if you want to gain the last small percentage of the steel’s quality.

Personalization with Precision: Spartan Laser Etching Laser etching adds a personal touch to Spartan Blades knives, and we love doing it. It's how we put the emotion into a knife. Administrative costs include, of course, the purchase of new lasers to meet demand, machinery operation, design customization, and stringent quality checks. This stage ensures that each Spartan Blades knife is not just a tool but a personalized work of art, reflecting the desired aesthetic appeal.

Spartan Blades Laser Centers

Spartan Blades laser etching Center

Achieving Precision: For knives with titanium components, honing plays a pivotal role in achieving mechanical precision and blade centering. Administrative costs in this phase include machinery operation, skilled labor for precise honing processes, and quality control measures. The honing stage adds the final touch to Spartan Blades' titanium components, enhancing their ability to function and overall performance. These days most owners expect a quality pocketknife to have a perfectly centered blade!

Precision in Every Stroke: Crafting precision in every detail, the journey of machining steel and titanium to exacting standards is a meticulous art. The process kicks off after blades and titanium scales undergo precise water jet cutting and honing or grinding to achieve the desired flatness. Prior to this, considerable time is invested, sometimes spanning months, in refining the intricate design of the knife. Over the past two years, the commitment to excellence led to the acquisition of three new HAAS Machining centers, a testament to our dedication to meeting increasing production demands. With tooling employed on a rotational basis, the constant purchase and maintenance of these tools are integral elements contributing to the overall costing, ensuring that every aspect of the machining process aligns with our unwavering commitment to quality.

Spartan Blades Milling Center HAAS VF4

One of three new HAAS Milling Centers required to keep up with demand for knives

PVD Coating: Worth the Splurge: Now, let's talk about PVD coating an additional expense, but oh, the performance gains! PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating is expensive but worth the price for its superior performance. This advanced coating enhances the blade's hardness, corrosion resistance, and overall durability, ensuring your Spartan Blades knife stands the test of time. While it adds to the administrative costs, the benefits in terms of longevity and performance make it a worthwhile investment.

Artistry in Functionality: The crafting of a Spartan Blades knife involves assembly by highly skilled craftsmen. Administrative costs in this phase include expertise in bending locks, adjusting blade tension, seating detent balls, anodizing, and metal forming, and ensuring proper function and bias to closing. This assembly process is a delicate dance of artistry and functionality, contributing to the overall performance of each Spartan Blades knife. This all-equals labor and cost.

Navigating Logistics: Our knives incur administrative costs associated with shipping. This involves packaging materials, logistics coordination, and compliance with shipping regulations and, of course, the constant purchasing of shipping supplies. That’s just to get you your knife, and we do ship worldwide. Of course, we ship steel and titanium several times before your knife is built. At Spartan, we ensure efficient shipping, guaranteeing that each knife reaches its destination in pristine condition.

Financial Considerations: Beyond the meticulous craftsmanship, most companies face substantial financial considerations. Combined taxes can approach almost 50% of profits after all the work and sales are complete. Federal, State, and Local taxes combined. This financial landscape underscores the intricate balance involved in delivering Spartan Blades' exceptional tools to enthusiasts. Of course, we always say “People are more important than equipment.” We provide a very competitive salary that includes medical, a 401k, and profit sharing to our employees. Additionally, website hosting, utilities, administrative services, etc. all take a bite as well! I think most people would be flabbergasted to see how much profit is really made on a knife!

Compensation Dynamics: In the knife manufacturing universe, compensation dynamics differ from the traditional hierarchy. Notably, those involved in selling the final Spartan knife most often make more than us the manufacturer. This phenomenon extends to the secondary market, where the value of a Spartan Blades knife can appreciate significantly, creating a unique ecosystem within the industry. It's almost like our knives have their own stock market – who knew knives could be such savvy investors?

Investing in Spartan Excellence: A Testimony to Craftsmanship and Functionality Investing in Spartan Blades becomes a testimony not only to craftsmanship and functionality but also an acknowledgment of the unique financial and compensation dynamics shaping the knife industry. For those recognizing the dedication behind each Spartan Blade, I hope that understanding these intricacies adds another layer of appreciation for the value that each blade represents. As you explore the world of Spartan Blades, you become not only a connoisseur of fine craftsmanship but also an informed participant in the economic tapestry sustaining this timeless brand.

2024 Special Edition knives

Conclusion: Listen, this isn’t a whining session on our part; we absolutely love what we do as well as our larger Knife Community. At Spartan Blades, we hope to stand as a beacon of craftsmanship and dedication to our beloved knife industry. The journey through various stages, from material excellence to seeing your knife on Instagram, unveils our commitment to precision and artistry. Administrative costs associated with quality knives provide insight into the dedication to excellence, making each investment in these exceptional blades a testament to our commitment to unparalleled quality and functionality.

Explore the world of Spartan Blades, where each knife is not just a tool but a creation at:

Spartan Blades ...Knives with Intent...

About the author: Curtis V. Iovito, co-founder of Spartan Blades and President of Product Development and Marketing at Pineland Cutlery, Inc., brings a unique background as a former Marine, Ranger, Green Beret, and knife Maker. His motivation is rooted in a deep passion for knives and the community they foster.