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In July 2019, I noticed all of a sudden new social media channels pop up, using style and designs closely resembling those of Spartan Blades USA. Adding to that Curtis Iovito of Spartan Blades had a new position on LinkedIn: President of Pineland Cutlery, Inc. So everything with regards to the social media platforms started to make sense.
The only question was… is there a rebranding of Spartan Blades going on? Did the band break up? Neither was the case and a press release followed shortly, bearing very interesting and exciting news. Spartan Blades USA had just partnered up with KA-BAR Knives of Orlean, NY.
If you think about it the merger has a natural logic to it. KA-BAR with its 120y+ old tradition of knife making, with its iconic combat knife; and Spartan Blades with their personal history in the special forces community and their award winning and high quality designs.
Besides the philosophical point of view, the cooperation of these two companies makes much sense economically as well: Spartan Blades can benefit from the increased manufacturing capacities KA-BAR has to offer, and vice versa KA-BAR can add another high profile name to their list of well known knife designers. But not only that, Spartan Blades brings also strong connections to the military, given their background. Last but not least it is obvious that in the end both companies can expand their customer base with this partnership.
As a result of this merger you will also see a small pine tree lasered on all the knives of Spartan Blades from now on. And I admit right here, right now… I am aware of the funny aspect of this: Pine Survey writes about Pineland Cutlery. I love it.
The “Silver Line”
In January 2020 Spartan Blades (or Pineland Cutlery) finally introduced three knives to the market, which are products of this merger with KA-BAR Knives. Adding to the already available lineup of high quality knives, which will be unchanged and part of the “Gold Line”, the “Silver Line” is targeted to those users, which were not able to afford the knives of Spartan Blades until now.
For now there are three knives:
- The Machai
- The Damysus
- The Alala
Three additional “Silver Line” knives are in the plans, together with Bill Harsey!
While you can expect detailed reviews on all three of these blades, there are several things worth mentioning already now. The knives are manufactured in Orlean and then assembled and finished in the facilities of Spartan Blades. The steel used is the one KA-BAR Knives is known for: 1095 CroVan. The added Chrome and Vanadium makes the steel a bit more resistant to rust and helps keeping edge retention
The black powder coating on the blades is similar to the one you might know from KA-BAR’s blades. The Micarta handles bear close resemblance to the ones of the “Gold Line” of Spartan Blades. So you have basically the best of both worlds.
A special attention was given to the sheaths. You will see it in more detail in the upcoming reviews, but these are injection molded and feature a secondary retention. You can release the knives with a thumb button and they lock into the sheaths very securely. Modularity is also a big thing with these. The sheaths not only feature special push button belt loops, the are also fully compatible with all kinds of MOLLE based attachment accessoires.
The following pictures will give you a first impression of these fine knives. As soon as it is possible, I will take them out into the wild and you can expect thorough reviews for each knife afterwards.
Needless to say, this merger was a big topic during the last few US trade shows, it would have also been one in Europe, if the whole Covid-19 (Corona-Virus) situation hadn’t resulted in a postponing of IWA.
Judging from the first looks and impressions, these knives bring the best of both worlds: Excellent and reality based designs and quality manufacture. But not only the knives! The sheaths are also more than practical and offer a wide variety of carrying options. You can regard these blades as a holistic design concept, making them worth every cent.
With that being said, I want to come to an end. The next look on the “Silver Line” will be a thorough review for each of these models, so stay tuned!
Thank you for reading and many thanks to Spartan Blades/Pineland Cutlery for the support! This is important for me to mention, since European shops were not able or willing to support me in making these reviews possible.