A minimalist design for a truly functional micro knife using existing ceramic blades. Smallest possible size for Every Day Carry.

KICKSTARTER Campaign sold 1,500 MicroKnives

 


EDC Ceramic Micro Knife  $10.95 + Free Shipping to USA/CDA

 

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With a razor sharp longlasting edge this tool will handle small tasks and opening endless packages and surprisingly large jobs with a bit of time and effort.  Light and small enough for women to carry everyday. Fishermen, sailors, hikers, campers, bikers or anyone that gets wet will appreciate the practicality of a non-corrosive blade. A first aid kit, tackle box or survival kit will have a sharp cutting tool even if exposed to salt water for 20 years.

If you carry a wallet/purse, backpack, keys, or have a pocket in clothing the ceramic micro knife can be safely carried and ready for use.  

 
Initial Adjustments to Holder

When first opening this microknife you may find the blade difficult to move, the very sharp blade might have slightly cut into the plastic, bit tricky to explain but if you use the thumbnail of your left hand to slightly lift up the front edge of the tension bar that runs along the bottom of the blade this will lessen the tension and permit blade to move forward.   Holding the front of the blade, above the sharp edge, you can then move the blade back and forth a bit to free it up.   The small retaining detent or spring can be lifted up a little bit and it will stay lifted until it is pressed back down and held in down position for a minute.

Tension from the front lower bar is what really keeps the blade in place, that detent is just an extra measure to keep blade from moving out when worn on a lanyard.   If blade becomes a bit loose inside the channel it is easy to put a small piece of adhesive tape back of channel, when blade is removed, in order to increase the friction holding blade inside the holder when worn on keychain or backpacks etc.

 Design Parameters

Starting with an existing utility blade design the intent was to make it as small and light as possible.  Pre-Production prototypes with a ceramic blade actually weigh less than 3 pennies or 6.5 gms.  Length was determined by blade size and thickness of this cutting tool is only 3.5 mm.  The blade needs to be held so that it would not accidentally become exposed, and ideally should be adjustable in terms of the length of blade opened for cutting.

I have been involved with the design and production of ceramic blades and knives for the past five years before passing the company into younger hands.  It is exciting to design unique and expensive knives and when selling price is not important this is a relatively simple task.  It has been much more difficult to create a low cost practical knife using a ceramic blade.

Development

The design and production of an inexpensive practical knife to introduce the benefits of a ceramic blade to the general public has been a two year process.  I did try to use bronze, titanium and carbon fiber, all non-corrosive materials, but these materials were not compatible with my design requirements of simple, durable and inexpensive construction.  Precise metal forming or even extrusion molding could not maintain the required blade tension.  3D printing models were extensively used in developing parameters for an injection molding process where appropriate plastics could be used.   It turned out that a two part molding process with ultrasonic welding could meet tolerances and durability in use.


Why Ceramic?

The trapezoidal utility blade is one of the most commonly used blades in the world. In North America it is estimated that 40% of all homes have one or more blades and over 60% of businesses use them. Obviously a micro ceramic knife cannot serve in all general purpose tasks due to size and the brittleness of the super hard blade. The long lasting sharpness of a ceramic blade and 100% corrosion resistance does make this a better tool over time for small tasks and exposure to moisture.   A ceramic edge will not curl as a steel edge will when cutting tough material such as kevlar or the new ultra high density polyethylene ropes and lines now in use. The overall size and lightness makes it possible to have the micro knife available where a full sized utility knife would not.


Specifications
  1. The ceramic blade is the same size as the universally used Stanley blades with the exception that it is slightly thicker. (.8mm compared with .6mm for steel blades)   Yes a steel utility blade will fit.
  2. Testing has shown that in cutting abrasive materials such as cardboard the ceramic blade will retain it’s edge about 20 times longer.
  3. The Zirconium Dioxide ceramic blade will cut Kevlar, and other tough materials such as the new “super ropes” and fishing lines better than steel as the edge does not curl and create burrs like steel blades.
  4. The ceramic micro knife body is injection molded in two parts. These are electrosonic welded to create the proper tension to hold blade in place during carry but permits in and out movement through thumb pressure. (We tried but were unsuccessful in creating a holder of bronze or titanium materials as the correct tension and sliding resistance could not be controlled.)
  5. Weight of tool with ceramic blade is 6.5 gms or .23 oz (= 3 pennies)
  6. Thickness is 3.5 mm. under ¼”
  7. Total length 2.5” with ceramic blade inside.
Opening Blade and Holding knife

While it seems obvious to me, someone is not going to understand how to force the blade forward out of the holder.   It may be stiff the first few times the tool is used due to the small detent on top,  It will become less tight with opening & closing a few times.  OR gently push up on the catch a bit to loosen it.   The blade is alway held in place by tension from the sides of the channel.  Placing your thumb at the upper back of the blade (not sharp) you can apply forwards pressure to move the blade out of the handle.  OF course the handle needs to be held with other hand at the back, or forefinger at top front of handle to keep it from moving.  The easiest way to hold the handle in place is to use a string or lanyard connected to the hole in back.  The lanyard can be held in other hand, or looped around little finger, or gripped between fingers & palm.  This does become simple and obvious after some practice.

 

Using the lanyard

Grip

This micro knife is too small to hold the way you would a full sized knife.  Using a pinch grip, thumb and forefingers on opposite sides exerts extra tension on the blade so that it will not pull out when cutting things.

*Very little force in the pinch is needed to hold blade in open position. A 72 years old with minor arthritis has no problem with grip.

In addition to the tension on sides,  once the blade starts cutting that force will make the blade try to tip upwards inside the channel and this again helps to hold the blade inside the holder.  Same principle as holding a pen or scalpel blade the pinch grip provides the best fine control of the blade. Even with large chef’s knives the preferred grip is to have thumb and forefinger on blade just in front of the handle.

Pinch Grip

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