“We always aim to make more and more high quality knives as well as try new things,” Reate founder David Deng tells us. Deng is touting the use of RWL34, a powder metallurgy steel and something different from the S35VN seen on many of Reate’s previous offerings.
Named after the legendary Bob Loveless, Reate says RWL34 is closely related to 154CM. According to Deng, Reate’s heat treat takes the steel to 60-61 HRC for superior edge retention. “The addition of Molybdenum and Vanadium gives the RWL34 greater corrosion resistance, hardness and strength,” Deng says.
When Reate debuted the K-1 as a nameless prototype last year, it immediately won admiration in the community. That knife contained a Moku Ti inlay, but the standard production model features carbon fiber. The change not only results in a more masculine and practical look, but manages to bring the weight down half an ounce to 4.93 oz. The 3.8” harpoon-style blade remains the same as does the ceramic ball bearing flipper action.
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The few prototypes that were available for sale went for over $900, and one ended up in the hands of knife designer Liong Mah, who admired the knife for its build quality and custom knife feel. “A lot of handwork goes into each of these knives,” he told us. “If this knife had a custom maker’s name attached to it, I could see it fetching $3000 easy.”
The K-1 will be available with a basket weave carbon fiber inlay for $398, or with a marbled inlay for $420. Reate says the K-1 will be hitting leading North American dealers “very soon.”
Knife featured in image: Reate K-1