Ferrum Forge Kicks Off Pro-Line with Fortis 2.0

Ferrum Forge Knife Works is preparing the first model in its Pro-Line production knife series, the Fortis 2.0. This is the first time the Fortis design has been available since 2015, and this version brings some significant improvements over its predecessor.

“When we asked what knife should be the first Pro-Line release, the Fortis was the number one suggestion,” says Elliot Williamson, Founder of Ferrum Forge. Until now this design was limited to a single 200 piece custom run in 2015. Compared to the original, the Fortis 2.0 carries the same 3.5-inch blade that Williamson describes as a melded drop point and spear point. “It has a well-swept edge – some belly, but not too much. It still pokes things really well.” Produced by We Knife Co., the Fortis 2.0 will debut with S35VN blade steel and come in at half the price of the original customs.

In terms of changes, Williamson refined the handle and enhanced the ergonomics. “It does seat nicer when you’re holding it,” he notes. A fan of the Spydie Flick, Williamson also incorporated an opening aperture into the blade – something seen on other knives in the Ferrum Forge lineup but not the original Fortis. He tells us that these and other minor tweaks add up to the definitive version of this knife. “I took the original and changed all the things I wanted to since the first release.”

Although Williamson and brother Chris aren’t making these knives themselves, they are implementing tight quality assurance on each finished Pro-Line Fortis. “I’ve been really, really picky with the QC on these. Each one has been handled by Chris and me,” he says. Ferrum Forge itself will be the first line of defense when it comes to warranty. Williamson chose configurations and materials that he knows inside and out, and hopes to troubleshoot most issues in-house for customers. “That’s the number one difference versus other products,” he says. “You’re dealing directly with us.”

Williamson doesn’t beat around the bush. Ferrum Forge has seen many difficulties in the last two years. They’ve watched the demand for product at the $500-and-up level dry up. “The Made-in-America, $500 knife is not lucrative anymore,” he says simply. “There’s so much out there at the price point, and the quality varies so much, that people are losing faith.” Williamson saw the need for Ferrum Forge to reinvent itself and decided to lean into its strength in clean, stylish, useful designs. “We saw an opportunity to use these skills and make products more widely available at lower price points.”

A second Pro-Line release is slated to be out by the end of 2018, but Williamson says Ferrum Forge will really put the pedal to the metal next year. “The Pro-Line opens up a bunch more freedom in terms of what we can do with folding knives,” Williamson says. He comes up with 2 – 3 fresh designs each month so there are plenty of options for production. “I really want to pump out the models in 2019.” Williamson intends to funnel the Pro-Line money back into growing Ferrum Forge itself, improving its US infrastructure and hiring more full-time employees. “We tried to build up with our own manufacturing capabilities, but we couldn’t get enough traction to reach a critical mass for sustained growth working in the price points the cost of our knives necessitated,” Williamson says. “Now we have a pathway to bring knives to market at much more attainable price points and that gives us a real chance to grow again.”

The Fortis 2.0 will arrive with dealers next week.

Knife featured in image: Ferrum Forge Knife Works Fortis 2.0