Hawk Knives Preps Deadlock Model C for a Blade Show Debut

Blade Show 2021will mark the debut of the latest version of the Hawk Knives Deadlock, the Model C. The Deadlock Model C’s updated chassis will make the OTF more reliable and easier to produce.

Hawk Knives released the original Deadlock in 2016. It made an enormous splash because it was the first OTF without blade play. “The very first goal was to create an OTF that locked up solid,” Gavin Hawk says. “After that it’s been how to make it easier to produce.” Gavin and his father Grant Hawk have worked towards that end with each subsequent iteration of the Deadlock. “We originally started with a three-piece construction, and I took that original configuration to perfection with the last few batches of the Model B,” Hawk continues. That meant the next update would have to be a significant one. “To be able to take the design to the next level I had to completely start over from the ground up. And that included some changes in the basic construction as well as a change in materials.”

The new Deadlock Model C is made from aluminum, not titanium.

Previous Deadlock models had frames made from titanium, but the Model C is made from aluminum instead. “The issue with titanium is the galling. Which is why a lot of knife makers put steel inserts into their frame locks, or carbidize the lock face,” Hawk explains. To counteract the galling, Model A and B Deadlocks had their interior blade channel rails carbidized to prevent wear over time. “This was a very time-consuming process that made the surface hard, but not very smooth. This was a constant issue in assembly.”

An aluminum frame meant that the Hawks were able to implement a type III hard anodization. This made the rails’ surfaces both durable, and very smooth. “It’s amazing how much better the knife works from the standpoint of repeatable lockup,” Hawk tells us. “I knew that a lot of our issues we were having in assembly were the result of a rough blade channel. And that if we could just go to a smooth blade channel things would improve, and they definitely did.”

The new frame also reduces the overall part count. “In the Model B we used a three-piece construction that included two overlays and a frame that were sandwiched together,” says Hawk. “On the Model C we are using a two-part construction which makes for a more rigid handle, and easier to machine parts. It also means that we have one main component that all other parts fasten to. So the major components can be screwed down and held solid.” Hawk also notes that the Model C is the best the Deadlock has ever looked. “I’m sure I’m a little biased but I really like the way the aesthetics of the Model C turned out. It’s just sexy. I literally look at Model C and think, Wow I designed that!”

These changes should let the Hawks do something with the Deadlock that they’ve wanted since the beginning: produce it on a larger scale. “It’s still early to know how that will actually work in reality, but I suspect we will be able to put out a lot of these,” Hawk tells us. Once the basic workflow is established, the Hawks will work on variations with different inlays and blade steel – things that never happened with the Model B, due to the time intensive construction process.

The Deadlock Model C will be Hawk Knives’s main focus going forward. And as far as production collaborations or the like go, Hawk says there won’t be any. “We have no plans of doing that. We made a very conscious decision to go forward as a high-end manufacturer, and we’ve been very happy with our decision.”

The first Deadlock Model C prototypes will be offered for sale at Blade Show this weekend. After that, availability will be announced through the Hawks’ newsletter, which you can sign up for here.

Knife in Featured Image: Hawk Knives Deadlock Model C