What Happened to the World’s Deadliest Knife?

Once billed as the ‘World’s Deadliest Knife’, the WASP Injection Knife exploded onto the knife scene in early 2008. The knife received a great deal of attention in the media and on YouTube because of its unique and deadly action. After the blade penetrates a target, at the press of a button the WASP unleashes compressed air into the target that is capable of creating a cavity the size of a basketball.

The secret is a replaceable handle that contains a CO2 cartridge. The knife is built with a hollow channel that runs from the handle to a small outlet hole in the blade. When the user presses the button near the blade’s guard, the CO2 cartridge contained in the handle is tapped releasing the gas at a high rate of velocity through the blade and into the target.

According to Sean Florian, owner of Florian Tools, the manufacturer of the WASP Injection Knife – the story of the knife starts with inventor Greg Rondinone: “[He] came to us with the product to see if it was something that could be made, and we redesigned it. The knife was impractical to manufacture as it was – so we perfected it.”

At the time the WASP was launched, some in the knife community saw the knife as a high functioning novelty and believed it would become just a fad. Initially, the unusual knife did not gain any traction. “It kinda didn’t go anywhere so we bought the company from [Greg Rondinone] and we basically developed what you see now,” said Florian.

WHO IS BUYING THE WASP?

The knife’s functionality has caught the eye of divers because the WASP offers several underwater benefits not available in a regular knife: First, the velocity and volume of gas released causes near immediate incapacitation and death – you don’t have to face an ongoing battle with a wounded and enraged adversary. Also, the icy blast of CO2 results in localized freezing and reduces wound bleeding – ideal for shark infested waters. Finally, the target – now filled with gas, has enough buoyancy to lift up and away to keep the diver safe from predators.

The knife also started appealing to sportsmen: “Hunters are using it on wild boar for a quick kill,” said Florian. People are also continually discovering the WASP because the explosive power of the knife has a dramatic appeal to TV and film writers. “We’ve been in several TV shows: Law & Order, CSI, and on the Discovery Channel. It’s about to be in a major motion picture as the knife of choice of a lead character,” added Florian.

HOW ARE SALES OF THE WASP GOING?

“The WASP is not a mainstream product – we don’t sell as many WASPs as we do the Buck 110 for example. The WASP is a specialized product and comes at a higher price point,” said Jason Kunkler of KnifeCenter who have been selling the WASP & its accessories since the early days. “Considering it’s a peripheral product, we are pleased with the sales – it’s a steady seller and we regularly have to re-order.”

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