There are decent knife companies that offer a wide variety of knives based on extensive market research and careful development processes – and then, there is Cerberus.
As usual, the concept emerged in the collective blur that lingers in every bar around midnight. Something was mentioned about zombies and the lack of proper tools for survival in apocalyptic conditions.
Unfortunately enough, Cerberus has not only the initiative, but also the potential to finish such projects with success, so we quickly started working on the realization.
The main features of the concept were as follows:
- Enough size and weight to hack its way through anything but remain practical
- Robust, durable and reliable
- High quality steel and handle material
- State-of-the-art ergonomy, with or without gloves
- Ideal for camping, war games, actual war or any other outdoor activities
Although the concept was the same, either one of the crew had a different approach to it, so we decided to make three different models. At this point, the execution of each model came down to personal preferences, since there is no right answer to this problem.
Now, let’s get down to business
Like all our other projects, conceptual planning began with rough sketches. These integrated the main features that we stated above and gave a rough outline of each concept. After much discussion about these outlines, we finalised the concepts and started to make detailed drawings.
When designing my version of this project, my main concepts were simple manufacturing and top notch performance. My main influences were the langseax, the kukri and the falcata. Although the mashup of these three put into a hi-tech environment is not evident, I did believe that the result may be something useful.
Just like with the kukri, the blade can be divided to two parts: the seax-like straight edge shall be an excellent chopper, while the concave curve near the handle shall be helpful with carving sticks with its chisel edge. Although I’m not a fan of tanto style point, I’m considering one just for the hell of it. Vois la – a perfect mashup.
The handle shape shall ensure a secure grip in all conditions, while silicone rubber padding is supposed to provide firm grip, ergonomic shape and excellent vibration dampening. If worn out, this padding can be replaced with a set of screws.
A simple ABS or Kydex sheath would hardly meet my expectations, so the material of choice here was going to be glass fiber composite with appropriate aluminium inserts. This would be able to be kept on a war belt, under the armpit or on the back (with proper harness).
We could have stopped here with the planning, outline the drawings on sheet metal and cut out the knives by hand, but we went further than that. First we scanned all what we had, imported the scans into Inkscape and made a vector graphical outline of the original drawings. The process was simple: George pasted the scans as background images, then drew a line around the drawing’s contour, then scaled it up to the desired size. When finished, the outlines could be freely modified, copied, exported and stored for later use.
We had learned that a digitalising our drawings has several advantages. First, the digital version doesn’t wear out, no matter how many times it has been copied. The curves and edges of the digitalized drawing can be smoothed out and freely modified, unmodified and made versions of. These versions can be compared to each other to pick the best result.
Every man love weapons, me especially such cold weapons that are brutal enough to inflict nasty wounds, so my sweet spot are axes and cleavers. Following this path, my main concept was an elongated heavy chopper smoothed with curves for serious hacking. All of this mixed with slight tacticool characteristics and pumped up with testosterone and we’re done… or are we?
This is not that simple. The plan worked out itself after blending many ideas, experiences and influences. I am a great fan of fantasy, especially the world of Tolkien, so my starting point was the “sword” of the Uruk-hai. This shape however is too simple and dangerous due to the standing spike. So I cut the spike but left some meat there for heft. I use smaller knives for delicate work, so the curvy part is not going to have a real edge, which leaves that part strong enough.
The intricate handle shape is supposed to counterbalance the relatively simple blade, my main influence here being the falcata.
Although still in the concept phase, we constantly kept the available manufacturing processes in mind. Given this size, water cutting from sheet metal promised the best result for making the blade blank. This has a direct impact on the design, since having the same thickness throughout the entire blade demands special attention when designing mass geometry, but gives nearly unlimited freedom with the contour.
I like kukris. I like falcatas. I also like to keep it simple. Why not mix these together? Alright, maybe I won’t get the Nobel prize for this innovation, but who cares if I’ll have a decent knife at the end?
Since falcatas have been fascinating me for a long time, I wanted to make something that resembled them. Now George and Peter are gonna say that everything that I make will end up kukri-ish, but this one was on purpose. Word.
And the result? A kukri with a falcata handle. Hell yeah.
In terms of handles and sheaths, the general idea was to use artificial materials. Although this has limited impact on the original concept, handle and sheath material and design does count, just like the method they are crafted with.
After all the drawings were finalised, the latest versions were collected to send them over for laser cutting our prototypes and initiate the prototyping phase. But let’s save that for the next chapter. See you next time!