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R&D Workshop

Our first Field Utility knife

Like all of our knives, our Field Utility knife has been designed from the ground up with practicality and longevity at the forefront of our minds.

Designed by a Royal Marine & a Scots Guardsman

The story of the Savernake Knives Field Utility begins with employee and former-Royal Marine, Richie Burnett. Amongst his many talents, Richy is our ‘go to’ man for the finishing or ‘clucking’ of all Savernake Knives. A keen eye for detail and a strong distaste for imperfection, he is quite simply the best man for the job. Whilst beavering away one day, he came up with the idea of creating a utility knife especially designed for the Royal Marines family. Whilst Richy’s Royal Marine version is top secret and will be available by invite-only, we’ve designed some other variants which will be available to all, beginning with the Limited Edition Orange Field Utility.

Design

From the outset, just like all of our knives, the idea was to build a knife from the ground up designed to stand the test of time under heavy use. With that in mind, there were various key design features which Richy, working with Savernake Knives Founder and former Scots Guardsman, Laurie Timpson, began with. During his time serving with the Royal Marines, one thing Richie noticed was that colleagues would often end up using the tip of their knives as a tool other than for what it is designed for. At best, this results in the swift blunting of the blade tip. At worst however, the tip will actually break off, being the most vulnerable part of a blade. With that in mind, 2 design features were immediately integrated: a cut-off tip, to provide strength and durability and a robust punch-point at the base of the handle, to provide a reliable and safe tool for just the kinds of jobs the tip is often damaged on. This is where you’ll also find a lanyard hole, carefully positioned so as not to compromise its strength.

Another key design feature of the knife is the tapering, variable hollow grind. This allows the nose to be used for the most punishing tasks with no fear of damage or loss of performance, whilst nearer the handle, the blade thins and deepens, allowing you to move your hand slightly up the handle and carry out razor-precise detail work. In getting this just right, many prototypes were tested and adapted.

It was also very important that the knife didn’t shine in any way, so as not to attract unwanted attention, or worse. This is a feature that is understandably of paramount importance for Richy’s commando version. To achieve this we’ve used Richlite for the handle material, a super durable, easily worked material made from stabilised recycled paper. Once attached to the tang of the knife, the whole thing is tumbled in ceramic media for 24 hours to give it a beautiful matte black finish. To remove the shine from the stainless steel blade, we laser-engrave the whole surface until it no longer shines.

Prototyping

Designing a new knife always involves plenty of rigorous prototyping. What looks good on paper very rarely translates into the perfect knife first time, so this is a key part of the process. Since this was our first go at a utility knife, we ended up working through plenty of test runs before we landed on the perfect one. All of our prototypes are made with the same high quality Sandvik 14c28n stainless steel as our final knives and the handles are made from plain black Richlite, so in this instance, they were not too far from the what the final knife would look like. For this project, we finished the prototypes to the point where we could get a feel for the handle and weight of the knife.

The final knife

Once we’d created a prototype that we were all happy with, it was time to take it through to completion to photograph. We don’t carry stock here at Savernake Knives, all of our knives are made-to-order. Every variant of the Field Utility will come with some form of rigid kydex sheath. The limited edition Orange version of course comes with an orange sheath. Far from just being pleasing to the eye, this sheath has gone through its own design and prototyping phase to deliver a super-practical housing for the knife that can be attached to belt, buckles, straps and just about anything else you can think of.

We couldn’t be happier with the final knife and we’re very excited to start getting them out to our customers. If you’d like any more information on the knife, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you’d like to buy the knife, please click the link below.

Buy the Field Utility