Kestrel Knives primary steels used are Ti 6AL-4V, CPM S35VN, ELMAX, CTS-XHP, AEB-L, CPM 10V, CPM 154 and M390. Through extensive testing Kestrel Knives has found the best steels available and offers them to you in exclusive runs of different models. Models and runs will be announced through the Kestrel Knives newsletter and blog. Pre orders will be taken prior to each run.
The ultralight knives are made of 6AL-4V Grade 5 Aerospace Grade Titanium which is known for its strength, lightness, and corrosion resistance. It is commonly used in aircraft turbine engines, aircraft structural components and high performance auto parts due to its high resistance to hot and cold. Titanium will not break in subzero temps whereas a steel knife would if you dropped it on something hard. The corrosion resistance is a huge positive of titanium as it will not rust or corrode even in salt water. How many of you, while out hunting or camping, have put a wet or bloody blade away only to have it rusty in the morning? I know I have.
These things combined make titanium the perfect choice for an ultralight low maintenance knife. The next great thing about titanium is that it is 45% lighter than steel and has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal. This makes for an extremely light and tough knife. You could literally carry a caper, skinner and boning knife made of titanium and they would weigh less or equal to the weight of a single knife made of steel depending on thickness. The knives are so light that you will forget you are even carrying one. I wear one on my belt daily and never even know it is there until I need it.
Titanium alone will not hold a great edge because of how soft it is and some of you may have experienced this already with titanium dive knives. In order to remedy this issue, a layer of tungsten carbide is electronically impregnated onto one side of the knife. Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest materials on earth coming in right behind the diamond. The tungsten carbide, coupled with the softer titanium, creates a micro-serrated edge that cuts for a very long time. As most of you know a toothy edge is great for breaking down an animal and cutting up meat. The edges on these knives will stay toothy for a long time enabling you to cut longer without sharpening. The edge is also somewhat self sharpening because as the edge is used the softer titanium wears away and exposes more carbides.
Since the grind on these knives will be a full convex, getting the edge sharp is accomplished by sharpening only the titanium side of the knife in the same manner you sharpen any convex edge knife. Kestrel Knives recommends the mousepad/sandpaper/strop method and will be doing a series of videos on how to sharpen your new knife and will also be offering a sharpening kit. The edge when sharpened correctly may not feel as sharp as some of your steel knives but I guarantee it will cut, and for a very long time. If you run your thumb or fingernail lightly along the edge of the blade you will feel the micro serrations which means it is ready to start cutting. If at any point you see some rolls in the titanium, they can easily be fixed with a pass or two on a steel rod or stone. Sharpening a titanium knife with a carbide edge is much easier than a steel knife and once you have it down you will see what I mean. I have gone weeks without sharpening after cutting everything from sheetrock to composite wood and the knife would still slice a tomato at the end of each day.
The Kestrel Knives Lifetime Warranty covers any defects in materials and workmanship for as long as you own the product. At Kestrel Knives discretion a defective product will be repaired or replaced. This warranty does not cover breakage due to misuse or neglect. These knives were not designed to be used as prybars or screwdrivers. They were designed with the sole purpose of cutting and should be used with common sense. Use of a knife for any purpose other than cutting voids the warranty.
Kestrel Knives also offers a free resharpening service. All we ask is you pay the shipping. In the event that after many sharpenings the tungsten carbide wears away, Kestrel Knives will also reapply it for free. For warranty issues or sharpening services please contact Kestel Knives before sending your knife in.
Nathan Creech is an avid hunter, fisherman, and backpacker. Born and raised in Northern California, Nathan attributes his love for all things outdoors to growing up amidst the wonders of The Golden State. Early in his youth, he discovered a passion for hunting, ultralight backpacking, and nature in general. That passion has only matured over time. As a seasoned outdoorsman, Nathan often found himself frustrated when working with knives that weren't as sharp as he wanted them to be. In teaching himself how to sharpen, he turned a hobby into a successful knife business: KnifeMods.com. Through his company, Nathan modifies and sharpens high-end knives for an international community of knife users and afficianados. Always looking to expand his horizons, he is now bringing us a line of ultralight knives designed to be the world's lightest and most functional knives available. Specifically geared towards lightening the pack of the ultralight hunter, backpacker and mountaineer, the Kestrel Knives lineup promises to deliver top notch cutting performance at an ultralight weight.