Knafs Lander 2: EDC Pocket Knife
Let's do it again! But bigger! Better! Mooooarrr! The Lander 2 is the next iteration of our everyday carry pocket knife with Fast Swap, Open Source scales. It's similar to the Lander 1 with some solid upgrades based on user feedback and ideas. We think of the Lander 2 like Apollo 12. You see, Apollo 11 sent the first humans to the moon. But Apollo 12 was the mission that proved Apollo 11 wasn't a fluke or anomaly. NASA did it smoother the second time, proving consistency and repeatability. That's what the Lander 2 is all about: do it again, but better.
Wait. Didn't you do this last year? Yes indeed! But this one is bigger with a different lock and better steel. Lander 2 Specs:
- Blade Length: 3.25" (82.6 mm)
- Overall Length: 7.4" (187.9 mm)
- Closed Length: 4.25" (108 mm)
- Blade Thickness: 0.1" (2.5 mm)
- Handle Thickness: 0.4" (10.2 mm)
- Weight: 2.9 oz (84.5 g)
- Steel: S35VN
- HRC: 59-61
- Grind: Flat
- Lock Type: Clutch Lock, a Kizer Knives adaption of the Crossbar Lock
- Liners: Steel, skeletonized
- Handle Material: G10
- Pocket Clip: Deep carry, recessed, reversible, tip up
- Opening Mechanism: Ambidextrous thumb studs
- Thumb Stud Material: Steel
- Pivot: Ceramic caged bearings
- Country of Origin: Yangjiang, China
- OEM: Kizer Knives
Wait. This is New?
Yes indeed! But it looks a lot like the one we made last year. It's the next version. The 2023 model. The new schtuff. The biggest differences between the Lander 1 and 2 are size, locking mechanism, and steel type. Here's a comparison:
Is this just another Crossbar lock on the market with a high end steel? Maybe. Maybe not. Here's why it's different: we're pushing an ideology with this thing. Open Source handle scales. The Right to Repair your own tools. Replacement parts that are easily accessible and affordable on our website. Supporting small makers' aftermarket scales via our website. Teaching knife maintenance. This isn't just about another cool pocket knife on the market. It's about opening up the world to 3D printers, garage CNC-ers, tinkerers, and anyone who wants to dabble in pocket knives. It's a platform that anyone can play on. And that! That is a beautiful thing.
Remember when every vacuum cleaner in the world came with a parts diagram and mail-order form to purchase new parts if they break? That's the idea here. We include a schematic in the package of each knife with labeled part numbers so that if you lose a screw in your carpet (RIP, little guy), you can reorder it, easy peasy.
Just like the Lander 1, the handle scales on the Lander 2 are Open Source, Creative Commons. You can download the CAD file here and have all the fun in the world. Keep in mind, there will be a couple minor adjustments to the file over time. By downloading from the website, you'll be added to an email list where we'll send out the new files with an explanation of what changed.
The scales are Open Source via Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)-- users can distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the scales in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. We just ask that you link back to Knafs. Simple. Open. Endless possibilities.
Last May, we launched the Knafs Lander 1 on Kickstarter. We watched in amazement as 1,115 backers gave us their support-- it was absolutely inspiring to me as a freshly minted full-time business owner. We delivered the Lander 1 on schedule, and we've been thrilled about the response we've seen from folks carrying it. The mods, aftermarket parts, and pictures from across the world make me so happy.
That little knife has transformed our business in beautiful ways. Here's what my business partner and wife, Athena, and I did after that knife launched:
- Hired a team
- Filled up our garage with inventory
- Released a heap ton more products
- Wondered about our life decisions
- Leased a 2,400 square foot location to move the business out of the garage
The goal with Knafs has always been to teach and create positivity in the world. To me, this means building a business and culture that improves people's lives. It's a wicked hard challenge, and I'm going to be brutally honest: there are days when I kind of wish I was just sitting at a desk shilling other people's products and not stressing about hiring, payroll, HR, insurance, and a million other hard things. Working for someone else was simpler. But it didn't light up my mind the way creating my own products does. It didn't feel like I was changing the world in some weird way. I'll be even more honest, since you're already here reading: launching another product on Kickstarter is terrifying to me. Even as I type this, I have to fight back a million insecurities and anxieties about this thing. Creating is exposure and exposure is uncomfortable. It's the artist with work hung in the gallery, knowing the critics will criticize. It's a city engineer who knows her new crosswalk will never please everyone. It's the semi-driver who gets crusty looks for taking up freeway space, but knows his job keeps the world humming. Our work as humans is all about creating in all our individual spheres. And creating is so, so hard. But create we must. Build we must, despite the imposter syndrome and critics and frothing waves pounding from every side of the little boat. And so, here we are, throwing the Knafs Lander 2 out into the world.
The Design Process
Creating a new knife in the same line is challenging. It must have all the same styling cues of the previous version, but it must be new and different-- true to the original, but altogether fresh.
I started sketching the Lander 2 in Illustrator, then I printed my classic cardboard prototypes to dial in the sizing.
From there, the team at Kizer has been spectacular in helping create the CAD files, and we moved onto 3D prints for fit. It's been really fun to work with Pinn and the rest of the team at Kizer to bring my 2D chicken scratch sketches to life.
From here, we received the protoypes, and we're in the process of field testing them. There are a few modifications we already know we're going to make to the pocket clip, jimping, and the blue G10. User testing and more digging will likely result in a few other minor changes.
Lander. I haven't told this story publicly before, but the name for this knife actually came from the little town of Lander, Wyoming. We were traveling through in 2018 on our way to Montana, and the town's name stuck with me. It must have been something about the the cool mornings and light breeze flowing off the Wind River mountains. I know, weird. I wrote it down in my notebook, thinking it would be an interesting name for a knife. A couple days later on the same trip, I designed my original Knife Poster-- the product that launched our business. It was a time of solid inspiration.
Years later in 2021, I drew up the Lander 1 knife sketches, and I went back to my names list. I realized the infinite potential of "Lander" being connected to the Moon landing and what I was trying to do with Knafs. It embodied all the adventure, terror, and unknown I was feeling, and it connected that week of inspiration back in 2018. Whoa. I slapped a trademark on the name, and Lander it became.
Production, Shipping, Timelines
This project is already rolling. We're go for liftoff! Join us.
A BIG NOTE ON INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: we have opened this to International Backers, which means we're navigating a heap-ton of knife laws across the globe. We're also navigating international shipping. Due to high shipping costs, all international orders will be shipped via USPS. We won't be shipping to the UK (sorry chaps, but your knife laws are tough). Canadians, we have concerns about your shipping too. We'll do our best with all our international amigos, but let's link arms and kumbaya early on, knowing that shipping sharp and pointies worldwide isn't a perfect science.
Notes + FAQs
FAQ: you had QSP make the Original Lander 1. Why did you switch to Kizer for the Lander 2?
Great question. I fell in love with their Clutch Lock mechanism. They did an excellent job on it on the Drop Bear, and I asked if they'd be open to me using it on one of my designs. Kizer was incredibly generous in allowing me to use it, and I've been grateful to work with them. QSP will continue to make the Lander 1. The parts are not compatible between models-- a feature I lament, but that's life.
Did you seriously read to the very end? Wow. Thank you. I feel like there should be some sort of cookie down here at the bottom. That means a lot to me.
Risks and challenges
There are two main challenges with this project: 1. Supply Chain: remember a couple years ago when the whole world skidded to a screeching halt with a pandemic? I do. One of the challenges Covid exposed is the interconnected-ness of our global supply chain. The Butterfly Effect is real when it comes to logistics and making products on the other side of the world. So, while I don't anticipate supply chain issues, I still remember The People making a mad run on toilet paper in 2020. The world is a crazy place. 2. Scale: Knafs is a small operation. This means there are times when we're a little slower than we'd like (or you'd like!) to package, ship, or respond. We'll do our very best in all these areas, but keep in mind you're working with a small business cooking up big ideas. The food may take longer, but it will taste better.