This is a summary of my thoughts and customer feedback on the HideAway's unique benefits and how it compares to other self-defense or utility knives.

How does the HideAway compare to other self-defense or utility knives?

The HideAway is a personally-fitted knife that provides unsurpassed retention characteristics, ease of concealment, and ease of deployment. It is the only self-defense knife on the market offering hands-free use. The HideAway is being finished by several of the best of the best custom makers around.

What does this do for me?

9 things.

1) Hands-free use

Hands-free use.

Utility: Any activity where you might need to use a knife but might also need to have your hands available to hold on to something else is a good fit for the HideAway. This includes: fishing, gardening, parachuteing, white-water rescue, etc. The most common utility chore I use my HideAway for is package opening followed by DVD opening, where the action is cut-pull-cut-pull and I don't have to keep putting down and picking back up scissors or a knife.

Self defense: A situation where someone is trying to hurt you is both highly variable and highly unpredictable. You might need to grab on to something to balance. When you hear glass breaking in your back door window, you might also want to be holding on to a light or a gun or even another knife.

2) Unsurpassed retention characteristics

Unsurpassed retention characteristics.

Utility: Sometimes dropping a knife would be a really inconvenient thing to do. Especially if you are around water, or are needing to juggle several things in your hands.

Self defense: The implied assumption in discussions of self-defense situations that you would be able to hold on to a conventional knife that needs grasping during the entire confrontation is mildly amusing to me. You just might not be able to do this. You might quickly sustain a head blow that causes your hand to momentarily relax. If this were to happen and you were "wearing" a HideAway it would still be there in the next second.

The custom fit of a HideAway means it will be large enough to yank on quickly but small enough to be easily retained if needed. "It feels like it was made for my hand." was someone's initial response. It was, dude! ;-)

3) Easily concealed

Easily concealed

This means the HideAway can be hidden in plain sight. This means you will have it when you need it. Which could be better than larger knives that stay at home in the drawer or safe.

4) Easily deployed

Easily deployed

Deploying a HideAway = yank it and go.

HideAway owners' feedback is that deploying a HideAway is much easier than deploying their folder and also easier to index than other popular fixed blade self-defense knives.

Consider ease of deployment and retention of the HideAway vs any folder. Being able to correctly deploy a folding knife in a high-threat situation is a high-risk failure scenario. Instructors, experts, and dedicated students who practice folder deployment hundreds or thousands of times might have an good chance of doing deploying a folder correctly. People who don't practice religiously will not. Yes, you can claim that if it's important, you would practice. Yes, we all know that flossing our teeth is very important, but how many people do it every night? Beyond the risk of folder deployment failure, you have the retention consideration. As SouthNarc says in the HideAway training DVD, anyone, no matter how well trained, can be surprised and have their grape popped. Then, you have an edge on the ground.

5) Best of the best finishing artists

Best of the best finishing artists.

I am incredibly lucky that the best of the best knife makers around have taken an interest in this project. The makers have added their time, talent, edge grinding and finishing skill, advice and experience that has resulted in the overall effect that the finished product provides.

6) 2-finger capsule hole vs. 1 round hole or none

Some of my customers have noticed that the HideAway's unique 2-finger capsule hole allows for better retention then single finger hole retention features in other knives. One of my design philosophies as an engineer is to design for failure. To design assuming multiple failure scenarios can occur. Blade rotation is the failure scenario where with a single finger hole knife, the blade can rotate around the hole and on to your other fingers.

HideAway owners' feedback also indicates that 2-finger capsule hole provides for faster and easier access compared to single hole. My guess as to why people feel this is the case is because when you are deploying a more traditional single-holed knife that also has a handle, you are actually doing 2 things: 1) Finding the finger hole with your index finger, and 2) grabbing on to the knife with your hand. With the HideAway capsule, it's a one-motion yank. Personally I don't think the speed difference between the 2 types of knives would be significant, but the ease of deployment difference might be. My buddy SouthNarc gave me some key criticism early in the development of the HideAway about having 2 separate holes in the early design. Like many others, a more conventional grip was favored. However, when I was trying to figure out a resolution to the criticism, I did the opposite of a conventional grip. I just decided to collapse them into one big oblong "capsule hole". Further, I realized that adding any kind of finger indentation separators at all would be a mistake and completely unnecessary. When you put your fingers into a fist, do you need separators between your fingers to make it feel right? No.

7) Materials & Process

I use the best materials and the best makers in completing your knife.

HideAways are made of Crucible Steel's new S30V stainless steel. Knifemakers prefer S30V for its combination of edge retention capabilities and rust resistance. On the other hand, S30V costs a lot more than other knife steels and is more difficult to grind and work with at every step of the process. But for the customer, the end result is a great edge. The titanium HideAways are made from 6AL4V Titanium, which is the recipe that Mick Strider says is best for this incredibly lightweight, durable, and corrosion free material.

See "The Design Process" for an overview of the making of a custom knife.

8) Price

Someone pointed out to me that you can't find a custom knife made by many of these makers that is in the same price ballpark of a $139 HideAway. This is true. I especially think about this when I go to the gun range and see production folders in the $200 range! But I want to keep the price within reach of most folks. I hope to be able to break even on the project soon if orders keep flowing in, and then use profits to buy the rest of what's needed to build a 4-axis CNC setup and maybe a lathe. Going from your standard girl-garage to having knife-making equipment, including a variable speed belt sander, has been a non-trivial cash investment.

My priority right now is providing an exceptional quality, highly practical and useful knife made out of the new S30V stainless, custom fit to the individual, with 9 different sheathing options. Right now I am focused on fulfilling orders to the group of people who have helped me with this project and whom I have grown to know and respect.

9) Sheathing Options

I've been focused really hard on carry options for over a year now. Standard belt carry was unacceptable to me, and other options were lacking. The result is what you see when you click here: HideAway Carry Options

HideAways are custom fit to your hand for retention and speed. Please measure twice.
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