Army of Steel

Spartan Blades Beefs Up Their Battery With New Offerings

Last time we checked in with the folks at Spartan Blades, they had formed Pineland Cutlery, Inc. with plans to expand their line by infusing more affordable cutlery alongside their already established upscale fare. That was two years ago, so we thought we’d contact Spartan co-founder Curtis Iovito for an update. According to Curtis, it has exceeded their expectations. “We have enjoyed threefold growth since the formation of the company,” Curtis informs Handgunner. “Pineland Cutlery, Inc. doing business as Spartan Blades, has enjoyed continued growth after the formation of the company. We have introduced several new products into distribution with distributors such as Blue Ridge Knives and Davidsons, allowing for the ease of purchase by small gun shops and retailers, which has added to growth.”

Part of that rapid growth can be attributed to a joint venture with KA-BAR Knives to expand the line. “The development of new products continues, and the synergy between Spartan Blades and KA-BAR in the Pineland Cutlery venture is strong,” explains Iovito. “We released several new products this year, one of which is a MagnaCut KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Knife, in our North Carolina shop. This will be the first super steel version of this iconic knife. We joked last month that KA-BAR and Spartan Blades are still in the ‘honeymoon phase’ of our Pineland collaboration because we continue to enjoy working together and exploring new projects.” Indeed, when I surfed the Spartan Blade website, the first thing I noticed was a much broader range of pricing, particularly on the entry-level side. Mission accomplished!

Legendary Tribute

The aforementioned newly minted version of the USMC Fighting/Utility Knife, dubbed the Spartan-KA-BAR, takes the enduring legend to new heights. It was at the request of John Stitt, CEO of both KA-Bar and Pineland Cutlery, to produce a modern version of the “KA-BAR” knife with increased edge retention, toughness and corrosion resistance — and the Spartan production team delivered. They chose CPM MagnaCut stainless steel manufactured by Crucible Industries of Syracuse, NY — the world leader in particle metal technology.

A refined version of the original, the Spartan-KA-BAR is 12.0″ in overall length with the familiar flat Saber ground Clip Point blade with Fuller groove. Optional finishes are PVD — Tungsten DLC Flat Black or ZrN Flat Dark Earth. The 5.0″ handle is true to the real McCoy upgraded to durable Kraton G with a 301 stainless PVD flat black coated guard and butt cap. Sheath options include a leather reproduction of the original military version or a thoroughly modern Kydex belt hanger in black or Coyote Brown.

Harsey Nessmuk Black

Harsey Fixers

Noted knifemaker Bill Harsey has been an integral part of the Spartan Blades team since its inception. The slick 11.0″ Spartan Harsey Fighter is one of his consummate works, exhibiting the fluid design from tip to tail that makes his knives so popular. The knife’s 6.125″ black powder-coated clip-point blade is 1095 Cro-Van high carbon steel with a Fuller groove parallel to the spine. The sumptuous 4.875″ handle has Black GFN scales with nice palm swell and a diagonal ribbed pattern for enhanced purchase. Weight is very manageable at 11.5 oz. The Spartan Harsey Fighter belt sheath is injection-molded black polymer with a black Nylon drop loop and retainer strap. A swing-out thumb lock at the rear guard further secures the Harsey Fighter in the sheath.

The Spartan Harsey Nessmuk takes the Harsey Fighter’s superb handle and serves up a hunter’s hard-nosed skinning knife. Designed primarily for large game, the Harsey Nessmuk’s upswept, flat-ground blade features 1095 Cro-Van high carbon steel, black powder-coated for corrosion resistance and low reflection. An inch shorter than its Fighter stable mate at 10.0″ overall, Harsey designed the unique Nessmuk blade with a slightly flatter profile to enhance its ability for all-round field use without sacrificing superb game processing capabilities. Weight is 10.88 oz. and the Harsey Nessmuk is delivered with an injection molded polymer sheath for both belt or MOLLE carry. Both the Spartan Nessmuk and Fighter are manufactured by Ka-Bar and reflect the company’s goal of offering more affordable pricing in their line.

Harsey Dragon Folder

Finery And More

Spartan built much of its reputation on top-shelf tactical folders, and they still offer some of the finest in the industry. The Spartan-Harsey Folder — SHF model for short — is their flagship folding knife and demonstrates Harsey is every bit as talented designing folding knives as he is fixers. Lately, SHF fans have been treated to a bevy of Special Editions, and the exquisite Dragon model is featured here. The Dragon is based on the large SHF with a 4.0″ Crucible Industries CPM S45V stainless super steel blade and 5.0″ Titanium frame. This makes for a nice size canvas for the etched and multi-colored anodized Asian dragon that graces the front slab. The dragon art is repeated on the rear slab, sharing space with a frame-lock mechanism and pocket clip.

Spartan also offers SHF 4.0″ Special Editions in Asian Koi Fish, Viking Long Boat and Royal Flush themes. The smaller SHF 3.5″ blade series folders can be had in a God and Country theme. If you want something more subdued you can simply go with a Chad Nichols Damascus blade with anodized gold or blue accents on the pivot, thumb stud, pocket clip and spacer screws.

Last but not least, if you find yourself eating on the run more often than you like, make it a pleasurable experience with the Carnivore Personal Dining Set. This sturdy, screw-together knife and fork duo is built for chowing down on the road or in the wild. Made of Japanese VG-10 stainless steel, don’t be surprised if it outperforms your domestic fare, and should you need to sharpen the knife’s edge, the Carnivore comes with a set of ceramic V-rods complete with base. The knife has a 2.125″ blade and the G-10 handled pair of utensils clock in at 6.1″. Everything tucks away in a durable black 4.31×2.63x .5″ injection molded polymer case.

If you haven’t meandered over to the Spartan Blades website lately you will be delightfully surprised. Call it “sticker shock in reverse.” The company offers fixed-blade and folders for budgets large and small, plus tools and accessories — even their own blend of Spartan coffee. Promises made. Promises kept!

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