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Exclusive: This New Pocket Knife Is the First of Its Kind

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It’s impossible to predict the potential that new and groundbreaking materials can have on products. Take spider silk, a Holy Grail fiber that’s highly prized for how unnaturally tough it is (stronger than steel, more tear-resistant than Kevlar) given its super-light weight. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing to produce at scale (farming spiders is hard; they tend to eat each other), but a handful of forward-thinking companies are hedging their bets on the ability to create a synthetic version of it. One of those companies is Bolt Threads, which just collaborated with Best Made Co. to produce an unexpected product: a pocket knife.

How? That’s the reflex response, and it’s well-warranted. To integrate Microsilk, a synthetic bioengineered arachnid fiber developed by Bolt Threads, into a pocket knife, the company turned the material into a composite and with that, created a handle. The knife itself is Chris Reeve’s Nyala, a contemporary take on a fixed-blade skinner and utility blade. It’s 8.5-inches long with a full-tang drop-point blade made of Crucible S35VN steel and weighs 5.96 ounces. The Nyala comes with a lanyard attached to the handle and a leather sheath for multiple styles of carrying.

The Microsilk Nyala isn’t the first collaboration between Best Made Co. and Bolt Threads — the first was a beanie called the Microsilk Cap of Courage — but it demonstrates the wide-ranging application of the new fiber tech. “The work we’re doing with Bolt Threads really excites us, and we’re looking forward to continuing to partner with them in unique ways to create products that fuse Bolt’s expertise in innovative materials with our approach to quality and design,” says Peter Buchanan-Smith, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Best Made Co. “We really learned a lot from each other in terms of combining our timeless design for product beyond apparel with Bolt Threads’ bioengineered materials.”

The Nyala Knife with Microsilk Handle is available now from Best Made Co. in limited quantities.

Is Spider Silk the Performance Fabric of the Future?

Bolt Threads is the biotech company behind Microsilk, a synthetic spider silk that’s engineered from water, yeast and spider DNA. Read the Story

Tanner Bowden

Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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