OUR HOTTEST FOLDER YET
Drop's second collaboration with Tashi Bharucha, the Heat Seeker is a production version of one of his most popular custom knives. From its skeletonized, aggressively angled handle to its wide trailing-point blade, it’s instantly recognizable. However, this version is even stronger. Unlike traditional frame locks, there are no backspacers or standoffs to connect the two sides of the frame; they meet almost seamlessly at the spine for improved strength and ergonomics. The handle is milled with “heat vents,” which help reduce weight, promote a sure grip, and add a touch of signature Bharucha flair. And it’s no surprise a knife with this much swagger is made with premium materials. Look to the 3.7-inch Damasteel RWL34 blade to breeze through all kinds of slicing and piercing tasks.
FOR THE DISPLAY CASE OR THE POCKET
In terms of overall design, the Heat Seeker is as clean as it gets. In fact, the show side of the knife is pristine: aside from the pivot screw, all other screws are on the lock side of the knife (except on the carbon fiber model)—and with the blade deployed, you can see right through the handle. This version of the Heat Seeker is just as easy to open as the original, too. The blade already rides on smooth caged bearings, and we added jimping to the flipper tab to facilitate a sure grip. You’ll find another modification in the blade shape. Instead of a slight recurve, we straightened out the edge for a more utilitarian profile. While you may want to put this beauty on display, you can carry it in a pocket by way of the right-handed tip-up clip.
TASHI BHARUCHA: “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LINES”
Tashi Bharucha didn’t start as a knifemaker. A graphic designer by trade, he grew up with an affinity for precise, highly finished objects. Early on, that manifested itself in the form of knives—specifically Spyderco knives, on which he spent much of his disposable income. But it wasn’t until he started designing knives himself that his passion reached a new level. Taking a more broad approach to knife design than many other makers, Bharucha is renowned for his ability to pair wide, functional blades with slender, ergonomic handles. His long list of collaborations reads like a Who’s Who of knifemaking legends, including names like Bob Terzuola, Peter Carey, Jens Anso, Allen Elishewitz, Tom Mayo, Lee Williams, and many more.
REATE: A STORY OF PRECISION CRAFTSMANSHIP
A small and highly respected original equipment manufacturer, Reate was founded in 2012 by David Deng, a longtime knife enthusiast with a background in mechanical design and manufacturing. Since starting the business, Deng has expanded its capabilities to offer key services like wire EDM precision cutting, laser engraving, CNC milling, low-temperature tempering, custom hand finishing, hand grinding, and more. Owing to the company’s impressive work, Reate has earned the opportunity to work with knifemakers among the likes of Liong Mah, Tashi Bharucha, Kirby Lambert, and Todd Begg.
A CLOSER LOOK AT RWL34 STAINLESS STEEL
RWL34 is named after iconic knifemaker Bob Loveless, who popularized the hollow-ground drop-point blade and the use of full-tapered tangs and screw-type handle scale fasteners. Loveless originally employed ATS34 ball-bearing steel to meet the demands of his custom knives, but knew it could be improved further. Similar to ATS34, but made through Damasteel's state-of-the-art Rapid Solidified Powder process, RWL34 is a tribute to Loveless’s legend. It performs best at high hardness, takes a wicked sharp edge, and can be sharpened with relative ease—all while maintaining excellent toughness and strength. It also takes a great finish (whether satin or high polish), and is one of Bharucha's favorite steels.
- Designed by Tashi Bharucha
- Manufactured by Reate
- Produced by Massdrop
- Country of origin: China
- Blade: Damasteel RWL34 stainless steel
- Blade profile: Trailing point
- Grind: Flat
- Finish/coating: Satin and hand rub
- Handle: Titanium
- Handle finish: Bead-blast gray, Black DLC, stonewashed blue anodizing, stonewashed bronze anodizing
- Opening mechanism: Flipper tab
- Lock: Frame lock
- Pivot: Caged bearings
- Pocket clip: 3D-milled titanium
- Hardened steel lockbar insert, stop pin, and pivot barrel
- Hardware: Torx T8 all around
- Blade length (from tip of blade to forward-most aspect of handle): 3.7 in (9.4 cm)
- Cutting edge: 3.5 in (8.9 cm)
- Blade thickness (at spine): 4 mm
- Blade thickness (1 mm behind apex): 0.5 mm
- Handle length: 4.9 in (12.4 cm)
- Handle width: 0.5 in (1.3 cm) without clip, 0.7 in (1.7 cm) with clip
- Overall length: 8.5 in (21.6 cm)
- Weight: 4.8 oz (136 g)