DPx Gear is celebrating their 10th year in business. When they first started out in 2008, they agreed that they knives had to follow three principles. First, the knives had to be made in the USA. Second, all of the knives had to be high quality, yet still priced affordably. And finally, each knife had to be backed by a lifetime warranty. According to DPx, “We choose to make more of our products in the states to support US labor and the amazing talented manufacturers that share similar passions in their business operations.”
As part of their 10th anniversary celebration, they have been highlighting some of the many US companies the work with in order to produce part of their core lineup of knives. In this story, we’ll take a look at the HEST Original, HEST/F Urban, and Heat Hiker and the makers that DPx has partnered with to produce them.
DPx HEST Original
DPx Gear’s HEST, or Hostile Environment Survival Tool, is the knife that started it all for them. It is their original, “brutal-use” everyday carry fixed blade survival knife. According to the company, “The DPx HEST Original changed the way professionals think of a survival blade. It had to be to be useful and it couldn’t fail when deployed. The HEST concept was created by adventurer and DPx Gear founder Robert Young Pelton who applied his time in three dozen conflicts and adventures through more than 120 countries to come up with the perfect balance of concealability, utility and fail-safe operation in an innovative blade. The HEST features a 0.19 inch blade crafted from high carbon 1095 spring steel with the famous Rowen heat treatment that results in a 57-58 Rockwell hardness. You will find every aspect of the HEST Original thought out: the balance, lashing points, thumb control, wire breaker and even the ability to remove the hollow, Micarta¨ handles for use as a neck knife or field expedient tool.”
The HEST Original is made by Shon Rowen Manufacturing in Idaho Falls, ID. Rowen Manufacturing is a family company built upon old-fashioned, made in the U.S.A., quality craftsmanship. Shon has been a machinist and metal worker since childhood, having learned the craft from his father, also a machinist by trade. Rowen’s exclusive heat treatment to the 1095 Spring Steel used for the DPx HEST Original results in a Rockwell Hardness of 57-58.
The DPx HEST Original is currently available in three finishes: Black, Desert Tan, and OD Green. The knife retails for $120 and can be found here.
DPx HEST/F Urban
The DPx HEST/F Urban is a small, light and feature-packed folder that is just as at home in your pant’s pocket as it is in your EDC pack. The HEST/F Urban knives are made by Zac Brown’s Southern Grind in Peachtree City, GA. Southern Grind, Zac Brown’s Georgia-based knife company, offers unrivaled knife lines and unique metal works made by American hands using extremely high quality materials and an unparalleled attention to detail. According to DPx, “As a true knife enthusiast, Zac has always been interested in blade design and production. He created Southern Grind to be representative of what he believes knives should be – ruggedly dependable and highly functional, born from state of the art technology and quality that is second to none.”
The blade material on the HEST/F Urban is the classic American blade steel developed by American steel manufacturer Crucible called CPM S35VN. The stainless steel formulation is from a gentle formula tweak in 2009 of the already outstanding quality of the S30VN blade steel. DPx also states, “The frame material choice for this new American classic is our U.S.-made alpha beta titanium alloy used in medical implants and aerospace applications. The Ti-6Al-4V material is light, strong, heat-resistant and corrosion-free. A lifetime of use will polish the edges of bead blast finished frames to a beautiful patina.”
The DPx Gear HEST/F Urban is currently available in seven different configurations. Pricing starts at $205 and the full lineup of HEST/F Urban knives can be found here.
DPx Heat Hiker
The DPx Heat Hiker, which is DPX’s lightweight but tough carabiner clipped minimalist knife, is made by White River Knife and Tool Company in Coopersville, MI. According to DPx Gear, “White River Knives is a family operated and owned company whose name is inspired by the White River that runs through the family property in the Manistee National Forest in Michigan. They are passionate about making premium American made knives, with a focus on those used for hunting and fishing. White River offers decades of manufacturing experience with a keen eye for fit and finish.” The DPx Heat Hiker weighs just 2.1 ounces and comes with a lightweight Kydex sheath. The knives are manufactured in Michigan from CPM S30V martensitic stainless steel in order to keep a sharp edge. The steel was developed by Cornell-educated Dick Barber at New York’s Crucible Industries in collaboration with knife-making legend Chris Reeve.
The DPx Heat Hiker is currently available in three finishes: Stonewashed, Sandblasted, and Black. Pricing starts at $125 and more information can be found here.
For more information on DPx Gear, and to learn more about their story, visit their website.