Resolute Tools is a new company that seeks to bring the aerospace design and manufacturing experience of Resolute Aerospace to EDC tools. That begs the question… what happens when aerospace meets EDC? Intricate machining, function-first design, and material science happen. The X-1 happens.
The X-1 is a retractable EDC utility knife with a Grade 5 Titanium (6Al-4V) housing with an aluminum-bronze blade slider. It makes use of standard disposable utility blades and offers tool-less blade replacement. It weighs in at just .445 ounce with a blade and is only .125″ thick.
Observations from Use
Have you ever held something in your hand and you could just feel that it was something that was very, very fine? That is the impression that the X-1 gives when you hold it. It feels like something you should be proud to own – like something special.
Minimalism is fine but it seems like Resolute Tools really only looked at minimalism as a starting point. Then, they set about stripping away every extra sliver of material or pretense until they had something beyond minimalist. There are only two monolithic parts (three if you count the blade) which themselves have been reduced to their most simple, lightweight forms.
The attention to detail goes deeper than just the design and extends into the materials. The 6Al-4V titanium material for the housing was chosen for its elastic properties making it well suited for use as an integral spring to tension the detent on the slider. The slider itself makes use of an aluminum bronze bearing alloy that has a low coefficient of friction. It feels almost oily (in a good way) as it slides within the titanium housing.
That minimalism does come at a price. Many similar EDC utility knives have a larger blade carrier that slides inside a much larger housing. This serves to prevent the blade from rubbing on the housing. The X-1 has a much more minimal blade carrier and, unfortunately, it allows the blade to rub against the housing to some extent which will prematurely dull the blade. When I pointed out the dulling issue, Resolute Tools told me this was an intentional design decision to keep the X-1 as small as possible while still retaining the functionality necessary to cut tape on Amazon boxes or other EDC tasks. They also tell me that carbide utility blades will resist dulling better than the typical carbon steel blades. I can confirm that while some dulling does happen pretty much immediately, a working edge capable of opening packages and the like is retained for quite a while.
I would like to describe the experience of carrying the X-1 but there is really nothing to describe. It’s like carrying nothing at all. It’s so thin and so light that you’ll never know its in your pocket. I like carrying it in my jeans coin pocket. The clip is integral to the housing and well designed. It retains the X-1 well and slides onto the pocket easily. It is a joy to carry.
Using the X-1 is just as nice as carrying it. It rests in the hand easily. It opens and closes easily with a satisfying detent action when the blade carrier reaches its limits. You can feel solid stops at both ends of the blade’s travel with a gentle thud as the blade carrier detent drops into place. Every corner is broken to make it feel soft in the hand. Like I said earlier, it feels like something special.
If the X-1 is what Resolute Tools comes up with for their first entry into the EDC tools market, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.
The Resolute X-1 is in its final days on Kickstarter. It on pace to exceed 5 times it’s original funding goal and Resolute Tools is already making them. You can find out more at their campaign page: Resolute X-1 on Kickstarter
What happens when engineers with an aerospace manufacturing background set their minds to designing a disposable utility blade based, EDC knife to be as slim, light, and simple as possible? The Resolute X-1 happens.
Resolute Tools is a new company that seeks to bring aerospace engineering principles to bear on the EDC market. The potential for such an approach is clear when you take a look at their first tool, the Resolute X-1, with its clever use of material properties and extreme simplicity of design.
The Resolute X-1 has three main components: a standard utility blade, a bronze blade holder, and a titanium frame. The blade rides in the blade holder which is machined from naturally low friction allowing to slide in the titanium frame. The titanium frame has an integral leaf spring that provides detent action for the blade holder so it snaps into the open and closed positions. It’s a very clever design that keeps the entire package slim and simple.
The titanium frame is radically skeletonized to reduce weight and bulk. It fully encapsulates the sharp edges of the utility blade when it is retracted and has an integral pocket clip. The result is an EDC knife that is just .282″ thick and weighs less than half of an ounce! If you carry a larger knife regularly, this may be the perfect companion to it.
Resolute Tools is currently launching the Resolute X-1 on Kickstarter. You can learn a lot more about the design and its creators on their campaign page: Resolute X-1 on Kickstarter