Today we’re going to look at the newest knife from DPx Gear and the Most Interesting Man in San Diego: Robert Young Pelton’s DPx HEST Urban. Mad Duo
All About the DPx HEST Urban Ti First Run – Made in America
What you’re seeing here is one of the first run of the new DPx HEST/F Urban Titanium (hereafter, Urban Ti). This is an all-American made, all-Titanium knife built to DPx Gear’s specs by none other than Zac Brown and Southern Grind. It was designed by Robert Young Pelton of DPx gear and constructed to be what he describes as “heirloom quality.” The initial design of the Urban was limited to 100 units made available on Kickstarter and sold out almost immediately; now, after a year of use around the world to provide final input for refinement, the final version is available.
There are 300 of them available, and they’re not cheap, but they cost a lot for a reason.
Pelton, who holds 24 US and International patents, designed his first knife in 2008 after being hounded to do so by ESEE owner Jeff Randall. RYP has been (accurately) described as both explorer and adventurer, having traveled to and written about over two dozen wars. Time spent in South Sudan, Libya, and Afghanistan led to the establishment of DPx Gear as a place to provide what they describe as “real world products used in such hostile places.”
He also has several books to his credit and is a lifetime member of the RHOROBBBMA.*
*The Right Honorable Order of the Rob Olds – Bill the Butcher Be-Mustached Adventurer. Seriously, it’s a thing. Same as the Yaohnanen Prince Philip Movement.
Among the DPx Urban’s features are a CPM S35V stainless steel blade (with bearing pivot) and tungsten carbide glass breaker. The inclusion of the latter is interesting not because it’s a new innovation. We’ve seen them on knives before. It’s interesting because of how RYP explains its alternate use for self defense.
Carving in Context
“The chances that you can actually stab someone under any conditions in a foreign country under any conditions and get away with it are pretty slim.”
It’s an excellent point, and one that not many people consider. The fact is, it’s just not always appropriate (or smart) to gut someone when you’re defending yourself, even if lethality may be appropriate under the immediate circumstances.
Sometimes you just need clobber the shit out of somebody. Sometimes you need to strip a knife down to the bare essentials, like the blade version of ratfucking MREs. These are all considerations best learned from the experiences of end users, which is DPx typically has a year “out in the wild” before finalizing a design.
“Some people won’t care,” says Pelton, “and that’s fine. But someone who works backwards, starts in the field…what you find that way is not necessarily what looks sexy from a marketing view.”
Take for instance the DPx Urban’s molded, reversible liner, and the rounded handle. It is constructed that way so you can use just the liner (and flat blade), without scales on the handle, for carry in places where real estate is at a premium.
“I’d go out on missions with SOF guys and see how they’re using their knives. They do a lot of prying and using them in the worst possible way. They’re not doing a lot of cutting, and they don’t have a lot space to carry gear, either. They needed something that takes up a minimal bit of precious real estate. Like the HEST 6. It’s a beautiful knife, they loved the blade, but some of the guys were taking the scales off…then using just the liner and zip-tying to their gear. That’s whey we mold our liner, so you can unscrew it and pull the liner out and use just that. There’s lots of little tweaks we pick up in the field.”
The new Urban is actually the smallest yet of their HEST series. It’s a shrunken version of the HST folder, designed so there’s no loss of grip, and built so it can be used in lethal or less-lethal mode. For instance, the tungsten-carbide window-breaker will quite handily serve to put the Habeus Thumpass on somebody.
No wind-up necessary.
“Chances are, if you do get into a fracas, anything above girl slapping, it’s usually going to be with a drunk or malcontent. You need to provide a neural stimulator. Putting the glass-breaker to someone’s skull provides a lot of pain, and it can be used with minimal space. Just a couple of inches can be used to pop holes in someone’s forehead, which while not a severe injury, will be painful and leads to a lot of bleeding. That itself has shock value. This is as opposed to cosh or a sap (or similar impact weapon) that requires some swinging room.”
The glass breaker can also be used, of course, to break glass, which is damned handy if you come upon a vehicle accident or other event. Used to defend yourself, however, it’s a way to serve up some necessary damage and deterrence without ending up in a Mexican, or Guatemalan, or [insert country name here] jail. Think of it as a way to break contact without carving pieces off someone who might be cousins with the local tribal elder, or the sheik’s brother, or just the local magistrate with a preference for catamites and smuggling.
“A knife is about self confidence. Not having a knife, not having a tool, renders you thinking what you wish you had. A pocket knife, in addition to its utility function, adds significant power and use options to your fist if properly designed. That’s why I design backwards, starting with the application, making sure the person using it is entirely happy with it.”
On Hand In Atlanta
If you happen to be at the 2917 Blade Show in Atlanta, you can go check out the DPx Urban in person. They’re at Booth #938, taking reservations for 300 knives of the First Run.
DPx Gear HEST (Hostile Environment Survival Tool/Folding) Urban features:
- American 6Al4v Titanium Frame. A frame made of aerospace quality, American 6Al4v titanium alloy in a stonewashed finish.
- CPM S35V Stainless Steel Blade. A U.S. made and formulated martensitic blade steel also in a stonewashed finish.
- Bearing Pivot. Stainless steel caged bearing pivot hardware for rapid deployment and effortless opening and closing.
- DPx Gear Patented Blade Notch. Designed to allow the knife to open faster than an automatic and to the rear of the holder, keeping it safe from the assailant. Naturally it was also designed to open beer bottles and function as a pot holder.
- Integral ¼” Hex Drive. DPx believes if you are going to carry around a quality knife it better earn its keep. Pairing commonly used hex tools with our built in hex drive turns your DPx HEST/F Urban into a multi tool.
- DPx Gear Patented Tri-Gauge Wire Strippers. Jimping that doubles as wire strippers in the exact size of household gauge, auto and even timer wires (for blasting or electronics).
- Frame Lock. The US-invented frame lock for bulletproof lockup. First used in Chris Reeves’ famous Sebenza® knives it has become the standard locking feature for high-end custom knives. We added a stainless steel cap to reduce wear on the lock face.
- Glass Breaker. The DPx HEST/F Urban has a tungsten carbide glass breaker. A potentially lifesaving tool in the event of an auto accident or fire.
- Reversible, Deep Carry Pocket Clip. The deep carry clip ensures your knife rides as low and as unobtrusively as possible in your pocket. The clip is fully reversible to meet your carry needs.
Country of Origin: USA
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.