Made in USA
Critter Cutters are manufactured in Texas using raw stainless steel Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia. The high-tech rainbow nitride coating is done in California and tactical BlackOut powder coatings are done in Texas.
The Critter Cutter™ is constructed from a single piece of solid stainless steel, very thick at 0.21 inches (the same thickness as an Apple iPod Nano ). Because of its strength, stainless steel is more expensive to work with than aluminum, and harder on the tooling. However, stainless steel makes the product stronger and sturdier – the pry bar/box cutter nose won’t bend and the teeth of the twist-off bottle opener won't wear out like aluminum. Stainless steel is also good in wet environments (think ice, coolers and fishing).
Minimalist, artistic flair
We took somewhat of a minimalist approach: everything in the design is functional (even the eye and mouth serve functions) and we used one solid piece with no moving parts. Aesthetically we felt minimalist did not have to mean boring or ordinary, so we gave it an artistic “critter” flair. One side has the words “Critter Cutter” and “Made in USA” while the other side has a solid smooth surface. Another aesthetic yet functional element is the jimping (the notches) along the back of the Critter Cutter™. Jimping is a decorative technique used by custom knife makers which also serves the purpose of adding grip to an otherwise smooth steel surface, usually a handle. A better grip comes in handy since Critter Cutters enjoy the icy, wet environment of a cooler - and also like going on fishing trips.
Functionality was an important consideration. The Critter Cutter™ is a multi-tasker. There is a church key bottle opener on one end and a twist-off bottle opener on the other. The eye serves as a hole for a lanyard or key chain. The nose functions as a box-cutter blade or pry-bar for prying stubborn can tabs. Use it instead of your fingers for poking and prying. The nose is also PERFECT for poking holes in the top of the new punch top cans.
Along with the choice of material, ergonomics was a major consideration in our design. We went through many design iterations using prototypes to get just the right thickness, angles and dimension so it feels comfortable in your hand and comfortable during use. It fits nicely in all hand sizes.
The box cutter edge is tapered but blunt enough that it can be carried in your pocket with keys. That was a compromise we made: it's not sharp enough for the fiber-reinforced tape or the plastic bands but it works fine for regular packing tape, doesn't slice up what's in the box and you can carry it in your pocket. Though not as sharp the blade is thick and doesn't wear out like a flimsy razor blade.
Rainbow Nitride Finish
This Critter Cutter loves attention. The rainbow nitride finish is accomplished in a 2 million dollar machine using the deposition free PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) process. No two are exactly the same with this process. The gold color you see on the end of quality drill bits is an example of a finish using PVD. That finish makes the already tough tool steel used in drill bits much more wear-resistant! Coloring stainless steel has been a real challenge for us because it does not anodize like aluminum or titanium and, well, it is stainless! We love the results of the PVD process.
BlackOut Critter Cutter
When we first came out with the BlackOut Critter Cutter we used the QPQ process and had alot of trouble with it. This week we are picking up our first batch of new BlackOut Critter Cutters which are blackened using the powder coating process. Powder coatings vary quite a bit depending on who does it. Luckily for us Rhineland Arms (see www.troupsystems.com) is having our Critter Cutters coated at the same time their new aluminum gun stocks are being coated so we will get the benefit of low cost and high quality; benefits we will pass on to you!