Walking around his 20-acre farm in Freeland, Dan Vorhis realized he was in great need of a pocket-friendly knife that could be used with one hand for daily tasks and, most importantly, would stay in his pocket.
“I’ve lost quite a few knives working around here,” he said with a laugh. “I was walking along the fence and there hanging in the fence was one of my knives that I lost six months ago.”
So he spent a few years developing the design for a 7-inch, fixed blade knife. Known as the Raider Creek – named after his favorite hiking trail in Coupeville – the knife has a full tang and a handle that sheathes the blade. It also clips to a pocket and stays in place.
The Raider Creek is currently for sale on the website for Badfeather Knives, his new business.
Unlike other pocketknives on the market, the Raider Creek has only five parts.
“Most modern pocketknives have like 25, 30, 35 parts,” Vorhis said. “And they’ve got little springs and little screws and stuff that come loose. I was trying to get away from that. I was just trying to make a simple, sturdy fixed blade knife that goes in your pocket.”
With a flick of the thumb, the 3-inch blade slides out easily thanks to the unique locking mechanism that Vorhis created. The Raider Creek can also be disassembled for cleaning, and the blade can be replaced with another.
Vorhis is in the process of obtaining a patent for the design. In the past he has received patents for camping equipment he has created, from a lantern to a water filter to a camp stove. He has a penchant for invention, dating back to his upbringing on a farm in Ohio with multiple brothers and sisters.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been interested in designing stuff and coming out with new ways to do stuff,” he said.
His family didn’t have a lot of money, and he remembers making his own Monopoly game with his siblings.
“I think it’s hard to grow up creative and have a lot of money, because you can just buy the stuff you want,” he said.
For the Raider Creek pocketknife, he worked with several vendors to manufacture high quality parts made of stainless steel and titanium. As a result, the everyday carry knife costs $298.
In the future, he hopes to make a pocketknife with slightly cheaper materials for those who can’t afford the Raider Creek.
Living on a farm with a myriad of fruit trees, Vorhis finds many uses for the knife.
“When you’re working on the farm, it’s amazing how much you use a knife,” he said. “I’m using it all the time – opening up bags of fertilizer, cutting these heavy-duty pots.”