Case Astronaut Knife M-1
Item #: CS-12019
When other military knives did not meet NASA's criteria for a knife to be a part of the Apollo space missions, Case was commissioned to create a knife to their exact specifications. The original Case® Astronaut Knife M-1 was designed to be lightweight with a sharp cutting edge and sawteeth on the spine of the blade. The knife must be capable of prying items from the terrain. The handle was made of an ultra-lightweight synthetic which was found to withstand a hard impact without shattering. It also gave off no fumes, a feature that was critical to maintaining the purity of the air quality within the spacecraft.
The knife's most practical applications can be derived from its stowed location inside the ship's Command Module, where it resided with other essential gear as part of a survival pack. The items inside were to be used in the event the capsule splashed down off-course after re-entering Earth. In all, the Case® Astronaut Knife M-1 traveled to the Moon and back nine times from 1968-1972 as part of NASA's Apollo program.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's Moon landing, Case created a very limited edition of that knife. To celebrate man's very first steps on the Moon, they built a reproduction with an 11-3/4" taper ground, high carbon stainless steel machete blade with a smooth white synthetic handle. Measures 17" from base to blade tip. Weighs only 10.8 oz. Made in Bradford, PA. Suggested retail $343.00.
The machete only.
W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company is an American manufacturer of traditional pocket knives, limited edition commemoratives and collectibles. It makes American made traditional pocket knives in a variety of patterns, blade styles, and handle materials. They are particularly well known for their specialized dying process - creating beautiful and colorful bone handles. Case prefers to use their proprietary Tru-Sharp stainless steel. Tru-Sharp sharpens and polishes easily and is enjoyed by collectors all over.
The roots of the company span all the way back to 1889. W.,R. Case & Sons notably made knives in World War 1, notably the M3 Fighting Knife for servicemen and the V-42 stiletto for the Devil’s Brigade. They also made knives for NASA astronauts for when they touched back down on earth and were waiting to be picked up. The Case Company is currently owned by the Zippo Manufacturing Company, based in the same city, which is well known for their Zippo lighters. You can see great synergy between the companies as they share equipment and expertise like inlaid dyed bone handles and laser engraving machinery.