Knife designer Travis Godfrey is putting the pedal to th
Knife designer Travis Godfrey is putting the pedal to the metal with his knife making company Heed Industries this year, starting with the release of the Seaknight, a balisong with a patented sliding weight mechanism that lets users adjust its flipping feel on the fly.
Godfrey is a bonafide vet in the knife industry. “This whole journey started out as a hobby 17 years ago and I started designing and making things in my garage,” he recalls. When he got some equipment and a shop, work orders started coming thick and fast from makers all over the country. “Currently we do a lot of OEM and have for just over 15 years. We do anything from parts to finished product done in a box,” Godfrey tells us. “We do a lot of design work in the industry as well.” Working behind the scenes gave Godfrey a massive well of experience to draw on when he decided to make knives under his own label – although it took a long time for this arm of this business to get off the ground. “I quickly started doing OEM in the firearm and cutlery industry, and was always so busy I just didn’t put the time needed into the brand, and it always took a back seat,” Godfrey explains.
That didn’t stop Godfrey from making the occasional foray into the production knife scene with models like the Relentless, a previous balisong that was available in 2015. “We have put out a few models over the last 8-10 years and have designed and prototyped a lot more,” Godfrey notes. With his established capabilities and this potential backlog of ideas, Godfrey made the decision to put Heed Industries front and center in 2022 and beyond. “I have decided that I’m going to start putting more focus into this going forward. Designing then turning things into a physical reality has always brought a smile to my face.”
As a statement of intent, the Seaknight makes quite an impression. The 4.5-inch, 154CM harpoon blade can handle just about any cutting chore you can imagine – but Godfrey knows that the demands of bali fans go beyond cutting capability. “I wanted a way to be able to adjust the balance, as weight and balance has always been a huge part of the balisong conversation,” he notes. Thus he implemented a unique sliding weight system in the titanium handles, which can be moved up and down to alter the balance to the user’s taste. “It…runs on a dovetail so it cannot fall out and hit the blade even if the screw falls out,” Godfrey also points out. “This was different enough that we decided to patent the design. It is something I want people to have a unique experience with.” Each Seaknight comes with the proprietary tools to let users easily adjust the weights on their own knife.
Godfrey tells us that the Seaknights are entering production as we speak, although a first batch of prototypes are available now through KnivesShipFree if you want to be an early adopter. The Relentless will also make a return in 2022 after a seven-year hiatus – and Godfrey says the back-to-back balis are just the beginning. “We also have a new one in the R&D phase, and will hopefully be in the prototype phase in the next 30-60 days, at which time we will release details,” he reveals. “There is also a new folder we are working on as well.”
Knife in Featured Image: Heed Industries Seaknight