MT Mule Team

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In 2007 Spyderco created the Mule Team for steel junkies. It's a series of small fixed blade only (no handle material, no sheath, both for do-it-yourself). As of the release of MT26, the program is on hold.

Appearance in catalogs

The Mules are not listed in the catalog.

Designer

Sal Glesser [1]

History, mentionings from the forums, etc.

From the Spyderco-Forum:

If you are a Collector, the Mule Team is included as a new model and the first offering (MT01 in 52100) will be sent to the Dealer that you normally purchase your Collector knives through. Your Dealer will receive a letter explaining the program, its purpose and how we envision it moving forward. We have asked our Dealers to honor the spirit of the program and if they are unable to, we've asked that they return the knife to us so you will be able to purchase your numbered knife through SFO.

If you are a Collector who receives all variants, you will be given the option to sign up for all or none of the future Mule Team variants when you receive the first model (MT01). If you choose to sign up for all variations of the Mule Team, all future models of the Mule Team will be handled directly through SFO. This is to not place a burden on our Dealers and maintain our vision of this program.

If you are not a Collector and would like to purchase a Mule Team knife, you will be able to do so through our site. As originally stated, there will only be a Net Price. This will guarantee that you are able to acquire the models in this program at the most affordable price. We will offer these through our normal distribution chain of Distributors and Dealers in lots of 2 each at the same price. Pricing will vary from one variation to another and will primarily be dependent on the steel used.

If you are not a Collector who chooses to receive all variants of the Mule Team, purchases will be one model at a time with no commitment to future models. You purchase only those that interest you. Sales are on a first come first served basis. Once the quantity made is sold out, that variation will be gone. We will initially set a maximum allowed of 2 pieces per person/address, but we do reserve the right to change this limit at any time. If you are a collector these 2 pieces are in addition to your collector numbered piece.[2]

Information from the Spyderco catalog on the web

"What is a Mule?

In the English language the term mule has multiple definitions: There’s the obvious equine reference being the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. It can be a coin minted from two dies by mistake and the auto industry refers to their test vehicles as a mules. Spyderco also calls knife models designed and built for testing and evaluation Mules. When a group of these are brought together they make a team of mules, thus the name of our new knife release: The Mule Team.

Knife and steel-devotees love trying out new blade steels. Spyderco leads the industry in offering, testing and manufacturing knives using new and exotic blade steels. Taking that idea a step up, why not offer a series (team) of blades using different, exotic and freshly unveiled steels? In doing this steel-obsessed knife knuts can try, test and use something normally not offered to the industry.

What is the Spyderco Mule Team?

Spyderco’s Mule Team officially launches with a single-piece fixed blade pattern. The blade is leaf-shaped with a sharpened and finished PlainEdge blade but with an unfinished handle providing some a do-it-yourself opportunity. The unfinished handle has a series of holes for attaching a custom handle or for wrapping in cord. All Mule Team Pieces are sold without handle scales or a carry sheath focusing the project on the blade steel and opening the door for the owner to create his/her own handle scale and carry options.

How many and how often will they be released?

Our plan is to release several variations per year using the same fixed blade pattern produced with different exotic steels. Each steel offering is limited to approximately 600 pieces and engraved indicating the steel used. Variations are priced accordingly with the only cost variable being the steel itself. Prices will be announced prior to the release of the upcoming model.

How can I buy them?

All purchases are handled through Spyderco Factory Outlet (SFO)." MT01[3] MT02[4] MT03[5] MT04[6] MT05[7] MT06[8] MT07[9] MT08[10] MT09[11] MT10[12] MT11[13] MT12[14] MT13[15] MT15[16] MT16[17] MT16 (blemished)[18] MT17[19] MT18[20] MT19[21]

From Spyderco's Edge-U-Cation section:

"Dear Spyderco Customer,

Welcome to the Mule Team Project by Spyderco. In the English language the term mule has multiple definitions: There's the obvious equine reference being the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. It can be a coin minted from two dies by mistake and the auto industry refers to their test vehicles as a mules. Spyderco also calls knife models designed and built for testing and evaluation Mules. When a group of these are brought together they make a team of mules, thus the name of our new knife release: The Mule Team.

Knife and steel-devotees love trying out new blade steels. Spyderco leads the industry in offering, testing and manufacturing knives using new and exotic blade steels. Taking that idea a step up, why not offer a series (team) of blades using different, exotic and freshly unveiled steels? In doing this steel-obsessed knife knuts can try, test and use something normally not offered to the industry.

Spyderco's Mule Team is a single-piece fixed blade pattern. The blade is leaf-shaped with a sharpened and finished PlainEdge blade but with an unfinished handle providing some a do-it-yourself opportunity. The unfinished handle has a series of holes for attaching a custom handle or for wrapping in cord. All Mule Team Pieces are sold without handle scales or a carry sheath focusing the project on the blade steel and opening the door for the owner to create his/her own handle scale and carry options.

The Mule team project was created as a simple, inexpensive venue for "steel junkies" to have an opportunity to test different blade steels themselves. Each run will have different interesting steel. Each run will have the same pattern, a fixed blade with a full tang. Each run will have the same thickness, grind, edge and will be heat treated to the optimal hardness for that steel. No handle, scales or sheath are provided. This not only saves you funds, but gives you the opportunity to make (or have made) custom handles and sheaths.

Thanx much and our appreciation for your interest and patronage of Spyderco products.

Yours truly,

Sal Glesser

President Spyderco Knives & Accessories"

Variations

SKU Edge Steel Rc hardness Release date MSRP Note Number made Grind Collectors club
MT01P PE 52100 62 [22] Nov. 2007 39.95$ 23 pieces are factory stonewashed. Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel. ~600 Full Flat grind Main
MT2ND PE 52100 62 Nov. 2007 36.00$ Factory Seconds. Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel. N/A Full Flat grind /
MT02P PE CPM-M4 62.5 [23] Sep. 2008 69.95$ Suffered from minor blade warping. Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel (followed by the Bradley folder about a year later). ~600 Full Flat grind Variant
MT2ND PE CPM-M4 62.5 Sep. 2008 64.95$ Factory Seconds. Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel (followed by the Bradley folder about a year later). N/A Full Flat grind /
MT03P PE CPM-S90V 59 [24] Feb. 2009 69.95$ Made in Golden, CO. Not the first appearance of this steel in a Spyderco knife (used in a Military sprint in 2008). ~600 Full Flat grind Variant
MT3ND PE CPM-S90V 59 Feb. 2009 64.95$ Factory Seconds. Made in Golden, CO. Not the first appearance of this steel in a Spyderco knife (used in a Military sprint in 2008). N/A Full Flat grind /
MT04P PE ZDP-189 65-67 [25][26] Jul. 2009 79.95$ Recalled due to cracking[27]. Analysis of the ZDP-189 Mule discovered that it was not fixable with a re-temper[28]. Made in Seki-City, Japan. Not the first time this steel has been used in a Spyderco knife. ~600 (maybe 1000) Full Flat grind Variant
MT05P PE 9Cr18Mo 59[29] Oct. 2009 20.00$ Reports of blade warping. Made in China. First Spyderco offered in this steel (was used later in a Catbyrd Ti sprint). 1000 [30] Full Flat grind Variant
MT06P PE CPM-S35VN ~59 Jan. 2010 64.95$ Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel (would be used as the base steel in the Native 5 the following year). N/A Full Flat grind Variant
MT07P PE D.P.S. 15 Damascus / VG-10 N/A Oct. 2010 84.95$ Made in Seki-City, Japan. First Spyderco offered in this steel (though would appear in subsequent Delica/Endura/Caly3 variations). N/A Full Flat grind Variant
MT08P PE Aogami Super Blue ~62[31] Dec. 2010 79.95$ Made in Seki-City, Japan. First Spyderco offered in this steel (later offered in solid SB Caly 3/3.5 sprints, and clad sprints of the Ladybug/Manbug/Dragonfly 2/Delica/Endura/Stretch). ~600 [32] Full Flat grind Variant
MT09P PE Cobalt Special SUS420J2 N/A Mar. 2011 84.95$ The Cobalt steel is clad between two layers of 420J. This "san mai" (three-layer) construction provides great strength because the outer layers provide support for the hard core. Made in Japan. First Spyderco offered in this steel. 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT10P PE CTS-BD1 ~57[33] Jun. 2010 69.95$ Made in Golden, CO. The UK Penknife came out in this steel the same year, but I'm not sure if they were released before or after the Mule. ~500 Full Flat grind Variant
MT11P PE Böhler Uddeholm M390 ~59/61[34] Jun. 2011 74.95$ Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel (later offered in various sprint runs beginning with the Bento Box Shop PM2). 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT12P PE Cru-Wear ~62[35] Sept. 2011

Jan. 2012

59.95$ Recalled due to improper heat treat. Subsequent heat treat fixed problem. Of the initial run of 600, only ~450 were resold after the recall[36]. Re-treated Mules can be recognized by the underlined word Cruwear. This is the first Mule Team made out of a tool steel. Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel (a Military sprint followed two years later, and then a Manix 2 sprint after that). ~600/~450 Full Flat grind Variant
MT13P PE Elmax ~58/60[37] Feb. 2012 64.95$ Made in Golden, CO. The LionSpy and this Mule were both released Feb 2012 and were the first Spyderco knives in this steel. Full Flat grind Variant
MT14P PE CTS-204P CANCELLED Was originally planned for production and announced in the Spyderbyte email, but never released. Initially 127 pieces were made, but due to quality problems the entire batch was trashed.[38] 0 Full Flat grind Variant
MT15P PE CTS-B75P 62.5[39] Sept. 2012 74.95$ Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel. <400[40] Full Flat grind Variant
MT16P PE CTS-XHP ~60.3[41] Dec. 2012 59.95$ Made in Golden, CO. XHP was used in a Manix 2 sprint almost two years prior, a Military a year and a half prior, as well as some other models. Full Flat grind Variant
MTXHP PE CTS-XHP ~60.3 Dec. 2012 49.95$ There are some MT16P Mules that have a blemish from grinding that will also be made available at a discounted price of $49.95 each. These will NOT be notched. Blemishes vary so please be advised that the SFO crew cannot hand pick or inspect individually prior to shipment of your order. The discounted CTS-XHP Mules will be under the model # MTXHP. Made in Golden, CO. XHP was used in a Manix 2 sprint almost two years prior, a Military a year and a half prior, as well as some other models. Full Flat grind /
MT17P PE K390 62/64[42][43] Jul. 2013 69.95$ Made in Golden, CO. First Spyderco offered in this steel just under 700[44] Full Flat grind Variant
MT18P PE CPM-S110V 60/61[45] Feb. 2014 89.95$ Made in Taichung, Taiwan. The 2013 Spyderco Forum Native first used S110V about six months before this Mule. ~700 Full Flat grind Variant
MT19P PE PSF27 N/A Aug. 2014 79.95$ Made in Taichung, Taiwan. First Spyderco offered in this steel (would be used as the standard steel on the Bradley Bowie about 8 months later). 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT20P PE CTS-B70P N/A Mar. 2015 79.95$ Made in Taichung, Taiwan. First Spyderco offered in this steel. 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT21P PE CPM-4V N/A Oct. 2015 69.95$ Made in Taichung, Taiwan. First Spyderco offered in this steel. 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT22P PE RWL34 61-62 Apr. 2016 69.95$ Made in Taichung, Taiwan. First Spyderco offered in this steel. 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT23P PE CPM 20V N/A Dec. 2016 69.95$ First Spyderco offered in this steel. N/A Full Flat grind Variant
MT24P PE Maxamet 67-68[46] Aug. 2016 109.95$ First Spyderco offered in this steel. ~600 Full Flat grind Variant
MT25P PE LC200N Apr. 2017 69.95$ 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant
MT26P PE PMA11 (Micro-Melt A11) 63[47] Aug. 2017 69.95$ First Spyderco offered in this steel. 600-1000 Full Flat grind Variant

Most collectible variation

Either one of the MT01P factory stonewashed or the MT01P with Collectors club markings is believed to be the most collectible.

Questions regarding collecting the Mule Team

  • Who designed it?
  • How many pieces of the Factory Seconds are produced?

Technical information

Typically measurements (mm and grams) of the Mule Team:

Length overall Hole Ø Blade length Cutting edge Blade thickness Weight
194 mm 8.5 mm 84 mm 84 mm 3 mm ~76 g

Typically measurements (inches and ounces) of the Mule Team:

Length overall Hole Ø Blade length Cutting edge Blade thickness Weight
7 5/8" 21/64" 3 5/16" 3 5/16" 1/8" ~2.7 oz.

References

  1. Sal Glesser's original comment can be found on Spyderco-Forums [1]
  2. The entire thread containing the whole comment can be found here.
  3. The MT01P Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  4. The MT02 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  5. The MT03 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  6. The MT04 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  7. The MT05 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  8. The MT06 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  9. The MT07 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  10. The MT08 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  11. The MT09 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  12. The MT10 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  13. The MT11 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  14. The MT12 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  15. The MT13 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  16. The MT15 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  17. The MT16 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  18. The MT16 Mule Team (blemished) in Spyderco's online catalog
  19. The MT17 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  20. The MT18 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  21. The MT19 Mule Team in Spyderco's online catalog
  22. MT01 Rc on product description page [2]
  23. MT02 Rc test [3]
  24. MT03 Rc test [4]
  25. MT04 Rc goal mentioned by Sal here.
  26. MT04 Rc test [5]
  27. MT04 ZDP-189 recall [6]
  28. MT04 ZDP-189 recall follow-up [7]
  29. MT05 Rc test [8]
  30. MT05 production quantity here.
  31. MT08 Hc test [9].
  32. MT08 production quantity here.
  33. MT10 Rc test [10]
  34. MT11 Rc test [11]
  35. MT12 Rc test [12].
  36. MT12 production quantity here.
  37. MT13 Rc test [13].
  38. Details in Sal Glessers post.[14]
  39. MT15 Rc test [15].
  40. MT15 production quantity [16].
  41. MT16 Rc test [17].
  42. MT17 Rc test [18].
  43. MT17 Rc test [19].
  44. MT17 production quantity [20].
  45. MT18 Rc test [21].
  46. MT24 Rc hardness [22]
  47. MT26 Rc hardness [23]


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