Tennessee titan KnivesShipFree once again expands its repertoire of advanced apparel for the discerning knife user with the Noggin Knife 9000. The NK9K adds a cutting edge to the brim of a stylish ballcap, blurring the line between high fashion and high performance EDC.
KSF owner and NK9K designer J Rouch says the concept behind the cap stemmed from a simple, yet quietly audacious, idea. “It just popped into my head one day. Why does a knife have to be just a knife? Why can’t a hat do more than shade your eyes?” As a designer, Rouch sees potential in unconventional places. “If you look at a hat brim, it actually has an excellent cutting profile,” he tells us. “There’s a bit of straight edge in the middle, and belly on either side. The only issue was that the stuff hat brims are made of wasn’t conducive to enthusiast-grade slicing performance.”
Indeed, Rouch and his crew in KSF’s R&D department tested thousands of hats from hundreds of makers, from tawdry gas station toppers to high-end haute couture headgear, and discovered that most of them couldn’t even partition a pizza, let alone break down a box. “That’s when I knew we had to head up a new generation of wearable EDC,” he says. “We decided to replace the hat brim with an actual blade.”
Rouch believes the NK9K can be thought of as the first in an entirely new hategory of products. “It’s the first hands-free fixed blade,” he proudly explains. With no need for a handle to accomplish your cutting chores, the NK9K frees up users’ mitts for other objects – a cell phone, a flashlight, a guitar – or even a couple more knives. “Humans have had heads for many years,” Rouch notes. “By finally adding cutting capability to our craniums, the NK9K actually expands the average knife user’s range of bladed options. We’ve all heard the old saying that ‘The best knife is the one you have with you.’ Well, with a knife in each hand and one on your hat, you’re sure to have the best knife at hand – or, at head, as the case may be.”
Targeting the knife enthusiast market, Rouch reached out to the master metallurgists at Cursible Steels for a blade steel worthy of his wearable wonder. “And the boys at CS really pulled out all the stops,” he says. They came up with ULTRA-Sharp, a brand new stainless exclusive to the NK9K. Although official testing has not yet begun, Rouch anticipates a Rockwell C score north of 70 and extremely high results on the HATRA tests. “Our own in-house estimates suggest ULTRA-Sharp will hold a working edge for years, if not decades, with only minimal maintenance,” Rouch reveals.
And, of course, he didn’t stint when it comes to the rest of the NK9K’s materials either. Rouch graced the NK9K with a “business in front, party in back” setup, with a stylized KSF logo facing the world and a convenient breathable mesh rear; finally, the adjustable back strap ensures the NK9K can accommodate even the most colossal cranium.
KnivesShipFree is best known as one of the major knife dealers in North America, but the NK9K cements its reputation as an innovator in the cutlery field as well. It follows on the heels of last year’s Strop Shoes, which were the first truly portable edge maintenance system, incorporating quality strops onto the tops of fashionable footwear. “In fact, the Strop Shoes make a great pair with the NK9K, allowing you to touch up that ULTRA-Sharp edge wherever you are,” Rouch adds. “Just make sure to take it off your head first.”
Knife in Featured Image: KnivesShipFree Noggin Knife 9000