by kind permission from Harris Publications
Right: When folded the I.D. 2000 has it's blade
and edge totally inside and locked in the handle. Along
with that, the sliding safety can be engaged when the
knife is closed for extra security.
Right: An oblique view of the I.D. 2000 showing
how the blade rotates in relation with the handle.
Right: The I.D. 2000 is very different from other
production knives in that it's blade folds into it's
handle sideways. Note the locking bar inside the handle
that locks the blade in the open position and an even
closer look will reveal the sliding lock that backs
up the spring-like locking bar for even more security.
knife is one of man's oldest tools. With a history- of
quite literally millions of years behind it, it is hard
to come up with a knife design that has not been done
before, but the new Imagical Design (I.D.) 2000 knife
is pronounced "eye -magical." Imagical Design started
as a company that designed special effects and models for
the advertising industry. Eventually they evolved into designing
consumer products. The I D 2000 knife was designed primarily
by Steve Mearns, the Executive Director of I D.
knives date back at least to ancient Rome, if not earlier.
In the vast majority of cases the blade folds into the handle
on the same plane as the blade. The major problem with this
configuration of folding knife is that the blade can accidentally
fold on the user's hand, in many cases causing serious damage.
This is why there is so much emphasis on blade locking mechanisms
in folders these days. However, even locking mechanisms can
Rather than folding in the conventional
manner, the I.D.2000 has its blade fold sideways into
its handle and thereby avoids this problem completely.
The blade cannot fold in the plane of the blade. While
side-folding knives are uncommon, the I.D.2000 is by no
means the first one to come along. They have been around
for at least a hundred years. One of the better known,
particularly in the Pacific Northwest where I live, is
the "Funny Folder" offered for many years by
Oregon custom knifemaker Ted Dowell. However, the I.D.2000
is a fully modern side folder with many unique features.
While I tend to call this knife
a side folder, it seems that in England where they are
made they are called "Flip Knives," presumably
because of the way the blade flips into and out of the
handle. The Zytel and carbon fiber composite components
of this knife are manufactured in Portsmouth, while the
blade, locking plates, and locking bar are all made in
Sheffield, England's traditional cutlery center.
While most of the metal parts
are stainless steel or brass, the blade is made from
Sheffield Carbon 70 steel hardened to a Rockwell of
58c. Since this is not stainless steel, the user can
expect some discoloration from use and must clean and
oil the blade regularly to keep it from rusting. After
use, I found that the knife was easy to sharpen and
it held its edge quite well.
The rear of the blade is held
in a polymer sub-tang sandwiched between two stainless
steel plates held together with four brass rivets. The
locking bar on the inside back of the handle is spring
loaded to automatically drop into the gap between the
two plates when the blade is fully closed or fully open,
thereby locking the blade securely in either position.
In addition there is a simple sliding safety between
the locking bar and the inside back of the handle. This
can slide into position so as to securely wedge the
locking bar in its seat between the two plates. The
handle is a one-piece injection molding made from extremely
The I.D. 2000 has a lanyard hole that allows the knife
to be carried on a string or chain around the user's
neck, as well as with a lanyard.
The net result of all this is a folding
knife whose blade locks in either the closed or open positions
in an extremely secure fashion. Most important, in the open
position there is virtually no way that theblade can close on
the user's hand in any way that could cut the user.
This knife has a number of other interesting
features. Each side of the knife is a mirror of the other so
that the blade can swing in either direction with equal facility.
Consequently it is totally ambidextrous and as easily opened
and handled by a lefty as a righty.
a general purpose utility folder the I.D. 2000 is
quite excellent. The grip is very comfortable, the
blade is a useful size and shape, the knife is extremely
safe to use without fear of locking failure, and
for all intents and purposes it is as strong as
an equivalent size fixed blade knife
There are several methods for
opening the knife. The easiest method for me, after disengaging
the sliding safety, is to push the locking bar out of
engagement with my thumb
while at the same time applying pressure with my thumb
to the blade to begin to swing the blade out. Then I hook
my thumb over the tang of the blade and pull it all the
way open to allow the locking bar to engage. Then the
sliding safety can be engaged. While the sliding manual
safety is a huge asset when the blade is open and doing
heavy work, I found no reason to use it when the blade
was folded, since accidental opening in the pocket seemed
to be virtually impossible.
The open handle construction makes
cleaning and maintenance of the knife a cinch. At the
same time, the handle is quite comfortable and ergonomic
The inspiration for the I.D.2000
sideopening knife was a large barn door hinge that accidentally
cut Steve Mearns' hand while he was cleaning up his workshop.
It inspired him to make a folding knife with a similar
folding hinge. His experiments revealed that such a folding
system has a number of advantages not found in conventionai
folders, particularly with regard to strength and safety.
Among all the writers in the cutlery
magazines, I believe I am the only one with a bachelor
of science degree in engineering. The I.D.2000 is the
strongest and safest folding knife for its size and weight
that I have ever encountered. Indeed, its strength approaches
that of a fixed blade knife so closely that any difference
open handle construction makes cleaning and
maintenance of the knife a cinch."
reason this is true is that the cutting stress on the
blade is transferred directly to the handle where it is
being gripped, thereby limiting the stress to the quite
strong 1/6 - inch - thick steel pivot. The pivot block
assembly at the tang of the blade is sandwiched between
two hardened stainless steel side plates. The blade is
secured to the pivot block with two brass rivets. To get
this assembly to fail in the plane of the blade would
quite literally require as much force as it would take
to cause a fixed blade knife of the same size to fail.
Similarly, if the blade of this knife is used (abused)
by using it for prying, the blade itself is likely to
break before the pivoting and locking mechanism would
The I.D.2000 knife has won a prominent
award for innovative design and has been granted both
U. S. and foreign patents. Its open design makes maintenance
easy, something that should have appeal for those that
work around salt water, sand, mud and the like. The I.D.2000
knife also never fails to draw attention when it is used,
and is a fun conversation piece. I call it "Cutlery
Curiosa." It is so different from conventional folders
that most people are fascinated by it. In a real sense,
the I.D.2000, like many of the better knife designs, combines
art with function to an exceptional degree. Check it out;
it's really a neat and highly functional knife.
Imagical Design :
P.O. Box 10783, 1001ET.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands