I want a Strider PT pretty badly. Not so badly that I'd sell off the Sebenza, but the next big knife I purchase (in terms of price) is probably going to be the PT (though the AG Russell Acies 2 is really tempting as well). But the PTs are sporadically produced and leak out in dribs and drabs.
So, I thought to myself, you know what--just check the website. For those that haven't seen the Strider website, here is the link. Yep, its a filler page. It has been for months now, at least since Christmas of 2011. What are they waiting for?
Not having a web presence in this day and age of cheap web servers and ten dollar domain names (yep, this was a $10 purchase) is unacceptable. There is absolutely no excuse. They may respond with: Well we are making awesome knives, too busy for geeky nerd stuff like a website. You know what? Chris Reeve makes some pretty awesome knives, too, and he has a website. You know, Chris Reeve, the guy that really cares about the fit and finish on his knives and gets them out the door and steadily produces all of his models and repeatedly wins Maker of the Year at Blade Show after Blade Show, that Chris Reeve. He has a website. It is not insanely complicated--no Flash demos or swirling graphics. It just works. So why can't Strider update its website and produce the PT in a more consistent fashion?
If the Strider thing is annoying, the problem facing HDS Flashlights is more of an existential one. The HDS Rotary light has been "released" for about a year and the light is a great light--a rotary ring on the legendary HDS (Arc4) chassis. But availability has been, poor, shall we say. You can order the light from the HDS website, but every single retailer has been without significant stock for about a year. The lights that come from HDS itself are also on a significant delay. I just don't understand how this happens. I get that the new interface is complicated and I understand a few false starts. But it is has been a year now without regular production.
And in the world of flashlights, a year is an eternity. In that year the rotary interface has been significantly improved, in my opinion, with the release of the rotary-only lights like the previously reviewed (and recently given away) Sunwayman M11R and the under review JetBeam RRT 01. Both of these lights have rotary controls without the fussiness of a button. Both are compact and quite bright. Finally both have good pocket clips. The HDS Rotary, on the other hand, has the lowest output of the three (not that output is everything, mind you, but it is a good benchmark number to look at), a button (which I think is superfluous at this point), and is available in such small quantities that it is essentially an Atwood tool. Oh and it is at least twice as much as the other options. I know that the HDS build quality is substantially better, no arguments on that front, but with the rapid advance in technology it is only a matter of time before a light is made that is simply superior to the HDS in every way. The lag in the production releases of the Rotary have been so bad that it has essentially been lapped by the field--its innovation is now one generation behind and it is output is as well. For a small company like HDS this is really bad news. HDS went from the premiere production light available to a niche custom maker to what? That is not the normal progression we see, it is usually the other way around. What I don't understand is how HDS can't get things up and running better. If you are a custom maker, fine, then you better ship stuff like McGizmo does or its over. If you are a production maker, then produce stuff. I know I can't be the only one frustrated by the almost complete and total collapse of HDS's Rotary line. Even their non-Rotary lights are getting harder to come by. This is not a good sign.
The problems here stem from some sort of business mismanagement of some kind or another and if these companies were making shit, no one would care. But Strider and HDS make awesome gear, some of the best available. They also make it right here in the USA, which is a huge plus for me. I WANT to buy a PT. I WANT to buy a Rotary light (a little less now that I have used the M11R and the RRT-01). Make them. Sell them. That is what a profitable company does.
What are you waiting for?