The KRONOS is HERE!
THE KRONOS, THE WORLD’S FIRST ‘T’ RATED TECHNICAL ICE CLIMBING TOOL MADE OF WOOD
“Just amazing, a ‘T’ RATED wood ice tool. The future is here!” – Doug Millen
Fellow Ice Climbers,
We are extremely proud to finally release the KRONOS Wood Ice Tool. You can get yours HERE.
The KRONOS is the World’s First ‘T’ Rated. CE Certified Ice Tool made of WOOD. T ratings and CE Certifications are the standard among technical ice axes which must be able to withstand extreme forces and abuse. To have been able to make an ice tool out of wood that passes the T test is truly a unique accomplishment and we are excited to finally be able to share the KRONOS with the world
Climb safely and in good style.
DRY ICE Tools, by Furnace Industries
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Weight: 1 lb 7.8 oz (675 g)
Size: One Size
Dimensions: Length – 48.26 cm
Material: Densified Beech Laminate / Hardened Tool Steel
– Axe comes with a hand finished removable type B Furnace Industries Ice pick
– Type T Pick available (sold separately)
– A softer swing as the wood absorbs shock of the pick strike offering increased sensitivity at all temperatures
– Wood handle offers enhanced grip and thermal insulation
– Hand finished handle offers multiple grip options
– The Kronos ice tool has a type T shaft
Awesome idea. But $389 a tool!? Are you friggen serious!!!!?? That’s highway robbery. I could buy the materials and equipment to make my own for less than that. That’s just sad. Way to exclude people who have to work hard for a living.
Thanks for reaching out. I wanted to address your comments and help bring some understanding to the price point. We have received much feedback regarding the KRONOS, and as much as we’d love to offer it for at a lower number, it’s simply not a reality for us.
Furnace Industries is just two guys, myself (in the Gunks, NY) and my business partner George (in the UK outside Oxford), with George making each and every tool himself. Think of our company as Hudson Whiskey, the high end small batch producer of the boutique whiskey world. The KRONOS’ are hand made tools, that pass all safety certification tests, made in small batches, by one guy, that climb amazingly, and offer features that no tool stamped out of a factory in China can offer.
I believe you could make a tool for yourself and it would be awesome. I invite you to do it. We did, and we believe the ice climbing community can only benefit from sharing innovative ideas such as the KRONOS. To help you understand what’s involved to make even one tool, and then sell it on the open market, I want to take you through the process and see if you still feel our price point is ‘highway robbery’:
Several factors affect the price point: Cost for blanks of the very, very specialized wood (the wood is used in the manufacture of Formula 1 race cars), CNC time (very expensive, or you can go buy your own CNC machine for $250,000, and then teach yourself how to use it), Cost for raw steel for the pick, cost for the time on the plasma cutter that cuts the pick (also very pricey). Now you have all the raw parts ready to build a tool, but then you have to hand finish both the pick (which is squared off when it comes off the plasma cutter) and the handle, which takes George three 6 hour sessions to complete, per handle and pick, all while he also runs his own carpentry business (how much for 18 hrs of a contractor’s time?).
After all that is done, you could assemble the tool, but you want to climb on it right? That means you have to send the steel out to heat treat the pick (more $$$). You want a spike too I assume. Factor in all the same costs and time there too.
So now you have your DIY tool that at this point has easily cost you over $2000 per tool (for both materials and time). Great! You take your home made $4,000 pair of tools out and see how they fare. Some one at the crag says, ‘Hey, those look a cool, can I try them?’ They love them, and you start thinking, ‘Hey I should make these and sell these?’
What now? You want to share it with the world! (and of course recoup some of your costs). You could do that, but you open yourself up to being sued by the first dude who breaks an ankle after your untested tool fails.
So now you have to get the tool tested. Who tests tools and what are the certifications? You research and eventually contact a CE Certification lab, file all the paperwork, send you only pair out for testing, fail (yikes you were climbing on those before right?, and now the lab destroyed your $4000 tools), go back, change the design, and fix the weak parts of your tool (all those previous costs and time are lost and the tools are in the garbage) fail again, redesign, and.. well, you get the picture.
Finally, the lab issues you a pass grade on the ‘T’ rating test (Don’t know what that is? Every ice climber should. Our lives depend on it). So now you have your tool, but this is America where folks will sue if their coffee is too hot. So you have to have insurance. Price out a product liability policy for a small, two man gear company producing EN13089 Cat III PPE (easily over $5,000).
So after all that, only now can you even start selling your tool. But how does anyone know you made it? How do you let folks now about your amazing wood tools? Someone has to market it right? How much does it cost for video production, editing, photos, constant social media, web and print advertising campaigns, special demo events, ice fest sponsorship fees, travel to all those ice fests, not to mention lost income from the time off from your real job to promote your tools?
By now, you’ve realized that 1 pair of tools has cost you well over $40,000, probably more.
Still think the KRONOS is overpriced?
We most certainly do not mean to exclude anyone. But I’m curious; Did you make the same comment to Grivel when they released their Reparto Corse Master Carbon ($750)? How about to BD with regard to their Cobras (340)? Do you feel that they are excluding hard working folks? Our tools pass the same test those tools go through, except they are made by a real human being and a not stamped out of a factory in Bangledesh. Does our use of wood make you feel like the KRONOS should somehow be cheaper?
George and I would love to keep this dialogue going. Please feel free to reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) and we can answer any other questions and hear any other feedback you may have. We’d also love to help you though your process to make you own tools. Feel free to use us as a sounding board or to ask about how to solve and design problems you encounter.
Cheers, and climb safely,
I have been working in the outdoor industry for years. WITH all my experience with various reps from different companies, dealing with wholesale and msrp numbers and marketing – I’ve got to say…that was the best response from a small business owner I have ever seen.
Thanks Fresco! 2 years after I wrote this reply, we did actually lower the price to $329 in an effort to share more tools with more climbers, but the points I made above are all still quite valid for Furnace Industries.
To Ben C. This is the best reply ever. Every climber should read this. I saw your tool in Ouray and Southeast Ontario Ice Fest. It looks an awesome tool. Because it’s handmade the quality control should be the best. This tool is not inspected by a machine.