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Our Story

About Us:

Squid Industries's mission is to create affordable, high quality balisong trainers that are accessible to everyone around the world. All the trainers produced by Squid Industries are made in the USA.

A message from our founder and president, Lucas Cao:

“I joined the balisong community in 2013, and it’s been an incredible journey to where we are today. After diving into balisongs and becoming obsessed with collecting and flipping, I found that the balisong community was starving for new designs at lower pricings. I saw a massive rift in the market after the Bradley Kimura 7 was discontinued and felt that many people couldn’t get into the hobby without spending a fortune. I founded Squid Industries because the community needed high quality flippers at an affordable price. My efforts have and always will be providing solutions to the balisong community.

The Squid Industries team and I spend countless hours carefully hand tuning and assembling each and every trainer to ensure smooth action with minimal handle play. We work closely with the balisong community to constantly improve our products. Squid Industries aims to provide the best balance and most enjoyable flipping experience possible. We're incredibly passionate about balisongs and hope that our products can help you enjoy flipping as much as we do."

Our Story:

June 2013

Lucas acquires his first balisong (butterfly knife).

“One of my best friends brought me a Jaguar CCC that he purchased from San Francisco's Chinatown and initially I was a bit intimidated by the serrated blade. I remember that he could only do two basic opening tricks, but I was still mind blown because I couldn't comprehend anything that was going on with either trick. It felt like I had just witnessed magic. He left the Jaguar with me for a week because he didn't want to get in trouble with his parents for bringing it home. When he found out how much I was enjoying it, he let me keep it.” 

March, 2015

After months of giving balisong advice and help on Reddit, the community unanimously votes for Lucas to become the head moderator of /r/balisong. 

“When I stumbled upon Reddit's main balisong page, I found that the community was incredibly small. Everyont was very friendly but barely anyone had any experience with flipping or collecting. Most members didn't know much about balisongs or the market so I found myself answering questions every day for people looking to get into the hobby. After months of answering the same questions over and over again, people began to realize that the sub needed an FAQ. I contacted the mod at the time, but he seemed to be afk. Eventually, we decided as a community to move over to another subreddit and we were able to relocate to /r/balisong.”

August 2015

Lucas begins making custom G10 Squid Scales for the balisong community.

September 16, 2015

Lucas begins prototyping his first trainer, the Squidtrainer, while attending community college full time. We have since then created 3.5 versions of the Squidtrainer.

December 21, 2015

Lucas sells his first batch of 4 Squidtrainer.

January 4, 2016 

Lucas establishes Squid Industries and takes his first 50 pre-orders for the Squidtrainer.

September 22, 2016

Lucas transfers to University of California, San Diego (UCSD) majoring in Mechanical Engineering. 

June 3, 2017

Lucas releases his second balisong trainer model, the Trident (now discontinued).

September 2, 2017 

We release the Triton.

December 16, 2017

Lucas reveals the Squiddy, the world's first CNC machined PVC-C balisong. Lucas developed the Squiddy to be a friendly looking and non-threatening balisong trainer that flippers can flip in public without disturbing others. The Squiddy is perfect for all ages, including young ones, and is TSA approved!

May 31, 2018

Lucas decides to make a small professional change to his Instagram handle by changing the username from "squidmaster23" to "squidindustriesco."

June 24, 2018

We release the Mako, a fun shark shaped balisong trainer!

November 23, 2018 

We release our second CNC machined PVC-C: Squiddy-G.

December 7, 2018

We purchase our first CNC machine, taking a huge step towards moving all machining in house!

December 15, 2018

Lucas drops out of UCSD to pursue Squid Industries full time. 

“For the longest time I struggled with balancing school and Squid Industries full time. Because I was attending school while running Squid Industries, I felt like I could never give my full attention and effort to either. After a lot of contemplation, I finally decided that the balisong community is where my heart lies. I decided to drop out of college and pursue Squid Industries.”

May 25, 2019 

We release the Squiddy-C, a clear variant of the Squiddy made from polycarbonate. To show how durable this version was, we made a short IG video of us throwing it off our building roof several times

June 7, 2019 

We release the Nautilus and our first live blade, the Kraken, at Blade Show 2019 in Atlanta. We also release our redesigned Mako which now also acts as a bottle opener!

November 2nd, 2019

Squid Industries hosts the very first West Coast Flipping Championship, a live-blade competition of 32 flippers. The championship took place at Blade Show West 2019

April 11th, 2020

The Squiddy family grows larger with the addition of the Squiddy-B. This new variant features an all black aesthetic and is made from acetal, an extremely tough and durable material. It also sports sound dampening nose rings for near silent flipping. 

April 14th, 2020

The Krake Raken Bowie is debuted with its first production release on Knifecenter. 

 June 7th, 2020

The Krake Raken gains a trainer variant sporting an all new blade profile and finish

August 29th, 2020

Our popular Krake Raken is updated from V1 to V2 with all sorts of changes. You can read all of the changes in our blog post here

November 16th, 2020

Squid Industries moves to a new 8500 sq ft facility in Fremont, CA. 

The Origins of the Squid

Originally a high school nickname given to Lucas by a bully because of his height and the way he walked, Lucas adopted and embraced the nickname Squidmaster when he realized that more people called him Squid (or Squiddy) than his actual name. His nickname eventually influenced the naming of the first trainer, the Squidtrainer, and eventually the name of the company, Squid industries.