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. 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. That vision still exists to this day.
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 comfortable flipping experience possible. We're incredibly passionate about balisongs and hope that our products can help you enjoy flipping as much as we do.
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.”
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.”
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 9, 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 (Jelly).
June 7, 2019
The Origins of the Name “Squidmaster23”
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.