Cobra Forged TEC, Forged TECx Black irons: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Cobra is introducing limited edition runs of its King Forged TEC players distance iron and more forgiving Forged TECx iron in specially developed black finishes designed for increased durability. The two designs feature the same technologies as the original Forged TEC and Forged TECx irons, introduced last April.
PRICE: $1,300 (steel), $1,400 (graphite) for 4-iron through pitching wedge (seven clubs).
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Black magic: Unlike traditional irons with black finishes, the diamonized black metal (DBM) coating on the King Forged TEC is made to resist wear more effectively because it is chemically implanted into the metal to enhance surface hardness for durability. It is said to be more resistant to corrosion and scratches than traditional finishes, as well. Some reports suggest it is as much as 30 times more durable than more commonly used PVD finishes. The DBM finish has been used on previous Cobra irons and wedges like the King Forged CB/MB, as well as other irons from different companies. The Forged TECx irons feature a similar black look with a different finishing process that works on the raw level of the design. Known as quench-polish-quench (QPQ), the heat treatment process employs melonite salt bath nitriding that turns the substrate of the irons into an oxidized black finish. It involves nitrocarburizing during the heat treatment followed by a polishing stage and then a further oxidizing stage. Nitrocarburizing is a chemical diffusion process that happens at the steel’s atomic level to the nitrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms. It is known to produce parts highly resistant to corrosion.
Forged, but the feel is inside: Both the Forged TEC and the Forged TECx are hollow body designs that feature a forged face that wraps around the sole. This moves the weld line that’s typical for face inserts off the area of the lower part of the face, thus creating more potential flexing in the area where many iron impacts occur. Cobra calls the face design PWRSHELL and it features varying thicknesses that get as thin as 1.6 millimeters. It’s 12 percent larger than past versions. But while the face is forged, the feel comes from a foam insert within the hollow body. Made from Expancel, the foam features small thermoplastic microspheres that encapsulate a gas. With heat the gas expands the core to create a solid foam core. That damps vibration and improves feel, while allowing for the ultra-thin face design.
Two distinct options: The Forged TEC is the more compact option and features a thinner (7.3 millimeters) topline than 2020 version of the Forged TEC. The thicker topline (7.9 millimeters) on the Forged TECx and wider sole is designed to inspire more confidence in players seeking more of a game-improvement iron. The Forged TECx also features more offset and a shallower blade height. It also utilizes stronger lofts (2.5 degrees stronger on the 7-iron) than the Forged TEC.