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Edged Weapons
#1
Awhile back, Andrew asked me to start a thread on edged tools, being that I'm a lifelong collector and user of them. I've been carrying a knife since my dad gave me my first one at age 9, a small stockman. That started my love affair with all things sharp. This doesn't make me an expert, by any means. but, it does give me a unique perspective on them, and I thought I would share my opinions and thoughts on them. The following thread is a combination of my own experiences, articles I've found online, and advice given to me by actual knife makers.

What to look for in a knife? That's not an easy question. In fact, the answer is wholly dependent on the person asking. What do you need one for? What do you want to spend? What is your skill level?

I used to be a tattooist, living in NYC. There's an old saying, attributed to Sailor Jerry, that many tattoo shops relay to prospective customers, who are looking to pay the lowest price: GOOD WORK IS NOT CHEAP, AND CHEAP WORK IS NOT GOOD. This is true of just abut anything. If you want the best, you have to be ready to pay for it, whether it's a tattoo, a gun, or furniture. This isn't 100% true all of the time, and I'll get into that later, but it's pretty sure most of the time.

I used to cheap out on knives. I'd buy whatever I could find at the local flea market, or buy some cheap Chinese knock off of a similar American made brand. and i'd do it repeatedly. i buy knives to use them, and i went through them pretty fast; locks would fail, blades would snap, steel would rust, scales would fall off. i thought that this was to be expected, so when i'd break a knife, i'd just go and spend $15 or a new one. over the years, i think i probably spent close to $300 on cheap knives. looking back, i feel like an idiot, when i could have spent that money on just one or two knives that would have outlasted all of the other cheap ones by decades. i eventually decided to stop cheaping out on them, and began investing in better quality knives.

who makes good quality knives? that depends: are you looking for a user, or an heirloom? if you're like me, you work hard for your money; you don't have $500 to drop on one single folder. heirlooms knives are great, but there are tons of medium range users out there. i'm talking about Spydercos, Zero Tolerance, Benchmade, Cold Steel, Emerson, CRKT, Kabar, Kershaw, Buck...the list goes on and on. all of these companies make great knives, for all sorts of applications, for a price that most anyone can live with.

if you have the spare coin, and you want a knife that you can not only use, but pass on to your kids when they're ready to use one, there are plenty of companies and custom knifemakers out there too: Busse, Randall, Fallkniven, Bark River, Martin Olexy, Rich Derespina....all of these companies and knifemakers make top quality knives, that are equally at home in the field and on display in your study. one day, i hope to be able to afford work from them. for the purposesw of this thread, though, i'm gonna concentrate on mass produced, medium price ranged knives.

WHAT KIND OF KNIFE DO I NEED?

so, you want to buy a knife for EDC, but you're having trouble deciding which one to get. do i want that Emerson, or would a Byrd be good enough? some of your options might depend on your budget, others will depend on your aesthetic taste.

let's get this out of the way: fixed blades will always be better than folders. why? simple: reliability. a fixed blade of good quality will always be stronger than a folder, period. there is no locking mechanism made by man that will not fail given the right amount of stress. there are no moving parts to worry about getting gunked up with foreign materials, no weak points to break, no parts that need regular cleaning and greasing, other than the blade itself.

that said, not everyone needs a fixed blade. do you go camping everyday? do you expect to engage in a knife duel, or baton some firewood? if not, you might not really need a fixed blade for EDC. that's not to say you shouldn't get one, but if you're looking for something to carry with you everday, you might be better off looking at folders.

so, what folder should i get? well, again, that depends on you. what's legal in your area? what will you likely use for most often? how hard are you going to abuse it? how much do you have to spend?

the first you need to do is check your local laws, and find out if you can even carry one in public. i live in PA, and live in Lackawanna County; from the reseach i've done, i'm free to carry any sort of knife i choose, except for autos. if you live in Philadelphia, there is NO knife you can carry legally, unless you carry it for work, and you're either on your way to work, or on your way home. anytime other than that, you're committing a crime. check your local laws before buying anything, and carry at your own risk.

locking mechanisms. there are all types, some better than others. so far, the strongest locking mechanism i've found is the balisong system. balisongs are unique and brilliant knives. they require no sheath or lock, because the sheath is provided by the handles, and the lock is your own hand. meaning: when the knife is open, and being held, the blade simply CANNOT close on the fingers, it will stay locked open as long as you're holding it. the balisong has two pins or screws that are driven in, pressure fit and I have NEVER seen one fail on a high quality balisong. even on the lower quality ones made in Pakistan or China, when one of the pins broke, it did not cause a closing of the knife. it is impossible for a balisong to fail in the way any other folder can fail. there is NO possibility of catastrophic lock failure with a high quality balisong. the same holds true when it's closed. this is about the only real advantage balisongs have over other folding knives, though. most production balisongs are either of great quality but too expensive, or very affordable, but crap quality. there are few choices that are a happy medium. the Kimura series, by Bradley/Kershaw, and the newer Bear and Sons offerings are just about the only ones that are below the $200 mark. the other problem is that they're illegal in many places. they're legal in PA, however; the court's decision in Commonwealth vs. Miles settled that.

so what other types of knives can i choose from? most of us, like me, use their knies for mundane chores, like opening mail, boxes, cutting and prepping food items (i enjoy cooking), and other things of that nature. there's no need, for most of us, to go out and buy an Emerson Karambit, or a Spyderco Civilian for those chores (as cool as they may look). some of us look at knives for sale on certain websites, and admire their aesthetic qualities. if you want to buy a quality folder for EDC, you don't have to go much farther than your local Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart, or Cabela's. all these stores offer knives from CRKT, Kershaw, Buck, Spyderco, Benchmade, and other brands. most of them do not mind pulling one or two from behind the counter to let you handle them; don't be afraid to ask. i've bought quite a few knives from Walmart; ne of my favorites is the Kershaw Leek. here's a pic of one closed, along with some other junk i carry:

[Image: 008-4.jpg]

right hip: Taurus PT1911.
right front pocket: Kershaw Leek, keys with Sabre Red pocket can.
left front pocket: Cold Steel Twistmaster, River Rock LED pocket torch.
right rear pocket: nothing
left rear pocket: extra mag, wallet.
shirt pocket: cellphone.

and here with a Glock 19:

[Image: 026-3.jpg]

it's not a large knife, by any means. it's large enough to be useful, yet small enough to be "politically correct." that means, i won't scare the shit out of someone when i whip it open to cut open an envelope. it's an assisted opener, which means it needs to be opened somewhat before the torsion bar engages. once the torsion bar is engaged, it opens the knife the rest of the way. one word of caution: the torsion bar does eventually wear out, and will need replacing. Kershaw, though, has great customer service, and if yours needs replacing, simply mail it to them, and they will do it, free of charge.

some knives i've owned, and liked:

1. Spyderco. i've owned the Endura, the Delica, and the Chinook II. i still own the Chinook II, but only because i gave the other two to good friends as gifts. one was a man i'd worked with for many years, but his visa had finally expired, so he was returning to his country of origin. i gave him the Endura, and he sent me a karambit from the island of Madura, Indonesia. it sits on shelf, on display. the other i gave to mechanic, who did some work for me for free.

2. Cold Steel. i've owned more of their knives than any other. i've had a few Voyagers, a few Twistmasters, three push daggers, a couple of swords, and others. they are probably the best in terms of quality/price ratio, or at least they used to be. their prices have gone up, but the quality has remained the same. if you choose one of their knives, never buy it directly from them, always seek out a secondary retailer.

3. CRKT. i'll be honest, i don't like their folders. not because of their quality, it's purely an aesthetic thing. i know guys who have them and swear by them. i do own two fixed blades from them, that i love.

4. Kershaw. i've owned two models from them, the Whirlwind and the Leek. i bought the Whirlwind when they were first released, and carried it regularly, but lost it after two years. a few years ago, Walmart began selling the Leek, and last year, they were on sale for under $40, so i bought two, one for my lady, and one for me. it's probably the most convenient knife i own. the blade profile is great for general use; it has a tip like a needle, it's edge is thin and razor sharp, it's 440 series steel, so it's easy to resharpen, and it's small, thin, and flat.

5. Benchmade. other than their balisongs, i've owned two folders, the Pika and the Model 940. the Pika was from their bargain line, and cost me less than $30. it saw a lot of use, until it broke while trying to pry a box open, whic i probably shouldn't have tried with it. i wasn't too enamored of the 940, which was unfortunate, because i paid over $100 for it. i eventually gave it away. i do want to eventually buy a Griptilian. i know a lot of guys who have them, and they swear it's the most comfortable, hard use knife they own.

FIXED BLADES.

we've covered folders, so now i'm going to talk a little bit about fixed blades. like i said earlier, they hold a definitive advantage over folders, because, given equal quality, they are less prone to failure, always. they have none of the weaknesses of folders, period.

the disadvantages of fixed blades comes from their size, and the inconvenience of carrying them. if you live in a rural area, and are often in need of a large Bowie knife for chores, then this may not apply to you. but if you ,ive in an urban or suburban setting, carrying a Bowie or khukuri may not be the best idea, as a matter of convenience or legality. many areas restrict the carry of large knives, so check your local laws before deciding on one.

here some two photos of some of the fixed blades i own, or have owned. the first one here shows, from left to right: a khukuri made in Pakistan, a Cold Steel Mini Gurkha, a Cold Steel Trailmaster, a CRKT Hissatsu, a Cold Steel Recon Tanto, and a Cold Steel throwing knife.

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this photo shows, from left to right, the Plan B, from CRKT, a Cold Steel push dagger, an MTech boot dagger (a copy of a Gerber Guardian), and on the bottom is a semi-custom Hide Away Knife (HAK) with a utility blade profile.

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out of all these knives, the only ones that see regular carry are the Plan B and the HAK. of the large knives, the khukuris and the Trailmaster have been used for camping and hiking chores, but i don't camp on a regular basis. the Hissatsu i bought purely because it looked mean; that knife was designed for one purpose, and it's not for utility. the tanto was given to my brother, who keeps it in a drawer, and the throwing knife never leaves the front yard.

of the smaller knives, two of them are illegal to carry, because they're considered daggers. i keep them only as a part of a collection; they never leave the house.

the Plan B is probably the best fixed blade i've ever bought. the cutting edge is under 3". the overall length is 6.75". the knife was designed by Steve Ryan, and though he's never said so himself, it's patterned after the pakal knife, from the Philippines.

http://www.scarfamilyditdajow.com/Tradit...Pakal2.htm

the grip is contoured in such a way that it's comfortable in either a saber or hammer grip, or a reverse or "ice pick" grip. the pikal grip, though, is hard to do with this knife. the pakal was used for personal defense, but like many weapons, evolved from a utility tool used for agriculture. i carry it quite a bit, and use it for just about anything.

the HAK is an odd little knife, designed by a woman who goes by the name FrontSight. after being assaulted in public, she set out to design a knife that was small enough to carry everywhere, but still had the cutting power of a larger knife, could be drawn quickly and efficiently, and required minimal to no training to use efficiently. in my opinion, she hit the trifecta with this design.

here is a pic of how it's held, or worn:

[Image: DSCN0293.jpg]

i said before that this was semi-custom. what i meant was, when purchasing, you need to measure the circumference of your first two fingers as close to the knuckle as possible. you send the measurement to them company, pick a blade profile, blade material, handle wrap color, and sheath option, pay for your knife, and you get one in a few weeks. i chose the standard no-frills, 440C utility blade, with a neck sheath, totalling around $70.

i carry it different ways. lately, i've gone back to carrying it on my keychain, which is how i originally carried it. i've only ever had to us this knife once in a "social setting", because my situational awareness was down, and i couldn't draw my gun in time to defuse the situation. during the incident, i was knocked to the ground, and due to the design of the knife, i was able to maintain a grip on it, where any other kife would have been sent flying across the ground, or worse, wrenched from my hand. one or two pokes, and a hard slash, and the situation was over. i've never left the house without it since then.

http://www.hideawayknife.com/main.php

SIZE MATTERS

as you can see, i choose small fixed blades for carry over large ones. some schools of thought say that a larger knife is preferable, for reason like ranged attacks, and penetration. while a big knife is nice, i don't think they hold any edge over small ones for self defense.

think about the human anatomy. think about how closely every organ, every artery, every muscle, and every tendon lies under the skin. then think about tissue displacement. once you've thought it through, you may come to realize that in the right hands, a 1" blade is lethal. most knife attacks i've witnessed on the street were donw with boxcutters, utility knives, and paring knives. i never saw anyone using a Bowie, an Arkansas Toothpick, or a Tanto.

when it comes to everyday utility, any small blade can do what a lage blade can, maybe even better. do you really need a Kabar to open the mail? is that 16" khukuri going to cut vegetables better than a 3" blade?

in my opinion, unless you need to chop down saplings for firewood, or going into combat, blades under 3" are better for all-around use.

THE HOLLOW GRIND

the hollow grind is done by taking two concave scoops out of the side of the blade. many production companies use this grind, because it's easier to design machines to do it, but many custom makers grind this way as well. the advantage is that the edge is extraordinarily thin, and thin edges slice better. the disadvantage is that the thinner the edge, the weaker it is. hollow ground edges can chip or roll over in harder use, and the hollow ground edge can't penetrate too far for food-type chopping, because the edge gets non-linearly thicker as it nears the spine.

for designs where slicing is important, but the slice doesn't need to go too deep, this grind is an excellent choice. many hunting knives are hollow ground, because field dressing is often best done with a knife that slices exceptionally well through soft tissues. unfortunately, if you hit a bone, you can chip the edge, so the flat grind (see below) is also used often.

another advantage of the hollow ground knife, at least at the beginning, is ease of sharpening. most hollow grinds thicken slightly towards the edge. that means that as you sharpen (at least at first), the blade gets thinner and easier to sharpen. after this, however, the blade begins thickening non-linearly and sharpening will become more difficult.

the ultimate slicer, the straight razor, is usually hollow ground.

THE CHISEL GRIND

the chisel grind is a knife which is not ground at all on one side, so it is completely flat on one side, and has a bevel on the other. it is simple to produce (the maker need only grind one side), and simple to sharpen (it is sharpened on one side only, then the burr is stropped off the other side). it's also typically very sharp, due to the single bevel design. whereas a blade ground on both sides might be sharpened at 20 degrees per side, for a total of 40-degrees edge angle, a chisel ground blade is often ground at around 30 degrees, making for a thin (and thus sharp) edge.

accurate slices are very difficult with the chisel grind, due to the fact that the non-symmetrical design forces the knife to curve in the medium being cut. many Emerson knives are chisel ground.

THE SABER GRIND

the saber grind is a strong edge format. the bevel starts around the middle of the blade, and proceeds flatly towards the edge; this leaves a strong edge for chopping and other hard use, but it also means the edge will be fairly thick, so this design will not necessarily slice all that well.

the saber grind is found on many military classic designs such as the Randall #1 and the Kabar.

THE FLAT GRIND

the flat grind tries to provide an edge that is both thin and strong, and leaves a strong thick spine. the grind is completely flat, going from the spine to the edge. this grind is harder to make, because a lot of steel needs to be ground away, but the edge ends up being fairly thin and so cutting very well. because the bevels are flat, there is plenty of metal backing the edge, so it's much stronger than a hollow grind. it's not as strong as a saber grind, but will outcut that grind.

the edge on this design also penetrates better for slicing and chopping. the hollow grind expands non-linearly as you go up the blade, the saber grind expands linearly but very quickly. Tte flat grind expands linearly and slowly. kitchen knives are usually flat ground, because when chopping/slicing food you need to push the blade all the way through the food. this grind is an outstanding compromise between strength and cutting ability, sacrificing little for either.

THE CONVEX GRIND

also called the Moran grind, after Bill Moran (a highly lauded knifemaker), or the Appleseed grind, because of the similarity to the shape of an appleseed in its cross section. this grind is as you would expect, the grind arcs down in a convex curve down to the edge. this means the point can be very sharp, because there's no secondary bevels to create the edge itself, just two intersecting arcs. there is also a fair amount of steel behind the edge, because the convex arcs cause the edge to widen non-linearly. this is a strong-edge format, which won't penetrate like a flat grind but will be stronger. knifemakers form this grind on a flat-belt grinder. a disadvantage of this grind is if you don't have a flat-belt grinder yourself, it is difficult to touch up the edge. i have a few blades with convex edges; i strop the blade, rather than hone or sharpen it. many older designs, like katanas (without bo-hi, or bloodgrooves), and traditional Bowies have convex grinds.

THE TANTO

just to be clear, what i'm referring to as a tanto is not a true tanto shape. the Japanese tanto was not a blade profile, but a type of knife used for utility and close quarters defense; they were usually tapered, coming to a needle-like point. Bob Lum, another noted knifemaker, designed the Americanized, chisel pointed version of the tanto.

the Americanized tanto as executed by Cold Steel shows multiple grind types. along the long flat, the knife is hollow ground, for a thin edge and incredible sharpness. however, along the front up to the point, the grind switches to a flat grind. This provides incredible tip strength. the result is a knife with a very keen bottom edge, but a strong profile towards the front where it pierces. of course, the reinforced front edge is strong but doesn't pierce easily.

THE CLIP POINT

a great all-around shape, and one of the most popular, it's used on everything from the famous Buck 110 folder, to the Randall #1 fighter, to most bowies. the clip point has a concave or straight cut-out at the tip (the clip). this makes the point sharper, and also lowers it for more control. clip point blades usually also provide plenty of belly.

the tip is controllable and sharp, and the belly provides good slicing/slashing, and so this format is popular on formats from utility knives to camp knives to fighters to hunting knives.

THE DROP POINT

another great all-around format, this pattern is used on many knives but is most popular on hunters. the tip is lowered (dropped) via a convex arc from the spine. this lowers the point for great controllability. the point retains great strength. most drop point patterns also retain plenty of belly.

because to the very controllable point, this pattern is very popular on hunting knives, where it's important to keep the point from nicking an organ. the inclusion of plenty of belly makes it a good slicer and slasher. this profile is also popular on utility knives and even fighters, where the strong point can hold up to heavy use. the point on a drop point usually won't be quite as sharp as that on a clip-point, but will be stronger.

THE TANTO (Americanized and Chisel-Ground)

the Americanized tanto, popularized by Cold Steel, is usually dual-ground for point strength and sharpness along the straight edge. the point is directly along the spine. the front edge meets the long straight edge at a sharp angle, forming the "secondary point". the blade is often dual-ground, with a hollow grind along the straight edge, and a flat grind of sorts up front.

the point on this format is incredibly strong, due to the spine keeping its full width until very close to the point, and then a strong flat grind being used to create the point. there's a lot of metal up front at that point, which makes this format not the best piercer into soft materials, but incredibly strong and able to survive thrusting into very hard materials. the high point also provides less control than the drop-point and clip-point profiles.

the hollow ground straight edge is very sharp; there's no belly per se, so slicing can be awkward, and this is not the best format for general utility use since a belly is so useful for that. for hard use where a very strong point is needed, this profile is exceptional. the very sharp hollow-ground straight edge performs very well for any job that doesn't require a belly. for slashing, the promotors of this format claim the secondary point positively reinforces the slash, so even though the design is bellyless it still slashes well. i've never used a tanto for slashing, so this is only conjecture, as far as i'm concerned.

i'm not going to go over the classic Japanese tanto shape, because that design is not seen much in everyday cutlery.

THE SHEEPSFOOT (Wharncliffe)

the sheepsfoot blade is one of the few profiles that has no defined point, maybe the only one. the spine curves down to meet the edge. the main reason for this profile is to provide an edge that can be used for cutting, while minimizing the chances that anything delicate will be accidently pierced by the point. for example, it is marketed to emergency personnel, who may have to cut a person out of their seatbelt at an accident scene, and don't want to risk stabbing the victim in the process. also, this pattern is popular among sailors, and the explanations here vary depending on who you talk to: it may be because when their knife is out, the sailors don't want to risk accidently puncturing a sail. or, as the legend goes, it may be because when sailors have pointy knives, they end up stabbing each other with them. take your pick.

the Japanese style chef's knife, the Santuko, also is close to this format, though the belly on that knife curves slightly. there's no need for a point for the usage of this knife, so the dropped point maximizes the straight edge length.

THE DAGGER

The dagger's profile provides the ultimate in piercing soft targets. the dagger tapers to a very thin, very sharp point, which pierces easily and deeply into soft targets, but is weak and can (and does) break on hard targets. the dagger usually has two sharp edges, to reduce the profile and let the knife cut in on both sides.

the dagger usually has little or no belly per se, instead tapering in relatively straight line towards the point, though you will see great variations in the degree to which there's a curve towards the point. in addition, both edges are ground from the exact center of the blade. the geometry, between the lack of belly and the quickly-thickening edges, is not good for slicing/slashing.

dagger profiles make poor utility blades, and are rarely seen outside of knives that aren't designed exclusively as weapons; they're usually banned in many parts of the country, probably for this reason.

THE SPEAR POINT

a real spear point is what you would find on a spear: point exactly in the center of the blade, both edges sharpened. but when knives are described as "spear point", this describes a special variation of a drop point. in a drop point, the point drops slightly from the spine of the blade. in a spear point, the point drops all the way to the center of the blade. point controllability is excellent, and the point is strong (but dull if not double-edged), and with the point so low the belly is rather small.

THE TRAILING POINT

the trailing point format has a point that's as high or higher than the blade spine, and a big long curving belly. the belly is the objective of this format, and it's used for jobs where slicing is the most important function. it is very popular on skinning knives, where lots of belly comes in handy for slicing. the point is high and out of the way, it may function slightly as a piercer, but on some trailing point knives the point is nonfunctional.

THE HOOK BLADE (The Hawkbill)

the edge on a hook blade curves in a concave manner. this type of knife was traditionally used for gardening, and it has gained some acceptance for utility use. for shallow slicing, the material to be is place on the edge near the handle. as the knife is pulled, the geometry of the curve forces the material into the edge nearer the tip, and slicing performance is good. also, you can just pierce material with the tip and just pull the knife; the edge will function the same way. this profile works well as a slicer when you can get the material positioned in the "sweet spot" of the curve (like pruning). this basically means the material to be cut needs to have a smaller radius than the blade itself, so hook blades work well for pruning but would have a harder time slicing a tomato. the design lends itself well for defensive purposes, as well; the design functions as a "talon", and allows the user to move in a more natural fashion, by clawing and ripping at a target.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#2
tempering is basically just a heat treatment given to the steel to determine its performance. there are different methods of tempering, from monotempering to differential tempering. most of the knives used by us on a day to day basis are monotempered, meaning, the steel is heated at an even rate throughout the entire blade, then quenched, either in a liquid media, or by air.

i've never seen a production bkade that was differentially tempered, mainly because it's impossible to do with an automated machine. it must be done by hand. katanas are a perfect example of differential tempering. it's one of the oledest methods of differential tempering, done by coating the entire blade with clay, then removing the clay from the edge, before being heated. visually, this results in the hamon, or visible temper line. as for the performance of the steel, this pricess results in an edge that is very hard, and extremely sharp, while leaving the spine softer and tougher, allowing for the absorption of shock, and making the entire balde more ductile. if the entire blade was hard, it would be brittle, and break the first time it struck a target. if it was tempered to be tough all over, it would never take an edge sharp enough to cut anything. so, differential tempering allows one steel to take on two qualities in the same blade.

most knives you'll own will be monotempered, meaning that the hardness and toughness will be the same throughout the blade. a good temper will result in a good blade. a bad one will result in a useless piece of steel. monotempering is fairly easy to achieve, so the process can be automated, allowing for mass production of blades that will have little variation in the quality and performance of the knives.

basically, what makes a knife are three things: steel, profile, and tempering. in my opinion, proper tempering is the most important part. a well done heat treatment on a lesser steel can outperform a high quality designer steel with a shitty heat treatment. a bad tempering job can cause "stainless" steel to lose much its stainless qualities, cause a tough steel to become too brittle, or cause a hard steel to become too soft.

by the way, i say "stainless" because all steel rusts. certain alloys will rust less or slower than others, but will still rust or stain over time, and given the right conditions. otherwise, they'd call it "stainfree" steel. see what i did there?

when you're pciking a knife, remember what it's application is going to be. people talk shit on 400 series steels, like 440A, but if you're going to be diving, or fishing, or someplace where you're going to sweat on it a lot, it's a much better choice than D2 steel. likewise, 5160 grade steel may be the toughest thing going, but if i'm gonna be skinning a deer or something, i'd rather have something like D2 steel, that will take and hold an edge much better.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#3
Good write ups...but im a 440 ragger. Big Grin
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#4
My wife's tounge , a most formidable weapon ! I have been a student of the Japnese Katana, no match , not even close! Honed to perfection and may no blade stand against it ! I've been into "Kempo" since I was 19 and am 60 now ! There is no double or single edged blade with the subtle power of that tounge , be fore-wared...........Eeeek Confused
dman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
How about sharpening a blade? I tried my hand at an Arkansas Stone when sharping a KA-BAR that I am giving to a friend, I swear I made the knife duller by using it. My father had this other sharpening device where you just run it back/forth through a slot, no worrying about angles or anything. Now the knife cuts through corrugated cardboard with a nice, clean and effortless motion. I really like the KA-BAR and I want to purchase one for myself soon but I would also like to get a newer sharpening device where I don't have to worry about the angle or anything, something real simple and nearly impossible to screw up. I was looking at something like this on Amazon: AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener

I like it since it's extremely simple, doesn't require oil, it's cheap and out of 700+ reviews it has 4.5 out of 5 stars from owners. What are your thoughts on such a device?
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LifeInPa, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Sanity, yours if you can keep it. Confused
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#6
Nice write up, going to take me awhile to digest all of that! Thank you for your effort!

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#7
Great right up, the only thing I would like to see is some picture examples of the different tip styles/grinds. Besides that I enjoyed it and on another note love my kershaw shallot.
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#8
Great OP(s), Jah. Can you go a little bit more into the locking mechanisms and why you think some are weaker than others?

Also, why are all these knives are ~$100? What exactly does a ~$30 folder do wrong? Specifically:
[Image: 4CfmD.jpg]
[Image: gWF0i.jpg]

Got this at Bass Pro near Hburgh for under $30. It's been a good EDC for a couple years, and I've had no reason to suspect the lock of being weak, or anything else.
~All Knowledge is Worth Having~
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#9
$100+ knives are that way because of craftsmanship and materials, mainly the blade steel.

The best "cheap" knife I've ever had is a Spyderco Tenacious. The blade steel sucks, which is why it's so cheap, but the build quality is just like any other Spyderco.

I think my favorite overall knife of all time is the Benchmade Griptilian, but when it comes to overall quality, style and materials in an "affordable" knife, it's really hard to beat Spyderco.

And by affordable, I mean less than $250. That sounds like a lot but if you use your knife daily, and REALLY use it, and depend on it, a good knife with quality steel will be worth it, in my opinion.

I carried a SOG Twith II for YEARS before I was really a "knife guy". I still have that knife and love it. But it's just not as much knife compared to Spyderco or Benchmade.
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#10
LifeInPa;32610 Wrote:How about sharpening a blade? I tried my hand at an Arkansas Stone when sharping a KA-BAR that I am giving to a friend, I swear I made the knife duller by using it. My father had this other sharpening device where you just run it back/forth through a slot, no worrying about angles or anything. Now the knife cuts through corrugated cardboard with a nice, clean and effortless motion. I really like the KA-BAR and I want to purchase one for myself soon but I would also like to get a newer sharpening device where I don't have to worry about the angle or anything, something real simple and nearly impossible to screw up. I was looking at something like this on Amazon: AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener

I like it since it's extremely simple, doesn't require oil, it's cheap and out of 700+ reviews it has 4.5 out of 5 stars from owners. What are your thoughts on such a device?

Sharpening is a "personal preference" thing. The key to sharpening is maintaining a constant angle, no matter what. I've used different methods, from a waterstone, to diamond rods, to ceramic blocks, to a leather strop (for honing). All work for me, though I find myself using diamond rods and leather strops most often.

the1jeffy;32935 Wrote:Great OP(s), Jah. Can you go a little bit more into the locking mechanisms and why you think some are weaker than others?

Also, why are all these knives are ~$100? What exactly does a ~$30 folder do wrong? Specifically:
[Image: 4CfmD.jpg]
[Image: gWF0i.jpg]

Got this at Bass Pro near Hburgh for under $30. It's been a good EDC for a couple years, and I've had no reason to suspect the lock of being weak, or anything else.

All locking mechanisms will fail. ALL of them. That's in their nature. That said, there are some that are stronger than others. Liner locks, in my experience, are the weakest. The strongest lock I've ever had on a knife are the ball bearing detente styleed ones, like the ones Benchmade uses for their 940 model. Lockbacks are pretty tough; Buck got it right years ago.
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