Knives - Cut Above the Rest

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Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:09 pm

I know we have gun enthusiasts here on TR, and we have photography pros as well.... I'm sure there have to be some knife connoisseurs to go along this enthusiast type mentality.

I recently got into hunting and actually subsistence fishing. A good knife just seemed like a need. So I did my research, asked around at Sportsman's Warehouse and after a few weeks of internal deliberation I decided to buy a Helle Eggen.

The display unit didn't have me excited in the slightest as far as looks go, but was razor sharp and made to the level of quality I want in a Knife for field dressing a moose, gutting Salmon and any other game I might encounter. The display unit had a very bland birch handle and just didn't seem right to me. Luckily enough they had 1 more under the counter brand new, so I asked to take a look at it and the second I saw it coming out of the packaging I fell in love with it. Here's to hoping it's as tough and functional as it is a damn beautiful knife.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3iTHio ... cslist_api
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:36 pm

All my knives have been handed down from my father with my favorite one being a 1950's or so 6" long black handled 1" wide buck knife that holds a scalpel like edge very well. Also having a very good double sided very flat and true oil honing stone can give a nice edge to almost any knife...plus it is fun to do while you watch TV or something and I like the smell of the gun oil .

It all come down to the quality of the metal, believe it or not some of the finest blades are made from old used files from a northern state in the US that gets very cold in the winter and hot in the summer seasoning the metal like Engine blocks in Detroit used to sit for a few years before being milled down. It just made them stronger.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:39 pm

I have a Buck Hunter folding knife. I got it way back, over 20 years ago, and it's still my go-to knife for all activities, whether I'm whittling a stick or opening a package. To my knowledge it doesn't have any special metal for the blade, and the handle is metal, so no fancy wood or anything, but it's durable and trustworthy -- my favorite of all. I had other knives in my collection, but none except the Buck survived to make this list today.

The main blade on my Leatherman Charge TTi is also nice. It's strictly utility, since it doesn't have the feel or balance as a dedicated knife.

I'm also interested in kitchen steel. I have a nice set of Sabatier knives from when they were still made in France (three assorted parers, a tomato/bagel knife, and a boning knife), a large Mundial chef knife (forged, 9" blade), and a santoku knife with a granton edge of JA Henckels make. These knives are a pleasure to use. Using these knives next to lesser knives is like night and day -- the high end ones are so balanced and smooth, and they're only modest blades in the world of high end kitchen knives. I also have a small Sabatier paring knife with a santoku/granton blade, and a set of six Sabatier steak knives (straight edge, not serrated), though these last seven knives are likely not of French origin.
Last edited by FireGryphon on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:36 pm

I carry a Case. Vrock would be scandalized to learn that the less expensive plastic handle is waaaay more ergonomic than stainless steel, bone or wood.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:42 pm

Thought I recognized the name of the brand and the style of that knife, and the name is the same word in Swedish and Norwegian so ;) basically eggen = the edge for anybody that might have missed it.

I don't have anything special, more a few hand made novelty throwing things and such, but I do have a decent Buck (looks like the current Vanguard basically with a nice wooded handle) I got quite a few years ago and also a 25 year old carbon steel mora from my scout-years, which still holds just fine.

Other that that I'm like firegryphon. More into kitchen knives these days. Actually use a bunch of globals that are really nice, especially at 40%+ off on the price. Various sizes and shapes, santoku shape with and without olive, normal chef's, pairing, etc. Then I have a few sabatiers as well.

if you want to see some weird stuff, go look at the youtube channel of skallagrim, he reviews weird knives, and other stuff.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:04 am

Ah, SMKW...fun times. I was in east TN last weekend and thought about going to their store, but the schedule wasn't going to allow it.

I'm not a hardcore knife enthusiast but I'm fond of the SOG Twitch II. Small, discreet, easy to use, not terribly expensive--perfect everyday utility knife that's neither grandpa or tacticool. Works best for folks with small hands, grizzly bears will likely be left wanting a bigger handle. It's a shame balisongs have such a stigma as that would be prefect for what I do at work--one hand holding onto a large and rather 'alive' piece of industrial machinery, other hand trying to get something done makes it difficult to use any traditional folding knife.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:01 am

I was given a modern K55K last Christmas and although it's a cheap basic knife there's something very nice about it. German quality shows through even on budget item. It's basically the exact opposite of what you've brought... pressed steel handle, it's very minimalist utilitarian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_K55K

I'm not really into knives, it's illegal to carry anything that locks in the UK so even this thing is a little, er, pointless :oops:. However since it has been in production since 1867 it is something of a design classic and any knife nerd should have one.

I understand that if you actually go out into the wilds it makes a good backup knife to carry since it's very thin and light plus it's available with either and carbon or stainless blade if you worry about things like that. How well does it gut a moose? I've only used mine to open letters but it makes short work of them.

Looks like you can pick a new one up on ebay/amazon for about $30 and there are even a few on ebay that claim to be WWI/II relics if you want something that has actual history.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:49 pm

I'm a bit of a knife geek myself. I'm in the process of making this one for myself. It's 52100 ball bearing steel and it's 0.210" thick.

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I enjoy camping and hunting so i want something big, tough and sharp I can use for firewood prep and whatnot.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:14 pm

I have a Spyderco Dragonfly 2 with orange FRN scales that I keep with me at pretty much all times. It's the perfect/size weight to put in your pocket and not worry about. I use it constantly and its stood up to some rough abuse.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:30 pm

I carry a couple of different folding pocket knives for day-to-day use. But, my uncle was an avid knife collector and was also a sailor, and when he passed away, I what was left of his collection. There are some that I keep because of sentiment, but most are useful.

These are all of the "good ones" by my estimation. I determine this by maker's mark, quality of steel, quality of hilt, and also sentiment.

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Classic KaBar. This was a gift to my uncle from a boss we had, at one time, both had. He got it at an estate sale, and its a very good knife. I love the patina on it.

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If anyone knows hunting knives, they should recognize the name Morseth. I am lucky enough to have two of S. Morseth's knives. Model 83 M3-3

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Notice the ingenuous locking mechanism in the sheath. Love this.

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#2 Moresth. Not as useful as the first one, for me. The first is a perfect skinning knife for elk. Model 84 M8-25 Gold Dot version. It means its a collector's knife, and I won't ever attempt to use it.

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Solingen Bowie Knife Model 447. Huge Bowie Knife. I have seen this knife used to pop/break the breastbone of elk. No saw necessary. Hugely strong steel. Excellent knife, for its purpose. Completely impractical for any other real use, other than to scare someone.

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Nameless Kukri. Probably picked up in the Mediterranean Sea, probably in Turkey. While it is not a typical Kukri, the grip is of lower quality, but the steel is excellent. No maker's mark.

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I have fine assortment of folders, throwers, and a pretty neat but cheap wrist knife, as well. However, these are the fixed bladed knives of value. Will trade many of them for good lenses, however....
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:23 pm

What, no Puma Great White Hunter? :lol:
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:03 pm

The notch in the Kukri, is it intentional or damage? In one shot it looks like it's apart of the design, in another it looks unrefined like damage.

Cool knives, thanks for sharing :)

*Updated* It looks like it was intentional.... the Wiki one looks almost like the exact same as your Kukri.... Nepal? The cut near the handle in the metal and the handle itself looks to have much of the same design and art even... wonder how common it is, unless you contributed to Wikipedia lol.... wait, did you!
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:23 am

Simple old trusty Case here too.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:26 pm

I have an Opinel that I've had for about a year as an EDC knife. Great size, fantastic blade, really quite nice, especially for a $10 knife. Also sometimes carry a Kershaw Clash, though I seem to have misplaced that. Also have a cheap Gerber multitool, but its crap.

Used to have a CRKT M16-10KZ, but went camping with it, lent it to a family member and it disappeared from our campsite. It was a great knife, though a bit too tacticool looking for my tastes.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:41 pm

Yeah, the notch is by design. It definitely strikes me as made for the tourist market. While they originate from India/Nepal, I am almost positive that the kukri I have came from the Middle East. The crossed palms and scimitars on the scabbard is a big hint to me.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:21 pm

My grandfather had a gurkha kukri he got when he was a military attaché, and it was far more utilitarian with the two smaller blades made for utility and sharpening on small extra scabbard on the outside. They would be pretty nasty in use since they are pretty sharp and have a decently heavy blade as well.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:46 am

So I went into a local knife shop to have them sharpen a Calphalon Katana 7" Santoku knife I bought for the wife years ago. In talking I was asked what I do, in which the owner said "Ohhhh you work on computers!" Long story short, he broke his laptop screen and asked if I would be willing to do a trade. He buys the new LCD screen, I replace it for him to make me a custom knife.

I looked through his selection and really love some of the knives. I keep being told "Hey, just figure out what you want in the knife, we can add anything you'd like, or change it to your style".

Here is one of the knives I'd really love to own. However I think I want it to be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches longer so that it can be used as an all around camp/survival knife.

Image

So the serrated portion would have about a 1 1/2 to 2 inch long false edge behind in towards the handle. The top of the blade closest to the handle is designed to put your finger across when skinning, there is a name for that design but I don't recall what its called.

Thoughts on that design with 2 or so extra inches added to it? I think total overall length from end of tang to end of the blade would be roughly 9.5 to 10 inches.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:40 am

My thoughts on that design-

The overall blade shape should work well for camp chores, especially with 2-3 inches added to it. 4-5" is great for that.

However, all those sharp corners in the handle are most likely going to become uncomfortable with any extended use. Also the fact that the handle scales don't match up with the tang will add to your discomfort. The false edge on top (not to mention the serrations) will eat up wooden batons, if you're into such camp chores like processing firewood.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:42 am

Jebus, a nice knife for replacing a laptop screen? I'd do that twice!

My EDCs are a CRKT Triumph folder for most work, and a small Benchmade TiPika II. I used to have and love a CRKT Ripple that was my more delicate EDC (some people get all excitable when I flip out my Triumph, the assisted opening is a bit dramatic), but then it started shedding screws and I haven't had luck replacing them. Once I can find some appropriate screws, I'll dab some Loctite on there and that'll be my small/light EDC (in-pocket).

turtlepwr281 - That's pretty epic! Do you make knives professionally, or just something you do sometimes? I've always wanted to lay out a design and create from scratch, but I haven't had the tools and time.

Welch - The more I look at that knife, the more the pseudo-primitive design grows on me. I also like the serration being on the backside, and on a false edge. Everybody seems to want to put serrations at the base of the blade, and that's the one place I *don't* want them. For me, the base should have a fully sharp edge, though I like to do a less aggressive angle there, if I can. I do wedge cutting with the base, and having a more axe-like profile makes me comfortable that I'm not chewing away the base of the blade.

My collection isn't much, a bunch of folders, none too old (hard on my gear; "Improper tool use" more often than I should), a large but inferior "Remington" hunting knife that I got at Walmart as a half-gag (good for waving around and Crocodile Dundee jokes, not much by way of an actual knife), and a few strays. A friend of mine at work says he's going to get me a proper Khukuri next time he goes home for a visit. I hope he does, he's in the right part of India, I could have a new crown jewel. Currently my oldest knife is probably a Camillus Air Force survival. Not a great knife, but this particular one has travelled via family, so it has something extra for me. Date stamp has it issued just after WW2 as well, so it's older than most, but the condition says it's not worth much outside of sentiment.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:29 pm

Forge- Thanks man! I don't make professionally, but It's something I wouldn't mind getting into as a side gig. I just bought a grinder and started. I am in SE PA too btw.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:39 pm

turtlepwr281 wrote:My thoughts on that design-

The overall blade shape should work well for camp chores, especially with 2-3 inches added to it. 4-5" is great for that.

However, all those sharp corners in the handle are most likely going to become uncomfortable with any extended use. Also the fact that the handle scales don't match up with the tang will add to your discomfort. The false edge on top (not to mention the serrations) will eat up wooden batons, if you're into such camp chores like processing firewood.



The handle being not flush seemed odd but is actually comfortable in hand. I considered long term use and was also worried if hacking away at branches or something. Where your index finger would lay I was thinking about making it slightly less long, my finger doesn't come nearly that far up. On top of that there will be a flat spot between the finger rest and serrated area allowing for there to be a really nice thick spot that is the same width as the tang for hammering with a wooden baton. It gives me roughly 2 1/2 to 3 inches of flat surface to work with that should be dead center to the blade, so all strikes are center mass.

That's what I had in mind. I kind of am considering asking about making the handle sort of thinner and add ribbing to allow for para-cord to be channeled around the handle. Any thoughts on that? I always liked the idea of having para cord wrapped around the handle for grip and of course as a method for carrying the cord as part of a emergency kit. Ideally even with the para cord taken off it would have a use able handle.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:21 pm

So.... I am thinking I may sell some of those knives of mine.... Anyone recommend a good guide so I can adequately price them?
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:17 am

Welch wrote:The handle being not flush seemed odd but is actually comfortable in hand. I considered long term use and was also worried if hacking away at branches or something. Where your index finger would lay I was thinking about making it slightly less long, my finger doesn't come nearly that far up. On top of that there will be a flat spot between the finger rest and serrated area allowing for there to be a really nice thick spot that is the same width as the tang for hammering with a wooden baton. It gives me roughly 2 1/2 to 3 inches of flat surface to work with that should be dead center to the blade, so all strikes are center mass.

That's what I had in mind. I kind of am considering asking about making the handle sort of thinner and add ribbing to allow for para-cord to be channeled around the handle. Any thoughts on that? I always liked the idea of having para cord wrapped around the handle for grip and of course as a method for carrying the cord as part of a emergency kit. Ideally even with the para cord taken off it would have a use able handle.


Once you finish setting the baton by hitting that center square section, you'll need to strike the knife on the tip to keep the baton moving down your piece of wood. I give that serrated tip two good hits before you snap batons in half.

I'd also recommend not having that index finger divider at all. That divider will limit the number of different grips you can have on that knife to just about one.

As far as wrapping the handle in paracord, once it gets wet and sweaty it will be gross. Most "user" knives are just micarta scales, typically with a coarse finish for extra grip.

Look up an LT Wright Genesis for an example of a great "user" knife.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:07 pm

For good, and relatively inexpensive, broad-use outdoor/hunting knives Mora has some excellent options like the Bushcraft.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:16 am

Image
Here is the "first version" of the knife. I didn't think he was going to get to making it already but he did. It looks to have a little less "belly" to the drop point in comparison to the first one I posted that this knife was based on, am I crazy or does this seem true? He used what looks like sheep horn for handle which I like better than the flat black Ox I believe.

You can see the straight flat spot on the rear that I mentioned before. I think this will suffice for batoning, then hitting closer to the finger rest which won't be too close to my hands at all. I'll agree that being able to strike near the end of the blade would be ideal but I'd like to try having the serrated edge to see how having a combo blade works in real world applications.

I was sort of hoping for it to be closer to the 6 1/2 or 7 inch range, but I guess I'll see how I like this. My Eggen is 4 inch so I'm hoping this one at 5.5 isn't going to overlap too much in the way of what they could/should be used for. I'm not looking to have this replace a Knife that I haven't even used yet lol.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:42 am

Looks good man! Enjoy it. What steel(s) did he use?
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:06 am

I'll have to ask him for details, it's a Damascus'ed steel as you can tell but I'm not sure about composition. He said it was extremely tough stuff so we shall see. They are bought in blanks, not in house forged.

Hopefully I can get some hands on with it and have him tweak things that I'm not partial to. I hope it has much of the same feel and look as the original. Your advice helped me to talk myself out of worrying about the paracord wrap. Instead I'm going to make a bracelet out of it that incorporates a whistle in a plastic clip, fire starting materials inside a hollowed out para cord cover, a Firestarter to be struck with my knife and a miniature compass. I figure I can probably build all of that I to a bracelet for about or under 20 bucks.

As far as Moras, people seem to really love them. Perhaps a cheap one could be taped inside the butt end of my rifle as a backup. It's a Tikka T3 Lite so the butt end is already hollowed and extremely light.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:35 am

Is it damascus-ed stainless or a high carbon steel blend?

Mora's are popular because they're cheap, durable enough for the average joe, come reasonably sharp, and most importantly, have thin edges. They also get better with additional sharpenings (you gotta abrade away the usually overstressed metal on the edge and expose good steel, which is true for any knife that's been sharpened with a machine).
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:38 am

No knives of the outdoors man variety yet. My favorite pocket knife is a tiny 3 inch Gerber that I've had for 8ish years. It's unobtrusive and barely noticeable when I reach my hand in the pocket, and more importantly it's survived a lot of use and countless passes through the washing machine.

I also have a Buck that I found buried in the dirt as a kid, but since it doesn't have a pocket clip it gets left at home or in a backpack.
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Re: Knives - Cut Above the Rest

Postposted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:32 pm

So the Damascus is a blend of many steels not just a few. He lists his composition on his website as such.

All of our Damascus steel knives are made from different combinations of L6, O-1, O-2, 15N20, 1095, 1084, and 1075 steels.

I'm not sure about whether that's crap, decent or excellent? Obviously it would make a difference in how much of each type of steel, I'm unsure really.
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