A radical theory, and leaving the world of expensive modern knives behind

Not open for further replies.

David Richardson

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2018
You may be familiar with this one.
View attachment 1086630
0.224 thick. Full convex grind.
About 20 thousandths behind the edge
It cuts excellent. And is very well balanced for its size.

Yes a kitchen knife will cut better. But the lean grind will allow it to cut nice. But to be fair this was designed as a chopper.

But this knife is not a chopper. 0.116
Z-Wear at 62 HRC.
10 thousands behind the edge and about 15-17 degrees per side. And easily one of the sharpest knives I have made. A serious cutter. Will smoke those old steels. View attachment 1086632
I'm calling BS on this. You can't make outrageous claims like this without backing them up. I insist demand that you send me that Z-wear knife to either validate or refute your claims. I'll need a few months to give it a thorough examination.

But seriously, those are some nice looking knives. That Z-wear blade looks fantastic. Last thing I need is another knife. Still, going to have to hit you up about availability.
Feb 10, 2015
The guy's too domestic. Here's a better example: combat knives in the last 50 years suddenly sprouted all kinds of handle features, blade serrations, wire cutters, beer bottle openers, etc., etc. Nearly 2,000 years before that, it was the simple, symmetrical, double-edged, cross-guarded, pommeled, dagger.
Well to be fair 2000 years ago there where no bottle caps.


Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Sep 9, 2015
I'm calling BS on this. You can't make outrageous claims like this without backing them up. I insist demand that you send me that Z-wear knife to either validate or refute your claims. I'll need a few months to give it a thorough examination.

But seriously, those are some nice looking knives. That Z-wear blade looks fantastic. Last thing I need is another knife. Still, going to have to hit you up about availability.
Hahah thank you!!!
That one was sold.
Believe me it was hard to let go. Had rubberized carbon fiber handles.
That stuff is without a doubt. The best handle material IMO.

Books should open in 3 or 4 months.
Keep an eye out for one offs here and there though. I typically have enough steel for 1 or 2 extra blades. Love me some thin knives!
Jan 31, 2018
All of these knives (my APEX series) are designed for slicing and EDC needs.
I even made one in 0.080 S110V
And there are some that will be Vanax coming up.

if i was going that thin, it would have to be 3v ... or aeb-l but that's just me ; p

still, the edge retention on that should be completely insane

T.L.E. Sharp

Freedom for @Fullflat!!!
Platinum Member
Jun 30, 2016
That pic actually prompted me to go search if Mikov had released a new stiletto shape. Sadly, they had not.

That’s all I got. This thread is asinine enough without any further additions.

AGA Campolin Zero. Really nice.
Jun 27, 2007
I quickly read the original post and I agree. Reason why I have stuck to mora’s after all fancy outdoors knives is that they just work better in every possible way.

I still of course will buy fancier knives with obnoxious edges that I will reprofile. :D


Live and Let Die
Platinum Member
Dec 1, 2016
Admittedly, this was a hard thread to read. Misconceptions of historical knives and their designs notwithstanding, it is akin to foolishness to perpetuate the notion that the "old ways" are better.

If you have found your zen in the knives that make you happy, then more power to you. Go with what works for you and makes you sleep well at night. I would just advise against coming on a board that likely facilitates the largest concentration of avid knife enthusiasts in the world and implying that your self obtained "wisdom" is akin to gospel. Strong words perhaps, but it should clue one in on what is being perceived and perception can be everything...

The OP made some good points but the presentation was not so great and most definitely did not facilitate a particularly constructive discussion. I am fond of good old fashioned high carbon steel and my collection is largely comprised of it. However, I am well aware of both its merits and its shortcomings and will not pretend that it will supersede all else.

If I could only grab one knife for all my cutting/wilderness needs, it would be the knife pictured below, my CPK HDFK. It cuts, whittles, and chops all day long, every day of the week. That Delta 3V is simply magic. I can baton wood for a fire and go straight to cleanly slicing tomatoes. It simply will not stop...

Just magic.



Gold Member
Jun 23, 2007
Yes it is. I've broken and seen broken countless knives applied with this technique. Every time you see a review or video with a broken survival knife, it is almost always the case that the knife was broken by batoning it. To survive such use, the knife must have a full-profile tang with absolutely no weak points, a soft temper, and even then it is still inferior to just making a few wedges and batoning those instead. Batoning is just plain dumb.

I've battoned thousands of logs and boards into kindling. Abused some of my knives at 60RC (,so in no way a spring temper) for a a decade or more.

It is a dandy method of making small kindling without packing a hatchet or axe.

I grew up cutting trees to heat my home. Grew up felling lumber, swinging a maul to split wood, and making kindling.

I have no hesitation using many of my knives to chop, and baton...both thick and thin. Big and small.

I've used wedges to split logs before.

I've helped build multi story cabins with lumber I helped cut and shape. I have the knives inherited from my grandfather that he used to butcher farmstead animals. I still use them. I buy similar versions today.

The steel is not perfected. Thinner geometry cuts, but it needs to be sharpened more, and is not as stable, impact resistant, etc.

Super steels. New designs. Classic designs. Thick. Thinner, thicker. Hollow ground, flat ground, convex.

I've got expensive knives, and cheap. I've used $1000 Busse choppers to do all of the things you detest, while grinning. I've used cheap machetes, and axes, and hatchets. I've got a nice Japanese arborist saw.

16 inch bladed old Hickory knives too. All the way to folding opinels.

I like cutting tools. Expensive, bargain. I like them all.

I guess I am glad you've solved all knife related issues for me.

I've used too many steels to list. Tool steels, plain haight and medium carbon. 52100, L6, AEBL, INFI, San Mai laminated, CPM3v, and many many more...

But I'll keep liking what I like. Batonning when I feel like it (with knives strong enough to do it....I would not do so with my hidden tang hollow ground Buck, or my custom stag handled hunter with a thin hollow grind).
Last edited:


Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Mar 8, 2008
OP, you're wrong.

In every way you're wrong.

Not really but you're mostly wrong.

The advancements in materials and engineering that have occurred throughout the past century are innumerable. It would be ridiculous to ignore the significance of this.

I mean, steel is better, materials are better, manufacturing is better, edge geometry and sharpness are better, I could just go on. I can't imagine an area in which a quality modern piece wouldn't be superior save for nostalgic purposes.

I mean, we can pick exceptional examples and poor examples of each and unfairly weigh them out, but that's dishonest.

In reality, a high performance quality knife today is measurably better than one made 100 years ago.

Actually, the one area I'd say they tend to pull wayyyyyy ahead in is in context-optimized form factor, and I think that's what the OP was trying to get at. See, if you don't have an intimate (or at least thorough) knowledge of what you're designing for, you can't really make a truly optimized design even if using a structured theoretical framework that places all emphasis on function. And the old timers knew their tasks very thoroughly, which is reflected in how many very specific variations of tools we saw back in the day. Just the variety of agricultural forks, to pick a non-knife tool, that used to be on offer is staggering. But when you actually do the job all day for years on end, you pretty quickly start thinking "boy, I wish this were a little more like this and a little less like that" and because of the production models used back then it was easy to retool for new designs, so meat packing plants would write in to companies like Lamson & Goodnow and say "We need 100x of a knife made to this design sketch for these purposes, and it should be like the following description" and L&G could turn around and bang out a sample and then make up a batch based on the feedback, all at a feasible price. And as they heard this kind of feedback from multiple sources over time, companies' standard production became tailored to meet the needs of their markets to a T. That "perfect storm" of hands-on knowledge and feasible price-competitive low-volume production created something of a positive feedback loop that gave us most of the standardized patterns we now see today, and those patterns have largely remained unchanged for the same reason that sharks and turtles and alligators are barely different from their prehistoric ancestors: the fundamental design got everything dialed in long ago and the rest is just fine adjustment to fit the current context.

Our manufacturing technology and material science are lightyears ahead what they were in the 1800's, but they knew how to translate the needs of a job into a tool to suit it better than most do today. There are definitely still makers/manufacturers who know that aspect, but they are few and far between compared to the ones chasing technical advancements like blade steels and treatments, exotic handle materials, ultra-precise machining, and crazy new locks, none of which are of particular importance if the form factor sucks, or is at least sub-par. :D These "hype factors" are often the cart that gets put before the horse, and I consider that a legitimate gripe. It's been one that's been irking me for well over a decade now because of baffling design decisions that actually undermine the ability of a given design to fulfill its explicitly stated purpose. But if it builds hype, it sells. :)
Nov 3, 2010
As an aside: I loved the part in which OP called out the hobby for attracting certain “types” and implied that those types were (maybe?) immature. It’s hard to discern the point he’s making sometimes. However, the only
I melted down? That's funny. I'm sensing really bad emotional maturity all around here. That's the trouble with this hobby. Just like with firearms and martial arts, it attracts a certain... type.

What would that have to do with anything? Why haven't you or anyone attacked any of the points I made or logic I used even once yet, seeings how you're intent on turning this into some kind hostile debate? If you think I'm wrong about something, I might like to know what that is and why.

Interesting that you feel like you have the moral high ground so sufficiently maintained that you can pass judgement on the emotional maturity of this forum when you have demonstrated a complete lack of emotional maturity at every possible avenue. This entire thread reads like a devotion poem you have written yourself. Nearly every post you have made involves some unprovable claim about how amazing you are at some task.
Nov 3, 2010
Honestly, only one knife is needed to smack this OP down: Spyderco H1 Fish Hunter. If he refuses the suggestion because he moves the goal posts, then the entire argument can be disregarded. FRN handle and H1 steel. The knife is the definition of a modern knife. Has excellent geometry and cuts like a laser.

Sharp & Fiery

Keep ‘em Sharp
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
May 14, 2012
I can believe i read all 10 pages of this...interesting OP...
all i've learned from this thread is that there is a self proclaimed "best sharpener." And without a paying membership!
The best information is free!!???
Huh? Wait...
Not open for further replies.