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

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Mossyhorn

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If you need proof that a thin knife cuts better and sharpens easier than a thick knife, is lighter, that many modern knives have shitty point geometry and lack finger guards, or any of my other truisms, I'm afraid I'm going to decline. Do you want proof that steel is better than copper for knifemaking too?

Proof of you processing a tree with a pocket knife would do.
 
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I think it's partially the result of knife manufacturers getting tired of people saying their knives suck because they keep chipping and breaking them doing idiotic things.

I'd like to see a simple 6" knife blade made from 1095 with a "right triangle" blade shape with thin enough stock, TRUE chisel grind (for a right hand user, the inside would be completely flat) where the cutting edge is a full flat grind from the spine down and a zero edge of about 30 degrees would out-cut any of the common 6" blades sold today that are really thick with obtuse angles.

I'm not a maker or very imaginative so I just spent a few seconds coming up with about the simplest "traditional" idea I could come up with that cut like hell.

It would require more maintenance and maybe only survive a few years (depending on what you were doing with it) worth of continuous use but the cutting performance would be great. Knives like that were once common I believe.

Today's knives focus more on being "bomb proof" (or maybe idiot proof) and operate under the assumption most end users can't maintain a knife and their designs have to reflect that. Of course, cutting ability is sacrificed but is often "good enough".
 
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Sounds like you've exhausted your knife experience, might be time to take your butcher knife and find a new hobby, but It's always fun to watch some basement dweller meltdown when no one likes their manifesto.

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.

Proof of you processing a tree with a pocket knife would do.

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.
 
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I'd like to see a simple 6" knife blade made from 1095 with a "right triangle" blade shape with thin enough stock, TRUE chisel grind (for a right hand user, the inside would be completely flat) where the cutting edge is a full flat grind from the spine down and a zero edge of about 30 degrees would out-cut any of the common 6" blades sold today that are really thick with obtuse angles.

I'm not a maker or very imaginative so I just spent a few seconds coming up with about the simplest "traditional" idea I could come up with that cut like hell.

It would require more maintenance and maybe only survive a few years (depending on what you were doing with it) worth of continuous use but the cutting performance would be great. Knives like that were once common I believe.

Today's knives focus more on being "bomb proof" (or maybe idiot proof) and operate under the assumption most end users can't maintain a knife and their designs have to reflect that. Of course, cutting ability is sacrificed but is often "good enough".
I believe the increasing popularity of "survival" and edged-weapon martial arts is what has shaped the knife industry in recent decades. You now have hundreds of thousands of morons smacking knives with mallets and stabbing helmets with them, and obviously if a knife ever breaks, then it must have been "low quality/one star". Just look at the Amazon reviews for literally any knife from today's major manufacturers; the retardation is nauseating. "I tried sharpening this knife but it's still dull. One star." "Knife snapped in half just from one afternoon of batoning. One star." "Knife rusted in just one week. One star." This is what the manufacturers are contending with, and that is why knives suck now.
 

palmerdl

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Sorry. Not that radical of a 'theory'. From what I've read, the mountain men used inexpensive, mass produced kitchen type knives, the original Bowie knife was more or less a large kitchen knife, and Horace Kephart's famous bushcraft knife was probably a modded kitchen knife. There are many, long running, threads on various forums of modded Old Hickory knives used for all kinds of woodscraft.
 

jdm61

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Well, then you are buying BOTH types of cutlery with what I would consider sub-par heat treatment. I will not let a blade leave my shop any softer than 60Rc. That is what the old standard 1500-400 recipe will get you with 1084.1084/15N20 damascus kitchen blades get tempered at like 375. CruForge V will be closer to 61 with 1500/400 and W2 more like 63 but with an austenizing temp of closer to 1465-70F. And no, the edges are not chippy.
I find that most quality butchering cutlery has the same temper and edge retention as outdoor and tactical cutlery, often a little bit harder if anything. I give all of my work knives a touch up every day anyway because there is no reason not to, so edge retention isn't really a big deal anyway. Butcher knives are stupidly easy to maintain because they are almost always very thin and flat ground.
 
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Sorry. Not that radical of a 'theory'. From what I've read, the mountain men used inexpensive, mass produced kitchen type knives, the original Bowie knife was more or less a large kitchen knife, and Horace Kephart's famous bushcraft knife was probably a modded kitchen knife. There are many, long running, threads on various forums of modded Old Hickory knives used for all kinds of woodscraft.
Exactly.
 

jdm61

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Kephart's original knife was supposedly accustom made piece and the production version was made by the Colchesser brothers. It was not a repurposed kitchen knife. Mountain men used the knives that the fur companies brought out for them and charged WAY too much. The original bowie knife may have been a knife resembling a "butcher" knife but it was likely much thicker than modern kitchen knife. It was replacing some type of sword as a weapon.
Sorry. Not that radical of a 'theory'. From what I've read, the mountain men used inexpensive, mass produced kitchen type knives, the original Bowie knife was more or less a large kitchen knife, and Horace Kephart's famous bushcraft knife was probably a modded kitchen knife. There are many, long running, threads on various forums of modded Old Hickory knives used for all kinds of woodscraft.
 
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TL;DR a $20 butcher knife designed in the 19th century is better than anything you own for any purpose.

$20? Dude you are so far out of whack. My $1 tractor supply folder is all anyone needs. Cuts anything I ask it to and the steel is so soft it sharpens in 5 passes on my concrete floor. Made in the 21st century too. So you're wrong on both counts. Not only are you wasting your money by 20x, but you're 200 years out of touch too.

Shop tractor supply my friend. It'll do you wonders.
 
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"Batoning is also just about guaranteed to break any knife that isn't specifically designed for the purpose...."

Batoning 1920

How To Split With A Jack-Knife
Fig. 40 shows the proper way to use the knife in splitting a stick, so that it will not strain the spring at the back of the handle of the knife, and at the same time it will help you guide the knife blade and tend to make a straight split. Do not try to pry the stick apart with a knife or you will sooner or later break the blade, a serious thing for a wilderness man to do, for it leaves him without one of the most useful tools.

Remember that fine slivers of wood make a safer and more certain start for a fire than paper. All tenderfeet first try dry leaves and dry grass to start their fires. This they do because they are accustomed to the use of paper and naturally seek leaves or hay as a substitute for paper. But experience soon teaches them that leaves and grass make a nasty smudge or a quick, unreliable flame which ofttimes fails to ignite the wood, while, when proper care is used, small slivers of dry wood never fail to give satisfactory results.

There are many sorts of fires used by campers and all are dependent upon the local supply of fuel; in the deforested districts of Korea the people use twisted grass for fuel, on our Western plains the hunters formerly used buffalo chips and now they use cow chips, that is, the dry manure of cattle, with which to build their fires for cooking their meals and boiling their coffee. In the Zurn belt, in Tartary and Central India cattle manure is collected, piled up like cord wood and dried for fuel. A few years ago they used corn on the cob for firewood in Kansas. It goes without saying that buffalo chips are not good for bonfires or any fire where a big flame or illumination is an object.

Beard, Daniel Carter, The Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft (1920)
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/44215/44215-h/44215-h.htm

Baton w a butter knife
http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2013/06/how-to-baton-firewood-with-a-butter-knife-2475634.html
 
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I need to post a pic of my old steel shovel used for ice removal, it's been ground down on pavement & concrete to a really sharp edge. Works wonders to dislodge all this freezing rain/ice we've been having. It seriously needs a vinegar bath and some luv
 
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Kephart's original knife was supposedly accustom made piece and the production version was made by the Colchesser brothers. It was not a repurposed kitchen knife. Mountain men used the knives that the fur companies brought out for them and charged WAY too much. The original bowie knife may have been a knife resembling a "butcher" knife but it was likely much thicker than modern kitchen knife. It was replacing some type of sword as a weapon.
Kephart would have laughed at all the survival knives that are popular today.
"Batoning is also just about guaranteed to break any knife that isn't specifically designed for the purpose...."

Batoning 1920

How To Split With A Jack-Knife
Fig. 40 shows the proper way to use the knife in splitting a stick, so that it will not strain the spring at the back of the handle of the knife, and at the same time it will help you guide the knife blade and tend to make a straight split. Do not try to pry the stick apart with a knife or you will sooner or later break the blade, a serious thing for a wilderness man to do, for it leaves him without one of the most useful tools.

Remember that fine slivers of wood make a safer and more certain start for a fire than paper. All tenderfeet first try dry leaves and dry grass to start their fires. This they do because they are accustomed to the use of paper and naturally seek leaves or hay as a substitute for paper. But experience soon teaches them that leaves and grass make a nasty smudge or a quick, unreliable flame which ofttimes fails to ignite the wood, while, when proper care is used, small slivers of dry wood never fail to give satisfactory results.

There are many sorts of fires used by campers and all are dependent upon the local supply of fuel; in the deforested districts of Korea the people use twisted grass for fuel, on our Western plains the hunters formerly used buffalo chips and now they use cow chips, that is, the dry manure of cattle, with which to build their fires for cooking their meals and boiling their coffee. In the Zurn belt, in Tartary and Central India cattle manure is collected, piled up like cord wood and dried for fuel. A few years ago they used corn on the cob for firewood in Kansas. It goes without saying that buffalo chips are not good for bonfires or any fire where a big flame or illumination is an object.

Beard, Daniel Carter, The Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft (1920)
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/44215/44215-h/44215-h.htm

Baton w a butter knife
http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2013/06/how-to-baton-firewood-with-a-butter-knife-2475634.html
I was referring to youtube-style batoning.
 

22-rimfire

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As a butcher, you cut a lot of meat. Thin blades rule for that and frankly if I were cutting a lot of meat up I would probably be using a Case or Old Hickory carbon steel butcher knife. It's an exaggeration to say that thin carbon steel blades rule the woods or tasks associated with the outdoors. I think moderate thickness blades rule in the woods from a practical point of view for me. They have more flexibility. If I were chopping much, I'd want a machete or hatchet and not just a larger knife that I have to carry around all day long. But big blades are more versatile.
 
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Well that was entertaining. I'll be sticking with modern steels which allow for the knife to last longer (less grinding away of metal due to a reduced need to constantly sharpen), cut longer, hold a low DPS edge and have high corrosion resistance.. OR maintain a longer cutting edge, high degree of toughness, acceptable corrosion resistance and cut harder materials (made possible by powder metallurgy). OR be completely rust resistant, hold a good edge, offer decent toughness (show me a nitrogen based steel from the 19th century).

That is the great thing about modern steels. Different steels have different strengths for different purposes. All while being able to be made extremely consistently.

That said, coming to a knife enthusiast forum, and espousing that most knife enthusiasts don't know how to <insert skill you have that they don't, I.E. Sharpening> when you can quite literally go to an entire sub forum directed at discussing and showing off sharpening skills? is just a little bit dumb. Even more so when one factors in how many makers are on this forum.

However, you are free to your opinion. But condescension is seldom the way to bring a person over to your side.
 
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AntDog

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But do it keep the hoes in line?


IMG-20190306-173306-497.jpg

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.
 
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