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Bark River Bravo 1 LT Factory Edge Question

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SGMIM, Nov 21, 2020.

Is this a good edge?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    100.0%
  1. SGMIM

    SGMIM

    6
    Nov 5, 2020
    I just received my brand new Bark River Bravo 1 LT Limited Edition Cru-Wear with brass pins and nice black G10 scales with yellow liners. The handle finish looks and feels almost perfect.
    Blade from the first glance is ok as well but it isn't as sharp as I expected it to be. It cuts paper but not as well as my Fallkniven F1 out of the box and we are not talking about hair shaving here, not even close. And later I noticed that the cutting edge is slightly recurved (over grinded) as you can see in the last picture. It looks like not a big deal and I probably can easily fix it, but for $300 I expected to receive a razor-sharp ready-to-use blade and just maintain it on a strop once in a while.
    So, to my question... Is this a real issue and poor craftsmanship? Or, I'm being too picky and this is an acceptable factory edge for this type of blades?
    Thank you!

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  2. SGMIM

    SGMIM

    6
    Nov 5, 2020
    ?
     
  3. rustyspike

    rustyspike

    137
    Jan 17, 2016
    300 it should be wicked sharp. Any new blade should be.
     
    SGMIM likes this.
  4. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Should be - yes...but the reality is that wicked sharp is more the exception than the rule.
     
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  5. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    That recurve would bother me more than if it’s sharp or not. Just one more thing I gotta think about when I’m sharpening a knife.
     
    BD_01 and SGMIM like this.
  6. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    497
    May 18, 2016
    If the recurve is not intentional I would absolutely return it. What a miss by the QC team. I just suggested Bark River to a guy this morning. Let me see if I can catch him before he takes the leap. Ouch.
     
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  7. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    Same here- I don't like recurves because I sharpen with a flat stone.
     
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  8. markwesti

    markwesti Basic Member Basic Member

    69
    Dec 24, 2012
    The term "recurve" , I have never heard that . Are you talking about the 'hollow" that shows in the last 2 pictures ? Anyway for a $300. knife , I would not like to see that .
    Would it really hurt anything ? What are your intentions on how to use this knife ? How do you sharpen your knives ? I'm a Lansky user , I don't see the Lansky getting rid of the recurve . Also , that hollow I don't think would hamper the Lansky . I would see a problem with a flat stone . On closer look , the nib at the heel looks like more of the problem . But I still see the "hollow" .
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
    SGMIM likes this.
  9. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    I do too. My only experience with sharpening a recurve was with ZT and Cold Steel knives, and I ended up just using the corners on the Sharpmaker’s ceramics.
     
  10. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Just sharpen it.
     
  11. SGMIM

    SGMIM

    6
    Nov 5, 2020
    Thanks, everyone for your replies!

    I had to google for a while to find the scientific term "recurve" :). Apparently, it can be an intentional blade shape in some models and it has some arguable advantages at some particular tasks. In my case with Bravo LT it looks more like an unintentional mistake during manual factory grinding.
    I had a similar problem with my kitchen chef knife. In the case of kitchen knives, it can be a really critical issue as the arched gap doesn't come in full contact with the cutting board which results in "under-chopped" vegetables. I was able to fix it on a water stone simply by skipping the arched part and removing more steel along the rest of the edge until I leveled it. With CPM Cru-Wear and convex grind on Bravo LT, it's going to be a much harder job.
    I don't think it is as critical for a non-kitchen knife which I'm going to use as a universal camp/bushcraft tool or for some household tasks, hm... including food prepping sometimes :). But it may become that thing that bothers my OCD mentality every time I look at it :).
    I use water stones with a leather strop or my little DC4 diamond/ceramic sharpener. I think it is possible to use Lansky on convex grind by creating a secondary bevel (may be considered as extremely sacrilegious :)) but to keep a real zero-convex edge other technics and tools are needed.
    Yep, the nib at the heel is definitely protruding but the hollow part also goes up above level so I would need to work on about 1/3 of the inch from the heel plus on some length in the front of the arch to completely level it. Sounds like a nice project for a well-beaten knife you've got cheap on eBay but not so fun for a supposedly "five-level quality control" made in here brand new brkt.

    I still like the handle materials and finish and the knife model in general so I contacted the seller and asked for a replacement as some of you suggested (waiting for a response). I will post the end of the story later. Thanks again for your input guys!
     
    markwesti likes this.
  12. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    That gap you are talking about will impede proper use on a cutting table. It is up to you to decide if that counts for you or not. If it was a chefs knife I would certainly return it. For an utility knife like that... mmm... probably I would return it as well.

    You are not going to sharpen that knife on a hard flat stone because it is convex ground. The usual procedure to sharpen convex edges is to use sandpaper laid on a semi-soft backing (think computer mouse pad) so it has some give to it and it follows the shape of the blade when you drag your blade on it edge trailing. That and/or loaded strops.

    This means that you will not get rid of the "recurve" just by maintenance sharpening with those procedures. So decide NOW before you use the knife.

    My experience with BRKT is not that great. I read a lot about them, bought two of them (Aurora and Canadian Camp) and... meh... Aurora has some nicks on the scales that seem to be made with the edge of a belt on a grinder, and the Canadian Camp had flat spots on the edge right out of the box. I live in Spain so I didn't return them because it was not worth it for me (bought overseas).

    In your particular situation, I would have returned them both withouth hesitation.

    Mikel
     
    SGMIM likes this.
  13. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Probably should do your research here before recommending a company. The issues with BRKT are widely known and quite varied in nature from off grinds, burnt edges, the owner being an ass, to mislabeled steels and the company not standing behind their product and leaving dealers to clean up the mess. There's more and if you want the specifics, all you have to do is look around for a minute.

    @SGMIM , that seems to be one of the risks you take in buying a Bark River: their grinding can be off. Just be hopefully that they didn't toast the edge too, which is another risk at issue with the company. I personally have had two knives from them that looked like some of the grinding was done by a blind three year old with a dremel on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend. Did these mistakes impact the use of the tool for me? Not in any way, it was cosmetic. That said, some of the issues that come out of BRKT are not cosmetic and do impact performance. Again, the risk you take buying the product. Make sure to do your research before you buy, and apparently before you recommend....

    Edit: OP, glad you are reaching out to see if you can get made right. That is what I would have done on a new knife. Over the years I sold all my BRKT knives because of issues like this and the others I mention above. Came to not trust the company.
     
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  14. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    847
    Nov 6, 2017
    Send it back and theyll fix the edge. Youll be sandpapering that bad boy forever otherwise. Nice knife though!
     
    SGMIM likes this.
  15. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    497
    May 18, 2016
    "Traditional style fixed blades" isn't really my milieu, and the only place I would have gotten the idea that Bark River was a good place to look for such a product was here at Bladeforums. Usually when you fellas de-person somebody it's nearly unanimous, but from reading this thread and a little time with the Search function, it seems like Mike Stewart and BRK fall in to some type of middle ground. With long time member loving their stuff and others warning against it.
     
    SGMIM likes this.
  16. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Good thing about facts is they don't have a middle ground. In looking at the fact there have been significant issues in several key ways over the years with BRKT, people can decide if the benefits out way the costs/risks. Still, you should know these things are out there before recommending. People not getting the right steel is a major concern new folks should know to look out for if they choose to buy a BRKT. Also, the possible lack of support if something should go wrong. BRKT saying 20cv should rust just like A2 is ridiculous.
     
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  17. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    497
    May 18, 2016
    I'd agree. Mismarking steel is just about the cardinal sin in the knife world. It's the one aspect of a knife that we have to take entirely on trust. All other points of quality are easy enough to assess with your eyes and hands. I guess the most curious part for me is that seemingly half the forum still supports the brand and buys their stuff. They're not my style so I'm not at risk of potentially buying one, but as a long time lurker this is the one dust up that hasn't ended nearly unanimously. Especially over such a tangible concern. Other knifemakers have ben canceled by Bladeforums for much much less. Even things that have no relation to knives themselves.
     
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  18. killgar

    killgar

    Sep 24, 2002
    If it were a knife I really liked and wanted, I would consider the following-

    Can I easily fix the issue myself, or, if I send it back for a replacement, is there the chance that the new one I receive might be even worse.

    Considering the issues Bark River has been having with quality control, it seems there's definitely a chance a replacement might be worse.

    I think for $300 a knife should be perfect, but unfortunately not all knife makers agree, and sometimes we have to make choices like the one I described to have a knife we really want.

    My first $300 knife was a semi-custom advertised as 3/16th" thick, which is what I wanted. It turned out to be nearly 1/4" thick. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but the extra thickness added noticeably more weight and caused the edge to be thicker due to the type of grind. If I sent it back I would have had to wait for them to make a new one from scratch. Other than the issues with the thickness I really liked the knife, so I spent 2 days re-profiling the edge. That knife ended up serving me well for many years. I still have it, I just don't really need it anymore.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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  19. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    It’s a shame that BRK can’t get it together...so many excellent designs and they always look so pretty in the pictures.
     
    jux t likes this.
  20. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Yes it is, like you mentioned they have or have had at one time some really great designs.
     
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