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Considering downsizing, replacing several blades w. one Winkler – seeking input on a few things...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by timichango, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. timichango

    timichango Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Soooo, I finally managed to check out the Belt Knife in person yesterday, down at Warriors & Wonders, in Vancouver. I was in a bit of a weird mood overall (my depression's been playing up a bunch lately, which has a habit of souring the taste of even stuff I usually really enjoy), so I'm cognizant of that in measuring my reactions to it... which were (surprisingly, to me) somewhat mixed.

    On one hand, I loved the overall feel of the knife in my hand, and I do think that the ergonomics of it would work really well for me. There's something about the somewhat narrow/tall ovoid profile of the handle, combined with it's contour, that make it feel like it's going to be a very easy knife to control, particularly when applying twisting force through a cut — it gives the impression, in the hand, that it's not going to take much grip force to stabilize it, in any orientation, even with a bunch of force applied. The size felt perfect in my hand as well, and the texture of the micarta was the same as that on my axe — a bit smoothed out, but not polished, with plenty of "grab" to it... which is great considering how much of the year is pretty soggy outside around here.

    Of course, these impressions mean more or less squat without the opportunity to go do some work with it, but they were at least consistent with what my expectations were, based on my experiences with my Winkler axe.

    On the other hand, however, I was surprised by how thick the blade is behind the edge. Certainly, the edge was quite sharp, but it was also a bit more obtuse than I was anticipating — for some reason, I'd imagined that the edge geometry would be quite similar to that on the Carothers and Survive! knives I'd used, given the similarity in the role they're all likely to be pressed into, based on the size and design. I've had a few knives with similar blade thickness behind the edge (most notably an Ambush Alpha), and previously concluded that definitely prefer more acute geometry. As such, I've got an email out to Winkler Knives to enquire if it's possible to order one with a more acute grind, with more meat taken out of the primary bevel. I'm not holding my breath, but... we'll see!

    Another thing I noticed, and was pretty surprised by, was that the edge grind wasn't even/balanced: I took a good hard look at the edge, sighting down the blade from a number of angles, and the edge was visibly ground off-center a bit, to one side. To be fair, I didn't look at other copies of the belt knife that they had in stock, and this could've been a one-off problem with the specific knife I was looking at, but for the price of the knife (over $500 in Canadian bucks), that little detail was a little bit dismaying. I'd definitely want to find one without that particular problem.

    Back on the positive side of things, the sheath is fantastic — even better than the one that comes with the combat axe. The combination of its rigidity from the kydex, the feel from the leather jacketing, and the silence and retention from the felt lining... it's just great. Folks are definitely not exaggerating when they assert that the Winkler sheath adds so much to the overall package.

    Anyways — for now, I'm sticking with my Carothers (which I reckon I can now reveal is a 1st-gen Field Knife, since I'm not going to be selling it), and holding off on buying a belt knife. At least until I hear back from the Winkler folks about whether it's possible to order one with a thinner grind — if that option winds up on the table, I may wind up getting one after all, and putting it through its paces alongside the Carothers. In the meantime, once I've got a bit of free time for a project, I might wind up making a new sheath for my Field Knife... as decent as the stock sheath is (particularly with a Sagewood dangler), I've never been a huge fan of the clackitty-clack of kydex, and some custom leather for it might be exactly what it's been missing.

    Danke42 and Rykjeklut like this.
  2. Crimson Cloud

    Crimson Cloud Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 9, 2018
    Thanks for the follow up to your earlier post, @timichango. The 3/16" blade stock of most of the Winklers in the size you're talking about with the Belt Knife is in fact pretty thick. I've read where forum members have reprofiled their edges on some Winklers, so would be interested in what the company had to say. In a similar style, but about a full inch less in both blade length and OAL, is the Winkler / Knight 'Jaeger'. It's thickness is .189", which I believe is pretty close to the blade on the Carothers. Glad you got a chance to check out the Belt Knife, though, and the Wasp handles sound like they are well designed.
  3. Murindo

    Murindo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 4, 2010
    Winkler knives are rugged, well made, and ergonomic. I found the edge on mine to be too thick for my needs. I too think they are over priced but that's because of the Winkler name. He became for Last of the Mohicans and making knives and breaching axes for the SEAL teams.

    If you like one, buy it. You won't loose much on resale.
  4. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    Winkler has just gone through a recent Renaissance with a lot of new models posted to their site.

    There was also a TAD edition of the Belt Knife with a slightly different shape to the blade but I don't know if it had a thinner blade.

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