Ideal thickness for chopper blade

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Apr 10, 2020
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Hello, I would like to make a big chopper knife with a 13.77" long blade. Total length 18.5". Blade height around 2".
Not for batoning. What thickness do you recommend?
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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Aug 20, 2004
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It really depends on what you will be chopping.
.1875 would be the thickest I would suggest. I would probably do it in .125 myself.
 

Bigfattyt

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Jun 23, 2007
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Another question is what are you chopping?

I've had choppers that ran from .32 at the spine to 3/16 , down to 3mm for machete.

Full thickness, or will it have distal taper?

Lot of varriables.
 

Richard338

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May 3, 2005
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I made one from a piece of 2" x 18" x 3/16" 3V. It has a 13" blade, stall mat / micarta handle.
The grind was full flat for about 70%, then convexed. It is very sharp and can hack through 2x4s etc.

OaxT56y.jpg
 

bikerector

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Nov 16, 2016
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3/16" is the golden thickness for me, which puts it into the golok category. Much more than that and I think you're just adding weight, which can be good but then I would rather have an ax or hawk as I like chopper blades more than axes and hawks for portability so reducing the ease of carry makes me start looking at things designed differently. There is some exception to that as I've had a few knives that are 1/4" up to 0.3" with FFG or full-convex grinds that did a good job removing steel to get the weight down, but the only advantage they have over a thinner blade with some flat areas on the side is a bigger spot for a baton.

The exception to that is kuhkris, which I don't mind thick but I pretty much lump them into the hatchet category when they're thick since they can also be more annoying to carry but add a different type of utility as well.

For 3" branches and wood carving, I would be thinking 3/16" thick, 10-14" blade, if I was doing more of the chopping of limbs, maybe down to 8" if I wanted a little more control over the carving aspects and had an adequately long handle so there was a rear chopping position and a forward carving position.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
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With your stated use I wouldn’t go thicker than 3/16” or so. A regular ole machete will handle that quite easily.

some of the competition knives go all the way up to 1/2” thick.
 
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