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INFI RMD vs new GSO 5.1 3V vs the old GSO 5.1 3V (photo heavy)

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by OBX351, May 9, 2016.

  1. OBX351

    OBX351 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    About 3 months ago I received my new GSO 5.1 from Survive! Knives in CPM-3V. I am sure that many of you know about the changes from the old 5.1 but one of the biggest change is the new heat treat and the handle was recontoured. I was curious to see how the new knife does against the old GSO 5.1 as well as it's natural natural competitor the Ratmandu in INFI. Over the last few months I've been working these three knives over on a 42" long pine hand rail that I bought at The Home Deopt. It's treated pine that is surprisingly tough on knife edges. I also used a small, but very hard, oak dowel.

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    Before I get to the actual shoot out I took some pictures of these knives in hand. Just for the record I wear XL gloves, my hand circumference is 9.5", but I have size L glove sized fingers.

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    Feel:
    All three knives fit my hand and are comfortable. Initially I thought the old 5.1 handle was a little on the short side but after many many hours of work I find that the handle fits and is very comfortable to work with. After handling the RMD for the first time I remembered loving the handle. After a year + with it I still like the handle but I wish it had more bolstering like the SOB. My first impression with the new 5.1 handles is that it feels very comfortable but not considerably more comfortable than the old 5.1. It also felt noticeably larger than the old 5.1. When compared to the RMD the new 5.1 grips feel more substantial in my hand and more comfortable.

    After about 2 to 3 hours of work with each knife on the above mentioned treated hand rail and an oak dowel I have found the following:
    When working for less than 10 or 15 minutes there is not much difference in feel between the old and new 5.1. However when hard working the knives for more than 15 minutes I find the new 5.1 is more comfortable than the old 5.1. Not by a huge margin but it is noticeable. Especially if you using the choil.

    When comparing the new 5.1 to the RMD I find that the RMD feels too thin in my hand especially when my hand becomes fatigued . I can also use the new 5.1 longer than I could with the RMD. For short tasks the RMD is comfortable but not as comfortable as the new 5.1.

    Cutting, carving and steel:
    My RMD has always cut pretty well but it didn't cut as well as my old 5.1. So I reached out to a buddy and asked him to put the same edge as my 5.1s. Now the RMD is a beautiful slicer and cutter just like my 5.1s. All three knives did VERY well cutting, carving and slicing the treated lumber. The old 5.1 was the first to show micro folds. So far the new 5.1 and RMD are just as sharp as when I started this exercise weeks ago. I am very impressed! The new heat treat CPM-3V is a real improvement over the old CPM 3V, which is really saying something because the old 3V holds an edge for a long time.

    My conclusions:
    This was not meant to be an INFI vs 3V or a Busse vs S!K shoot out. I just wanted to see how these knives would perform on the hand rail and oak dowel in the pictures above. All three got equal cutting time and all three did well. But if I had to choose one I would choose the new 5.1 because it simply feels the best in my hand when I pick it up and use it for short or long periods of time. The new contouring really takes the knife to the next level especially if you use it for long periods of time. All three slice, carve, chop. baton, etc. very well however the new 5.1 just feels better. I also like that it's a little heavier than the RMD and has a little more weight forward of the handle, making it a better chopper. Additionally I love that I can change out the scales on the 5.1. Comparing the new 5.1 to the old 5.1 I prefer the longer and more contoured handle and the new heat treat 3V steel is better than the old 5.1 for edge retention. It seems that the new heat treat might be as tough as INFI, at least in edge retention. We'll see how well they both sharpen at a later date....

    Plz forgive spelling and grammatical errors!!! I am sure I'll be editing this for the next day or two....
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  2. Spyder59

    Spyder59

    Dec 26, 2014
    Enjoyed your review and enjoyed your testing concept. Carving stuff is how I determine how well my knives perform for me and my unique preferences as well.
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    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  3. OBX351

    OBX351 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    That's some nice work!!
     
  4. rpn

    rpn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Nice write up and pics. Thanks for posting! :thumbup:
     
  5. supertac916

    supertac916

    603
    Sep 6, 2014
    Thanks for the review. I really like my Survive GSO's, but I might have to try the newer models with the updated design.
     
  6. OBX351

    OBX351 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    A quick update, the new 5.1 finally has small nicks and micro-folds and I've been able to strop the edge enough to eliminate the small nicks and about 50% of the micro-folds. I am pretty happy with the results because it only took me about 25% longer to strop it back compared to my LT Wright GNS in 01. The old 5.1 has more nicks and micro-folds. It was noticeably less sharp than the new 5.1 and INFI RMD But after about 10/15 minutes on the strop bat I got out all the nicks and it easily shaves. It needs more time to get the folds out. I'll work on the INFI RMD later this weekend or next week.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
  7. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    At these level of steel and general good design, then it really comes down to personal comfort and personal thought. Its pretty outstanding at what we get today. Nice informative report, thanks.

    On my two smaller GSO's I've been impressed and think these new steels and general design are an improvement over what we had 20 years ago. Just like in those days we thought a leap in performance had happened then. I also think reputation is even more important and the best players are fine tuning to get the very best out, and thats what is delivered.
     
  8. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta

    Feb 16, 2012
    The big difference I notice between the 5.1 and RMD is that the RMD has a lot more of a point. That appeals to me because I use the point a lot in my EDC folders. I'm not sure how important it is in a fixed blade of this size.
     
  9. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Personal comfort and thought ? Yes I'd prefer the old straight handle [and straight blade] as on my old 4.1 but would like to test it with the new HT . I'll have to do without !
     
  10. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Personal thought is we all have our own ideas and our own ways we use our knives. Preconceived ideas that fit our own experiences. I once tried to convince a farmer friend that there were better knives than his Opinel, he wasn't having any of it as an Opinel had done him proud for twenty/forty years (he was on his second). Sort of have to agree that for him there was nothing better.

    I do a lot of rabbit paunching, a heck of a lot. To catch the skin requires something a bit pointy. My GSO's aren't quite pointy enough, or I just haven't changed my technique to suit them. For everything else they are fine.
    There is always going to be something as no design has it all.
     
  11. OBX351

    OBX351 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    I am finally finished stroping the old 5.1 and RMD. Even though all three knives have a Rockwell of about 60 I was able to strop them all back. All three had small nicks and micro folds. The old 5.1 in 3v was the first to have small nicks and micro folds and some dulling. After about 10 to 15 minutes on my Strop Bat I got it back to shaving sharp and 10 minutes later I got out 95% of the micro folds and all of the nicks.

    The new 5.1 was the next to start getting very small nicks and some micro folds but with no real loss in sharpness. It took me about 15 minutes to get out the nicks and about 95% of the folds. It's back to crazy sharp.

    The last knife to show any wear was my INFI RMD. It had 3 small micro folds and one small nick, all of which came out in about 5 to 10 minutes on the strop bat.

    At this point INFI holds and edge a bit better and is a little faster to sharpen than the new heat treat 3v from Survive! The old 3v still did well but not quite as well but it still holds an edge very well. INFI and the new 3v held an edge for a ridiculously long time. My next test will be batoning seasoned oak followed by chopping a 2x4 (treated lumber) in half. I just need a dry day over the weekend!!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016

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