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What I'm working on

Discussion in 'The Huntsman Knife Company' started by Huntsman Knife Co., Feb 14, 2017.

  1. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    I'm probably going to get something, but I'm not sure what it will be. I am leaning toward getting a 17 inch True Grass Machete (TGM) in the NITRO-V version of AEB-L stainless, but I might also want a Fell Beast Machete (FBM) eventually too, especially if it gets made in NITRO-V, after it is tested and determined to be close enough to matching the performance of 52100.

    I'm pleased to see the Bush Waki Project is going to be CPM 3V. I'm guessing after that project is completed, maybe we will see the FBM and TGM in CPM-3V too. Due to the high cost of CPM 3V blades, I'm not sure I will be a buyer of a CPM 3V blade or not. It depends on the performance and value for the money. $350 is a lot of money, but it might be worth it for a blade that can replace a bunch of others that have less capability.

    A good value for the money is my #1 criteria, but that doesn't necessarily predict what I will buy, since my definition of a good value might be different for each blade. For example, machetes are normally considered disposable, so if a CPM 3V machete costs a few times more than a cheaper machete, I might be able to justify the cost if it means I won't need to replace it due to wear, breakage, or corrosion. Bonus points if it might end up as a family heirloom kind of thing.

    There aren't many choices available for premium quality machetes, especially ones that are good enough and cheap enough to be truly worth their premium prices. I might buy something primarily to support the continued development of them.
     
  2. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Ill have about 20 of the 17in TG coming in so there should be enough to go around but I can reserve one for you. I'd love to see how it compares to the FB:thumbsup:
     
  3. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    NJSB's description of NITRO-V is all about how great NJSB is. It says very little about NITRO-V:

    http://newjerseysteelbaron.com/shop/nitro-v/

    If the testing goes well, I might be interested in a whole set of NITRO-V blades, including the FBM, TGM-17, and TGM-12. Maybe a FBBM (bolo), too. If there were a two-handed version, it would help a lot to close the gap between an axe and a machete in chopping ability. Of course, saving enough money to afford so much cutlery is an entirely different subject :)

    Oh, and the upcoming CPM 3V blades...I might have to narrow down my want-list.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  4. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    NITRO V was just released a month or two ago so there is not alot of info on it, but its been in the making for years and I've talked to Aldo (NJ Steel Baron) about why he went the direction he did with NITRO V. Basically Aldo wanted to take all of the best properties of AEB-l and make them even better. The AEB-l class of steels has proven to be a sweet spot for knives and companies like Sandvik with 14C28N have proven that adding nitrogen to that class of steels will result in a very high performance steel with no drawbacks. The use of Nitrogen to improve stain resistance and toughness by providing free chromium and preventing the formation of chromium carbides has been around since WW2 but is rarely used because of the difficulties involved with introducing Nitrogen in open air vats. There are a plethora of steels out there using Nitrogen like Z-FiNit from Zapp but they are prohibitively expensive as they are produced with electroslag remelt. Aldo also threw in a small amount of Vanadium to further keep grain growth under control and insure the finest microstructure possible.

    NITRO V is really exciting because it is a nitrogen steel with high hardenability, toughness, and stain resistance that is completely affordable. NITRO V should be a notable improvement over AEB-l and Sandviks 14C28N, which does not harden as deeply.

    Only time and testing will tell if NITRO V lives up to the hype, but at the very least, it will be no worse than AEB-l which has proven to be an excellent steel for a variety of blades. AEB-l is being used in the TG machetes because 1. NITRO V is not yet available in that stock size and 2. AEB-l is cheaper than NITRO V.
     
  5. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    OK, so if I'm correctly interpreting the post quoted below, this means the HKCFBBM in 3/16 thickness and the HKCFBM are the only ones coming in NITRO-V right now. Correct? That isn't actually said in the post below, so I'm not 100% sure what you were trying to tell us about the NITRO-V blanks. Only the HKCFBBM in 3/16 thickness is explicitly said to be in NITRO-V, and the others are left mysterious. Can you clarify?

    This post also doesn't say exactly which blades will be NITRO-V. It just says "the latest run", and then mentions the "Fell beast" and the "True Grass machete":

     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  6. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Here is a complete run down of all the blanks I have coming in and the corresponding steel and thickness

    Classic Fell Beast 17.5in .110 NITRO V
    Classic Fell Beast Ring Choil 17.5in .110 NITRO V

    Classic Fell Beast 12in .110 52100
    Classic Fell Beast 10in .110 52100

    Fell Beast Chef 12in .110 52100
    Fell Beast Chef 10in .110 52100

    True Grass Machete 17in .070 AEB-L
    True Grass Machete 12in .070 AEB-L

    Tyrant Bolo 3/16th 52100
     
    kookery likes this.
  7. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    Thank you, that's a lot more clear. I'm mostly waiting to see performance results for a NITRO-V version of the True Grass Machete (TGM), but it appears we will soon have only comparison info about NITRO-V in the Classic Fell Beast Machete (CFBM) versus 52100. Since the CFBM won't be made in AEB-L, there will be no comparison between AEB-L and NITRO-V (in the same blade design) to learn which steel is best. Do you have a test planned for AEB-L versus NITRO-V, before you decide whether to switch to NITRO-V for all of your blades?

    The lack of a comparison test encourages me to wait for NITRO-V, instead of buying a TGM immediately when they become available. Since you are using the AEB-L TGM to test market demand for your new TGM design, I think your test might not accurately reflect the actual demand, if other people are waiting for AEB-L versus NITRO-V test results like I am.

    It might be worthwhile to do something to eliminate people's excuses to not make the decision to buy. If you could get some kind of test information about AEB-L versus NITRO-V, and the results favor AEB-L, that would eliminate people's excuses to avoid purchasing an AEB-L TGM. On the other hand, if NITRO-V is tested to be superior to AEB-L (as advertised by NJSB), that would further hurt sales of the AEB-L TGM. From a business point of view, the new TGM design is disadvantaged from the beginning. If TGM sales are lackluster, we may never see the NITRO-V version the market might be waiting for.

    I see in the quote below you have invested in 20 blanks for the AEB-L version of the TGM:

    Maybe investing in that many AEB-L blanks is premature? Considering how cost-sensitive the market for machetes is, it seems unlikely that buyers will want multiple TGM's in the different steels it is offered in. The way to ensure success in the machete market might be to first figure out which steel gives the best value in cost versus performance, then increase production to take advantage of economies of scale.

    I have no idea how expensive those 20 AEB-L blanks were, so maybe they're cheap enough that it wouldn't be a big deal if they sat on a shelf while the NITRO-V blades take the spotlight for a while. In other words, maybe it would be best to not invest anything more (labor, tooling, heat treatment, etc) into the AEB-L TGM blanks until the AEB-L versus NITRO-V test is completed. After the NITRO-V machetes establish themselves and earn a following of steady purchases (assuming NITRO-V is the preferred steel), then it might be worthwhile to complete the AEB-L blanks, and offer them at a slightly lower price that either accurately reflects the difference in performance between AEB-L and NITRO-V, or simply appeals to people who like to save a little money.

    For now, your buyers are basically machete hobbyists or enthusiasts, and there might not be enough of us to ensure the success of the TGM design if some of us decide to delay buying. I could be wrong. Maybe there ARE enough buyers? I'm sure you have already thought about this issue, so maybe there's nothing to worry about. I'm very interested in your machetes, so I feel personally invested in them, and I want them to become a success, regardless of what my individual purchasing decisions turn out to be.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  8. dogrunner

    dogrunner

    Dec 26, 2003
    hey kook,
    I think there is something to the case you make. I have a fell beast and am interested in a TGM, but am also curious about NitroV. I will probably get the AEBL TGM because I am MORE curious about a superlight, thin-bladed machete and the TGM design than about the steel, but I would definitely get a NitroV TGM to try if it was available. Not a perfect comparison with my FB in either case, because the TGM is a different design and steel, but I can't afford every variant, and honestly, if it works it works (the TGM design in either steel) and I'll be happy. That does not really answer your points, but if the AEBL has issues that puts more attention on NitroV.
    And I still want a fjord hiker in Zwear (one of these days :), but funds are too limited now).
     
  9. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    I use my light machetes in the kitchen, and I'm really excited to see a razor steel like AEB-L in them, because it implies they can be made wickedly sharp for more delicate work than is typical for brute-force chopping. The NITRO-V variant of AEB-L looks to have improved toughness to handle the stress of chopping, but I'm hoping it will still have the sharpness of a razor steel. The photos of the FBM chopping steel oil drums and bricks was pretty impressive, so if NITRO-V and AEB-L can do that AND remain ridiculously sharp, I think it's worth waiting for. My only concern is that my waiting will be misinterpreted as a lack of interest in the direction these machetes are going in, especially if other people are waiting too.

    The most money I have ever spent on a blade is less than $70 for a Baryonyx Machete, and I really prefer to keep the prices down to no more than about $30 to $40. That's the only way I can justify buying many different blades. With the TGM priced at around $130 just for the blade without a handle, I really want to make sure I'm getting something that makes 3 or 4 of my other blades obsolete so they can be sold to help me pay for the new TGM. Specifically, I intend to get the TGM to replace my Mora 333 "sharpened feather" machete, the Friedrich Dick Machete, and my Svord Kiwi Machete. All of them have lengths around 12 to 13 inches. Only the Svord Kiwi Machete is a true chopper with non-stainless L6 tool steel. The Mora and the Friedrich Dick Machete are stainless.

    I didn't originally plan to get a bigger machete like the FBM, because the handle on the Baryonyx Machete is big enough to use it two-handed, and I doubt ANY one-handed machete could ever beat that, regardless of what steel it is made of, just because of the extra strength that can go into swinging a two-handed chopper. That said, I would like something longer and lighter, and the 17 inch TGM might be the first blade I buy, because it will cover at least some of the capability of all of the machetes I currently own, in one single blade. That makes it a good value, and worth the MUCH larger cost, if the performance is there.

    Beyond the 17 inch TGM, I would want another TGM in 12 inch length to directly replace the Mora, Friedrich Dick, and Svord Kiwi machetes. Next, a big classic FBM and/or bolo FBM would cover some of the Baryonyx Machete's capabilities, but not all of it. Those would be luxury purchases of a machete enthusiast, if I were to buy those. If I don't get scared away before I get that far, then I might be interested in one of the CPM 3V blades coming, but if I bought one (or two...) those would probably be luxury purchases too. If the CPM 3V blades go well, then who knows, maybe the TGM and FBM will become available in CPM 3V, and then I will have to decide if the cost is worth it for a super steel. I might be able to justify it, but I probably wouldn't buy the same blade in AEB-L, NITRO-V, and CPM 3V. I would buy only one, unless I could trade something in for a higher quality steel.

    So, here's an idea. If Hunter wants to make TGM's in AEB-L, NITRO-V, and CPM-3V (or whatever), one way to lure in hesitant buyers like me would be to offer some kind of trade-in option. If I bought the first generation TGM in AEB-L, and eventually Hunter decides to standardize on NITRO-V as the "workman grade" and CPM 3V as the "elite grade", it's possible I could be persuaded to buy BOTH if I could trade-in the AEB-L version to apply a significant portion of its value toward a new blade. Let's say I can get 70% to 80% of the value back out of the AEB-L version to apply toward the NITRO-V and/or CPM 3V versions. That would be a decent deal, and it would mean Hunter could give someone else a chance to own the AEB-L blade at a discounted price.

    I'm not sure how much interest there would be in an arrangement like that, but even if that particular trade-in idea doesn't work, there might be other creative ways to ensure the experimental machetes sell well, until Hunter settles on some standard steels. I'm probably not interested in doing the trade in on an AEB-L blade, but perhaps Hunter can offer benefits to early-adopter people who buy his experimental blades. Let's say I buy an AEB-L blade, and that entitles me to be first in line to buy a NITRO-V version. Let's also say the first people to buy in the first batch available will get a 5% discount, even if they don't have an AEB-L TGM.

    Basically we want to set it up so people buying the AEB-L version will continue to have an advantage over those who don't buy one. If the sales strategy works on me, it will probably work on other buyers too.

    Another idea I had is for Hunter to make arrangements with FortyTwoBlades of baryonyxknife.com to carry the TGM in his inventory. I bought all of my machetes from FortyTwoBlades of Baryonyx Knife Company, because he specializes in providing buyers with a good value for the money - and there's a LOT of emphasis on machetes. The TGM might be a good fit, and Hunter would benefit from having a talented salesman to find buyers for the blades. Suddenly 20 experimental AEB-L blades would no longer be a big investment, because the number of machete enthusiasts interested in buying Hunter's blades would grow dramatically. Hunter could then focus on making the blades, doing tests, and all the other things Hunter is good at doing.

    No matter how it goes, I'm very interested in seeing Hunter succeed with premium quality machetes.
     
  10. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    NITRO V is not yet available in thin stock and I'm not sure when it will be available in .070 sheet. When I made the decision to pursue the TGM, I had to find a high quality steel that was readily available in very thin stock. There was really only two options, 15N20 and AEBL. I chose AEB-L because they have similar performance in edge retention and toughness while AEB-L is completely stainless. It is also cheaper than 15N20 which helps keep costs down.

    AEB-L has performed well in my testing and should excel in a very thin machete:thumbsup:. If NITRO V become available in .070 stock I will make the switch, but until then AEB-L is the best option.
     
  11. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Thats a great idea to do distribution with FortyTwoBlades. I'll have to get in contact with him when the run gets in. Having a distributor would certainly make things easier for me and increase sales.


    For your first points, I think a TGM will very much be worth as much as 3 cheaper blades. With just about anything in life, there is a big difference with buying quality. For example, I'm a shoe guy and will gladly spend $4-500 on a pair of USA made boots that will last me a decade or more of use from a company like Truman or Oak Street Bootmakers vs. having 3 pairs of cheap made in China boots that will not last and not have the same quality.

    While there are some notable machetes out there that performing well for alot of people, There is going to be a massive difference between the current market and what I will be offering. My blades are water jet cut, differentially heat treated, made from Bohler-Uddeholm steel, hand ground, and warrantied for life. When you don't cut any corners and have your blade entirely produced in America from top notch materials, there is going to be a discernible difference in quality.

    As for different steels, Im always looking to improve but right now, AEB-L is the best steel out there for this tool. When something better comes along I will switch to it but there just aren't any high performance steels readily available in .070 stock. Time tested and proven steels like s7, 3V aren't avilable in thin stock and NITRO V is not yet available in thin stock. 15N20 and AEB-l are really the only options.
     
    kookery likes this.
  12. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    Hunter, do you have access to a manual or CNC mill? If you do, you could easily shave off some from .110 stock to get it down to .070. It would give you a nicer finish too. The setup work to do that might be close to the same if you decided to put a distal taper on the blades. If you just want to trim it down to .070, it would be very easy to do, with or without a fixture. You would just need to move the clamping bolts around so you can mill the entire surface of the stock.

    If you wanted to hire a shop to do that for you, I would bet all 20 blanks could be milled in 1 or 2 hours of shop time. It would add a little to the cost, but if you're prototyping and testing steels, that's probably acceptable. Of course, you would only need 1 for testing purposes.

    The only problem I foresee would be work-hardening of the steel, which might cause it to curl up. You can mostly avoid it by milling both sides in the exact same amounts, with the same feed directions. If curling still happens, annealing the blanks should take it out and straighten them, especially if they're clamped straight while they're being annealed.

    The trick to avoiding work hardening and curling in stainless steels is to use sharp tooling at high speeds and feeds, at large depths of cut. It might be good to do just one blank first, to see if curling is a problem. It might not be, but doing the test will ensure you don't find an unexpected problem.

    There might be other ways to deal with work-hardening, if it happens. I suspect milling the blanks while they're hot would help, but there's no need to get fancy if it turns out to be easy. I think it will probably be easy. The handle section is the only part that might be troublesome since it's already skeletonized, leaving thin sections that might not tolerate machining operations very well, but that's the least important part, so you could leave it at stock thickness. If you really wanted to cut it down, you could use many different ways to secure it during the cuts, like gluing it down.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  13. dogrunner

    dogrunner

    Dec 26, 2003
    I'm still in for a TGM 17" :) Like I said, if the AEBL works, it works! I just want a very light blade for non-hardwood slashing cuts (clearing old field veg, cattails, etc). Stainless is a definite bonus, as long as the blade and edge can handle the job! My elbow really does not appreciate a blade any heavier than necessary and I need the reach cuz some of the veg bites back (nettles, thistle, etc). fwiw I agree that FortyTwoBlades is a go-to place for economy priced blades with great service (including sharpening).
     
    kookery likes this.
  14. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Got a Breaching Bad hawk finished up today. Its the most substantial and badass feeling blade I've made yet. Super proud of this thing!
    This one is black terotuf, acid etched and stonewashed with satin accents along the spine. Ill post better pics tomorrow but I think this model has turned out great. The temper line is highly visible as well.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  15. ceptor781

    ceptor781

    735
    Feb 4, 2012
    Awesome! Make mine with a V grind chisel poll for puncturing and opening sheet metal, auto and residential entry doors.
     
  16. Camber

    Camber Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    That did come out great Hunter. It looks really good with the scales on it.

    As an aside, since Baryonyx came up. I ordered a Cold Steel machete from him with the special grade treatment once (so he apexed it on a grinder), and I got some minor apex damage...it ended up being less than 15 degrees per side, something around 12 dps if I remember. Well, I just added a small, barely visible microbevel with the Sharpmaker at 15dps then, and since then it's become my favorite machete to use. No damage, easy to work the microbevel most times, and then the days occasionally I just take a very coarse stone to the 3/8ths wide original bevel at 12dps.
     
  17. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    What does "dps" mean?
     
  18. Camber

    Camber Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Degrees per side
     
  19. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    I found .070 thickness CPM 3V at Alpha Knife Supply:

    https://www.alphaknifesupply.com/shop/product/cpm-3v-carbon-steel

    It looks like the quantities available are small, but it is there.
     
  20. kookery

    kookery

    336
    Oct 11, 2012
    What software do you use to make these drawings?
     

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