Ideas on blade length.


The Tourist
March 12, 2008, 12:52 PM
One thing that has happened to me over time is that the older I get, the shorter my knives become. This was proven to me, again, early this morning.

One of my favorite knife companies is Graham Brothers. You probably know them for their flagship "Razel." I own one, and it's everything reported, and more.

And while folks in Wisconsin are limited to contact weapons and pepper spray, carrying around a knife solely for defense is simply not realistic. Clearly, a knife must be strong enough and sufficiently sharp to change the mindset of an attacker, but most knives will languish their entire lives snipping loose threads and opening UPS boxes.

To that end, I just had Josh make me a knife called a "Stubby."

If you google the knife, you'll find that the blade is one and a half inches long. That is not a misprint, it is 1.5 inches in length. In truth, it could be shorter and I still wouldn't find that objectionable.

We always opine that the first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun. I feel the same advice holds for knives. What good is a perfectly crafted knife if it sits on your dresser top or locked away in a glass case?

Another aspect of knives like this is simply "the unknown." You cannot plan an emergency. You cannot run back to the house and get your BOB and fistful of spare batteries. Chances are you are carrying your emergency supplies with you right now.

A Graham knife is tough, in fact, tougher than needed and probably fit for a soldier. I had mine made from S30V and I asked Josh to make sure the heat-treat run went to Paul Bos (as does most of their work.)

With this particular 1.5 inch knife I can easily field dress game, cut or pry anything I can imagine, depend on edge retention, fend off an attacker and still carry the knife in just about any jacket or pants pocket.

Another nice thing about Graham craftsmanship--I don't have to get out the waterstones and check their edges. They are sharp out of the box.

If you look through the knives I use the most frequently you'll find Emersons and Grahams. Just like most implements, you reach a certain age and utility seems to be more important than showing off.

My guess is that this summer you'll find me opening boxes, doing chores and slicing into a good steak with a knife less than half the size of yours.

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Baba Louie
March 12, 2008, 02:25 PM
What's this? No Photo??? :D

I tend to concur with the age/size analysis. When I was a youngster, knives HAD to be on the large size. As I approach those "golden years" I find that a simple bird & trout knife performs 99.9% of my slicing/shearing needs. Weighs less too! While I do still keep my old Boy Scout days KaBar in my backpack for hunting and hiking, I tend to use my B&T or 4 blade BSA scout knife almost exclusively.

March 12, 2008, 04:28 PM
The Tourist,

You can't fool me, you just want a short blade as the Professional Knife Sharpener charges by the inch and you are a cheapskate. *razz*

That was too good of a set up, to pass up. *wink*

I understand what you are sharing and I have shared similar, though most of my sharing is with traditional knives, folding, and non locking, and under various closed size and blade length.

Some areas in the USA restrict knives, just as they do our friends in the UK and similar.

Fixed - again I agree with you.

Mentors and Elders often times had "whittlin' knives" or "wood carving" knives.
Fixed blade, small blades and some not even a 1.5" long, shorter, much shorter.
The handle was wood , longer, and contoured to fit hands. They often carried, both ladies and gents, one of these they called "general purpose" in a little sheath.

Handiest darn thing one ever did see! Oh sure they may whittle a stick, sharpen a pencil, open a box...still that small whittlin' knife , so obscure, in a short pocket, back pocket, skirt pocket, purse...etc. was a real defensive tool.

Lessons for instance they shared about using pens, pencils in a pocket, like a shirt pocket and being grabbed and where ones hands are. The ability to access a "tool" and get someone to "let go" was important then, as it is today.
Those little knives were one such tool.

A lady can have one in hand, it is not seen, as she has it right there if need ...such as in a restricted knife workplace and going to parking lot.

Just what she uses to pry staples, open envelopes and boxes work...

The Tourist
March 12, 2008, 05:20 PM
What's this? No Photo???

Sorry, guy, but the knife hasn't reached me yet. I have provided a link. I asked Josh to make mine without the ring to keep it small. I have a ring on the other Razel, already.

The Tourist, You can't fool me, you just want a short blade as the Professional Knife Sharpener charges by the inch and you are a cheapskate.

Normally, I might agree, except I'm the professional sharpener in this case. Josh does just fine, I might add.

There are precious few things that are worthy of the hype. For example, Ben Dale at Edge Pro is one of the most honest craftsman I know. My mechanic Ryan can make a Harley do things you'd swear required a magic wand. And the Graham Brothers make knives--yikes, do they make knives!

I'll get pictures up in a few days.

Here's my ringed Razel and the edge I polished.

March 12, 2008, 06:22 PM
Josh does just fine, I might add.

Yes sir! I got a Midtech Razel (back when they stopped taking customs) that bit me the second week I carried it. I was carrying sob, and put my support hand on the sheath so I could guide the blade in.

Got about a 1/4 inch deep cut before I even realized I'd been cut!

It also nicked the skin above my buddies vein, when I offered it to him to handle. He automatically started to spin it and as I got the words "You might not want to do that" he cut himself. We both agreed that he was very damned lucky and that we wouldn't be spinning this knife.

March 12, 2008, 07:14 PM
LOL That ain't a knive, that's a chisel! Looks pretty good too. I sure would hate to be slashed wiith that. And no I agree that piece isn't hardly delicate.

I read wrong, and i own a knife smaller than that, apx 1.5 inch over all.

What it is, is a broken blade, that cracked in the quench to harden. I broke it off at the closest crack to the tip, and reforged a shepards hook grip, so this knife is about 3/4" blade and about 3/4" handle.

A very small skeleton knife. I carry it concealed in the hem of a Scot balmora hat, and mainly use it to slice right thru 1/2" think Elk neck hides for making moc souls, and other sewwing related things, which tha hat also contains.

I can't test rockwell, but since the steel was a file to begin life and the cracks happened in the first hardening, not being to sure what rockwell is when it is glass hard, all I can say is this blade takes and holds one heck of an edge.

It is dainty compared to that wood chisel though, so you don't get the blue star for the smallest knife by a long shot! :neener:

Brian Dale
March 12, 2008, 09:49 PM
If I'm reading this correctly, you anticipate using the Graham S30V Stubby for opening boxes, cutting into steaks and the many, routine tasks of daily life. I've read your mention of carrying an Emerson folder.

You know a lot of people with a lot of knowledge, in addition to your own expertise. Apart from people like working chefs, what's the usual usage frequency that you see for various knives? For example, a person might reach for the Emerson 80 percent of the time and for a favorite chef's knife (at home) 15 per cent of the time, with the remaining 5 per cent of knife usage divided among other, possibly specialized knives.

What share of the tasks do you expect to see for your Graham Stubby?

March 12, 2008, 10:23 PM
I have yet to take the Razel plunge. I see them at the Blade Show and keep intending to drop by their shop. It is not far. Drove within half mile today in fact.

Honestly speaking, I use a SAK more than any other knife; that means every single day. I like the Graham Bros Razel and intend to buy one.

My long bladed knives stay at home except for the occasional trip to the woods. I would prefer to fight with a gun if I have to fight (even if I have to back up to shoot ;) ), but I'll probably make a fast exit if I can. Not interested in knife fights.

The Tourist
March 12, 2008, 10:33 PM
What share of the tasks do you expect to see for your Graham Stubby?

In the spirit of the idea of this forum, let's first comment on the idea of a Razel type knife in the guise of a weapon. (The name of this segment is Non-Firearm Weapons.)

I can answer that part of the debate very succinctly. A Graham product is a near-custom, extremely well designed implement using superior metals, design and heat-treatment. In short, it ranks with Emerson HD-7's and Striders.

In that debate as a weapon, it would be like facing a perfectly sharpened and almost indestructible Craftsman chisel coming at you with this artfully formed Japanese cutting edge. You would be cut, cleaved and ripped apart.

Now, most of us don't fight for our lives everyday--and if you were honest you'd pray you'd never want to claw for your life. But we do carry and use tools. And for many of us, our jobs and tasks come at us without a uniform schedule.

I might be cutting a sandwich, and then the UPS guy shows up.

But here's how I intend to handle this Stubby and why.

First, I live in Wisconsin, and within a month or two the weather will warm up. I enjoy riding, and while my bike is designed and built to be bulletproof, I'll need some rudimentary tools and eating utensils.

While I dearly love my HD-7, it often digs into the top of my right thigh on long trips. I'll carry a shorter knife in my jacket or use the traditional Buck 110 style knife on a belt sheath.

But let's face it, I need a tool. And I don't whittle.

In my life, I cut food, open boxes, scrape or pry, get caught in intense downpours and perhaps go days between thorough cleanings. I might be a professional sharpener in life, but like most of us when I'm on vacation I'm a bum. I change my oil before I leave, and then leave with a sharp knife.

This is the long way of answering your question. However, without any doubt in my mind, if I had only one knife, I could do 100% of the things in my life with a Graham product and not want for more.

The Stubby gives me the flexibility to get that same performance in a smaller package for the limited room I have on a bike. I'd carry the knife to Sturgis.

Brian Dale
March 12, 2008, 10:57 PM
In the spirit of the idea of this forum, let's first comment on the idea of a Razel type knife in the guise of a weapon. (The name of this segment is Non-Firearm Weapons.)

My apologies to you and to the group. I'll stay on topic in future.

I could do 100% of the things in my life with a Graham product and not want for more.

Got it. Thank you.

The Tourist
March 12, 2008, 11:22 PM
My apologies to you and to the group.

It wasn't a criticism. To my way of thinking, we ought to have a knife segment here at THR that deals with knives the way most of us consider them--as tools.

But let's face it, it's getting to be a wild world. What you and I might consider to be a very handy tool might be pressed into service as a makeshift weapon.

I also forgot to add one thing, and that's my view based upon age.

When I consider a new tool (firearm, bike, anything) I look for the utility and not price. I can sharpen a cheap knife, and get good service. But if the knife fails when I'm away from a store the inconvenience of the thing bothers me more than the cost.

I'm sure paying 250 bucks for one-inch knife might cause some members here to shake their heads--and as a younger man I might have joined you. But I have had my share of stuff that failed in my life, and all too often those things were hand tools when I was trying to repair something else.

Yes, a Razel can be a weapon--and to be fair to the forum we should stay on topic. However, this is an excellent tool, and we should be able to discuss that, as well.

March 12, 2008, 11:49 PM
The Tourist,

Yes I know you are the professional sharpener, hence my poor attempt at being funny. My apologies.

Being serious, I have had to use knife in a defensive situation. Not my choice of how to defend, still the situation dictated a knife. I was under age 15 both times and had I not been using a gall-durned holster for the gun I carried concealed , I could have accessed the gun instead.
No "permission papers" to carry a gun back them, still raised as I was and what industry, I carried concealed starting at age 8.

My knives were not fixed, nor were they locking.

Now I do not do knife fights, I don't carry a knife for the reason to defend with one.
I was mentored about "newspaper knives" and other things.

Now the folks that I was mentored by, were some pretty serious folks, and if one had to to use a "edge" the preferred tool was a screwdriver.
This might explain why Beat Cops had a screwdriver back in the day, while it came in handy getting a stuck penny out of a machine for a kid...

Retention drills were taught using a screwdriver to retain that gun someone might try to take off an officer.
Undercover Police, were taught the screwdriver, as the cons, and street folks used screwdrivers.

Now some mentors were in LEO, and Military, and even back then, "blending in" was stressed.
Not just in the USA, as some had experiences in other countries, where there were checkpoints and restrictions on person's travel.

Ex-Cons, and Trusties shared some tips on how to blend in on the streets...

The screwdriver is blending in and disposable. It does not close on the user, nor does it cut the user when the user's hand slips off the handle. It is open and ready for use, and much faster than any assisted opening knife.
Use it, toss it in the water, down a sewer and done.
If...a screwdriver is found at the is only a screwdriver, and juries see a screwdriver.

Don't sharpen the thing, it needs to look like the tool it is...blending in is the key...

I know what a pocket knife will do to someone, as I have done it - more than once.
I know what a 19 cent screwdriver will do to a person, I have been in on the Surgeries, and the Organ Harvests, more than once.

I know what a chisel will do a carpenter uses , and knows how to sharpen as well...if pressed into defensive use.

No Jokes, dead serious.

March 13, 2008, 12:12 AM
I reckon blade length depends on what a guy is gonna use it for.
If it's the stockman in my pocket a 2 to 3 inch large blade is plenty.
If gutting a deer or elk a old Buck 110 is my choice but the stockman can do it.
The knives i use skinning him with range from 6 to 8.
I will use a 5 or 6 inch Forchner to bone him with but the first couple of inches of that will do most of the work, and maybe a 12 incher to cut some hind quarter steaks but probably grab a 8 or 10 incher to butterfly the back strap's etc.
If I wanna chop wood I would use a machete if it was a knife but have a nice hand ax that works better.

I don't think of knives as a defense weapon for people much and only once in 59 years have I used one that way and that was over 30 years ago. It happen to be a razor sharp 8 inch fish fillet knife and that was because it was the first thing I got a hold of and it seemed to work just fine. Tactical or not it in my hand it was enough to allow me to get away without bloodshed. There may have been a broken bone or two I donno as my primary concern was to leave from the begining and I did't go back ever.

The question this thread has raised for me is, Why on earth would some one want a mammoth ivory handle on a chisel? on a fine custom knife, or pistola grips, I get it, but a chisel? I guess it's over my head or well past me monetarily.

The Tourist
March 13, 2008, 01:09 AM
sm and eliphalet,

My intent here was not to suggest that a Razel product was a replacement for traditional tools, but rather a remarkingly well designed addition.

As for an edge, this is always something that the client defines as uniquely for himself. Some like a 'toothy edge,' some prefer the finest polish they can get. In this case, a knife made from the alloy S30V benefits from this mirror finish.

Eliphalet points out the fancy handles available through Graham Brothers. Yes, many are offered. I choose ones a bit more average, although I have a Tussey pistol with Ajax ivory grips. I probably have a bit too much chrome on my bike. This is one of those "to each his own" ideas and it doesn't diminish the function of a great knife.

Knives are very diverse and they give the owner a chance to pick the correct tool. Today I was fighting a bad cold, thick ice was melting, I felt whoozy and frankly I needed a folding ice-pick for the day I was handed. I chose a little mini-Emerson, clipped it to my jeans and never looked back. The little Stubby would have been a great companion had it arrived.

It's nice to see you guys are thinking and questioning the traditional concepts of knives and edged tools. It's not just a business, but it's been a great hobby and a fine addition to my collection of firearms.

March 13, 2008, 01:15 AM
Fancy on grips or fine knives or chrome on my Harley don't count as an over done addition. Well on second thought I have seem chrome over done maybe but just maybe,, Naaaa I saw a scooter at Sturgis one year that was completely chrome. Tanks, fenders, frame, motor, I think every piece was chrome except the lights, looked great.

The Tourist
March 13, 2008, 01:18 AM
Lots of my clients like sambar stag grips and brass furniture on their knives. I happen to like the feeling of micarta or ivory.

March 13, 2008, 01:47 AM
My intent here was not to suggest that a Razel product was a replacement for traditional tools, but rather a remarkingly well designed addition.


The Tourist,
We are on the same page.

Internet is a interesting medium and folks get wrapped around the axle and confused in so many ways. It is like whatever they read is an "absolute", and we know there is no "absolute" in anything, including tools in the toolbox.

My role if you will, is more traditional and practical to reach that audience that means something to me. The ladies, kids, elderly and physically limited , and some others and those new THR and "all this" on a budget.

Hence the reason I posted a similar thread in regard to how much blade does one really use?
Parallels this thread.
I am sharing production knives like a Case, under 3" closed to meet restrictive environments and for example a Case Peanut with CV blades , for about $30 and suggesting folks can learn to free hand sharpen.

Blending in, tools in the tool box and not restricting one's self by "absolutes", and that means they are not going to be receptive and therefore get more tools in the tool box.

Oh I suggest fine knives, and getting them professionally sharpened, I really do, most times in private and not on public forum.
You and others can do that role and I do mine.

Blending in means one might be best with a ivory handled, stubby bladed tool that costs a bit of money. That tool is best left to a professional to sharpen if the person that owns it cannot sharpen it.

On the same note I might have those down on the back forty , on a trip in a hotel room, at the college dorm, or in a work restrictive workplace, that can freehand sharpen a Case Peanut.
Same folks may also have a cane, 20 oz bottle of water , screwdriver they use to "pull staples" , "mess with IT equip racks" and the like.

Firearms are the same way. I have dealt with ladies beaten, battered and rape victims, me and mine did our thing and perhaps a good used Model 10 police trade it was the best tool for them.

Other ladies may choose to carry a custom 1911 platform in 9x23 with a gold bead front sight. Some actually do, and some guys do, I have and recommend this for a serious carry gun.

I sometimes feel Internet being a fast communication means, actually is a negative thing. Folks used to have to wait to get a reply, or looking up information at the library took longer, allowing folks time to think for themselves and listen to gut feelings and investigate and verify.

Folks seem to "react" instead of think, and get this sense of impeding doom they are going to mess up if they do not have the "absolute" , or "ultimate" tool.

Re: Ice
*grin* Mom & Pop hardware store got in some more old fashioned ice picks with the wood handle.

Then again I still like to bust bags of ice on a concrete step and bang on it with a inexpensive screw driver...
Heck of a tool, I can bust ice, pry off lids, use as a chisel, play mumbley peg, and by golly! That sucker will actually work to remove/put in screws.

Who'd a Thunk it? *wink*

It is all good...

March 13, 2008, 02:11 AM
Well Sm,

You took the thoughts out of my head and put them elegantly and concisely into words. You learn allot more sitting down with an old book and your own thoughts than starring at a monitor looking for the perfect solution.

Well put sir.

Brian Dale
March 13, 2008, 02:43 AM
I sometimes feel Internet being a fast communication means, actually is a negative thing. Folks used to have to wait to get a reply, or looking up information at the library took longer, allowing folks time to think for themselves and listen to gut feelings and investigate and verify.Frequently. In a few areas, though, you guys have saved me ten years of trial and error.

March 13, 2008, 03:20 AM
It is I that thanks you folks.

Everyone has talents and gifts, the reality is, nobody knows everything about everything.
Life is a journey and one never stops learning along the journey.

Ideas on blade length.
How much blade do you really use?

Go watch a butcher and see which knife they use for tasks, and how they use that knife. Some sharpen knives themselves, and this is educational and fascinating.

Japanese Restaurants, now it has been sometime since I have been, still the whole experience is great!
Chefs put on a show, and they have nice knives, sharp knives and watch how they use the knife.
I like the way they can flip food onto a plate, and I had one Chef was really funny, he had deal with the waitress, and would flip a shrimp tail into a empty drink glass.
They had a funny banter about that little deal they had practiced on.

Interesting was, this chef took note of a pen knife I had. I had it out getting a loose thread cut for a lady.
He asked to see it, and made some funny comments, compared it to his and started doing some moves.
He looked at me as if to ask permission, very respectful, and I nodded approval.

Showmanship and he was doing shrimp with my little pen knife and flipping shrimp onto plates.
Everyone was having a good time.

He and other Chefs are "craftsman" and they have earned the right to get paid what they do and customers pay the price of a meal.

It is the user of a tool, not the tool itself.
Craftsman, whether it is the Chef, a butcher , the Professional knife sharpener, the wood worker, whittler, whomever, earned being "craftsman" by putting in the time and effort.

The butcher can cut meat with any knife, he /she has talent, just like the Japanese Chef used my Peanut that night.

A wood carver has his nice wood carving or whittling knife, they can do the same things with a SAK or a Peanut.

I have no doubt I could toss The Tourist a 3" stone I often use, and he could free hand sharpen a knife in no time.

Internet users need to understand one has to investigate, verify and put in the time to learn something.

One cannot buy skill and targets.

Brian Dale
March 13, 2008, 03:41 AM
I need to be more precise. You guys have saved me time in figuring out what path to follow, including what tools work well for others. My time is now spent learning, practicing, doing. Thanks, folks.

March 13, 2008, 03:45 AM
Speaking for myself, I have wanted one of those Razels from the first moment I laid eyes on one. Unfortunately, I simply have never had the money for one, and likely won't anytime soon. Additionally, while I can see plenty of utility in the knife, I can't honestly say I "need" it. Maybe one day...

As far as short blade lengths go, I am right there with you. In the USMC, one of the Gunnies told us that only pogues carried around big knives, because pogues never had to hump and could therefore justify the weight. His point taken, I carried for some time a pink handled Spyderco (pink was easy to see, less likely to be stolen) with a blade around an inch and a half or so. That was the handiest knife I ever had right up until the point where it was stolen or lost, never sure which. In the ensuing years, I don't know that I have ever carried a knife with a blade over 2 inches or so until a couple of years ago when I bought my Fox Predator II folder. It's a pretty big knife, but it manages to ride light in my pocket and it doesn't seem like a big knife at all. I don't really need a knife as big as that (or, for that matter, as tactical, lol), but it rides just perfect for me, and so I choose it over my others.

Brian Dale
March 13, 2008, 04:00 AM
Short blades are fine, but short handles feel awkward to me. Does that mean that I'm doing something wrong, do I just need to get used to them or should I stay with what seems to fit?

Edited to add: I'm asking this here because I've seen some neat, short bladed knives that felt too small in the hand when I picked them up.

March 13, 2008, 04:30 AM
the handle design is probably more important than the size IMHO. The Tourist expressed a preference for micarta ,which I share, but I have a Fowler skinner with a sheep horn handle that simply has to be held to be believed. Form follows function and nowhere is this idea more important than in knife design so I look for enough handle to do the job but not so much as to be cumbersome. The material of the handle is generally of secondary importance as long as the design is right. Wood, leather, horn, bone and synthetic - all have found a home in my collection of hard working knives. Sometimes you have to learn to alter your technique a bit to get the most out of a blade - as I did with a small bird and trout type knife with a very small handle. The simple expedient of actually using the lanyard hooked around my ring finger instead of dangling loose made all the difference in the world and this knife is now my favorite for many tasks. It has a 2 1/4" blade so I guess I find myself in agreement with the short blade crowd.

March 13, 2008, 08:59 AM
Fit to user.
Yes I harp about this, and I have my reasons.
I apprenticed and using hand tools was part of the work.
The handle had to fit me, and I was the one that had to control what the tool did for task, have a feel of -me, tool, and the work- I was doing. Comfort was important, as if one fatigues, mistakes are easy to make.

Shotgun, pistol, rifle, knife, screwdriver...anything and everything. So it does not matter if something fits me, it matters if something fits you.

My tools were carbon steel, tool steel, and chrome vanadium, with wood handles.
The metal, had to take an edge, and hold it, and the handles being wood allowed me contour and fit the handle to my hands, as I did do some things weak handed.

Many tools only had really short metal and the handle longer. In being "with one with the tool" like a file or slip stone, I did not use a handle.
I wanted to 'feel' every minute detail of what I was doing.

The unwritten rule, is a handle should be "about" the width of one's palm.
My palm is near 4" , ironically this length is "near" that of a Case Slimline Trapper, which is 4 1/8" closed length, and that knife rides easy in my pockets.

Another unwritten rule is the longest blade one can effectively use should be no longer than the length of a index finger. Again, my index is around 3".

Unwritten rule again is the size of one's fingers plays a role in comfortable carry, control, effective use , etc.
My fingers are thin, I am more lanky, and going on memory when I was married my wedding band was a size 8 1/2, and in a surgical glove my hands liked Bio-Gels in a 7.5 and I forget the non-powedered gloves name, in a size 8, when I wore a "surgical liner" or double gloved.

Another unwritten tidbit concerns pen knives. Measure your strong hand and measure from the web of pinkie finger to index finger, and that is supposed to be the best fit, to your hands with a closed pen knife closed.

The ratio of that to the main blade means control and the pen blade is really going to allow one to use that pen knife with the smallest blade.

Just how it was shared with me, a brat born in the mid 50's.
Mentors included some Docs , Nurses, and Veterinarians and the handle on a scalpel is longer than blade, about the width of a palm and the pen knife they carried in Doctor/Nurse/Vet bags was the width of little finger web to index finger.
Some used 2 1/4", some used 2 5/8" and some 2 7/8" closed length pen knives.

Art & Science...includes fit.

March 13, 2008, 09:58 AM

Our own Valkman made this skinner. While it has a small blade, the handle sits comfortably in my hand, and is all kinds of sharp. I wouldn't choose this as my "first" defensive tool, but it would do the trick in a pinch.

The Tourist
March 13, 2008, 11:03 AM
Short blades are fine, but short handles feel awkward to me.

That is one of the best things about Graham products, the handles are full-size.

If you like folders, you might want to check out the Emerson "Snubby." It has a two-inch blade in a four-inch handle. The blade is the same quality as Ernie's traditional line.

One of the themes appearing in this thread was "the peaceful use of appropriate knives."

I hope that the mods see this, and the sincere contributions being made by the members. I'd like to see a new column here. One that just discusses knives without the mandate that they are "weapons."

Now, here's my thinking. Gun guys love knives. In fact, if you take a picture of a grandpa hunter and an elite soldier, chances are that you will see something with an edge. The knife is probably not a front-line weapon, but many people carrying weapons need/use knives.

I think most guys here would admit that a knife sure is an important adjunct to guns, camping, law enforcement, the armed forces and even just hiking in a wilderness area.

If a member here said, "I have a new knife for fishing," a mod might have to lock the thread because it is technically "off topic." I'd like to see that changed. This thread has shown that the members here have some very nice knives and like to discuss them.

March 13, 2008, 11:23 AM
The Tourist,

It depends on how we define "defensive weapon".
I am pretty sure most would agree even a nail blade on a pair of nail clippers is a "defensive weapon" if used to get them dad-blasted crackers open so a fussy kid in the back seat will shut up! *smile*

Darn right that is a defensive weapon!

The 2 inch blade in a 4 inch handle makes a whole lot of sense. One has a good handle and still one has better control of that shorter blade.

Sometimes one with a 4 inch knife "ooches" the hand down onto the longer normal blade found in such a knife, to get that finesses and control using the last 1.5 - 2 inches of blade near the tip

Knife safety is akin to firearm safety, tool needs to fit user for task to better afford safety.

Some pen knives have only two small blades, this again is a longer handle to blade ratio and very useful, and safe.

One folder I would like to have again is one with only two blades: a spey and lambs foot.

Spey is great for cleaning small game and is good at opening cans.
Lambs foot /sheepsfoot is great for cutting rope, and , trimming a wick on a oil/kerosene lamp

Defending against hunger, and darkness *wink*

The Tourist
March 13, 2008, 11:32 AM
Defending against hunger, and darkness *wink*

I wholeheartedly agree.

After all, some of the most dangerous weapons I carry are a firm pair of Harley boots trimmed with metal brick-a-brack.

However, it would be nice to have an adult discussion about advances in edge technology without having to tack on the disclaimer "this can be used as a weapon." We're adults, we know that.

In fact, if you consider the Graham products discussed in this thread, it's one of the best weapons.

But we all realize that's not why I bought it, and that's not what I intend to use it for. I'm sure that when Josh exhibited his knowledge and craft into my knife he did not propose it as a dagger. Their website has many gallery pictures of hunters.

I have many wonderful edged tools cross my desk, and I sharpen scads of beautiful knives whose first purpose is as a tool. I'd like to share those examples from time to time, perhaps debate them.

March 13, 2008, 12:12 PM
My take is anything can be used for a defensive weapon, even a 20 oz bottle of water we have mentioned numerous times on this forum.

I do not think we "have to" substantiate anything as being a defensive weapon.
Common sense and some maturity should have thinking out of the box any knife, or anything we share is a useful tool for defensive, survival or any other use. Responsible firearm owners in my book are those that do not want to subjugate themselves to being prey to anything.

Three inch sharpening stone one can have in a pocket is not a "defensive weapon" it might be a "survival tool" then again it might just be someone whittling with other folks at the bait shop.
Idea of sharing is one can inspect and maintain with a pocket stone.

SAK makes a Florist knife, handle is bigger in comparison to the blade which is akin to a sheepsfoot.

These are not expensive, in fact lady got one as it was in a two pack display with a SAK Classic with the flowers on it and her daughter wanted that knife.
I had mentioned this Florist knife to her before.
Daughter is collecting SAKs, really cute young lady...

Florist knife is "fought over" by mom and dad. *lol*
At first it was a "huh- so this is a Florist's knife". So she actually used it in the yard to get some roses, then cutting string, then the garden hose split and needed splicing and that sucker cut a nice clean straight cut.

"How can I sharpen this thing until I get the hang of freehand?" She asked me, her husband was out of town. I suggested the Rapela red "V" stick sharpener, not much money and it works.

No, not the same edge a Professional can do, or one I can free hand, still...another tool in the tool box if you will on sharpening.

Husband was working on his mom's care, new hoses from heater to windshield wiper to who knows what all...
Florist knife was used, heck even daughter got to help and use it.

They bought a couple more of these to have handy, for all sorts of uses.
Trimming caulk in the bathroom and this knife was perfect!

We have all sorts of folks that read THR and not all are members. We have all sorts of income brackets. So who knows, maybe some person lurking reads about a dumb Florist knife and figures gun owners are not a bunch of evil folks after all.

Just like the ones working in a restrictive workplace and reads a 20 oz bottle of water is a tool to stay safe with as well.

The Tourist
March 13, 2008, 12:27 PM

Agreed. I just don't want to lead a newbie down the primrose path, either.

The main job of a paring knife is to prepare food--no matter what else you might need it for.

There are better tools for defense, and superior knives for chores.

My concern is the discussion of "chore knives," in other words, tools.

March 13, 2008, 01:06 PM
The Tourist,

Agreed. I like Valkman's small skinner for instance, not only for the chore of skinning also other chores.
He does have a Bird & Trout knife I think is neat, still the small skinner , to me, is really neat!
Small Skinner has a longer handle to blade length "ratio" affording comfort, control and safe use. Heck the darn thing can be used for skinning, paring knife use, a steak knife and I imagine does a number on spreading peanut and jelly.


Similar, still for less monies, is A.G. Russel's Woodswalker knife for $20. Me and mine like the leather sheath while others may prefer the neck sheath.

This knife is also versatile for a number of chores.

Either would work for other chores , like firearm retention, or getting a fire started, or whatever.

I have nothing against nice things, that cost a few bucks, just folks need to realize and use some common sense and understand "Needs vs Wants".

A Professional Chef "needs" that good Chef or Paring knife, and will spend the monies to obtain and to maintain a Professional Sharpener.

Some folks cannot boil water, and they "want" that same knife and really cannot afford it. They think if they have that knife they can fix that meal I cannot spell much less pronounce....
(tough for a Southern Boy like me you understand to spell much less pronounce some things, being as folks spell them wrong)

These "boil pans dry and want" folks would do well to take cooking lessons or just replace the recipe box with phones numbers of take-out and home delivered foods. *tacky- grin*

Oh, another really neat chore knife is the Produce Knife, the knife without a tip, and just squared off. Folks need to watch a Produce Dept person use one - awesome!
Many on the farm use these does not have a point! Carbon Steel blades are sharp! And boy do they do a number on produce!

Darn knife without a ain't that something? *wink*

March 13, 2008, 06:45 PM
I hope that the mods see this, and the sincere contributions being made by the members. I'd like to see a new column here. One that just discusses knives without the mandate that they are "weapons."I'd second that.

March 13, 2008, 11:14 PM
If a member here said, "I have a new knife for fishing," a mod might have to lock the thread because it is technically "off topic." I'd like to see that changed.

Not to worry, that's not likely to happen. If you read through this sub-forum you'll see that the knife as tool is as welcome to discussion as the knife as weapon. That's probably because the vast majority of knives are tools and only a relatively small subset are dedicated weapons. So, fear not, discussion of knives in general is welcome.

The Tourist
March 13, 2008, 11:33 PM
hso, thank you for that clarification.

Knives are popular among gun guys, and if some new product comes down the pike I think lots of members would like to hear about it and see pictures.

As you know, we touched here upon Graham products. I believe their first line of folders will be coming out soon. I think that would be a good topic for new accessories.

March 13, 2008, 11:48 PM
Knives are popular among gun guys, and if some new product comes down the pike I think lots of members would like to hear about it and see pictures.

pssst, you forgot to include the ladies.

You had better rustle up something as a nice Chocolate Knife else the gals around here are going to go Belushi Samari Swordman routine on your backside.

I...I am going to stand over here out of the way a wee do understand. *grin*

Use Enough Chocolate

The Tourist
March 14, 2008, 01:47 AM
pssst, you forgot to include the ladies.

Semantically, you are of course correct. I made an error.

But that's a Harley I'm sitting on. I never forget to include the ladies.

As you might know, I am also a member of a forum haunted by a good number of professional sharpeners. If I ever really got out of hand I'd have Cat Cora to answer to.

Truth be told, I'm more afraid of her than some other guys who ride Harleys...

Edit: This is the picture of the actual knife Josh has sent to me:

March 14, 2008, 02:31 AM
I see that hso has beat me to it: I was going to say, essentially, that discussions of knives in their other-than-weapon uses is fine by me.

You may recall that I recently mused that knives need not always be considered as weapons, given that the vast majority of them have been rendered as tools.

I have found the recent re-discovery of slip joints and old fashioned non-tactical WORKING knives to be quite liberating.

Interestingly enough, taking a break from the "knife = weapon" thought process, I have found myself realizing weapons uses that, while not at all new, I had completely overlooked.

Funny what you'll find when you're not looking for it.

The Tourist
March 14, 2008, 02:57 AM
I recently mused that knives need not always be considered as weapons

If you spend time in gun/knife/sharpening forums long enough, you find the same type of "canned lingo."

One member might say something like, "I've always enjoyed the service this knife has given me..."

...and within a few posts another member says, "Yeah, and it looks like it would be good for defense, as well."

The problem is that I have purchased lots of knives--with the singular goal that they were excellent tools and undoubtedly serve me well at work or for hobbies.

For example, I have taken a new job assignment as an in-house sharpener for a sandwich chain. I don't plan a lot of "knife fighting" in this job, but I will be cutting a never-ending amount of blue painters tape, UPS boxes, bubble wrap, string and corregated cardboard.

In short, I need a stout "working knife."

Another thing I've learned on forums is that if I have a problem then so do hundreds of other members. We need service for our firearms, reloading supplies, quality tradesmen and custom outlets. If I can't find a suitable knife, that means dozens of others need that same style tool.

To my way of thinking, any knife that can stand innumerable shifts being subjected to the hustle of commercial kitchens, being bumped, dropped, soaked in soapy water, sharpening swarf, blood and sweaty blue jeans, is also a tool that is tough enough for any survivalist.

And then in conclusion, this tool will also be subjected to the practices of "a biker's knife." Imagine all of the bug guts, tough surloin steaks and crappy chili that tool must endure!

So thanks for giving us "tool guys" a voice. I think you're going to find some very interesting debates evolving from this.

Brian Dale
March 14, 2008, 02:49 PM
That's beautiful, The Tourist. Thanks for the picture.

The Tourist
March 19, 2008, 10:48 PM
The knife came today UPS. Really a beauty. Smaller than I imagined, which is perfect.

The whole idea of this project was to create an edged tool that was stripped down to its bare essentials and could be carried anywhere, and in any format.

In point of fact, while only 1.5 inches of blade length, it would be a handy tool for pan fish, and even field dressing a deer. You could wash it in a river and forget about it.

Oh, and did I say sharp. Yikes.

March 20, 2008, 12:12 AM

Looking forward to more reports.

This is like awaiting the birth of a Small Block Chevy ...


The Tourist
March 20, 2008, 01:00 AM
Using Japanese waterstones, paste, and polishing papers on glaziers' glass, I got the edge to buff out. In real life it is a mirror, which is hard to photograph.

I used a red pen to reflect color onto the bevel.

Trust me, it's sharp.

Brian Dale
March 20, 2008, 06:28 AM
Oh, and did I say sharp. Yikes.


Trust me, it's sharp.

Makes my heart go pitter-pat. :)

The Tourist
March 20, 2008, 01:00 PM
Makes my heart go pitter-pat.

I've been putzing around with it all morning as I do my office work. What a nice little knife! Very cozy in your jeans.

I'm sure some pundits out there will do the Crocodile Dundee thingie about "that's not a knife," or tease me about a traditional biker's knife.

My issue is that while this style might not replace all knives, it certainly is a tool that could complete 95% of your mundane tasks during the day.

For example, I probably won't field dress a deer today. But I am going to open UPS boxes, cut tape, etc.

But this is the nature of a good tool.

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