Now, this knife was a nice surprise.


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The Tourist
June 27, 2008, 07:35 PM
As I got back from the gym I saw that the UPS guy had brought me a package. One of my clients had ordered a Kabar product, and I was expecting a fixed blade--sort of the traditional Marine knife. This one was a folder, and thinking this was a mistake, I called the client. I was informed that the folder was, in fact, ordered.

It's called a "Mule." The handle is that dusty cammo color, a bit rubbery to the touch with long black tactile strips to enhance the grip. The blade is black.

Sounds rather mundane, doesn't it. Oh, did I mention the fact that thing is huge, like in "Strider huge." Even the dusty colored sheath is strong and over-built.

Some folks would be thrown by the word "Taiwan" on the ricasso. Don't be. Due to companies like CRKT who have raised the bar in quality for Taiwan, the steel comes from Japan.

The knife is now taped up, and when my dinner goes down, it gets a nice polish. There will be pictures to follow.

A very nice knife. Part of me hopes the client cancels...

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JShirley
June 27, 2008, 07:48 PM
This (http://www.manventureoutpost.com/outdoor/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1030)'un?

A few days ago while...hell, I don't even know what I was doing. Probably supposed to be studying- I came across some new Kabar folders. They're called the FIN series (https://www.kabar.com/product_detail.jsp?productNumber=5550&mode=category&categoryId=1,3,7,8,9&categoryName=New%20Products), and they look pretty interesting.

https://www.kabar.com/thumbnails/5550_thumb.jpg

John

The Tourist
June 27, 2008, 07:55 PM
Yup, but this one is a plain edge blade. I tell you, a darned nice knife. I'd send this along with a soldier anytime.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have polishing to do...

The Tourist
June 27, 2008, 09:10 PM
Not a bad knife. Typical soldier's knife with the tip-grind a touch fuller to keep from snapping.

I will say this, there are some knives--and I do not know why--where the edge buffs like a mirror. It slices paper like a laser.

However, when you touch the edge, and I mean just a little, you get the feeling that ten thousand little microscopic piranha are nibbling away at your fingerprints. This is that kind of edge, it's toasty sharp..

I shaped the edge with an EP 220 (white) stone. The tool marks were removed and initial polishing done with an EP 320. The final stone buff was done with an EP 800.

I used mid-grit polishing tapes on glaziers glass, one had Mothers Mag wheel paste, the other had Mothers Billet paste. The edge got so sharp that I lost two tapes by the blade slicing under the tape.

Yeah, it's real pretty. If this knife does go to a soldier or a police officer the edge might have to be sprayed black. Clearly the decorative finish of this kind of knife lasts about thirty seconds in sand. I hope the new owner gets to slice a few things and splits a sandwich just to see how sharp it truly is.

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb231/TheTourist_bucket/DSC00304.jpg

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb231/TheTourist_bucket/DSC00306.jpg

SCGirl
June 27, 2008, 09:19 PM
Looks good, lucky client, bet they ain't canceling....

DeTerminator
June 27, 2008, 09:32 PM
Nice job, Tourist!

Later,

Kerry

The Tourist
June 27, 2008, 09:57 PM
Removed the tape and wiped down the decorative black finish. The Mule is safely back in the box where it won't tempt me.

My guess is the client isn't going to cancel either...

Eleven Mike
June 28, 2008, 12:25 AM
KaBar also sells these:
https://www.kabar.com/images/4062_large.jpg
Dozier Folding Hunter

hso
June 28, 2008, 05:21 AM
Some folks would be thrown by the word "Taiwan" on the ricasso.

Only if they're woefully behind the times. The whole knife manufacturing industry progressively slid westward until they slid right off the east coast and Japanese factories started making quality knifes for American companies. After a while it slid further west to Taiwan. Now it looks like the slide to the west has reached mainland China. Current economic changes will probably flip the whole thing back the North Carolina as the $ value drops against the Asian currencies.

CZ.22
June 28, 2008, 11:18 AM
I agree with HSO on the Taiwan issue.
A lot of folks over on Bladeforums are fond of saying stuff like, "I won't buy a knife made in Pakistan, China, Taiwan, or any other communist dictatorship."
I have a KaBar Heavy Bowie made in Taiwan. It's an excellent knife for the $35 I payed for it.
I like the looks of the Mule, but I can get a Gerber Gator (which is US made) for cheaper.

Eleven Mike
June 28, 2008, 11:22 AM
Taiwan is a commie dictatorship?

:)

The Tourist
June 28, 2008, 11:33 AM
Things are so muddled I don't think you can tie parenthood to anything.

We are talking about a company owned by Americans, built of Japanese steel in Taiwan.

So who's the owner?

That's easy. The real answer, and I usd to be in finance guys, is probably an English bank that buys and sells "paper" with Chinese investments.

Your home mortgage might be one of those 'assets' that was sold.

When it comes to the knife I sharpened last night, have no fear. It's a strong, well made product that sharpened better than it probably should. We always talk about the best knife for under 100 bucks. For this knife, I'm a believer. You'd be lucky to own one.

CZ.22
June 28, 2008, 01:41 PM
Taiwan is a commie dictatorship?
According to the folks on Bladeforums.

Boats
June 28, 2008, 02:58 PM
Taiwan is a commie dictatorship?

According to the folks on Bladeforums.

Capital B. Capital S.

BF.c forumites know that Taiwan is a democracy. The issue there, like in many forums devoted to manufactured goods, has to do with shipping dollars to COMMUNIST CHINA, a regime we have regularly locked horns with in disputes both hot (Korea) and cold (Tienamen Square).

Almost every manufacturing concern involved with anything remotely militarily useful has ties on the Chinese side to the People's Liberation Army. If you are comfortable supporting that, hey, that's your problem.

However, don't sell the BF.c members short on geopolitics. If anyone has issues with Taiwan or Pakistan, it's over some indisputable garbage that has been thrown onto the market sourced from those countries. Even a company gets what it pays for and Ka-Bar's offshoring in Taiwan has been well above average considering the camp knives, the Mule and the TDI they have had made for them there.

And for the most part, CRKT's lackluster quality control and evermore down market cheapening of the blade steels it uses are not a compelling defense of Taiwanese knife making ability.

However, the Ka-Bar Mule is.

The Tourist
June 28, 2008, 03:10 PM
CRKT's lackluster quality control

I wish the picture of the CRKT Razel and the Graham Razel was a tad better.

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb231/TheTourist_bucket/DSC00282.jpg

The quality of the grind lines and the overall finish look like they were done by the same man. The CRKT knife sharpened to a perfect bevel and is toasty sharp.

The disappointment is actually the square profile to the grip panels.

Boats
June 28, 2008, 04:13 PM
The exception to the rule doesn't invalidate the rule.

CRKT folders are all over the map on quality. That's normally not a huge issue if the quality differences gained are consistent with escalating price.

CRKTs problems in folders is that the quality differences are too often sample to sample in the same product lines. I have an M-21 I really like. I also have two M-16s. One is a keeper, one was sent back for another that proved to be it's cruddy cousin and isn't resellable to anyone who knows anything about decent knives because it is as loose as goose in the blade play department. The LAWKS works, but that knife doesn't inspire enough confidence to even throw it in a toolbox.

The Razel looks interesting, one of the reasons I never completely write off CRKT. Maybe they should raid a Ka-Bar QC guy to get their Taiwanese folders more consistently made.

CZ.22
June 28, 2008, 07:34 PM
Boats, allow me to quote from BF:

most any knife that has the words made in CHINA/ PAKISTAN or any other 3rd world countries.


Made in Taiwan, China or Pakistan - automatic disqualification

Look around, and you will find many more quotes like this.

Boats
June 28, 2008, 10:27 PM
Yeah, lots of folks at BF.c don't buy absolute garbage. It cannot really be helped that the majority of edged crap on the market comes from, you guessed it, Pakistan, China, and Taiwan.

That is not to say that quality pieces cannot come from those places, it's just that they are few and far between. However, you have changed the subject in a way. First comes the blanket accusation that thousands of posters don't know who the commies are, and then you conflate your premise with the postings of people who merely don't buy trash.

Speaking only for myself, Pakistan is an automatic no deal because of mystery steels. Would you buy a Pakistani rifle if you could? I wouldn't as I value my hands, eyesight and hearing. Won't even buy their surplus ammo.

China gets none of my business because of the pervasive PLA ties. Some folks would buy Norinco if they could. Some people are traitors in waiting too.

Taiwanese products get the "stern eye" because of spotty quality.

Taiwan is an ally, and the AUS4-6-8-10 scale is pretty predictable on the steel front as to what one gets. I'd buy Taiwanese surplus 5.56 and have bought Taiwanese contract mags for Beretta Model 92 series pistols.

I guess the only thing I am saying is keep your lame stereotyping to yourself.

The Tourist
June 28, 2008, 10:53 PM
Taiwanese products get the "stern eye" because of spotty quality.

Fair enough. But I do know Josh Graham (as a business associate and provider of two of my hand made customs).

According to him, the CRKT Razels are, "Too good."

In fact, if I knocked the grips off both knives and covered the logo, you could not tell a Graham knife from a CRKT Razel.

And I sharpened one. The grind lines are crisp, the bevel was perfect. The edge is as sharp or sharper than any knife I own. And I would sell the knife to my snootiest clients for wilderness camping.

This knife isn't just an improvement for Taiwan as a product, it's better than most knives made.

I don't play with the edge, and I know where to touch.

Boats
June 29, 2008, 12:15 AM
I'm not doubting you. Though my CRKT M-21 4" is a keeper and I actually like it, I don't give out blanket CRKT recommendations because of my experiences with other CRKT products that were indifferently made.

I am glad for you that the Razel has gotten the attention to detail that it looks like it deserves. My only complaint is why can't CRKT meet the same high sample to sample standard on anything in their range that features moving parts?

It once looked as if CRKT was poised to dominate the sub-$50.00 EDC market. Then, they didn't follow through with consistent quality and shipped a lot of their line featuring the not very worthy AUS-4 steel. When trying to differentiate from Pakistani and Chinese gas station worthy garbage by being more enthusiast oriented, AUS-4 in a knife is like waving a white flag.

They seem to be snapping out of those days of extreme bean counting, but they still damaged the rep they were building.

CZ.22
June 29, 2008, 01:29 AM
I guess the only thing I am saying is keep your lame stereotyping to yourself.

Why are you so huffy about Bladeforums? How about this- a lot of people on another forum are snobs who won't buy Tiawanese stuff and are fond of saying it is communist, or part of China. Search around.

Like I said, I agree with HSO's post:


Only if they're woefully behind the times. The whole knife manufacturing industry progressively slid westward until they slid right off the east coast and Japanese factories started making quality knifes for American companies. After a while it slid further west to Taiwan. Now it looks like the slide to the west has reached mainland China. Current economic changes will probably flip the whole thing back the North Carolina as the $ value drops against the Asian currencies.

Now, I'm willing to accept that QC might be a reason for some people not buying imported knives, but there are bad knives made everywhere, and Taiwan and China are building better knives everyday. A lot of people on other forums say they will never buy a knife made in Taiwan. I was not insulting the people on Bladeforums, merely restating what they said.

hso
June 29, 2008, 09:17 AM
CZ.22,

When you said A lot of folks over on Bladeforums are fond of saying stuff like, "I won't buy a knife made in Pakistan, China, Taiwan, or any other communist dictatorship." you can be considered to have fallen prey to a logical fallacy referred to as "appeal to authority". I think Boats, and I as well, take issue with this statement because we're both old hands at BF and neither of us remember hardly anyone (much less "A lot of folks") making the gross mistake of lumping Taiwan, a staunch enemy of the PRC for decades, and Pakistan, an Islamic state, in with "communist dictatorships". The folks at BF (who are a rough and tumble lot who aren't restrained by any civility rules) and someone would have gleefully and viciously cut them to ribbons for such an obvious error. Lumping Taiwan, Pakistan and China all into the "cheap junk" category, sure. We see it here and we see it there. It will change just like "cheap Japanese junk" changed (although I'd be surprised if Pakistan will produce anything but cheap junk).

BTW, look for India to start making knives for the world market.

Jason_G
June 29, 2008, 01:08 PM
BTW, look for India to start making knives for the world market.
Yep. Along with a whole gamut of other products as well.

Jason

The Tourist
June 29, 2008, 01:28 PM
because we're both old hands at BF

In the long run, that's a good thing here. You have history.

As you know, I've had personal problems with BF. Now I could care less if any of their members ever buy a knife that ever works at all.

And that's the problem. You also know that I have 30 years in finance. But if I was sitting on my bike with a dozen friends, and I gave AR (account revievable procedures, not the Colt) advice to a struggling small business owner, his wife might whisper to him, "Are you going to trust our business matters to that thug?"

You're known by your company. If knife instructions, opinions, urban legends, advice, or pricing comes from a source, and that information is prefaced by "as learned on BF," I discount the info until I can document it from a reliable source.

Don't blame me or any other individual. They did it to themselves. Perhaps eight years ago they were the place. As a knife professional who really does own a business, I believe the place is now simply a frat house.

JShirley
June 29, 2008, 02:46 PM
Well, we certainly don't want to start any forum war. We cater to a different audience here than BF, so different rules work.

I was a member at BF first, I think, back in 1998. I "met" Rich Lucibella there, and disagreed with him on an issue. When he started up The Firing Line, he dropped me an email asking if I'd like to check it out.

I mostly hang out in the HI forum now, when I find the time. I miss Bill Martino and Rusty quite a bit. They (the two long time forum mods) died 13 hours apart.

Anyway, there is a HELL of a lot of difference between the PRC and the ROC. I was actually considering teaching in a high school in Taiwan this fall, but I wasn't able to get my MAT done in time. I may still go at some point in the future.

One of the things I'd most like to do is forecast developing threats in the E and SE Asian sphere. The really scary thing is PRC assumption of ROC assets. The ROC has the technological and high-order industrial capability that the PRC currently lacks. We in the U.S. should do everything we reasonably can to assist the ROC.

Come on, Pres. I've got a lot of respect for your reasoning and communication skills. Everybody makes a mistake sometimes. Learn from it, and let's move on.

John

The Tourist
June 29, 2008, 02:54 PM
JShirley, I don't want to start anything. It was a decision I made based on ideals I find of value.

Yes, forums cater to different people. I am jazzed and enthused when I sign onto Keeping Sharp at KF. This week I actually likened polishing pumice to high priced toothpaste.

Our discussions would put most of THR to sleep.

My belief--and I mean over several decades--is that a man's actions must come from a moral center, no matter what that action is.

My service to a client must come from the same ideals Valkman uses in his job, or as a sensei uses to teach a skill to a troubled child.

Plainly, if you act like a spoiled idiot, why should I listen to anything you have to say?

JShirley
June 29, 2008, 03:06 PM
I don't disagree. We just usually work to avoid disparaging remarks about other complimentary enthusiast forms.

I'd really be happy if you called me John. :)

CZ.22
June 29, 2008, 09:54 PM
I'm a member at Bladeforums, I post there regurarly. I have some problems with some of the moderating there, but's it Vbullitin (that's why I don't do KF or EDCF that much) format and does have a lot of volume.

I'm not trying to start a forum war, or anything like that.

Appeal to authority- that's just pretending you are an expert on something. I'd say my comments (and Boats) were some ad hominem tu quoque, mine was a little bit of appeal to spite, some biased sample, circumstantial ad hominem, and a whole lot of hasty generalization.

JShirley
June 29, 2008, 10:10 PM
Pres,

I don't go to KF just because it's not VB, as well.

J

Eleven Mike
June 29, 2008, 11:56 PM
Appeal to authority- that's just pretending you are an expert on something.

Only if the authority to which you appeal is you. It usually means you're quoting or referencing someone else.

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/appealtoauthority.html
Appeal to Authority
Explanation

An appeal to authority is an argument from the fact that a person judged to be an authority affirms a proposition to the claim that the proposition is true.

Appeals to authority are always deductively fallacious; even a legitimate authority speaking on his area of expertise may affirm a falsehood, so no testimony of any authority is guaranteed to be true.

Wait, what is this thread about? :)

CZ.22
June 30, 2008, 12:17 AM
I was using a different website- I took it to mean that "X has experience with something, thereby what X says is true."
Oh, wait...KaBar...

On lockbacks, like I said, I can get a Gerber Gator for $35-40. It's a good knife, made in the US, with a handle material I really likle. My dad's had one for years, used it hard, still going strong. I don't if it's avaliable in PE, which is what I prefer.
Of course, my Al Mar Eagle Talon is a 9" open lockback- but it also cost $140, so it's hardly in the same class.
Be the be all, end all in lockbacks is the Buck 110, I'd say. It looks classy (something neither the KaBar nor the Gator can say), is made in the US, has decent steel (420HC) that's got a superb heat treat by Paul Bos, comes with a good sheath, and costs only $25 at WalMart. If you go to Gander Mt, for $30, you can get one with a leather rather than nylon sheath, for $5, I'd take that.
I think the Endura and it's eastern brethren, the Cara Cara, are in this size range. I'm sure the Endura is an excellent knife, and my Meadowlark has been ver good, for the money, I just don't do thumb holes.

CZ.22
June 30, 2008, 01:21 AM
Good lord, I almost left out the CS Voyager. From what I've heard, these aare very good knives, and go all the way up to 6"

The Tourist
June 30, 2008, 03:54 AM
To be fair, I seem to stay with forums where there is a "round-table" feeling of guys who work in enhancing their skills.

These folks will meet in a forum, discuss the projects they are completing, and openly present their successes and flaws. In essence, it's other professionals helping you refine your craft, not kids flaming for sport.

Does it work? I believe it does. The supplier for some of the finest sharpening systems and supplies, (in addition to the guy who is his stiffest competition) informs me that there are five major working tinkers. Lots of sharpeners, very few tinkers.

And we all know each other. We've even helped each other when one got hurt.

The owner/supplier of one of the stone providers sent his entire package of products to the other supplier--at no cost. That's right, he provided all of his products for the other guy to test. That's like Ford sending over a new model to Chevy.

So if I seem a tad protective of my own circle of professionals, please excuse me. I have seen so many forums crash and burn, die of neglect or simply rip themselves apart. You might honestly not care for the work I do, or the style in which this work is completed.

Then just start a thread, "Tourist, I disagree." A forum of adults can disagree, and still not be disagreeable.

Oh, and these five tinkers--none of use the same tools, sharpen in the same way, or even derive research from the same historical period.

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