Simplicity.


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Carl Levitian
August 2, 2008, 09:43 AM
They say if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your front door.

Maybe I'm becoming one of those old guys people call a cumudgeon. Like that puppet Walter, always seeing the worst case senerio, and being kind of a grouch about life in general. But it also seems to me that there is this trend in knives, like alot of things, to make it more complicated than it has to be.

A knife is to cut. Pretty simple a task, and man has been making knives for thousands of years. Flint, bronze, iron, and steel. We've been using steel for a couple thousand years, and over that time, man has made plenty of weapons from it as well. In fact, man being a war like creature, has tried just about every blade shape you can think of in an effort to make his steel blade more deadly. The slim stilleto, Bowie knife, Roman Gladius, rapier, cutless, claymore, trench knife.

With 2000 years of steel blade designed for letting out the other guys blood, I don't ever recall seeing any of the designs I see now gracing the covers of th collective knife magazines. Swoopy recurve blades, weird tip shapes, serations, and stuff that looks more like a Holliweird Kingon fantacy thing than a usable knife.

Has the knife world gone over the top in a quest to artificially stimulate sales, even to the extent of marketing almost useless designed knives?

I'm thinking of older times where a man's life depended on a good blade and his skill in using it. World wide, exept for Japan, the blade developed into a pretty strait forward thing of simple design. Oh, they got dressed up according to the owners status, but the overall design was simple. A strait blade with a pointy tip. None of the "stuff" one sees in the pages of publications calling themselves knife magazines.

Rope cutting? Serrations?

I don't know of anyone who would need a good rope cutter more than the old seamen on the square rigged sailing ships rounding the horn. Yet when I look at the display of sailors clasp knives at the cutlery museum, not a single seration in sight. British or American knives. I would think with Sheffield being the capital of knife making of the 1800's, their sailors would have had the most up to date knives available.

With life being still somewhat primitive in the 1800's in some places, knives should have been more advanced. The old mountain men who went into the wlderness of the rocky moontains for months of winter on end, should have something more effective than a plain looking butcher knife that was the Russells Green River Knife. I recall the remark of one young guy who is a devoted disiple of the knife rags, and buys anything they say is the knife of the month. I invited him on a fishing trip with some of my friends thinking the education may do him some good. When I pulled out an Old Hickory butcher knife to clean fish with, he asked what I was going to do with that old s--t knife. I invited him to cut away with his tanto tipped, thick wedge ground tactical wonder knife. It wouldn't cut a fish belly. I handed him the Old Hickory and he couldn't understand why it sliced so deep, so easy. The old sodbuster only confused him more. He got an education that weekend.

Is it just me, or does anyone else thing knives have gotten a bit too far out in the design department. ?

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Al Thompson
August 2, 2008, 09:55 AM
Marketing. :) A knife is a wedge, so you have to put lipstick on that pig. More do-dads, more sales.


:neener:

JShirley
August 2, 2008, 10:08 AM
Eh. Carl, I don't know that I can agree with this: World wide, exept for Japan, the blade developed into a pretty strait forward thing of simple design

IMO, some of the wildest blade designs came from Africa (http://www.mambele.be/search_result.php?tribe=&name=&region=&met=s&jczn=symmetrical&page=5), the Middle East (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/18thC.-PERSIAN-%2F-IRAQ-%2F-KURDISTAN-JAMBIYA.-DAGGER_W0QQitemZ160260694611QQcmdZViewItem?IMSfp=TL0807130912a13829), and China (http://www.taiji-qigong.co.uk/Articles/Article_Photos/Deer%20Horn/1.jpg). Most of the Japanese blade shapes I've seen are quite straightforward.

Carl, it almost sounds like you're saying you've been around for 2000 years. Anyway, my point is that other cultures worldwide have had a collection of odd (to us) blade shapes.

John

The Tourist
August 2, 2008, 10:15 AM
No, Carl, It's you. And it's definitely me.

To give you some background, most people (usually younger and in their dating years) care what people think. They deeply care. For example, this can be a pretty macho place from time to time. Call somebody a poser and it's darn near warfare.

Then one morning you go to get out of bed and something hurts. Or it takes more than one cup of coffee to dull the twinges. You run into an idiot and his normal ration of BS and he simply isn't worth the trouble to smack.

Then at some point after this, you find you have a strong opinion about something. And frankly, you've kept it bottled up for some period of time. You run into this idiot, and your mouth gets away from you. But rather than feel sorry about the issue--as you might when in your twenties or thirties--it feels good to finally openly declare yor honest feelings.

And fear lessens to the point where it is non-existent. Last year my wife wanted to go eat at 1500 or 1600. I hadn't planned on going that early, and I was in shorts, puttering around the house. Rather than strap on all of that denim and leather, I went out into the world with a crappy Harley T-shirt, shorts and Teva sandals. I had never been out in public before in shorts except to get the mail.

I square my shoulders to idiots and posers, no apology. I write what I think here. A ban is a ban, but a lie is dead weight. My bike is a tribute to 1970s esthetics--in other words, it's built for me, "my bike." I sleep late because it's good for me. I say "no" more often than in the past. I wear disgusting clothes to the gym because impressing young girls is flat out boring--and I hate the cracking of chewing gum.

In blunt language, I've long since passed the point of being a curmudgeon, I'm a loud a-hole.

Who cares. Most opinions means nothing. The prattling of youngsters is 'white noise.' Most contemporary custom bikes wouldn't make it fifty miles down the road. I'll call on idiots for the posers they are and never look back.

However, consider this. If I'm your friend, it's an honest condition.

hso
August 2, 2008, 11:29 AM
Is it just me, or does anyone else thing knives have gotten a bit too far out in the design department. ?

Yes, there are some silly designs out there from a practical using perspective. There are some "exotic" ones that do work. How far out are you thinking?

World wide, exept for Japan, the blade developed into a pretty strait forward thing of simple design.

No, not actually. Like John said, there are plenty of "exotic" blade shapes from Africa, China, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East. It doesn't take much time at the forge and anvil to be amazed at what the steel wants to do under the hammer. Now, the goofy fantasy knife sculptures that catch the eye and imagination don't have much practical use, but that doesn't stop marketing goobers from adding them to "using" knives.

not a single seration in sight

Because they didn't have the technology to do them easily. You need a serrating wheel to make serrations practical. Old time sailor men used saws and axes on tarred ropes.

I would think with Sheffield being the capital of knife making of the 1800's, their sailors would have had the most up to date knives available.

Not entirely correct. Sheffield makers fought modern steel making and industrial methods. That's why they were bumped from preeminence by the Germans and Americans. The history of Sheffield blade makers is very interesting and kinda sad.

The Tourist
August 2, 2008, 11:34 AM
hso, I agree. That's why Emersons and Grahams are so popular. They are a high quality blade on one end and a practical handle on the other.

I have never, ever, ever, ever opened a UPS box and marveled at the trend setting design of a space-age, designer enhanced, trendy cutting tool.

In fact, I am usually drawn to all of the reasons why a knife is useless and hard to use.

I think Syderco made its bones because serrations cut when the rest of the knife is dull, and simply because the client doesn't know how to sharpen.

Mongrel
August 2, 2008, 11:39 AM
I think Syderco made its bones because serrations cut when the rest of the knife is dull, and simply because the client doesn't know how to sharpen

That ^ my friends is pure wisdom...

wheelgunslinger
August 2, 2008, 01:34 PM
I'll second that.

shecky
August 2, 2008, 02:11 PM
I think Syderco made its bones because serrations cut when the rest of the knife is dull, and simply because the client doesn't know how to sharpen.


You say that like it's a bad thing. A knife that continues to cut even when dull represents quite an advance.

Valkman
August 2, 2008, 03:11 PM
I've said the same thing Carl, and I think knife companies are loaded with CNC machines and they want to show off what they can do. They put all kinds of fancy cuts along the spine and lots of extras like a "helicoptor canopy cutter". Ugh.

P97
August 2, 2008, 03:46 PM
I think the most of it is buying and selling the product, that applies to most things. If it is the same old style, the buyer wants something new or different when he buys, so they can show their friend that they have something different. The Seller realizies this and handles new and different products. How many people would go into a store and buy a knife that had looked the same for x number of years, when there was this new design, different one that they could buy? :)

The Tourist
August 2, 2008, 03:57 PM
You say that like it's a bad thing. A knife that continues to cut even when dull represents quite an advance.

Essentially you are complimenting something for disrepair. That's like saying your car tires run another 1,000 miles when flat on the rim. My first question would be, "Air?"

If you're a sailor at sea, an EMS first responder or perhaps an over-the-road driver, I can see the need to loosen wet things in a big hurry. That's not what we're talking about here.

I have never been attacked by a UPS box. And even if a UPS box is wet, I still have a few minutes to sharpen my knife.

The serrated portion of the knife is made from the same alloy as the plain portion. If one is dull, then so is the other--unless you're the kind of guy who saves serrations for "something special."

In that case, you paid twice as much for the half of the knife you use.

sm
August 2, 2008, 04:04 PM
I have been past the curmudgeon level for y-e-a-r-s.

Goblin
August 2, 2008, 04:15 PM
I like them simple myself!!!
http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q109/epstanton/1235_large1.jpg

Been trying to find one of these locally for a while!!:)

The Tourist
August 2, 2008, 04:19 PM
Goblin, would that model be a KA-1235?

If so, contact me PM.

Fred Fuller
August 2, 2008, 04:38 PM
Someone was talking about stone blades in an earlier thread. That's about as simple as it gets- strike a blade (a large flake) off a core, use it till it's dull, and toss it.

Some years ago I was looking at oddities at a rock and gem show, and for the first time ran across Libyan Desert Glass. Seems that about 25- 30 million years ago, something from space slammed into the desert and created a lot of glass from the impact. Or maybe it was a prehistoric Alamogordo, what do I know.

Anyway, this glass is clear to yellow in color, and very much like obsidian in character (with occasional inclusions too) save for the color. One of the pieces for sale at the show was a Paleolithic blade, which had been struck from a core. It exhibited the typical ridged surface on one side and a slight concave on the other that I was accustomed to seeing on such artifacts (pics of similar items at http://www.topgeo.de/english/desert_glass_artefact_blade_palaeolithicum.html ). It was a weird enough combination of natural history and prehistory that I spent a few dollars on it and brought it home.

It's a sliver of glass about two inches long and half an inch wide. It looks very much like the one pictured at http://www.topgeo.de/english/artefact_libyan_desert_glass_5031.html , though larger. It probably was used to dress someone's kill, or cut a piece of meat off a kill scavenged from some other predator.

I have no idea how old it is from the standpoint of when it was made- it lay on the surface of the desert long enough, enough times over, to get the sandblasted smooth frosty look of beach glass.

Was it made a thousand years ago? Ten thousand years? Twenty thousand? A hundred thousand? I have no clue. And there really wouldn't be a lot of difference no matter who made it, or when. The same materials, using the same techniques, would yield a very similar tool today. And it would be equally effective, while it lasted.

And there's the rub. It wouldn't have lasted too long under tough use, cutting through tough dirty hide, or sinew. But that was not a big problem, the user would just take out the contemporary equivalent of a Swiss army knife- a core and hammerstone- strike another blade off the core, and get on with fixing dinner.

Up until Europeans arrived in the Americas, that's pretty much how it was done here, by everyone who was here until then. America went pretty much from Stone Age to Iron Age in one fell swoop. Yes, there was some native copper, but not much, and copper was very highly prized in every culture I am aware of. It didn't get utilitarian use to speak of.

And if you think about it, a person really doesn't need much more blade than my old chunk of Libyan desert glass. About two inches of good sharp steel will do an awful lot of cutting. My Spyderco Dragonfly is a good example of that. So's the Pocket Razel that Chico is so fond of.

Nice thing about good steel is, it can be resharpened, so it's worth putting a good handle on. That makes it more comfortable to use and gives better leverage when cutting as well.

Simplicity. Our ancestors understood it for all of human history. Too bad it just plum escapes so many modern homo sapiens...

lpl

Dave McCracken
August 2, 2008, 05:52 PM
S'funny, the Scallion in my pocket is the functional equivalent of my Grandad's old two blade Western. He died in 53. Both work for cleaning nails, cutting toothpicks and defending me and mine from UPS boxes.

Pop's old Case is quite efficient at some of the fine work involved when dressing out deer. The model is still for sale last time I looked but it's a cutting edge far from the cutting edge. It does hone up nice.

The most usable gralloching/field dressing knife in a house full of good ones is a Helle Tor, a design refined before Red Eric saw Greenland.

Pete Inoyu, Japanese American bowhunter, uses some bronze tanged arrowheads he found at a flea market made up in bamboo shafts and propelled by a laminated bamboo longbow to take some nice whitetails.

Some old stuff still freakin' works......

sm
August 2, 2008, 06:05 PM
Some old stuff still freakin' works......

Don't mind me...
I am the 53 year old with a youth single shot shotgun, in 20 ga, custom knife made from a old bastard file in a old classic design, messing with a 60's era Emerson AM Transistor radio, drinking "Sun" tea out of a mason jar, having fresh butter beans and cornbread, and fresh peaches for dessert.

*burp*

Excuse me

Oh, does anyone recall what AM station and at what time Amos & Andy and The Texaco hour comes on?

<sticks one ear plug in ear, turns station finder wheel...>

shecky
August 2, 2008, 08:17 PM
Essentially you are complimenting something for disrepair. That's like saying your car tires run another 1,000 miles when flat on the rim. My first question would be, "Air?"

If it can go for another 1,000 miles, I'd argue it isn't disrepair at all.

Look, if a particular shape of a blade, in this case, serrations, can make it cut for longer time without sharpening, then it's an improvement.

This, I think, highlights the difference between knife users, which pretty much includes everyone, and knife nuts, a subset that will actually contribute to internet forums on the topic of knives.

Mongrel
August 2, 2008, 09:38 PM
Here's my take on serrations and what I believe The Tourist meant by what he said...

The idea of serrations is at least as old as a typical serrated steak knife. So Sal or someone else at Spyderco said "hey" what if we incorporate them into a working knife? And so the 'spydie edge' was born. Now, that's not a bad thing and it does offer superior cutting on rope (notice I didn't say twine or string...) and other things that benefit from a sawing type of cut. Not only that, you have the added advantage of a larger (longer?) cutting surface which due to it's design will remain useable longer than a traditional non-serrated edge. The disadvantage is that there's an art to sharpening it that requires a totally different set of tools (stones or rods...) and skills than those required to maintain a standard edge. I will also point out that serrations make it impossible to work up close to the hilt\joint where many traditional cutting chores are best handled. That's a subject for another day though.

OK-so now we have a really cool edge that tears things up real good and will cut 'longer' (or so some think) than a standard blade.

Where The Tourist's comment comes in is right here:

You have at least two generations of youngsters who flat out cannot sharpen a standard edge knife properly. Worse, most of them could care less whether they can or not because they've bought into our throw-away society mentality. Along comes the 'Sypdie-Edge' and wow! This thing cuts forever dude! Well, right up to the point that it doesn't that is... So what happens? Well it's simple-you just go and buy another knife with that serrated edge and the problem is solved!

I guess I should add here, that it isn't just 'younger' people who have fallen into this trap.

Now, the serrated edge has a definate purpose and use in the grand scheme of things that need to be cut. First responders, police, military, sailors, and others who deal in webbing, rope, and other similar materials are very much aided by this type of edge. However, the wood worker, skinner, tinkerer, and similar folk are at a disadvantage with such an edge because it just isn't efficient at cutting those types of materials.

Well how about the best of both worlds in one package-yes and no I guess. I have some combo edged knives, but I prefer either a full straight edge or a full serrated edge. Spyderco came close with the Dyad, but I found that it wasn't worth the bulk and awkwardness of carry. What they need to do is offer a primary blade with a 'hole' in either plain or serrated and leave the secondary blade with just a nail-nick to keep the profile more reasonable.

Well, I've obviously drifted a bit but that's my take on it

Carl Levitian
August 2, 2008, 09:44 PM
Oh sure, some places came up with some outlandish designs, like the Ethiopian shotal, I think its called. but by and large, pick any period of history and look at the blades used by the majority. Usually it will be the ruling majority. The knives and weapons will be pretty strait forward and simple. It seems as though actual use and experiance resulted in simple designs, both military and civilian. The shotal and such was the minority of working blades. Two whole days in the British Museum looking at blades from the bronze age on, there was a repeating of basic form. In fact, I saw one bronze age sword that was a perfect stand in for a Roman gladius. And a mongol sword from the 1000 to 1200 A.D. period was very similar to a early 1800's English Hussars cavelry saber.

In working knives, the 1700's navaja blade is very similar to the 1800's bowie knife blade of America. A French shepards knife of the mid 1800's seems almost identical to a 1950's Mercator K55 knife, exept the shepards knife did not have a blade lock.

I just feel like a heck of alot of modern knives designs, are plain ungly greed driven hype.

I don't know if a modern suburban concrete comando needs more of a knife than an 1870's cowboy who lived in the outdoors, and got by with a three bladed cattle knife that evolved into the modern stockman. Or the modern survival guys with the rambo knives needing more of a knife than a fur traper of the 1830's.

I just look at the whole modern knife thing and shake my head. I admit I don't understand it.

But then I got by hunting for 40 years with a H&R 20 gauge break open shotgun or a lever action Marlin .22.

Maybe old dogs can't learn new tricks.:D

Mongrel
August 2, 2008, 09:47 PM
Carl...

SHHHHH!

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..."

:fire:

DON'T


:evil:

LET

:D

THE

:p

CAT

:eek:

OUT

:uhoh:

OF

:cuss:

THE

:scrutiny:

BAG!

:neener:

MikeJackmin
August 2, 2008, 10:25 PM
A lot of new stuff is garbage. Some of it is quite good. These observations are by no means in conflict with one another.

How many of us carry a leatherman or similar multitool? How much do you suppose that little marvel would have sold for in 1940? I use it so often I'm afraid to leave the house without it.

I remember when a Buck 110 folding hunter was a state-of-the-art folding knife. Carried one for years, and loved it. I still have one, but I don't carry it now; I prefer a knife with a belt clip and a thumb stud. That old Buck got put away the day I first strapped the leatherman on, and decided I didn't like having two pouches side by side.

The belt clip fits neatly into the edge of that leatherman sheath, placing the knife securely behind the pouch. The thumb stud allows me to grab something, decide it needs cutting, and then cut it, without letting go. Oddly enough, this seems to happen quite often.

Just yesterday I measured a piece of 2x4 against an opening, placed my thumb right where I wanted a mark, and then realized I left my pencil out of reach. My little one-hand belt knife saved the moment yet again.

I could have done it with a sodbuster, too. I could have done it with a rock, or my thumbnail, or I could have even gone inside and got the damn pencil from where ever it was that I left it. But I would have felt the loss, now that I am accustomed to having a small knife grow instantly big without effort or thought.

I like the thumbstud, and I'd hate to live without my multitool. If that's wrong, I don't wanna be right...

The Tourist
August 3, 2008, 12:00 AM
Mike, you're talking about the positive aspects of innovation. I also owned a Buck 110 when that knife was considered a marvel. But in that era stainless steel had a reputation of not being as sharp as carbon steel. I secretly think carbon steel cutlers saw the handwriting on the wall.

But look at the things we have today. I remember seeing a "theater room" in an episide of "This Old House" that Norm and the guys were doing for some rich guy. The TV in my house now is bigger than the screen they used.

I have an electric start Harley. Heresy in the 1960's.

My Dad was an engineer for 40 years. They used pencils and made blueprints. They had 30 guys working in the Master Lock engineering section. Now we would use two or three guys and a CAD program.

In many ways, I'm finding things too complicated and/or easy. I went for a ride tonight just to get onto the highway in the dark. It was one of the first times I used my new "high intensity" lamp, and I must admit I was a bit worried. Of course, it turning into "daylight" when I hit the high beam! You'd have to remember little bulbs, and the very good advice to carry a spare in your leathers.

But as you know, I carry a Razel. And today at Capital I also checked out the belt sheaths of the guys streaming to Sturgis.

More Buck 110's than anything else.

sm
August 3, 2008, 12:53 AM
Bikes, simple and all that...

Old boy I know with a Harley, was on this Gold Wing, with the trailer one day.
I was cracking up.
Just picture Yosemite Sam on a Gold Wing, and you are close.

He just got a wild idea to drive one, and was allowed to drive one a nice couple has.

The windshield had bugs, the headlight had bugs and he has his Buck 110 and .44spl.
We decided shooting the glass was not the best way to remove the bugs...

I have my Carton Cutter, just the simple "push to open-push to close" type that uses a single edge razor blade.

He looks at me, and grins..."bro' how come I forgot about those?" he asked.

This carton also converts to a scraper. Simply pull the insides out, remove blade and insert into butt of handle designed to hold the single edge razor.

I have always kept one in the vehicles I drive. These are great for scraping bugs off head lights, and windshields amongst other things.

Bugs get scraped, then the windshield brush at the gas station can better clean the windshield.

This is safety tip, especially if one travels.
Single edge razor blades, when used for cutting, can be flipped to the other other corner if they get dull, or broken...
Even a blade with a broken end will scrap...

$2 at the hardware store, buy some, toss one in your bike saddlebag, the vehicles...

*smile*

TimboKhan
August 3, 2008, 01:37 AM
I have carried a knife daily for many years now, but it has been only fairly recently that I have actually become interested in them. In this, the internet has been a boon.

I have never been a fan of wild, pointless design, but I do admit that I enjoy stuff that's different. A good example is that hatchet that new member Harlan Whitman posted a day or two ago. Probably not particularly superior as compared to any other hatchet, but I like it. As I said in that thread, it's different without being goofy. Put another way, it's different while still being useful.

At the same time, classic designs are great too. I find that I have an open mind towards it all, and I either like it or I don't. For whatever reason, there is very little gray area with me when it comes to knives.

shecky
August 3, 2008, 02:37 AM
The idea of serrations is at least as old as a typical serrated steak knife. So Sal or someone else at Spyderco said "hey" what if we incorporate them into a working knife? And so the 'spydie edge' was born. Now, that's not a bad thing and it does offer superior cutting on rope (notice I didn't say twine or string...) and other things that benefit from a sawing type of cut. Not only that, you have the added advantage of a larger (longer?) cutting surface which due to it's design will remain useable longer than a traditional non-serrated edge. The disadvantage is that there's an art to sharpening it that requires a totally different set of tools (stones or rods...) and skills than those required to maintain a standard edge. I will also point out that serrations make it impossible to work up close to the hilt\joint where many traditional cutting chores are best handled. That's a subject for another day though.

Two things:
The "art" to sharpening serrations isn't all that difficult or different, really, from plain edges. If you know how, and more importantly the why, to sharpen a straight edge the way you do, a serrated edge isn't all that much more difficult. And the tools needed aren't necessarily different. For the most part these days, I use some triangular Spyderco Sharpmaker stones. Not an actual Spyderco Sharpmaker, mind you. Just the stones, freehand. They're compact, don't wear out, and do an effective job on plain or serrated edges. When I'm lazy, I just use a small diamond rod.

Cutting near the hilt with serrations isn't terribly impaired, IMO. YMMV.

Where The Tourist's comment comes in is right here:

You have at least two generations of youngsters who flat out cannot sharpen a standard edge knife properly. Worse, most of them could care less whether they can or not because they've bought into our throw-away society mentality. Along comes the 'Sypdie-Edge' and wow! This thing cuts forever dude! Well, right up to the point that it doesn't that is... So what happens? Well it's simple-you just go and buy another knife with that serrated edge and the problem is solved!

If buying another knife is indeed a viable solution, then the problem is solved. Who cares if it's some kind of "throw away society mentality"? I probably generate more trash than any of my ancestors. Possibly all of them combined. I'm also more prosperous than any of them, in real terms. Even the ones who prospered in their times. The kind of relative wealth I have (and we all have in the modern world) is the cause, and result of the throw away society. People throw away things because they can afford to. This is a signal of great advance in human prosperity.

I guess I should add here, that it isn't just 'younger' people who have fallen into this trap.

True. But it cuts across lots of areas. I never learned how to use a slide rule. And I've forgotten how to do most calculations because I have a calculator. Is this really some kind of step backward? Not in my view.

Now, the serrated edge has a definate purpose and use in the grand scheme of things that need to be cut. First responders, police, military, sailors, and others who deal in webbing, rope, and other similar materials are very much aided by this type of edge. However, the wood worker, skinner, tinkerer, and similar folk are at a disadvantage with such an edge because it just isn't efficient at cutting those types of materials.

The really neat thing about the market is that the wood worker, skinner, tinkerer, and similar folk don't have to use a serrated blade if they don't feel like it. There has to be more kinds of knives on the shelves than ever before. The existence of serrated blades doesn't mean that they must be used by folks who don't like them.

Mongrel
August 3, 2008, 02:51 PM
I have no desire to make this a protracted "discussion" as "it is what it is", but I'll sum up with comments below...

Two things:
The "art" to sharpening serrations isn't all that difficult or different, really, from plain edges. If you know how, and more importantly the why, to sharpen a straight edge the way you do, a serrated edge isn't all that much more difficult.

The context of the discussion that I commented on is that many people lack the basic skills to sharpen a knife which is why a serrated edge is attractive to them. I have no problem sharpening either type of edge. However, MOST people I know that even bother to carry a knife nowadays cannot sharpen either type of edge which is why I find myself being asked "hey can you sharpen this for me?" all the time.

And the tools needed aren't necessarily different. For the most part these days, I use some triangular Spyderco Sharpmaker stones. Not an actual Spyderco Sharpmaker, mind you.

Well, in my experience there are at least three major profiles of serrations that I've come across and they are all different (compare Benchmade, Spyderco, and Gerber for starters). None of them could be properly re-sharpened or re-profiled using only one size and angled stone. The best tool I have found for this is a DMT Serrated Edge Sharpener which is a pointed conical design that fits most (but not all) of the serrations I've come across. Also, serrations must be done free hand (as far as I know-I've never seen an angle guide available publically for them) which adds to the "art" of sharpening them properly because it takes away the 'crutch' if you will of using an angle guide. So not only is the technique different, but the tools are specialized if you really want it done right without changing the original serration to fit the profile of the stone you are using. I prefer to fit the tool to the edge and not make the edge fit the tool.

Cutting near the hilt with serrations isn't terribly impaired, IMO. YMMV.


Well, maybe we just cut different things then. I know for sure that making something as simple as a pointed stick for my granddaughter to roast marshmallows with is much more 'refined' using a plain edge than a serrated edge which (as it is designed by the way) 'grabs' and tears vs. slices.

Now, as to whether or not we can justify a "throw away society" I'll leave that to the social engineers to meditate on. I just don't understand a mentality that takes something valuable (things do still have value don't they?) and tosses it away because someone is too ignorant, arrogant, or lazy to take care of it. And what does any of that have to do with how wealthy someone is? You may not agree with that, and that's fine, but I still don't have to like it or tolerate it in those I'm responsible to teach and mentor. Hold on to your hat for this one-I don't think a person should carry a blade, firearm, or even a shovel, if they don't have enough sense to find out how to maintain it properly first.

And here we find the second crux of the matter. It is not progress and innovation that is the problem. The problem is the loss of the most basic skills of human self relience. Believe it or not there are people in the world who not only cannot sharpen a knife, but cannot even tell the difference between an adjustable wrench and a pair of 'channel locks'. Now, no one is going to fret the transition from slide rule to calculator because they in esscence are the same tool. But so far as I know, no one has made a tool to replace a pair of channel locks. And without the knowledge of what the heck they even are, how can one begin to address the problems that a simple pair of channel locks solve (like "gee, how do I turn this?). This has led us to a point in our history where we are teaching our children to solve problems with a telephone and a credit card and not their brains. "Daddy, this knife won't cut!!!!! boo-hoo" "Darling, here go buy another one!" "Thank you daddy!"

No one needs to justify their choice in blade to anyone-period. I could care less what anybody buys or carries. But that doesn't change the fact that a whole lotta people are buying based on convenience and marketing without honest regard to intended use or need.

Oh well, back to the dog house....

Take care, and may all your blades be sharp!

:D

Harlan
August 3, 2008, 04:11 PM
http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t86/Studio696/pre1858southsudanesethrowingknife.jpg
I just have to throw this out there because I actaully have had my designs called overdone and wild, but the truth is that I hunt and research through history looking for inspiration. Such as this pre 1850's Sudanese knife There is no all in one knife - thank the lord - how boring would that be. Wild n Crazy or good ole hickory you can find a place for it.

My two cents

shecky
August 3, 2008, 05:21 PM
MOST people I know that even bother to carry a knife nowadays cannot sharpen either type of edge which is why I find myself being asked "hey can you sharpen this for me?" all the time.

So what? If you are annoyed, refuse. If you you enjoy the task, then do it.

Well, in my experience there are at least three major profiles of serrations that I've come across and they are all different (compare Benchmade, Spyderco, and Gerber for starters). None of them could be properly re-sharpened or re-profiled using only one size and angled stone.

I'll disagree with you on this. I can easily sharpen a wide variety of serrations using the triangular stones, including the three you mention. There are a few companies that use more specialized style serration patters, but I own none of them.


No one needs to justify their choice in blade to anyone-period. I could care less what anybody buys or carries. But that doesn't change the fact that a whole lotta people are buying based on convenience and marketing without honest regard to intended use or need.

For someone who doesn't care what other people use or buy, you spend a lot of effort explaining that you really do care.

My guess is that most folks in the world can survive quite well using fairly dull knives, and not really knowing the difference between channel locks and adjustable wrenches. The reason is as old as human civilization itself. Humans for the most part are not self reliant creatures, but rather, beings who depend on the abilities of others to survive and thrive. In the human world, self reliance translates into being able to trade your skills for the goods and services of others.

You may find it honorable to buy one xacto blade and sharpen it in order to maximize it's value. The rest of the world is perfectly content to just buy them by the gross and toss them as soon as they don't cut. Because we're wealthy enough and our time is too valuable. As the saying goes, one man's trash is another's treasure. Just don't wag your finger at me because you feel my garbage is worth more than I've deemed.

garlicguy
August 3, 2008, 05:49 PM
You know, Carl - you bring up some very good points.

Being on the cusp of 60 (with the last 14 years borrowed after the first heart attack), I see things a bit differently than I did in the first 40 or so years. Not limited to knives 'n' guns.

Never owned a cell-phone, never will. Have a love-hate relationship with the 'Net, this keyboard and all computers. (the part you're seein' must be the love part, 'cause I like these forums and I'm smiling as I type this). In short, I don't hate technology, but I do hate the way people allow it to run their lives to the extent of being less human.

As for knives and guns...

I've had a lot of them over the years. Recently, I sold off all my automatics and replaced the auto matic handguns with wheel guns and the autoloading rifles with lever guns. Right now the gun safe has only lever action rifles, a pump shotgun (Old 870 WM), and a couple of SA revolvers - all in old, reliable calibers.

A knife should be comfortable to carry, whether folding or fixed blade, fit the hand well, and stay sharp enough to field dress the game you're after, or help you along your trail, wherever you might be.

Frankly, what they look like isn't of much importance. But looking at all the advertising that companies put out to get folks to fall in love with how things look, I guess maybe some of us here are just real, live dinosaurs, eh?

Keep on keepin' on.

;)
gg

Mongrel
August 3, 2008, 06:02 PM
Just don't wag your finger at me because you feel my garbage is worth more than I've deemed.

Shecky, I've been wagging my fingers a long time...

Don't take it personally...

eatatjoes
August 4, 2008, 05:25 PM
Has the knife world gone over the top in a quest to artificially stimulate sales, even to the extent of marketing almost useless designed knives?

I don't believe so. To end upon the ultimate design one does not merely conjure it from thin air. It takes different design attempts, different materials and so forth along a path whose eventual end is perfection. Each company has different standards of this perfection so each takes a different path, which means we end up with thousands of different styles. This is nothing new.

There is an image floating around the net of blade patterns offered by a company in the early 1900s. It has no less than 115 different blade shapes and styles that it offers for sale in small slip-joint folders.

The only reason it seems like there would be "too much" variety today is that there are more people around to buy knives, more taste preferences and so we have a greater total number of knives produced than at any time in history prior. This is not a bad thing.

There is nothing wrong with preferring the older styles and designs (labeled "classic" as a selling method), the point is that one should not denigrate the new and different merely because they are new and different.

It's a reactionary thought process.

The Tourist
August 4, 2008, 05:56 PM
The only part of this business I would denigrate is the sales driven idea that there are knives (or cars or TVs or socks) that we "must have."

Why is it that Japanese food preparation knives haven't changed? Why is it that you can still buy a Green River knife that hasn't changed? Why is it that Buck's most popular knife was invented around 1963?

Heck, my motorcycle is the direct descendant of the 1936 model. Except for a clinically insane driver on a V-Max or a Hayabusa, I'm about the fastest thing on the highway.

Old does not mean 'bad.'

How old is an ulu? Close to 800 or 1,000 years old. And it works just fine.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 4, 2008, 06:12 PM
Let's not make this *thread* more complicated than *it* need be either:

Has the knife world gone over the top in a quest to artificially stimulate sales, even to the extent of marketing almost useless designed knives?

YES

http://www.888knivesrus.com/c=1xEXVTWWr3omC15uge1zh2Tro/product/51006-999/511_CUB_MASTERS_MODEL_KNIFE.html

Next question!

:) :) :D

CWL
August 4, 2008, 06:14 PM
World wide, exept for Japan, the blade developed into a pretty strait forward thing of simple design.

How about the Indonesian/SEAsian Kris daggers and swords? The complete opposite of 'simple" and yet a commonly used design for 1000 years?

The common 'wavy' blade versions could also be the predecessor of our modern-day serrated blade design.

sm
August 4, 2008, 06:25 PM
Chico,

An old boss once shared with me-

There are three factors that determine the price of all goods and services; greed, greed, and greed.


Why?
Simple, folks are greedy and want money. IF folks ain't spending money, they will use creative marketing to get folks to spend money.

For umpteen years, we have managed to do just fine with Flat and Phillips heads to hold items together. Allen screws fit a niche a bit better, especially for counter sunk heads.

Now we "have to have" Torx and this Nuke head to hold a knife together ?
Which of course means one "has to have" special tool to fit them?
I do not think so!

Proprietary things drives folks nuts! The same folks that cuss a computer company for being Proprietary with software, will buy this complicated stuff needing special tools.

The open source folks buy the same knives, and make fun of proprietary computer users.


Simple-
Browning designed the 1911, and I do mean designed it.
The grip screw is a Flat and one can use a 45ACP ctg to remove a stock screw.
Spent ctg will also work for a recoil guide plug.
The 1911 is a tool unto itself...

So for umpteen years we had Flat heads used on knives and guns, and now we "have to have" FLGR, Duck Butts, Fuzzy Dice, Torx and Nukes!


Ninety percent of all fishing equipment is designed to catch fisher-person's wallets- not fish. -anon


And folks wonder why, I still like using a pocket knife , free hand sharpening, using a match to light a smoke, sticking a glass jar outside with tea bags to make tea ( sun tea)....

Basically society is nuts and there ain't many of us sane folks left!

Carl Levitian
August 4, 2008, 07:09 PM
I feel the nuts have gained control of the assylum.

Mongrel
August 4, 2008, 07:13 PM
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/345259608_cYBCM-XL.jpg


(insert my best Renfield snicker here...)

hehehehehehehehehe.....

Master....

What should we do now?

heheheheheheheheheh.....

:evil:

The Tourist
August 4, 2008, 07:25 PM
I feel the nuts have gained control of the assylum.

You realize that I do, in fact, have papers.

I've seen The Mendota State Hospital.

If I and my fellows nuts were to gain control of anything it would be The Maple Bluff Country Club.

Having said that, I feel my opinion on knives and their supposed innovations is still a sound commentary.

sm
August 4, 2008, 07:28 PM
You realize that I do, in fact, have papers.

Well you are ahead of me, I am still using Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck catalogs in the outhouse....

Mongrel
August 4, 2008, 07:32 PM
Having said that, I feel my opinion on knives and their supposed innovations is still a sound commentary

^THAT my friend is exactly the reason we have been classified thusly!

hehehehehehehheheh.....

Carl Levitian
August 4, 2008, 07:36 PM
Oh man, You got catalogs in the outhouse?:what:

I gotta move uptown one of these days.:(

hso
August 4, 2008, 08:53 PM
Carl,

The question is still, what is too exotic from your perspective. There are plenty of goofy knife shaped objects out there. There are plenty of goofy knives out there. Then there are some unfamiliar shapes that folks don't instantly understand (plenty of folks don't know that an ulu is a real working knife).

Could you give us some examples to illustrate. (And, YES, I think the sharpened pry bar in the profile of an "American Tanto" like the fella that wondered why it wouldn't cut fish is damn near useless [except as a sharpened pry bar])

Tom Krein
August 4, 2008, 11:35 PM
If you look at my knives (both the ones I carry and make) you will see that I prefer "simpler" knives. I believe in form following function! If it doesn't work, get rid of it.

I do agree that some new designs are truely a bunch of smoke and mirrors! Its a knife, its not for de-animating.... blah blah blah.

With that said I have to disagree to some extent.

Serrations DO have their place. They are not just for "idiots" that can't sharpen their knives! Serrations are a MUCH more aggressive cutting edge. Plain and simple. They don't slide off of what you are cutting. They bite and bite deep. I find many people can even figure out how to sharpen them... :eek:

Recurves... these are not a new idea. Take a look at a Greek Kopis. The recurve also helps a blade bite on the draw cut. It is possible for the average guy to figure out how to sharpen these also...

The Americanized tanto point can also be useful. Its not my favorite type of blade, but if made nice and thin they cut well and that lower point is pretty useful.

Want really out of the box... take a look at the Razel design by the Graham Brothers. Now that is a design that is WAY out there. Looks like it wouldn't work for crap... try it. It works GREAT!


Tom

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 5, 2008, 12:29 AM
OK, I'm sorry, but I like torx screws. After you've stripped a couple hex, then you'll like them too. Oh, well I should say they're an improvement over hex/allen, but nevertheless still unnecessary when you already have standard and phillips. Standard hex/allen was a step backward, but torx is a step forward, back to where we USED TO be with phillips.

I used to like serrations, until I tried to sharpen them - takes days rather than minutes. If you know how to sharpen and do, then serrations are not worth the hassle. If you have someone else sharpen for you, then arguably they are.

Mongrel
August 5, 2008, 12:41 AM
Premium,

I feel your pain, but got over it when I discovered the DMT type of 'spike' sharpener AND learned not to go for a scapel-sharp edge on those little serration edges.

I have found that it's better if they are only sharpened to say "medium" (for lack of a better word) rather than being polished smooth. They bite real good and it only takes a few minutes per knife to touch them up.

Also, be careful with the backside of the serrated area. You only want to do a bit of stropping to take off the burrs on the back side.

The key is not to go overboard with it...

btw-I really appreciate torx screws as well ;)

Pax Jordana
August 5, 2008, 01:02 AM
"There is nothing new under the sun."

That's from Ecclesiastes. Historians say it was written around 250 BC.

I bet even back then artisans knew they could make more money by selling you the same thing twice..

sm
August 5, 2008, 01:28 AM
I don't care for Torx or Nuke , or any of these Mork&Mindy screws.

I can fix a flat, or phillips with a screw-head file.
I like these phillips that will take a flat screwdriver. I have made my share of flat screws from scratch and fixed ones that needed fixing.

Screw head files are neat!!
Then again I like /prefer two lanyard holes ,and even three on some knives.

Tom and Don know why.
(If they forgot I am sure I will get a PM from them)

Valkman
August 5, 2008, 02:44 AM
Arg! I needed a Torx the other day just to replace a brake light in the Dodge - of course all the Torx wrenchs were in the shop. Grrr. Walk all the way to shop, grab 5 different sizes, walk back to garage and fix.

"My wife says I'm simple (minded), and I make simple knives. :D

sm
August 5, 2008, 03:19 AM
My mom... hollered at me to bring a pair of pliers to fix something.

I am looking at a flat head screw with a pair of pliers in my hand and mom is looking at me and of course asks "why did you bring those, those won't fix that".

I should know better being a guy, when a gal says pliers she means a screwdriver and when a gal asks a guy to get milk at the store, he is supposed to get bread.

Give me time, I am only 53, gimme another 10 years and maybe I can get all this gal language figgered out.

"Well, are you not going to go back in the house and get one of "those" to fix it?"

"No mom, I got lucky reaching under your kitchen cabinet for "these". You have monsters under that cabinet and I ain't going back in and chance getting yanked into the abyss of your cabinet under the kitchen sink"

Laugh if you want.
Go check under your mom's kitchen cabinet and see if you don't get a case of weebie-jeebies!

A dime is too thin, a quarter is too thick, a penny is just right.

I just tightened the screw with a penny , using the pliers to turn.

"You are sooooo smart!" - mom says , doing that proud momma thing momma's do.
"Yeah mom, we guys are dumb as bricks, except when we are as smart as all get out".


FWIW- if a mom asks for Chicken Noodle Soup from the store, they want you to get Beef Consume' so they can make dirty rice.

Just add that to your "mom dictionary"...

Carl Levitian
August 5, 2008, 09:45 AM
hso, you raise a good question.

What is too far out in my opinion?

When I am browsing the magazine rack at Borders, and I pick up one of the knife rags out of curiosity and look at the lastest tactical wonder knife, and I find myself saying "Just what the blue blazes is that supposed to be?" Thats too far out.

Maybe I've reached an age where I'm a severe sceptic of the new wave. Not just knives, guns, cars, etc. A tool ought to look like what it is. And a straitforward one at that. I don't believe that wild serations give any real advantage over a good sharp blade. The only serations I found worked just as well as any other type, are the ones on my Victorinox bread knife. Just a single wavy edge. Not any of those three step ones like on Spyderco and others. At least it works well on a fresh baked loaf of Italian bread. Not to bad to touch up either.

As for recurve blades, I've tried them. Used a kukri for a while to experiment, then abondoned it. Not enough of an advantage to make up for some of the disadvantages.

Over the course of 30 or 40 years or so, I think I've tried just about every variation of the theme out there. Hey, I'm a knife knut, and in my younger day I was just as likely to buy a new knife as the next guy. I even did the balisong thing in the 80's. I saw it, thought it may have an advantage, gave it a try.

But all were cast off by the wayside. In the end, I went back to the simplist tools I could find. In knives I went back to my roots of small slip joint pocket knives and simple fixed blades. In guns I went back to the old revolver and break open shotguns. And I still drive inline engines, no V6's for me. Keep the blown head gaskets.

I suppose I could blame my friend Bill. Alot of my knife taste is his fault. Bill was a knifesmith here in Maryland, and he loved to experiment. I'd drop by his shop and find him out back wacking away on stuff with a new design he forged out. Sometimes he'd make one of whatever the new thing was, and take it out back to the woods in back of his shop. Or he'd have a 2X4 in a vise, chopping away, or even slicing away on hemp rope seeing how some new wonder steel did in relation to the W2 or 5160 he forged. Over a decades long friendship, I think I saw him, or helped him, test out so many types of knives, I got very jaded. Most did not offer much, if any, advantage over a more conventional design.

Over the course of the 30 plus years I knew Bill Moran, I saw too many experiments on too many materials to believe any hype put out by comercial profit motivated publications. Sure, some cultures had their blades, like the kriss, and shotal. But in experiments on old hams coverd in an old blue jeans leg, some of those old styles of blades did not do as well as others. In fact one knife, a kriss forged by Bill with all the quality he put into his regular knives, did very poorly compared to one of his southwestern styled bowies of similar size and weight.

Bill once bought a commerical serated knife with the Spyderco type of serations, and another knife with the older single wavy edge serations. Again, on out of date hams, the single wavy scalloped edge cut deeper with a single stroke, then the multiple step serations. The
spyderco type of combo serations of big and little teeth, clogged up fast with cloth and meat tissue, where the wavy edge did not. On nylon webbing as well, the more simple wavy edge seration did better. In all experiments the knives had identical length blades. If one was not available in a similar lenght, the longer one was cut down to match. Bill went out of his way to make it fair.

Time and time again, in head to head tests, I saw the simple strait cutting edge win out over the exotic and different. Both Bill and I came to the conclusion that with thousands of years of trying to find the most efficiant blade, that with the expetions of a few cultures, most have chosen a strait simple cutting tool. Even the cult worshiped samurai, who made a religion of thier skills with the katana, chose a pretty simple design. Fairly strait, with a gentle curve like a saber. Worked great on most anything. Leather and bamboo armor, human body parts like arms and necks. Simpe edge, just sharp as all heck.

Europe was the crossroads of many cultures for a thousand years. Knives and swords traveled with thier owners, were brought back from far off lands on the silk road. Yet when it all was boiled down, what was chosen by 99% of the people, be they soldiers or shepards, were the strait simple blades. In an age were some people lived, or died, by thier choice of cutting tool, you didn't see alot of weird designs compared to the last 20 years in America.

I do believe that you can't build a better mouse trap. Wild curves in blades, unnessesary complex serations, and lots of hype are the tools to create sales. The have little to do with giving the customer a better knife.

hso
August 5, 2008, 09:55 AM
Wild curves in blades, unnessesary complex serations, and lots of hype are the tools to create sales. The have little to do with giving the customer a better knife.

I agree absolutely. Sounds like we just have a slight difference in what we call "wild" and "unnecessary".

BTW, Steve. I feel for you, but consider what you describe evidence of brain disorders. My mom was very straightforward in her instructions. If she wanted bread, she asked for bread. If she wanted a screw driver, she asked for a screw driver. Gwen's the same way. Michaela too. You might want to have the folks that ask for "A" when they mean "B" checked out by a good witch doctor.:p

Todd A
August 5, 2008, 10:54 AM
Pre-War Kinfolks number 925

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm99/toddma/100_0282.jpg


Worked back then in 1939,I would guess that it would still work now.

I don't use it.:uhoh:

ArfinGreebly
August 5, 2008, 12:39 PM
Nice piece.

Good looking tool.

Me? I'd clean up that blade and make sure it had a working edge. I'd treat the handle with whatever was needed to keep it from decomposing or otherwise failing, and then -- as I do with all my tools -- I'd use it. Oh, not EDC, but it would get to go outside, taste a little wood or rope, maybe a package or two.

I hate the thought of a good tool, sitting lonely in a box, unused.

A little introspection: I find I have more stuff than I use, and I find I spend more time "having" stuff than I do "using" stuff. Life is about doing, not having. I guess I need to get out and do a little more life.

Todd A
August 5, 2008, 12:49 PM
My State limits me to a sub-4" blade unless actually hunting or fishing.This one is 5".:(

So its a drawer queen.

HiWayMan
August 5, 2008, 04:06 PM
Well hells bells...........I'm just a wee young buck at 28, but I've learned my lessons. Simple is good. Simple is the good stuff.

Just married and the new bride surprises me with a new butcher block full of kitchen knives. Respected brand name (in the past anyway). They appear to have full tangs. Won't take an edge to save your life and about the tenth time using the one the blade breaks out of the handle half way back. :cuss: ...partial tang pieces of crap. She spent obout $30 bucks on the set. The sharpening steel removed copious amounts of metal...that isn't how dad's did it. Old Hickory has come to my rescue. Full tangs I can see, carbon steel I can maintain an edge on....the good stuff. A proper slick that re-aligns the edge and doesn't remove metal.


I keep looking at new pocket knives every time Smokey Mountain comes in the mail. I keep scratching them off the list a few days later. The Old Timer Stockman in my pocket just works....the good stuff.

Needed a new woods knife. Tramontina 12" machete fits the bill for $6. Bought several and reprofiled the blades to get what I wanted. Want a bowie...profile a clip point. A sticker.....profile a spear point. A short cleaver...shorten blade and profile to sheepsfoot. Any configuration I can imagine at $6 a pop. Super simple and it didn't break the bank.

Used to want a super cool tomahawk. Thankful I held off. My rigger's hatchet from a farmer's auction looks about the same though and low and behold does the same things for a whopping 50 cents. Its simple too...just like grandpappy's.

I'm back to H&R/NEF single shot 20 gauges too. The Mossy 500 12 Guage was too heavy to be lugging 5 miles on a bunny hunt. Don't ever remeber getting a running rabbit on the second, third, or fourth shot anyway. Being part of WALRUS (We All Love R Used Shotguns) Team 007 means "One Shot, One Bunny" anyway. Otherwise I'd have to turn in my membership card.


The good stuff.

Tom Krein
August 5, 2008, 04:27 PM
HiWayMan,
You got a full set of knives for $30.00 and expected them to be quality??

.....uh, okay :confused:

Tom

HiWayMan
August 5, 2008, 04:31 PM
HiWayMan,
You got a full set of knives for $30.00 and expected them to be quality??

.....uh, okay

Well...she tried.:D

$30 buys a full block of Old Hickory that is quality. Period.

Tom Krein
August 5, 2008, 04:33 PM
I won't disagree with you on the Old Hickory, but it seems like even they have gone down in quality a bit lately...

Tom

Dravur
August 5, 2008, 05:09 PM
ok, here it is....

Fudds, use whatever old knife that you want. You want simple and no serrations...you got it. No problems with me. I like em. I have a couple Ruanas that are ugly as sin, sharp as heck and bigger than your average shortsword. I have a buck 110 as well. Celebrate Fuddness

Mall ninjas, you can use any new, serrated knife or knife system made by any of the High Speed, Low drag companies that can turn out a knife. You can have anything you want.. carbon fiber, new age steels made from kitten fur... anything that a true ninja would want...

For the rest of us.... use whatever knife you want... simple really. The fudds can have their Bucks, the mall ninjas can have their uber tactical black coated knives and the rest of us can use whatever dang knife we want.

sm
August 5, 2008, 05:53 PM
Grind Monkey Tom Krein wrote:
I won't disagree with you on the Old Hickory, but it seems like even they have gone down in quality a bit lately...

Nope, new Old Hickory's , are not what they used to be.
Nor is Chicago Cutler.
Case CV is not either.
Smith's Arkansas Stones are not even good paper weights.

Curmudgeons & Reprobates , such as I and mine are recommend :

Old versions of Old Hickory, Chicago Cutlery, Dexter, and Case kitchen knives.
You want a real Case pocket knife, find one made before early 80's.
Norton Crystalon, and India stones for traditional.
Pocket Stones, DMT credit card ones, with the Red (fine) being the one most used, and coarse and extra fine being a sometimes user.

New items:

SAK Paring knife, instead of a OH, holler at Tom for which one, and check with him on a kydex sheath...

<spit>
Just callin' em as I see 'em.

garlicguy
August 5, 2008, 09:05 PM
Oh man, You got catalogs in the outhouse?

You got an entire outHOUSE?:eek:

All we got around here is an out.

And pine needles.

We're talkin' REAL simplicity here, Carl. Real simplicity.

This hyere is Montana.:scrutiny:

Limeyfellow
August 6, 2008, 09:32 PM
Now, as to whether or not we can justify a "throw away society" I'll leave that to the social engineers to meditate on. I just don't understand a mentality that takes something valuable (things do still have value don't they?) and tosses it away because someone is too ignorant, arrogant, or lazy to take care of it.

Which is kind of weird, because for the majority of human existence this is how humanity treated their goods. They just threw away the goods that broke and crafted new ones, bet it blades, arrows, pottery, cairns etc. Thats why we pull so much of this stuff from fire pits and garbage pits.

Its only when things got more complex that tools was kept around for longer and the more complex the tool the more its considered valuable, but the regular everyday stuff, which a knife is, is designed to be used until its worn out.

Mongrel
August 6, 2008, 10:41 PM
Which is kind of weird, because for the majority of human existence this is how humanity treated their goods. They just threw away the goods that broke and crafted new ones, bet it blades, arrows, pottery, cairns etc. Thats why we pull so much of this stuff from fire pits and garbage pits.

Its only when things got more complex that tools was kept around for longer and the more complex the tool the more its considered valuable, but the regular everyday stuff, which a knife is, is designed to be used until its worn out.

Wow...

Did you ever see something so clearly...so simply...just as clear as a proverbial bell and then realize no one else can see it? A simple point, an obvious and genuine observation that can be explained to a child and yet you are alone in it?

Why is the thought of someone discarding something of value because they lack the skills necessary to maintain it not bothersome? Why does it not strike a nerve? On a deeper level, why is there no chill down the spine when we think of such a philosophy carried over from the material to the physical? Do we not see this and abhor it at our core? No apparently not...

This is not a sermon, nor is it a judgement on anyone as it was misconstrued to be by someone up the thread a bit. It's an observation. And if I may be so bold-it's a viable and quite legitimate observation.

The 'casual' discarding of a knife because it is dull is akin to walking away from a car that has run out of fuel in my mind-and that's just pure idiocy.

But, hey maybe it's time I just went back into the dog house and took a nap or two...

Aka Zero
August 7, 2008, 09:13 AM
Simple is a mora.

simple blade, simple grind, simple sheath, and does what a knife does best, cut things.

gpdawg
August 7, 2008, 07:09 PM
i think i have found kindred spirits.

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