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What is your favourite grind and Why?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by alsask, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. alsask

    alsask Well-Known Member

    Lots of conversation about knife grinds of course and I was wondering what people favour and why.

    Myself I like...

    1. Convex grind. Probably the easiest to sharpen and supposedly one of the stronger profiles.

    2. Scandi grind. Again another easy to sharpen design although it could be argued that it may not be the best when you are splitting a rib cage on a deer or any other high impact type chore.

    3. Hollow grind. I find this to be the hardest to field sharpen.
  2. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Well-Known Member

    I love full flat grinds, and depending on the blade a good flat saber grind is nice
  3. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    On a big choppy knife I like a full flat or high saber (for a bit more grunt) with a convex secondary.
    Machetes end up convex.

    Carving or crafty knives I prefer a scandi or full height convex provided the blade stock is nice and thin.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    A hollow-grind should be the sharpest, and easiest to sharpen of them all.
    Like a straight-razor!

    But what I see is, a lot of commercial blades have a big honk'en hollow-grind.
    Just above a bigger, very steep bevel grind, that keeps them from breaking or chipping like a razor would.

    So you are trying to sharpen a thick chisel edge, not a thin hollow-ground edge.

    You are not really dealing with a hollow ground blade.
    You are dealing with a blade that only looks like one, but doesn't sharpen or cut like one.

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Gerber calls that a "double grind":rolleyes: when they put it on their machetes.

    I'd kinda like to see how they cut it.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The old Buck 100 series were another perfect example!!

    They look hollow-ground till you can see daylight through the middle.

    But look at the thickness & bevel of the edge you are trying to sharpen to a decent cutting angle!!

  7. harvjr

    harvjr Well-Known Member

    Hollow grind for most of the things I do with a knife. I even made a cutting competition knife with a hollow grind and it worked great.

  8. mole

    mole Well-Known Member

    I agree with yo momma: "I love full flat grinds, and depending on the blade a good flat saber grind is nice"
  9. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    There's a pervasive misconception about knife grinds that tries to associate the primary grind with edge sharpness and durability.

    For instance, Wikipedia states that a hollowgrind "yields a very sharp but weak edge which requires stropping for maintenance."

    In fact, this statement is completely inaccurate and nonsensical.

    Let's take a straight razor as an example. Does the hollowgrind make the razor sharper? The hollowgrind has nothing to do with the final edge. There's no practical way to hone an actual hollowgrind into the edge; that's done with a flat stone producing a flat bevel, just like any other knife, only in the case of a straight razor it's quite acute. Somewhere between 14-20 degrees. This acute angle is what makes the edge of a razor weak. Also, the thinness of the blade behind that edge makes it weak, but that's nothing to do with the grind; a hollowgrind knife can be very thick, as RC noted.

    The blade stock of a straight razor is actually quite thick. The average straight razor is thicker than a kitchen knife. The hollowgrind is just there to thin the blade near the edge while retaining a thick spine for rigidity.

    When done right, a hollowgrind is great. You can either look at it as a way to get the edge thinner. Or you can look at it as a way to make the spine fatter. Or you can look at it as a way to remove some of the unnecessary material behind the edge, simply to make sharpening easier.

    Take, say, a fat 1/4" convex knife with a thick, strong edge. If you put in a shallow hollowgrind starting, say, a few mm behind the edge, and ending a half inch before the spine, the edge would be just as durable and strong, and the knife would still make a great prybar. The big difference is it would be easier to sharpen... and also you could use more aggressive grits without scratching up the entire knife.

    But my average everyday knives, I trend towards thinner blades, and full flat or thin convex is my preferred for such knives. But on a sharpened prybar, I would appreciate a nicely done hollowgrind that leaves the right amount of meat behind the edge. Say at least 35-40 mics min. I can make the final edge geometry any way I want, but I cannot put a hollowgrind on a knife, myself.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  10. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Grind matters immensely as it effects how the material being cut is displaced as the blade moves through the medium being cut.

    To wit:
    A short hollowgrind similar to a pocket knife fails miserably in a big chopper. Not only is it fragile due to a lack of support to the edge, the abrupt transition to full stock thickness acts as a brake, limiting the depth of the cut.
    It doesn't matter how sharp the edge is in this case, the lim-fac is the primary grind.

  11. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    So, to reiterate, blade performance is often a function of the entire cross-sectional profile of the blade.
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Full flat grind, hollow grinds are nice on razors.
  13. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Agreed Gordon. I like a full hollow razor on the rare occasions I shave my mug. I can feel a difference between a FFG and a FHG my beard is so thick.

  14. alsask

    alsask Well-Known Member

    There is one blade grind I definately do not like and that is the serrated edge. It is OK for kitchen bread knives.

    There have been a few knives that have caught my eye from time to time and I passed them up due to serrations.
  15. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    I agree that a fat convex grind is the way to go for a splitting axe. Or a knife that wants to be a splitting axe.

    The misconception is that a hollowground knife's edge is "fragile due to lack of support."

    If you take a CARBON steel kitchen knife (some stainless knives - cheap or high end, doesn't matter - are too brittle) and you hack on a tree with it, the edge will roll and/or chip. But the damage is limited to a small fraction of an inch past the edge. A hollowgrind doesn't need to go that thin. On top of that, the damage is all starting at the cutting edge, due to the acute edge angle on the kitchen knife. Just by slightly changing the final edge geometry by setting in a more obtuse microbevel to the appropriate depth, that carbon steel kitchen knife can hack away all day without failing. As could a hollowground knife with the appropriate grind and edge.

    This begs the question, why are so many pocket knives so thick to where they even need a hollowgrind at all? Why is the blade on a Mora knife only 0.080" thick, and the blade on a Kershaw Blur abour 0.125" thick? Partly, it might be because that specific Kershaw uses a more brittle steel. But mostly, it's market demand. That's the kind of knife that people want to buy. They like the weight, look, or whatever. And it makes a better prybar.

    If you have steel at least say, maybe, 30-45 mics (depending on the steel) thick behind that final edge bevel, and a crack goes back far enough to reach the hollowground area, the entire blade was going to snap in two, anyway, regardless of the primary grind.

    Now consider that no matter how fat you make your primary grind, you still have to put an edge on it. That edge angle is what determines whether the edge on your 2 lb, 1/4" thick chopper is going to fail or not. The type of alloy and heat treat, plus that edge angle are primary determining factors on whether the blade is going to snap while chopping. The thickness of the spine affects lateral strength, primarily. And the thickness of the primary grind approaching the edge does affect cutting ability (sticking vs splitting) where chopping wood is concerned, I agree. But it does not add significant strength to the edge.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  16. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Are we really going to have to have a discussion involving the stress/strain curve and Poisson's ratio in order to prove conventional wisdom correct?
  17. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

  18. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    From your link. This is sooo wrong, I don't know where to start.

    1. A hollow ground edge is not necessarily "extraordinarily thin." In fact, I have a Kershaw Selectfire and a Sodbuster which are my only hollowground knives. The secondary bevel on these knives is in the neighborhood of 35 degrees, as from the factory. This means the edge of these knives is well thicker than a factory Mora, which is around 24-25 degrees. Of course, the factory angles don't necessarily matter. You can change these as you see fit. The important thing is that the hollow grind part of my sodbuster mike'd out at around 30 mics at the thinnest, IIRC, which is thick enough to support w/e edge you want to put on it. Have you ever seen a knife chip out or fold beyond a secondary bevel 30 mics thick? I never measured my Kershaw before regrinding it, but it never chipped out or folded. Either one of these knives has a much more durable edge, OOB, than a factory Mora.

    2. Hollow ground "edges." Already this is meaningless. There's no such thing as a hollow ground edge. A hollow grind describes the primary grind, which has nothing at all to do with the edge. You can have a flat secondary, a microbevelled edge, or a convexed edge on a hollowground knife. You cannot put a hollow ground edge on any knife, unless you want to spend hours with specialized equipment to make an edge we already know will be terrible.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  19. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Other than holding it up of course.

    The stresses that a knife blade undergoes aren't necessarily linear and are frequently torsional.
    Steel behind the bevel increases the stress required to push the edge out of line (rippling), not only laterally, but in-toward the spine.

    Cross section, plastic deformation, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. ;)
  20. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    For a general use blade, I much prefer FFG... it's just slicier.

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