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Kershaw Camp 10: Hands On

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Sam Cade, Aug 9, 2013.

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  1. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    For several years Kershaw Knives/KAI offered a medium sized chopping knife the model 1079 Outcast.

    [​IMG]

    Made of D2 steel (a controversial choice for a chopper) and possessed of a spindly skeletonized tang, the Outcast was plagued by numerous catastrophic failures (I broke 2) and edge maintenance issues throughout its production life.

    Recently Kershaw introduced the 1077 "Camp 10" to replace the Outcast in their catalog. Company literature would have us believe that the Camp 10 is, in effect, a product improved Outcast.

    [​IMG]

    The D2 steel is gone, replaced by 65mn. The intarwebs tell that that 65mn is the Chinese equivalent of SAE 1065 a middle of the road, tough carbon steel. I can't see that as anything but an improvement given the poor performance the Outcast displayed.

    For a Chinese built knife handled in rubber and plastic the Camp 10 is fairly handsome.

    [​IMG]

    It is large knife, with a big belly, but don't mistake it for a khukuri. If I had to drop it into a typology of choppers I'd call this thing a short bolo.

    Blade thickness is a nominal 1/5th of an inch.

    [​IMG]

    It is a very weight forward knife, but it is NOT a particularly heavy knife despite the broad blade and substantial spine thickness. The high saber grind removes quite a bit of blade stock and I am very interested to see what is concealed under the grip since tang failures killed both of my Outcasts.
     

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  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll be looking forward to your review. Interestingly enough, Sam Owens and I talked about it earlier in the week! I told him it had too much curve to the blade. :cool:
     
  3. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Moving on to ergonomics...

    The grip is angled in such a matter to facilitate a good handshake grip and is of moderate dimensions.
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately the grip is over-molded with a very aggressively textured and overly soft rubber compound.

    [​IMG]


    Doesn't look good for heavy use barehanded, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and work it hard tomorrow.

    I'm willing to suffer for my readers :evil:

    I wear a size medium glove by way of scale. Should be enough room for even the biggest mitted users.

    [​IMG]

    ..and now we come to another annoyance.
    The spine side quillion precludes placing the thumb on the spine.
    [​IMG]

    I hate that.
     

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  4. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Boy that spine side quillion sure is annoying. I wonder why they did that....



    Oh...

    [​IMG]

    Yes...behold, the most ill designed sheath ev-ar.

    No retention other than the nylon strip-and-snap. The sheath is ABS and is unfitted to the blade, leaving it to rattle about.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Just terrible. Not only is the snap itself easily brushed off but a firm yank will cause the strap to slip over the restraining quillions.

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    Release the snap, draw the blade, cut off the strap. :banghead:

    [​IMG]

    Just dumb.
     

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  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Oh shoot, almost forgot.


    Size comparison with a Ka-bar and an IMACASA 12".


    [​IMG]


    Going to give this thing a workout tomorrow.
     

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  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Gotta love the geniuses that could just as easily put the snap on the other side so the strap falls away from the edge.

    Hate the top quillons as well on most things. Needless and detrimental in a chopper and just about any working knife.
     
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    The early outcast was serialized and marked KAI , no China marks so I presume not. The plunge line is different than the one you pictured. Mine has held up well to chopping brush 5+ years. Sounds like Kershaw got cheap and cloned the outcast in china and screwed the pooch (and buyers).
     
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    To the best of my knowledge All of the Outcasts were of Chinese manufacture but there were variations in how they were marked through the production life of the knife.

    The Camp 10 isn't exactly sporting a Made In China Billboard.

    [​IMG]
     

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  9. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Quick workout with the Camp 10.

    POB and Sweet Spots marked. Edge was very polished, thickish and just shy of shaving sharp.

    Note how far back the sweet spot is. I'd call that sub-optimal usage of blade length.

    [​IMG]


    First person, off through the woods. The wife runs this particular trail a couple times a week so I have to keep it relatively clear.

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    We are going to be good stewards and kill this small maple tree. It has a bad split in the top and is far too close to its neighbor.
    [​IMG]

    Maple is tough stuff so it took a couple minutes to knock the tree down.
    [​IMG]
     

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  10. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    How does your hands feel?
     
  11. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    I went ahead and chopped up an armload of logs.

    The Camp 10 doesn't bite very deeply. No doubt the shearing action of the belly is helping it here but the thick edge is holding it back.

    It has no tendency to bind and removes chips fairly well with a twist on the second chop of the "V" cut.

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    Safety tip. Toes behind the log.

    [​IMG]

    ..and the grip starts raising a blister. My hands are fairly tough but the grip on this thing is just murder. In addition it is fairly thin and flat with no real positive stop on the pommel. While I never felt that I was going to lose the knife, retention was less than optimal and dependent on applying more grip strength than should be necessary.
    Forcing an overly tight grip increases fatigue and accelerates wear on the users hands.
    [​IMG]
     

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  12. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Loading up my logs and making my way back to the shop, I notice that my sunflowers have begun to bloom.
    [​IMG]
    Batoning through 8 short logs was no problem.

    The blade is thick enough that it busts them nice and clean.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The blade wants to move into the curve as it is batoned through. I hate those quillions.

    This, times 8.
    [​IMG]

    Hardly any wear on the blade coating once I finished. That is surprising.

    No rolling of the edge, some very small chips knocked out of the blade from overstrikes into the rocky ground. Only a marginal loss of sharpness.
    No complaints.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  13. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Why do I think you're already planning the next handle on that chopper?
     
  14. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    You know me well. ;)

    I've got the handle off of it, pics in a few.
     
  15. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Ok, grip removal was easy.

    It was held on by 2, T-20 Torx threaded inserts.

    Unscrew them and the grip will tap right off, it is just a friction fit, no adhesive.

    I used a croquet mallet because, y'know, I'm a classy guy. ;)
    [​IMG]


    No surprises here:
    [​IMG]

    The tang is full thickness, so .2".
    Given my druthers, I'd delete the northernmost, unnecessary oblong lanyard hole.

    In any case, this is a drastic improvement over the skelentonized tuning fork that was on the Outcast.
     

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  16. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    So what is next for this project? A new and improved custom fit handle to help improve usability?
     
  17. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Probably, but that is fairly low priority. I've got quite a few things in the queue ahead of it.


    So...this Camp 10. It isn't a bad knife. I think it is a better knife than the Outcast but it has some silly design flaws that greatly compromise its utility. The kind of design flaws that lead me to believe that KAI could really benefit from some additional outside testing.

    The sheath is dumb.

    The over-molded rubber grip is dumb. Chopping knives that see (or could see) heavy usage should not have soft, aggressively textured surfaces where they interface with the human hand.


    As a tool, this $40 knife (Wow, what a DEAL :uhoh:) will be out performed by a $7 machete of similar length in nearly every camp task save digging a cathole.
     
  18. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    ...and that includes chopping hardwood. The thinner, lighter 12" IMACASA 152 bites much deeper and will throw bigger chips if well controlled. More wood removed with less effort provided you don't let it bind up.





    As 1st world knife consumers, I think that we could greatly benefit from rationalizing our knife purchases based on utility instead of...well... this:

    http://kershaw.kaiusaltd.com/knives/knife/camp-101
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  19. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    Am I the only one who wondered what Sam looks like? Things you can't unsee! :)
     
  20. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Yeah, that was a bit unsettling.:what:
    Nice hat tho...

    Thanks for all the good work on these reviews Sam. Looking forward to the new and improved (approved?) handle on that knife.
    ( BTW. What's the cigar ? )
     
  21. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Thanks, it is a Kangol.


    You aren't the first person to ask that. ;)
    I just snatched it up from the porch smokin' table where I had forgotten about it a few days earlier.

    After unsuccessfully digging through my garbage looking for a ring, I had to and resort to visualization techniques to try and recall, I think it is a large gauge Romeo. A "Bully" most likely.
     
  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't see a problem with the sweet spot being where it is. That's about right for a blade of that shape (just behind the widest part of the blade). OTOH, a continuous grind with a convex edge would probably improve overall chopping and splitting performance for a blade that thick.

    One of the reasons for the forward lanyard hole is from lessons learned in ABS cutting competitions. The forward lanyard hole allows for securing the lanyard to the hand to minimize flying blades. Old style was to just have a lanyard at the butt and smiths and cutters that had the blade slip had a live blade on the end of a too long line! Therefore the ABS went to the forward hole for greater control.
     
  23. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I do believe that the sweet spot should be better closer to the point. I think this would have happened automatically if Kershaw hadn't dropped the spine angle.
     
  24. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    As it is, the knife chops fairly well, but by placing the sweet spot so close to the hand it doesn't make the most efficacious use of the blade length or weight.

    Or to rephrase it, The Kershaw Camp 10 blade shape and grind is intrinsically inefficient.
     
  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Ohhhh, I'll agree it is too short and you loose the leverage benefit for a good chopper. No question there in my mind. I'm not sure if we're not expecting too much of it when what we want is to stretch it out another 4 inches.
     
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