Sunday, January 13, 2013

Knife Talk

In the last couple of months I've acquired a few knives. And in this post I want to discuss them a little bit.
The first is a Gerber product, one of the new BG knives, with the BG designation referring to survival specialist Bear Grylls. This is the Compact Fixed Blade Knife. It is a handy size, having a blade length of 3.4 inches and an overall length of 7.8 inches. Really it's not any bigger than today's generation of tactical pocket knives. The blade has about 1 1/4 inches of serrations, the handle is a green rubber type material and offers a great grip. This knife has come in handy for opening boxes, cutting sticks and trimming carpet. Gerber says the steel is 7cr17mov whatever that is. All I know is that it took me forever to get it sharp and I cannot get it as sharp as I like my knives to be. The steel seems to be fairly soft, I guess so you can sharpen it in the field with what ever may be handy. I can't seem to get rid of the fine wire edge that develops while sharpening the blade. I just spent a few minutes tonight with a hard Arkansas stone and a Case Moon Stone, a ceramic block that Case Knives used to sell in the late 70's and early 80's, working on the edge. While I got the edge polished somewhat it still has a wire edge to it. I can normally get a knife extremely sharp using different methods and with this knife no method I use gets satisfactory results with this blade. Now we get to the sheath. All I can say is it's a POS. It is hard plastic and retains the knife very well, but, it has a removable belt clip on it. The removable belt clip likes to self remove at inopportune moments. Really, you cannot depend on this this to stay on your belt, your waist band or your pocket.
All in all, the knife is handy and reasonably sharp but if the sheath clip will not stay with the sheath, you might as well not even spend the money for one as it will soon be lost . On a 10 scale, as a everyday carry knife I give it a 5, as a survival knife? I give it a 3. I will be contacting Gerber about this issue.

The next knife I want to discuss is a Camillus knife, It is marked USMC but it is not a USMC issue. It is stainless steel, has a flat grind to the blade, is 12 inches long with a 7 inch blade. The grip is stacked leather with a stainless steel butt cap. This is a big 'ol knife. I have sharpened and polished the clip of the blade and I am in the process of putting a matte finish on the blade. This knife came with a lackluster edge. Using a freaking file, I was finally able to set a new angle to the edge, work it over with a butcher steel followed by soft and hard Arkansas stones and finally the good old Case Moon Stone. This thing is now very sharp.  As I just got the edge worked out I have not had a chance to use this large knife. I have been customizing it to my liking and will start trying to use it. This knife feels good in the hand, like it was meant to be used. Hopefully it will live up to it's lineage. This knife came with a heavy black leather sheath utilizing a secure snap fastened strap to lock the knife in place. With the self formed belt loop there is no chance of this sheath falling off your belt. The only thing I did was add some 550 cord for leg ties. For 40 bucks I think this was a great deal.

Since I've mention sharpening several times, I want to talk about a now sharpening machine I recently saw. It is made right here in Missouri, down in the Ozarks. This particular machine uses a low speed 110 volt motor to drive a horizontal belt at low speed. The belts appear to be ordinary 1 inch wide belt grinder/sander belts. This is a well made unit that will put a mirror polished edge on a knife in a couple of minutes. I had the gentleman that showed me this unit sharpen a Buck 120.
This Buck was horribly dull and I could not put an edge on it. It's scary sharp now with a 25 degree bevel. And he did it in less that 2 minutes. I have no doubt that it is one of those edges that will cut you and you will not feel it. No, really, it is that sharp. You can set the machine to one of several angles depending on your wants and needs. Unfortunately, there is no website. When I get some info I'll pass it along. One note though, I believe the man told me it was around 500 bucks for this unit. If I get one I better be able to make some money off of it. Folks, I gotta say it is the fastest way I have ever seen to get a dangerously sharp edge and doesn't harm the blade in the process. I will be passing this Camillus off to this guy for his special touch.

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