Wow. I like that! Sign me up!
"How much blade and handle can you fit in a fixed blade EDC?"
This question has been going through my mind over and over and over for the last few months.
Here are some of my thoughts:
Ok....as I remember more of the thoughts I've been gathering...I'll post them above.
- I want to make a knife that is legal in most every state.
- I want it to be clearly, obviously legal...no raised eyebrows....sheeple-friendly.
- I want it to be practical...easy to use.
- I want the handle to be full sized so that there are no compromises. I'm ok with 3-finger handles...but a true fixed-blade EDC would be a full-size handle...no task it couldn't do.
- I want to get as much blade as possible out of it...meaning if the length is fixed at 3"...I'm going to beef up the height and width.
- I want it to be 1/4" stock...to make it nearly indestructible. Which, in a 3" blade, means plenty of tapering all around.
- I want it to be lightweight, easy to carry..maybe even pocket-carry.
- I want a tapered tip for easy penetrating (ie. unsharpened swedge)
- I want thumbgrooves
- It needs a lanyard hole
- I want it to have a guard...even if only a little one...some kind of guard.
- For the handle to be full-size...I want it to "fill the hand"..be thick enough to really grip well.
- I want a full flat grind down to a fine edge. I get the best overall/all-around performance from this kind of grind. I love to do scandi-grinds, as well as hollow grinds. And, of course, they all cut well. But for an EDC that will spend as much time opening letters as it will whittling or helping out in the kitchen, or peeling fruit...and still be as strong as possible.....a full flat grind to a fine edge is the way to go.
So, I've been keeping these thoughts bouncing around my head all this time...waiting for the inspiration to come. I've looked at lots of knives....have found some that have some great features...and have tried to draw from those.
Well...designing a knife is like having diarhea.....ok...stay with me on this one...
Seriously....when it comes, it comes....and it runs and just won't stop!
Well, that was me over the weekend...I was finally able to put it all together...and couldn't stop working/thinking/designing until it was done.
I drew out what I wanted on graphing paper, scanned it and then traced over that in CAD. I put it in CAD so that I can make adjustments, take accurate measurements, and play around with the design a bit.
After that, I printed the drawing out here in the shop, glued it down to a piece of steel and got to work on it...just now completing it (amongst other things ).
(Someday I'll do a big tutorial on it...pretty cool how it all comes together)
So, enough talk....here are the pics...tell me what you think of this solution so far.
As you can see...the blade-to-front-of-the-handle measurement comes in right under 3 inches.
Here are some pictures showing the thickness of the handle and the tapering on the tang.
The balance point on this knife is right at the first pin in the handle. Which means it won't feel too light or too front-heavy...and also won't feel like a brick in the hand. The combination of drilling out the tang and then tapering it removes a LOT of steel without sacrificing strength.
This knife weighs in at 5.4 oz. Lighter than my current EDC pocket knife...and 100% legal in most states.
My plan is to offer this in 2 sheaths (both leather) - a deep pouch sheath that would cover the handle up to the 2nd pin and would also be set up for horizontal carry.....or a pocket sheath (also deep) with a pocket clip for true "pocket carry".
Here's the last picture...shows what the knife looks like in my hands. I have a Large size hand. It's not small, not Grandissimo. Just regular ole Large. It fits fine, with a little bit of wiggle room for those with XL hands.
3" blade (2 15/16" actual - from tip to choil)
1/4" thick 5160, satin finish, tapered tang (down to 1/16"), full flat grind down to 0.010", unsharpened swedge, thumbgrooves
4.5" long handle, 7/8" wide at thickest points, Bubinga with aluminum corby pins and 3/8" lanyard tube (chamfered)
weight = 5.4 oz
POB = first pin
For now...this is a prototype only...I am going to take this with me camping this weekend...we have a Family Reunion this Thursday-Sunday out at the Buffalo River. I'm going to pass this one around our group to get some non-knife-nut opinions....as well as do some cutting/testing of my own. If I get some good pics, I'll post a full review here. Perhaps, I might open this up to a passaround...but not yet. Still need to test it a while myself...carry it everyday...get a good leather sheath for it. etc.
Tell me what you guys think.....
What is your ideal 3" fixed blade EDC?
What features would it have?
Last edited by Daniel Koster; 08-05-2008 at 12:12 PM.
Wow. I like that! Sign me up!
Simply beautiful!! Definitely interested!!
Biggest question is a 3" fixed blade 50 state legal? Ohio I heard was somewhere in the 2" range, but I am not 100%. That blade is GREAT for Va.!! Dan, stellar knife yet again!!
I think there are a few places (like NY, NJ) that the laws are weird regarding carrying of fixed blades....but most states accept 3 inches.
For me (in Arkansas) I believe it is 3.5 inches. There are few others (like TX) that allow longer blades, or don't specify the blade length....but a 3" blade is generally accepted around the USA as being "within legal limits".
That looks like a good design. It looks like I would like the handle better than my Busse GW.
Well thought out,indestructable,and definate eye candy.
Me thinks you have a WINNER.Very nice work....
If i may ask a question.On the tapered tang is there a trick to getting the right profile on the inside of the scales.
Cause the ones ive made with a tapered tang required a lotta time to get the scale to fit the flat well.
Thanks ! Bryce
Dan, it looks great! i honestly didnt expect to see a proto ready to go. if you do do a pass around, count me in. would it be possible to do a loto also *i had to suggest it*.
looks like she will serve you well at your Fam reunion
I like the design but with the top swedge it does not appear to sheeple friendly.
Looks like it would be a brute for pocket carry as well.
Less angle on the clip and less rocker in the belly (can you do that?).
Just some of my thoughts
From there to here, from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.
TG - 1960
I want to be 1st in the passaround!
Basically, I scribe the centerline of the end of the tang, grind down to it, making sure to be even on both sides, then grind out the middle of the tang on an 8" wheel. Removes stock quickly. Then I "flat grind it" until the front of the tang (where the front of the handle would be) and the end of the tang are more-or-less even and straight and ground flat. Last step is to make it perfectly flat on a disc grinder.
Do it this way, you can get them exactly even, the tang perfectly centered and everything turns out nicely.
I'll search around for the tutorial....
It would indeed be beefy in the pocket.....but not any more than a mousegun in the pocket would be...or a fat wallet. (I'm thinking front pocket)
I want to try to maximize the amount of straight-edge of the blade...which is why it has a steep angle from the tip. I could shorten it top-to-bottom....but if I'm going to do that...I might as well make a drop point hunter. I want to go as tall and beefy on the blade as I can get...and you all can tolerate.
Keep the thoughts coming....I haven't spilled all my beans yet...can't remember everything.
I like it! Beautiful! The swedge flows well with the short blade. Are you thinking about offering these with a more utilitarian handle?
I'm in for a possible pass-around, and if that doesn't happen, I want to go ahead and order one!
Kershaw Mafia - Don Vito Corleone
I think you misunderstood(or maybe i did)
Im wondering how to make the scales fit the already tapered tang w/o having to,, grind and check em grind an check em over an over as i do now.
until they finally fit.
I was hoping there is a way i havent thought of to sorta siamese the two. So that there isnt so much grind an check the fit. Repeat repeat repeat
I like this very much.... I have been lookin' for the perfect EDC FB and have struck out 4 times. I think this one could be the one. Make mine 3V with micarta scales.... Whatta ya say we skip the pass around and go straight to the signup.
Blade length limit in Chicago is 2.5"
Pocket carry is perfect.
Full size handle is perfect.
thanks for the comments, guys.
Here's a pic:
Keep 'em coming guys....like I said...I'm going to put this one through it's paces and see how it works this weekend.
Just spoke to my local leather guy...he's going to try to hook me up with a leather pouch sheath for this weekend...that would rock.
This knife is beggin' for it.
Dan, as for the handle I meant material, not shape. I like spiral's combination...3V and tan/brown canvas micarta for me.
When can I order this? (like now?)
Kershaw Mafia - Don Vito Corleone
man, i like how you tapered the handle yet kept it beefy...the liners draw your eyes to it - nice touch. i wouldn't mind snagging one of these as my first Koster!
Dan, any reason in particular you choose 5160? I like the design overall, but if I was going to carry it, I'd prefer it to be 1/8" steel and have thinner scales. For me, 1/4" is pretty thick for EDC.
Of course, this is all just my opinion, and you're the craftsman, not me!
I really like it.....and would definitely be in for one of these.
Thanks for the kind words, guys.
Sorry, though...this one's only going to be in 1/4" stock....I have other 1/8-5/32" thick designs already...I do like those...but I wouldn't trust my life on it like I would this one.
1/4" does sound crazy thick for a 3" blade.....but with all the tapering I'm doing...only part of it is actually 1/4"....fortunately, that's the most important part! (where the handle meets the blade - most likely spot on a knife for it to break besides the tip).
Hope I don't come across as a jerk....just have spent a lot of time thinking this one over....and now that I have EDC'ed a 1/4" thick knife for the last few months...I love having that confidence that I can beat and wail on it without worries. And, of course, it cuts like crazy.
Remember...I'm trying to maximize my output with this...get the most I can within the 3" blade restriction...yet still be comfortable enough to carry.
Which reminds me....all corners have been radiused and all edges deburred - with the exception of thumb-grooves and the spine forward from there.....very lightly deburred for a nice square (but not sharp) corner.
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