A day of testing at Lynn Griffiths


BOUNCED EMAIL: I need to update my email address in my profile!
Oct 3, 1998
PLEASE READ HERE FIRST: I haved asked in the review for comments on the performance of the 3V tanto blade. I want to be sure and make it clear, that when the 3V blade went to heat treat, it was dropped and warped during treat. It was then put through a second heat treat to straighten it, which may have ruined it. Chief told everybody first thing about the 2 heat treats, we made the decision to test it anyways. I myself have no idea how that would affect it, hopefully here we can get some makers opinions on that. With that being said, read on.

On Sunday, Jan 9th, Lynn Griffith invited 3 forum members over

to view some testing of one of his blades. Lynn of course

supplied a Spec-Op Bowie blade that he had made. It had warped

on him a bit during heat treat, so he set it aside for testing.

The blade was unfinished as far a bead blasting and having handles

put on, but otherwise was a functional blade. Chief made the

hundred plus mile trip, and brought a tanto blade he had ground

from 3V and heat treated by a well known maker. I brough a Benchmade Nimravus.

Yvsa brought a HI Ang Khola Bowie. Each of us of course brought more

knives, but mainly to let the others look at them. The ones listed

above were the ones tested in one way or another.


I will start off by saying that these tests are probably not very scientific.

They were done for a few reasons. One was to see how the various

blades performed different, random tasks, and to have different

people witness the performance and be able to report in an objective

way. I will of course include our impressions and state what happened.

From that, you may draw your own conclusions. I photographed many

activities through the day. I realize now that I probably missed some

pics that I should have taken, and took some that I probably didnt need to.

Oh well, live and learn.

This report is how I see things, and also feedback I got from Yvsa

and Chief. This review is here for all to see and if I have

made any errors or mis-interpretations then please Yvsa and Chief, correct me.

First off was a little informal chopping. We cut a branch off

of a tree and laid it accross a stump. The branch was about

1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, and green. The Griffith Bowie took

about 6 or 7 chops to get through. The Benchmade was not able to

get through by chopping, probably due to its light wieght.

It was however able to be beat through by hitting the spine

with another piece of wood. Yvsa had his AK Bowie, and Chief

had a knife that one of his friends made, it could best be

described as a...um... clip point cleaver. Both that and the

AK were big heavy knives that made good "chopping machines".

The limb was nothing for those two knives. The above should be

kept in mind regarding the chopping test. First, the chops were

not always accurate as far as being able to hit the same spot on

the branch. Also it should be noted that the Griffith Bowie had no

handle slabs. We ended up putting electrical tape around the handle

to protect from sharp edges. We also chopped one branch off of a

tree using the 3V tanto, however it was a chisel grind and the blade

kept deflecting to the side with each impact. The inability of the

Benchmade to chop should in no way suggest that the knife is no good,

it is just far to light to even be considered a chopper. None

of the blades tested showed any damage to the edges, just a

few smudges from tree sap if anything.


After the chopping was done, we then stabbed 4 knives in to a log.

These were not just little 1/16 pokes into 2x4, these were hard

stabs of approx. 1/2 inch, maybe a hair more into a good, solid and

dense log. We the levered the knives sideways to check the effects

on tips. The results of that were as follows:

Bear butterfly knife - Tip bent considerably and stayed that way.

3V tanto - Bent just a hair, but actually came through pretty good.

Very slight permanent bend.

Griffith Bowie - A little flex, then tip snapped off about even with the log.

Benchmade Nimravus - Not much flex, tip snapped off about even with the log.


It would seem the tanto came out pretty good here.

Next up was some bolt cutting. Here we had a few surprises.

The knives and bolt were put in a vise and used the vise to

force the knives through the bolts. The Benchmade was tested

twice, once on the plain edge and once in the serrated part.

The plain edge had a very slight deformation of the edge, but

nothing major and was perfectly funtional afterwards. The serrated

part came through with more deformation and outward bend of the

edge. It did not look as though it could have been fixed with a

simple sharpening.

The large "clip point cleaver" looking knife that Chief brought,

and Yvsa's AK Bowie were both tested on the bolt. Both knives went

through, it took some effort to get them through, possibly because

they were both quite thick. Both knives had very slight rolling of

the edges, but both were still fully functional. Afterwards,

Yvsa 'steeled' his bowie a bit, and the edge was back to SCARY,

and I do mean scary sharp. Next up was the big surprise.

The 3V tanto failed terribly. It was tried twice, and both times

it would penetrate the bolt slightly, then the edge would simply

smash and wrap itself around the bolt. The tanto would be unusable.

The Griffith blade went through the bolt like butter. No apparent

effect to the edge.

We also tested a few junkers for fun. The butterfly knife and some

chinese folders failed in much the same way as the tanto blade did. No surprise there.

The Griifith Bowie seems to have come out on top here, with

Chief and Yvsa's knives making an extremely close second place.

The Benchmade did very well, except on the serrated part.

No other serrated knives were tested. I was going to try my

Spyderco Endura, but the blade shape would simply not allow the

vise to hold it right. I think everyone was surprised at the

miserable performance of the 3V tanto.


Next up was some breaking. Only 3 knives were tested here. Each

blade was places the vise about 1 to 1 1/2 inches at a time,

and levered to the breaking point. Here we had a surprise as well.

First up, the Benchmade. Lever it sideways to approx. 20 degrees

and SNAP! Put it back in with the next 1 1/2 inch and flex to about

15 - 20 degrees and SNAP!. Pretty much the same all the way to the

handle. Next in was the Griffith. This knife got fairly thin

toward the front of the blade. First break was approx 15 - 20

degrees and SNAP! The next break took some more effort, but was

able to be broken. The last break of the Griffith proved to be

the toughest. Chief had to do the last break as he was probably

the strongest of the bunch (dont get a big ego now LOL) .

It took some considerable effort from him. Next up was another

surprise. The 3V tanto lost its tip fairly easy in the first

break. After that it simply refused to break. Lynn was able to

flex it with huge effort to way past 90, to about 120 degrees and

it still would not break. No apparent stress craking either.

Of course the blade was bent beyond all repair, and stayed quite bent.


Here we have a toss up between the Griffith and the benchmade.

The Griffith took a bit more effort, but the flex and breaking

points were quite close. The breaks on the two knives looked

similar, but the breaks in the Benchmade were fairly clean,

but still a little on the ragged side. The Griffith blade broke

more cleanly. I have no idea what that means, but maybe a few

makers could chime in with opinions on why that is. Also,

makers who know alot about 3V may wish to chime in on why the tanto behaved that way.


A few afterthoughts. We had alot of fun, and it was very nice

of Lynn to have us all over to participate. It was interesting

to see the performance of various knives. A few things that I

learned are as follows. To those who say that a knife should not

be considered a sharpened prybar, you are correct. Knives are

for cutting. I also had never considered having a Khukuri or a

Bowie like Yvsa's as I thought if they are made in Nepal, they

cant be any good. Boy was I wrong. I had never really taken time

to look at them. Yvsa's changed my mind. His AK bowie IMO was

without a doubt the sharpest knife there, after he got done

'steeling' it. Even though it was not included in the break test,

it is my 'un-educated' opinion that is was quite possibly one of

the stoutest knives for its size I have seen. As for Lynns knives,

they are well thought out, very high quality cutting machines.

Lynn will tell you up front that his knives are not for prying,

they are for cutting. And they will cut with the best of them.

I do think his bowie would have done even better at chopping

if it had a handle. As it was, it still did quite well.

The Benchmade did much better than I though in the bolt

cutting part. Both ats34 knives were a little on the thin side,

and we all knew they would break, we were just interested at

what point they would. The 3V was a flop. I have emailed with

both Yvsa and Chief, and I think we might all agree that maybe

the heat treat could be called into question. Hopefully a maker

who knows 3V can chime in and analyze the results of the 3V for us.

I dont know if the above tests could all be called practical, but

they were fun. It was also a way to compare multiple types of

knives in somewhat the same manner.

Below is a link to the photopoint album with all the pictures.

Please feel free to post any feedback on this report. If you

have any questions that are not answered above, please ask,

Yvsa, Chief, Lynn or myself will be happy to answer them.


Meet the 'wrecking crew'


left to right is:

Yvsa, Lynn, Chief, Richard

Once again, I would like to thank Lynn for inviting us to participate. We had a blast.

I can tell you just what was up with the 3v blade as I’M the one that heat treated it.
When it slipped out of the tongs and landed on my foot and the quench plates it bent and
before I could get a grip on it as my foot was on fire it was getting to late to save.
I can’t do a full process anneal so all I could do was run it again and in doing so the
structure was destroyed.
I’M very surprised that it was able to flex like it did.
Anyway it sounds like you guys had quite a bit of fun.

Edward Randall Schott
Chief :

The Griffith blade broke more cleanly. I have no idea what that means

It means the steel was uniform in structure. A bad heat treat or impurities in the metal will weaken it significantly and cause an uneven break pattern. Usually if you can see a difference in the break you will easily feel difference in force needed to do it, as it seems you did.

Just to comment, pressing a knife in a vice through a bolt and it being undamaged is an indication of high hardness mainly. This does not translate to holding up under accidental or intentional field impacts off of hard objects. To simulate this do a freehand chop through the bolt.

Lynn, thanks for the donation of a blade and the open manner in which it was evaluated. Yvsa, Chief and Richard, thanks for taking the time to do it.

Ed, thank you very much for stepping in. I am not a maker or any kind of steel expert, so I did not really want to just speculate. You cleared things up nicely here. I to was surprised at the flex. Lynn almost got it into a horse shoe shape. I did not take a picture of the full bend as I did not want to be close beside it if it did decide to break under that much pressure. Thanks again

Thanks for the pictures. It's nice to see what y'all look like. For some reason, I pictured Lynn as an older and "thicker" man.

Forgot to mention a couple of highlights of the day:

1. Yvsa had a way cool walking stick that was also a flute and he played some real nice music on it for us.

2. Lynn cutting his little finger while breaking the BM

3. Pizza!!!

Lowlights of the day:

1. Lynn belching during Yvsa's music.

2. Richard whining after moving the mill. It wasn't that heavy
(actually it was that heavy and one of the handles bit him)

My overall impressions. Benchmade held up better than I thought it would on bolt cutting. Lynn's knife bent 10-15 degrees further before breaking than the BM. It took twice the force to break Lynn's knife, I snapped the BM easily. I went to this testing with a smirk on my face thinking that my CPM3V chisel ground knife would kick a$$. I left disappointed in how easy the edge rolled over on it. I knew the heat treat might have been questionable, but it sure seemed hard when doing post heat treat final shaping, so I thought it was OK. Anyhow, Lynn, thanks for your hospitality inviting us over. You make top quality high performance fixed blade. First time I have ever broke a knife on purpose and it was fun.
When I wrote this, I was waiting for replys from Yvsa and Chief to make sure I had everything accurate. I failed to wait long enough for Chief to reply. Here are his impressions he sent me, and also he pointed out a few things I neglected to mention.

1. The tree that the branch was cut off of was chosen by Yvsa, as it was his opinion that it looked to be the toughest tree.

2.As for the Benchmade not being able to chop through the branch, Lynn stopped after about 40 chops.

3.As for Yvsa'a and Chief's knives chopping so easily, it should be mentioned that they both probably came in at about 2.5 - 5 pounds. They were heavy!!

4.The chisel ground tanto, although it wanted to deflect on each hit, did make it through in about 12 chops. It was slightly heavier than the Benchmade.

5.It should be mentioned that in the stabbing tests, that the knives were stabbed into the END GRAIN of the log, very tough.

6.Chief also feels, as do I, that in the bolt cutting, the Griffith was the pretty clear winner here. Chief was also quite dismayed at the dismal performance of the 3V tanto (me: though we know now the heat treat was no good, and should not be considered valid)

7. Chief points out that he suspected the heat treat of the 3V had gone bad as stated by Ed, but points out that it was still able to take a very sharp edge.

8.During the breaking of the Benchmade, Chief points out that it sustained NO permanent bend, it simply reached its breaking point and broke all at once.

9.Chief stated he believes that Lynns knife flexed about 10 degrees FARTHER than the Benchmade, so that would make Lynns flex approx 30 degrees with no permanent bend. (me: I tend to think Chief is correct, as he was in a MUCH better position during this part of the test. He was watching from the side, I was behind Lynn kind of looking around him.

10.Again in the breaking tests, Benchmade and Griffith being tested, they both could be broken, with the Griffith having bested the Benchmade by about 10 degrees of flex.

11. Chief points out that Yvsa's AK Bowie was 'crudely finished'. (me: I do agree, it does not have the spit-and-polish of many other knives, but IMO is a work horse.)

12. It is Chiefs opinion that Lynns knife was sharper than Yvsa's bowie. (me: IMO Yvsa had the sharpest of the bunch, however that is not to say Lynns was dull at all, it was also VERY sharp.)

13.Lynn, Chief also thanks you for the invite

Well, that should cover some things I forgot. I really should have waited on Chief to email all his thoughts to me, I just got a little eager to post it

Thanks, guys. That was a fun read. Maybe almost as much fun as you guys seemed to have in doing the tests.


AKTI #A000356
Please don't confuse when Richard talks about my knife as I brought two and sometimes Richard didn't clearly define which one he is talking about. I brought two that we tested on the bolts and chopping but we only one that we broke, the CPM3V and we only broke the end of it as it was super flexible due to known heat treat problem. My other knife is not pictured and was made by a friend's dad out of a tree trimming blade. It looks like Richard describes it, a whomping thick clip point cleaver that probably weighs nearly five pounds. Cliff, you would probably have a hard time breaking it. Don't know what kind of steel it is but it is so tough it had to be formed using some kind of laser cutter. Real, real thick. Not even a marginal cutting tool but might work if you club someone in the head with it. I have a bigger respect for properly heat/cryo treated ATS-34. Now I see why Strider, Lynn, and others use it. Yes, we broke it when using it as a pry bar in a vise, that was the main purpose of the test, but it certainly performed well cutting the bolts. Works great cutting, not intended to be a prybar. I still think the CPM3V has good possibilities. My experiance with 440V is that it takes a killer sharp edge. Time to go to the gym so I can be ready to break some more!
I really enjoyed the testing. The pizza was pretty good too. I think the one thing that we learned though, was that Digornio (sp)pizza would have probably tasted better. LOL

Really though the test was a blast. Mostly becuase I got to spend the day with three great guys. Yvsa played his hand made flute, which is always a treat. I accidently burped while he was playing, and said "I'm sorry". Yvsa played on the busted a smile when he was done. He said it was hard to keep a straight face. Richard took lots of great pictures, and ate one of the two pizza's by him self (not really
. Chief brough a box full of Microtechs to show us. And I do mean a box full. I have never really looked at them up close before. They were incredible. The workmanship is out of this world. All in all a wonderful day that I will not soon forget.

Thanks guys,

Lynn Griffith-Knifemaker

Available Knives
Lynn where do you rest your tools?? You need a knifemakers organic tool rest my friend. But no worries, there's plenty of time to work on that.

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I agree with Neil. I wish I lived closer to you guys. The pictures were great. I feel like I know all you guys from "talking" here on BF-it's nice to put faces to the names. Man, I thought shooting my 12 gauge at gallon jugs filled with water was fun-looks like you all had a ball! A box full of MT's, eh Chief? You warned me it was an addiction! (You were right!)

Great pictures and test. Thanks for the information.

I can understand setting yourself (not deliberately) on fire being a great distraction.

Good job all around guys, thanks for sharing.

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