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A radical theory, and leaving the world of expensive modern knives behind

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Chopaholic, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. Chopaholic


    Aug 20, 2018
    I don't mean to come off like a jerk, but I don't put much effort into hiding it either, so I apologize.

    I'm just sick of knives that are stupidly designed and overpriced, which is like 90% of everything on Knifecenter, Amazon, etc I've accumulated over the years. Dead weight, completely inappropriate geometry, insulting factory edges, lack of basic features, I'm done with all of it. The old designs are better. I'm not some poor person taking a "sour grapes" attitude towards things I can't afford, I'm someone who's had it all and am just disillusioned by years of bad performance and nerve-wracking marathons at the bench stone. The cheap, simple, timeless knives I've been using at work this whole time were the holy grail all along.
  2. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    Batonning it with the wrong technique.

    That isn't "modern knives'" fault...it is your techniques fault.

    You can baton with an Opinel if you do it correctly.
  3. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    Again, we run into "need" vs "want". ;) Just because a 1972 Fiat 124 Spyder is (was) a heck of a sports car, doesn't mean a Ferrari isn't more fun even though it is not needed. I love the old knives like my Old Hickory 7" butcher and others, but I also love having my Cold Steel Trailmaster (which the OP considers WAY too thick) by my side in the "way out" places, and I have spent A LOT of time out there in the last 50 years or so. I also doubt the OP has used knives more than I have (in camping, packing, hunting, and yes, combat, plus extensive cooking etc.) and, although some good points were made, I find his? posts to be rather pompous, particularly on BF where there is such a wealth of experience. :rolleyes:
  4. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    Just think how well you would have done if you meant to. :rolleyes:
    Lance Leon, LowKey, CataD and 4 others like this.
  5. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    I am not a big fan of many modern knives. I appreciate great knife design and much of it is old.

    But making a claim like you have done, that the old designs and materials exceed modern ones in every way is utter nonsense.

    And claiming people who feel modern knives work well are "idiots" who dont know what they are doing is insulting and further degrades your arguments.

    Enjoy your knives.
  6. Chopaholic


    Aug 20, 2018
    Did I mention that I'm an experienced all-around outdoorsman as well? I've chopped down acres worth of trees with every implement known to man. I've turned pine snags 9" in diameter into piles of split firewood using nothing but 3" folding knives. I've had nearly every heavy chopping knife under the sun; Ontarios, ESEEs, Condors, Beckers, TOPS, you name it.

    The "axe vs knife" debate took up a lot of space in my mind for a long time many years ago, used to get into silly internet debates about it almost every day, with my own views changing just as frequently. I've developed a stable opinion over the years to the effect that trying to lend any significant amount of chopping power to a knife basically kills every unique advantage it may have had over a hatchet. Youtube is full of mall ninjas reviewing $200-$300 survival knives weighing 24 oz or more. A Cold Steel tomahawk weighs exactly the same or less, will outperform any of these knives at absolutely anything, and costs $20. I'm all done with "survival knives".
  7. Chopaholic


    Aug 20, 2018
    I would have thought it was nonsense years ago too.
  8. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Steel was not "perfected" decades ago (let alone centuries).
    The formulation and production of it is an ongoing human endeavour, with advancements all the time.

    The only really valid observation from this whole thread is that older designs of knives and many older steels work pretty well...they do. But that's it. There will continue to be advancements in material science that impart certain advantages, and every so often a new design/tweak of blade, handle or mechanism will improve things too. :)
    kniferbro, GABaus, Quiet and 7 others like this.
  9. Chopaholic


    Aug 20, 2018
    You can't froe a knife through a knotty, uncooperative firewood log without using the "wrong" technique you're referring to.
  10. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    Now THIS I can relate to. :thumbsup: I don't agree with "outperform...at absolutely anything" but I do love (and use a LOT) my CS hawks-and I have them all with doubles of 3.
    dinoatlas, thebrain and peppercorn like this.
  11. Reitwagen


    Mar 2, 2009
  12. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    My family has been batoning firewood before anyone even knew what batoning was. Superior is just your opinion. I bet I could harvest more firewood and build a fire faster and bigger than yours. I'll only use a knife and folding saw. And I bet my white lightning is stronger than yours...
  13. Chopaholic


    Aug 20, 2018
    There is little tangible performance difference between a 400 series knife that could have been purchased during the great depression and one made of any steel invented since. Design and the skill of the sharpener constitute 99% of it. All other factors being equal, you'd have to be a professional who uses knives every day like me to even notice any difference between a knife made of CPM3V and a >$50 knife from one of the major manufacturers of western kitchen and meat processing cutlery. Most knife enthusiasts are so ignorant of and terrible at sharpening that there is no possible way the steel selection in their knives could make any difference in performance whatsoever. Perfect example, I went to thanksgiving with a guy who is an avid chef, and was bragging about $300 Japanese damascus knives he had and how well they perform. I handled them, and the factory edges were distant memories, couldn't even slice paper. I asked him if he owned any water stones, and he didn't know what I was talking about. This kind of abysmal cluelessness about edges and sharpening is typical of nearly every single person I have ever met who was interested in knives, and that is one reason why I chuckle at the notion of some kind of revolution in blade steels. A piece of mild steel from Home Depot in my hands is better than any knife ever made in the hands of the average blade guy out there.
  14. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    Well I guess "theory proved."
  15. jceckrosh

    jceckrosh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 2016
    Yes, but any number of knives, new or old, would have done the same. Although I am not sure what side of the argument you are arguing, if any.

    On the flip side of the argument, I have used a thick spined modern knife to cut a bully stick in half, which I am sure would have ruined my chef knife.
  16. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    Sounds like you're pretty proficient. I'd love to see a video of your work.
    OilMan and hexenjager like this.
  17. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    Even more proof! We are interested in knives, hence we are abysmally clueless about sharpening compared to you.

    I wish you would have tuned up sooner! Think of the time we have wasted!
  18. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I like older knife designs myself, but I wouldn’t make a blanket statement by saying they are superior to modern designs in every way. I would put one of Murray Carters knives against just about any kitchen knife on the market.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  19. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    Hey Marci, got any magic to move this to W&C? :eek: Now THAT would be interesting.;)
    CataD, ArchVV, marcinek and 2 others like this.
  20. Dirtbiker


    Jul 2, 2010
    I saw some of the merits to your points Basically old designs and steel can perform admirably. But you have to admit time doesn't stand still and there is no "perfect" do it all knife.

    Variety is the spice of life.
    dinoatlas, GABaus and thebrain like this.
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