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A test of tip strength?


Gold Member
Oct 14, 1998
I was wondering if anyone w/ a folder would want to try this test. It was inspired while I was at a seminar and no can opener was in sight for the condensed milk.

Ultimately, a medium sized kitchen knife stabbed through the top of the can to allow milk flow.

I was tempted to do so w/ my Endura but hesitated, I didn't even consider cutting through the can. Would any of you have trusted your folder to pierce the top of the can or even cut into it in lieu of a can opener?


I have opened alot of cans with my knives...it ain't too hard on them...consider this, a canopener is made out of cheap non-heat treated steel, and it does the job. Knives that are not too wide work best..stab it into the metal and then "saw" around the perimeter..

Well, the Leatherman on my belt works just fine!

Seriously though, puncturing and cutting through cans should really be in the domain of fixed blades, to avoid that sinking "I can't feel my fingers" routine. The best fixed blade penetration into a can that I've found is a Frosts of Sweden $10 Cdn model. I attribute this to the fact that the blade is less than 0.1" thick, although full blade thickness is carried out to within 1/4" of the tip, and the blade is just over 1/2" in width. Finally, the blade is carbon steel, so it's reasonable tough even with those small dimensions.

A blade with a smaller width is crucial to cutting into cans, and permits you to easily make a circular cut around the circumference of a can. A wide blade tends to bind, and wants to cut in straight lines only.

Now that I've said this, the best can opener, bar none, besides the SAK/Leatherman genre, is the spey blade on a stockman type knife. It's also probably the least safe, as the blades don't lock, and there's no handle contours to prevent your hand from sliding onto the blade. However, you couple a blade with low width and thickness, and put the spey blade on its own pivot pin (separate from the sheepsfoot and clip blades on the other pivot pin), and you can zip off the tops of cans without adversely loosening and damaging the knife.

A wide blade like the Endura would have a heck of a time cutting around the curving rim of a can. My BM Stryker can do it, but not very well, and the edge tends to be quite mangled after I'm done.

I actually stumbled upon the idea of using my knife to open cans (Gerber LST at the time) when I had loaned out my leatherman, and found myself back at camp with nothing but canned food and a pocket knife...I was surprised at how easily and fast it took the lid off a can of stew...My reprofiled Ascent work wonders on cans as well..but you are right, a FB is the safer way to go..

I can't think of many of my knives that I wouldn't pop a can with... probably the traditional non locking designs out of safety considerations.

Same with my fixed blades and the top of old cars. Should not only penetrate easily, most should be able to act as "can openers" on car roofs.

Smoke, an Endura would not be bothered either by popping a hole in the can, nor in slicing it completely in two. The blade will be blunted, and in need of some work with a steel and hone but that is about it. I have done that with my Calypso Jr. and it only slightly impacted the tip and rolled the blade, an Endura is a much heavier grind.

I never use a knife blade to remove the top of a can, because I always have a multi-tool on my person or very near me anytime I'm awake. I do, however, routinely punch a small hole in the bottom of a can to facilitate removal of thick stuff like refried beans or frozen juice concentrate. Here's the approved technique: 1. Open the can in the normal fashion. 2. Turn the can upside down over the bowl or pitcher (to catch any drips). 3. Stab the bottom of the can squarely in the middle to make a small perforation. (You don't have to stab it hard--just enough to penetrate the bottom slightly.) 4. Put your lips over the hole and blow. Few things you can do in a kitchen are more satisfying.

About a year ago, perhaps two years--I don't recall exactly--somebody posted on one of the other forums (RDK?) about punching holes in the sides of aluminum soft drink cans and sucking out the contents. Purely for entertainment purposes, I suppose.

Kids, don't try this at home. Your mileage may vary. Void where taxed, regulated, or otherwise prohibited. Batteries not included. Member FDIC.

David Rock

[This message has been edited by David Rock (edited 03 May 1999).]
Mr. Rock, "4. Put your lips over the hole and blow. Few things you can do in a kitchen are more satisfying." ROFLMAO. When was the last time you were called a sick puppy?

Don LeHue

The pen is mightier than the sword...outside of arm's reach. Modify radius accordingly for rifle.

You guys have more guts than me. I hate the thought of maiming one of my good folders. Thats why I always carry a SAK. I can abuse it and not worry. Its rare you have to abuse it though, because most of the tools that you would try substituting a blade for are right there. If you have never carried a SAK or multi-tool device, give it a try. They are the perfect compliment to a tactical folder.
Cutting up mild metals is hardly abuse for modern blades with high quality steels. It does not overly damage the softer steels like AUS-8A it just rolls them a little and it doesn't bother the tougher steels like M2 at all. I have taken a shaving sharp blade made from D2 (Uluchet) and hacked pieces out of the roof of a car (mild steel) with no indenting or chipping of the blade at all, it just slightly dulled it. In order to significantly damage a decent blade you need to hack at something a lot harder like iron, rocks, or say the stainless steel in the soles of workboots.

I like cutting coins...but only with some of my own knives. Somehow I can't bring myself to abuse something that has so much of someone else's effort (and my $) invested in it, but my own knives are a different story, gotta see how they hold up...plus most of my collection I didn't make are folders, not exactly suited for chopping quarters. It really is no big deal if you think about it; hardened steel versus nickel, zink, copper.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
Corduroy :

It really is no big deal if you think about it; hardened steel versus nickel, zink, copper.

Yes, that is the point exactly. While some of the softer stainless steels might have a problem, the better grades like BG-42 and the tool steels and high speed steels are not bothered.