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BEST Folder Grinds: hollow or flat

Dec 14, 1998
Which do you like best?
HOW do you use the knife?
Which is best all around?

Web Site At www.darrelralph.com
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Flat for general purpose. And ground all the way to the spine.

Hollow grinds tend to bind because when they get thick, they get thick fast. Hollow works well for shallow slices and such, but is a more limited grind, IMHO, for a general purpose folder. It certainly has its place in more specialty knives.


I'm with phatch- flat grind straight to the spine for general utility!

Same as above. The full height flat grind is, IMO, the best overall. However, has anyone considered the Scandinavian grind for use in a folder?

Darrel, I'm sure both have their uses, and I know that you know better than I do what that would be. But, if you ask which do I prefer it would have to be Flat grind. Although I have seen some beautiful hollow grind blades and makers who I have a lot of respect for choose hollow grind, for some reason it just looks cheap to me. Maybe it's from all the cheap hollow grind blades I see in so many peoples kitchen knives.

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Darrel, I like them both. It really depends on just how that grind is done. A "wide" hollow grind is great, I dont have many knives like that, but those that I do seem to function very well. I personally prefer the flat grind, however not to many are done "right" IMO. Flat saber grinds on folders are a joke, Full flat grinds are great if the blade is fairly wide, like on a spyderco military. Otherwise I think hollow grinds are the way to go.
Full Flat. Always. It's the strongest, easiest to sharpen, and most versatile shape.

I actually suspect that hollow grinds would never have evolved as popular blade shapes except for the ease of grinding them on wheels.

Darrel Ralph,

I love hollow grinds. The slim profile is beautiful kind of like the curves of a woman and they just cut and sharpen, IMHO, the best. I would LOVE to have one of your EDC Dominator knives which I would use to cut foods like cheese and pizza to paper and card board, rope and banding strap. Although $395 will take me a while to save I'm going to try, so that I'll have the best knife with the best grind, don't change a thing!
Prefer full-height flat grinds, for all-around cutting utility. I also find them to be the most aesthetically pleasing. Why? What's on your mind, Darrel?

[This message has been edited by samwereb (edited 11-24-2000).]
My use for a folder is limited to the common stuff, like loose threads and envelopes. I've said it before, but the sharpest knife I ever had was a Kershaw Whirlwind. It had a hollow grind that went deeper into the blade than any I had seen, and it was thin. The angle on mine was 14.8 degrees. Although it was 440A, and didn't stay sharp long, when it had a fresh edge, it was spooky.--OKG
Flat, all the way.
1. Easy to sharpen
2. The geometry makes all of the blade strong
3. The tip is more accure
4. After several years of usage the hollow ground blade is getting really thick (due to sharpening)
5. The hollow ground blade gets scratches easier while sharpening (not too estetic)
For field dressing and butchering, and kitchen work I have no problems with a hollow grind. They slice well. But I also like a convex blade because, as Ed Fowler put it, "there is only one cutting edge adequately supported by the remaining blade" and therefore, "I also believe that such blades can be made sharper than the other two grinds."

In general, though, the flat grind is my favorite. Easy to sharpen. Tough enough for some abuse and utility use. And it slices well. Some friends of mine couldn't believe how well my cheapie Opinel #12 could slice tomatoes and bread. And my chunky Busse Mean Street is a great, rugged utility fixed blade.

So...I love my hollow ground Wegners and Sebenza but would love to see both in a flat grind. I think it is a better "all around" grind.


I get some pleasure from finding a relentlessly peaceful use for a combative looking knife.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell
"Those who hold the thin blue line keep order, and insure that anarchy and chaos will not prevail." Chad (1992)
"He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. He who dies by the sword did not train hard enough" -Chad (1999)
Originally posted by Paracelsus:
I actually suspect that hollow grinds would never have evolved as popular blade shapes except for the ease of grinding them on wheels. :D
I think so too.
But since the question mysteriously says "folders" instead of "knives" there perhaps is an underlying assumption, or theory, that folders don't get used as much as other knives and therefore the grind matters less. May be so as it's not an unreasonable assumption at least for the smaller ones. I think there may also be a correlation with whether the user cares about which kind of steel is used or not. We do, most don't.<img src="http://www.canit.se/%7Egriffon/knives/.1x1knives.gif" height=0 width=0 alt="">

Urban Fredriksson www.canit.se/%7Egriffon/
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"I've always been fascinated by Scandinavian knives [...] they're simple, in an advanced way". - Bob Loveless
Hollow is fine but FLAT is superior! Nice beefy spine gradually tapering to a razor edge. I like a knife, folder or otherwise, to serve dual duty. A thick-spined flat ground blade is equally at home for utility or defense and let's be honest, most blades are used for utility.

[This message has been edited by Gene (edited 11-24-2000).]
I wouldn't chop or slash through weeds and vines with my (hollow-ground) Sebenza but I do with my (flat-ground) Vaquero Grande.

I don't think folders generally get asked to take the beating that even a small fixed blade will be put through. As long as the lock-up is a limiting factor in force applied, the blade edge can afford to be razor-sharp, if less robust.
Hollow ground, if it is done deep and correctly.

I grind on a 10" contact wheel and with the thicker steels I normally start my folders with, and the depth I grind (3/4" - 1"), it is more flat than hollow. Leaves plenty of room for lots of sharpenings before it gets too thick.
for looks and the way it slices, the sharpest knives i've owned and the easiest to resharpen have all been HOLLOW ground

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