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Blade Thickness???

Ok oh learned ones. Im having another custom fighter made. It is going to be a clip point with a flat grind made from stainless damascus. 4.5 inches Fully tapered tang,ironwood scales w small double guard canted forward at the top. The false edge will be sharpened. I have speced the knife from begining to end but am stuck on blade thickness. If its to damn heavy I wont carry it. If its with me it will see a fair share of work regardless of its intended purpose. I thought 5/32 for a 4.5 inch blade was a good trade off between quickness, ease of carry and durability. What are your thoughts.The knife maker is awaiting my order.
The current blade I am evaluating is in D2 about the same length, drop point and a full flat grind, no false edge though. Its only 3/32" thick but I have had no problems with it so far and have even done assisted chopping with it. The only thing I would be concerned about it prying as I would assume I would too easily break off the tip or even fracture the blade itself if I jammed it in deep. But I won't be doing anything like that as otherwise I would have got it made thicker.

Why don't you just give the maker a full description of you intended uses and let him decide on the thickness. Odds are that he is the best one to judge how thick the blade should be to give it the required strength.

Jan 11, 1999
If it's really a fighter and not a prybar then go thinner you'll get a sharper edge more easily maintained.

The above advice from Cliff is very good.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
I think it all depends on how much lateral force you want the knife to be able to withstand. A thinner blade will cut through with less force than a thicker one, but that is only important in cutting thick or wide materials where the whole blade width will be involved. It is more important in a fighter to have a thin, aggressive edge that gets somewhat thicker as you approach the tip for greater tip strength.

I would make the decision based on how much prying I want to do. None, 1/8". Light, 5/32 to 3/16. Serious, 1/4". I don't usually do any serious prying with a knife blade, so I tend to like thinner blades, better for both utility and fighting as far as I can see.


[This message has been edited by Steve Harvey (edited 05 March 1999).]
Harv, 3/32 is less than 1/8

Anyway, I would be leery of telling a maker an exact thickness unless you know a fair amount about the steel and his heat treatment. You can get quite a difference in performance depending on the characteristics of the steel and how it is handled. For example you would have a hard time beating up a 1/8" piece of L6 but a fairly easy time with a 1/8" piece of CPM-15V (assuming similar grinds and all that).

Of course if you have first hand experience with the maker or similar materials then you are on safer ground but I for one would always leave the choice up to the guy making the knife.

If not for anything else you can always blame him if the design fails


Meant 5/32, of course. Good points about the steel.


[This message has been edited by Steve Harvey (edited 05 March 1999).]