Busse and/or CPK

ferider

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Not trying to provoke a fight .... :)

But like me, I know there are some of you who use both. Now, Busse and CPK obviously have some very different offerings, but there also is some noticeable overlap.

For example, in use, the SOB and FK2 should compare nicely. Or, for a longer blade, the Boss Jack vs. the HDFK. Etc.

If you own both, how do you compare them ? How about INFI vs D3V ? D3V is harder, and - IMHO - more corrosion resistant. But how about toughness ? Etc.

Just curious. Thanks !

Roland.
 

rileybassman1

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I had an RMD and an FK2 (not at the same time) - similar philosophy of use between them... I would definitely give blade grind/geometry to the FK2 - handle comfort for me (smaller hands) I liked the RMD quite a bit more... SR101 and 3V are two amazing steels.

Man... what I wouldn't give for an FK2 with an RMD handle....
 

Pàdruig

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I don't have a whole lot of experience with Busse and kin, having only handled a few and owned only a couple, so anything I say can be taken with a wee bit of salt.

Personally, I feel that it's a bit of an "apples & oranges" comparison. There are some Busse designs that don't make a whole lot of sense to me from a practicality mindset but in the end, if it makes someone happy, who am I to judge? On the flip side of that, there are Busse designs that I adore and I keep a casual lookout for them - I'm never in the right place at the right time though so it usually ends up being a fruitless exercise in patience.

At our Beckerhead Gatherings (twice a year before Covid happened), Busse is often the butt of a joke I haven't figured out yet. Those who have been to a BH gathering know that attendees aren't gentle on knives and due to the Busse's reputation, if one is present, it gets the honors of enduring some of the most ridiculous and grueling hijinks. That said, you know what has NEVER happened? A Busse doesn't break and it just shrugs off any and all abuse. It is a testament to the steel quality and its legendary toughness - knowing this, I would never hesitate to own one.

CPK is a different animal. I love the thought and care that goes into absolutely every detail in the design and making of a knife. From the steel to the handle design, the purpose built philosophy, and the exacting standards, CPK really is a cut above so many (no pun intended). If Nathan can take a design as seemingly mundane as a Kephart, reproduce it somewhat faithfully, and still manage to imbue it with his own special stash of unicorn blood magic, there is surely something to be said for that.

If I may, I'll use the following analogy: Where CPK is like a finely tuned AR-15, with precision and careful thought built into every element, including the ammunition - Busse is like an AK-47, you can beat the living crap out it and it will still spit out bullets with the best of them.

In the end, they aren't the same, you're comparing different design philosophies and manufacturing methods. They both offer amazing knives though and that is really what matters.

uJVM9zs.jpg
 

ferider

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I don't have a whole lot of experience with Busse and kin, having only handled a few and owned only a couple, so anything I say can be taken with a wee bit of salt.

Personally, I feel that it's a bit of an "apples & oranges" comparison. There are some Busse designs that don't make a whole lot of sense to me from a practicality mindset but in the end, if it makes someone happy, who am I to judge? On the flip side of that, there are Busse designs that I adore and I keep a casual lookout for them - I'm never in the right place at the right time though so it usually ends up being a fruitless exercise in patience.

At our Beckerhead Gatherings (twice a year before Covid happened), Busse is often the butt of a joke I haven't figured out yet. Those who have been to a BH gathering know that attendees aren't gentle on knives and due to the Busse's reputation, if one is present, it gets the honors of enduring some of the most ridiculous and grueling hijinks. That said, you know what has NEVER happened? A Busse doesn't break and it just shrugs off any and all abuse. It is a testament to the steel quality and its legendary toughness - knowing this, I would never hesitate to own one.

CPK is a different animal. I love the thought and care that goes into absolutely every detail in the design and making of a knife. From the steel to the handle design, the purpose built philosophy, and the exacting standards, CPK really is a cut above so many (no pun intended). If Nathan can take a design as seemingly mundane as a Kephart, reproduce it somewhat faithfully, and still manage to imbue it with his own special stash of unicorn blood magic, there is surely something to be said for that.

If I may, I'll use the following analogy: Where CPK is like a finely tuned AR-15, with precision and careful thought built into every element, including the ammunition - Busse is like an AK-47, you can beat the living crap out it and it will still spit out bullets with the best of them.

In the end, they aren't the same, you're comparing different design philosophies and manufacturing methods. They both offer amazing knives though and that is really what matters.

uJVM9zs.jpg

Thank you much for your thoughtful reply. Obviously the two brands are very different; but, they are both US made with proprietary steels, which is great if you think about it ignoring different marketing .... I was looking for feedback just like yours.

Roland.
 

TRfromMT

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I've never used a Busse but I've had a couple through my shop. The single detail that has turned me off them is the half acre of real estate taken up by the finger choil and guard in front of the handle. Never clicked with me visually or made the connection as to why it's there. Clearly a knife you could count on when the chips are down (both brands are).
 

SpyderPhreak

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Dylan said it pretty well IMO.

Busse gets a bad reputation for being blunt and overbuilt. Some definitely are but the end user can thin the cutting edge and increase the cutting performance at the expense of durability), and that's why they're marketed as a "Combat" knife. Heavy duty knives that will take abuse, not break, and still cut, if not really well.

But when you really get to know their family of products (they have TWO other companies in their family, Swamp Rat and Scrapyard), not all of the knives they make are like that. I'd be willing to bet that most who will read this thread have ZERO clue that Busse also occasionally makes some very "slicy", thin Elmax knives, that come in at a whopping 0.090" thin. They're among some of my favorite Busse products!

Nathan focuses more on performance, and really dialing in the geometry, while still making a pretty darn tough knife. I don't beat on my CPK knives as hard as I do some of my Busse, but they would likely take it just fine without any damage. But I treat them like a higher performance knife should be treated, and mostly use them for cutting vs. chopping and/or hacking.

Looking at the steels, I think that SR-101, 3V, and INFI are are fairly different steels, and I like certain aspects of all of them. In my experience, Nathan's Delta 3V definitely wins in the edge-holding department, while still being very tough and stain resistant. However... INFI can be very close to D3V in that department, when hardened higher than typical Busse knives are. That's a HUGE caveat!!! I really do wish that Jerry would offer us more INFI at ~62-64 RC. There have only been a few Offered in the past, but if can get your hands on them, you would have a wholly new perspective on INFI's performance.

It's not about one or the other for me. I have many Busse, and a handful of CPK. CPK are simply harder to get, they don't have the production capacity that Busse does. CPK knives are meticulously finished though, their fit and finish is superb! Attention to detail is second to none. Busse are still really nice, but generally a step below CPK in that department (though some of their stuff is just as good). Busse has a MUCH broader offering of models, but each is only generally made for a limited time. They usually have something for everyone, but it might take some research to find the right model to fit your needs.

Bottom line, you really can't go wrong with either company. Both Jerry and Nathan are great men, who helm excellent companies that make some of the finest cutlery in the industry, made-in-the-USA, with some of the best customer service you'll find anywhere.
 
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ferider

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But when you really get to know their family of products (they have TWO other companies in their family, Swamp Rat and Scrapyard), not all of the knives they make are like that. I'd be willing to bet that most who will read this thread have ZERO clue that Busse also occasionally makes some very "slicy", thin Elmax knives, that come in at a whopping 0.090" thin. They're among some of my favorite Busse products!

Thank you for the long reply, SP. Fully agree, there is a huge spectrum of offerings on the Busse side (all 3 companies considered), and it makes the comparison difficult. I now have a dozen Busse&family knives or so, and my current favorite is the SYKCO Dog Soldier 8 - not the most expensive one, but for a performer and cutter at this size there is nothing left to be desired for me. Very well thought out, light and balanced, great cutter, love how the tang connects to the lanyard hole filler, etc.

On the CPK side, my first experience reflects yours. Very carefully designed, very well made.

The whole question is a little like comparing my Harley Davidson to my BMW ... Specs are similar, feel is different enough to own both. :)
 

SpyderPhreak

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Busse earned their reputation, but they've really expanded their designs. I just think most people don't have a clue about that. They even make small knives too. They have designed some great 3-4" models!

ETA - I'll try to post some pictures later of some similar Busse/CPK designs. Chopper, mid-size, and smaller. It'll surprise some.
 

Sonnydaze

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Busse also occasionally makes some very "slicy", thin Elmax knives, that come in at a whopping 0.090" thin. They're among some of my favorite Busse products!
I am fortunate enuf to have several of his rather-rare thinly-ground knives. Not interested in ax-grinds, regardless of maker. i have owned several of Nathan's excellent EDC-type models. i still have one as-new, but his grip design is not comfortable in my hand, and several grip materials feel slippery.
I have carried the smaller slicy Busses cross-draw, but have NEVER carried one of Nathan's EDC models (due to the poor grip-fit in my hand).
 
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SpyderPhreak

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I am fortunate enuf to have several of his rather-rare thinly-ground knives. Not interested in ax-grinds, regardless of maker. i have owned several of Nathan's excellent EDC-type models. i still have one as-new, but his grip design is not comfortable in my hand.
Here's a conundrum... Swamp Rat recently offered a MEGA Swamp Warden; it's a ~3" skeleton handled, minimalist design knife. I have just a "few" (~12, lol) of the older designs, I absolutely loves these knives and stash them everywhere. Anyway, the MEGA part about the newer one is that it uses 0.32" thick stock!!! :eek: HOWEVER...

They are ground with an extremely deep hollow grind, and the first half of the blade height is significantly thinner than my older ~0.18" stock, flat-ground Swamp Wardens. Thinner than my 0.090" Elmax knives too! :cool: I was skeptical, but I have been very surprised at how well these MEGA Wardens actually cut. They don't handle at all like you'd expect a 0.32" thick, 3" long knife to handle.
 
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WValtakis

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Here's a conundrum... Swamp Rat recently offered a MEGA Swamp Warden; it's a ~3" skeleton handled, minimalist design knife. I have just a "few" (~12, lol) of the older designs, I absolutely loves these knives and stash them everywhere. Anyway, the MEGA part about the newer one is that it uses 0.32" thick stock!!! :eek: HOWEVER...

They are ground with an extremely deep hollow grind, and the first half of the blade height is significantly thinner than my older ~0.18" stock, flat-ground Swamp Wardens. I was skeptical, but I have been very surprised at how well these MEGA Wardens actually cut. They don't handle at all like you'd expect a 0.32" thick, 3" long knife to handle.
What's the point of the spine thickness, then? If it's such a deep hollow grind I wouldn't want to baton with it, and a spine 1/3 the thickness would cut WAY better and still do everything a knife should do🤪

Edit- it's like this ridiculous thing...are thickness bragging rights that important? 🤣
Screenshot_20210730-122855_Chrome.jpg

Screenshot_20210730-122817_Chrome.jpg
 

SpyderPhreak

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What's the point of the spine thickness, then? If it's such a deep hollow grind I wouldn't want to baton with it, and a spine 1/3 the thickness would cut WAY better and still do everything a knife should do🤪

Edit- it's like this ridiculous thing...are thickness bragging rights that important? 🤣
View attachment 1610134

View attachment 1610135
The point? It's pretty much guaranteed to NEVER break, lol. And you can REALLY pry with something that thick. Well, maybe not with the very tip, but pound that thing in an inch (with a hammer if you want, it'll shrug it off) and pry to your heart's content. ;)

Yeah, it's a little ridiculous, but that's just what the doctor ordered sometimes! o_O 🤯 😂

ETA - Being a minimalist design, the thickness also aids in the handle being more comfortable to use. No paranoid wrap needed.
 

WValtakis

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The point? It's pretty much guaranteed to NEVER break, lol. And you can REALLY pry with something that thick. Well, maybe not with the very tip, but pound that thing in an inch (with a hammer if you want, it'll shrug it off) and pry to your heart's content. ;)

Yeah, it's a little ridiculous, but that's just what the doctor ordered sometimes! o_O 🤯 😂
But you said it's ground thin? Not worried about blowing out the edge?
 

SpyderPhreak

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But you said it's ground thin? Not worried about blowing out the edge?

I suppose you could if you only pried with the edge and/or tip, but you'd have to be trying pretty hard. It would eventually fracture, but I think you'd see a good bit of deformation first. If you get the spine involved, I don't think it'd be an issue though. I'd bet my life on the knife if I had to. 🤷‍♂️
 

mb>

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CPKs have much better edge geometry, in my limited Busse comparison experience. I have an Infinidu, which has a full flat grind and is supposed to be one of the slicier Busses (from what I heard at the time.). It was .034 BTE stock, which I had reground to .015 BTE. I’ve cut frozen whole chickens in half with it and the edge has done very well.

INFI has taken some stain where my D3V CPKs have not. Not a lot though. No complaints on the steel.

Slightly off topic but in a similar vein, I also like Winklers. They tend to run a little thick behind the edge as well. But tough knives for sure.
 

- SpyderMan -

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I’ve had a handful of Busse knives which I enjoyed. However, I’ve since replaced them with CPK knives, as I prefer the geometry, attention to detail and overall high level of finish on Nathan’s knives. Oh, and the removable scales, too.

I may own another Busse sometime, but CPK is where it’s at for me. :)
 

000Robert

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I don't know and really don't care. I love the designs and everything about the CPK knives, including being able to change the scales. So I've only been buying CPK fixed blade knives since I found them last year here on BFC. And I find some of the Micarta scales to be very grippy and don't see how anyone could say that they are not. But I only have experience with the UF and DEK1 knives so far. And the DEK1 handle fits my hands better than any knife that I can ever remember holding.
The pandemic has been good to me. I found BFC, CPK, and Wicked Edge. I'm good!
 
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