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My CS Trailmaster was my first good knife (I bought it when they first came out I guess about eleven years ago?), and still remains my best heavy-duty bowie. Mine's the Carbon V version; this thing was used as an emergency anchor on an underwater rockbed once on a whitewater canoeing trip. It's one tough SOB. I think the Carbon V steel is superior for edge holding, ease of resharpening, and edge toughness (some of these things may contradict themselves--it's just what I've observed). I had the feeling the stainless version was for some specialty purpose where it might spend some time around salt water. Otherwise, the Carbon V version will do just fine against the elements, and I feel you might be disappointed you didn't opt for it if you choose the stainless.
i have the stainless version about 4 months old. It was beautiful aesthetically and it cuts like not a hot knife but a blazzin' one through butter. I tried it in the MALAYSIAN rain forest while camping chopping fire wood and the forward weight helped very much. The rolling edge was really sharp but i have a problem of sharping it back to the original form, so what i did was giving it a sabre edge instead. I enjoy using mine, i hope you will too.
Power to the blade and lightsabre.
[This message has been edited by keninshiro (edited 01 July 1999).]
I used to have the Trailmaster and I loved it. I ended up giving it to my brother but always regretted that decision.
I recently bought a Recon Scout and I must say I am impressed. Although 2 inches smaller it is in every respect as tough and durable as it's Daddy.
Carbon V is the way to go.
I have a CarbonV Trailmaster that I bought when they first came out. I understand that it has the rolled edge, and I have never been happy with it. In my experience, it does not cut as the Gerber Bowie bought at the same time (1990 + or - a year). One of these days, I intend to re-edge the blade, but it is a low priority
There was a guy about a week ago that wanted to rehandle his Trailmaster. He had a cut in the handle all the way to the tang. He ended up rehandling it and when he removed the rubber found that the handle had oxidized. This brings up several questions that I don't know were answered:
1) Did the corrosion appear on the tang as a result of the poorly sealed handle or as a result of the cut in the handle?
2) Was the color actually corrosion or was it a result of the rubber bonding process itself?
I am the one that has the Trailmaster that had rust under the Kraton.
I bought the knife in Feb.'92.
It may be like Chiro (I think) said that the water may have came in the slit it had in the grip,I dunno. I do know that it had red rust all over the tang. This knife has been used and abused and I can't fault the blade itself. I would recommend a Trailmaster in a heartbeat to anyone that wanted a good Bowie without paying a whole lot. Mine is also a 2nd. and that made the cost even better.
I used to work where we made all kinds of rubber products for the
"oil patch." A lot of our products was different metals covered with rubber or some form of phenolic. In order to do this process a "liquid rubber" (Rubber melted in a chemical that I can't recall the name of right now. Seems like it was Methyl Ethyl Ketone though.)
The metal was either dipped or painted with this material and then allowed to dry. When the rubber was molded to this base it formed a permanent bond that wasn't easy to remove. We also done the same thing with a heavy nylon material to make diagphrams similiar to what was used in fuel pumps.
The Kraton handle wasn't molded to the knife IMO. I feel that if it had been then I wouldn't have been able to slice around the edge of one side and lift it off with ease. After I pulled the brass eyelet out the other side came off just as easy.
It appears to me that the handles are molded and then pushed over the tang and the eyelet for the lanyard is installed.Some glue may have been used. I dunno. I checked my SRK and LTC and the Kraton on them aren't glued very solid. I was able to lift the edges up enough to squirt some
WD-40 between the rubber and tang.
I have never been satisfied with the size of the handle on the Trailmaster and after I found the slit I deceided to rehandle it. That's the only reason I found the rust. I am still undeceided whether to use some Elk Stag I have or Micarta to fix it with. I have made a new bronze guard for it which will be a little heavier and I am going to epoxy it on before I put the handle proper on. I would solder it on,but I am hesitant to do that without the proper experience.
I will use enough epoxy that there won't be any more moisture getting to the blade unless it is condensation.
That is something that could have caused the original rust problem anyway. I dunno. I do know that I am concerned enough about it thatI probably won't buy any more knives that are handled with rubber like this. Just my opinion.
I think they are quite usable pieces. Afterall I have had this knife for almost 8 years. It truly has been use and abused,but never left outside in the rain or snow. It has waited a long as 3 - 4 days after a trip to be cleaned up. It isn't like the handle was rusting off.
It had enough rust to concern me and I felt that other knife knuts should know about the problem. Then it doesn't take much to concern me when it is something that I may accidently have to lay my or my families well-being on.
From reading the forum for a while I know that all of you feel the same way.
I am not gonna worry to much about my other CS pieces with Kraton handles because for one thing they were cheap. The other is I am now aware of the potential and will take better care of them. I am really hard on my gear !!
I used the WD-40 as a stop gap until I can use some Endrust in there to stop the problem then use one of the new killer lube/protectant products that are availible now.
If a person was in a very hostile enviroment then I don't think the tang would last as long,but how many of us are gonna experience that kind of trip?
Especially for a long time.
Remember that I only found this because of the rip/cut in the rubber. If I had of been satisfied with the original handle to begin with I would have just glued it up.
This gives others a chance to take protective steps to protect thier Kraton and other rubber handled gear.
Maybe even give 'em that push like I needed to rehandle something I never was satisfied with anyway.
The bottom line is... I don't know how much of a problem this really is.
It will help others who have became friends be aware and to check thier equipment.
I am gonna continue to use my CS knifes hard !! I will just take better and quicker care of them when I get done using them for the day.
[This message has been edited by Yvsa (edited 03 July 1999).]