Do We Have Knives With Strong Pull? Honest To Gosh REAL Nail Breakers?

Old Engineer

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Nov 30, 2014
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I have 2 of the TEW Barlows and they are not very easy to open , but they can be opened by hand . I have a much older TEW Sheepfoot and it is a Beartrap . You can make the initial pull to open to the Half/Stop easier by taking a very narrow file to the corner of the Tang that is up when it is open . I always take my hard to open knives to my wooden vice and open and close them until the corner gets smoothed out a LITTLE . That being said , I really like your TEWs Barlow my friend . I personally think they made a pretty good knife . In this photo , the knife in the middle of the bottom row , I will not let anyone try to open because it is close to being like your's .

Carry and enjoy your TEW in good health my friend .

Harry
 

JohnDF

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May 14, 2018
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I have yet to experience anything close to a nail-breaker.
I've had some that others were calling a "10", but I thought they were more of a "7".
I had an old Scout Master show me how to properly open my slip-joint knives, and have yet to cut myself opening one.
Your mileage may vary. ;)
 

Jack Black

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Dec 2, 2005
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I have yet to experience anything close to a nail-breaker.
I've had some that others were calling a "10", but I thought they were more of a "7".
I had an old Scout Master show me how to properly open my slip-joint knives, and have yet to cut myself opening one.
Your mileage may vary. ;)

That 1-10 scale is very subjective. I understand that a SAK is typically rated 5. I certainly wouldn't want anything weaker than the pull on a SAK, and in terms of the pull-ratings of the knives I own, I'd put a SAK at around 2 :thumbsup:
 

Jack Black

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Dec 2, 2005
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Knife pick, blade lifter, blade key...

Highly recommend them

I'm just reading a book in which the author explains how he had a small pair of special pliers made to delicately open the blades on multiblade Sheffield exhibition knives for display. Some of them have so many blades, it can apparently take several working days to open them all simultaneously.
 

waynorth

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Nov 19, 2005
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Older large-pattern Remingtons were (are) noted for firm, but smooth, pulls!
I believe they influenced GEC in the early years, because Bill used them as examples of great workmanship, in his studies of what to produce!! He owns a set of design drawings from Remington!!
This one had a 9+ pull - I miss that knife!!:rolleyes:
Here's an 1123 pic with a GEC 42. Rem Bull 1.jpg
 

JohnDF

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May 14, 2018
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That 1-10 scale is very subjective. I understand that a SAK is typically rated 5. I certainly wouldn't want anything weaker than the pull on a SAK, and in terms of the pull-ratings of the knives I own, I'd put a SAK at around 2 :thumbsup:
Of course it comes down to what you're used to, and your opening technique.
I'm like you, I prefer a strong pull on my slip-joint knives. They feel more like quality.
I use my dominant (right) hand to open the blade, all sharp parts pointed away from fleshy parts.
 

Modoc ED

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Mar 28, 2010
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Most people, at least the ones I know, insert their thumb nail into the nail nick of the blade and pull the blade away from the knife. Instead, what I do is insert my thumb nail into the nail nick of the blade and pull the handle/frame/body of the knife away from the blade. It takes a little getting used to but is effective - at least for me anyway.
 

Railsplitter

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Oct 31, 2010
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Of course it comes down to what you're used to, and your opening technique.
I'm like you, I prefer a strong pull on my slip-joint knives. They feel more like quality.
I use my dominant (right) hand to open the blade, all sharp parts pointed away from fleshy parts.
I’ve been doing that lately due to a busted thumbnail on my left thumb. It works great but it takes some getting used to.

Sheepsfoot blades on Stockman knives are a little tricky with my right thumb but I can make it work.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2016
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My GEC 71 red linen is a real *itch to open. I played with and opening and closing hundreds of time just to try and get it to loosen up but to no avail. The only GEC that has disappointed me so far because of how it functions.

On the opposite end of the scale from GEC is my 56 in Mardi Gras acrylic. For that one I think it could have improved by just having a half stop.

,,,Mike in Canada
 

euroken

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Aug 28, 2014
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I gotta say, pinching the knife with your middle or index finger against the thumbnail definitely helps. Similar to how Tony Bose showed on his video on using a knife pick. Really need to squeeze (if you can, but not so easy in multi-blade knives) that blade to prevent your thumbnail from cracking lol.

Also, time of day and circumstances change how easy it is to open your knife. Don't ever try to open a strong pull knife after doing dishes...man, oh man...The nail won't crack but just fold over....ouch

Lastly, I've also been using my middle finger nail and thumb on the opposite side of the blade and it's been working well...I don't know if it's the geometry of the nail or the size, but I find it a lot less stress on the middle finger nail.

Don't go breaking your nails you hear? :D
 

black mamba

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Oct 21, 2009
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Can't be opened by whom?

That's the question. The subjectivity of the pull scale is entirely because of the difference in hand strength among knife users. Typically it's the older knives with the stouter pulls, because they were made for men who worked with their hands 10-12 hours a day, plus used a lot of dairy products and had no calcium deficiency. Hands and nails were very strong. What may have been a 6 or 7 to them is something not many today could open without a tool.
 

JTR357

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Sep 10, 2007
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This Lione Steel Best Man 2 has the strongest pull I've experienced yet. I mostly own Case slips though & a few Bokers
JXYTLky.jpg
 

BrotherJim

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Feb 9, 2015
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Scientific: Taylor's Eye Witness Sheffield Clip Point Barlow
Common: TEW
Sometimes called the Barlow of Patience. It only opens with sustained due diligent encouragement
... this thing is growing on me ...

CsRBDQ2.jpg
 

sunknife

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Nov 28, 2018
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I like a lot of different patterns harness jacks included but this one mostly stays in storage because of the strong pulls. Main blade is stiff but manageable for me, I've worked it by opening and closing the blade several hundred times in repetition and it came around a bit. The punch blade on the other hand
is opened at you're own risk, I've broken nails a couple times wrestling ole punchy. :D
2008 GEC #54.
54 nailbreaker 22 - 1.jpeg
 
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