"Don't believe the hype!"--Public Enemy

Sep 21, 1999

I see a lot of what I consider to be hype, made either by makers or by those maker's fans. What are the most outrageous or humorous claims you have ever heard about a knife, a steel, or a maker's capabilities? What about a favorite chestnut of the martial artists--what is the most silly or most failed demonstration you have ever seen at a show or elsewhere? If you don't want to get specific, I will understand, but impersonations or barely changed stories will suffice where names can't or shouldn't be used.

Thanks in advance, we need a few laughs around here lately.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of the tyrant; it is the creed of slaves.

William Pitt, 1783


When it comes to hype and knives, the most often mentioned in previous threads has been Lynn Thompson. One thing that no one can deny though is that he garners attention this way. That and many of his offerings are pretty good values for the money, hype not withstanding

-=[Bob Allman]=-

I did NOT escape from the institution! They gave me a day pass!

BFC member since day one
AKTI membership pending
VHA and NRA member

Anything that anyone says about his product being a quantum leap is hype. Anything.

All improvements today are made in increasingly small increments.

The quantum leaps were things like:

The discovery of fire
The discovery of metal
The discovery of hardening and tempering
The invention of wheel grinding
The invention of the furnace

Contrary to all hype, going from ATS-34 to 440V (or whatever) does not qualify as a quantum leap.

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.
Uncle Bill. I'd have to disagree. 440V to ATS-34 is a HUGE leap. Edge holding ability goes through the roof. Next you'll be saying that ATS-34 to Talonite isn't a quantum leap. BTW: I doubt any of the quantum leaps you mentioned just happened in one day. Nobody just wakes up and says to themselves "Oh my gosh! Today I'm going to learn how to create and control fire"

Anyway, back to the topic. My mis-guided friend back is salt lake city some how figured that martial arts knowlage translates into knowlage about knives. I've gotten quite a few leactures from him about how CS makes the best knives out there. And I could scream till I was blue in the face to him about how CS folders are not better 90% of spyderco folders. He's told me that 440V "might be good, but won't hold an edge like a Voyager."
. I actually was about to make him a custom knife, and when he asked for the same steel at CS uses(AUS-8) he was surprized to hear me tell him that thier are much beter steels out there. Sometimes I wonder about that kid


Self improvement is a hobby of mine :).

While I am not a physicist, my understanding of the meaning of the word "quantum" suggests that it refers to a VERY small increment....so a "quantum leap" is a very small trip.
Another example of the way in which the hype exponents abuse the language and make it less meaningful ?

Brian W E .....the pedant

Actually a quatum change is a unit change not a gradual change. Thus a quatum could be small or large. The leap implies large. For my two cents worth I don't believe that edge holding necessarily defines the best blade steel. I personally prefer a good tool steel and would have to agree with Jerry Fisk (who is alot smarter about the subject than I am) in feeling that we can get too obsessed with edge hardness. I the real world I like a knife that is easy to resharpen when I need to. I know, if I was good with my sharpener then I could sharpen the supersteels just as well. I guess that is a genetic weakness I have but give me a good tool steel blade and it will get scary sharp. Thus that is best for me.
I'm listening carefully to all that's being said here, but I still maintain what I first asserted. Flint to bronze, or bronze to steel, is a real innovation, a quantum leap--something worthy of the biggest hypester; ATS-34 to 440V isn't. It's an improvement, yes, but not nearly as huge as the marketing hype lets on.

Try an experiment. Make identical knives in wood, flint, bronze, 1095, 420HC, ATS-34, and INFI. Then put them through their paces and plot performance on a chart. Where will abrupt steps be, and where will the subtle ones be?

>>>quantum leap--noun--An abrupt change or step, especially in method, information, or knowledge

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.<<<

Nice discussion. Makes you think . . .

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.
Uncle Bill
Quantum AND leap are a noun ??
Look like an adjective And a noun, to me.
But, then....it is your dictionary

But, then....as Winston Churchill said : "two nations seperated by a common language"

BrianWE, the pedant
Heres a good one for you,Down here in Ms. if one guy gets to bragging about his knife to much to another guy they like to see who's knife will cut the otherones blade.As you put edges together and cut ,heck of a rc.test dangerus tho. just thought you might get a laugh out of it.

Interesting remark about "quantum leap" being used as a noun instead of as an adjective+noun. This may mean there's a linguistic difference between countries here, or it may be an indication that we're looking at a soon-to-be-fused word pair that, even now, before the inevitable hyphenation period (quantum-leap) followed by the final joining (quantumleap), is already taking on a special meaning when used as a unit.

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.
Uncle Bill

Nah.......our languages are not THAT different, yet. It is just that I speak both of them better than many.

Hey ! I have little else to do.

But I do know what people mean when they say "quantum leap".....even if that is not what "quantum leap " means

Sorry....just having fun

BrianWE, the pedant
The term "quantum" refers to distinct energy states: like those of electrons. A quantum leap could be relatively small or large, but the way the term "quantum leap" is used today, it refers to a big change (usually progress). People tend to take scientific terms and turn them into common slang; it's nice that your dictionary included it. I don't know if you could call them quantum leaps, but there are alot of big changes for the better taking place in knife materials these days. As far as the funny Cold Steel story, I guess they advertise in martial arts magazines. People who read them have probably not caught on to the overblown advertising scheme yet. And as far as hype stories go, I have seen some infomercials for bladed instruments that "will not cut you", although they will slice any manner of vegetable into a thousand pieces.
From what I've seen between Case, Gerber, Benchmade, Pat Crawford, Spyderco, and Busse, Modified INFI is, if not a quantum leap, a noticeable and probably (time will tell) significant improvement over such steels as ATS-34 and 440V.


Knowledge without understanding is knowledge wasted.
Understanding without knowledge is a rare gift - but not an impossibility.
For the impossible is always possible through faith. - Bathroom graffiti, gas station, Grey, TN, Dec, 1988

AKTI Member #A000831
Fire wasn't discovered. The ability to use
it effectively was.

There isn't any SUPER steels and nothing
around that hasn't been for awhile. The
biggest difference has been in different
heat treatment and maybe the way some are
forged. You stated that you will take a
tool steel that is easier to resharpen. How
about one that will hold an edge alot better
and is just as easy to resharpen? Edge hardness doesn't mean that it will hold an
edge better. The two can be miles apart.


Don't walk in tradition just because it feels good!!!!!
Romans 10:9,10
Hebrews 4:12-16
Psalm 91

Whoa! I think we've strayed a little from the spirit of Oregon Duck's original post.

Perhaps the recent high-water mark in hype is "Master Don," currently getting roasted on a thread in Shoptalk. For all the claims of his knives' wonder-twin powers, Master Don has a no-return policy. (On the Shoptalk thread, check out the story of the knife he tried to buy back from a "dissatisfied customer" who displayed it at a knife show -- good reading!) But you gotta love his name, sort of a swirling blend of martial arts master, mafioso kingpin, and maybe even hip hop MC. I imagine him wearing a thick gold chain as he forges/grinds away...

I agree w/Bald1 that Lynn Thompson continues to set the standard for hype, for himself even more so than his knives. I esp like the photos which seem to intro every Cold Steel catalog: "look, Lynn slew the Loch Ness monster -- gale force winds, no scope, 200 yds, w/his snub nose! It may be a world record!!"

A few friends and I have a running joke. Every so often while we're playing poker, watching sports on TV, talking nonsense, whatever, one of us will suddenly freeze, eyes looking up w/hand raised, and draw out a tanto design on a piece of paper. He holds it up; the rest of us hum in awe ("ooohh..."). We imagine that's what office life is like everyday at Cold Steel...


"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?" -Elvis Costello
Bill: I think you might be misunder standing how fast knives have developed. I've never heard of a wood knife, so I'll skip that, but the transition from bronze to iron took a long long time. It didn't happen it 30 or so years like ATS-34 to 440V and INFI. Of cousre something is going to look like a small change when you compare the change in knives in 1000 years time to a change of no more than 50 years. Iron to steel? Another huge leap, but it didn't happen over night either.

As for 440V being totally hyped up, I don't get knife magizines, so I can tell you what they are doing. But I own both a 440V knife and and a few ATS-34 knives. I've been useing my 440V(BFC Native) knife for about 4 months and I've only sharpened the plain edge portian once, and I've yet to sharpen the serrated portian. Back when a ATS-34 was the steel for my working knife I'd have to sharpen it about once a month, not once every 3 months(The edge came chiped out on my Native, so after a week own owning it I sharpened it, haven't sharpened it since). No if you believe that 300% more edge holding is not a big leap then feel free to tell me why.

Coyote: Yeah, you make a good point about people worrying a ton over edge holding. But you've got to remember to pick the right stell for the job. Move 440V is used on folders in the custom market, and I've yet to see a FB production knife in 440V. and for anything other than a folder I'm all for a tool steel myself, but when I don't plan on abuseing it I don't see why not pick up some extra edge holding.


Self improvement is a hobby of mine :).

God I love this forum! If I wasn't so engrossed in the reading material I'd post more.

I love the William Pitt quote, scary though it is in these times.

CS/L.Thompsom, slayer of mythic beasts and maker of magic blades, is the current king of knife hype...but all that aside, some of his knives have a lot of bang for the buck...and this comes from one who has whined about is advertising strategy.

The brain power evident in this thread is awesome. Etymological exchanges are even required to properly focus the discussion.

A friend of mine was telling me tonight, on the phone, that Simon Kenton and his frontiersmen buddies, who moved about this area (Ohio) a couple hundred years ago, liked soft steel for their knives so they could just pick up a rock and put a new edge on when necessary. I have no idea if that's true...but it sounded good when he said it.

It seems a quantum leap in knife technology will arrive when we can pull a laser "knife" out of our pockets, but I think that will take all the fun out of it.

Better stop now before I get carried away.

quantum jump n. (also quantum leap) 1 sudden large increase or advance. 2 Physics abrupt transition in an atom or molecule from one quantum state to another.
The Oxford Dictionary of Current English
OD - Have not seen "hype" on 440V. Since Spyderco is the only production company using this steel, it would follow that we would create the hype...not so. Our attitude has always been "Man who beat on own chest knock self over backwards". Spydercop ads simply say that we use 440V.

Sal: Just a heads up. I've seen Kershaw speed safes in 440V. They were in the Blue Ridge Knives Monthly specials for the month of August. It surprised me when I saw them. If you've got one of those handy they ar on page 49.


Self improvement is a hobby of mine :).