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Ed Schott's 3V Knife

Nov 23, 1998

The CPM 3V knife made by Ed Schott arrived on August 20 from Cliff Stamp. The blade is 3/16” at its thickest. The blade has a re-curve and a large belly, which enhances its slicing abilities. The blade had been left unsharpened by Cliff. The 3V blade could not shave the hair off my arms. Feeling the cutting edge carefully I believe I could feel two distinct edges on the blade. This makes me think that point of the V edge has been flatted by wear. There is also, some impact damage on the edge near the handle as had been reported by Cliff. The handle is smooth and feels slippery. The handle is much thicker than typical knives of this size (0.94”at its thickest). This helps to overcome the slipper handle.

I used the knife as is to whittle on a 0.75” maple dowel with the 3V knife. A Mad Dog ATAK 2 and Mission MPK served as control knives. The two control knives are thicker but flat ground where as the 3V is sort of saber grind. Both control knives would easily shave hair off my arms, the MPK was sharpened by Cliff and the ATAK2 by myself. The 3V blade is easily pushed into the dowel to produce large shavings. Penetration was deep enough that I had to twist the blade to free it. There is much more resistance from the dowel with MPK and ATAK2. These did not penetrate as deeply and the shavings are smaller. Usually the blade on the control knives would deflect and pop shavings out. The 3V did not deflect at all.

I tried cutting 1.5 oz and 2.5 oz leather pieces. All 3 knives cut the pieces easily. The 3V knife is still dull during leather cutting. I did not notice any differences between the 3 knives.

Kitchen Duty

Next, I took it into my kitchen to cut tomatoes. To my surprise it cut tomatoes extremely well. The edge penetrated the skin without sliding tearing or dragging. The cut direction is easily changed without tearing and I could control the shape of the tomato slice very easily. The typical knife I use for this is a Ghrohman #1 Belt Knife, which is kept hair popping sharp. The belt knife sliced through the skin easily but not as well as the 3V. I could not control the direction of the slice as well with the belt knife as I could with the 3V.

So far I am very impressed with the cutting ability of the 3V blade. The excellent performance with the wood dowel can be attributed to the unique grind. I am not sure if its slicing performance is due to the bevel or design of the knife (more curves). Even though the Ghrohman #1 has a decent belly it is not as large as the 3V, and is much lighter. Both factors favor the 3V for slicing soft materials. Perhaps slicing tomatoes from the side will give a more definite answer.

I did not realize the knife had not been sharpened after use until Cliff told me as it cut and whittled and slice tomatoes so well. To sharpen it I steeled it with my pocket steel and finished with about 30 light stokes on my Spyderco Sharpmaker. It took less than 15 minutes and the 3V could now shave hair easily.

Having so enjoyed using the 3V in the kitchen I proceeded to use it for salads and chicken over the next few weeks. The knife did not require much force for cutting vegetables and control is excellent. The grip allowed the knife to move in the hand easily making it even more convenient. Even with the knife wet and gummed up, my hand did not slip when I had a firm grip on the handle even when I stabbed a 2x4.

The tip felt a bit weak when it was stabbed into the 2x4. I would gently twist it out to prevent any tip damage. If I did this quickly I am certain that the tip will bend.

During one of my kitchen sessions the knife was left with onion juice on it overnight. The knife had been wiped off but not properly washed. I found a few surface rust spots on the flats of the blade. These were easily removed with 600 grit wet automotive and paper.

I had the opportunity to slice about 20 lb of processed chicken with the 3V blade. The chicken was left partially frozen in blocks. The blocks are roughly 3”x4”x18”. The knife was touched up so that it can shave before starting. The thickness of the slices was easily controlled with the 3V blade. I was better able to control the cut on chicken blocks and had easier penetration with the 3V than an 8” or 10” chef’s knife. In fact I was able to slice it too thin. After about 300 slices or two blocks the knife was noticeably duller. I could not control the thickness of the slice as well and penetration was much less than when the knife is sharp. I checked the edge and could not feel that the edge had flopped over. The blade would not shave. I touched up the knife with the pocket steel and Spyderco Sharpmaker (takes 5 minute) and finished off the rest of the chicken. The chef’s knife would need sharpening or steeling after roughly 2 blocks of chicken as well.

The handle became slippery when covered with chicken slime. It did not become slippery enough for me to loose control of the knife. My hands were quite cold by the time I finished the first block.


The 3V knife was taken out to the field to do some trail clearing and chopping up any other interesting wood I might find. The branches were less than 2” in diameter. Most of the branches up to about 1.5” snapped off when struck hard enough with the 3V. About 4-5 chops were required with the 3V before 2” branches could be snapped off. Penetration for each chop was slightly better than the MPKS. I also, had a H.I. Sirupati along which could bring snap the branches with a single blow. I found some recently downed trees that were about 3” in diameter and chopped through them with the 3V. I twisted on the knife to snap off as much wood as possible. I was using a firm grip to increase chopping power and did not notice the handle slipping at all. I had no problems with vibration or hot spots. Vibration is not a problem with small knives.

At the end of the day the knife was checked for damage. The edge would still scrape hair in a few spots. It felt much like the top of the V in the grind had been removed. There was about 1 cm of impact damage along the curve near the tip. This was so slight that I did not detect it unless I reflected light off the blade in a certain way. Getting the edge back to shaving sharp took 15 minutes instead of the usual 5 minutes. The MD ATAK2 was not affected by wood chopping. The MPKS was impacted slightly less than the curve of the 3V blade. On subsequent chopping trips, no blade damage could be found on the 3V blade.

I tried cutting the dreaded yellow braided rope with the MPKS, ATAK2, and 3V. The rope cut is 0.75” diameter with 2 braids. The 3V could get through it in about 10 slices. I gave up on the MPKS and ATAK2 after 15 slices. The ATAK2 could do it in 10 if the serrated section is used. I roughened the edge of the MPKS with the fine side on a Nicholson Bastard file. After this treatment the MPKS could also slice through the rope in 10 slices.


The 3V blade is great for slicing. The 3V blade could perform as well as sharp flat ground blades on most slicing applications. The 3V knife is too short and light for easy bush clearing. While I did not have any problems with my hand slipping, I prefer the textured and grooved handles on the MPK’s. The 3V’s bigger size, hook, and shape went a long way to prevent my hand from slipping onto the blade.

This is the blade (large pic, so the shot is linked):


Will thanks for the details. The tip is indeed a bit weak. I bent it prying in some 2x4". It would return to true. I think it might be a bit softer than the rest of the blade.

Note this is a test grind which is why it is done the way it is. The main purpose is to see how the 3V holds up and this is one of the weakest geometries (edge wise) so that any problems would be strongly evident.

From the review I gather that the 3V knife didn't hold up any better than a chef's knife. How would one extrapolate the results in comparing the chef's knife with the others being tested ?

The 3V seemed to do better than the others on the rope. Any opinions on why ? Better grind ? Better edge holding ?
Will, nice review. I had the chance to mess with one of Will's knives (with customer's permisssion) when he sent it to have a Kydex sheath made. The model was the Utility which is sort of a traditional tanto type number. Not a lot of time was wasted on the finish (looks like a 320 belt finish), but it felt grat in the hand and cut very well. I think it was 3V, too, but I may be mistaken. The one gripe was with the quality of the etched name, but Ed explained that the steel reacted differently to the etching than others, so he was getting info on how to alter the process for a cleaner maker's mark. I was impressed with that knife and I think he's getting his niche with tough, no nonsense utility knives.

My Custom Kydex Sheath page:
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels
Madpoet (Mel Sorg, Jr.) Tribute page:

The 3V blade has a single grind, there is no edge bevel. This means the profile is very thin which explains why it will cut very well even when dull, and when sharp very little offers much resistance to it. The chicken cutting yeilded interesting results. I'll have to look at that in detail when the blade makes its way back to me, Joe Talmadge has it now.

The chef's knife would have done extremely poorly as a field knife. The edge would have chipped on the chef's knife when it is used for heavy chopping.

Even though cutting control was reduced the 3V will continue to cut. If I had carried on longer the 3V would continue to cut. The chef's knife would start to tear or slide over the meat.

Chiro75, I think that was Ed's knife you had.


[This message has been edited by Will Kwan (edited 13 October 1999).]
I used an 18" bladed short sword of 3-V to cut my wedding cake in July, it was a little overkill but worked just fine! ha The other day I knocked a big chip out of the sword by chopping some kindling for our sweat lodge, the chunk of wood had a big nail in it and the sword cut it but knocked the chip out of it. No cutlery steel would have survived without some damage. The 3-V has performed well in my tests, but nothing spectacular. It is a good material for a tough trail knife however.

Can't wait to try out the CPM3V material, Ed called me this weekend and my Lord Wharncliff's Mistress is ready and will head my way this Thursday, so I should see it by the weekend or Monday at the latest! Said it's extremely sharp and to be careful, I said that's the way I like em'!


My mind is made up,
So don't confuse me with the facts!


Gillett PA

What kind of grind are you getting with your dagger? I miss that knife from my kitchen, it cuts meats and vegtable extremely well.

Donna, Ed said that a few folk stopped by, didn't realize they were family, forum family that is. Glad to hear they looked good, can't wait to try that steel. Ed says they are tough stuff! I'll report back once I have the knife a while and review my findings.


My mind is made up,
So don't confuse me with the facts!


Gillett PA