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"Razor sharp" usually describes knives that will shave hair off your arm. It should however mean knives that are razor thin, and will shave your face like a razor.
"Hair poppin sharp" does describe a knife that will pop the hairs off of your arm. Not as sharp as a razor, but also not as fragile.
Hope that helps,
Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website GriffithKN@aol.com
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military
I've always been under the impression that "hair popping" sharp was sharper than razor sharp......
I can make a decently sharp knife "shave hair off my arm", as I can a razor sharp blade.
Hair popping is when the hairs literally "jump" away from the blade bacause the blade is so sharp.
That's what I've always been told...
But I just got my new Cold Steel catalog and they look so pretty! They must be all of that!
HEY JOE! Where's Joe Talmadge when you need him?
Joe is one who goes past shavin' sharp to where the knife just cuts the top of the hairs off without touching the skin. I haven't got there yet, but I'm working on it. I thought he called it hair poppin' sharp, but I won't split hairs over this.
Oh yeah, that's another thing Joe is doing (splitting hairs - literally). I'm not there yet either!
Oh well, I don't have to pop or split hairs every day, but I do have to shave. Got that covered.
I. [sharp] "Razor Sharp"= will shave hair when blade is run next to skin at base of hair.
II. [sharper] "Hair Popping Sharp"= will 'pop' hair when blade is passed parallel to skin at mid-shaft of hair.
This should greatly clarify this issue even tho I just made it up. Sounds good tho, huh?
There usually is a difference between "shaving sharp" and "razor sharp". Most people regard "shaving" sharp as simply sharp enough to shave hairs off your arm. Essentially, any blade can be sharpened to the point where it can shave, even an axe. "Razor" sharp means actually as sharp as a razor blade. Some blades cannot be sharpened to this degree; the edge needs to be thin. A razor sharp edge will pop hairs off your arm, so I take this to mean that there is no difference between "razor sharp" and "hair-popping sharp" blades. I believe Joe would back me up on this, but we should get his opinion.
I have to agree with the "BlackJack sharp." I just picked up a new in box Traiguide. This thing is fantastic.
As far as "Spyderco sharp" goes. I remember the serrated models that we sold at the gun range in the late 80's and early 90's as being sharper than the ones being produced now. The plain edge fodder has always been fine.
Please do not take me too seriously, but I want to express an opinion about "opinions":
The bottom line is that stringing words together results in a phrase that is open to interpretation. There is no "right", "wrong", or correct "expert" answer. Everyone above is just expressing opinions, just like this is my opinion. I'm no language expert that's for sure. Unless someone can point to a "REFERENCE SOURCE" that is at least accepted by a concensus of the group, in this case, the BladeForum, I stand by my opinion.
Another case in point on opinions:
There was a historical thread, where escapes me, that talked about the correct way to sharpen a knife. It may have even been in the "brand X" forum. No matter. There were several points of view and discussion about the "correct" sharpening angle. There was a huge difference in the angles stated to be the "correct angle", like by a factor of 2 difference between the extremes. They could not ALL be right. Potentially, a person could have damaged a blade by accepting someones "opinion" as "fact". In this particular thread, what appeared to be an "expert statement" was given by a Reprsentative of a semi-custom knife manufacturer. It appeared to be a "rediculously acute" angle to me (my opinion at the time). About a week later, after much dabate in the thread, the Representative had to come back and admit error. How many blades were damaged by those who may have tried the "expertly" recommended angle? Was the statement by the Representative an error or an opinion? If it was an error I can accept that, but if it was an expert opinion it becomes a lot more problamatic.
Don't get me wrong, opinion is the life blood of this forum, and I greatly enjoy hearing others opinions and expressing my own. I for one will always state that something is "my opinion" if I do not know FOR SURE.
In the case of the "definitions" at the top of this thread, I could care less, but if opinions are given about knife care, maintenance, sharpening etc., please be sure you are right, and even then state it as an opinion.
Now, for a really healthy and heated dabate, what qualifies a person as an "expert" to speak on a given topic???
I may even start a new thread on "what makes an expert" an expert.
My last opinion:
Anyone who has stayed with my rantings above to this point should be commended for their perseverence. I for one am totally bored with my own opinion at this point.
"Walk softly and carry a big stick"...TR
[This message has been edited by greenie (edited 25 September 1999).]