Hard use knives and tip breakage?

Sep 21, 1999
Been having a great vacation and talking to lots of friends about knives and am now looking for more info...

Friend of mine wants to purchase a good production knife which will withstand his level of abuse. He opens crates frequently and reports the problem he is having is that the crates are shrink-wrapped which he cuts through fine but sometimes he runs his knife into a band covered by packing and has broken many tips on a few lower end knives.

He wants me to suggest a knife for him and so I thought I'd get some more info from some of you guys who may use in a similar manner or who've encountered this problem before. I've never owned or handled a Buck Strider but that popped into mind from the info I've read here on that blade. Any other suggestions?

Thanks Everyone!

I have really abused my Spyderco Rookie and the tip only bent slightly and refused to break. When I first got it I didn't like it and was determined to destroy it. It survived all the abuse that I put it through and it impressed me so much that I now really like it and bought a spare just in case I ever lose it. It uses ATS-55 steel. Also the AUS-6 that is in the CRKT knives has held up really well also. I have a Wharncliff Mirage and have hit metal when cutting stuff and it doesn't break or chip the blade. Neither are new super steels, but they both have held up well for me.
He might want to take a look at the REKAT Pioneer series, as those are VERY stout knives!.:).
Have him take a look at the G-10 Harpy. If those bands are plastic it'll have no problem going through them. I don't know what to say if they're metal.

We've all heard of ATS-34 & 440V tips breaking, but I've never heard of a D2, M2, A2, BG42, or 420V tip breaking, so he might want to look into knives offered in those steels. Also tanto and reverse tanto tips are stronger than most clip and drop point tips. Maybe a Stryker in M2?

I just got to handle a Buck Strider last weekend at a gun show and I was blown away by how big it was, I mean, it's like a gag gift or something. I'm sure it's strong as hell, but have him handle one before he buys because it's definitely not a knife for everyone.
While it's pretty easy to find a knife with a tip sturdy enough to withstand hitting steel banding at speed, it would be awfully hard on the edge of ANY good knife.

My suggestion for your friend would be to re-profile the tip on one of the knives he's already broken, and keep it for this purpose only.

Failing that, I'll suggest the Emerson Commander. Up until about a year ago, I was doing work that required me to do exactly the same sort of work you describe and the fast out, fast cut, and fast back in the pocket was priceless. (Even if it DID freak the co-workers every so often!)
It doesn't matter much what type of steel as long as there is a lot of it at the tip.
I used to work on a shipping dock,and although at that time I was not a knife nut I did carry a folder at all times.At work however i used a razorblade knife.One hand open and close cuts when dull,plenty of fresh edges in handle, cheap.

Let me tell you cheap is good on a dock,if you ever had to crawl in a fully loaded trailer to count skids or whatever and dropped your knife down in amounst the load your SOL,and hope the guy that unloads at the other end enjoys his new knife.

Today I own all kinds of knives and if I had to go back to that kind of work I may carry an Emerson,Microtech,spydie ect. but I would still USE a razor knife.
Like knifenerd said, get a tanto tipped knife. If you want a folder, oen of the Buck Strider types will derfinitely do, from what I hear. I have a CRKT M-16 tanto tipped folder that locks up great, cuts great and is easy to sharpen. There are a few variations of the CRKT M-16 line, so your friend would have some great optiosn there.

If your friend doesn't mind a fixed blade, I'd suggest a cold steel tanto. A Recon Tanto would probably do a great job! I had a kobun for a while, and I really liked that knfie. Nice size and easily concealed. It is 1/8" thick though, and of the Recon and the kobun tantos for work I'd rather have the Recon.

Make sure the tanto tipped folder your friend gets, if that is what he decides to go with, isn't clipped. Clipping the tip if a tanto kinda defies the whole idea!!

Oh, a SOG Recondo may be a great idea as well. BG-42 steel, and although the tanto is clipped, it is full thickness at the tip. It has serratiosn on it as well, which may improve the utility of the blade for your friend. Tanto tio, straight and serrated edges and a concealable sheath.
I say go for a Gerber Ez-out serrated, not the ATS34 either. Plastic wrap on skids like that usually doesn't cut well once the cut is started and its not stretched, even with a really sharp knife. The knife just makes the job alot easier because you can actually get it started rather than stretching and pulling and tearing. Haveing a good point on the blade helps alot, and the Ez out has a beefy saber ground blade, but it will be easier to catch on the plastic than a tanto. The 440A blade will not be brittle, and can be touched up easily when needed. The rounded handle is great for frequent use. And the knife is easy to open and close one handed. Oh yeah, its also cheap. :)