Hawkbills. Love 'em? Hate 'em?

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When I did shipping/receiving work I had a fixed blade hawkbill that I kept stuck into a wooden pole in the warehouse much like Will's in his picture. For cutting open or breaking down large quantities of large boxes quickly there is nothing better in my experience. They are also great for cutting carpet. Unless you perform one of the tasks mentioned in this thread regularly, the extra work it takes to sharpen them makes them not worth it in my opinion. It's a type of blade I'd have in the shop, but I wouldn't really consider carrying one. They're not versatile enough and too much of a hassle, especially seeing how high they ride on a folded knife. That doesn't look comfortable to me at all, in the hand or in the pocket. It's cool that they're being made, but not my cup of tea.
 

r8shell

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If I could only have one blade, I wouldn't choose a hawkbill, but they can be quite handy. I like the little one on my SAK for opening packages, and I have used the big one to cut up old tarps and rope.



I sharpen them on the corners of the Sharpmaker rods.
 

Ernie1980

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Hate them! I had one and it was difficult to sharpen well and did not seem to be able to do anything more than my spear blades.
 

blademan 13

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I absolutely love them. I received my first #38 and it has not left my pocket. Great utility blade, what the main won't handle the spey will. Except slicing sandwiches :rolleyes: Don't fret about sharpening either, hit it with some ceramic rods and you will be pushcutting snowflakes in newsprint. Want proof? I just sold off about 8 knives this week that would no longer see pocket time.
 
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Tremendous blade! Frankly, there is no better blade for opening or cutting down thick cardboard boxes. Fertilizer, seed sacks, super swift harvester of veg such as lettuce, cabbages, broccoli, melons or courgettes and others without damaging the rest of the plant -if it has other fruits/veg on it still unripe. Preparing fruit trees or bushes in spring, taking cuttings. Cutting through tough tricky plastics, drawing the blade towards you means no worries of it shutting on you either.

Really hope to be able to land a couple of the recent SFOs as they look like they have really captured the essence of this great, bizarre and attractive pattern. Beautiful they may be but they look like workers not shrinking violets...

Here's my 56 EZ Open Weaver with the demi Hawkbill. A beautifully made knife that was worth every penny and more. It earns its keep mind, this shown last year just before pruning the Apple tree in the background which yielded a fine crop

IMG_0787.jpg


Thanks, Will

Every time you show pictures of that beauty it makes me excited & sad at the same time lol. Been searching for one for months but zero luck so far.
 

draggat

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I cant help but think that using a hawkbill for cutting carpet is crazy. I'm a floor guy and I do a lot of linoleum, but I've also installed a lot of carpet and torn a lot of that stuff out. Aside from being a disgusting dirt magnet, carpet is really brutal on knives.

For installation, most people use a thin, flexible double edge blade nicknamed Bloody Mary. For tearing out and cutting up old carpet, I find that disposable hook blades work the best. Same idea as a hawkbill but with a greater curve. Hook blades have also replaced the hawkbill in linoleum and vinyl installation..... even the really old old timers don't use hawkbills.....

I can't begin to imagine how much wasted time there would be sharpening the thing. On some carpets, one 10' cut would be sufficient to dull out just about any knife.

I guess if you're just doing it occasionally at home, cutting carpet with a hawkbill would be fine, but I haven't seen a pro use one since I entered the trade 17 years ago.
 

knarfeng

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I got a couple of pics which will run the gamut of usefulness for a hawkbill

I carried this one when I was an electrician. I worked for a company which remodeled old homes, which had the old form of Romex. It was wrapped in a kind of tarred paper with threads running around it. The Hawkbill blade was the best tool for stripping the outer wrapping off that romex.
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I bought this one for a friend of mine who retired to a vineyard. Great for trimming the vines.
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afishhunter

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I've never had a folding hawkbill, just the fixed blade - and no-name Home Depot/Lowes/Ace Hardware, at that. I'm going to have to try a good folding one.
I don't hate them.
 

Will Power

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Jake Keep looking, there are 24 more of them out there and they were never a 'cult' or trendy pattern. Sure somebody would like to trade one.

Much luck! Will
 

clutchcarter

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I hear ya draggat...............My Daughters apartment got flooded out a few weeks ago. I was helping the clean up crew remove carpet that was glued to concrete. The only knives available (besides my slipjoint which I had no intention of trashing) were their worn out box cutters. I was wishing I had a hawkbill but then had second thoughts after seeing how fast we destroyed the box cutter blades. Oh how I was wishing for some of those hooked utility blades!
I cant help but think that using a hawkbill for cutting carpet is crazy. I'm a floor guy and I do a lot of linoleum, but I've also installed a lot of carpet and torn a lot of that stuff out. Aside from being a disgusting dirt magnet, carpet is really brutal on knives.

For installation, most people use a thin, flexible double edge blade nicknamed Bloody Mary. For tearing out and cutting up old carpet, I find that disposable hook blades work the best. Same idea as a hawkbill but with a greater curve. Hook blades have also replaced the hawkbill in linoleum and vinyl installation..... even the really old old timers don't use hawkbills.....

I can't begin to imagine how much wasted time there would be sharpening the thing. On some carpets, one 10' cut would be sufficient to dull out just about any knife.

I guess if you're just doing it occasionally at home, cutting carpet with a hawkbill would be fine, but I haven't seen a pro use one since I entered the trade 17 years ago.
 
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Hawkbills are a long standing, much beloved, standard man's accessory in this part of Appalachia, from the Mines to the Mountains.

A lot of the photos I've seen of Civil War knives were hawkbills. Of course, a lot of farmers went to war with what was in their pocket already...

I use my Weaver's Jack occasionally for gardening or breaking down packaging, but I don't carry it on a regular basis.

577E0794-DA9E-49C7-B8E6-D621FF8922AA_zpsadqljtne.jpg


I have one of the huge Farm & Field hawkbills, but it's so big I have never used it. I'm going to give it to my brother-in-law who has a landscaping business.

I agree about the unglazed coffee mug bottom being a good way to sharpen that hawkbill edge.

My answer to the OP: Love 'em. But don't really carry 'em. Maybe I need to give my hawkbills another chance!
 

Will Power

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Anybody not like this?????

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If so, perhaps you'd like to run that point of view past him...?

Goodfellas50orLess.png


:eek::D:D

Thanks, Will
 
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Old Hunter

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Neither love nor hate - more like respect them to do the job they are designed to do. To my way of thinking a full hawk-bill is a working knife for construction type work. I use this Klein for cutting drywall samples out of installed walls (a little pen knife will score the paper for breaking over your knee on an uninstalled sheet). I have also used full hawk-bills for cutting carpet, linoleum, and shingles as well as things I've since forgotten. The mild hawk-bill on the Farmers Jack is a nice all purpose blade, very much like a Sheepfoot, which I have discovered since buying one of the new 38 pattern GEC's and carrying/using it as I would a Sheepfoot. OH

IMG_61051.JPG


GEC_Northfield_383215_Lick_Creek_SFO.JPG
 

Captain O

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If you're laying carpet, cutting linoleum, baling hay, working the fields, etc., a hawkbill can be useful. Who knows? I may just need one somtime.

Captain O
 
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