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How tough is Talonite?

Jan 24, 1999
I am seriously considering a knife in 3V or Talonite. I would really like to get it in Talonite but as it is a large chopper stile blade I am worried about Talonite's performance in such a role. Does anyone have experience with Talonite in such a role? I know it offers great edge retention but what about its impact resistance and overall strength? I heard someone comment that a 3/16 inch piece of Talonite was unbendable by hand but this was unground and actually prying with a blade can generate much more leverage than by hand. Is this stuff brittle or what? Does the edge dent or chip easily? Basically I was wondering how it would perform in all the tests Mr. Stamp puts his large choppers through I guess?

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I thank you all very much for any help you can provide.

thanks and take care

Talonite isn't brittle at all. But it will not flex to the extent steel blades will. Rob Simonich placed a thin strip in his bench vise and jumped up and down on it without it snapping if that gives you an idea of what it'll take.

As far as a big blade goes, Rob has made up a big chopper in Talonite and Stephen Dick is evaluating it now. I figure a review of Talonite's suitability in a big knife will turn up in TK soon. Doctor Ron Hood also had a big knife made up in Talonite which he recently took into the South American jungles... heard he was super impressed. Not sure if his report is on his web site yet as he's been sick with jungle grunge lately.

If it were me, I'd opt for Talonite over the 3V.

from what ive read i dont think you can get a knife thats tougher than 3v...but no rust is a very positive factor in leaning towards talonite....
Talonite will hold an edge longer and wont corrode.
3v will give Talonite a run for it's money on edge holding but it will corrode, how much I don't know yet.
But 3V is by far tougher/stronger/ and will take far more abuse than talonite.
The 3V I have is in-between 5/32 and 3/16 and in a vice I can barely flex it to 45deg, with a 24"cheater bar it goes to 120deg with out breaking.

Heres a link to a thread on Rob's site in which Dr Ron Hood comments on his experiences in the jungle with a Talonite Kanji blade.

I think most folks are in agreement about 3V versus Talonite. Ed summed it up very well above
! been edited by bald1 (edited 06 May 1999).]
Well, I have a couple of bars of 3-V that I got from Ed, just havent tried the yet but the paper looks very good on the stuff. Is 3-V tougher and stronger that Talonite? I dont know, but here is a picture my lady took a few minutes ago of me bending a 1 1/16" X 1 1/2" x 20" bar of Talonite, I could have bent it farther but didnt want to destroy a high dollar piece of material!!
If the 3-V will go to 120 deg that is very impressive, I cant wait to give the 3-V a try!
But, as you can see, the Talonite is "plenty tough enough) More durable, again I dont know.

Hey, and that is not a frown on my face, its strain, and did you all notice how all my muscles are all swelled up about to burst the seams on my shirt! ha ha ha ha!

<img src=http://www.simonichknives.com/taltuff.jpg>
cool stuff Rob
I don't know if a 1/16 piece of 3V would do that .
probably but I won't bet my pee pee on it.
The one thing I have found is that it is very hard to flex this stuff .
I had a customer over and he said" there aint no blade I can't break with my
so I took what was left of the test blade I've bin using and put it in the
vice and said go for it.
He put on glasses and welding gloves and with his foot against the bench
flexed it to 45deg.
it went back to true and he just mumbled.
I then put a 24" cheater bar on it and flexed it to 90deg and then gave a
really hard shove and it exploded.
there was 6" between the vice and the clamp for the bar.
He then ordered a knife and left mumbling.
But Talonite is still the over all winner
Well I guess it goes to show you that ya learn something new everyday. The Talonite experiences to date have involved shorter and usually thicker pieces than the one Rob is shown grunting
over. I just never would have thought it would flex that much. Frankly I find it reassuring that it will. This stuff just gets better and better.

Hey Rob, don't sweat it! I'm not about to use my Wambli or Chimera as prybars anytime soon. But should we have a big field/survival/chopper made up, I don't think I'd give it a second thought


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

Ed, It sounds like the 3-V is stiffer than Talonite, this bar of 1/16th flexes fairly easily, but an 1/8" bar is probably 5 times harder to flex in equal length and width, if that makes any sense at all. One thing I failed to mention was the bar did take a bend which straightened right out.

I wouldnt go as far as saying that Talonite is the overall winner at all, it is very hard to compare steel with Talonite, in different uses the different materials will stand out for one reason or another. In fact, I am getting married on July 24th and we plan the cut the cake with a 3-V SRT Short Sword! ha ha.

I will be letting you know when I am ready to heat treat some 3-V and be asking your advice.....Rob

Your wife must be quite merciful, marrying a guy like that

More seriously, it's always nice to put a face to a name, even if it's a strained one...

Anyway, my best wishes for your marriage. Our second anniversary is actually today.
Hey Rob, didn't I see you on a late night info-mercial hawking the new Talonite Arm Blaster and Bun Tightener!

Looks like great stuff, I am thinking of a design to have made from Talonite.
Rudy, for some testing on Talonite check out :


The fact that a piece .161" thick could be broken by hand does not impress me much. Consider that is unground stock, you lose a lot of metal when you grind a knife and that means even more strength is lost.

I discussed a big Talonite blade with Rob Simonich awhile ago. I am leaning towards a minimum of 5/16" for blade thickness in a large 10-12", flat ground, blade. I am sort of day dreaming of having Mel Sorg make me a similar one in 3V (with a *full* flat grind, hopefully a little thinner, depends on the strength). As of right now I am a little leary of each material right now and will be interested in any feedback on it.

Could we get Ron Hood to compare his Talonite blade to his Battle Mistress? I would be interested to see which one holds an edge better and is stronger.

The charpy values for both 3V, and Talonite are close so overall impact strength should be similar. I can't imagine a steel being much stiffer that the talonite bar I got. So I am not worried about being to easy to flex since it is stiffer than most steels I have of the same thickness.

The difference comes in the corrosion resistance and the fact that the talonite will not be affected by temperature like most steels are. I would not mind having a knife out of either.
Guys: Both of these materials are excellent!-perhaps two of the best in the history of knifemaking/metallurgy. At $14 per pound for 3V, and $141 per pound for Talonite, cost must play a part in the decision, IMHO. No one has ever broken one of my knifes in use, and these are made mostly from A2 and BG42, and are sometimes as thin as .125. If the stock thickness is properly matched to the blade length, grind and usage of the knife, I don't see how breakage would be a factor in either 3V or Talonite. 3V is the first sophisticated steel I have ever seen that can be physically bent at Rc58-60, and, for the money, it can't be beat. Can't wait to make some folders from the Talonite, either.

RJ Martin
R. J. Martin :

If the stock thickness is properly matched to the blade length, grind and usage of the knife, I don't see how breakage would be a factor in either 3V or Talonite.

That is of course the main point. However since these materials are fairly new, answering that question is not trivial. For example what kind of performance would you get with a 10" blade (TUSK style geometry), full flat grind (no edge bevel), 3/16" thick, out of 3V and Talonite?

Hey why is it that this thread goes off my screen? Is it unusually wide?

Cliff, the funny thing is that there probably anough knives out of both materials to do accurate testing, but either it has not been reported or has not been done yet. I know Rob Cude has had a stellite knife for a long time and says it has taken all the abuse he could dish out. Kit Carson knows several more people who have used the stuff with good results. The woods took down the Talonite so there should be some good results from that.
The thread goes off probably because the software could not figure out how to handle the long link Bob posted.

As for the 3V, Talonite, Stellite, etc. materials not exactly being new, yeah, there are a lot of guys with experience with these in bigger blades. Hopefully they will start to post up their experience and directly contrast them to other knives.

Folks, about my muscle flexing, here is a true story! I was working part time as a gun smith years ago in a local sporting goods store. It was winter and pretty nippy and Arnold Swartzaneger was in Helena doing a phisical fitness program for the schools. He comes into the store looking for a coat for himself and his son. He found one for his son but couldnt find one to button over his chest! I ran right into him not knowing he was in the store, I was embarrased as all getout and barely got out an "excuse me!" I went back to work with the store in an uproar and about half hour or so later it is time for lunch so I head out. All the women in the store were of course twitterpated and standing up at the front counter. I walk up with my best swelled chest cocky walk and proclaim, "I suppose all you women arent going to be turned on by my rippling pectoral muscles and huge biceps now that Arnie has been here!" They give me this real stupid look and look behind me and guess what, Arnie is standing behind me laughing his ass off! I couldnt leave fast enough!!!!!!

Tknife, yup, that was me!

Ralf, the lady dosent see too good I guess!

Cliff, the Kanji is much smaller than the battle mistress, comparison would be hard to do.

Cobalt, good info that I didnt know.

RJ, you hit the nail right on the head! Good reply!

The main thing here is that they are both great materials and each has their place.

Sorry to dissapoint you guys but I have
already contacted Mr. Hood on the subject
and he stated this

I can't help you with a lot of your questions. My blade is only about 4in and not designed to be tested in the way
you ask. I have done some prying(turtle shells, etc.) without damage and the blade never bent. The edge retention is great and I feel it could take alot of abuse but I cannot mislead you into thinking you can misuse it in the ways specified. I like the knife too much.

Mr. Stamp if I know anything about you I know you are going to ask in what performance aspects did I qestions did him about. I asked him about its performance in all the areas you review knives in as I belive they are great indications of a knives abilities. You really do a great job in testing a knife's abilities I would like to add.

Lastly, thank you all for your help it is all useful and appreciated. Anymore is also more than welcomed. Thanks again

thanks and take care