I need heeeelp, please.

I am a French translation student and as part of my last year projects, I translate two of the FAQs I found, on Bladeforums. But I have 11 questions, Thanks in advance to anyone who will answer them, or even one of them.

I had the agreement of the author to translate them, and it is strictly a student's work.

In Steel FAQ:
1) What does you by Blade Profile, its form? or the way it looks from the side?
2) Tanto format, does it mean its size? or the fact that it is a tanto (form, type of grind, etc)?
3) What means "ala" in ala 52100 (2nd paragraph)?
4) Carbide former? It forms carbide during hardening?
5) Could someone explain to me what means "Carbon steels are also often a little bit less of a crap shoot than stainless steels."?
6) what are AISI, SAE and ASM?
7) Can anyone tell me what or who are what are "industry insiders"?
8) Can you explain how is done a "spark test", I think I know, but I am not sure.
9) Is "Mission knives" a cutlery company?
12) Is Blackjack dead? or is it a company that stopped working?

In Serrated vs. Plain Edge FAQ:
13) could someone describe and/or explain what are "utility works"?

Thanks again
Hi, Ronan...I'll dp my best to answer your questions...
"Blade profile" is another way of saying the shape of the blade. Generally when most people use this term, it means what the blade's pattern is, such as "bowie", "tanto", "clip point", "drop point", etc. Other people use the term "blade profile" to mean the "geometry" of the knife which is more of an analytical approach of describing the blade through it's length, width, thickness, type of grind, etc. Unfortunately the use of the term "blade profile" is interpreted in different ways based on the context of the statement it is used in. One of the hardest things about a foreign language is understanding the subtleties of context!

"Tanto" is an overused terminology that has several meaning, too. In traditional Japanese terminology, a "tanto" is a knife with a guard. A Japanese tanto is typically 5/16" thick, and was used strictly for combat. The tanto was usually one of a pair of fighting blades to be worn on the left hip, and it was mainly a knife to be used when the other weapons had failed and the opponent was in very close to the samurai. Most people, however, use the word "tanto" to describe a blade that is bolstered (not with a guard) and has a straight spine with an edge that is nearly flat, then sharply turns and comes to a reinforced point. Look at Cold Steel's version of a "tanto" to see what I mean. So, it has two meanings, again, and is usually applied in the incorrect sense, but in knife communities when you meantion a "tanto" most people picture something like COld Steel's version. The correct name for a knife that most people call a "tanto" would be an "aikuchi" or "hamadashi".
The term "ala" means something like "in reference to". For example, I could say "My latest knife is made from D-2 and has a Kydex sheath ala Bob Dozier." What this means is that the sheath is something like Bob Dozier would make, or it is in his style. In the 52100 case, it probably means that whatever steel is being mentioned has a property similar to one held by 52100 steel. Like "This steel has excellent edge retention ala 52100."
"Carbon steels are less of a crap shot..." Craps is a casino game where dice are thrown and certian numbers win and other lose. It's a chance game, so a "crap shoot" is anything where the chances are random. Whoever wrote the FAQ probably means that carbon steels have more consistent elemental content, working characteristics, heat treathing characteristics, etc than what stainless steels have. Stainless steels are more complex, so in a way there is more room for error from a manufacturing point of view, and therefore, less consistency than a simple carbon steel like O-1, for example. This is opinion, though. AISI, SAE, and ASM are some sort of manufacturers standards. I can't help you on that one...sorry!

By "utility works" I imagine you mean "utility chores" or "utility jobs"? These would be any workday jobs involving a knife that is not fighting, combat, training, etc. Cutting rope, opening boxes, kitchen work, chopping wood, cutting leather, etc etc etc are all utility chores. Training for combat or using a knife for combat require completely different styles of blades. The best Japanese combat sword, for example, would be horrible tools to use around a camp, for example. The trend in the knife industry today is finding a balance between a knife used for combat and a knife used for utility chores so the knife will be more versatile and useful in more situations. "Industry insiders" are people who work in the knife industry, as opposed to people like me who simply buy knives for enjoyment and use. Insiders are people who own or work in knife shops, distributors, salesmen, people who work for the knifemaking companies, etc.
The spark test is a non-specific way to test the hardness of a blade. You run the knife on a grinder and the shape and color of the sparks tell you if the knife is more on the soft side or more on the hard side.
Mission is a knife company that specializes mainly in knives meant for military use. They make a lot of knives from titanium that are meant for underwater use, for example. Blackjack is a company I don't know much about, but they had a lot of well-made, well-priced knives that were very popular. They were accused of doing a lot of blatant copies of Randall knives, but the Blackjack products cost a fraction of a Randall. They are no longer in business.
I hope you find these answers helpful!

My Custom Kydex Sheath page:
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels


Here's a little more to add. (PS-Good work, Chiro!)
AISI - American Iron and Steel Institute
SAE - The Society of Automotive Engineers (Usually when you see the term "SAE" it means that something is measured by the "American" way, as opposed to metric. For example, one half inch is SAE, whereas 1 centimeter is metric.) Their webpage is at: http://www.sae.org/ in case you want to know a LOT more.
ASM - American Institute for Microbiology
Hope that helps.

That's my two cents. Hey! How come you're giving me change?
I will attempt the two that were missed:

"Carbide former" seems to me to be a reference to a steel like D2 that because of the heatreating process forms a carbide lattice structure that allegedly makes the knife perform better at edge retention and cutting.

"Industry insiders" are those people with a working knowledge of the trends, accomplishments and scandals of that industry. This term is often employed to denote anonymous sources. The sentence would be like this, "Industry insiders today said the the Spyderco Spyderench would be introduced to the buying public next Wednesday." Another way the term is used is to say things like, "According to industry insiders, Dassault is not going to earn a profit this year." That type of statement usually means the "industry insiders" are leaking confidential information from the company they work for but the reporter cannot identify those people or they will be fired and the reporter will lose his or her "industry insiders."

Hope that helps a little. Bon chance.

[This message has been edited by lawdog (edited 18 September 1999).]
WOW!! You guys are great!

Lawdog, I would only add that 'carbide former' can also be used to describe certain alloying elements (Cr, W, V for example) which will tend to form carbides during fabrication. Carbides, of course, being molecules of a metal and carbon.

Excellent work, gentlemen. Walt
THANK YOU ALL, it is 3 31 in the morning so I am going to bed now, but I'll be glad if anyone adds anything, see ya all tomorow

If knowledge is power, I, for one, feel more powerful (shudder).

A. G. Russell's website includes a rather extensive on-line knife dictionary.

While it's much more modest and much more specialized, my site has a small lexicon of terms relating to balisong or butterfly knives.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Everything looks good except for what I think is meant by spark test. The spark test doesn't usually test how hard a steel is but the amount of carbon. Wrought iron (no carbon) will have round red balls of fire when ground and will usually fly straight and bounce when hitting the ground. Low carbon will will start to split and will be a lighter red, med carbon will splinter quicker and cast iron with the highest carbon will really split and have smaller sparks. The spark test is the easiest way to test for Wrought iron and will help in determining if a steel has high carbon. You really have to grind a lot of different steels quite often to just tell them apart by the spark test.
Thank you all guys, you have benn fantastic!!

I *mean* it, you have helped me beyond measure. wait until I get my grades.;-)))

Again and again and again thank you.

ASM would be American Society for Metals...
not American Institute for Microbiology.
Yep, Wolf I believe you are rigth, Ichecked this last nigth, and found th same.

If knowledge is power, I, for one, feel more powerful (shudder).