Okay, Here Goes My Report On Talonite.


Gold Member
Oct 2, 1998
I've been wanting to do this for awhile but I waited until I had enough experience with Talonite to qualify/quantify my opinions.
I was first introduced to Talonite by my friend Bob Allman, (aka; "The Bald1"). He and the irrepressible, (and generous), Walt Welch were the first ones to inaugurate a Talonite project.
I have been carrying a Rob Simonich "Ceton" on my belt DAILY for the last six months using it extensively at work and at home.
Let me start by stating that this small fixed blade is as quality a knife as is made today. I have used it for cutting food, cardboard, plastic strappings, leather, hard plastics, wood, scraping paint off wood and metal and all sorts of things. I love the "heavy/ stout" feel of Talonite.
I am one of those people that LOVE stainless steels no matter what the limitations people dream up and have found that there really aren't any limitations other than a slightly longer sharpening process. Of course in rust resistance,(the REAL reason we buy stainless steels), Talonite really shines.
My Cetan has been dropped from five feet to concrete with no adverse effects.
Here it comes but it's my ONLY complaint, (if you really can call it that). IMHO, Talonite holds a razor edge NO BETTER than any other so called WONDER STEELS or even carbon steels!
I have knives made from all types of steels, (stainless and otherwise), and again, IMHO, NO carbon or stainless steels are SUPERIOR in holding razor sharp edges.
I know this will open a floodgate of opinions but these observations are from actual usage, not from "wishful thinking". I also sharpen my own knives and "double bevel" all of them for "toughness". I also know about bent or folded edges and stroppe my edges on tablet backs and leather. I am adept at sharpening.
I am sure "razor sharpness" is not important to the "professionals" on these forums but to me it is. I would rather "touch" cut than "saw" cut.
I know, this really is a "tiny" complaint of Talonite. For what it does, it does well.
Regarding razor-sharp edges.

I am trying to form convex bevels when I sharpen. The blade doesn't stay popping-hair sharp for too long, but stays shaving-sharp longer than in case of flat bevels.

Thanks Gene, I agree completely with your comments on steels. Properly heat treated and with a good edge there isn't all that much difference in performance. But I will say it again, "properly heat treated" and with a "good edge".

Jerry Hossom

good post....talonite is great...but i have another complaint against it...$155 per lb. yikes....and quite frankly it doesnt hold an edge as long as 420v....but it WONT rust..and that is important....and it does stay sharp a real long time.


Gene :

My Cetan has been dropped from five feet to concrete with no adverse effects.

What did it land on, the point, the edge or the spine?

Talonite holds a razor edge NO BETTER than any other so called WONDER STEELS or even carbon steels!

On what types of cutting and what steels in particular are you referring to? Do you mean it can't even outlast 1095?

How does it cut compared to the steel knives you own?

Good post Gene, I appreciate your comments, however I dont see any floodgates opening!
I do agree that talonite dosent hold the hair popping sharp edge as well as a well heat treated steel blade. Where I have found it to perform the best is after the wire edge is gone, the knife wont feel real sharp on your thumb, but then try slicing some paper with it, it will surprise you. At this point it will cut and cut and cut.

I am oppisite you in that I dont find a hair popping edge very practical in a utility knife, I like my edges very sharp for sure, but not necissarily shaving sharp. I like the edge a medium diamond stone gives me, and is much more durable on any kind of knife.

Your complaint on Talonite is the same complant that has been heard for years on Stellite knives as well.
Talonite is certainly not the Holy Grail for blade materials, and I for one hope we never find the Holy Grail, then all the fun is gone!

Rob has a very good point. And don't forget, even IF Talonite doesn't hold the razor edge longer than 420V it for sure is easier to sharpen.

And the price... well, you'll get that snob effect from it we all like so much and you can call yourself a honorable member of the "Knifenut Club".
Just a question for Tom Mayo or anyone else who has an opinion-If 420V holds an edge as well as or better than talonite, how does 3V compare? It seems that I've read that 3V is superior to 420V, though that may be in toughness, not edge holding. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, and have my second talonite knife on order ( I'm not saying who with!!!), now I'm all confused again.

pojim, I am always playing with new materials and I have been working with 3-v for a while. Truthfully I am not all that impressed with it, I am getting better edge holding with A-2. This is however only a tentative opinion. I have used crucibles heat treat, and Ed Schotts heat treat. I may not be getting the best heat treat for it is what I am saying. I do get good rockwell numbers, but they arent everything..........Toughness has been good however......

I don't understand the initial blunting being faster than steel and yet then proceeding at a slower rate. It can't be metal loss due to wear, Talonite is supposed to have very high wear resistance. Is the edge breaking away or rolling?

Concerning Boyes dendretic Cobalt, it is supposed to be a very agressive cutter which has very high edge holding on soft materials. It is really soft though, even more so than Talonite. I have seen RC specs of it at 39 RC but I am not sure what Boye's official description is.

It would be interesting to see a Boye cast cobalt, a Stellite and a Talonite blade compared using a decent tool steel as a reference. They are all quite probably weaker and more fragile than the steel but how much actual functionality are we talking about here?

Cliff, when I speak of a hair popping edge, I am talking about the burr or wire edge. On Talonite I believe that this edge gets wiped off easier than the same edge in steel, probably due to the lower rockwell of the Cobalt matrix in the Talonite. When this burr is gone however, you have the edge with no burr and lots of very hard carbides right there at the edge to give the wear resistance. Note that I said this is what I believe is going on!
(A guy has to be carefull around here or he can get dogpiled pretty fast)

I havent used the dendritic yet, but I have heard the same as you, and I think the same happens with it only more so due to the lower hardness.

This is an interesting thread. One point I'd like to note, however. I think it might be worth considering that heterogenous structures like dendritic, damascus and wootz steels behave much differently than homogenous materials like normal steel and talonite. While the matrix in those structures may be relatively soft, they gain a great deal of strength and wear resistance from the much harder inclusions or layers in the composite. The soft matrix can erode a lot before the harder material is influenced.

Isolated parameters like the Rockwell hardness of a part of that structure may poorly define its overall performance when compared to homogenous materials we are more familiar with.

My thoughts.

Jerry Hossom

[This message has been edited by GaKnife (edited 02-01-2000).]
Hmmmm... can someone tell me if Talonite holds a better edge... well, no, not better...
OK, can someone tell me: Will Talonite hold its non-wire edge longer than 440V holds its non-wire edge? Because, frankly, I have been quite disappointed in 440V's ability to hold a reasonable utility edge any longer than, say, M2 (specifically, in my case).
Specific examples: Two 440V blades (one 2.5 inches long, one 3.75 inches long, both being used along their entire length). Each got so dull on me during cutting up cardboard boxes in one recycling session, they wouldn't even draw blood if you drew your thumb down the length of the blade. I'm talking near butter-knife status. So, that is where I'm coming from. I agree that a knife doesn't have to be "scary," "hair poppin'," or even shaving sharp to be a dang good utility knife. But I would hope that it would still draw blood (better that your average butter-knife) after cutting through a few cardboard boxes. OK, maybe not a few. Say, about 10 thin cardboard boxes (single wall, non-corrugated type) and about 7 medium size (about 2.5 ft x 1.5 ft x 1 ft) corrugated cardboard boxes. M2 could do it and still shave arm hair, for comparison, in a 3.5 inch blade.

Whew! Sorry for such a long post
. Long winded today.

"Absolute safety is for those who don't have the balls to live in the real world."
Rockspyder, neat name... I had a couple of knives with 440V recently to make some sheaths for, they were made by W.C. Davis and when I sharpened one, the steel seemed much harder than the 440V that's in a Random Task knife. A fellow at work has one and I am constantly sharpening it for him, everyday, I told him to call Kershaw and see if they'd take it back for a look see but he was happy with it. But I felt a distinct difference between the two knives in sharpening and to me when it takes longer to sharpen, meaning the steel doesn't abrade as fast, I find the edge to last longer. I know folks say harder doesn't mean it wears longer, but it sure seems so to me.

So I wonder about the heat treat that Kershaw is doing? Ken Onion....you out there? Do you know if they have had problems/difficulties with their heat treat?

Rockspyder, neat name...you didn't mention which knife you have that is showing this premature wear, list it or email me as I'm curious about that.


"The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...

G2 LeatherWorks
Jerry :

The soft matrix can erode a lot before the harder material is influenced.

Thanks for pointing that out Jerry, I have noticed that transition point with steels and just was not making the connection here. It was probably because of the significant difference in matrix composition which could quite easily make the transition points happen at two very different times.

There are basically two stages of blunting, the matrix deformation and the carbide wear. The second is much longer than the first, but with a hard steel the first one is still very long and what most people refer to as blunting in general. Since the cobalt alloys have a soft matrix the very edge may deform and go out of crisp alignment very quickly. Thus the optimal performance takes a sharp hit quickly. However after that the wear resistance becomes the dominant factor and they compare well to the best steels in that area.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 02-07-2000).]
ok i'm completly confused now!!will talonite hold an shaving edge longer than 420v?if it will not out perform 420v than why use it?i know talonite is not a good rope cutter but how does it do on flesh?i'm looking for a small folder 3 1/8" blade for hunting and fishing.

From my limited experience, Talonite won't hold a shaving edge longer than 420V, and this seems to agree with Rob's 03:00 pm post. And I beg to differ with the opinion that says Talonite is not good at cutting rope. My findings say it is otherwise, I suspect the carbide part acts very much like microserrations. On flesh (well on meat, actually) Talonite is just superb. I've been testing it on various materials. I'll let you know what I find out soon.

I've been testing a TALONITE blade for almost a year before we brought out the CUDA/Simonich TALON. TALONITE is the best skinning knife blade material I have every used,....period. That includes various tool steels like A2 and O1, 440v and 420v, ATS-34 and BG42. None of them cut like TALONITE or hold an edge like TALONITE. I believe that STELLITE would, from what I've heard talking to makers and users, but I haven't worked with stellite yet.

TALONITE doesn't have the same feeling edge as steel, but remember, its not steel. But it will cut, and cut, and cut. Especially good on meat. I've never experienced anything like it on cardboard either.

Its just different, thats why everyone has trouble describing it.

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
Camillus Cutlery

Will what did you use the talonite to skin?how many animals where you able to skin and have a shaving sharp edge?