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Sharpest knife?

Oct 11, 1998
Have you also noticed that there are more than one knifemaker that has the sharpest knife ever...
Both have made videos to prof their superior products. I dont want to judje whos best and who´s not. I do believe that both have great knifes. But as an amateur how will you know what knife to choose and what proof to trust.
In some other areas this is a common problem where everybody seems to have the best products which confuses the customer...
Any ideas?
Maybe there could be something like :
great custom, not made for real work.
Plain knife, good blade, best hunting knife under 300 US$.
Best folder money could buy.
Cheap knife, not worth any money at all.
I know that a lot of things in knifelife is about feelings and so on but maybe we could have some basic words about every knife, knifemaker?
It exists.
Somebody has to have it, and I do.
If you doubt me, read on.

Artisans design knives for a purpose, a purpose which shapes and defines the knife.
However, given a task, we don't always agree on the role of the knife in fulfilling that task, nor what qualities a knife would have if it best met the needs of the user.
Some time ago, Mad Dog tested several knives against arbitrary standards for "Seal Knives".
I say "arbitrary standards" not to denigrate Mad Dog, but because I have different criteria for a knife in this situation.
First of all, I don't think a knife made of O-1 steel, regardless of chrome plating and its other good qualities, would serve in a salt-water environment as well as a knife made of a "stainless" type steel.
Even if the user protected the edge of an O-1 knife with vaseline, as soon as it cut something the raw edge would lose its protective coating, come into contact with salt-water and corrode.
In Mad Dog's test, his knife excelled because of the importance placed on resistance to bending and breaking: I assume he thought a "Seal Knife" should satisfy multiple purposes, to include prying, much as a commercial diver's knife would.
If I remember, Mad Dog also cut several different materials with the knives.
I don't remember the materials, but hemp rope comes to mind.
The Buck Nighthawk, one of my favorite knives, failed the bending and breaking tests which Mad Dog used, and did not retain its edge as well as Mad Dog's knife, at least cutting the test material (rope?).
Mad Dog REALLY didn't like the handle of the Nighthawk as well as he liked his own knife's grip, the one he designed and made himself.
I, on the other hand, think a knife of this type should first and foremost resist corrosion and then cut meat.
My Nighthawk has superior corrosion resistance, takes and holds a razor edge, and, whether because of the steel's grain structure or the geometry of the edge I have put on it, it cuts meat like no other knife I have used for that purpose (a rigorously subjective test, eh?).
In my mind, the Nighthawk will withstand long periods of low maintenance and then, in a combat situation, cut flesh like the dickens (I should point out that I separate my knives by use, Leatherman in one pocket and Greco in another).
Furthermore, I like the Nighthawk's ergonomics.
It fits MY hand as if Chuck Buck himself made it just for me.
I can say that because I defined the task, the role of the knife in fulfilling that task, and the test methods and materials I would use to evaluate the knife.
By the way, how many knives do we have out there, now, which the manufacturer or marketing people tout as having passed some mysterious "Seal" test, or as accepted by the "Seals", or developed specifically for the...
I know here in America we give marketing people a lot of license, but gimme a break.
What kind of knife do Rangers use?

Personally, I could care less how sharp a knife is out of the box ('cept maybe those that have those funky serrations that CS is so fond of). Although most of the better companies and makers put a decent edge on their knives before selling them, just how decent is never a deciding factor for me.

The reason for all of this has two parts: 1. If I'm purchasing it as a using knife, I'm perfectly capable of sharpening it to my satisfaction if the supplied edge is unacceptable, not to mention that, as a using knife, that super-sharp supplied edge isn't going to last forever no matter what claims the maker or manufacturer may make to the contrary.
2. If it's not being purchased as a using knife, and it's going straight into the collection, how sharp it is becomes less important. And again, if I should ever decide to carry it, I can sharpen it to my standards.

Thanks guys,
You both have very good arguments. If you want a sharper knife, do it yourself if you are skilled and if you put together your own test parameters you will have the best knife.

I myself have been working in marketing for at least 15 years so Im very sensitive for whats a marketing issue and whats a real working invention.

Thats part of my second question. What knife is good for what purpose? A good buy or just waste of money...

I will take that question as a new topic..



Good one Ken. Your tests are just as valid as any of the others.

I've just about come to view claims like "worlds sharpest knife" or "toughest knife" and particularly "SEAL knife" as a disincentive to buying. Talk about over hyped media BS.



Hey, I totally agree, any knife can be a seal knife, in fact I have a butter knife which I put a razor edge on. It cuts, slices dices, spreads butter, creamcheese, peanutbutter and caviar. Best of all it's cheap. I think this is the best seal knife yet. I think I'll have it hard chromed. Funnin
Not to start an argument on this subject, but, the "SEAL Knife" is ANY knife that the operator chooses to carry. A Leatherman, a Gerber, A SOG, etc... I've seen them carry Gerber BMF's, Randall model 14's, and so on. What I caught as funny was that a certain knife magazine listed "knives of the Special Forces" on the cover, then talked about, what else, a SEAL knife. Go figure. Sharpness of a knife, as well as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
I had to cut some hose at work.
This hose had an inner homogenous synthetic tube surrounded by a web outer-wrap, and over the web it had a clear plastic cover of approximately the same thickness as the inner-most tube.
Oh boy! A chance to play with knives!
I started with my Greco and what a disappointment.
With moderate effort, it would NOT break the clear cover.
I pulled out my Leatherman, and it easily began the cut, breaking the surface of the clear outer tube, but it soon bogged down and, even with vigorous sawing did not cut well.
So, I tried the Greco again, after starting the cut with the Leatherman, and the Greco went through the hose like the proverbial hot knife through butter.
It did so easily and repeatedly as long as I started the cut with the Leatherman.
However, the Greco, because of its relatively obtuse bevel and 1/4" thickness, would not cut straight and the cut wandered away from the larger portion of the hose like a chisel grind.
The Leatherman made a straight cut, with mucho sawing action, and yes, the Greco would start a cut with enough pressure, but what did all this mean?
As I started to run out of hose and remembered I had a job to do, I used both knives to make a clean butt end.
Now, I don't know how much of the difference came from the steels and how much difference came from edge geometry, but it got me thinking that I should experiment with my various knives against the materials I intend to cut.
I know my Greco will punch through a car top without losing its edge, but perhaps I should get a sack of meat, wrap it in layers of different fabrics and hang it from...
Wait a minute.
Has someone already done this?