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Short edge retention test on CRKT lg. KFF

Jul 9, 1999
Test knife is a large CRK&T plain edge Kasper Folding Fighter.
For this little exercise I used a length of new 5/8" Manila rope.
All cuts were slicing type cuts utilizing the first 3" of the 4" blade.
The edge was no longer usable for the exercise after it began doing more sliding on the rope than slicing and would no longer scrape hair.
Subsequent re-sharpenings were done on a Spyderco Sharpmaker 204. The first re-sharpening I took the knife thru the entire series according to the instructions given with the 204. The last two re-sharpenings were done using the white(fine) stones. Both pointed and flat side of the white stones, 20 strokes each.

Out-of-box edge:
34 cuts

1st sharpening:
53 cuts

2nd sharpening:
48 cuts

3rd sharpening:
55 cuts

This gave an average of 47.5 cuts before the knife needed to be re-sharpened.
It needs to be noted that this knife was quite uncomfortable to use for this test (for me) as the hook at the back of the handle began raising a blister on the middle of my little finger about 3/4 of the way thru the test. Also, the L.A.W.K.S. knob tends to get in the way if you use the top of the blade as a thumb rest. This was alleviated somewhat by moving the thumb forward of the knob's resting place, but it took a concious effort to keep the thumb in the altered position.
The knife easily re-sharpened on the 204 and is extremely secure to hold in the hammer or saber grips and should serve very adequately as a defensive type knife, IMO. Keep in mind that this is my opinion and my opinion doesn't mean squat.
Hope this little test helps some of you out.

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu
Good stuff misque!I'm really impressed that it would make that many cuts per sharpening.I will probably end up with one of these knives.Thanks Misque.
Thanks for the testing info. Sounds like the blade held up well. I wonder how other steels would fare in the test.

I use my custom trainer KFF regularly for impact training with my heavy bag/dummy. I have never experienced a blister due to the pinky hook. I'll need to get my hands on the CRKT model to see if the edges of the pinky hook are different from my custom. The custom version's handle is very smooth, without sharp edges.

I think that the hook is not hollowed out enough for my pinkie to fit properly. When holding the knife, the handle is quite comfortable, however, when working with the knife, like in the rope cutting test, it becomes apparent that the hook begins it's slope too soon. It is just not hollowed out enough for my little finger to fit into properly. I'm sure hand size and shape has a lot to do with this also. Still, one would not be bothered by this unless one is doing tedious and repetative work like rope cutting. How often does anyone do 190 rope cuts in a single day?
I think this knife's strong suit is it's design as a defensive type knife and sometimes utility knife and normally would not be used to the extent that I used it today.
As for the edge holding of the blade, I was frankly quite surprised at the average number of cuts that I got with each set. I hope someone else does the test and posts their results so we can compare and get a better average.
The AUS-6M did fairly well for me. About the same as cryo-treated 440A. I really wasn't expecting this level of performance from this steel.
Live and learn, I guess.

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu
Hey Misque,

Someone has to do that test. I am glad it was you instead of me! As has been said many times in different posts, would have been better with a higher grade steel. But if CRK&T is able to carry out the ergonomics of the original KFF, then that's a hell of a fighting folder. Think about it, what counts most in that moment of truth? A so-so steel with a sure gripped handle, or a great steel with a so-so handle? The LAWKS should also help for the intended purpose.

I will get one.


AKTI #A000356
Hey cool... gotta get me one of these..
Saw some up for grabs at Bladeauction, and pretty cheap, too!
These'll make great presents!

Misque, AUS6M isn't too hard to sharpen, right? How many passes on the fine stone?

I am not quite sure on the method. Were you slicing through the rope with one cut? If not was the number of cuts constant?

One suggestion, if you added another blade as a benchmark the amount of information obtained would increase tremendously.

Nice work.

The cuts were made using a single pulling type slice. The thickness of the steel or the thickness of the grind at the edge or maybe my lack of strength prevented the slices from going all the way through the rope. There were always at least a few strands that did not get cut. This happens a lot with me except when I'm testing very thin edged, fairly thin stock blades. Then the blade will zip all the way thru the rope, no problemo, most of the time. Also, I've noticed that thin ground convex edge knives perform best on this test for me.
The benchmark blade is a nice touch. I will begin to use that method on the next round with the next victim.
Thanks for your help!

AUS-6M took an edge with almost frightening ease. Takes a really sharp edge too.

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu
Hi Misque!

How does the secondary bevel look like? Thick or thin? If it's thick, I wonder if thinning it out would affect the performance... I've only seen pictures of these, and from the looks of it, a pretty stout knife. I guess I'll find out once I order mine.

Thanks for doing the test!

I'm glad to see that the edge held up well during the rope cutting test. I picked up a 3" model Saturday just because of its overall fit and finish. At $34, i just had to treat myself. I'm glad my new toy is alo useful too.
In your test factory sharpening had the weakest edge retention.
I also noticed that factory sharpening holds the edge usually weaker than subsequent hand sharpening. I think it is by two reasons:
  • Factory sharpening is made using belt grinder with relatively fast sharpening speed and this somewhat dehardens steel in very edge.
  • Out of factory box the edge is micro-serrated and wears out faster.
What do you think in this matter?

I think you are absolutely correct.
I believe this is especially true on knives that have a polished edge. When I polish an edge on my buffer, it takes about 2 seconds of lingering in one spot for a great deal of heat to build up. Too hot to touch sometimes.
I'm sure this can't be good for the temper of the blade. This is why I've started using the Sharpmaker 204 more and the grinder/buffer less for my sharpening chores.

The micro-serrations I find on most of my new blades does wear off faster. But, after I put them on the Sharpmaker 204, they seem to behave and perform like they are supposed to.
This might be due to the fact that most of the cutting I do is on very fibrous and tough material like manila rope, cardboard and plant matter like wood and such. This might be tearing out those micro-teeth on the blade edge.

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu
I just bought a large one today. It appears to be quite a deal for only $54! The LAWKS is what swayed me. This is the first liner lock I've seen with such a device. It seems as though it works as designed. I can detect NO movement in the blade while open. And in opening, it's smoother than my Pioneer. Now, if only they can just make a higher-end version, with finer materials...
Although I too would prefer CRKT move to AUS-8A as their base steel, I think Misque's cutting test showed that the AUS-6M used by CRKT is in fact a pretty darn good performing steel. And obviously, they are not going to make a factory version with exactly the same level of materials as the custom and still charge the same.

Personally, I would rather have a knife with "medium-level" materials that performs very well, with excellent fit and finish (not necessarily perfect), than a knife using all the newest exotic handle and blade steel materials in which fit and performance are off and unreliable.