Suggestions for possibly destructive folder tests wanted

Mar 25, 1999
<img src="" align=right>I brought a Starmate with me to the Salomon Islands, where it was used (and abused) for lots of things, like opening coconuts and so on. I choose that one as if it should get lost or destroyed I wouldn't miss it too much.

Now, I'm planning on retiring it, but before then it can perform a last service and function as a test object. I don't <b>want</b> to destroy it, but I'm willing to <b>risk</b> it, so I'm looking for suggestions for what one can and should be able to subject a folder like this to and how to perform the tests. Just defeating the lock isn't something I'll consider though.

<img src="" align=left>The intention isn't to test exactly what <b>this</b> model handles, but rather this general class of knives. I'd like to test the most relevant things first so that it's not weakened from earlier rounds then.
Two ways to damage folders are heavy torques on the locks and impacts on the blades. There are a number of uses that can create such. For example if you are cutting really dense material, like heavy rope or are trying to split wood by using a mallet on the blade, the latter is hell on most serration patterns.

In regards to the rope you use your off hand on the spine of the blade and press down on the handle rocking the knife through the rope. Unless you have a nice serration pattern or a really coarse finish, this is the easiest way to cut really heavy rope not under tension. It can also easily put 300-600 in.lbs of torque on a lock.

You can do the same thing one handed on many materials. For example do a deep cut into soft wood, once the penetration stops rock the blade by torquing with the wrist to complete the cut, or even worse yet push out on the blade to snap the wood shaving off. There are lots of assisted woodworking tasks that are also very stressful like point felling, where you pound the point in and work your way around a tree and then snap it off.

Heavy scraping is also really bad on a folder as you are now flexing the blade sideways and can loosen the mechanism. Worse case senarios are sudden jars like when cleaning the bark off a piece of wood in hard fast scrapes and running into a not-so-flushed limb end, or when the blade twists.

Is that rust on the blade? Was it exposed to salt water or was the humidity the cause?