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Testing that shows going against the dreaded staple ?

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Gary W. Graley, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Late last night, I took one of my folders, razor sharp as always and started to press down through the spine of a checkbook binder, hehe I thought I had found a spot that did not have a staple, but alas when the knife didn't pass through as I thought it should, I realized quickly that a staple indeed was hiding just below the top layer of paper. And as I ran the edge down the front of my thumb nail, it showed up the one small nick that came from that contact to the staple....Knife 0...Staple 1

    So, that made me wonder, in all the 'tests' that I watched over the years on youtube, I don't recall anyone seeing what harm would come to the blade if it ran into a staple. Lots of cardboard boxes will have those copper like crimped in staples which hide just below the tape and unless you check, it would be easy to run into.

    While the steel of the blades are harder than the staple, the edge being so fine I guess that about any blade would suffer some damage?

    There are some videos showing chopping down through a nail, through concrete block, those I think have a bit thicker edge or did end up showing damage but not total damage....ie that it could come back to sharp without too much trouble.

    So any of folks seen any tests that show real world type stuff like that? Staples are kind of a staple for most boxes, bundle of papers and the like, making it something that we could easily run into on a daily basis.

    G2
     
  2. Cycletroll

    Cycletroll Gold Member Gold Member

    292
    Feb 28, 2015


    Michael Christy just posted some tool steel tests of exactly this nature.
     
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  3. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Nice! thanks for that,
    G2
     
  4. Cycletroll

    Cycletroll Gold Member Gold Member

    292
    Feb 28, 2015
    My pleasure! Michael has a superb channel. He's a sharpening guru.
     
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  5. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger

    Sep 20, 2015
    I ran into a large staple in a shipping crate made from double wall corrugated cardboard once with my 3V Pendleton Hunter. Put a notch in the staple but not in the blade. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  6. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger

    Sep 20, 2015
    That vid was interesting and the M4 and the S90V are similar knives so that counts.
    I fell in love with the thin 4V at high hardness. Sweet knife !

    I have a problem with comparing that knife and the M4 knife he used because of the angle of the edge in relation to the handle on those knives. Now it seems to me that the 4V edge MIGHT have more of a glancing blow when it hits the staple where as the M4 edge angles down and would be more of a hooking blow that would drive the edge into the staple with more force.

    The only fair test is two (three) identically shaped knives with different steel.

    Fun vid though. Thanks for posting it.

    PS : it would probably be more realistic if the staple were anchored (bent into it's installed shape) rather than just poked through and able to be easily rolled over and perhaps pulled out by the edge being tested.
     
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  7. Dean51

    Dean51 Basic Member Basic Member

    759
    Aug 30, 2014
    It's been a while but I've played the staple game, it always ends the same...Knife 0...Staple 1. :(
    When it comes to those big box staples, a pair of pliers will even the playing field.
     
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  8. samuraistuart

    samuraistuart KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2006
    It all comes down to geometry. If it's thick enough, Knife 1 Staple 0. Sort of like the parlor trick of chopping a nail. You woulnd't want to chop a nail (or run across a staple) with one of my 64HRC 52100 (or M4) kitchen knives!!! I have one of those Pendleton Hunters, and it is quite thick behind the edge, for my standards.
     
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  9. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I like to baton staples like the old Buck logo.
     
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  10. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Many many years ago I used a Buck 110 to lever cut through steel banding on a bundle of ridged conduit to prove to a friend at work how tough it is
    Edge was ok but the power needed to cut through it I ended up bending the back spring
    G2
     
  11. AndreLinoge

    AndreLinoge

    411
    Nov 20, 2014
    There is no knife steel that won't suffer edge degradation from contacting other metal. Staple, nail, pop can, whatever. The degree of degradation and the mode of failure are what is important to observe with a test like that. Galled edge? Nasty roll? Chip? These things will tell you about what you're going to have to do to fix it, and you go from there. Maybe you aren't willing to suffer steel that would chip in that situation because you don't care for the metal removal to fix it vs the removal to fix a small rolled section.

    You can cut staples with a knife. Hell, you can cut a chain of substantial size with a knife if you try hard enough, but regardless of the outcome, the knife will be degraded to a lower state of sharpness. So, "staple: 0 - knife: 1" is an impossibility. The staple will always cost you edge, unless the edge is already gone and you're just shearing it by brute force.

    Any steel you want to test, put a staple into some cardboard, slice at the staple, and see what the phone book paper tells you after, even with casual contact.

    We have steel banding all over the sawmill, I know for a fact that 110s edge wasn't "fine" afterword. Maybe not chipped out and rolled over, but it was not going to be near sharp as it was beforehand.
    There isn't a knife edge on any steel that wont degrade with contact to other metal. Some steels can mean the difference between "unusably dulled" and "not very sharp", but none are immune.
     
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  12. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Agree, the edge on that 110 as I said was ok, which impressed my friend, I should have sent it to Buck but I knew I used it in a manner it wasn’t intended
    G2
     

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