This ever happen to you?

Jan 14, 1999
A buyu asked me what I could do to his Fairbin-Sikes commando knife. He had thrown it and bent the tip. While thinking about straightening the tip with a pair of pliers the tip snapped off. The friend was made to understand that that was a possibility, depending on the steel and heat treatment. I began using my lansky, and it was going to take many moons to get the tip reprofiled. So, since this is a $30 less-than-utility- knife I decided to whip out my handy dandy tungten carbide sharpener that I keep around for cheap knives that I want to get a "working" edge on really quickly. The knife produced shavings that were really thin and curly, indicating soft steel. I immediately noticed that the shavings stuck to the blade. To make a short story unbearably long I found that the entire blade appears to be magnetic.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Somebody might have magnetized it by stroking it with a magnet; I often do that to screwdrivers so I can pick up screws with them. Or it might have got near an arc welder or some other big transformer.

If it annoys the owner he can use a tape recorder head demagnetizer on it, or go to a jeweler (anybody who works on watches has a demagnetizer).

-Cougar Allen :{)
Lots of knives are slightly magnetic right as they come from the factory. I don't know the how or the why of it, but it appears that slight magnetism can sometimes be a byproduct of the manufacturing process. It doesn't appear to be at all consistant. Even some knives from the same mfr. will vary with some being magnetized and some not. The exception to that is that some stainless ones won't magnetize even on purpose and at least one mfr. has mentioned that he purposely uses magnets to hold his knives during a part of the machining. Sorry, but I can't remember any more details than that. You might do a power search of rec.knives using DejaNews or ask over on the knife-list. It's a topic that comes up every once in a while.

Mps: What is the difference between a magnetically charged blade and a non-madnetic blade? Like does having a magnetic blade bring down toughness or edge holding? Or does it really not change the blade at all?

I believe it's possible to magnetize a piece of metal by pointing it towards magnetic north, and rapping sharply on the south end...something I remember from 5th grade.
Your memory is right, Burke.
Any sort of agitation of a knife while it's facing north-south will magnetise it a bit.
Not just rough treatment, but sharpening, polishing, etc. will all do it to a certain extent. Try some of your knives - I'll bet that a few are weakly magnetic (if they're of a magnetising steel).
This topic came up in Rec.Knives a few years back and it was Mark McWillis that told us that BM used electromagnets to hold the work in place while it was being ground - thus the residual magnetism.

A. Dale McLean
<A HREF="" TARGET="_blank" >ADaM Sharps Cutlery - Canadian Knife Dealer</A>

On the plus side it gives me a neat new way to hold notes to the refrigerator without incurring the wrath of She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Heck, I've see McGyver strike a 10' piece of 3/4" rigid conduit on the ground a couple of times and make it magnetic enough to reach into a sewer drain and retrieve a metal tube with a anti-serum he needed, but then I must watch way to much TV!


When a fellow says, "it ain't the money but the principle of the thing,"
it's the money.
F. McKinney Hubbard