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What's up with recurves?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by motts, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. motts


    Sep 20, 2008
    Just an observation...I've noticed many manufacturers, both production and custom, offering many models of folders with recurve blades. Yet, I've also noticed that many hear at BF voice their opinions that they are not fans of recurve blades...I assume because they're more difficult to sharpen.

    Just seems interesting to me that so many BF members say they don't like them, but so many manufacturers offer so many recurve models.

    So, what are the advantages of recurve blades? What are the disadvantages...are they really more difficult to sharpen? Never have done it so I don't personally know.
  2. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Depends if it's mild or not for me.

    I would rather not have a recurve, but if I like the knife and the recurve is mild then that's OK.
  3. gundude73


    Oct 6, 2009
    i agree with Ankerson, it depends. i tend to stay away from recurves. but there are a few i like.

  4. Reeek


    Aug 16, 2008
    I'm with Jim and I too question why so many recurves are produced. But that's just me. The thought behind them is the recurved belly adds cutting power toward the tip when pull cutting. I'm one who believes a SHARP PE straight edge needs no cutting help whatsoever.

    They aren't too bad to keep up with a good rod sharpener like the Sharpmaker but I try to avoid them whenever possible. The only true recurve I own today is a cheap but good Meyerco Kirby Lambert Shockwave. That is likely my one and only recurve for the forseeable future.

    I also consider deep recurved blades as a less than ideal EDC. You never know when you may need your blade to scrape with and a recurve just doesn't lend itself well to scraping off stickers or bumber stickers or what have you. A good EDC should be as versatile as possible IMHO.

    The two Hogue EX01's I have have a VERY minute recurve. So minute it's hard to even see it. So I don't even consider them recurved.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  5. termiteslayer


    Dec 18, 2009
    I want to see more straight blades with no belly or recurve.
    Recurves really do add an extra slicability to many situations. Their performance has been tried and proven to be legitimate.

    What a pain in the arse to sharpen on the job...

    I did woodwork for a lot of years.
    Only specialty cutting tools had bellies or weird shapes, recurves... whatever.
    I really do wish some of the mainstream manufacturers made more 100% straight edged knives.
    It's more utilitarian from my perspective.
    Bellies and recurves are my primary beefs with most knives intended for the worker.
  6. corwise

    corwise Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    I think a lot of it is simply astetics. I prefer a straight blade, but I do have two or three knives with slight recurves that just look great. They are user knives too, work great, and while they are a bit more of a pain to sharpen it's not enough of a recurve to really be difficult.
  7. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Some may disagree with me, but I think its done mostly for looks. I'm not a big fan, and am not sure what the advantage is in an EDC folder.

    Now, the Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri is in that same genre - or at least its a distant cousin - and it makes a heck of a difference in big chopper because it places the weight and sweet spot forward, and the curve seems to enhance the cutting action when you chop. Of course, with the kukri its as much the "bent" profile of the blade as anything that gives you the leverage and extra chopping power.

    But I don't really see the point in something like a BM 710. I just see it there as more of an aesthetic or design feature. This is just my flea brained opinion.
  8. kawr


    Jun 22, 2010
    Recurves are kinda silly especially when you can add more belly by doing what spyderco does with the military blade shape. I think recurves are like someone else mentioned more for aesthetics and its not very functional to me.
  9. bada61265


    Oct 16, 2010
    i am going to throw in with the no recurve lot, i like a knife with belly in the blade but straight from there back. imo harder to sharpen is almost a given. you could make arguments for and against but my chief complaint would be they leave an area where the blade might have a gap when cutting on a flat surface. allot of blades in this style are fairly fat. making for more drag threw a material during a cut. they are very nice to look at. ones ive had seem to be lacking in cutting ability.
  10. s_f


    Nov 17, 2009
    Well, I think the recurve on the 710 does a pretty good job when you try to sharpen a branch or any similar task - as soon as you reach the end of the recurve (the one towards the tip of the blade) it just bites into the stuff you want to cut. You may like it and you may hate it - depending on your preferences... I know about it and I use the blade accordingly and it doesnt annoy me.

    Now.. a 710 wouldn't be a 710 to me without the recurve - and _I_ think it wouldn't look half as good if it had none - but that's just my opinion. ;)

    I sharpen it on my benchstones and I never had a problem when sharpening it. The first times were a bit difficult but by now i tend to always getting the recurve sharper than the belly/tip...

    So - I like the recurve on my 710s - they're an essential part of this knife.
    I dont look for recurves. In fact most knives w/ a recurve aren't just my cup of tea - but if I like the looks of a knife with a recurve I wont mind it.

  11. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    The Edge Pro eats recurves as if they were peanut M&Ms, I have no issues with a recurve ;)
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  12. Toyz


    Nov 2, 2006
    I think they excel at draw cuts and skinning.

    I have a few - and they are a pain to sharpen.

    I tend to stay away from them these days unless I really want the knife and it's the only way I can get it.
  13. fmajor007


    Apr 1, 2010
    I have one and its troublesome to sharpen. I've considered filing it straight off. It's on a very short blade and i simply can't see how it cuts any better than a straight edge.
  14. -Ranger-


    Mar 23, 2010
    A recurve blade slices better than a flat blade because the blade shape presents an ever changing angle to the material being cut without having to bend your wrist. The inward curving part of the blade also helps gather the materials such as rope and the sweep of the blade assists in the cut during the draw stroke. On a larger blade the extra mass on a recurve makes a sweet spot for chopping.

    The trade off is the fact that a recurve is a bit more technical to sharpen and doing a push cut on a flat surface will not place the entire area of a flat blade against the cutting surface. I'd think that would mainly be an issue with kitchen knives used for dicing, but I've used a few different recurves in the kitchen just for fun without any issues.
  15. A.P.F.

    A.P.F. Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    :eek::eek: I think that I cut myself just looking at that 710, RD!
  16. almtiba


    Aug 29, 2003
    I agree they are a pain to sharpen, and I tend to go to straight blades...
    That said, one of my favorite folders (if not THE favorite) is the BM Skirmish... :)


    Andre Tiba - Brazil
  17. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    Thanks Al. I did that knife (Benchmade's D2) in around 45 minutes. I was taking my time and I went through every single grit on the Edge Pro. Polished it to the 3k tape and almost cut myself ;)
  18. Planterz

    Planterz Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I'm not a fan of recurves. I tend to prefer a straighter edge, or at least one with less belly and an edge-forward tip. Knives like the Leek, MT LCC, BM 940, and Spyderco Caly 3. So the "more belly" argument means nothing to me. I also use either a straight edge (sheepsfoot/wharncliffe on a slipjoint) or a hawkbill (Tasman Salt or the pruning blade on a V'nox) for draw cuts, so the "draw cut" performance on a recurve means nothing to me either.
  19. Slider817


    Mar 26, 2010
    Amazing. Wish I could do that
  20. jeffa


    Jun 10, 1999
    I love recurves and belly. ZT 0300 series, Emerson Commander, Benchmade Skirmish, DDR Gun Hammer Bowie, Kershaw Offset etc. I have many straight blades also but the cutting advantage goes to re-curve and belly for me and sharpening has not been a problem.

    As mentoioned earlier they are nice to look at but I like the way they function. :thumbup:

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