Nov 15, 1998
Lately, more and more upscale folders are coming out with less than 1/8th inch thickness - the Axis, Covert, and Genesis come to mind. Some claim these knives cut better. Personally, I like 1/8th (Sebenza, Stryker, Wegner) or even 5/32nds (KFF, Terzuola tacticals, Military) are generally much stronger and preferable for work of defence.

Imho, less than 1/8th inch is not sufficient for the demands of self-defence with regard to a 4" folder.
Just a question. What kind of defensive use do you envision where a blade like on the Axis and Genesis wouldn't be strong enough?

I'll allow you that the thicker blades are stronger, but unless you are looking for a pocket survival tool that is going to be used for digging and hacking and pounding through material, they are superfluous.


one of those guys that thinks a thin blade cuts better
I think that manufacturers look at 3 things.
1) The purpose of the knife, which decides...
2) The size of the knife
3) What is available in Asia at the time.

Remember, Asia uses metrics and there is no 1/8" size over there. The companies building knives for the "American" manufacturers use 1mm, 2mm, 3mm. They will select the nearest size/thickness usually rounding down. This is usually done for "lower-cost" considerations. This is why you see sub-1/8" thick blades.

I do have a real fixed blade story for you. Two years ago, Chief Engraff (ST5) took a training group up to their Kodiak Alaska maritime-course range. They were practicing Urban warfare. Everything was frozen. They (ST5) took MPKs and SOGs. Remember, ST5 is the only team that ever bought any SOGs. I talked to three of the SEALs when they returned. They said they were using the knives to chop a "V" notch into the top of a fence post in order to lay the M16 barrel into, using the fence post as sort of a monopod. As everything was frozen, the MPK had no problems - titanium is a non-transitional metal. SEAL#1 said "when I was using the SOG, I got it stuck into the piece of wood. I applied a little lateral pressure to unstick it and broke a thumb size piece out of the blade." SEAL#2 said "I got mine stuck too and when I tried to remove mine I broke the whole blade in half!" SEAL#3 said I took a look at those two and threw my SOG right into the trashcan - true story.

I am from the same school as madpoet when it comes to blade thickness. Thinner blades cut more efficiently as a general rule, though I tend to think that the edge thickness is really more important than spine thickness. As far as strength goes, I don't see a folder as being any kind of prying tool, so I don't see the need for a blade thicker than 1/8". I have seriously abused a lot of "tactical" folder blades, and I have never even come close to breaking one any farther from the tip than about 3/16". To break a 1/8" blade, you would have to stick it into, between, or under something at about half the blade length and virtually intentionally break the blade... Not on my list of things to do today.

If I want a tactical edged tool that will work as a prybar, I am getting a fixed blade with a very thick tip made out of simple carbon steel or tool steel tempered, or selectively tempered, around 56 RcH at the spine (that or a Mission Knives MPK!).

Rick - I wasn't aware that you were making knifes in "Asia". Which country? In Japan, Spyderco calls out our thickness as we choose per model. Generally within .2mm (.008). Our steel is custom made: ATS-34 & ATS-55, Gingami, AUS-10 and VG-10 require that we order our steel produced 6 months in advance. None of these are "available". We appreciate your "opinion", but perhaps you are mistaken.
A word on EDI GENESIS specifications, design parameters, and manufacture.

The design team at EDI set the blade thickness in our GENESIS at .115". We feel that this thickness, coupled with out high, flat, saber grind provides all the strenght needed in a practical folder of this size, with and emphasis on cutting performance. This thickness also allows use to keep the overall thickness of the closed knife down[still using the internal components we wanted], which will help make the GENESIS availible when you need it; because it was comfortable enough to carry all the time. Our testing has shown that the .115" blade thickness is more than adequate for cutting and penetration tasks. As a matter of fact, it isn't just a good cutter, its a GREAT CUTTER.

For the record, the GENESIS is made ENTIRELY in the US. Yes we do buy the steel [ATS-34] from Hatachi, but we buy sheets of it in .125-7" and surface grind it down to our spec.s here in the USA! This is not cheap, we don't do it to save money. We do it to build the knives the way we want to. Blades are laser cut, heat treated, surface ground [down to .115 +/-.005"] and then they are bevel ground, all here in the USA. We of course finish the rest of the knife here in the USA. This is not done for 'low cost considerations', but for what we feel are high performance considerations. Perhaps you were mistaken. If you have any other questions about our products, feel free to contact me.

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
President-EDI Knives