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Who is Warncliffe?

Joined
Sep 21, 1999
Messages
137
Hi,

I was looking at Lynn Griffith's Sniper (which I find myself attracted to) on his website and I took note that the "Warncliffe" style blade is increasingly used on so-called tactical knives both fixed and folding.

If that name doesn't ring a bell imagine a drop point mounted upside down with the flat part that would be the spine rightside up becoming the cutting edge instead.

What are the pros and cons of this style of blade? It seems to have no belly a la the tanto, and also lacks that style's tough "Americanized" chisel point. What's up with this blade design? It looks cool, but is it practical? My bottom line is function over form.

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Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of the tyrant; it is the creed of slaves.

William Pitt, 1783
 
Who is Oregon Duck
wink.gif


Named for the sixteenth century Earl of Wharncliffe who introduced it to England, it was in fact developed and used by the Romans.
from the CRKT website

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"A knifeless man is a lifeless man"
-Nordic proverb


 
Well Oregon Duck is just a guy who will be glued to the Fox Sport Net later today (7:30 P.M. Pacific) hoping that his fellows who play football kick some serious Trojan tail and defeat USC worse than the Greeks defeated their namesakes in the Iliad.

Anyway, now we are acquainted with the Earl of Wharncliffe, a knifeknut who ripped off an idea from the Romans. But the question remains--what are the merits of this style of blade? What are its drawbacks? I do not own one so I can't give it the test of experience. Does anyone here at BF use one?

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Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of the tyrant; it is the creed of slaves.

William Pitt, 1783
 
Pro: The straight edge is the best for "pull" type cutting. The tip is also very useful for detail work.

Pro for defensive use: the dropped point with the flat grind creates a distal taper. This increases the blades penetration ability in a forward thrust. The strait edge at the tip will also make for one nasty flesh wound.

Keep in mind I said "Defensive" not "Offensive". A person should avoid fights of all types. Espescially those involving potential weopans.

------------------
Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
GriffithKN@aol.com
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military


 
Dear Duck,
The September 1999 issue of Blade magazine has an article on the blade in question. It is entitled "Revival of a Workhorse Wonder". Don't know if that will help but thought I'd let you know about it.

ptn
 
Hmm, I always thought Warncliffe was a little old hermit who lives in a cave?

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I need a bigger bucket.


[This message has been edited by Stompy (edited 25 September 1999).]
 
I thought it was a description of a
worn - - cliff, instead of being a
straight drop off cliff, the cliff
had worn down, like the back of the blade
does on a wharncliff knife, smooth
transition from the guard down to the point.

And these kind of blades really gets the point
right out there fast! Got a splinter you need
picked out?

G2

(Hi, I'm Gary, and I'm a Wharncliffaholic)
(crowd replies back `Hi Gary')



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It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me,
it is the parts that I do understand.
Mark Twain

www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Cabin/7306/blades.html

 
Hmm, I always thought Warncliffe was a little old hermit who lives in a cave?

Stompy,
I think that was Warren Cliffman. But I may be wrong.

------------------
Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
GriffithKN@aol.com
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military


 
Well, just about *any* blade design can perform *any* task to varying degrees. I don't like tantos, but I'm sure they'll do fine for paring apples and opening boxes. On the other end (more sobering and unfortunate), thin cheap-steel kitchen knives are used for defensive/offensive purposes far more often than all other knives combined, "tactical" or otherwise. Also, I remember, as a kid, gutting fish and skinning a rabbit w/a SAK.

That said, the Wharncliffe seems pretty nifty for daily tasks. Since the edge is aligned w/the bottom of the handle, as Lynn Griffith noted, the entire blade up to its point effectively pull-cuts/drags thru its object. (More like an inverted straight pt rather than drop pt, actually.) On drop pts and such, the tip consistently falls away from the material you’re pulling thru. Again, the “extra effort” it causes isn’t really noticeable, and certainly won’t cause carpal tunnel syndrome or something; so it probably comes down, as it does in many cases, to preference.

On Wharncliffes, thinner the blade, the better, IMO. Since the spine comes down to the edge rather than vice versa, you end up w/a low, very thin pointy tip. Which is why it is probably “the best” for pulling out splinters. You wouldn’t want to stab trees w/it; but it pierces boxes nicely, and is great for opening packages, mail, and such, as its tip can be easily slipped under tape/ paper/ cardboard and cut from below, w/o damaging contents by cutting open from above, etc.

Europeans seem to favor the design a little more. Klotzli (sp?) makes a true wharncliffe folder (w/partial serrations), but a good inexpensive folder is the AG Russell Featherweight. It has a modified Wharncliffe in that the edge has a very slight belly -- nice touch, IMO. Underrated pocket knife, only $35 or so.

Boy, I’m procrasting... My .02 --
Glen

[This message has been edited by storyville (edited 25 September 1999).]
 
Which is why it is probably “the best” for pulling out splinters

Storyville,
You are right about them being great for slivers. However there is one better for slivers. It is the "Sliver" on my website. It is not a standard model. It was designed for and ordered by JerryO a forum member. Take a look.

Thanks,


------------------
Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
GriffithKN@aol.com
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military


 
I see the Wharncliffe as a fine "gentleman's utility" blade style. This is because it emphasizes tasks that use the point, but has no belly for heavier cutting.

What tasks use the point? Aside from the splinter-picking and such already mentioned, a lot of drag-cutting of thin materials is accomplished with just the point and very last bit of edge. Imagine clipping coupons on a hard surface, or opening the tape on a package without damaging the contents. For knife with "belly," these tasks involve rotating the handle and wrist upwards in an awkward manner; a Wharncliffe brings the point down and lessens this effect.

I don't agree that a straight-edge is best for pull cuts. It may be better than a curved edge, but a reverse curve or hawksbill is better still. I'm also loathe to give up the belly on a piece intended for thrusting - the belly increases the wound channel easily, much better, IMO, than the effect of the unsharpened curved spine of teh Wharncliffe forcing the edge down.

Basically, you want a curved belly and a "standard" shape for a lot of heavier knife tasks, from skinning to cutting thick cardboard (see "The Book of the Sword" for a simple explanation of the advantages of the curved edge). But for a gentlemanly knife that will be performing more light, point-oriented tasks, a Wharncliffe is a super choice.

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-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives
 
Posted only to show a different variation of the whancliffe, and becuase this is the Wharncliffe that was first mentioned in this post.
Sniper.jpg

If my posting this hurts anyones feelings, please e-mail me direct, and I will remove it.

Thanks,



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Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
GriffithKN@aol.com
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military


 
Lynn, I think it's going to hurt my wallet, the longer I look at it....

Drew, that's a nice little wharncliff as well, you do very nice work, when do you go full time?

G2
 
Lynn Griffith and Corduroy -- great corrections/additions, much better than my rambling! I second Gary’s sentiment, too -- nice, very seductive pics!

Oregon Duck, if you pick up the Sniper or something similar, plz do post your impressions. Seems like I experience 90% of the knives I seem to know oh-so much about vicariously thru others’ comments, sort of like virtual knife use. (Talk about being a kid again...) So share the experience!

Glen


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"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?" -Elvis Costello
 
One of the great guys from the forum (Richard) came by my house yesterday, and purchased a "Patrolman" with white micarta. I just want to say, Richard was very nice to meet. He called in advance to ask about coming (after a couple of weeks of e-mail correspondence. He even brought by a couple of really nice customs tho show me. One was a large bowie buy DeLeon. The other I beleive was Alan Foltz, but I may be wrong.
Anyway, Ricard was just all and all very enjoyable to visit with. Richard makes me look forward to meeting more of you off the list.

------------------
Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
GriffithKN@aol.com
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military


 
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