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Why are "False Edges" even there?

Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
125
I'm a big fan of the Applegate-Fairbairn family of folders.
They (and so many others) have a "Spear Point" with an unsharpened false edge.
Why unsharpened?

Are such Self Defense / Tactical knives shaped that way for looks...
As if the manufacturer doesnt sharpen the other side because then it would be illegal in too many states (dagger)?

I dearly want to sharpen my 3rd AF folder, but on a $90 knife dont want to do anything stupid...
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
4,837
it makes the blade lighter
it helps the tip penetrate
and it helps when striking a fire steel as well

Plus it just looks darn cool on some knives :D
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
620
I think its mostly for the legal reason you guessed (daggers.)

Also, if the false edge were sharpened, you'd get cut a lot as it is exposed when closed on most folder designs.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2001
Messages
2,033
First of all, you are talking about a swedge, the false edge is sharp when it is ground but not sharp then it is a swedge.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
1,160
I think its mostly for the legal reason you guessed (daggers.)

Also, if the false edge were sharpened, you'd get cut a lot as it is exposed when closed on most folder designs.

Also - many of the older folders were OK in a stab but not always safe with a reverse strike (using top of blade to cut) so I am guessing that the top was left unsharpened to discourage a move that could cause the knife to fold whilst the false edge still allowed good penetration.
 

Bufford

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
6,499
Its part of the knife blade profile. It helps to reduce the weight of the blade and for balance as well as for cosmetic and performance- ie penetration, and again balance for comfort.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
953
Apart from legal aspects of this case,
There are very few folder in which you can safely sharpen top edge(in most cases top edge is not covered by scales). Furthermore slashing/cutting with top edge (in "tactical/self defence" situation )is dangerous for two reasons - possible lock failure, and risk of loosing the knife(with hard strike fingers won't hold it - <try it yourself - get a knife-sized stick, and hit a tree or post with "primary edge" and "top edge" of the stick>).
And double edged knife is much less useful in non-tactical situation - but it looks great and it is so cool :) If I'd have a spare AF folder I would sharpen top edge just for fun.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2007
Messages
1,144
I would think that if you sharpen the swedge on a folder your options for manually closing the knife become limited to those where you don't cut your fingers off :eek:. I also think that a sheath becomes a must.

Dave
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
2,826
I think false edges are the bee's knees...er...cool...uh...rad. I'm...uh...stoked about false edges. One of the more popular false edges is the one on the Spyderco Native. Gives it a sleek look and, yes, probably aids in penetration.

SpydercoNative_3.jpg

GerberAR300.jpg


The false edges on the Native (above), and on this Gerber, go a
long way in providing the blade's "character."



Very closely related is this sculpted look (not exactly a false edge, but what?) on some knives like the Cold Steel Pro-Lite and Gunsite. That's clearly more decorative than anything else.


ColdSteelPro-Lite_4a.jpg


ColdSteelTantoSerration.jpg

ColdSteelGunsite_1.jpg



One of the few differences between Cold Steel's Gunsite and Voyager tantos
is the sculpted (not exactly a false edge), or chiseled strip that adds a certain
pizazz to the looks of the knives.


In the case of false edges on Cold Steel's G.I. Tanto, I actually sharpened it and turned it into a real edge. I'm sure this has happened a lot on fixed knives. On folders, it's more of a problem, of course, but on a fixed blade knife, it's something that may improve the knife.


CombatTantos.jpg
 

JTR357

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
12,933
+1:thumbup: Good Question & Good Answers

I'm speechless on this one.Except I can takem' or leavem'....makes no difference to me.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 10, 2001
Messages
2,033
I am out of here after one more effort.

YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT FALSE EDGES, POCKET KNIFE BLADES ARE SWEDGED

A FALSE EDGE IS A SHARP AREA ON THE BACK OF A BOWIE OR FIGHTER BLADE
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
125
Thanks for the replies.

I take it the spear-point/swedge has more penetration than other point styles; EXCEPT
the dagger, which has "best" penetration, but sacrifices some tip strength.

For those who LOVE the appearance & symmetry of folding-"daggers",
I have sharpened the "other" edge of a fullsize & a covert AF folder (havent tried the mini).
They definitely dont cut you when closed or closing.
Seems Gerber should sell them with 2 edges as an option, just like the fixed version & Fairbairn-Sykes they are modeled after.

Thus I thought maybe I was actually decreasing their value.
My ultimate folder would have a fully plain edge and a fully (95%) serrated edge.
With the AF handle symmetry, I can rotate to make either the "primary" edge.
I dream of this knife ;). Who likes sawing with 1.5 inches of serrations?
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
2,826
I am out of here after one more effort.

YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT FALSE EDGES, POCKET KNIFE BLADES ARE SWEDGED...A FALSE EDGE IS A SHARP AREA ON THE BACK OF A BOWIE OR FIGHTER BLADE
I didn't know that. I always thought false edges were not sharp, but could be made sharp. Perhaps if the question were: "Why swedges?" Do they have any other value than cosmetic appeal?

Keep in mind that such misconceptions are sometimes wide in scope. Sometimes even those who fight with knives, guns and hands aren't always up to par on their knife nomenclature, nor in full agreement (which is often the case in terminology; for example, there are those who currently are trying to hijack the word "pistol" to be any "semi-automatic" handgun). One definition states: "False Edge—Widely used on military and combat fighting knives, a false edge blade is an additional bevel on the back of the blade enhancing the blade's point. This edge can be sharpened or not. The false edge can also be used for heavier cutting that might be damaging to the cutting edge."

And according to the Knife Guide glossary, "swedge" is described: "Also called a false edge, it is a ground edge on the back of the blade's spine, that is chamfered, or non-sharpened. It removes weight from the blade and can change the blade's balance and penetration performance and appearance."

I find it disconcerting that nothing here can be discussed without incurring heat from petulant designers or pundits who need to get out more and develop a sense of humor, or at least acquire some tolerance.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
1,108
I've read somewhere that according to George S. Patton, a false edge aids in penetration, and retraction. He emphasized more on the latter.

And plus they just look damn cool.
 

Charlie Mike

Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob)
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Nov 1, 2000
Messages
28,365
l_340a4f1c6b37e8a942c189169f5887aa.jpg

l_b53d8248d13082b7bce53701f6247cd1.jpg

Here's my BM630.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
1,712
okay&#8230;late BM630
it was bad in previous life and was resurrected as ugly as hell DE folding something )))
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
958
I am out of here after one more effort.

YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT FALSE EDGES, POCKET KNIFE BLADES ARE SWEDGED

A FALSE EDGE IS A SHARP AREA ON THE BACK OF A BOWIE OR FIGHTER BLADE

While the OP may be mistaken about a swedge vs a false edge, I'm quite certain that a False Edge is not sharp. Otherwise it would be just an 'edge'-as in, double edged.

A false edge is the area on the back of a fighter that isnt sharp but can be made sharp. I've seen a pocket knive's with false edges, specifically butterflies (a folder) and OTF's.
 
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