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Why Choils?

Discussion in 'Busse Combat Knives' started by papercutter, May 8, 2019.

  1. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    I posted a comment in the Alpha Dog 6 thread about choils but I figured I should start a thread on this topic because I need to understand this design feature better.

    I'm not sure why Busse continues to make every blade with a finger choil. Can someone educate me on the benefits of them? I understand the "choking up" idea but why choke up when you can hold on to the handle? It seems so many knife makers mess up the area between the blade and the handle. It would be great to have a very minimal ricasso and have the sharpened blade as close to the handle as possible. A sharpening choil would be nice but anyone could add that if they wanted. Maybe I am missing something but I see Bark River do it on several of their knives and thy look great and function great. No need to "choke up".
  2. darsk20

    darsk20 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    musicisevil likes this.
  3. Iliveocean

    Iliveocean Gold Member Gold Member

    May 6, 2019
    The cut away area between the edge and the tang of a pocket knife blade and between the edge and the guard of a straight knife. The choil may or may not have enough space for a finger, it's true purpose is to allow the edge to be sharpened all the way to the tang in a pocket knife and to the end of the edge in others. Any reference of choil and finger space or choil and handle is improper.”
    A.G. Russell
  4. gk4ever2

    gk4ever2 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2008
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  5. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    There are many knife makers but I really like Res-C and several of their designs. I don't think they should get rid of the choil but a no-choil option would be nice. I think many of the loyal followers would appreciate it.
  6. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    Thank you for the responses. If anyone has any real world application where they use a finger choil I would love to hear it. I only hear "choking up". I want to learn and would even change my mind if I had a use for them. I just can't think of any. If I wanted to whittle I would use a smaller knife.
    gk4ever2 likes this.
  7. WatermanChris

    WatermanChris Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 30, 2018
    I appreciate choil for the extra leverage and control it affords me. Maybe it's just in my head but I feel like I have much more control over my knife
    Apocryphiliac and zombieassassin like this.
  8. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    They have released no choil models.

    I enjoyed my choil-less anorexic Boss Street (CABS).
  9. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    Can you explain when you need more control? I pick up my Busse knives and put my finger on the choil and it feels ok. I just don't know what activity would require it.
  10. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    I find a well-developed choil with a prominent "trigger" like protuberance between the handle and the empty space, like on my HG55, affords a good "pinch point" between my index finger and middle finger.

    So, if the choil is like that, I find that I have more surface area of the steel knife stock against/between my 2 most dominant, tactile sensitive fingers. Which also most of the time when I grip like that I have the pad of my thumb atop the steel of the spine I've found I get better "feel" and feedback...kinda like a snake putting his jaw against the ground.

    Add to that, I think they make the knife look better and more balanced visually.

    I like choiless models too. :thumbsup:

    Elf choils or those middling choils, not so much:thumbsup:

    Probably pretty difficult to quantitate scientifically-- mainly just one of those things a lot of users find pleasing for one personal reason or another, and the fact that most of the time with the choil being there isn't that impactful, negatively, in the cutting of the media, IMHO has lead the proliferation of choils everywhere! :eek:
    Apocryphiliac and zombieassassin like this.
  11. UNRL Ghandi

    UNRL Ghandi Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 24, 2013
    Choil is a weird word...
    BeastClaw, musicisevil and JACKMANDU like this.
  12. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    I see its mainly personal preference and it appears it's approximately 50/50 on who likes and does not like choils. You say you get better "feel" and feedback but doing what with the knife? I hold my Busse knife with my finger on the choil and I can see and feel it would be good for something but I don't know what exactly. I think I need a video of someone using it for a practical purpose so I can understand its "use" and not just another way of holding the knife.
  13. WatermanChris

    WatermanChris Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 30, 2018
    I really feel like I can press down directly on the cutting edge with my thumb. When I grip the handle without a choil, the force has to come from "below" the blade. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it right but it's really a personal preference thing. The leverage I get pushing on the spine with my thumb when my index finger is on the choil feels significantly stronger than when I'm just gripping the handle.
  14. Baron83

    Baron83 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 7, 2017
    I rarely if ever use my choils for my fingers. Many aren’t larger enough for fingers anyway. But they make sharpening, in my opinion, somewhere between 7 and 8 billions times easier.

    Particularly for whetstone sharpening where I’m pushing the knife along the stone rather than pulling. The choil gives me a cliff where the bevel ends and lets me work the entire length of the cutting edge. If one is using a sharpening system like a Spyderco sharpmaker for example, this is less of an issue.

    When I sharpen my non-Busse non-choil knives on a whetstone to reset the bevel where I want it, getting back near the plunge line is problematic as the bevel tends to widen out there and it throws off the angle of my knife to the stone.

    I’ve used knives for all kinds of farm and hunting tasks my entire life and never found the choil to be a problem. I also never really had many knives with choils until my Busse “issue” started, but even in using those I’ve found them to be worth their negative weight in gold when it comes time to sharpen.

    So that’s my take, if that helps at all.
    WatermanChris likes this.
  15. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    Thanks, that makes sense. I see you can get really close with the choil. I need to play with it more.
  16. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    I totally understand and agree a knife needs a sharpening choil. It is much easier for me to sharpen. I do like them small though.
  17. clampdaddy

    clampdaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    ^^^^^^^ This. When using a knife to cut wing and leg bones on small game I will choke up (even on a medium sized blade), put my thumb way out on the spine and rock the blade with force over the bone until it gives. It really makes it easier than just holding the handle with all four fingers.
    Apocryphiliac and WatermanChris like this.
  18. papercutter


    Mar 6, 2016
    Ok, that seems like it would work well. What size knife? Maybe a choil has more use on a medium sized knife than a large chopper?
  19. Jerry Busse

    Jerry Busse Moderator Moderator

    Aug 20, 1999
    "I like big choils and I don't know why, you HOG brothers can't deny. . . . . . "

    I'll admit that I am not a fan of choiless knives. :confused:

    Choking up for added control when doing finer work with a longer blade is a definite plus of larger choils. :thumbsup: :cool: :D

    Being able to consistently resharpen the entire edge without creating a recurved edge over time because you have to stop at the bevel plunge, allows for our knives to be heavily abused for decades and still come out working and looking great! :thumbsup::cool:

    So, in reality, I guess you could say that choils protect your investment and allow for higher resale after years of easy resharpening!. . . . You're welcome! :D

    Let's Drink! :thumbsup:

    Jerry :D

  20. gk4ever2

    gk4ever2 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2008
    I guess we need to work on you some more (JWB might help). ;):D

    Thank you! (I think :confused:) ;):D
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

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