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Wicked Knife Co Alaskan Hunter(long)

Aug 27, 1999
I got a new knife from my wife for out 7th anniversary! We were in Arkansas this weekend doing a mini vacation and we stopped by to see Newt Livesay at his shop in Siloam Springs.Newt was an extremely hospitable chap. He gave us a tour of his shop and showed us some things he was working on. One knife caught my eye. It was a new knife called the Alaskan Hunter, marked #003 and I was in love.
This is a large knife,It is like a BK&T Campanion, only more so. The AH (Alaskan Hunter) has a generous and very comfortable 6" handle similar to the handle on the RTAK. The blade is 6 5/8" long including a 3/4" recasso. The blade is 2" wide and .214 thick. The point is a clip point,the steel is 1095,Rc is 59-60, The knife has a full tang and there is a lanyard hole in the tang, which protrudes out the back of the handle 1/2".
The sheath is very well made from black kydex with brass rivets all around as well as many holes and a length of paracord laced through them to act as tie downs. The sheath can be suspended from a belt, or just as easily secured in any position on web harnesses.
When we got home I took a 2x6 xgood quality that I had in the garage and chopped it in half. That was quite a little job and it is easy to see why an axe is the way to go for hard woods.The knife was still shaving sharp after that so I cleaned out some bushes and vines in my back yard and intertwined with the back fence. The knife was still very sharp but losing some now.
I started getting hungry by then, so I cleaned the blade with soap and water and chopped 2 lbs. of brisket and peeled and cut up a pot of potatoes. I thought, what the he**, and cut and served the pie afterwards using this knife. My wife does not understand this behavior but is glad I like my Anniversary gift.
After dinner,I checked the edge and it would cut paper easily but not shave. The edge came back after a few munutes with a sharpmaker 203.
This was a very satisfactory test for me.I don't hunt anymore(bad feet) so I won't skin any game unless it sticks its nose in my tent in the middle of the night, but it is a wonderful camp knife. Sorry, I don't know how to post a photo,but its a very nice user knife.
While we were at Newt's shop we saw an axe and a tomahawk that newt made. The hawk was very well balanced and it was hard to let go of. Newt really knows his way around a piece of steel.

Although it does not mindfully keep guard in the small mountain fields, the scarecrow does not stand in vain

[This message has been edited by fudo (edited 02-20-2001).]

[This message has been edited by fudo (edited 02-20-2001).]
Sounds like a great tool!! Been looking at Ole Newt's stuff myself. Whats your impression of the 1095 steel?/
Ravenn in Ky

Age, and treachery , will always win out over youth and skill!
I picked up an RTAK a couple months ago. I love it. The 1095 holds an edge well, and the knife chops through softer wood easily. The handle is comfortable. I thinned out the edge- the stock edge was too thick.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ravenn:
Sounds like a great tool!! Been looking at Ole Newt's stuff myself. Whats your impression of the 1095 steel?/
Ravenn in Ky


One of the key components to the performance of any steel is the manner in which it is heat treated. Newt is a master at heat treating 1095, the process he uses results in a steel that is an excellent combination of being abrasion and impact resistant.
The linen micarta that Newt uses is indestructable, and Newt make the most ergonomic (comfortable in hard use) handles of any maker, bar none.
Newt provides an excellent product at a very reasonable price.
I recommend the Wicked Knife Company without hesitation. I carry a Livesay Woo (executive Model) every day between my uniform blouse and my body armor. Other members of my unit carry either a Woo or a Uji. We trust Livesay knives not to fail us, no matter how extreme the situation.
A quick story to anyone that believes 1095 is not a great steel when properly heat treated:
A friend of mine is a LEO sniper. He needed a large, yet portable knife to use on a training excercise. I loaned him the RTAK jr. proto-type that I am testing for Newt. He used this blade non-stop for two days for "fieldcraft" opening up shooting lanes (removing brush and obstructions from lines of fire), making blinds for concealment and even used it to cleave barbed wire from a post in order to gain access to a "AO" (Area of Operation). The puropse of that excersise was to avoid detection during movement. The only other sniper/ scout team to complete that obstacle without detection used a Leatherman to snip the wires.
The RTAK jr. made it through a grueling 48 hrs no worse for the wear, a litle duller and a little scratched, but a few minutes on a ezelap fine benchstone followed by a rouge charged strop had the edge back to "hair popping" sharp.
This is an incredible knife, a full review with pictures will be posted very shortly.
Take care and stay sharp
Visit Newt at www.newt.livesay.com

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell
"Those who hold the thin blue line keep order, and insure that anarchy and chaos will not prevail." Chad (1992)
"He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. He who dies by the sword did not train hard enough" -Chad (1999)

[This message has been edited by chad234 (edited 02-22-2001).]
Newt definately has heat treating 1095 down to an art. This steel has been around for a hundred years and is well known as an excellent knife steel. Newt gets 59-60Rc without brittleness. It doesn't hurt me to keep a little oil on the blades.
I own and use a number of Newt's knives because they are very comfortable to use, they are rock solid, and I like super customer service. I also like designs that come from experience rather than guesses by those talk about it but never did it for real.

Although it does not mindfully keep guard in the small mountain fields, the scarecrow does not stand in vain
Thank you for the review, and comment about one of my new prototype knives. The knife that you are talking about doesn't have a model number because it isn't in full production. We just call it a BABY RTAK or a Alaskan Hunter as Fudo says.

We have had such numerous request from BladForum members on our e-mail for a photo that I have decided to post one here. I have listed a couple of URLs that you can click on and see the knife, and a few others.

I would post the photo direct, but I can't seem to get it to work correct.

There are a number of large photos on this page so it might be slow loading on older computers. Here is how to find the knife going from top to bottom on the page.
2nd Photo of 4 knives........BOTTOM Knife.
3rd Photo on the far right of page with 6 knives.........BOTTOM Knife.
3rd & 4th photos on left of page.......BOTTOM knife.

Here is a photo page;
http://members.tripod.com/~Newt_Livesay/test-3.html photo of knife
http://members.tripod.com/~Newt_Livesay/index2.html Newt Livesay Web Page with other knife photos.


[This message has been edited by Newt Livesay (edited 03-07-2001).]
sorry... wrong area

[This message has been edited by the4th (edited 03-04-2001).]
In regards to 1095 and brittleness, 1095 is one of the toughest steels used in cutlery. It is far tougher than the tool steels which are tougher than the stainless steels. The argument against it has always been the low strength, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. No matter how you heat treat it you can't bring it up to the same class as the tool steels and stainless steels in those aspects - that is why the alloy steels are used.

I have a dozen or so of Newt's pieces, and they are exactly what they are...WORKING KNIVES.

A great bang for the buck, I love ALL my Newt knives...my favorite is def the UJI fighter! If it was only sporting desert sandwood handle slats...

Steve in NYC
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In regards to 1095 and brittleness, 1095 is one of the toughest steels used in cutlery. It is far tougher than the tool steels which are tougher than the stainless steels. The argument against it has always been the low strength, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. No matter how you heat treat it you can't bring it up to the same class as the tool steels and stainless steels in those aspects - that is why the alloy steels are used.

Cliff I am going to post this in a manner that you seem to like. By doing it in this simple method you should be able to understand what I am asking you in reference to YOUR post above.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> per Cliff Stamp; In regards to 1095 and brittleness</font>
What are you talking about?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> per Cliff Stamp: 1095 is one of the toughest steels used in cutlery</font>
You might want to read your first statement, and then reread all the rest of your post. This statement either is misplaced or the rest of the post is irrelevant.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> per Cliff Stamp: It is far tougher than the tool steels</font>
Last time I looked 1095 is listed as a TOOL STEEL.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> per Cliff Stamp: which are tougher than the stainless steels</font>
Again what are you talking about. This seems to to be another statement that you are going in circles, and not really make any statement that you can be held accountable too.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The argument against it has always been the low strength,</font>
Who exactly has always been arguing abut 1095’s low strength. Do you know what more 1095 is used for than any other steel in the world? It has to be very strong or it would not be used for this purpose? I will wait to answer to see if you know seeing how you are quite aware of it many drawbacks, advantages, etc.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> per Cliff Stamp: wear resistance</font>
Why would 1095 be the most commonly used tool steel in the world when used to make cutlery items if it had a low wear resistance. Has the whole world cutlery industry been duped by some myth because they aren’t throwing knives up in the air for impact test?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">corrosion resistance</font>
What do you think they invented Crisco for. Don’t answer that it is a trick question.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">No matter how you heat treat it you can't bring it up to the same class</font>
What class?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">No matter how you heat treat it you can't bring it up to the same class as the tool steels and stainless steels in those aspects - that is why the alloy steels are used.</font>
Cliff how much 1095 high carbon tool steel, or for that matter how much steel of any kind have YOU heat treated. I would be interested in knowing how YOU heat treat metal to get superiority in hardness for your heat-treating/test proceedure?

Sorry I had to edit a mis placed word or two.

[This message has been edited by Newt Livesay (edited 03-07-2001).]
Fudo, Chad and other who might be interested.

I have posted above a photo of the knife that FUDO was talking about. As a matter of fact this is the same knife that he bought.

Thank you;
I too am curious Cliff, where did your post fit into the above conversation?

Its good to 'see' you here!
I'd rather not become part of the fray, so I'll just say that I'm happily waiting for Sandbar #13, made out of 1095

3/2001 is turning into the month of the bowie and I'm lovin' it!
I'm rolling on the floor....

For what it's worth ... there is no universally accepted definition for "tool steel" and there are a few people who prefer to class 1095 with the tool steels instead of with the carbon steels. If you don't like it, bludgeon them with a dictionary....

1095 is very tough and is not excessively brittle at a hardness of Rc59-60.

1095 is not a very strong steel -- for instance O1 has approximately twice the strength at the same hardness.

1095 is not corrosion resistant. That matters to some people and for some purposes. The rest of us don't care.

If anyone cares, I have heat-treated 1095 as well as a few other steels. That experience, of course, taught me nothing about the properties of different steels, only how to heat-treat them....

There is no one perfect steel that excels in every respect. Depending on what qualities you need for your applications, 1095 could be a good choice for you.

-Cougar :{)
Use of Weapons
I am a big fan of 1095 and Newts heat treat in particular.The problem I am having here is the property definitions for the steel.
1095 is very tough and not brittle but it is not very strong?Huh?Where I come from if you are tough you are usually pretty strong.Help me out here.

note:Cliff if you choose to answer this please dont put everything I said back in quotes in your reply.Its really friggin annoying.Seriously dude- I can handle paraphrasing or just a straight answer.
Ben, in regards to materials, toughness is characterized by the ability to resist fracture, strength would be the ability to resist deformation. They are pretty much polar opposites in as you increase one you directly decrease the other. For example if you anneal steel it gets very tough and very weak. When it is hardened it is much stronger than when it is annealed and also much more brittle. As another example the stainless steels are very strong, much stronger than a plain carbon steel like 1095, however they are also much more brittle for pretty much the exact same reasons they are stronger.

To clarify what I said about brittleness, it was in responce to the comment fudo :

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Newt gets 59-60Rc without brittleness.</font>

This is like saying "I can bench 50 lbs without any effort". Well it is an accomplishment, but not something that would get you a lot of praise if you said it to a healthy person, and anyone who worked out would probably look at you a little odd. Or as a more cutlery related example "XXX heats treats his 440A and gets excellent corrosion resistance." Well yes, you would hope so since 440A is a very corrosion resistant steel.

1095 is one of the toughest steels used for cutlery and it is also one of the easiest to heat treat. Becuase is it not an alloy steel you will get near 100% martensite transformation just by a quench to room temperature so it does not get the main benefit that higher alloy steels do from cryo treatments. As well for the same reason you do not get the same magnitude of benefit from multiple tempers as you do with the high alloy steels where it is very necessary to double or even triple temper them as well as include a deep cryo treatment to maximize thier performance.

As for the defination of tool steel, this is usually something like "an alloy steel commonly used for tools". However it often is just "any steel used for tools" so you will see even stainless and the plain carbon steels like 1095 being labeled as tool steels on occasion. I don't see the sense in that defination though as by the same logic I can call even mild steel a tool steel as well as it is used for tools commonly in countries where the more costly steels are simply not practical.

Newt, 1095 is commonly used as a blade steel in preference to the alloy and stainless steels simply because it is cheap, easy to machine and heat treats readily with even simple equipment. As for it being the most popular, well it is certainly up there and it would not surprise me if it was the most common, but I don't see that as any kind of claim to greatness. By that logic you could also make the same argument for 420-J2 as it is easily the most common stainless steel used in commericial cutlery so why are people wasting their times with steels like CPM-S90V. You could say wood is superior to Micarta for knife handles for the same reason, leather is better than kydex for sheaths etc. .

As for wear resistance and strength, 1095 has a very low wear resistance compared to the alloy and tool steels if it didn't you are making the argument that alloying a steel basically does nothing for wear resistance - not an overly common opinion. It is the same thing for strength.

Of course low is a relative term, even though it is one of the weaker steels, it is still a steel and thus compared to a lot of materials very strong, same thing for wear resistance. It is not like you can take a scotchbrite pad and quickly scrub a hole in 1095. However if you put a piece of 1095 on a belt sander for a minute and do the same with D2 you will see a huge difference in the amount of steel removed mainly because of the large difference in wear resistance (machinability comes into play of course as well).

There are of course many places on line where you can get more specific information if you are interested.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 03-10-2001).]
Heck, I knew all along Newt was using an inferior steel. Used one of his Woo's to pry open a file cabinet door. Stood on the handle of the little booger and the darn thing bent a little before the hardened lock assembly popped out. I know I don't weigh over a 190 pounds. Sure hope the other 3 I have hold up better than that one.

Why that one silly thing he peddles, that Yuji or whatever he calls it, he sent me one that was already bent. Probably happened when the postman threw some magazines or something on it prior to delivery.

Had an old ICU out the other day clearing brush and digging up rocks around the yard for about 3 days. Would you believe I had to clean and sharpen it when I finished? Pesky ol' 1095.

Ol' Newt sure makes a damn good kydex sheath, though. I think he just throws that inferior steel in there to make 'em cost effective or something. No wonder he sells them so cheap.

So, I guess I'm just stuck with a couple dozen or so of Newt's knives made from that crappy old 1095. Maybe I'll just melt them down and make some car springs or a belt buckle or something.

Let me make a couple of points here about 1095 High Carbon Alloy Tool Steel. I call it that (high carbon tool steel) because the steel mill where we buy steel in 4000 pound minimum lots says that what it is so we call it what the mills says. First, no matter what I say about this metal will make a difference to Cliff Stamp. So I am not going to try and defend mind or anyone else’s usage of 1095 high carbon tool steel, to what I consider, to put it mildly, as a self appointed critic.

The statement Cliff made above about 1095 in his last post is that;
“When it is hardened it is much stronger than when it is annealed and also much more brittle. "This has to be the biggest bunch of double talk you have spouted in a while. ANY CARBON OR TOOL STEEL WHEN HARDENED IS STRONGER THAN WHEN IT WAS ANNEALED, AND WOULD BECOME MORE BRITTLE THAN WHEN LEFT SOFT! So here again you have made a statement of incomparable logic?

Again about the reference to 1095 and brittleness; If 1095 were so brittle, why is it the most common used steel in the world for springs. This includes bed springs, seat springs, clock springs, gauge springs, automobile springs, tractor-truck springs, temperature sensor springs, railroad car truck-springs, and yes even the springs in most switch-blade knives up until just recently. Yes Cliff, 1095 is the most common used knife steel in the world. I guess Ka-bar, Ontario, Case, Western, Cold Steel, Remington, Collins, Camillus, Utica, and also countless thousands of custom knife makers don’t understand that they have been using an inferior metal all this time. That doesn’t even include the worlds largest shovel, garden & industrial rake makers and the farming industry, who have used 1095 to make hoe, plows, disk, rakes, buggy springs, seat springs, and drill tools for the last 150 plus years.

No wonder you find broken shovel tips, and cracked disks lying in fields and meadows everywhere. They’ve been using inferior brittle 1095! Also the United States Department of Defense should be told that those millions of dollars they spent on testing, and usage of swords, bayonets, machetes, knives, and other assorted cutlery was wasted. And that they have been using an inferior brittle metal! Just think, if our industry had been using some wonder metal, then the United States could be the most powerful, successful, and greatest country in the world!

Again I ask you Cliff how much 1095 or any other type of steel have you ever heat treated?

About grinding and heat treating of 1095 and D2;
I have bought, sold, ground, and heat treated many hundreds of pounds if not a few TONS, of but not limited to D2, A2, 1095, 1084, 5160, M6, 01, W series, 52100, CM-154, ATS-34, and Tungsten Alloy and Molybdenum types, as well as lesser known metals. I am not an expert, but I do know what I am doing, because I do this for a living. I don't make judgements about things that I do not know about. The biggest and most expensive study on cryogenic treatment of alloy steels that I know about that is public record was partially funded by the auto industry a few years ago.
The study showed that by cryo-treating large D2 steel dies, they improved the over all performance of parts before wear-out by a top margin on some dies of 600%. I recently looked at a railroad car load of D2 tool steel dies being sent to the blast furnace. The dies were used to make “Craftsman” wrenches. I know the plant manager and I will ask him if they cryo their dies. But when it comes to knives, I don’t feel it is worth the time or the charge that people get for doing this process. I cryogenic treated mostly D2 and A2 knife blades, and a few high carbon 10 hundred series blades at one time, but found it not worth the expense. It might be a good point in advertising, but in my opinion, not beneficial to the multi variables in users, etc.

I can do a blind study using the exact same knife designs, etc, doing the best heat treats, draws, etc on any type of tool steel, and then do a deep cryo treatment to "maximize their performance” as you put it. An in my opinion, the vast majority could not tell the difference in the performance of the blades. I have done this very test with
fourteen (14) knives at one of the largest taxidermist shops in North America. The knives were numbered only for identification, and the cryogenic treated blades gathered no more high marks nor were they singled out any more for their wearability, etc., than the standard heat treated blades. These men using these knives to skin, flesh, and cut more hair bone and tissue in a day than you or I will in a year with a knife. I built a very large semi-circular industrial blade, about 5/8 of an inch thick, a few years ago for a company out of D2 that cut the breasts of 850,000 chickens open before having to be replaced. After doing a cryo-treatment to get more production time before sharpening, and reinstalling the blade, the knife cut another 800,000 plus birds I was told, before becoming dull. The company did not feel the cost of cryo treating, and the D2 tool steel metal cost justified it’s performance so they went back to a 440C OEM blade that cuts about 400,000 plus birds per sharpening.

I respect these test because they were performed by users, and someone who’s results are from practical usage, not part time play conjecture.

About grinding of 1095 and D2;
1095 is very hard on grinding belts, as hard as D2? Well not quite, but belt usage is depenant on type of platen, wheel, and or jig(s). 1095 may not be as hard to grind, but both it and D2 however eat $7.50 glass beaded belts like they were free.

About the Heat treat again;
Heat treating of 1095 or any tool steel is not some “easy process (as Cliff Stamp says.) “Because it is not a alloy steel you will get near 100% martensite transformation just by a quench to room temperature”. All I can say to that is B.S. You do not know what you are talking about Cliff. This statement is pure double speak. Anybody can heat treat a piece of metal with a very little bit of knowledge, but not everybody can get that heat treat correct hundreds upon hundreds upon thousands of times. Heat-treating is the soul and heart of a knife. You might as well just carry a tuna fish can lid hanging around you neck with the attitude and lack of knowledge you show about heat treating.

About comparing the 1095 to D2 and all the other alloys or wonder metals. This is sort of like one of your other tests that that you have posted. Someone sent it to me on an e-mail about you comparing a chopping hatchet’s cutting ability against a large knife. I think you said you noticed that the axe cut better? That might not be the exact quote because I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of the comparison. I also did a test once while chopping logs, where I compared a hatchet against a chain saw. I am going to write it up some day because the chain saw did a much better job of cutting the logs than the axe. Duh! Go figure!

[This message has been edited by Newt Livesay (edited 03-13-2001).]