- Apr 6, 2004
I received the replacement belt knife from Daniel Winkler today. It came by second-day priority mail. It is perfect. The grind lines are perfect. The old knife will be sent back to him tomorrow. He sent me a pre-paid label to cover the shipping costs.
I tested the knife in what I thought was a reasonable way for a hard-use knife with heavy edge geometry, by chopping a chunk of Douglas Fir, a softwood that is very strong. Doug fir is used for framing here in the Pacific Northwest. This piece was sun-dried, clear grained and barkless free of dirt, sand and knots. I hit it hard. There was no damage to the edge.
I also tested the tip with a series of thrusts that punched it into the wood no more than a quarter of an inch, and then pried splinters up. There was no tip damage.
This second test easily damaged the old knife with a broken heat treat.
Thats all the testing Im going to do. The knife is fine and extremely well made. The sheath is better than the old sheath, although they are the same style.
At first, I thought the edge was not sharp because it would not slice paper easily. Actually, the edge is sharp, but the edge profile is very thick 0.0475 inches at the shoulders. The edge angle is about 43 degrees inclusive. This kind of edge geometry isnt meant for slicing paper.
Id like to thank Daniel Winkler for replacing my old knife, which was secondhand, but unused. I thought his response in this thread added to his well-deserved reputation as a master bladesmith, as well as a person with an abundance of integrity. He showed us all how a good man responds to honest criticism.
He didnt have to replace this knife, and I didnt ask him to.
Its not easy to post a thread showing the weakness of a particular knife, especially one made by someone with an excellent reputation. The easy route is to just contact the maker and do everything out of the public eye. But in this case, we had a chance to see how a bad heat treat can affect blade performance; and we also had the chance to see that this was an isolated case that Daniel explained up front and with no excuses. We know what happened and why -- which is what a thread should be about.
Hopefully, all is now well with everyone. It is with me.