ZT0560 edge DESTROYED by plastic zip tie

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Yeah, that'll chip out a blade. Think about it, you're applying a levered force to only the edge of your blade. It'd be the same as putting your cutting edge against that counter and twisting into it as hard as you can. Honestly, 1000's of popping zip ties... I'd say that ELMAX held up like a champ.

If you're gonna use it like a prybar.... get a prybar.

If you put a little more of the blade through and rotated the knife counter clockwise (so the tip is resting against the fastener end and you slice through the tie on the right) you'll be using the blade edge in the way it's designed for.

I meant 1000s of times with all sorts of knives. Not this one in particular.
 
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I'm not necessarily surprised that it happened, but with the toughness that Elmax is supposed to sport, it is a bit odd. It shouldn't take long to sharpen out at all.
 
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The hollywood production gaffers and electricians that I know use the pliers of their multitools to break zip ties. Just pinch, twist and pull. They pop right off.
 

JuJu-

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Dude that blows. I feel your pain! When I was working in the refrigeration field, we used large 36 inch panduit straps for the flex duct and other things. That shit is tough! I actually had to use my Klein's(like the ones below) to cut them off. Although they are larger than the one the O.P. cut, it just shows they can be damn hard things to cut, especially with weight on them. You cannot and will not pop one of these off!
tyestrap.jpg


KLND228-8.jpg

On a side note, if you are looking for wire cutters or any electrical hand tool Klein's are worth every penny! Life time warranty too.
 
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1. I think you can cut zip ties with your knife, you just have to be careful to avoid twisting (as mentioned).

2. To repair the damage go get a low grit utility stone from the hardware store (something for sharpening garden tools and the like). One of my biggest regrets is spending so much time doing stock removal with medium grit stones.
 
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The only time I've seen someone or had my own knife edge damaged while cutting zip ties (of which I've cut hundreds, if not thousands as an electrician) is when someone cuts cleanly and then hits something else with the edge or when someone cuts the zip ties exactly how 00ChevyScott showed he was cutting when he damaged his. When you cut a zip tie you want a clean cut so you never slide the blade under the zip tie and twist. I've chipped my edges this way and I've seen others chip their edges this way. I often see the entire blade in a razor knife snap right in half while trying to cut a zip tie this way. You may get away with it 999 times, but on the 1000th time you are going to damage your edge.

Zip ties are not hard on your blade. If you are having a hard time cutting zip ties or you are chipping your edge then you are doing it wrong. It is actually you who is being hard on your blade and not the material. Wire cutters or a pair of lineman pliers are your best bet.
 
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I've jacked the edge on my 560 cutting Sheetrock. I've also used it to cut zip ties, trailer seals(metal and plastic) its a work horse just sharpen it out. It adds character. I've also done the same if not more damage to other knives.
 

2 shot

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Zip ties are easier to cut if they are pulled really tight.

I will use my knife to cut those buggers, even using the push and twist method if that is the only option I have...it's only a knife. And I got more! Besides I probably haven't cut 50 so I have 950 to go before I chip the edge. :>) ( I usually use pliers to twist and pop them.)
 

mqqn

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I guess we can chalk this up to prying with a knife.

I have done it before, but in the garage I'll use side-cutters to snip these off.

My big concern is not the tie, but what is under it (typically).

best

mqqn
 

Bigfattyt

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I have cut a lot of zip ties.

Usually the "oops" moment comes from cutting through and hitting something else.

putting it through and twisting the knife to pop the tie is a ton of side load on the edge.

I have knives I would not think twice about doing this with, because they are beaters, and I don't really care about them.

That said, if one of my edges took a bit of damage like that, I would not be surprised, or whine. I would simply sharpen it, and move on. If I intended to repeat the action, I would probably put a bit more robust edge on the knife.
 
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Man, rather get yourself a DMT DuoSharp fine/extra fine benchstone for that type of action. Or send it back to ZT for a proper profile job. I dont think a Sharpmaker is designed to repair edges with damage like that. Just sayin...

I'll have to work out the sharpmaker tonight after work then. No more zip ties for me hah
 
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Iv cut many many zip ties of all sizes at work for years and never had a problem. I usually use a pair.of snap on dikes to clip them if im at my toolbx, otherwise i use the knife. Looks like you shoulda used a push cut to cut that zip tie, especially since there is plastic behind it. Still surprised elmax did that though.
 

shunsui

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I've cut a lot of zip ties with my Endura, but I use a straight through slice. No twisting. Dikes are best if you've got them.
 
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Part of the question here seems to be why a blade made of Elmax sustained such damage. It just shows how tricky the world of blade steels can be. Elmax has been promoted by BU as being one of the toughest stainless steels out there. Then there are people posting that it has never chipped on them. So why would a mundane task, done hundreds of times with other steels, damage a steel that commands such a premium? Maybe it was the heat treat, maybe it was a super hard twist. I dont think anyone could say that Elmax wont chip, only that it seems to be less likely to happen than with other steels of this type. In the end, it's still a high chromium stainless, 16th generation PM process or not.

So what steel is better for cutting zip ties, CPM-M4, 3V? :D
 

jfever311

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I have and carry a 0560. It gets used to cut a lot of various stuff throughout the day. However, I would not use it to pop a zip tie. Those type chores are left to my Gerber 06. The Elmax might be tough enough, but the edge is profiled much sharper than the 06's s30v blade. That naturally would make the 0560 more prone to this kind of damage.
 
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I've cut many types of zip ties, some of the very large ones when I've had to and I've never had an edge chip like that. I always attack it straight and apply a lot of pressure. Don't get me wrong, but shouldn't a knife designed for all kinds of field tasks such as this be able to handle cutting zip ties (and a little one by the looks of that photo) without chipping like that? Just sayin.
 

sticktodrum

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Not necessarily. A knife's edge is meant for cutting. Be it a push cut or draw cut. To slide the edge under a tie, and then rotate it to try to snap it puts an amount and direction of force that a knife edge isn't necessarily designed to withstand. The keen edge of a knife brings precision cuts, at the loss of strength. There's only so much that steel choice and design can do, it's still a knife. A pry bar doesn't slice anything, because it wasn't designed to apply that kind of force in that way.
 
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