Knives in General

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    I like knives.
    Yur arm is the classic “third class lever”. Yur “load” is what is in your hand, the “force” is yur arm muscles, and your “fulcrum” is yur shoulder joint. So, as every gud elementary science student knows- you get a mechanical advantage of speed and distance — but not of force. When you put a knife in yur hand this extends yur load distance so it gives you more speed and distance advantage, but a further mechanical disadvantage of force.
    What am I saying ? A shorter bladed knife allows you to put more power on to the cutting edge. Most experienced wood cravers use a bunch of knives with 1″ or less blades.
    The only way around this is to take advantage of that “speed distance” thingy where the force of the knife’s edge of the blade becomes a force onto itself because of weight of the knife. Yeah I know, force = mass X velocity. A short handled axe with the same weight head won’t cut as well as the same weight head with a longer handle- you’ve increase the velocity. Two axes with the same length handle- the one with a heavier weight head will cut deeper with each stroke- when you increase the mass.
    Still confused? If you take a Buck General knife (7 1/2″ blade”) it won’t cut stuff as gud as a Cold Steel Scout (7 1/2″ blade) will even if they are the same sharpness because the Buck knife is so much lighter. If yur gonna chop get a Cold Steel. If you want a long cutting edge without a weight penalty- buy a Buck.
    Bucks, many K-Bars, and S&W are light knives and will make you proficient at batonning (Batonning is splitting wood with a knife by striking the far back of the edge of the knife with a stout piece of wood.). There’s nothin’ wrong with that- that a light axe can’t fix.
    The cold Steel has a flat grind on its blade while the Buck is semi hollow ground; both are good. Total hollow ground knives are usually easier to cut with, usually easier to sharpen, but will not take the abuse.
    If your goin’ ta use your knife for dressing animals , you’re better off with a blade of 3-5″. Carbon steel knives will work with a ferro rod to make sparks and a stainless blade won’t. Stainless will be less likely to rust. Carbon steel blades can be protected by using a rust preventative like auto wax.
    Hardness takes longer to sharpen, but holds an edge better. Most people find a Rockwell rating (hardness test) of 58-60 is good. Soft steel will sharpen easier and quicker (professional butchers generally use soft steel and touch it up frequently (they also are in a position to get a new knife when the old one wears out).
    If you’re cutting poly rope a serrated edge is nice, however, it takes more effort and time to sharpen than a fine edge. A separate knife with a lot of belly ( longer/ deeper curve at the end) for skinning is nice. A drop point blade is usually more useful over-all and is less likely to puncture “innards” when used for gutting. A knife with a ball or gut hook can simplify things enough to make you smile -when you learn all of its uses.
    Watch what kind of sheath you have. A good sheath should protect you from being cut, protect what ever is around you from being cut, and keep the knife from being lost.

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