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A Story of a Blade

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posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 07:34 PM
Survival seemed to be the best place to put this one, as I don't really consider a knife a weapon as much as a tool. So, here goes...

I love knives. I collect knives. I love to sharpen knives, and I learned how from a couple master knife sharpeners. If I had to rank myself sharpening a knife I'd say...hmmm...I think I can sharpen a knife with the best of the experts. Anyway, this is a story about one knife, well, two actually, but the other one is a back-story.

Long (back-story) short, I lost a knife once on the snake river in a rafting incident while fishing. I was a kid, and I was crushed as my dad had given me that knife. It was a venerable old Buck 110, my first "real" knife outside of a Boy Scout knive and some beat up old toad-stabber of a K-Bar. My dad had originally taught me to sharpen a knife (and he was pretty good) on the old, completely dull and rusted, K-Bar. He said..."If you can ever get this one sharp, you will have learned to sharpen a knife!". It was a mess. Later he bought me a Buck 110 for Christmas one year. Now, THAT was a knife! (to me anyway). I loved that thing...I actually worshiped that thing! Then one day we were fishing on the Snake River in Wyoming, hit a log pointing up out of the water, spun the raft around and threw me out (I was on the fish too, dang it!). I went ass or tea-kettle into the freezing ice-out early May water. I was a good swimmer and made it to shore without incident, but quickly realized my trusty Buck 110 had left my unsnapped sheath and was gone. I could write a whole book about that knife and what it did for my love of knives, but suffice it here to say it was soon replaced. I digress.

Fast forward many years. I fell in love with all manner of fixed blade knives (the Buck 110 is a large folder). Eventually, I would meet my wife, the chef, and she was into knives too, but Chef knives, big dollar stuff. One time I told her I was going to sharpen one of her knives and she freaked out. No one was allowed to sharpen those knives!! They would all be professionally sharpened!! (per her). So I asked her to just give me a chance. She gave me about a $300 knife which was seriously in need of care and told me to have at it.

Have you ever heard in the movies when someone draws a sword out of a sheath it makes this "Schwwwwwingggg" sound? Well, that's not real (for the most part), but when you're sharpening a knife it is. I sharpened my wife's knife and gave it back to her. She exclaimed it was sharper than she'd ever seen it and was amazed. Heh...**brushing fingernails on chest**...yeah, that was me! So after that day, I was entrusted with all the big knives for sharpening...and we have some SHARP knives. I could sharpen knives all day for a living, I don't care if I own them or even use them! I just love to do it to see how sharp I can get them. (more on this in a minute)

Anyway, I've always like the knife as a tool. It's an amazing tool, and it has a variety of amazing uses. There's a particular niche for highly durable survival type knives, high quality type knives which can do things like bushcraft and survival type skills. These aren't giant knives, but they're usually high quality steel and pretty durable. So, for a while I had my eye on some ESEE brand knives (ESEE 4 in particular), but they were a little expensive, not too bad, but not cheap. Not a major hardship by any stretch, but a Chef knife would be more bang for the buck.

So, one day I came across this Buck 863 Selkirk. I've always had a soft spot for Buck. But when I got it, I was shocked to see it was made in China! Bad Ju-ju! So from then on I was pretty much intent on destroying it. I beat on it, I shoved it through steel cans and pounded the blade through steel barrels. I chopped through copper pipes with it, batoned through oak with it, hacked things with it. I just brutalized this knife!

The other day I woke up thinking about this beaten up knife. I wondered if I could bring the edge back. I looked at it, and it was hopelessly damaged, the edge was completely shot. The edge looked like the jagged edge of a soup can, it was ugly.

But, remember, I love to sharpen knives. So, I set out to see if I could re-establish the edge on this knife, just for fun. I had to re-profile the edge from tip to hilt, all manually, no grinders, and then just stone the knife to where it would lift the oil out of the stone (Arkansas medium BTW) all the way across the edge on every pass in both directions. Sharpening forward across the blade. I wanted oil and steel coming up off the stone over the edge. I took this thing to the strop, and honed the edge, rinse and repeat a couple quick times. Now I can see light down the edge, and this thing is WICKED sharp!! A beaten to death, Chinese 420C Stainless blade, brought back to shaving sharpness after being brutalized beyond imagination!

I'll probably still buy the ESEE 4, but at least the Buck can hang next time I need to cut a steel cable or some barbed wire fence! LOL!
edit on 10/20/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 08:07 PM
I miss the knives I have had during my life.

As you have referenced , they were a part of me.

But, I have come to terms of losing them and only have my trusty utility folding quick blade knife.

I love it, sad ,I know.

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 08:42 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I came across my old Scout Knife in a drawer the other day.

Think my Grandpa gave me it many, many, Moons ago.

It's in some nick, but i have an oil stone, any tips on sharpening up the thing?

Great thread by the way.

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 08:48 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I prefer obsidian blades.

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 09:22 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

What about obsidian edged surgical knives still used by heart surgeons today as they are so much sharper than steel, once gone the blade is toast but then what about Ceramic blades the new kid on the block?, they even have to dope them with metal to stop terrorist types from carrying them onto planes and things as they would be virtually undetectable otherwise.

Holding a real sword, that is a sensation like no other it feel's natural like it is part of you, a knife not so much, it's like remembering as if the sword was missing and even if you are a non violent type like me the feeling of that sword is very powerful, perhaps even more powerful than the buzz some people get from holding gun's.

I may be wrong but I believe the best Ceramic knives are made by the Japanese mainly for use by Sushi Chef's.
These are probably both among the best in the world and the most well known brand of Ceramic knife on the market.

edit on 20-10-2019 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 09:56 PM
I like knives too. I have several, plus some special chef knives

Here is my Corsican Vendetta knife

Heres my Talon

Heres the Kukri. It has a San Mai 3 blade

edit on 20-10-2019 by visitedbythem because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 10:09 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Big knife and sword fan as well..

I do construction and started with a fixed blade knife as my work knife.. not crazy big, but bigger than the fold up ones obviously..

All the other guys on the crew kept these little gerber box cutter knives instead.. well I resisted swapping for awhile because I like traditional knives personally... but they are just too damn functional..

Crazy small, and always crazy sharp. When one razor blade dulls you just swap it..

I think it is pretty Bad @$$ for personal protection as well.. especially for women as the blade is so sharp your going crazy deep with every slash that connects..

Not the 3 inches for vitals, but plenty to rip opeN muscle and discourage an attacker..

The only negative is you can’t use it to pry things, but that’s a great way to bend your knife..

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 10:13 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767

We have more than a few Kyocera ceramic knives. Honestly, I've never tried to sharpen one. Those knives I send out.

ETA - Those knives have to be sharpened with a fine sand slurry and an ultra fine belt; it's not like sharpening any other knife!

edit on 10/20/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 10:22 PM
I sharpen steel, not ceramic.

Ceramic is a much different property to sharpen, and the edge breaks very easily. Completely different material to work with, and different techniques..

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 10:36 PM
Nice thread. Ive had a lifelong love of knives as well.
I have a few, nothing special, exept to me.

To those talking a ceramics and obsidian, those are fine knives, and technology in knife making has come a long way.


For the love of a good knife, its about the steel.
Sharpening a high quality steel knife is a partership between you, the stone, and the steel. Its like spending time with your best friend. Theres a bit of a communion going on which to those who dont partake is hard to describe.

To properly sharpen a knife takes time, much like to properly clean a gun takes time.

The knife however takes learned skill, and a love of the steel. You dont so much sharpen a good knife as you make love to it. Sound creepy? Lol, yeah i guess. But knife guys will get what i mean.

posted on Oct, 20 2019 @ 11:09 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
I love the synchronicity of ATS.
Just yesterday I watched this 22:45 minute video:

Sharpening blades is a very special art.
The dedication displayed in that video is truly commendable.

I too know the heartbreaking feeling of losing a knife of sentimental value. I treasured an Old Timer, given to me by my father, and still morn the loss many years after it was stolen.

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 12:07 AM
a reply to: Hammaraxx

Japanese water stones. The ultimate blade sharpening medium!

I use oil stones, but I've learned the art of water stone sharpening. It's the same principle, but you don't get the 'tell' like you do with oil.

At one point I got all crazy and started doing things like crock sharpening, and stones. All is doable, but some takes a lot more time than others.

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 12:56 AM
One night I was walking down the bank of the Kenai river in Alaska. It was like 1:30 am (because that's when the sun sets). We'd been fishing, and caught quite a few fish (not as many salmon as i would have liked, but a bunch of arctic chars and some rainbows).

I ran into a sow brown bear on the bank. It was dusk. I saw her and she saw me. I was very scared. There was elk brush above me, and water below me, so I had no where to go. I had my Ruger SBH, .44 mag on my hip, but she wasn't acting angry. Only problem was, I had to go right through where she was...and she probably had cubs. I had nowhere else to go.

It was late, and I was sure my buddy was waiting on me, because he had to go to work in the morning. The river was flowing toward me, so I couldn't jump in the river, cold as it was. That's the only time I ever drew my knife in a defensive posture.'

It was getting dark, and I couldn't see very well. But I had to traverse the trail by the bank right where she was.

Lemme' tell ya', I was skeered that night (and I ain't skeerd of nothin'!). I let her fish for a while, and then she ran across the river, so I made my dash for it. She actually did have two cubs on my side of the bank, but she looked up and saw I was just haulin' ass, so she just left me alone. My heart was beating about 1,000 beats per minute.

Had my knife in my left hand and my right hand on my pistol. Probably would have been a brown bear lunch no matter what. I got lucky.

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 01:31 AM
That was a good read.

Sharpening a blade, done right, is a seriously satisfying thing to do.

My grandad used to spend hours sharpening everything from granny's kitchen knives to lawnmower blades.
I remember this broken old butter knife, snapped in half, he repurposed it as a paring knife. Used to only regard it as done when he could shave a strip of hair from his arm in one pass. I still have the scar on my finger from messing up cutting an apple one day...

I fought the bug. I use a straight razor to shave with, something much easier to do when you know you can sharpen it yourself.

My favourite stone is the final, a lovely 12000 grit block of slate. I only ever use it on my razor, don't want to mess up the profile by sharpening a knife on it, besides, 12k stones are more than good enough for kitchen knives in my house.

Here's a great sharpening vid

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 01:45 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
If you dad gave you an old Ka-bar. Well if it goes back to WW2, or around that era. Chances are its made out of D2 steel. Its a high chromium carbon steel, makes it a bit more wear resistant and stain resistant then regular carbon, but also more brittle but its generally harder to sharpen the regular carbon steel and cant really take a very fine edge on it as it will crumble and chip if its really thin.

But on a Ka-bar or anything that isnt sushi thin, its pretty dam good and works.

I got a Ka-bar, got it so many years ago. The one I got though its the newer version which is 1095 steel. Its tuff stuff, but nowhere near as wear resistant as the old D2 models. Have more then a few knifes around the place. I think I posted a pic of a fancy version or at least my take on what a bushcraft blade should be on another thread. That one was made out of Cruforge-V steel.

Of all the carbon steels I used, got to say, cruforge-v is likely the best for carbon.

For some reason, that knife is a whole lot harder to sharpen then even the D2 knife I have.

The steel is basically just generic 1095 steel, but has like .70 Vanadium in the steel matrix. Which I didn't think would give it much of an advantage, but I left it almost untempered, and its a pain in the ass to sharpen, and mostley because it a bit on the thick side, the handle is chipping off on it already, because you know accidents happen, and well my sharpening skills arent all that steady, and not as shiny as it used to be.

But in all its probably the toughest knife I have.

The knife I use most is this one though. Its a AEB-L steel, completely stainless, and out of all the stainless steels out there, its the toughest I used. I made it some months ago, also made a big brother to it, a 14 inch chopper/survival knife. But I think AEB-L is probably the closest you can get to a carbon steel, in stainless steels department.

Its supper tough even at 63 HRC. More so then some carbon steels. In fact I find it hard to even bother with generic carbon steels since this steel, has all that and is stainless as well. Exceptions on the more fancy and exotic carbon steels though.

The only drawback? It is pretty dam crappy on the wear resistance part. But still better then all carbon steels, but when compared to other higher end stainless steels anything with Vanadium or other elements in it that is.

But on that note, its also very easy to sharpen it, I mean way easier then anything I sharpened. But if you were ever going to make a big ol knife or a sword out of stainless steel. AEB-L is the way to go, its pretty much a stainless carbon steel that isn't brittle at high hardness.

Heres the one generally use if I have to use a knife around the place, also its the smallest knife I have, so it comes in handy.

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 01:53 AM
a reply to: LABTECH767

Obsidian is used for scalels and ceramic for chef knives. They will work and take a really fine edge.

But on regular every day use, or camp knife or anything really were impact has some say. Its a no go, they will chip, the edge wont last long on impact if at all, and well they break easy, really easy.

So for scalpels and suchi or kitchen knifes, something that is just dedicated to doing one task. Ya they will do that. On anything else. Well, you could try to baton through wood with a ceramic knife or obsidian, it wont end well.

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 02:00 AM
a reply to: Hammaraxx
I think I seen that vid years ago. Those dudes are crazy, polishing and sharpening anything that long, is a pain in the ass. I done it, not a sword, but even a 14 inch knife takes forever and is just not really worth it.

Also sitting in that position for any period of time, dont know how the japanese do it, they must be double jointed in the knee area, but just watching it gives me a backache.

But that katana, is prettyyy for sure. So shiny!

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 02:16 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I have 3 sharpening stones, 2 old oil stones and arkansa stone, and the other I dont even know what it is because I got it over 15 years ago. And a chosera naniwa 400 grit stone water stone.

The japanese water stones, do work good.

But the oil stones, even though are more smoother they remove material faster then even the 400 grit water stone. On my bushcraft knife or even the 3V bark river knife I bought years ago. The water stones dont really do it, takes forever even on the low grit 400, compared to the smooth 1000 grit oil stones.

The oil stones, which is a harder stone, does work. But ultimately I think any knife steel that has any alloying elements like Vandium or Tungstan or Niobium, if the stone is to soft, it really wont remove material. Or at least its so slow in removeing material that it will take all day literally. In fact your likely to remove material from the stone more then the knife.

I heard some of the Japanese companies make diamond or ceramic water stones, those will likely work a lot better as its not so soft of a stone. But you know, they cost hella. Till then, any high alloying steel, I would just use some cheap ruff diamond stone or the old school oil stones, then finish on a water stone.

Or your going to be doing it all day, and then some.

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 02:31 AM
a reply to: SprocketUK
Dude! 12k grit stone. At that point, you may as well sharpen your knife with a frozen stick of butter.

I think the highest stone I have is the 1000 grit oil stone. An that one is old, likely from the 50s as I bought it online many many years ago. It can get things shaving sharp, but one day when I save up my pennies, may get a 5k or so stone and upgrade my sharpening stones.

But generally, anything over 800 grit or 1000. Generally at that point, its more polishing the edge though for fine removal or polishing. But ya, you can get a knives crazy sharp at those grits were you can whittle hair easy peasy, well as long as the edge and knife geometry is thin enough. I sharpened once the big ol thick wood splitting axe, to the point were you can shave with it on that stone.

But if you try to split hair with it, the geometry is just to thick for that, no matter how sharp it is.

This guy though I think he used sharpening machines, and even with that you can get a pretty crazy sharp edge. On a stone, you can likely make it sharper then even that.

edit on 2amMondayam212019f1amMon, 21 Oct 2019 02:34:43 -0500 by galadofwarthethird because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2019 @ 05:16 AM
My collection so far:
Smith & Wesson
Cold Steel
Ontario Knife Company

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