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Old September 13, 2007, 08:44 PM   #1
The Tourist
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...that's not a knife, THIS is a knife...

My new custom knife came today after a long six month wait.

It is a Graham Brothers 'Razel.' And the name is an amalgamation of 'razor' and 'chisel.' Heck, it even has brass knuckles on the back end. It is made of S30V, hardened by Paul Bos.

The edge is a toothy sharp, and I see no need to mirror finish the edge until wear shows up. Needless to say, it cut everything I threw at it today.

It comes with a form fitting leather sheath that rides inside your right front jeans' pocket, just like a folding clip knife.

Now, I've become a lover not a fighter. And truth be told, I believe that pulling a knife should be about the last thing a sane man should try.

Disclaimer over. If I am ever attacked (or if my dog is attacked--inside joke) this is the knife I want to be holding! There really is no 'pleasant' end for an aggressor to grab.

If I don't slice him with the razor, or puncture his skull with the chisel, I can pommel him senseless with the end ring.

Having said that, this is one hell of a tool. I have taken many shots of knives with mirror edges, and the bevel are always black. It's too bad, this one will be beautiful.

This is a pic of my actual knife, taken by Josh Graham, the craftsman who built the knife:

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Old September 13, 2007, 08:46 PM   #2
Lavid2002
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mmmmm

looks like a butcher knife : P
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Old September 13, 2007, 08:48 PM   #3
The Tourist
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...only if you wish me harm...

I wish you could be at my stand to see and hold it. It is incredibly ergo, very smooth, and well made.

Google the company.
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Old September 13, 2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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This is a pic of the mirror edge I put on my Emerson HD-7. I submit this to show the difficulty in capturing a mirror finish.

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Old September 14, 2007, 03:26 AM   #5
Mad Martigan
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S30V does very well with a toothy edge.
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Old September 14, 2007, 05:51 AM   #6
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Pretty awesome blade..
It sure would work at breaking the pelvis and open chest cavities of Elk and Moose.
S30V is a very good blade steel, with the Vanadium in it.
What is the handle material? Looks like canvas Micarta.
Thanks for the pix!!

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Old September 14, 2007, 06:09 AM   #7
Lavid2002
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no harm...

t looks great! What did you order it for? collecting or does it have a spcal pupose......looks like it would unzip me in a split second.
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Old September 14, 2007, 09:48 AM   #8
The Tourist
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Quote:
Toothy...S30V...Micarta...Collecting?
Yes, this knife is for my personal collection. I sharpen and sell knives, and I promised myself that when I started my business I wasn't going to be one of those "custom snobs."

Like any other hobby, when you see how things are made, you start to gravitate towards well-made items, and to craftsmen who care as much about their products as you do. Josh Graham is that kind of guy, and I love his work.

This knife is like any other knife I own. It's to be an EDC, and I will use it for personal chores, for work, and when I ride. It might have an odd shape when you first look at it, but it's also some very original outside-the-box thinking.

Yes, that is a black linen micarta handle. Nice catch.

And yes, S30V steel can be a tad toothy and it works just fine. Having said that, most of my commercial restaurant clients want mirror finishes. This knife will also be polished in that manner, because another use is that it show off the services of my company.

This forum does touch upon firearms as tools and instruments for self-defense, and I think our knives should be presented in that manner, as well. Clearly, this is one heck of a tool. And for the purposes of any debate, the Razel is a formidable self-defense item.

With my hand locked in the ring, it is almost impossible to get the knife away from me. With its thick blade blank it is useful to puncture.

Obviously, the blade geometry makes it keen on slashing.

However, in talking with the guys at Graham, they are most proud of the fact that they have designed and constructed an almost unbreakable tool and hunting implement.
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Old September 14, 2007, 10:40 AM   #9
Creature
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Nice knife. But I prefer a folding knife for carry. A bit on the expensive side as well. If it were around the $100 mark...
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Old September 14, 2007, 10:52 AM   #10
The Tourist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creature
If it were around the $100 mark...
It's funny that you would bring up those points. Those were my concerns when I started to get serious about knives.

Before I sought out decent knives, I carried anything with an edge. Frankly, I got lousy performance.

I finally bought a +100 dollar folder, and checked my pocket every ten minutes to assure I hadn't lost it. I still 'rub' my front pocket to check to see if the clip is secure. A bad habit.

It's amazing to see guys at the sporting goods store who will buy a +$60K F-350, a Weatherby rifle, a Leupold scope and then a 9 dollar Chinese knife.

As for a fixed blade knife, in my entire life this is my fourth fixed blade. I was never much of a fan.

Like any other decent product, I admire good craftsmanship. And this knife has that in spades. The overall length of the knife is a tad under 8 inches. It fits in the pocket like any good folder. In fact, just the ring and a bit of the handle show.
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Old September 15, 2007, 06:15 AM   #11
Martyn4802
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Sure looks like Canvas Micarta to me...
Linen Micarta finishes up without the lines shown in your handle.
I like the pins they made up for you. I make ones up like those for my knoves also.

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Old September 15, 2007, 11:01 AM   #12
The Tourist
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I polished the edge yesterday afternoon.

Yikes.
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Old September 15, 2007, 02:18 PM   #13
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It's very cool looking and high quality. It's a good skinner, slasher, and chopper, but I prefer a knife that's a good stabber too, should the self-defense need arise, like your Emerson there. Anyhoo, nice!
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Old September 15, 2007, 04:06 PM   #14
The Tourist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstFreedom
that's a good stabber
Not that I'm the ghost of Jim Bowie, but that was my initial concern, as well.

I wondered what if my Razel was my EDC for that day, and with my luck, that was the day I was to meet a mugger and his crack pipe.

But after I bought my first Razel (and now this custom) I don't worry much.

It is definitely a bona fide 'chisel.' If you get the chance, peruse the tool aisle at Sears and pick up a Craftsman chisel that has a blade 1 1/4 inches wide.

Now imagine a scared, angry, bemused, flushed, bipolar, Quixotic, weary, and Tachy-Psyche befuddled old biker chip away at an aggressor who has chosen the wrong line of employment.

I don't think the supposed 'blunt' end of my Razel is any set back, whatsoever...

(I wish you could see just exactly how this edge shines. I don't mean polished like brushed aluminum, I mean a 'mirror' clear enough to see your eyes reflected.)


Last edited by The Tourist; September 15, 2007 at 04:42 PM.
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Old September 15, 2007, 05:51 PM   #15
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Nice knife. Try photo'ing without a flash, and rest the camera on something so that the resulting longer exposure won't make the picture fuzzy.
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Old September 16, 2007, 02:01 PM   #16
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nice knife

That is a beautiful work of art. Is there a factory version?
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Old September 16, 2007, 06:39 PM   #17
The Tourist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshadow6
That is a beautiful work of art. Is there a factory version?
Yes there is. It's called "The Stars n' Stripes." It's made from 154-CM (good stuff, Maynard) and it goes for about 150 bucks, plus tax and shipping.

I owned one. It cuts great.
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Old September 18, 2007, 08:30 PM   #18
Walter
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Tourist, that is a great looking knife. Have you done much twirling of it
by the ring? As sharp as that edge looks, that might be a dangerous proposition.
A question for you, if I may. What exactly is the benefit of the polished
edge on a knife? Does it make the "edge" stronger, or what? I ask
because I recently bought a new kitchen knife, and it has a polished
edge on it. First time I'd ever seen that. I will say it's the sharpest knife
"out of the box" I've ever had.

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Old September 22, 2007, 10:56 AM   #19
Don Gwinn
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Hey, Tourist, what do you call a guy with a 20-year-old rusty Chevy pickup, a $100 Swedish Mauser, and carries knives that cost more than either?

That's right, a genius.
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Old September 22, 2007, 11:29 AM   #20
The Tourist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter
What exactly is the benefit of the polished edge on a knife?
For the most part, I try to keep 'my edges' at the same bevel angle as they came from the factory. I figure the cutler knew the strengths and weaknesses of the metal used, so why re-invent the wheel. This is especially true on premium knives like Emersons and Striders.

So, it's a 'no' to one of your questions. The edge is not stronger, but then, it is not weaker. It's the same.

The reason is simply the quality of the cut and edge retention.

It's amazing how many 'experts' think that an edge on a knife used for field dressing deer must be toothy. They believe that it must 'bite' to be a manly tool. And yet these same guys are afraid to handle a real-deal samurai sword.

Polished edges slide through any material and do not breakdown or dull as fast as knives with a traditional American edge.

Another reason is quality. The first step in this process is to fix or perfect the bevel. That means the bevel is the same width, front to back, left to right. The edge goes straight down the center of the blade blank. Then I polish.

I will use descending grades of water stones (three or four grit sizes) and then finish with two or more polishing tapes, which duplicate the rice paper or pumice that an original Japanese sword polisher may have used. I also use commercial chromium oxide paste on some papers.

There are still polishers who completely duplicate the original procedures. I use modern renditions of the tools. I do not seek to be confused with the guild craft of polishing, nor do I claim their title of polishing. I respect the tradition.

Having said that, I'd be careful around my knives. You cannot feel much when you are cut. Most people report "the brush of a feather." Then lots of blood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
That's right, a genius.
You're either a collector or a polisher.
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