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Old January 17, 2008, 06:57 AM   #26
Martyn4802
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The Tourist is right on in all of his posts on this thread.
First, I have been making knives since 1980, and have made several hundred of them. I have a Bader Grinder, plus three other home made grinders for specific knife making tasks. I have a metal cutting band saw to cut out blades, a standing drill press and three double buffers for blade polishing. I have a whole lot of hand tools for working on knives too, plus sand paper ranging in grits from 80 to 12,000. All of my grinders use 2"x72" belts and I have them in grits from 36 to 5 micron.
Also, I am a bread maker and have made over 1000 loaves of it. I have used a non serrated blade to cut some of my loaves while they were hot, and a "sharp" blade will cut through them like cutting through hot butter. But, the edge must be sharp!
His point about selecting "cheap" knives is valid. Just ask any mechanic if he would rather use cheap tool for his job, or the very best available, and 99.9 percent of them will opt for the best available. A knife is a tool just like the tools a mechanic uses. Why use the best tools made? Because they work far better, and last far longer than the cheap stuff. It is a true joy using a well made knife as compared to a cheap K-Mart blister pack knife made in China or Pakistan.
Tourist, the most difficult thing to cut, which will dull a knife faster than anything else I can think of, is hemp rope. You might want to use some of that in your test.
And, this thread you started is excellent!

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Old January 17, 2008, 11:10 AM   #27
The Tourist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyn4802
Tourist, the most difficult thing to cut, which will dull a knife faster than anything else I can think of, is hemp rope. You might want to use some of that in your test.
I will find a piece and place it in my sharpening case.

My point was to get real TFL members to actually make cuts, not simply take a position in a debate. I suspected that many of them would also bring a Spyderco with them with the assumption that no matter what I did to a knife they could out-cut the sample.

Just as you stated your credentials, I probably should have been more clear in stating that my work also includes repairing and re-sharpening serrated knives.

In that regard, I am also a believer in procurring the best tools.
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Old January 17, 2008, 11:38 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK103K
Because I dont want to, nor can I afford to, waste quality.

I think your misunderstanding some things too. I dont (usually, again, the time thing) go to work with a dull knife, its the work that dulls it, and that can often be in just one day.
I want to address your concerns as a "stand alone" issue for the belief in working knives.

One of the reasons I see to it that I sharpen in sporting goods stores is that I keenly realize that working guys should have good stuff, too. Many years ago I was a mechanic, and stuff broke.

There are knives made in the "hard use" category. For example, Ernest Emerson makes dozens, and lots of them in the affordable range.

Now the reason I bring this up is that many guys in the trades are usually cutting the very things that dull their knives the quickest. This is where the relationship between the client and the 'tinker' (that's the correct name for my job) is the most important.

One example. I have a client who uses cement in his job. In one big job he had to open over 90 bags of cement in one day. He did this in the worst possible way a man could do it--the old "poke and cut" method. (Farmers open bags of fertilizer the same way.)

That is, they grab the top of the bag, pierce the top edge somewhere, and then push cut the remainder of the top away.

This is hard on both the tip and the belly of the knife. Paper is hard on a knife, but cement dust (akin to an abrasive) can actually wear down a knife like a polishing stone. The knife I sold him easily lasted all day.

When my client wished to purchase a new knife, we discussed his job. Part of the reason I suggested the Emerson was that the tip design derived from a feudal Japanese battle spear, made for thrusting. I also told him that serrations would not help him with a dull knife, and they used up half of the remaining belly of the blade.

We found a knife he could afford, and I mirror finished the edge. As you pointed out, continuous work can dull a cheaper knife within one day. With a mirror edge his blade "slips" through items and does not wear down as quickly.

This abuse made him and his co-works believers. My client returned to buy a shorter version of the same knife for dress pants and as a spare, and then an Emerson with a rounded profile for deer hunting. His philosophy was that a knife must not be allowed to fail in the middle of nowhere with a downed deer.

There is also another consideration. My co-workers found it odd that I always bought six-point deep-well sockets. However I never rounded bolts or slipped off rusted fasteners. I didn't break as many tools.

I believe that a good knife and a relationship with your knife maker or tinker is better than six crappy knives that fail--and about the same cost.

BTW, the locking mechanism on an Emerson isn't going to fail and fold up on your fingers, either.
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Old January 17, 2008, 03:51 PM   #29
Austin Cowart
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Ah Ha

I think I have finally figured all this out! What we are truly discussing here is this. We aren’t actually talking knives here what we are talking about is sharpening. The tourist is pitting his sharpening skills against all others. The debate isn’t truly just plain edge vs. Serrations but it’s His sharpened plain edge knives that beat the competition. In this case I would love to hear a report of what one of your blades does against free hanging 1 inch this mooring rope. A stacked leather puncture tests would also be nice to see just what kind of friction your blades produce and to see the integrity of the tips.

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Old January 17, 2008, 05:52 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Cowart
The tourist is pitting his sharpening skills against all others.
No, that's not it, but you're close.

For the sake of this debate, let's pretend you are a demolition car driver and I just won the lottery.

We meet in a parking lot, your competition car is on a trailor, creaking and dripping oil. I pull up in a brand new Lexus, so quiet you cannot hear the thing run.

Your first comment is, "Hey, Chico, I have a car and you have a car, we're equal..."

And that's the crux here. You're trying to put panties on a pig. You can quote statistics, whine about how nothing works for you, argue that good knives are beyond your cost, or even imply I'm an elitist.

The problem is that you're still driving a pig.

There are mechanics and tradesmen working every day that use good tools, or more to the point, appropriate tools. In another thread right now, and TFL member wants a knife, and another TFL member admonishes him not to mistake a knife for a pry-bar.

As I stated, that little knife I posted cost 12 bucks, it's a real knife, affordable to all and easily procured in the Japan Wood Working catalog.

But yet again, why are you trying to promote cheap junk tools? If you went to a target range and saw some idiot put 00 buck into a turn of the century damascus barreled shotgun, you'd take the other side of the debate--and probably the other side of the range.

As to sharpness, any sharpener or tinker can put an edge on a knife. No matter how you boil it, stack the deck, defend the junk, accuse the opposition of planting ringers or imply that serrations are superior to the plain edge on the opposite of the same knife, in the end the debate is over the real performance of a hand tool. And serrations are junk science.

BTW, my little 12 dollar knife will easily cut through a mooring rope that is several times wider than the blade's total length. And it will puncture leather, in fact it will puncture Japanese leather armor. I'm just the guy who sharpened it.
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Old January 18, 2008, 02:42 AM   #31
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But

But let’s look at the over all picture. I’m the Demolition driver driving the pig and you pull up step out of the Lexus and say. "Here I just got this and I want to prove to you that it’s a better demolition car than the one you have. Please take it out there and let’s see what it’s got." This is the jist of the thread and the reason im having such a hard time figuring out what is trying to be accomplished. You are not pitting your sharpening skills as you have stated but rather just a quality knife against crap ones. That’s great but here is where I can’t see any merit in these tests. You personally have modified the knives and in all actuality made them a bit sharper than they have already come. There for we are no longer just testing a quality blade but rather a quality blade that has been enhanced. There has to be checks and balances in any experiment. A turn of the century damascus shotgun isn’t meant for 00 buck just as a new Lexus isn’t meant to be a demolition car. Just as a buck knife isn’t made to clear brush and a machete isn’t used to skin a deer. We have to keep things in perspective. Now if we took a new Spyderco Pacific Salt with full serrations and another with a plain edge I could see some real good coming out of all this. We would have 2 of the exact same quality knives being used in exactly the same way and then a true verdict could be rendered. But until something like this is achieved I see no real gains in this experiment.
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Old January 18, 2008, 03:10 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Cowart
This is the jist of the thread and the reason im having such a hard time figuring out what is trying to be accomplished.
And I'm running out of ways to make this simple.

We are debating one thing, and one thing only. This is exposing/confirming the issue of serrations as a marketing ploy.

We have spent way too much time on my knives. They are simply samples. However, I'm not using alchemy or a magic wand over at my house. All of my tools were purchased commercially--you can buy the same knives and tools. Probably spend less than replacing junk knife after junk knife.

So here's the bottom line. I have expensive knives, and I also have cheaper knives--which is the false economy of one criticism, "I need crappy knives because I abuse them."

And I cut the same stuff you do. Wet boxes, wire insulation, tie straps, UPS boxes, etc.

I don't use serrations and I don't need them.

So I offered this test. If you disagree, come see me. Use a good knife for a change. Use a cheap knife with a good edge. Use your own test criteria.

And that's as simple as I can make it.

For some reason a segment of folks want to use crappy, dull knives and they are passionate in defending their right to own junk.

If that's your position, then go ahead, waste your time and money. However, lots of us have nice tools and receive superior performance.

However, then don't insist that serrations are good, necessary or even smart. They are not. They are a marketing ploy for dull knives and people who either don't know the difference or can't sharpen.

And the one obstacle that you'll have to address in this debate is a 12 dollar knife that out cuts your dull serrations. And that's the debate.
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Old January 18, 2008, 09:50 AM   #33
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Quote:
And I cut the same stuff you do. Wet boxes, wire insulation, tie straps, UPS boxes, etc.

I don't use serrations and I don't need them.
I think a lot of the problem here is "use". We all have different jobs, that require different tools and how those tools are treated and used. I'm willing to bet, I use my knives much differently than you use yours, and on a daily basis, not once in awhile. The comparisons of a true daily "working" knife and hunting or office pocket knives are not a true comparison. One gets used hard(and abused), day in and day out, where the others get used little, if at all, and certainly not on a daily basis. (sorry, cleaning your fingernails doesnt count )

Quote:
Now if we took a new Spyderco Pacific Salt with full serrations and another with a plain edge I could see some real good coming out of all this. We would have 2 of the exact same quality knives being used in exactly the same way and then a true verdict could be rendered.
I agree here. This would be a fair and honest test.

Quote:
However, then don't insist that serrations are good, necessary or even smart. They are not. They are a marketing ploy for dull knives and people who either don't know the difference or can't sharpen.
Again, this is simply your opinion, from your actual or perceived uses. Mine are different, because I use my knives differently, and know the value of the serrated edges, or at least their value to me. So "don't insist" that serrations are no good, when I know otherwise. My knives, regardless of cost or blade type are usually always sharp, or as sharp as I can keep them. I can and do sharpen them, with little trouble, and that includes the serrated portion of the blades that have them.

Quote:
And the one obstacle that you'll have to address in this debate is a 12 dollar knife that out cuts your dull serrations. And that's the debate.
So you say. Where do I buy this $12 knife locally, in a configuration that is truly ready and useful for day to day use, that can be safely carried, used and returned to a safe condition, one handed? I want to try it out and I'll get back to you.

Quote:
And I'm running out of ways to make this simple.
I think Austins "test" would be the simplest way to do this. And since Martyn has already confirmed what most of us who have to deal with it (hemp rope) already know, use it as your test medium and cut until one or the other will no longer get through it with reasonable effort. That I believe, would be the fairest test.
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Old January 18, 2008, 10:41 AM   #34
The Tourist
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You win the debate. Junk knives are best, how could I be so wrong. Cut anything you want. I'm done here.
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Old January 18, 2008, 10:56 AM   #35
AK103K
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What, you dont think testing two of the same knife, with different blades, to failure, is a fair test?


I thought the "test" was serrated vs plain edges. Cost of the knife has nothing to do with it, except maybe in your mind. I believe the results would be the same regardless of blade material, and the serrated edge would prevail in the end. It may not cut as pretty, but if its got to be cut, it will be last to finish.
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Old January 18, 2008, 01:23 PM   #36
The Tourist
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*biker exhales heavy sigh*

One more time. This thread is an invitation for members to cut. I already know how knives work.

Second issue, as long as you are cutting the same media, then the media means nothing. Rope just makes things go faster than eider down.

Contrary to the serrations crowd, here's how things wash out, including the idea of ringers.

A Japanese laminate always wins. In did so in the 13th century, it does now. It even cuts a fired bullet. It's a ringer.

My personal knife against POS serrations. My knife is a ringer.

A new Spyderco VG-10 knife against a POS plain edge. Spyderco is a ringer.

A worn out Spyderco against my wife's knife. My wife's knife is a ringer, even in its present condition.

A Spyderco against itself. If the plain edge is mirror finished, it wins.

My knife against a Spyderco VG-10, closer but sharp plain edge wins every time. Serrations degrade.

Now, you can stack the deck anyway you choose. But a quality knife (like any other tool) always wins against a poor quality, abused tool. Any day, any media, anyone's hand, any humidity.

That was the purpose of the thread. Nothing more. Don't over-think it.
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Old January 18, 2008, 02:12 PM   #37
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what does any of this ^^^^^ have to do with the difference between serrated blades and plain blades, of ANY material?

You keep saying that serrated blades are a POS, yet you dont seem to want to put your money where your mouth is, and do a simple, fair test between the two. Hey, your the one what brought it up in the first place.

If a Japanese laminate wins, then a serrated Japanese laminate will out do it. The whole point is, its the serrations that will allow the blade (of any material) to continue to work past that of what a plain edge will.

Are serrations the choice for every use, of course not. But you are the one that wanted to compare them if I remember correctly, so why all the drama?

Next thing you know, you'll try to tell me a Harley will out perform a Yamaha FZ. F'n Zoom has always been my choice, whats yours? Or do we need another "test".
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Old January 18, 2008, 09:01 PM   #38
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Oh goodness me

This seems to be getting a bit silly and honestly we seem to be going in circles. I’m going to list a few truths because I honestly have no idea what’s being talked about any more. Truth 1. No tool is made to do every job. Truth 2. In order for any real data to be collected in an experiment we are required to use the scientific method. And truth 3. You will never make everyone happy nor believe in your cause. With these said im going to wrap up my involvement in this thread. 1. Different knives are made for different purposes there isn’t just one super awesome blade in this world. 2 There is no experiment here. Chico has no desire it seems to conduct a test using the scientific method, thus rendering an honest and un biased verdict un atainable. And 3 do both blades cut things? Yes! Do we all like one vs. the other? No! Do both knives work in the way they are designed? Yes! Do we all trust one over the other? No! Will both knives eventually stop functioning at 100% and need to be worked on? Yes! Do we all want to spend more time sharpening a serrated blade as opposed to a plain edge? No. The fact of the matter is simply this some of us like plain edge and some of us don’t and a few of us don’t give a dang what’s in our pocket as long as we know that we can get to it if we need it. Telling us that one is better than the other and then not providing any means to support your statement except for examples that lean only towards your idea of thinking is flat out wrong. This not only disgruntles us who really enjoy scientific discovery as well as a good debate but also makes us doubt some's judgment and rational. With that I end my involvement in this conversation.

Cheers
Austin
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Old January 19, 2008, 12:49 AM   #39
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The best/ cleanest cutting instrument of all time is an obsidian scalpal. I have seen all the reattachment MDs blades and not one of them was steel.
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Old January 19, 2008, 01:13 AM   #40
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Not to interject (too much) but SWMBO asks (says)

"Why gaijin (foreigner) make argument over japanese knife. Special knife for fish sensei must be sharpened correctly by Japanese persons, gaijin cannot"

"but sweetie, the guy has a picture of the knife look it has kanji on it"

''Not real Jaaaapanese knife. You cannot have because Japanese knife special...maybe 1,000 buck!"

Thought I would toss that in. And no, I'm not going to discuss it with her any further elst I get the SonyToyotaSushiIchiroisJaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapanese lecture

WildowquitbeatingmeAlaska TM
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Old January 19, 2008, 01:48 AM   #41
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PSI vs kerf

Interesting discussion... Some questions that seem to be missing.

What is a knife?

How do knives cut?

What is a saw?

How do saws cut?

How do knives cut differently from saws?

How is a knife different from a saw in terms of design and manufacture?

For what applications would one use a knife instead of a saw?

For what applications would one use a saw instead of a knife?

Is a saw generally a good substitute for a knife?

Is a knife generally a good substitute for a saw?
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Old January 19, 2008, 01:31 PM   #42
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Simplified

Quote:
What is a knife?
Sharp bladed cutting tool

Quote:
How do knives cut?
A reciprocating or cleaving action

Quote:
What is a saw?
A specialized knife with distinct teeth cut into blade

Quote:
How do saws cut?
A reciprocating action only

Quote:
How do knives cut differently from saws?
See above

Quote:
How is a knife different from a saw in terms of design and manufacture?
I'll leave that one for the pros

Quote:
For what applications would one use a knife instead of a saw?
Cutting meat from my steak

Quote:
For what applications would one use a saw instead of a knife?
Cutting the bone while butchering the animal my steak is made from

Quote:
Is a saw generally a good substitute for a knife?
No

Quote:
Is a knife generally a good substitute for a saw?
No
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Old January 19, 2008, 03:38 PM   #43
grymster2007
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Rev. A

A knife or a saw does not need to be short, nor need a handle and can in fact be continuous, such in a circular knife or saw blade, running on an arbor.

Therefore my "short" and "reciprocating" descriptors are not entirely correct.
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