Best knife steel for prying and toughness/hardness?

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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,655
730
Canada
That is most certainly the spirit :)

I am on an 'affordable classics' tip at the moment and spend most of my time looking at Mercators, higonokamis, opis, douk douks, little french regional patterns ...
 

WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
98
32
35
Kent
That is most certainly the spirit :)

I am on an 'affordable classics' tip at the moment and spend most of my time looking at Mercators, higonokamis, opis, douk douks, little french regional patterns ...

My collection is as follows:

TOPS mini pry
Mora Firestarter
More Garberg Carbon
Fallkniven F1X in Elmax
Semi custom Bradford Guardian 4.5 in Elmax
Benchmade Leuku
TRC South Pole
TRC Apocalypse
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,655
730
Canada
My collection is as follows:

TOPS mini pry
Mora Firestarter
More Garberg Carbon
Fallkniven F1X in Elmax
Semi custom Bradford Guardian 4.5 in Elmax
Benchmade Leuku
TRC South Pole
TRC Apocalypse
I have hundreds of knives and have owned more, but, and this may just be a kind of nostalgia, the first knives I bought when I started to get seriously interested in all this were a Spyderco Para 1, an Opinel 8, a Roselli Carpenter and a Fallkniven F1. I could have stopped right there and have been perfectly happy with a good set of things for the outdoors ... then I wanted a slightly bigger knife, then an axe, then a saw, then a laguiole, then a this then a that. But in the end, it was the little slipjoints that were the problem ... so much of interest in there, so many little histories, routes to follow, conclusions to reach. I have to say using and collecting all these things, asking people to make things, it has been a blast. I don't see it ending any time soon. Have fun.
 

WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
98
32
35
Kent
I have hundreds of knives and have owned more, but, and this may just be a kind of nostalgia, the first knives I bought when I started to get seriously interested in all this were a Spyderco Para 1, an Opinel 8, a Roselli Carpenter and a Fallkniven F1. I could have stopped right there and have been perfectly happy with a good set of things for the outdoors ... then I wanted a slightly bigger knife, then an axe, then a saw, then a laguiole, then a this then a that. But in the end, it was the little slipjoints that were the problem ... so much of interest in there, so many little histories, routes to follow, conclusions to reach. I have to say using and collecting all these things, asking people to make things, it has been a blast. I don't see it ending any time soon. Have fun.

Haha, yeah. I know what you mean about the hunt never ending. When I agreed a price on that Fehrman I had a bit of a relieved feeling that I’ve finally filled that, ‘large, tough, high quality knife’ spot in my collection, but all it did was make me wonder if I’ve got the small, high quality fixed blade area covered! Now I want the Ultralite Bushcrafter.

I want to get a couple of Granfors Bruks axes and Silky saws, too.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,368
1,341
Bedfordshire
When I used to read the fly fishing magazines, someone wrote about how buying fly rods to fill gaps was a never ending process. Every gap filled created two more gaps on either side of the new rod!

I have found that a lot of kit follows the same pattern, like some yet to be named law of nature!
 

WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
98
32
35
Kent
When I used to read the fly fishing magazines, someone wrote about how buying fly rods to fill gaps was a never ending process. Every gap filled created two more gaps on either side of the new rod!

I have found that a lot of kit follows the same pattern, like some yet to be named law of nature!

It’s true with creationists, too. They always want evolutionary biologists to find the ‘missing link’ between two fossils. When one turns up that’s in between, it just creates two more missing links!
 

WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
98
32
35
Kent
Thanks mate, I’ve got one medium/large Elmax blade so hopefully that’d be OK then.

I’m still digging about for something large and 3v. I found this thanks to someone on Instagram...


They make an 8” and a 12” too.

@Lore @marcoruhland

I have my Fehrman now, so my attention’s moved from large 3v knives for the time being, but during the hunt I started following Survive! knives on Instagram and they’ve now completed their move to a new workshop and are making and shipping large batches now, so if you two were still interested I think you’d get one fairly quick from their website.

Just a thought.
 

Lore

Tenderfoot
Dec 19, 2003
99
9
Co Meath, Ireland
@Lore @marcoruhland

I have my Fehrman now, so my attention’s moved from large 3v knives for the time being, but during the hunt I started following Survive! knives on Instagram and they’ve now completed their move to a new workshop and are making and shipping large batches now, so if you two were still interested I think you’d get one fairly quick from their website.

Just a thought.
Thanks for the heads up but I have followed the company since it's beginning, every year they make the same promises to deliver. People have waited for years with poor communication once they have paid. So not for me. If you fancy a good read look at the 27 pages on Bladeforum
(Mods please delete if not allowed)
 

WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
98
32
35
Kent
Thanks for the heads up but I have followed the company since it's beginning, every year they make the same promises to deliver. People have waited for years with poor communication once they have paid. So not for me. If you fancy a good read look at the 27 pages on Bladeforum
(Mods please delete if not allowed)

Ah, fair enough mate. I just saw their Instagram posts of all their finished production and hoped that something had finally clicked for them. I like the look of their knives.
 

trade axe

Tenderfoot
Dec 16, 2013
83
1
Western Canada
5160 is tougher than 52100. 52100 is bearing steel. 5160 is spring steel.
Here is my latest toy. 1/4 inch 5160. It is heavy and rusts just by looking at it.....I have never let a lack of skills get in the way of my Neanderthal like wanderings.
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,368
1,341
Bedfordshire
That RD Tanto exemplifies the type of knife that I have long been puzzled about. I looked up a review and it comes with a cutting edge of 62 degrees total angle. :eek: It is so thick and obtuse that I cannot see how it could cut anything. One of my early knives was a Cold Steel SRK, which is 3/16 thick and a fairly obtuse edge on a sabre grind. I soon found that it wouldn't cut anything, even if I honed it to the point it would shave hair.

What can the RD Tanto do? It seems like the sort of thing more suited to prying open doors or windows for a SWAT team, or hacking bricks out of walls for sniper hides.
 

trade axe

Tenderfoot
Dec 16, 2013
83
1
Western Canada
That RD Tanto exemplifies the type of knife that I have long been puzzled about. I looked up a review and it comes with a cutting edge of 62 degrees total angle. :eek: It is so thick and obtuse that I cannot see how it could cut anything. One of my early knives was a Cold Steel SRK, which is 3/16 thick and a fairly obtuse edge on a sabre grind. I soon found that it wouldn't cut anything, even if I honed it to the point it would shave hair.

What can the RD Tanto do? It seems like the sort of thing more suited to prying open doors or windows for a SWAT team, or hacking bricks out of walls for sniper hides.

I have to look hard for justification to carry it actually. It's the one tool compromise that isn't a good knife or hatchet, but can serve both roles to a degree. It was replaced with a Mora Pro c Robust and Fiskars hatchet (a little Wetterlings may still replace that) in my small bag a few days ago, simply for weight. I'm still on my outdoor cutting tool evolutionary journey. And I'm still closer to wanting heavy knives or axe/hatchets with me outdoors, I probably always will be. I keep a splitting axe in my car along with a military wool blanket etc. I live in a frigid winter climate and sometimes require heavy duty wood processors. I have less and less time to get things done as temperatures drop. -5 is much different for my body and tool use than -25. I see many pros and cons on different outdoor tools to use, where, when, why. Unfortunately I am not always 100% rational with my cutting tool decisions. But I have been in some really cold conditions, -40 was the worst while hunting Ptarmigans. I lasted maybe half an hour. So at this time I lean toward the cave man tools for wood processing speed. I am sure that as I read more posts/teachings from experienced members here, that I will further refine my approaches. Thank you for your reply sir.
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,368
1,341
Bedfordshire
Hmm.
It isn't that I don't think that large knives can work. My experience and observations though are that nearly all thick, heavy, short bladed knives are pretty poor for outdoors or woods work compared to longer blades of the same weight. Or small axes of a similar weight, but radically different weight distribution.

This is an example. I have one, and own that I have not found it super useful for what I do, but I know it will out chop and out cut a full tang, thick spined knife of the same mass.
For comparison, this little axe is 11.7oz, while your RD Tanto, without sheath, is 19oz, but the axe has it concentrated at the head end, where the knife has it distributed, and arguably concentrated where the handle is.

Actually, it looks like a Gransfors Wildlife Hatchet is also around 19oz.

I think knives start to get useful at over 8" (200mm). I think there is a bit of a no-man's land between 5 inches and 8 inches where the knife is too long to be handy for carving, or skinning, or easy carry, but is too short to have useful club-head-speed for chopping. I have made and carried knifes of 5, 5.75, 6 and 8 inches and have often over-estimated what they would do.
 

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

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