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guzziguy
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For Benchmade and pretty much every other manufacturer, stay away from M390 steel and its equivalents in 20CV and 204p.  The heat treats are very inconsistent and in the vast majority of cases you just end up with a knife that costs twice as much and performs exactly the same as 154CM.  The Benchmade 581 which I own and the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 are about the only production M390 knives that perform well, but even then there's enough variation in the heat treats that some of them are only holding their edges half as long as expected.  I can't recommend buying one given the chances of getting a lemon.

As for Benchmade in general, I have more of the knives than anything else since I like their design, but their value is kinda lacking.  They're prettier and fit my hands better, but in terms of performance or build quality they're barely any better than the Kershaws and Spydercos I own which are about 2/3 the price at most.  The only Benchmades I have which feel like premium products are the 750, 690, and 581.

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Thanks, aerius.

That's why I've never owned a Benchmade. They do have some of the most beautiful designs, but they've always been pricy and I haven't been able to justify one so far. I prefer fixed blades in general.

The Nimravus comes in 154CM and you'd think it would be consistently made as it was an issue knife for some military units... who knows.

I don't have any knives in the new supersteels – the other steel I was looking at was S35VN. It seems to have a good balance of properties.

Edited by HiWire
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I've owned the Mini Griptillian which I lost during an airsoft battle and now daily carry a 940. I agree that they aren't a super great value, compared to say Kershaw, but I like the axis lock too much to complain. Generally I find the 940 to be the smallest big knife out there. It's super thin and the S30V steel holds a great edge, but sharpening them is a challenge.

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I'm not a knife collector or aficionado, but the two pocket knives I have and carry daily are both Benchmade. When I used to go to an office, I carried the Emissary 740, which is smaller and fancier looking in anodized aluminum. For outdoors and working around the house, I have a Mini Barrage 585S with a partly serrated edge. They have both been excellent tools and I haven't had any desire to change or supplement them.

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I know exactly how you feel. I've been using the same Cold Steel Twistmaster for over 30 years. It's an extraordinarily tough knife that holds its edge well and sharpens easily. Carbon V steel isn't stainless so it needs to be oiled and most Twistmasters that have seen hard use have a few stains or a patina that doesn't affect their performance.

Some people have improved cutting performance dramatically by altering the edge profile: http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/reviews/twistmaster_dp.html

 

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If I ever had to replace it (as a beater folder), I'd get a Cold Steel Voyager – it has the modern features like one-handed opening, pocket clip, stainless steel, and a very strong lock (watch Cold Steel's Voyager lock tests for fun if you have time).

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And swords are just big knives, right? A witcher-style sword:

 

Edited by HiWire
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  • 3 weeks later...

The Ruike P801 is my beater knife of choice.  It's cheap enough that I don't care about hacking the edge into things I probably shouldn't and dinging the crap out of it, yet the performance is still good enough that it holds its own against knives that are 3-4 times the price.  The only thing I'd change is the ball bearing blade pivot, they're unsealed bearings so they get gunked up easily, I'd rather have cheap & cheery bushings since they're more resistant to crud.  Also takes a surprisingly fine edge, out of all my stainless steel knives only the Benchmade 581 sharpens to a finer edge.

20170902_104314.jpg?w=840

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Using a King 1000/6000 combo stone for sharpening.  If I really ding up the edge I'll rough it out first on some 180 or 400 grit sandpaper stuck on a piece of plexiglass.  I've had the Ruike for a bit over 2 years and so far I'm really happy with it.  It beats out the old Kershaw/Ken Onion Vapor as the best beater knife I've ever owned.

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  • 6 months later...

Thread: RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!

Knife peeps, I'm a min-maxer and going for the best ratio of effort to result. I'm only going to be sharpening kitchen knives and the occasional utility knife.  I have no experience sharpening knives, but it looks like I can manage the two below. After poking around and watching a bunch of videos, I've narrowed it down to these two (very different) devices:

Work Sharp Ken Onion (with attachment, already ordered)
Wicked Edge Generation 3 Pro (In cart, this is Head-Case, fight me!)

Thoughts?

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There was too much to address in cutestory's query, but:

Keeping (or getting) your knives sharp is a combination of metallurgy (alloy, heat treatment, etc.), edge geometry, and consistency. It's easy to wipe out a good factory edge with poor sharpening (I have done it) and harder to improve a poorly-executed edge by skillful re-profiling and sharpening. It's better to start with cheap knives.

A harder steel will keep it's edge longer, but an overly-hard heat treatment will mean that it can also be more brittle. Each alloy of steel has an ideal hardness range, depending on your application. Softer steel will get dull more quickly but it may be tougher in abusive situations (e.g., camp work, chopping, swords/axes, etc.).

Different sharpener grits for different jobs, just like in wood sanding. Coarse grit to remove lots of metal (unnecessary for most knives), medium grit for a less aggressive re-profiling or sharpening a completely dull knife, and fine to ultra-fine for edge maintenance or a finer, more polished edge. Some people prefer a slightly coarser edge for more biting cuts into tougher material like wood or rope (the microscopic teeth on the edge will be more aggressive) and others like a very smooth edge for sashimi cutting, for example.

Some people like to use a leather strop to finish the edge on a knife or razor. Explained here:

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Understanding-Strops-W111.aspx

Edge endurance can also depend on the bevel type and angle... having more steel at the edge will make it tougher, but a thinner edge will feel sharper and cut more easily through softer material.

You can see in the list of edge geometries at the bottom that the V (flat grind) is the simplest to understand and to sharpen properly, which is why it is the most common.

This popped up on YouTube... not a lot of "super-steels" in here:

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https://youtu.be/MKMG-FdCGtMspacer.png

 

 

 

Edited by HiWire
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  • 4 months later...

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