Author Topic: Random questions and observations  (Read 1793 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Random questions and observations
« on: January 15, 2017, 08:30:04 PM »
Okay, I've been prowling around here for awhile, and I've seen some absolute works of art when it comes to the craftsmanship of some makers here. I actually own one from one of the best.
But all this drooling has raised some questions in my mind.

When I use a knife for utility reasons, it's under all sorts of conditions, and all sorts of applications.
I've seen knives with beautiful exotic woods, highly polished with no discernible "ergonomic" design at all. I've seen knives with qullions, and without. I've seen knives with holes drilled in the business end of the blade for no apparent reason, and I see a bunch of scales secured with tubular pins.

When I'm using a knife for whatever reason, my hands are either wet from sweat, or rain, or snow melt.  One of my main reasons for using a knife is dressing both domestic and wild animals.   I may have to punch, slice, or stab what I'm working on.  I much prefer to have a good tight grip on a "fist full of knife" that isn't going to slip in my hand, or glove.  When I see a knife without a quillion, or even a ricasso, I sort of cringe and get an ache in my forefinger.  When I see a handle with tubular pins, all I can think of is cleaning out the dirt and/or blood and guts when the job is finished.

Is it all just a matter of esthetics, or am I missing something here?  Or am I just a Philistine who doesn't appreciate the State of the Art?

Not trying to start any arguments, just hopefully a discussion.
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Offline hayshaker

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 08:50:13 PM »
what you mean it sounds like' a rubber handled mora no pins'or mosaic pins' lanyard holes'exotic wood.
like that,i have one it's a whaoo killer.

Offline Unknown

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 10:18:10 PM »
Having a hard time coming to grips with the punching, stabbing aspects of what you are explaining. Can you offer more details of these instances?

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 04:25:18 AM »
When I make a knife I try to ensure that it is comfortable in the hand and indexes well.  That has not always been the result, but I am getting a little better at it.

Adornments and attachments to a knife are often done purely for aesthetics. Sometimes, I believe a maker or manufacturer may take it a little too far and take away from the performance by the end user from time to time.  Most people buy knives to be users, so to that end most knives should be made with that in mind.

Offline madmax

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 04:42:37 AM »
But Hibbons has made a pretty good living off the mall ninjas.

No disrespect meant.
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Offline pete28

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 04:57:31 AM »
I have had great success with knives that are more esthetically pleasing. In my humble opinion as mentioned before I think it is a matter of taste. For example if I were to buy a knife with a lets call it decorated finish I would mainly give it as a gift to someone for whatever the occasion. I still want it to be a functional sharp blade but it would mostly be a wall hanger type of thing. I'm pretty rough on knives so I go for a bit more functional than showpiece. One thing I do like to have on my knives is a very distinct tip as I punch through all sorts of different items and materials to begin a cut. OP for your punching that you mentioned were you talking about like beginning to skin an animal and you gotta poke in to get a clear opening to slice from?
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Offline hayshaker

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 05:18:39 AM »
as for the punching part i understand when i used to
butcher hogs i would use a 10,in chefs knife to punchture
te hogs throat to reach the heart, then i would a skining knife
for the rest.to open a hogs belly you don't want a large knife
nor one with a sharp tip lest you open the pee sack, i used
all comercial grade cutlery when it was bucher time. as for the grips
the handles were a type of plastic that conformed well to the hand.

Offline Dabberty

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 05:53:21 AM »
The knife I use is made by me, after some prototypes. For me it works perfect.
The handle is some nice burly wood type, don't remember which one though.
I have a tubular pin in the back, and although i have used the knife for almost anything, i never needed to clean the hole.
Things I have done with my knife include:
- standard wood processing for fire, battoning, feather sticks
- carving wood spirits, bowdrills, drinking cups, try sticks, potholders, pump drill, etc
- cleaning fish.
- putting down a sheep, skinning it, completely dissecting it.

After the sheep the handle got a bit sticky and dark. Light sanding and a layer of tung oil, and it is all good to go again.

Personally, I think you're putting too much thought to it.
Just use the knife :-)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 01:34:03 AM by Dabberty »
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 08:44:59 AM »
what you mean it sounds like' a rubber handled mora no pins'or mosaic pins' lanyard holes'exotic wood.
like that,i have one it's a whaoo killer.

I have a Mora Clipper, and it's my "rabbit knife" of choice.  Does a mean job skinning birds, also. :thumbsup:

.... One thing I do like to have on my knives is a very distinct tip as I punch through all sorts of different items and materials to begin a cut. OP for your punching that you mentioned were you talking about like beginning to skin an animal and you gotta poke in to get a clear opening to slice from?

'Zactly!  And it's difficult to bore a hole in a piece of leather, or rubber with a skinner-type profile.  :P
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 09:15:16 AM »
OP I have several of the "arty" type knives you describe and what I have come to doing is just using them and forgetting about the things that might arise.  Knives are, to me, just tools.  While some of the build features may not be wise, and are certainly are not useful, their presence on a knife should just be ignored.  Don't like mosaic pins?  Don't buy them or fill them with epoxy and refinish the handle when dry.  Don't like slick handles just sand them rough.  I laughed when I read hayshaker's comment because it is exactly what I was thinking when I read your post.  Get a Mora full tang and you are set for life.

I have a Bark River Fox River that has tubes through the handle in three places.  They are useless, being too small and in the wrong place for a lanyard and you could argue that they are for decoration or for weight reduction however small it might be.  I tend to not like that knife as the handle is micarta and slick as snot in your hand.  I am going to
"rough" it up but haven't decided whether to sand it or bead blast it yet. 

I remember Dabberty's knives that he made after some thought went into it.  One small one and one larger.  About the same design.  Tough knives for using with lanyard hole for a thong and that is about it.  He made a comment at the time that they would be his only knives and I thought at the time he was right as the two of them would do anything from processing wood and food in camp to gutting and skinning animals. 
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 10:14:29 AM »
OP I have several of the "arty" type knives you describe and what I have come to doing is just using them and forgetting about the things that might arise.  Knives are, to me, just tools.  While some of the build features may not be wise, and are certainly are not useful, their presence on a knife should just be ignored.  Don't like mosaic pins?  Don't buy them or fill them with epoxy and refinish the handle when dry.  Don't like slick handles just sand them rough.  I laughed when I read hayshaker's comment because it is exactly what I was thinking when I read your post.  Get a Mora full tang and you are set for life.

I have a Bark River Fox River that has tubes through the handle in three places.  They are useless, being too small and in the wrong place for a lanyard and you could argue that they are for decoration or for weight reduction however small it might be.  I tend to not like that knife as the handle is micarta and slick as snot in your hand.  I am going to
"rough" it up but haven't decided whether to sand it or bead blast it yet. 

I remember Dabberty's knives that he made after some thought went into it.  One small one and one larger.  About the same design.  Tough knives for using with lanyard hole for a thong and that is about it.  He made a comment at the time that they would be his only knives and I thought at the time he was right as the two of them would do anything from processing wood and food in camp to gutting and skinning animals.
You've echoed my OP, Stan. I think we're on the same page. Although if I was going to spend money on a work of art, I don't think I'd be filling in the mosaic pins, or sand blasting the scales. :lol:

One thing I have NEVER seen on knife scales is checkering, like a rifle stock, or pistol grips. Seems to me it would be an ideal way to preserve the beauty of the wood, and still provide a good grip.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 11:05:01 AM »
OP I have several of the "arty" type knives you describe and what I have come to doing is just using them and forgetting about the things that might arise.  Knives are, to me, just tools.  While some of the build features may not be wise, and are certainly are not useful, their presence on a knife should just be ignored.  Don't like mosaic pins?  Don't buy them or fill them with epoxy and refinish the handle when dry.  Don't like slick handles just sand them rough.  I laughed when I read hayshaker's comment because it is exactly what I was thinking when I read your post.  Get a Mora full tang and you are set for life.

I have a Bark River Fox River that has tubes through the handle in three places.  They are useless, being too small and in the wrong place for a lanyard and you could argue that they are for decoration or for weight reduction however small it might be.  I tend to not like that knife as the handle is micarta and slick as snot in your hand.  I am going to
"rough" it up but haven't decided whether to sand it or bead blast it yet. 

I remember Dabberty's knives that he made after some thought went into it.  One small one and one larger.  About the same design.  Tough knives for using with lanyard hole for a thong and that is about it.  He made a comment at the time that they would be his only knives and I thought at the time he was right as the two of them would do anything from processing wood and food in camp to gutting and skinning animals.
You've echoed my OP, Stan. I think we're on the same page. Although if I was going to spend money on a work of art, I don't think I'd be filling in the mosaic pins, or sand blasting the scales. :lol:

One thing I have NEVER seen on knife scales is checkering, like a rifle stock, or pistol grips. Seems to me it would be an ideal way to preserve the beauty of the wood, and still provide a good grip.

OP, Colt brand knives made a line of fixed blade and folding knives a few years back that had checkered wooden scales made of walnut and ebony,  a few makers like schrade and Rough  Rider make some of their knife scales with Saw cut patterned bone and imitation bone that are pretty grippy.
 I bought a Schrade Trapper a year or so back that has a trapper blade and a saw blade that has the Saw Cut scales on it,  not quite checkering but pretty darned close grip wise.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2017, 11:40:22 AM »

OP, Colt brand knives made a line of fixed blade and folding knives a few years back that had checkered wooden scales made of walnut and ebony,  a few makers like schrade and Rough  Rider make some of their knife scales with Saw cut patterned bone and imitation bone that are pretty grippy.
 I bought a Schrade Trapper a year or so back that has a trapper blade and a saw blade that has the Saw Cut scales on it,  not quite checkering but pretty darned close grip wise.
The Old Timer pocket folder I'm holding right now has that design. I was speaking of contemporary custom knives.  Quite a few commercial (mass produced) knives are checkered.
Another technique is a "fish scale" pattern that offers a unique look, and similar gripping.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 12:08:31 PM »

OP, Colt brand knives made a line of fixed blade and folding knives a few years back that had checkered wooden scales made of walnut and ebony,  a few makers like schrade and Rough  Rider make some of their knife scales with Saw cut patterned bone and imitation bone that are pretty grippy.
 I bought a Schrade Trapper a year or so back that has a trapper blade and a saw blade that has the Saw Cut scales on it,  not quite checkering but pretty darned close grip wise.
The Old Timer pocket folder I'm holding right now has that design. I was speaking of contemporary custom knives.  Quite a few commercial (mass produced) knives are checkered.
Another technique is a "fish scale" pattern that offers a unique look, and similar gripping.

  I can't ever remember seeing a custom knife with checkering on the handles,  the closest I've seen is the handle on my Fallkniven F-1,  the handle is a over molded rubber/plastic type material with a checkered pattern,  way back in my youth I had a Case camp/hunting knife that had a bakalite type handle that was checkered also.
  But I can agree with you about customs,  most makers put as much effort into the looks of their knives as they do the function part,  I have about a dozen or so customs, most have exotic wood scales, the rest have Micarta scales, all are pretty smooth or polished,  but I haven't had a problem with them being too slippery when wet with sweat or rain,  fish snot and blood is another story,  but I don't think even checkering would be much help with that stuff.
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Online imnukensc

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2017, 12:26:51 PM »
Sounds like you might want to take a look here, OP.  'Course, you didn't say you were shopping for any new knives, but their Sani-safe knives sound like the kind you might prefer.

http://www.dexterrussellcutlery.com/
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2017, 12:38:01 PM »
The old Mora Companion used to have a checkered rubber overlay on the plastic handle.  It was about the most comfortable and 'grippy' handle that I ever encountered on an affordable, do-all knife design.  I'd think a true cut-checkering on a wood or hard synthetic handle would be pretty severe and rough on the hands in heavy work situations. :shrug:
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2017, 06:16:23 PM »
It's a knife I've mentioned a few times, I still like it. Basically I went looking for a sort of do most everything knife. If it had a 5 inch or longer blade I wouldn't feel comfortable in EDC mode. The local laws are bare bones on specifics, leaving things open ended to deal with specifics and situations. So 4 inch was the limit I thought.

I don't have any knives with a guard, so I thought that should be a necessity in this instance, just in case I had to use it for self defense, however unlikely. The handle has a nice swell in the center, is some kind of almost hard, hard but not spongy material with a checked surface. Blade is thick at the hilt, distal tapered.clipped, s wedged, needle sharp. Full height Convex grind. Substantial hidden tang about 3/4 inch wide.

Fallkniven TK2 is about as perfect an all purpose, general utility, does the most knife I could find. It's hard to sharpen, but it stays sharp longer. It's expensive, but I patiently shopped around and paid 2 for it. I don't like either of the sheaths made for it is the only negative I can think of.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2017, 06:30:50 PM »
OP there is a guy in Spearfish SD who makes gunstocks, engraves guns, and similar things.  I don't have a photos of them but they are really nice.

Here is a site with a photo of some checkered handle knives.

http://www.knifetalkforums.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=141820
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 06:52:31 PM »
Really nice looking knives. The one on top, wow. Copper, is that a horn spacer(?) beautiful, all in all quite a package- I don't deserve a knife that gorgeous.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2017, 12:14:10 AM »
Sounds like you might want to take a look here, OP.  'Course, you didn't say you were shopping for any new knives, but their Sani-safe knives sound like the kind you might prefer.

http://www.dexterrussellcutlery.com/
I have a Dexter 8" filet knife that is one of my main go-to kitchen knives! Nice!
My other cutlery is Nella. I have a 10" Chef's knife, 10" Breaking knife, and a 6 1/4" Breaking knife (my favorite).
I want the Dexter Santoku 6" blade so bad I can taste it!

OP there is a guy in Spearfish SD who makes gunstocks, engraves guns, and similar things.  I don't have a photos of them but they are really nice.

Here is a site with a photo of some checkered handle knives.

http://www.knifetalkforums.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=141820
Thanks, Stan. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!!!  Beautiful.
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Offline Moe M.

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Confessions of a gear snob
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2017, 08:37:00 AM »
 Here's my take on Knives, guns, gear, and tools, and what drives people to choose those things that they use for work or play,  There are people who only care about function,  there are others who only care about looking good doing what they do even if they have to work harder doing it,  then there's those folks who appreciate the beauty in those things they use, but demand that they perform just as well as they look,  IMHO there's nothing wrong with any of their choices, they are just being themselves.
 I'll use myself as an example,  I've been told that I'm way too anal about my "stuff",  certain things turn me off,  for instance, I don't like the looks or feel of rubber and plastics when it comes to knives and guns,  I have a modest collection of both,  one thing you won't find in my gun safe is a rifle or shotgun with composite stocks or satin blued finish, two exceptions are my AR's and a Remington Mohawk Nylon 66 .22Rf Rifle,  the rest all sport beautiful wood stocks and deep bright bluing,  I've owned two high quality bolt action hunting rifles with composite stocks and sold them,  not because they weren't fine guns,  but because they had no soul and no appeal past their function.
 I'm the same way with knives,  I've owned knives by ESSE, Ontario, Becker, and Gerber USA, all performed great, all were Tactical, had coated blades and black or tan composite handles, IMHO they are all ugly knives,  I will admit that I have quite a few bushcraft type knives that have Micarta scales,  they're all customs for the most part, and they have other redeeming qualities that allow me to tolerate them,  the rest of my knives are handled in wood or stag, the Micarta sales have attractive spacers in different colors, I have some knives with tube pins and some with Mosaic pins, many have lanyard holes,  It's never bothered me to have to clean them after using them to process fish or game,  again, in my opinion,  a knife can be beautiful and still be a fine functioning work knife.
 On the other hand,  I don't care how well a knife cuts, how cheap or expensive it may be,  if it's not attractive, if it feels cold to the touch, if it doesn't have "soul",  it's just a sharp piece of steel that doesn't inspire any pride of ownership or individuality.
 Did I mention Mora ?  (grin)     
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Offline Orbean

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2017, 09:40:32 AM »
The two knives that see the most use are a opinel and a swiss army. Both are in my pocket now, one in the right, the other in the left. One has a plastic handle, and one has a beech wood handle. Don't carry any tactical knives, or own ones with tanto blades. All my long guns have wooden stocks, all my pistols, except one, are not wood. I guess if anything I  like traditional, be it a knife, gun, or a wallet.

Sometimes I chose function over style, my brief case is a day pack, my father says it is something a college kid would use. Most of my friends that have office jobs carry some kind of brief case, some leather, some nylon.

The pack serves me well, I ride a mt bike to the office and might make stop or two, getting groceries, or other kind of shopping, so the day pack serves me well. However if I am ever in a store and someone has a problem with my carrying a pack inside on my back, that is an issue for me . I was recently stopped at a grocery store and a request was made to search it, I declined, stating that if they wanted to call the police, I would wait and let the officer search it. Literally it almost turned physical, a store manager stepped in and IMO kept his overly enthusiastic employee from getting hurt. I have no problem leaving my pack behind a counter, but the store better having something posted, like stating that bags are subject to search.

My favorite knife styles are opinel, stockman, and trappers. I like leather holsters, belts and wallets. Love my roll top desk, have had it going on thirty years, using my entire pell grant award to purchase it, ate a whole lot of oatmeal that semester. I like old classic things, guess I am as vanilla as one can get



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Offline wolfy

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Re: Random questions and observations
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2017, 10:36:39 AM »
Good post Orbean! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:   With a few minor changes, I could have written that myself! ;D :cheers:
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