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I got a surprise looking for a field knife. Two actually.

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  • I got a surprise looking for a field knife. Two actually.

    Looking for a decent field knife I knew that I would also want a cheap knife I could ruin as I re-learned how to sharpen freehand. I haven't used a sharpening stone since I was a kid so I found this $8 Coleman camp knife to serve as a sacrificial offering.The unfinished wood handle feels surprisingly nice in the hand so I started to hope I might not ruin it and maybe even improve it's edge to real usability for... something.

    Surprise #2 was the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2. I wanted a simple field stone like I had as a kid. Man have times changed. The Field Sharpener won't fit in the pocket of my jeans but it is quite small, especially considering how many surfaces it provides, and will certainly fit in a pack or the pocket of a Carhartt field jacket.

    The Coleman after a little time with the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2?

    The ubiquitous "paper test" and whatever that may prove (nothing really useful I imagine):



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kABG...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by m1ckDELTA; 01-11-2018, 21:34.
    "Truth is for people who choose ideas over ideology." ~ Optofonik™

  • #2
    It isn't how sharp you can make it. It's how sharp it STAYS. Cheap steels don't stay sharp. There's just no substitute for good steel.
    Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Plainsman View Post
      It isn't how sharp you can make it. It's how sharp it STAYS. Cheap steels don't stay sharp. There's just no substitute for good steel.
      I better start cutting lots more paper then!

      If it won't hold an edge that just means more practice time.

      The three types of steel I'm looking at for the "real knife" are AUS-A8, 420HC and 8Cr13MoV (Chinese version of Japan's AUS-8; more or less depending on the critique). All are budget steels for budget knives. I have not a clue what steel the Coleman is made of and doubt that even Coleman knows.
      Last edited by m1ckDELTA; 01-11-2018, 22:54.
      "Truth is for people who choose ideas over ideology." ~ Optofonik™

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      • #4
        I found that most all knife steps are a compromise. Some are on the soft side. Easy to sharpen, but don't hold an edge to well. Others are so hard, that sharpening is a royal PITA and when you do sharpen them, you have t do it at a steeper angle of the edge will chip.
        If you ask 3 people what the best knife steel is, you probably get 4 different answers. I can forge a knife out of a old leaf spring or a file, Depending on how one treats it, they both will make a good knife if ya don't mind looking after them because they will rust if ya don't. Its all 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. I usually carry more then one knife for those reasons..

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        • #5
          But there ARE superior knife steels across a broad spectrum of use characteristics. Look up ELMAX, for an example or CPM3V, or even A-2 and D-2. I don't think anyone is going to try to tell you that AUS-8 is a really good knife steel. Most of what I'm reading seem to be justifications for not buying a really decent (read 'expensive'?) knife in the first place.
          Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Scuba1 View Post
            I can forge a knife out of a old leaf spring or a file, Depending on how one treats it, they both will make a good knife if ya don't mind looking after them because they will rust if ya don't. Its all 6 of one and half a dozen of the other.
            Anza knives are handmade, get good reviews, and are made out of files.

            I wonder how something like AUS-8A compares to the types of steel that were made before all this "super steel" stuff I keep reading about. How does a carbon steel knife carried by a subsistence hunter in 1920s Appalachia compare to a buck made with 420HD carried by recreational hunters today.

            "Truth is for people who choose ideas over ideology." ~ Optofonik™

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Plainsman View Post
              But there ARE superior knife steels across a broad spectrum of use characteristics. Look up ELMAX, for an example or CPM3V, or even A-2 and D-2. I don't think anyone is going to try to tell you that AUS-8 is a really good knife steel. Most of what I'm reading seem to be justifications for not buying a really decent (read 'expensive'?) knife in the first place.
              I read about them all even though I wanted a budget knife. As a kid I had either a Case or Schrade pocket knife, I forget. I kept the blade sharp and didn't think much about the steel they were made of; in the 70s regularly sharpening a knife was part of regularly using a knife. Kids would compete with each other as to how sharp they could get their blades. I remember when the first Buck knife showed up and it was so sharp out of the box that every kid wanted one.
              "Truth is for people who choose ideas over ideology." ~ Optofonik™

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              • #8
                You didnt say what the knife will be used for. That makes a difference.
                I picked up the Falkniven A1 on sale a while back. The Vg10 steel in the blade is very rust resistant. It sharpens fairly easily and holds an edge through all but the worst you can do to a blade.
                The sheath is cheap kydex and I will have a leather one made for it but the knife is well worth the price IMO.
                Amazon.com : Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Black : Hunting Knives : Sports & Outdoors

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 13 Papa View Post
                  You didnt say what the knife will be used for. That makes a difference.
                  I picked up the Falkniven A1 on sale a while back. The Vg10 steel in the blade is very rust resistant. It sharpens fairly easily and holds an edge through all but the worst you can do to a blade.
                  The sheath is cheap kydex and I will have a leather one made for it but the knife is well worth the price IMO.
                  I’ll never spend $200 on a knife to skinning and field dressing. That said, the Falkniven looks like a fine blade.
                  "Truth is for people who choose ideas over ideology." ~ Optofonik™

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                  • #10
                    "I’ll never spend $200 on a knife to [sic] skinning and field dressing."

                    Why not? You'll spend way more than that on a rifle, a 'scope, hunting boots and clothes, transportation, licenses, etc. Why not $200— or even more— on something that will stay on your person for many years and many adventures and perhaps even go to grandkids who would cherish it as having been yours AS WELL as a fine piece of craftsmanship?
                    Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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                    • #11
                      I have spent more then 200 bucks on a good knife in the past. I have a Puma white hunter that my grand father gave to me when i was 8 or so years old. I still have it and it has been to a lot of places on this earth with me and to many a good and some bad hunts. Its on its third sheath now as they wear out over the years, but the knife looks better now then it did when new. The surface has worn so smooth, that is does not get wet when you run water over the blade, it beads right off. I like good tools and knives are tools for me. It makes me cringe when the better half cuts something on a plate with one of the chef knives or the santoku. I forgot how many times I told her to only use them on a cutting board. Takes me a while then to bring the edge back. I know that long after I am gone, the knives that I made for others are going to be around and taken out into the woods and fields and people that may not even be born yet are going to enjoy them.

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                      • #12
                        I have two go to knives that I use hunting for field dressing one is the Buck 110 that I have had for around 30 yrs. and a Gerber gator both of these are kept very sharp and are not used for anything else my skinning knife that I use in the Old Timer skinner I believe it is named the sharpfinger I have had this one for about 25 yrs. back before they sold out. These knives have served me well.
                        I came to the oilfield to get rich now I got to stay to eat.

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