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Dillinger 02-21-2010 09:27 PM

Got a Knife Question? Francisco to Center Stage Please!!
So, our knife sub forum is getting more traffic, and it's getting some actual attention from the Knife Building Community ( :D ).

How do you know who on the Interwebz to trust? How can you tell who knows what they are talking about.

Friends, Romans ( what? :eek: ), Countrymen, and women, I submit a thread where you can ask FranciscoMV, the recognized FTF Blade Expert, what his thoughts are on your next purchase.

Francisco has more knives than most of us have ammo. The man sells knives, tests knives, does knife write ups and is an encyclopedia of steel.

So, to kick this thread off, I ask the hardest of questions to my good friend Francisco:

What is the one knife, that you do not own, that is at the very top of YOUR personal wish list??

What is Francisco's drool knife??


Franciscomv 02-21-2010 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by Dillinger (Post 234146)
What is Francisco's drool knife??


Fun thread idea, JD. Although I'm just a knife enthusiast, far from a serious expert.

My drool knife... that's actually really hard to answer. I like so many different types of knives that my wishlist changes all the time.

In the production folding knife department, I really want a Fallkniven PXL. I like the materials and its looks, plus I've had great experiences with the brand so far.

It's closely followed by some of Great Eastern Cutlery's (GEC) new patterns, like their fantastic improved muskrat (they call it a "furtaker"). I love traditional slippies with 1095 blades.

My next production fixed blade will hopefully be an ESSEE (formerly known as Rat Cutlery) RC-4. A very simple, rugged design. I've got a couple of their smaller knives (RC-3 and Izula) and want to try out one of their full size knives in 1095 (I have a some of the Ontario made D2 models).

Of course, I might end up getting something different depending on what's available and when some of the new stuff announced at SHOT becomes available. I always postpone the purchase of current production knives if I find a discontinued or sprint run model I like.

canebrake 02-21-2010 10:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Dear Francisco,

My question is, I have a Boker Kalashnikov Wharncliffe automatic. It's a reverse tanto.

What is Wharncliffe?

Franciscomv 02-21-2010 11:46 PM

Wharncliffe is a blade shape, a very traditional one that's somewhat similar to sheepfoot blade, but pointed. In old style slippies, you can find it quite often as the master blade on whittler patterns.

The story goes that Lord Wharncliffe commissioned a knife with such a blade to a Sheffield maker and it was named after him. However, there are loads of earlier examples like the Norse scramasax.

The knife in your picture has a wharncliffe blade. "Reverse tanto" just sounds cooler.

I LOVE wharncliffe blades on both folders and fixed blades and find them tremendously useful for everything except as hunting knives (I like some belly there). They are awesome for SD use (just ask Michael Janich!), for wood working, they give you great tip control and are easy to sharpen.

Here's one of my friction folders with a damascus wharncliffe blade:

The blade on the Kershaw Leek (which you've got, if I'm not mistaken) is a wharnnie as well. Another excellent modern wharncliffe knife is the Spyderco Centofante 4, I love mine and carry it very often.

My favourite traditional knife with a wharncliffe blade is Case's swayback jack with CV blades and chesnut bone handle. Lovely knife.

spittinfire 02-22-2010 11:41 AM

You've got $50 to spend on one blade for daily carry and the use/abuse a daily carry knife sees. What would you pick?

SGT_Calle 02-22-2010 01:59 PM

that damascus steel is just so beautiful!

workinprogress 02-22-2010 04:30 PM

Dear Francisco,

They local knife maker uses old packard springs for the steel in his knives. Is this steel a good option or should I be looking at a different knife maker?

Franciscomv 02-22-2010 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by spittinfire (Post 234441)
You've got $50 to spend on one blade for daily carry and the use/abuse a daily carry knife sees. What would you pick?

There are quite a few good knives available in that price range. If you're only going to have one blade, a fixed blade knife would be my choice. For around $40 the ESEE (formerly Rat Cutlery) Izula is hard to beat. Field tested 1095 steel with heat treatment done by Rowen (the same folks who make TOPS knives), excellent design and decent size.

Rat IZULA Knife, Black, Concealed Carry Knife

If you need a folder (for legal reasons, for example), a Spyderco Delica 4 would be a good choice.

Spyderco Delica 4, FRN Handle, Plain Edge

And for the more tradiotional knife users (like me!) there's nothing like a Case knife with CV blades. There are quite a few patterns to choose from in the sub-$50 range. I'm partial to trappers like this one:

Case Trapper, Dark Red Bone, Chrome Vanadium Blade Steel

Franciscomv 02-22-2010 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by workinprogress (Post 234582)
Dear Francisco,

They local knife maker uses old packard springs for the steel in his knives. Is this steel a good option or should I be looking at a different knife maker?

Those springs are usually made from steels like 5160 or 9160, which are really good for big choppers and really hard use knives. You give up a bit of carbon content for some very high shock resistance.

However, I don't like knives made from recycled steel. I do think it's cool from a collector standpoint, but not for a user. There's no way to know the history of the material and what stresses it was subjected too. It's also hard for the maker to know exactly what he's working with. When you buy steel from a reputable supplier you get detailed information about how to heat treat the steel, there's no guess work involved.

Ed Fowler used to make his knives out of ball bearings (52100 steel, a fantastic performer) and he ended up switching over to new 52100 from a well known supplier after finding big performance differences in his finished knives.

Most of the good bladesmiths that work with recycled steels do take the steps needed to deal with possible stresses in the material and stuff like that. And their knives will perform well. Personally, I'd rather not risk it. Sure, I'll buy a knife made from some ingenious steel source or some recycled material if I think it's cool, but for my hard use blades I think it's better to go to a bladesmith that uses precise scientific data to heat treat his blades and knows EXACTLY what's in his steel.

workinprogress 02-22-2010 06:04 PM

Thanks for the information, is there a website that gives a good rundown on the types of steel? I'd like to better understand what I'm buying in the future and why they may have used it.

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