Got a Knife Question? Francisco to Center Stage Please!!

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by Dillinger, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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??

    JD
     
  2. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]


    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).

    [​IMG]

    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.
     

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Dear Francisco,

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

    What is Wharncliffe?
     

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  4. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]
     
  5. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    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?
     
  6. SGT_Calle

    SGT_Calle New Member

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    that damascus steel is just so beautiful!
     
  7. workinprogress

    workinprogress New Member

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    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?
     
  8. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    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
     
  9. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    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.
     
  10. workinprogress

    workinprogress New Member

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    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.
     
  11. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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  12. Mr. Bluesky

    Mr. Bluesky New Member

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    Bookmarked. Thanks much.
     
  13. workinprogress

    workinprogress New Member

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    New question regarding blade geometry.:D
    I'm looking for a knife for camping with my Brother and my Nephew's. I know that I want a non-folder and something bigger than a 4" blade. I'm looking to do things like cutting down small trees and limbs for shelter (trying to get the kids into a minimalist mindset), cutting ropes and cord and perhaps even prepare some game. What blade shape should I be looking for? Also, could you make any recommendations for what I want to do around the $100 range?
     
  14. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    I like drop points for general utility, or some clip points with a straight clip (and no false edges or anything like that to weaken the tip). Spear points are great for bushcraft knives, but they work best in 4"-5" blades where you can take full advantage of the centered tip for wood working.

    Look at Ka-Bar's Becker line. They've got some big affordable choppers for around $75, they even include a little utility knife which is kind of cool.

    Ka-Bar Becker Combat Utilty, Black GFN Handle, Black Blade, Plain Edge

    Ka-Bar Becker Combat Bowie, Black GFN Handle, Black Blade, Plain Edge

    They were designed by survival expert Ethan Becker, his knives used to be made by Camillus before it closed. Ka-Bar makes them out of 1095 steel, which I love for hard use outdoors knives. The handle slabs can be removed (and replaced with something else if you want to). My only complaint with them is that the factory edge is a little thick, but I'm a nit picking edge fanatic.

    Another good choice would be the Kershaw Outcast, use the search function and you'll find a thread by JD about his experience with this knife. I bought one recently and it's worked really well so far.

    Shop for case knives, Kershaw and other discount knives at Knifeworks.com - Search

    If you want to get something that's so affordable that you can actually buy one for you and one for each of your nephews, look at some of the offerings from Condor Knife and Tool. It's a long standing machete company from El Salvador (started as a branch of Weyesberg, a German company) that began to work with some US designers like Joe Flowers to make very affordable knives and tools. Their carbon steel offerings are great for the price, I don't like their stainless or some of the weird designs they've got.

    Condor Tool & Knife
     
  15. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I bought this KaBar Bowie for camping. I haven't used it yet, but it will be backpacking with me in the Sierra's this Summer. I wanted a large knife for hacking and chopping, not for defensive use. Although I wouldn't want to be hurt by it. I also preferred the one piece grip design over the Becker.

    My choices were this KaBar and the KaBar Becker Bowie. In the end, I bought this one because I got a great deal on it. I've found it a bit light to handle, but I don't think that will matter too much.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    That's a good suggestion CA357. I prefer the way Becker handles are made because they are easy to remove and replace with my own. The one piece rubber handles are harder to customize (you need to go with a mortised tang handle). I just can't leave my knives unmolested. :D

    This one had a single piece rubber handle:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. workinprogress

    workinprogress New Member

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    I like the idea of putting my own handle on it and possibly having my brother make a leather sheath for it. I've got a few ideas as to a couple different types of wood I can use.

    edit: Scales, that's the word I was looking for.
     
  18. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    French Laguiole Knife - National Geographic Store
    I got one of these as a gift for Christmas. I don't like the shiny,chromed blade, but love the feel of the wooden handle. I think it will be relegated to looking pretty in the drawer, but i really like the size & blade shape & handle material for a general use pocket knife. Any suggestions on where to find a more daily-use version of this (preferably with a matte finish on the blade)?

    The lil honing tool was a nice touch for the drawer-bound pretty knife.
     
  19. Glasshartt

    Glasshartt New Member

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    Francisco,
    Saw you on the Spyderco Forum. I haven't been over there in years. I couldn't believe what I found there. This is from my old days as a LE Dealer. :rolleyes: They were special engraving runs that I had done.
     

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  20. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    This site is a good source for different Laguioles. I love the pattern, it's somewhat similar to the American "toothpick" slipjoint pattern (Great Eastern Cutlery makes a great one in 1095 carbon steel).

    Discount knives. Gift pocket knives for sale.

    Most Laguioles have fancy finishes, but they still make great users. You got a great Christmas gift!