Knife Made Randall knives: Never Again

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by Chief-Long-Iron, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. Chief-Long-Iron

    Chief-Long-Iron Member

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    Disclaimer: I am not a professional outdoorsman in any capacity. I have simply spent most of my years in the woods in some capacity and have learned many skills in the outdoors. And as such have learned a great deal through experience and research about knives.

    Also, this is not necessarily meant to bag on or detract from the well known and loved knife company that is Randall Made Knives. This is simply my experience from some testing and resulting opinion from such. I encourage all to research and form their own opinions as Randall Made Knives has a great deal of loyal followers and a record for exceptional products.

    The Review:

    My grading scale

    Poor-fair-good-excellent-exceptional

    Model: RMK Non-Catalogue 9” Sportsmans Bowie
    Steel: 440B Stainless
    Temper: 52 - 54 Rockwell (I read this somewhere will update when I find the source again)
    Edge retention: good
    Toughness: good
    Hardness: poor
    Fit and Finish: exceptional

    I have always wanted one of these knives. The Reputation and beauty had always captivated me and so many people had great things to say about them. So finally I sprung for one.

    Since I bought it it’s been my favorite knife. The blade is the perfect size and shape for me as well as weight and balance. The construction was flawless. Fit and finish impeccable. And the top bevel being sharpened just made me even more giddy lol. But I was hesitant because of how gorgeous it was, I desperately wanted to use the knife but didn’t want to risk hurting it. However, I read that many people that own Randall knives do use them and do not end up hurting them. So I took it camping with me this weekend To give it a good old fashioned test run. I used it to split wood, light chopping, and shaved multiple sticks down to nothing to make shavings for fire all three days it performed each task without complaint or incident. Until it did.

    I was using it to baton through a medium sized piece of wood 12 long and maybe a diameter of 3” at the most, so not large at all. It was not particularly hardwood as I could mark the wood easily with my thumbnail. Upon completion of the task I realized that the edge of the knife had picked up a blemish at two points of the blade. The edge of the knife had actually folded forward and distorted somewhat, I’d expected light chipping or edge rolling at least but this was a surprise.

    Now, the knife is not ruined, in fact it is even still sharp and the spine is straight. It still functions as a knife, however, anything that requires cutting in a straight line is a pain in the butt now and so is sharpening it.

    There are a few reasons I have a problem with this. First, it means the steel is tempered soft (obviously at rock 52-54). And while it can with stand a lot of legit a lot of abuse (it’ll bend instead of break) it also means that the edge will dull and chip quicker and easier. Secondly, I am not a fan of stainless steels in the least, I have a few knives in various stainless steels that perform well enough but they are nothing compared to any of my high carbon blades. Stainless chips FAR more easily than carbon and this causes you to lose your edge completely. And thirdly, frankly it makes me nervous that the blade will fail me one day if it warps so easily. I admit I demand a lot of out of my knives. I use them hard but I am incessant in my care for them too. And the possibility that this knife could fail me when I need it most spooks me a little. Do I know exactly what that would look like? No, I do not but it seems a possibility to me now.

    Separate issue: I contacted them about this and they make you pay to repair your knife, which is absolutely ridiculous for a company of such Repute when companies like Buck stand firmly behind their products.

    Final verdict: I still love this knife, it’s still beautiful and balanced perfectly for me. But, if the blade distorts that easily, even if it is minor, how much more would it take for some kind of catastrophic failure? I will not be purchasing another RMK as a gift or otherwise.

    Best wishes to All. Hope this review was helpful!
     
    towboater, rock185 and SRK97 like this.
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    440B is not very good steel for knife blades.. Rockwell C 52-54 is too soft by a mile.

    Most Randall's that I've seen were made of 0-1 or W-1 tool steel and hardened to at least RC 56-58.

    Quality outdoor knives today are usually high vanadium steels hardened to RC 62 or harder.
     
    towboater and Chief-Long-Iron like this.

  3. Chief-Long-Iron

    Chief-Long-Iron Member

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    Agreed, I was actually rather disappointed to learn that their standard steel is still 440B. I’d have expected at least a better temper. Idk maybe I expect too much of my knives?!
     
    towboater likes this.
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Did you research the knife before you purchased it?

    If you knew the blade material and hardness rating wasn't the quality that you wanted,why did you buy it?

    Randall has always produced quality knives from what I recall,but they may produce cheaper/lower priced knives like a lot of other brands do. You just have to now what you're buying before you spend the money.
     
    Chief-Long-Iron likes this.
  5. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cold Steel and Ontario, which are both considered "economy" use better steel than 440B.

    D-2, 1095, 52100, 0170-6, VG10, etc.

    My personal fave hunting knife is CPM M-4, a high speed tool steel, heat treated to RC64.
     
  6. Chief-Long-Iron

    Chief-Long-Iron Member

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    I did actually, I was very skeptical honestly but there seemed to be a very odd number of loving reviews for them to not make a high quality product. And many of the reviews were people that used them. so i believed that maybe there was something to it and I could just be overly critical. So I purchased one myself. I don’t regret it, it’s a beautiful knife, but I won’t buy another one.
     
  7. RKtullahoma

    RKtullahoma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cold Steel is still around?

    I have seen their car door display... was impressed.
     
  8. Chief-Long-Iron

    Chief-Long-Iron Member

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    My favorite steels are D2, 1095, and 5160. My current go to everything outdoors knife is a Buck Frontiersman in 5160. I also have an excellent knife in S30V but it’s a bit hard for standard use, though it holds an edge for an eternity.
     
  9. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Cold Steel builds both high quality & low quality blade knives just like most other companies do. You have to know your blade steels in order to buy a good quality knife,or basically look at the price tag difference between the same style models that each company makes.
     
    locutus likes this.
  10. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

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    Check out CFK knives on the Ebay. Made of D2, factory seconds are very affordable and not noticeably lacking in quality unless one is looking with an extremely pawky eye.
     
    Chief-Long-Iron likes this.
  11. Hookeye

    Hookeye Well-Known Member

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    Baton a Randall.
    Isnt that like taking a Ferrari to a mud bog?

    I never thought of a Randall as being a survival knife. Fighting or hunting yes.

    After watching some YT vidoes of survival guys.....beating the crap out of knives.......think the Star Wars and Monte Python kids need to stick to the basement.

    That being said.....if you have to beat the crap out of a knife to have fun, there are decent options that are much cheaper.

    My next knife will hopefully be a Behring drop point of some sort and all it will see is critter tissue.
     
  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Well-Known Member

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    I have a Jeff White Bush 3 that is flat backed and thick, should be tough enough to play survival games with.
    It was supposedly built for that purpose.
    Ive only dressed deer w it
     
  13. Chuck Roberts

    Chuck Roberts Member

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    I have just stuck with my old USMC
    Ka-bar. For the money, it’s tough to beat.
     
    MisterMcCool and Mongo like this.