Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 And The Knives Are Sharper Than Ever

"2010 was one of our best years ever." SHOT Show analysis

"2011 looks to be a banner year for knifemaking." Overall feeling of the industry.

"Better git 'em while the gettin's good cuz pretty soon they'll be legislated outta existence." Frost Cutlery

While the knife industry in general is praising 2010 and looking for even better things to come in 2011, Frost Cutlery is up to its old tricks again. Assisted opening knives will be banned, mother of pearl and abalone handle materials will be placed on an endangered species list, and on and on goes the list of doom and gloom. 

Pictured is a new arrival at Fort Fits; the Kershaw Tanto Groove. I ordered it first of all because I liked its looks, and B) to go head to head with a Frost product that once again hasn't been delivered as the order seems to be 'lost'. Since I know that certain Frosted Flakes read this blog its no wonder they don't want me to compare a real knife to anything Frost imports from China, and part of the shame of it all is the fact that Frost could be acquiring genuinely decent knives from Asia but continues to seek the lowest denominator in order to glean the most profit. Nary a damn thing wrong with making money but not when you have to outright lie about quality. To honest folks, that is generally referred to as stealing.

The Groove is an interesting little knife that I'll be sharpening to a real edge and be back to you on its performance characteristics. I did not order it from the above link because Knifeworks was out of stock and to be honest I got a much better deal elsewhere anyway. The green you see on the pic below is from my stropping the thing with chromium oxide. Embigination will bring it to a better light.

The black coating is what the industry refers to as DLC...Diamond Like Carbon...and in the case of the Groove, fortified with Tungsten which, next to depleted uranium, is the heaviest metal there is (1.67 times as dense as lead). There of course can be no Rockwell number associated with this process (even though certain manufacturers try to), as the Rockwell cone penetrates far deeper than any such coating as applied by modern man. Floridians who like knives soon discover that once out of the safe they turn into rusted relics, hence my taking a shine to blades designed for actual use. Amazing concept.

I could of course just get something in H1 steel, an alloy impervious to corrosion, but I don't like  some of the other characteristics associated with this particular process. My knives eventually get a 30 degree inclusive edge and only certain steels can take and hold such a grind. For references purposes, a surgeons scalpel is ground to an 18 degree inclusive edge, but they're nothing more than disposable razor blades with a different shape. A thin edge is not necessarily indicative of a good cutter, though, as cheap steels, like a surgeon's scalpel, will soon begin to micro-fracture and then become  jagged remnants of their former selves.


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