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Stephen Asay

General EDC knife advice

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So I am here waiting at the hospital (my dad is having some stones pulled). I wasn't going to post this one but I decided to get some opinions on it. The idea was to make a nice practical EDC knife, and technically it works, it is a little big, as in too big for me to want to carry it all of the time. I like how the handle turned out, but overall it is not a very pleasing shape. Practically it works great, it is just a bit... ugly.

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I want to get the concept of a user knife down, and I want it to not just work good, but also look good. This, well it doesn't really look like anything, does it?

I am thinking of making one smaller, with a more curved handle shape, and a more gradual drop point, also thinner. Honestly I really don't know where to go from here, my knives used to be a gradual progression of small changes, there are elements that I like here, but I can't imagine them looking any good except for a complete redesign. I really like having a scandi grind, doesn't really fit overall though.

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So any thoughts on blade shape? Handle shape? Any opinions help, I am pretty clueless.

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Is that an applied patina on that blade?  If not I'd say that you overheated the steel while heat treating.  I see nothing wrong with the overall shape of the blade except that I would take the grind up to the spine.  That would make it a better slicer.  After all, you're not going to be chopping with what most would consider and EDC knife.  Shortening the blade to just under 3" would be workable.  Also consult South Carolina laws on knife carry to see what, if any, restrictions as to knife length.

The slab scales on the knife are also workable but you might want to consider a palm swell in the scales.  That might help it set in the hand better.

Just some ideas.

Doug

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Thanks. The patina is mustard, didsn't quite turn out like the pro's though. Heat treatment is a real pain right now, it is mostly what is keeping me from making more blades. I see what you mean by the grind and palm swell.

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I tried a mustard patina once.  I think that you did better on yours.

Doug

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The stock is thin enough that grind might  work, but I agree 100% with Doug on that point.

As for "ugly".....

I've spent quite a bit of time over the last two days trying to decide on a design for a guy that wants a knife looks cool, can be used for anything, and never needs sharpening.

It started at a modified push dagger with a sheepsfoot blade, he has limited use of his hands so imagine a kitchen knife with a slanted push dagger grip.

His Idea, I like it......then suddenly it's not cool enough.....

To get back to your knife, I guess the spearpoint is a perfect compromise in all directions, and if this was a 100+ years ago that's most likely how your knife would have looked.

In general I like the knife.

 

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Posted (edited)

Try any of the above suggestions. I also had problems with how my knives looked, and I couldn't figure out what it was. Once I started taking my grinds all the way up to the spine I was very pleased. My knives looked better, were lighter, and cut better. 

I also like the spear point and sheepsfoot shapes on an EDC. As well as a handle with a subtle curve to it, that is slightly larger at the back end then where it meets the blade. 

I do like the shape of that blade though, i like the slight swell towards the tip. i thing that with a higher grind and a slightly different handle shape you might like it more. Also the distance between the edge and where the handle stops is a bit large, it just seems kind of jarring. So a smaller ricasso area might help.

Just play with it a bit, i draw a lot of knives before i commit to trying to make a design that is new to me. 

Good luck!

Edited by Chad Scott

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The plus side is the grinds are very even, which is hard to do with that low a grind line.  Full flat or at least 75% flat would look and perform better.

I see what Chad means about the ricasso, and I see what you were trying to do with the handle stopping halfway through the finger cutout.  It would look better if the scales ran all the way to the end of the cutout.

Finally, although it adds a level of complexity you may not be wanting to face, a strongly tapered tang does wonders for looks and handling characteristics on that size of knife.  

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I would would taper the spine so that the tip was more "pointy". Then I would move the little sub-hilt type point further towards the back to make the notch  behind the ricasso larger. Lastly I would slightly taper the butt of the handle so that two halves of the knife have more symmetry.

What I often do when I'm not satisfied with how a knife turned out is trace it on a piece of paper, fill in the details and then start altering things until I'm happier with the shape.

Keep playing with it, that knife has potential!

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Well, Thanks so much for all of the replies, I don't feel so helpless anymore!

Anyway, I decided to make a new design. I started with a lump of clay, I squeezed it in my hand to get an idea of a more natural shape handle, because to be honest all my knife handles to date are a little beyond saving. I also did some google image-fu and found some aspects I liked in other blades. I never want to plagiarize so I made sure that I made the design my own.

Thinking about the use case of these knives, the blade is a lot shorter, and the handle was trimmed down too. If you need a longer blade you are either A. swinging, B Stabbing, or C. cooking, none of which was the intended purpose of this particular knife.

 I wanted to make a smaller fixed blade knife for more general EDC, something more comfortable to carry while still being versatile. Smaller = 10x easier to flatten, heat treat, and grind. In this case it might be a little TOO small, but I will try making one next week to see how it feels in the hand.

Meanwhile someone asks me how much it would be to make a camping machete <_<. I like scandi because it is easy to sharpen to a stub, but I can potentially regrind even after putting a handle on if it doesn't seem right. That 20 degree edge just slices through wood like butter though.

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Posted (edited)

I drew another, even smaller this time at under 6" overall, 2.5 inch blade and only about 3/4" wide. (150 mm long, 20 mm wide).

I really like how it looks, plus with such a small and thin blade it should be relatively quick to pull off. I am going to try both scandi and full flat on this one.

I may or may not make the first design, it depends on how I feel after finishing the top one.

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Edited by Stephen Asay

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i cannot see the most recent picture, but that first drawing you posted looks great.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Chad Scott said:

i cannot see the most recent picture, but that first drawing you posted looks great.

Thanks, must have had the wrong link.

I went ahead and started making a knife today, went pretty quick though I must have lost callous privilege because drawing out gave me a good little blister.

1/8 inch thick, about 6 inches overall. I triple normalized and quenched in water. Must have been all of the prayers or something because the heat treat went perfectly it seems. Tempering now at 400F.

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It is so much smaller than what I usually end up making, but I can already tell that it is going to be the best knife I have made yet.

Edit: here is another picture that better shows the profile.

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Edited by Stephen Asay

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I really like that handle shape, especially how the heel curves on the palm side and then flows into the slight palm swell. 

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Don't worry about plagiarizing a knife design.  I'm sure in the last two or three millennia the design will have appeared before.

Doug

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