1. What does SSTB mean? See our glossary of acronyms.

Any knife nuts here at FC?

Discussion in 'The Vapor Lounge' started by Deadshort480, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    I have one of those Klingon-type ones.

    Don't know how I missed this thread before. I've been a HUGE blade collector for over 25 years - knives, swords, axes, tomahawks. Got more into them when I was both a chef and a historian - tons of the history of tech is related to blades. And my ex-wife is a Sikh, their symbol is a knife. Damn woman took half my collection when we got divorced.

    My best pieces are a real wootz blade, steel by Ivan Kirpichev (one of two modern producers of true wootz that I know of), blade by Oleg Krymlin, and an at least 200 year old Thai sword made by the former royal smiths, with part of sections of the Dhammapada inscribed on the blade in Pali. And a Paul Chen tai chi sword and a Paul Chen pattern-welded scramasaxe, and a V-42 stiletto. Need to take some pics.

    My best balanced sword is a Marto museum-grade replica of an Imperial Mongol cavalry saber, whose balance is so perfect it is easier to wield single-handed than swords half its size - even more impressive than my best samurai blades. One of the reasons (along with their bows) that the Mongols kicked so much ass (I'm part Mongol myself, and studied a good deal of Mongol tech history in may academic days).

    Also have a batleth, numerous gurkhas, two falcatas, 5 rapiers, a claymore, , a Russian WWII officers sword, a Pompeiian-type gladius, a Roman military axe, four sets of samurai swords, a Pueblo tomahawk, a 200 year old Persian kindjal, two Tibetan purbhas, various Lord of the Rings swords, and numerous ritual blades from when I was a witch, including an athame an a Druid sickle. Plus my culinary blades - a Wusthof kochmesser, a Wusthof boning knife, a Henckels santoku, a pattern-welded paring knife. And various folders, switchblades and small sheath knives. And a Winchester bowie.
    Deadshort480, JJ420 and Caligula like this.
  2. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    Is the batleth usable or more of a prop?
  3. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    Useable, though it needs some sharpening. Took a while to find a real combat-capable one though.

    Forgot some of the collection - two Buck Century knives, an Indonesian keris (or kris), a flamberge, and a 19th Century German saber. There is probably more.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
    Deadshort480 and Caligula like this.
  4. Deadshort480

    Deadshort480 I got a fever! The only cure is more glass, baby!

    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    The East Coast
    @arf777, please, please, please can you post pictures of some of your collection?? I would love to see some of it.
    Caligula likes this.
  5. thesoloman

    thesoloman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    598
    Location:
    Temecula
    Its good to see that i got this thread rolling again(:
    Deadshort480 likes this.
  6. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    God damn instagram. I'd never used it before, I'd taken lovely full-frame pics of some of my blades, went to upload them and Instagram only let me select a little square of each picture. WTF? Gotta start all over again.
  7. Deadshort480

    Deadshort480 I got a fever! The only cure is more glass, baby!

    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    The East Coast
    You can upload full size pics to Photobucket or Imgur.
  8. thesoloman

    thesoloman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    598
    Location:
    Temecula
    I want to hear some thoughts on this thing.
  9. Deadshort480

    Deadshort480 I got a fever! The only cure is more glass, baby!

    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    The East Coast
    It's a gimmick and, most likely, illegal to carry. It's basically a blade shaped needle that injects CO2. It is supposed to be a last ditch weapon against large animals such as bears or sharks.

    You'd be much better off with a good quality fixed blade and a 30-06.
    thesoloman likes this.
  10. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    4,445
    Location:
    Oregon
    Just wanted to drop a note here, didn't want to start a thread on this topic (for obvious reasons) but thought there might be some folks here who appreciated his work. I know I love my Krinkov . . . :)

    Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) assault rifle, passed away at the age of 94 . . .

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
    arf777, thesoloman and Deadshort480 like this.
  11. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    Here goes my 1st ever attempt to post a pic to FC. This one is a shot of my Marto Mongolian Imperial saber, best balance on any blade I have ever held.

    [​IMG]
  12. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    Looks like that worked, so here are some more.

    Keeping with the theme, here are some shots of an antique Mongolian Buddhist blade, with some sutra inscriptions.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And now shots of the antique Thai buddhist blade, much larger than the Mongolian one, but more practical (no fancy silver scabbard, just plain wood). This one was made by the royal Thai sword makers, no way I could have gotten it without the generosity of a fellow Buddhist. There are multiple shots so the blade inscription can be better seen. IMHO, high-grade blades just don;t translate to digital media well - these and the later wootz blade pics don't do justice to the reality, even though shot with a very good Cannon DSLR and Sigma macro lens. May bust out my film camera and do some that way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And now the Kremlyn / Kirpichev wootz blade. Only other guy I know of who can do this, the real deal, not patter-welded or acid-etched, is Al Pendrey. Been trying to get one of his for years, no luck so far. Recent research has found natural carbon nano-tubes in real wootz (or bulat in Russian), as well as vanadium, allegedly an ingredient in both dudes recipes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More to come later.
  13. PNWMMJ

    PNWMMJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    PNW
    Awesome! Just found this thread.

    Always like knives and working with metal and wood.

    I have about over a dozen folders and around a dozen fixed.

    Sharpen them all on waterstones and most of my friends and familys kitchen knives. I have a couple dozen watyerstones from Jnats to diamonds to synthetics in 150-8K grit. Nubatamas and Shaptons get the bulk of my work. Along with the Naniwa Big Green Brick of Joy.

    Also have a KO worksharp to clean up the real rough stuff.

    Be back later with some pix.
    t-dub, thesoloman and Deadshort480 like this.
  14. BeardedCrow

    BeardedCrow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    120
    Arf777, all I can say is wow.

    I would love any steppe weapons, especially mongolian.

    I wouldn't even know where to find sabers of that quality.
  15. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    I used to be an academic religion specialist, and still have connections from then. Plus fellow Buddhists tend to give each other good deals on sacred blades. Still need to get the rest of the collection posted - haven't done any of my rapiers or other dueling blades yet. My dad was a champion fencer, got the bug from him.

    If you're ever in Baltimore, check out Warrior Emporium - they have a hook for Central Asian gear of all kinds, and an awesome catalog in general. They recently upgraded their website, but it still doesn't reflect anything like their full range -the really good stuff is only available in the shop. http://www.warrioremporium.com
    BeardedCrow and Deadshort480 like this.
  16. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    For anyone interested, one of Ivan Kirpichev's wootz/bulat blades (unfinished - no handle/pommel and needs to be sharpened) is on ebay for $220. Excellent price, if you know someone who can complete the blade. It is listed as a blank but is actually farther done than a typical blank. That's so nobody messes up the steel structure when they finish it.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bulat-Wootz...460?pt=Collectible_Knives&hash=item2333df199c
  17. BeardedCrow

    BeardedCrow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    120
    I am in search of either hun or mongolian Sabre ;)
  18. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    Far and away the best for an accurate Mongol blade is a Marto, if you can find one. Though the scabbard is garish and inaccurate, the blade is an exact replica of a museum piece from the Imperial era. The blade is actually from the dig that proved the Mongols had swords as far ahead of their contemporaries as their bows were. Studied this in my academic days - I'm part Khazar and my ex-wife is a Genghis Khanite (with the blue dot birthmark and everything).

    In fact, though they only have part of the etymology on wikipedia (and some of it is wrong), the origin of the word 'sabre' is from the pre-Imperial Mongolian word for 'sword'. New evidence is that even the Japanese katana wasn't significantly curved until they were exposed to Mongol blades. And before the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty in China, almost all Chinese blades were straight.

    A good early Hun blade, even a replica, is a bit harder to get. Are you looking for something like a medieval Hungarian blade, or an Attila-era Hun Empire blade? The latter are a bit surprising - a large number of blades from that time and place are replicas of Roman gladii and Chinese straight blades. Attila himself claimed to have found the missing Sword of Mars, and what he showed folks was a Pompeiian gladius. Early Hun lances, though, that's a whole other thing - short, thick, with a powerful blade. They originated the lance-and-lariat method the Mongols later perfected.
    BeardedCrow and Deadshort480 like this.
  19. BeardedCrow

    BeardedCrow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    120
    Ooh yes I've heard that also about how all Japanese swords came from Korean origins and evolved over time.

    I've also heard that the curve of the katana had to do with clay covered heat treats, but guess is speculation.

    Hmm I guess eventually I'd want different and all era swords.
  20. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    For a couple of centuries now, the curve of a katana has been gotten through differential hardening (i.e., clay treating). However, older blades (pre-12th Century) had a bit less differential hardening and were nearly straight. You can do differential hardening without allowing the curve to happen much. The Japanese developed differential hardening for greater tensile strength and to improve cross-section blade geometry. Not for curving.

    You can control the exact degree of a curve through clay treating, though it takes real skill. That is a Japanese innovation on a Mongolian design. A curved blade creates a slicing motion even when thrust straight or swung, which is why most post-Mongpol military blades are that shape (and why pre-Mongol katanas made in all the same ways were otherwise not such great blades without the curve). A well-calculated curve also allows direct thrust with full force from behind a shield.

    But even with all of the amazing Japanese innovations- and I do love Japanese swords, have a couple of sets of differentially-hardened samurai with beautiful hamon - the Mongol saber is so much better balanced that it feels like a smaller blade, though it is significantly larger (it is, after all, a true cavalry blade- they're big). My father, a sabre fencer, said when he tried it that if he didn't know better he'd've thought he was using a fencing sabre (less than half the weight of the Mongol blade and significantly shorter). The balance is just indescribably perfect. Never encountered another like it. The closest is a Russian WWI officers blade i have, but it is an obvious copy of a Mongolian one - the blade is the exact same shape. Just the balance and cross-section are off. But if you have trouble finding a true Mongol blade, get a Russian one.

    I think a Russian-shaped blade made with the methods and geometry of a Japanese one might equal the Mongol sabre.

    When looking at Mongolian tech, you have to keep nomadism in mind. Differential hardening requires massive blast furnaces. Nomads never had them - not portable. But they managed to make geometrically precise blades of high-carbon steel in a different manner.

    I do know where to get a real-deal Mongol or Hun bow, but they are craaaazy expensive - I'm still saving for one. I'll dig out the url for them and will post it. It's a couple of Hungarian dudes who make them, from designs based on museum pieces, and they make them with real larch wood, horn and goat and horse tendon. So they really are accurate. Saw a demo of one of the Imperial Mongol ones - with a steel-eipped arrow it blew up a cinder block at 150 feet. And that was a Mongol light (horseback) bow. There wasn't another individual use weapon as powerful as the Mongol heavy bow until the Sharp's breach-loader of the Civil War. I've seen a Mongol heavy bow punch through 1/2" steel at 150 feet. Which is how, during the 1st Western campaign, a Mongol army of 25,000 wiped out 80,000 Georgian knights in plate armor.
    I'm still trying to recreate Mongol imperial armor. 1st laminate armor in history. Made by gluing together, under pressure, layers of silk, hemp cloth, and lacquered strips of wood. Almost as strong as Western plate at literally less than 10% of the weight and cost (even with the silk). There is an academic in Mongolia who has recreated it, but he is not selling it. Side note : Mongol Empire was the 1st state in history with: freedom of religion; paper money; massive anti-slavery laws; and equality for women (though only for Mongol women). And Genghis Khan was elected.
    [sorry, former historian, hard to stop when I get going]
    Deadshort480 likes this.
  21. vbeazy

    vbeazy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    36
    You could call me a knife nut. My last two Cold Steels are no longer with me, and I haven't been buying foldings or fixed blades recently. Only have a couple.

    What I have been buying and seeking out are culinary knives.

    [​IMG]

    This is my Miyabi Kaizen Gyuto 8" (5000DP)

    Many more to come!
    Bouldorado likes this.
  22. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    Not bad. Any Wusthofs in your kitchen? I have two - a kochmesser I've been using for almost 20 years and a much newer flexible boning knife.
  23. vbeazy

    vbeazy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    36
    No Wusthofs as of yet. Honestly I'm not a big fan of their handles, weight or thick spines after trying a few. I haven't used their highest end ones though. Of course their German steel is of high quality if taken care of properly. I may consider their fillet knife, but there's many options to choose from. For German knives I'm more of a Henckel man. All preference.

    I'd love to get my hands on a Japanese Hattori, though I haven't had the chance to use one, I'd risk the buy. There's a few smaller Japanese brands I like too. As well as a couple Globals.

    The reason I chose the 5000DP over say a 5000MCD was not only price, but ease of sharpening the 60 steel compared to 63HRC with less chances of chipping. The balance point is slightly off in comparison, but that's because of the lighter Birchwood handle the MCD has. You can hold that knife horizontal on one finger. I may purchase their 6" Gyuto.
  24. arf777

    arf777 No longer dogless

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    In the Shadow of the Beast
    Little known fact - Henckels and Wusthof are made in the same factory. But they use higher quality components in the high-end Wusthof.

    A cheaper Wusthof is, in fact, just a Henckels with a different makers mark. Not worth the $$$. Only worth it if you buy the high-end ones. But as I mentioned, been using the same Wusthof kochmesser for 20 years, 10 of those in pro kitchens. Needed sharpening maybe twice ever.

    Japanese knives are generally very good deals. The Wusthof is worth it if you're a pro or an extremely active home cook.

    The boning knife is a bit different. I've tried Henckel, Sabatier, and a couple of Japanese. None come close to the flexible Wusthof. They don't last quite as long as the kochmesser - on my 2nd boning knife in 20 years - but they're amazing for deboning and other butchery. Cuts scallopini better than a scallopini knife.

    For serious culinary knife freaks, check this out - I actually have gotten to use one of Escoffier's personal blades. The French master who trained me had been given Escoffier's 12" Sabatier by one of Escoffier's nieces. I used it for years with him. Damn near the best blade I've ever used despite being over a century old. Unfortunately Sabatier doesn't make them that good anymore.
  25. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    Quite honestly I've chucked all of my Stainless (and a carbon) steel kitchen cutlery for Kyocera ceramic units (Black ceramic) sans things used for boning/prying... ceramic is super hard for chopping and slicing, but fragile if you try to flex it.

    [​IMG]
    arf777 likes this.

Support FC, visit our trusted friends and sponsors