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Old 04-16-2017, 01:25 PM
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Knife blade choices

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I am thinking of making my Granddaughter's husband a knife for Christmas. I can't spend a mint, but it seems the Damascus blades on the market are mostly the less than $25 stuff from India and Pakistan, or in the $100+ range.

I know India does really well with electronics, but due to tales on the internet of poor quality metal, etc, am hesitant about the quality of blades. Has anyone had experience with the offshore blades, and can give me some guidance and recommendations?

Are there any U.S. companies that make reasonably priced Damascus blades, or should I just go with plain old Stainless steel? I have this chunk of Ebony that he gave me a Christmas or three ago, which I will use for the handle.

He is in the Air Force, and may get deployed somewhere "exotic", should I just buy him a Buck 119, or a KaBar, orrr...the Glock Field Knife...something durable and utilitarian that is less likely to be stolen.

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Old 04-16-2017, 05:09 PM
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Location: NSW
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Knives are so varied and everyone has individual tastes . An Air force man is most likely not going to be exposed to too much weather if his luck is good. SS knives are good but they are not as easy to sharpen as carbon steel is . A good carbon steel coated blade will work fine . You don't want something bulky and hard to carry and it needs a good secure tactical type pouch like a Kydex style . Ka-Bar Becker Crewman survival knife non serrated blade would be a nice handy knife and comes in a secure pouch that can be strapped to gear , definitely durable and utilitarian . Not too expensive to replace either and would not attract too much attention . Glock field knife looks like junk to me a Ka-Bar Ek or Spartan ek would be better steel I reckon . Buck make good knives but sheath options could be lacking and they aren't tactical in design or concept hunting mainly .

Last edited by Country; 04-16-2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:47 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Solingen steel, but it might be expensive.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:45 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bassfield, MS
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Stay as far away from the Pakistani damascus as you can.

If your wanting a nice gift that you put together yourself, check out some of the kits from different knife maker supply houses. You can get a US made damascus blank for around 60$, or a stainless for around 40$ or so.

I have no experience with ordering blanks, I forge or grind all my own, but I'd suggest going with a good quality stainless with cryogenic heat treat, something like ATS-34, 154CM, or even 440C. CPM154 is excellent, but will cost more. I'd advise staying away from S30V, it holds an edge forever, but is a PITA to sharpen. A good stainless that's been heat treated properly is not hard to sharpen with a good stone, not as easy as a carbon steel, but not that big an issue.

Check out places like Knife Blades - Pick a Folder, Cutlery, Hunting, Kitchen, Fillet, Skinner, Letter Opener, Ulu or Bowie Blade for your needs They also have liner lock folder kits, anywhere from 35 to 80$, depending on material and level of finish. For a folder it's hard to beat the simplicity of a DDR2 liner lock kit. DDR2 - Tanto - Pocket Knife Parts Kit

Another place is Hand Ground Blades

The only kit I've got experience with is the DDR first generation liner lock when I was learning how to make folders. Overall I'm impressed with the fit and ease of construction. It's got an AUS 8 stainless blade that may not be a high end stainless, but it's not too bad either. The thing is, if your wanting a premium performance steel, it's going to cost more, and the AUS 8 will certainly do a lot better than the average cheap folder, if not quite as good as ATS-34 or even properly treated 440C.

Normally I'm not a big fan of the kit knives, as too many times I've seen people set up tables at shows trying to sell "custom knives" and they are kits they've put together and marked as there own. I have no problem with someone using a kit to build a knife, or even selling them as long as they are honest and don't try to claim it's sole authorship. That said, kit knives are a nice stop gap between factory and hand made knives, and has given many a maker a start.

Last edited by will52100; 05-14-2017 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North America
Posts: 3,782
Young & in the service???

I'd keep it simple/utilitarian/"reasonably priced", FOR NOW. There's no need for him to worry about actually using/damaging it, or making it a target for theft. After his service would be another story.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:59 AM
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You've got a point, I've forgotten how much small stuff I've had go missing while on deployments. Still, a DDR folder or fixed blade isn't hat expensive, and I'm sure he'd be careful with it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UPSTATE NY
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Solingen Steel or a Good Carbon Steel , Is still the best Choices for any Blades etc.
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