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Knife breakage

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Janne, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I just wonder, how many of you have broken a knife?
    Doing what?

    I have broken the tip off several knives over the years. Maybe the last centimeter maximum.
    Usually by digging into wood/ making a hole.
    One or two trying to pry out nails, retrieving fencing wire.
    Never a blade though.

    All sorts of knifes, from EKA folders to one of the makers in Mora.
    One of my Fällknivar lost a tip on a rock.
     
  2. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I once snapped the saw off my first SAK Champion cutting an awkward stick and bent it; Victorinox replaced the blade for free :)

    Other than that I have never broken a blade (not even the tip) and my knives are used as tools (but never for extracting nails :) ).

    Oh, I tell a lie, I once dropped a blade I had just quenched onto the concrete floor and it shattered into three pieces! - that was a long time ago.
     
  3. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Broke the tip off a few, mostly Opinel and things with skinny tips.
    Can't remember actually snapping any blades, despite having knives since I was seven and doing a fair bit of stupid stuff with em.

    I don't batton with em though, I have other tools that do the heavy work.

    Actually I've been thinking about trying it out with a Mora.
    Thinking about knocking up a friction folder with a few inches of a Mora blade, might mark it out and drill the holes then fire it into a vice and see how easy it is to snap it off at the handle as I'm not fussed about that bit anyway.
     
  4. bobnewboy

    bobnewboy Settler

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    I’ve broken the tip off an Opinel, misusing it as a screwdriver and so reground it to a drop point. I have also broken the tip off another knife extracting arrows from trees, because quite a bit of leverage was required. I have since used a Bahco wrecking knife (thick, relatively cheap knife, blade with the rounded knife type point) for all archery mishaps since. The Bahco seems pretty bulletproof and so is well suited to the task :)
     
  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Interesting experiment!
    Let us know the result. I have bent a few Mora knives, of al, three steel types, by levering stuff.

    Wife took the tip off on one of our Jap. kitchen knives, she dripped it on the stone floor. I did not bother to regrind it, I never use the tip on that knife anyway.

    I did tell her though to try to put her foot under the knife next time...
    :)
     
  6. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I was constantly regrinding my mother's kitchen knives; she had a quarry tile floor :)
     
    #6 Broch, Nov 17, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  7. Billy-o

    Billy-o Native

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    Recently found that I'd dinged-around the very tip of a favourite VG10 knife ... don't know how, just found it like that ... been pondering on how best to retrieve it without a full monty regrind.
     
  8. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Those high tech steels are a pain.... Hard work to sharpen, even worse to reprofile.


    I forgot one knife I ruined.
    Bought a Kyocera ceramic kitchen knife. Chipped the edge somehow.
    At the end I threw it into the canal, for future Archeologists to discover!
     
  9. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Hard work to sharpen?

    Been using a diamond hone for just shy of 20 years now.
    Can't really say I've found it to be a problem.
     
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  10. Wayland

    Wayland Hárbarðr

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    Broke a sword blade once in a fight but I'm not sure that's the sort of thing you mean..
     
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  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I only have a flat diamond covered sharpener. Edge was micro jagged ( tested with a nail) and I did not want to get bits of ceramic inside us.

    I only use stones, not the diamond one, on my steel knives.
    Does not diamond take off too much too easily?
     
  12. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Huh? So now its a problem that its too easy to sharpen with a diamond hone?
    Can't say I've ever sharpened ceramic blades cos I've never had one, doubt I ever will either but the diamond hones have been fine on any steel knife, plane blade, chisel and even to touch up a tungsten carbide router bit.
    The steel stuff often gets stropped on a bit of wood with green polish paste on it after I'm finished with the diamond hone but none of its too hard to do.

    I used to have sharpening stones but after dropping one and ending up with two shorter sharpening stones I wanted something a bit more sitework tough and steel plates with diamond in the plating did the trick.

    I do have a Japanese waterstone but that lives at home, can't be done with carting one of those about and having to look after it.
     
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  13. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    I have not use the new DMT diamond plate which arrived the other day.
    My intention is/was to try to clean up the edges on some ceramic kitchen knives which are so chipped, the perform like very dull steel.

    Actually, I do have several Henkel kitchen knives with broken blades.
    8 speed grinder which has never been out of the box should reprofile those quite quickly.
    I'm good at shaping edges without cooking the steel. I practice on many farrier's hoof knives.

    3M wet&dry sandpapers to 1500 are nice for the finishing work.
     
  14. John Fenna

    John Fenna Lifetime Member & Maker

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    I broke a Fox "Raids" knife by dropping it on a concrete floor - it shattered into 3 bits.
    I broke a Tramontina copy of a Buck Frontier but hitting it into a green ash pole - three hits, three semi-circles out of blade.
    I think those two were down to poor manufacture not poor usage....
    A mate broke the serrated blade on my Leatherman Wave trying to open a coconut and I broke the blade of an Opinel saw when it jammed in the cut of a thick pole.. It was replaced for free
    I have dinged edges on fence staples buried in wood and the odd tip by dropping the knife onto hard surfaces and loosened the pivot on some cheap folders by asking too much of them...
    I cannot recall any other breaks - and I do sometimes baton a blade :)
     
  15. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Opinel tip broke once. Still got it. Camping cutter for food. Could the rest be prone to snapping? Is it weak?
     
  16. C_Claycomb

    Mod

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    To the original question, nope, never broken a knife. I have had one that tended to chip if I chopped with it, and have put little dings in the edge of others, but no broken tips.
     
  17. TLM

    TLM Tenderfoot

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    I have at least two broken tips trying to get arrow heads out of wood. Three broken blade-tang junctions on Martiini blades, break surfaces look like nonexistent tempering there, all brittle fracture. Dings on various blades none really bad, somewhat surprisingly (Wirkkala stainless blades do not really count as I have never seen one without).

    For me puukko is a tool, I try not to break them but sometimes it happens. I might have just had monday morning Marttiini blades but for some reason I haven't had many lately.
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I think most manufacturers over harden the blades. It seems to be a powerful sale argument, the hardness of an edge.

    The knives we use in our fishing and fish cleaning are either Mora or (mainly) Frosts ( same manufacturer) professional knives, the blue plastic handled Fish cleaning models.
    We hone them ( strip of leather, no compound) maybe 2-4 times for each fish, and use a stone maybe every three fish.
    Edge is what, 55 HRC or so?
    We tried harder blades,( Fallkniven) but to much hassle when they get blunt. The main blunting action is because the blade slides against bone most of the time, and sometimes has to cut through bone ( cod cheek extraction, cutting body into steaks)

    When on the boat, we bleed every fish. This means two cuts, to sever the arteries in the neck. Each cut is with hard bone contact.
    I have a stone taped to the centre console. A couple of swishes between each fish.
    There we use Morakniv of various models. Those knives get severely abused. Cheap, stainless, disposable.

    I also am used to treat knives as tools, semi disposable tools. But the reason for disposal is that the edge gets so abused by clumsy sharpening it is easier to get a new one.

    Many workmen back home never sharpen their work knives, just take a new one.
     
    #18 Janne, Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  19. TLM

    TLM Tenderfoot

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    I have not measured a Mora knife but I think HRC55 might be too low. Most of the sources I have seen say HRC58 or so. As such the exact value is not very important except as a reference, more meaningful is that they seem to have found a very good compromise between toughness and hardness. I have several as backup blades spread out here and there.

    I agree with you on the hardness matter.

    While HRC is fairly easily measured it should be used comparatively only within the same type of steels. Fracture toughness and edge retention in wear should in my opinion be included in the data. But it does get somewhat complicated.

    Interesting to hear about the way you use the blades with fish.

    A working knife should not break until really abused.
     
  20. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    Only blades I've ever broken were during hardening. 2 RWL-34 S4 types (both at the same time), both cracked between where the jimping and my stamp were. Put them too close together. An expensive and time consuming mistake to make. Not one ill be making again. On the plus side, I got to have a proper look at the grain structure after the heat treat. It didn't even look like steel, more a fine ceramic. So I know the HT was good.

    I've never broken a knife in use other than the very tip of an opinel breasting a wood pigeon. I just dropped the tip a little to strengthen it and had no problems since.

    I did make a knife for a friend, who, when drunk dropped it on a tiled floor in his house. Big ding on the edge (scandi grind) Had to regrind it into a sabre.
     
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