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Old 01-28-2002, 03:48 PM
Dana Acker
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Let's Talk Philosophy---Knife Philosophy, That Is

What elements do you think go into making a good knife?

Now wait and think a moment before you answer. Obvious things, like good and appropriate steel selection, craftsmanship, proper heat treatment--hard edge, springy back, aesthetics, balance, etc. are all givens, and do not count for this discussion since they are beyond obvious. For without all of the above what do you really have?

No, I'd like to know what features you think should be built in to a knive or type of knife that make it that good type of knife--or a functional knife, or whatever, and most importantly, why? What features do you build into a working knife to make it a good working knife in your opinion? Or a combat knife? A tactical knife? A hunting knife? Art knife?

Here's an example from my own knife philosophy. I make a lot of working knives of all sizes and descriptions. Two things I feel that are needed on a knife a person might be using every day, are some form of guard (whether it be an added guard of brass, copper, SS steel, wrought iron etc., or an integral finger stop, either forged or cut into the blade) to keep the hand from sliding forward on the blade. Also I like a longer ricasso area, and either cut grooves or file work on the spine of the blade as a thumb grip, for working forward of the guard area--ie., for choking up on the knife for better control when doing precise work.

Remember, this is a "make you think" exercise, and not intended to be a debate. There's really no right or wrong answer--it's strictly personal, and a matter of the maker's taste. But hopefully there will be things posted that will make us think and perhaps be able to incorporate into our knifemaking, which could make us better at what we do, and help us to make a better product. That's what this is all about. Sharp and pointy are good, but there's more.

So what's your philosophy? Make sure you list along with your ideas, what type of knife to which they apply.
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