What’s your life game? I discovered long ago my life plan involves knives. Folding knives, fixed blades, pocket knives, survival knives, tactical knives, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as it has an edge, I’m interested. Join me as I write about life, knives and the things seen from the knife edge.
Buck Knife has knocked America
and the world on its collective ass with the Buck 110 Hunter.It’s not the first lock-back knife, but the
combination of a solid lock, 420HC stainless with great heat treatment and a
belt carry pouch occurs at the right point in time.Everyone carries one.My favorite literature hero, Matt Helm
carries one; I sold a very nice German locking knife to my brother so I could buy
Cops, firemen, soldiers, outdoors
men, scout masters all wanted to carry a Buck 110 Hunter.
Case's Shark Tooth
This doesn’t pass unnoticed by
Case Knife.Coming out of WWII Case
remains a conservative company making knives the old fashioned way by hand with
carbon steel blades.Case wants in on this
market share.They just don’t want to compete;
they want to send Buck home hungry.By
1972 they have their world beater.They
call it the Shark Tooth.
The Shark Tooth is a spine locking blade with a
palm swell to fit your hand better than the slab-sided Buck.The 3-inch blade is backed with a finger
divot so you can choke-up for fine work and still get the long blade
reach.The blade is stainless steel that
holds an edge, but its identity isn’t revealed.I don’t know why.Both bolsters
are brass, but the back one is cut on an angle to give it a streamline
appearance.This knife also comes with a
leather pouch cause weighs almost a half-pound!Too heavy or bulky to flop in a pocket.
The wood insert with the palm
swell will be made from curly maple, but problems stops production.The 1974 catalog (printed in 1973, I assume)
has a picture of the Shark Tooth, but it’s stamped “Unavailable.”
The back edge beveled for a more streamline appearance
Finally Case decides on replacing
the maple with Pakkwood and on December of 1975 finally ships the knives to distributors just in time for Christmas.That made Santa very happy.
The Shark Tooth
stays in production until March 2009.
It’s a milestone
knife for Case.It marks the first use
of a blade made from a modern stainless steel with good tempered used in a Case
lock back.Several other types of Case
knives are released with that steel, but those are stories for another time.
trouble Case had with the curly maple handle insert, it manages to make 1800 of
these.These are hidden in a vault
guarded by the Case gnomes.What a
treasure that would be to Case collectors.It would be a unique collector’s knife, wouldn’t it?If only we could get past the gnomes.
Too late.In 1977 Case released all 1800 curly maple
handled Shark Tooth (Teeth?) to their distributors.Fox Mulder is right!They are out there!
Just got my hands on CRKT’s new
Seismic with the ‘Deadbolt Lock’ developed by Flavio Ikoma.It’s a beast!It weighs in at 6.3 ounces with a 5.5 inch handle holding a 4 inch
blade.I like knives with slightly over
sized handles.You need a big handle to hold
and use a big blade.
Flavio Ikoma has become one of
Brazil’s top knife designers.Growing up
he was fascinated with the varieties of Japanese swords.Encouraged by his father and having access to
the tools and materials in his father’s shop, he made edges.This interest spurred him to learn metallurgy,
work with other knife makers and become a knife innovator.
The Seismic sports his IKBS ball
bearing system as well as what has been described at the strongest lock on the
market, the Deadbolt.There are always a
lot of claims of the strongest lock and they seem to depend on the test
methodology.Still, the Seismic locks up
with one hell of click.
The bowtie at the pivot point is part of the deadbolt lock
To release the lock you press the
knurled ring around the pivot.This
pushes a large bowtie shaped bar of metal out the back of the knife and unlocks
Here are some more stats:
The 0.6 inches thick handle is
G10 overlaid on a sketalized metal frame that.The G-10 has a grippy feel to it, almost enough to give you the
fingernails-on-chalk-boards feeling.(Assuming you know about chalk boards.)
The blade steel is a ground slab
of 1.4116 stainless steel 0.15 inches thick.This steel is reportedly used in Swiss Army knives.The blade is a drop point with a high
shoulder, flat grind.A shallow false
edge decorates the blade.The sweeping
edge reminds me ever so slightly of a skinner.
This steel is reported to have a
RHc of 55-57.While many consider that
too low to retain an edge, let me remind you of three things:
That hardness resharpens quickly
with simple stones;
Steels in this hardness range
tend to bend instead of snap when misused;
Ernie Emerson once said a knife
with a bent blade is still a knife, a knife with a broken blade is junk.
What’s in 1.4116 steel?The composition is relatively simple, 0.45%
carbon, 14.7% chromium, a sprinkle of vanadium at 0.17% and a smattering of
elements common to modern steel manufacturing.Reports from the field suggest 1.4116 steel shows good corrosion
resistance.That’s important to me as
I’m a bit careless with my tools.