Don Williams said...
I noticed a few years ago that you favored the El Hombre knife by Cold Steel. I've always wondered why -- seems to me that the curving blade would make thrusts less precise, but you seem to make astute choices in gear (e.g, the 357 Sig.) Care to explain advantages of El Hombre?
First let me tell you, I’ve been a “knife nut” for as long as I can remember.
My grandparents were farmers in Spain, ( worked as carpenters when they came here) and a knife was simply something a kid had to have.
Saw and used many good knifes, even at a young age I would carry a pocket knife my grandfather gave me.
So these days I have more knives than I care to count, use them a lot, read about them, even dared to make a couple.
Cold Steel, Spyderco, Buck, Gerber, Opinel, and various others, can be found in my collection.
The "El Hombre" is discontinued,replaced by the "Vaquero" series.
So, why a recurved blade?
Curved blades like the various “corvo” blades, the famous kukri, the “the corvo chileno” knife, or the blades used in some pacific island cultures have been around forever.
Greek swords, African weapons, or weapons used by ancient Mesopotamic civilizations had curved blades as well
Today you can find some blades called “claw”, which is basically a curved blade as well.
What’s the advantage? the curve draws the blade into the material, it hooks into it and with a slashing motion the material gets caught and force is directed right into the cutting edged.
In larger tools like swords or the kukri, the forward portion has better chopping geometry, almost like an axe has , offsetting the contact edge form the handle axis.
The “s” shaped recurve also has the advantage of having a point that allows it to be used for stabbing, something that a claw or other forward curved blade cant.
I should also say, you get more edge surface for the same overall length with a recurved blade than with a straight one.
When I tried various blades on an old leather boxing bag I was about to throw away, everything became even more clear:
While other high quality razor sharp knives would “slip” on the surface when slashing, the recurved Cold Steel blade would 'bite' into the material with every slash, cutting more aggressively.
The “slipping” sensation I had with the straight edges ones was replaced by a sensation of digging in, taking full advantage of the force used in each strike.
When checking for results, the straight edges would make shallow cuts, while the recurved serrated blade made brutal, deep cuts.
You could clearly see how the straight edges could probably slip on someone’s clothes when fighting, but the recurved blade would cut to the bone with a good slash, and could be used for stabbing as well.
So there it is, that’s why I have a recurved serrated folder as a self defense knife.
Having said that, as a working blade, I prefer a straight edge.
Why? 3 good reasons.
1) It’s a much more even geometry for working.
2) The recurved blade is MUCH harder to sharpen.
3) The S shape make for difference force being required depending on if you are cutting with a forward or backward motion, and this feels odd.
So, that’s why I have a recurved serrated for fighting ( just for defense, keep the edge razor sharp at all times and don’t use that knife for anything else) and a average Spartan Victorinox for every day chores.
Hope that answered your question.