Tag Archives: HAP40

Choosing a knife for the city.

You don’t need a reason to carry a knife.
Whatever they ask you, just lie or tell them what they want to hear.
In the woods or in the countryside carrying a knife, whatever your gender, is wise.
But in the city ?
You really think you will defend yourself with a knife ? Let’s forget about it. A chair, a stiletto shoe, an ashtray will be better defense tools if you know how to train your mind first. And be prepared mentally whatever your gender, is wise.
Knife is not the best tool to get away of trouble. It’s like playing with matches in a gaz tank. It’s used by madness and idiots to create horrors. So unless you want to be an idiot.
Since knives, cheap and ugly dull knives, are often used to hurt people. Worst, some people think knives has been used when they were not even in history.
An example ? When Lucheni, a madman, has stabbed the Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Geneva he did it with a file. “There was no blood on the file and the tip was broken off, which occurred when Lucheni threw it away. The file was so dull in appearance it was speculated that it had been deliberately selected because it would be less noticeable than a shiny knife, which would have given Lucheni away as he approached.”
So you want to carry a knife in the city. It’s your choice, your business. Nobody else business. Your freedom of choice. In those days where metal detectors are common and official journalists are scanned all over their body before filming some president from ten yards away, when policemen can search you with no good reason because of the state of emergency… you better carry something which is small and sheeple friendly.
Better: you should conform with the laws of your country.

Younger I felt some kind of thrills being an outlaw. My first knife even was a folding AF dagger from Gerber. Go figure ! But later, I have found it is more fun to be lawful and cleverly respect the rules, because it gives you the occasion to try new designs and new makers. Of course you can always carry a Swiss Army knife. I almost never do. It’s in my bag not in my pocket. Because since the 90’s I have fallen in love with clips. Clips are such a great way to avoid a pouch or a scabbard or anything used to say to the world: I carry a knife !! So the clip is mandatory for me. My last clipless knife has been slipping under my wallet and at the Airport it has been taken away from me. So no more clipless knife for me.

So, in the city, I need to follow the rules and I need a flat design clipped to a pocket’s lip. Again a thick Victorinox Swiss Champ is a no-no as is an rounded handle Opinel. Opinel are not for the city unless they are under N°8. And I want a slick design something easy in and easy out without telegraphing around I’m going to use it.
I love the Worker design from Sal Glesser , the very first clip it, which could be used without opening it completely the blade thanks to its false edge. Very clever.
In the city I want elegance. the object needs to be warm and tell a story. I’m not a predator, I carry a tool not a weapon. For the records, hammer, screwdrivers are much more lethal than any Perrin Lagriffe destined to wound and not kill. I like to be able to cut my food without using the dull silverware of restaurants. Because there is some places which are not fast food too. And even at the Macdonalds, using a sharp knife can help to share in two portions a single burger. But in restaurants nowadays it’s not common to find good steak knives. I always enjoyed bringing my own knife like my grandfather used to and that manner that my father hated so much. My father was carrying a switchblade for SD and then a La Griffe. He also used a small turtle shell slipjoint folder made in Nogent in his bag. The exact opposite of my way. Strange how generations go counter clockwise just to complete a full circle thinking they are re-inventing the wheel.

A knife, may it be a slipjoint of a locking folder, is a door for adventures. I often walk on the avenue of the Opera remembering Ernest Hemingway.
“He was a customer of the house Kindal, 33 avenue de l’Opéra, he used to go through the shop, after his purchases, to the Ritz, Place Vendôme. His Parisian triangle was the Harris Bar, Kindal then the bar of the Hotel Ritz. His deer stag handle locking folder, with blade, saw, bottle opener and corkscrew, was his daily companion, he even packed his tobacco and curated his pipe with it. The stag’s wood cracked at the end with time and the tobacco was constantly caught in the cracks, obliging him to clean his knife regularly, he had the idea to place an ivory knob, coming from one of his African hunts probably.
Many years after his death, Mrs. May Kindal, found Hemingway’s knife at the bottom of a drawer, left there for maintenance.
She had him reborn by Jacques Mongin, knifemaker and Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
Since then, the Hemingway knife is sold exclusively by the Kindal cutlery.” Translated from Kindal.

I remember the first time I have seen Ray Mears on the TV. He was walking in the beautiful English countryside and he used one of his elegant Woodlore fixed blade to cut some plant and give some stories. Wait a minute, this guy is walking in the UK and carries a fixed blade in his pocket. But as a black belt in Judo he won’t go in trouble with bushcraft knife anyway.

In the city, knives are making conversations. So it will leave your hands for those of a friend who want to see it. And you will be sitting in the sun drinking a cappucino. So the knife needs to be beautiful and smooth and not aggressive in any way because it can be display in public like smartphones and cameras.

I also need the knife to be out of the way, because I carry stuffs in my pockets or I got a messenger back and it happen sometimes: the knife get hooked to something and falls. So the clip and the way to carry it needs to be secure.
It needs to be very sharp also. And stays sharp. Because I’m not going to show my honing and sharpening skills in the street and a dull edge is dangerous for your finger. So, a good geometry and a good steel. A knife thought to be used not only to be displayed.

So here are some examples.

The Delica in its Knifecenter Special Edition is my actual companion. This one is so sharp it goes beyond my scale. HAP40 can be thinly honed, it’s a true razor. More can be found on it following that link:

In the very highest performances you also got Pekka Tuominen little Wonder Nilakka. You can click on its link. Again a little big knife with performance and ergos which change the game of current gentlemen folders.

The Michael Walker is a rare Gem and this Sprint run has proven how excellent it was as a skinner for very serious hunters.

In the Slip It territory the Urban is the perfect companion unless one hand operation is forbidden by the law. The steel of this one just does wonder and I’m thinking a lot about testing the new Police Model…

One of my old little city companion has been that little Tim Wegner Mouse II knife.

Spyderco has covered all the ground about small knives to carry by men or women. The Dragonfly is one of their pure example of acceptable locking Clip It.

My friends Xavier Conil and Laurent Monnier propose an elegant not threatening folder: le Pointu.

This knife got no clip and is not one hand opening but I have bought it in South Africa at the Good Hope Cape’s shop. This is my Southern souvenir. It has no vertical play and got a story to tell.

respecting the Danish law, the Pingo is one of the solutions for having a clipped knife with no opening hole.  The hole here is only a trademark.
There is a Sprint run with Elmax blade and Titanium handle, I often look with envious eyes…

This one is French, it’s JD’s folder a Sacha Thiel which will be reviewed soon. The blade can be open with a gentle flick helped by the thumb and the deep pocket clip makes it disappears.

So here my knives for the city. My Griptilians are too tactical. My small Sebenza has been lost. I could dig my drawers for more but I think you were able to catch my drift.
Here is a following up about choosing a 3 inches folder.

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Tuscan Raider #2 – cheese and wine, boar, scorpion and Delica.

For now this post has only been edited on my smartphone. It’s more of a journal kind and some thoughts I wanted to share. It is the occasion also to share some pics of knives being used.

Once arrived in Tuscany one of the first duty of my Delica was to open a wooden crate.

Delica are thin bladed. Snapping the point is very easy.

The trick is not to apply leverage but simply to twist the blade. Even with a thin point you can apply a lot of torque. The crate was open easily.

The good thing with that knife is how well it is accepted by people and sheeples.

Tonight it has been borrowed a lot and ladies used it when a keen edge was requested.

Liver…

Boar and mash potatoes…

So far HAP40 is stainless from being used everyday as silverware. No patina has been spotted. It seems more resistant than CPM M4…

A delicacy from Naples.

Hard crust and soft inside. You need a very thin edge to cut all those blades of pasta’

The dog was playing with a scorpion. Nobody seems to care about it. But it was the chance for a bug picture…

Eventually the dog was alive despite annoying that poor scorpion for a very long time.

The scorpion escaped somewhere. Tuscany country life.

And as I’m writing now in the shade of the evening a mosquitoes has decided to taste my blood. Smallest animal are feeding in the biggest.

Sunday morning we will go hunting.

Tomorrow time to test the Euroedge.

Spyderco C11WDP Delica HAP40/SUS410 Pakkawood Handles, KnifeCenter Exclusive — Delicate Lady/Gentleman Folder.

20170912_120344-011509878026.jpeg If the Endura with Pekkawood handles is too big for you, there is the Delica alternative ! Again it is IMHO the best version ever made of that legendary folder. I have bought it from the Knifecenter and Howard Korn which is really proud of his exclusive version have buffed the handle to a beautiful result. The Delica is not only a shorten version of the Endura, it got a thinner blade which gives great slicing and whittling power. Again this exclusive version got the clad HAP40/SUS410 blade and it gives you a powder metalurgy high speed alloy in a very thin stock. The blade got also now more lateral strenght than pure stainless steel. On the Delica with its thinner stock, again this pure slicing wonder ! With a little time you can hone it in a true razor. wp-image-136639233 The Delica got that status of pure EDC as it is small enough to be accepted easily by sheeples. The handle adds a touch of class to this little workhorse and the special alloy blade gives more power to the “matter separator”. wp-image-325305067 This is little gem is just asking to be clipped and use. As you can notice there is no laynard hole on the version. That can be an issue for some people who use lanyard to retrieve the knife form their pocket and enhance the handle in length. It’s a matter of taste. I love lanyards on knives pictures but I don’t like them on my EDC and the Delica’handle is perfect for my hand. wp-image-149091807 I have kept the clip mounted for tip up carry, on the opposite of the Endura which I open with a Spyderdrop. But the Delica is so smooth that it can be “spyderdropped” too. wp-image-1199844387 Fit and finish are stellar and you can noticed the 0.5mm of difference in the blade’s stock. Also the full steel backspacegives a feeling of reliable and solid construction pushing the envelop in that great design. wp-image-258000545 You can notice the hole in the clip which is not in use when mounted on the knife butt compared to the Endura’s mounted on the axis clip. Again, you choose your ways they are four positions. All in all the Delica KnifeCenter’s special edition is an incredible EDC and a must for collector. It’s the kind of knife which can not leave your pocket as it’s flat, soft and precious and with the Endura it forms a true daishō (大小) !! wp-image-77962487 wp-image-1669896613 wp-image-175933760 Eventually after some carrying, I have found that tip down carry was fun. The Delica is one of the shortest Spyderco I can spyderdrop as easy and faster than my Millie. Adding a lot of fun! Also the edge once thinned can use the fact HAP40 is ready for a mini apex. I was cutting bottle my Zero Tolerance could not goo through.

Endura HAP40 blade and Pakkawood handle, sanded to my taste.

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The tools of the trade. Leather belts, sandpaper sheaths and coffee.
As usual I cannot let ma knife as provided by the factory and Pakkawood being a synthetic ersatz of wood, I wanted to see how it reacted under the sandpaper.

P500 Metal sandpaper is used just to round the facets into rounds. The Pakkawood is soft and it’s done without any kind of discoloration. It reacts a lot like Micarata. No smell.
Anyway I was holding my breath. Those dusts are unhealthy.

“If you have a buffing wheel, try polishing the wood handle – it buffs up beautifully with a XAM or green rouge compound.” said to me Howard Korn.

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Then I take the chance to sand the edge of the liners. It always great to feel an handle with not sharp edge. I have done also the same with the hole. I don’t want to chanfered it like on the AFCK but less edge makes my thumb safer. Remember, I was bite by the Tatanka hole once.

I have sand the spine to smooth it and then used some polish on leather to remove the sharpening scratches.
Eventually I have turn the Endura into a great razor which has be baptised with my blood for good measure. (I happen during the stropping…)

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Spyderco C10WDP Endura 4 HAP40/SUS410 Satin Plain Blade, Mahogany Pakkawood Handles KnifeCenter Exclusive — Wooden Wonder Perfection !

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We all know how knives get personnal items and how many times we touch them and use them. Synthetic material got their practical side but natural materials provide some spirit to a folder. It gives nobility, it gets some gentle patina over the years and it makes your personal knife much more personal and more precious. Pakkawood is synthetic but it gives than kind of feel, add a steel spacer and steel liners and you got a bank vault workhorse of the 4th generation !!
The legendary Endura and Delica has now provided as the exclusive batch at the Knifecenter and they are not only great Spyderco’s but also near perfection EDC.

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First thing to notice is: this is not your regular Endura. Like the Orange Sprint Run C10FPBORE, this C10WDP is offering one of the best blade ever made in Seki: HAP40 steel clad between SUS410. HAP40 is like CPM M4 an high speed tool steel created by particular metallurgy and made by Hitachi. In my book it means a strong edge who will not chipped even if ground thin.

Quoting Spyderco: “HAP40 is a semi stainless, powdered high speed steel (HSS) that takes and holds an edge better than any other steel available on our site. HAP40 is fine-grained enough to sharpen very well and rates 64-68 on the Rockwell Hardness Test (HRC)—even harder than the traditional carbon steels used for knives. We have specified a hardness of 65-66 HRC for our blades. Unlike other HSS steels, it can be relatively easily sharpened on normal waterstones, if not quite as easily as traditional carbon steels.

We think HAP40 holds the potential to become one of the best steels on the market for the production of high quality, high durability kitchen knives.”

Edited on the 8th of  October: Semi stainless ? With 4% of chrome ?
What I can witness is that my HAP40 does not want to develop a patina yet when CPM-M4  is staining easily.

Perharps HAP40 is not a Japanese CPM-M4 but something closer to acording to CPM® REX® 45(HS)CPM® REX® 45(HS):
CPM REX 45 is an 8% cobalt super high speed steel which has excellent hot hardness along with good wear resistance and toughness, making it suitable for difficult machining applications. Made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process, CPM REX 45 has good machinability and grindability characteristics.Typical ChemistryCarbon 1.30%Manganese 0.30% (0.70%)*Silicon 0.50%Chromium 4.05%Vanadium 3.05%Tungsten 6.25%Molybdenum 5.00%Cobalt 8.00%Sulfur 0.06% (0.22%)Typical ApplicationsBroaches Milling CuttersEnd Mills Extrusion PunchesForm Tools Shaper CuttersGear Hobs Taps* The addition of .20/.25 S in larger diameter rounds (e.g. 2-9/16″ and over) provides a uniform dispersion of small sulfides throughout the structure, resulting in machinability and grindability benefits with no deleterious effect on toughness.”

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It’s even better than my superblue Stretch in term of long last edge and certainly less prone to pit or stain. So, it’s much better.
So the fact that the blade is clad HAP40 is a good thing; you get toughness and flexibility where it counts  on the spine and rigidity where it counts on the cutting edge. (quoting Sickael a forumite)

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Talking about perfection in manufacturing: the blade is perfectly centered and there is zero vertical play !

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The steel spacer and skeletonized steel liners gives a very solid feel and a high quality feel. This is the same spacer as on the G10 Endura. It’s not butt heavy, the knife is well balanced. You can noticed how the adjustement between the liner and the spacer are perfectly done.

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Of course the factury edge was on the razor side of the scale. With such a special steel it could be thinned by some work on sand paper to de-shoulder it or kept this way.

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Even if the endura doesn’t have a choil, when closed the blade falls by inerty gently on the index. Making the closing safe and fast. Perfect !

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“The wood is Pakkawood which is a stabilized laminate of birch with stain, but it is the best material for knife handles. It never warps, absorbs water or changes in any way and it looks great. It also polishes up with a buffing wheel to a high gloss. They are totally made in Seki City and I love my Delica. ” Howard Korn – The Knifecenter of the Internet.
Nuff’s said. This is a labor of love. The wood is warm under the touch and provides enough traction for serious cutting job. This knife is a user, a beautiful and rare user. A classical design enhanced by the choice of materials.

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Compare to the Stretch and Millie the Endura is taking her place just in between. A little thicker than my Stretch and longer too.

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Compared to my Millie, the blade is thinner but provide almost the same working edge. The Endura has always been an impressive cutting machine confirmed by years of production and refinement.

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For a must shorter handle tha the Millie, you are pocketing a blade enough long to cut bagels in half or split a melon.

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But I have found that the jimping on the blade were a little too much aggressive and by rubbing against the pocket’s lips it could ruin your denim in a week.

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It was fixed by using some diamond file turning the 90° edge…

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into a smooth rounded one. It was done in 2 minutes. This is something I also made on my Millie, Paramillie… The hump’s jimping is always catching and wearing my pocket.

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Now I prefer Tip Down carry for Spyderdrops and it gives a reason to have this holl in the clip.

So here it is: the best Endura version with a great “Wow Factor”. Even sheeples love it. It’s not menacing, it’s all in elegance and choice in refinement. This is a stunning folder and a rare Endura giving you the chance to carry a Grandpa’ knife with the last technology.

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And now let’s start to use it. The kitchen is my battlefield as the knives are subject to their main purpose: cutting efficiently.

Let’s try this on code fish and tomatoes. The factory edge is “honest” but this steel begs for a thinner manifestation, better efficiency.

No stain and no risk for that hande, the wood is stabilized.

So let’s use some diamonds. De-shouldering the edge and creating an apex.
And then gently stropping on leather. The wine glass i not mandatory.
The day after I was sanding the scales !

From M2HSS to CPM-M4 — Hightech Peasant Knives and why I love them.

I always wanted a Old Timer feeling on a Nasa tool. Grandpa’s knife update, a workhorse with the latest tech but asking for the same care as the previous 20th century generation used to provide to their pocket knives.

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Back in the 90’s I was running after the Benchmade BM800HS AFCK and Mini AFCK BM812HS. (Yes, Sal Glesser was also involved in its design…) They were modern knives with titanium linerlocks but providing a High Speed Tool Steel a tungsten low chromium allow: M2 Speedstar.

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wp-image-1626599986The Nimravus in M2, and pictured : the mini Nimravus BM45HS.
It has been used a lot, isn’t it ?
The “M” M2 stands for molybdenum with 5% of it in the alloy and with 0.95% of carbon, 2% vanadium and 6% of Tungsten it should have been named T2.
“M2 is the “standard” and most widely used industrial HSS. It has small and evenly distributed carbides giving high wear resistance, though its decarburization sensitivity is a little bit high. After heat treatment, its hardness is the same as T1, but its bending strength can reach 4700 MPa, and its toughness and thermo-plasticity are higher than T1 by 50%. It is usually used to manufacture a variety of tools, such as drill bits, taps and reamers.”
For more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_steel

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Cuts in the wood were very special and left some kind of patina with M2 blades: it’s soft. Could it be the fine grain of the alloy, the tungsten carbids ? You can find set of chisels and woodturning tools in M2, some of high quality made in Sheffield, UK, but their main marketing quotes is that they last 6 times more than carbon steel which means nothing IMHO unless they use very soft low carbon steel for comparaison.
As M2HSS is not used anymore my present favorite knives are often made of CPM M4.

When the AFCK M2HSS was provided, its blade was coated. But where was the fun ? Patina is a much better coating in my book. The idea was to give to a very thin pointy knife more strenght as the current production was using mainly ATS-34. IMHO they had killed two birds with one stone by upgrading the steel to a non-stainless-steel.

wp-image-258869882Bud Nealy Pesh Kabz or Travel Knife in M2 the coating has been removed and the Mantra 2.

I was very happy with the Caly 3 in Super Blue Steel (until I lost her) but it was not as good as HS steel. Very angry edge for sure but not lasting like M2 or of course the hyper CPM M4. So for good measure I have invested in a Endura with HAP40: “Spyderco C10WDP Endura 4 Folding Knife 3.8″ HAP40/SUS410 Satin Plain Blade, Mahogany Pakkawood Handles, KnifeCenter Exclusive”.  I’m not in business with Howard of the Knifecenter but back in the 90’s I had designed their Logo !
HAP40 is an Hitachi steel which looks a lot like CPM M4 but with added 8% Cobalt and it is technically exactly what a High Tech Peasant Knife should be.
More to come when I will review it next week !