Tag Archives: Howard Korn

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 C81CF52100P2 52100 Exclusive Run – New Old Timer Workhorse !

I love Grandpa’s knives in a modern form, like the AFCK in M2HSS twenty years ago. But I was not able to jump on bandwagon to catch a Military in 52100. Lucky me, soon a Paramillie II designed by Sal and Eric Glesser was able with the same Carbon Fiber handles and the same 52100 blade.

“52100 is a very good steel for cutting organic material. If you stay with organic material it will edge hold very well.
I use it for a core steel on high carbon pattern welded laminate. My competition cutters are a laminate of 15n20-52100-15n20.” Ed Schempp

“52100 is a ball bearing steel. Most ball bearing steels make pretty decent blade steel. Especially where edges are concerned. It is my favorite steel to forge. It is hard to find in sheet. Actually, I would like to do a run of a model in 52100, but I’d prefer to make it in Golden, so it will be a year or so.”   Sal

Ed Fowler in his many articles in Blade Magazine and his books introduced me in the “magic” of 52100. Also my first blades in 52100 are my two gifted Lil Blue II made by my friend Ray Kirk of Raker knivesRaker knives. Ed as a cowboy and Ray as a Native American ? Made in Golden ? This knife is the true heir of American traditional blades !

“52100 is the steel of which most of the bearings used in all walks of life today are made. Civilization rides on 52100 steel. If it were less than reliable, another steel would be used instead. I have used 52100 exclusively in my knives for the past five years. I have forged many bearings into blades. I have given my blades every opportunity to fail, subjecting them to rigorous, destructive tests. I have found 52100 to be the cleanest, most uniform steel that I have ever used. Properly forged and heat treated, 52100 produces a high-performance blade that knows no peers. I have reached this conclusion based upon extensive personal research, testing knives for the things that they need to do in the real world of knife function.

Bearing-quality 52100 steel blades are tough and normally pass the 90° flex test without cracking or breaking. Their strength is evidenced by the force required to flex them.

I demand three levels of performance from any knife intended for serious use. First, it must have the ability to cut and cut well. Second, the blade must be tough. By tough I mean it must flex without breaking like a piece of glass. Last, but not least, it must be relatively easy to sharpen. Through the years, I have tried many steels and heat-treating methods and have tested the results by cutting a lot of rope and breaking many blades. Some combinations have cut extremely well, but have
broken or chipped when subjected to hard use. Drawn to a point where they were tough, these blades were too soft to cut effectively. I had settled upon one steel that when properly forged and heat treated cut very well. I had invested a great amount of time and effort getting the most out of that steel, so I was reluctant to change.

The nature of 52100 has changed drastically since that first bearing was made more than 100 years ago. Bearings are performance oriented, and those that last and gain a reputation for high performance are in demand. Every bearing is, by nature of its job description, routinely tested to its limit of performance. Competition is based solidly upon quality steel, and the outfit that makes the best steel enjoys a ready market for its product. Quality control is a high priority in the manufacture of bearing steel.

In addition to everything else, 52100 is easy to work, grind, and heat treat. Even less than perfect heat treatment can result in a good knife, though it never should be said that bladesmiths should settle for simply “good enough.” As the knifemaker’s skills develop, the performance potential of the steel will offer ample room for growth.
The high chrome content of 52100 promotes a beautiful mirror polish and enhances the steel’s machinability. The 1 percent carbon is more than can go into solution in the steel. However, unlike 1095, which has about the same amount of carbon, the excess carbon in 52100 also has 1.5 percent chrome to react with to make chromium carbides that can enhance cutting performance.
The “Cadillac of steels,” 52100 has been and continues to be one of the cleanest blade materials suitable for cutlery. Its primary use demands great care in manufacture. It’s also extremely versatile. For example, I’m aware of one man who makes
“52100 has been and continues to
be one of the cleanest steels suitable for cutlery.”

Ed Fowler, the lover of 52100 ball-bearing steel, sheep horn, and dedication to the functional knife.

For Sal Glesser, the functionnal knife is carbon fiber handle and impervious to wear and tear. CF got that magic to age great even after some falls on concrete.

As you can notice mine came perfectly centered. The Colorado Plant is now bringing perfect quality controls and a love to details you can appreciate in all angles.
The action is smooth ans the blade can fall by gravity when the lock is released.
As on the Yojimbo2 the compression is lock provides an action which is one of the smoothest out of the box but othing new about that.

Ok time to smooth the peel ply CF for saving my trousers from being filed and also smooth the hump which catch my pocket’s lip. Sandpaper at 500 has been used.

For the hump, like on my previous Paramillie, a diamond file is mandatory. 15 minutes later it’s much better !

Then, knowing 52100’s fun is the fact it can get a patina very quick, green lemon juice was used to start a gentle patina.

For good measure I wanted to compare how a 1075 carbon steel Opinel and that 52100 knife will react to the lemon juice.

In the same time I could try the new Double Stuff 2, Howard korn from the Knifecenter of The Internet has just offered me.

I was able to remove the shoulder and convexe my grind in a pair of minutes. Then with the white ceramic it was own to a mirror polish.
This is true 52100 get polished very easily. And the edge is like a mirror after some pass on leather. So this is also going to be fun.

WIth the lemon juice drying on its size, a patina soon appears.

And I was able to get a nice contrats with the convexed edge.

The knife bites in the wood like an hungry edge will. This should be a dream for Bushcrafters to get that kind of steel on such a modern and reliable plateform.
It can be turned into beyond razor very easily just by stropping my new convexed edge.
Yes, so easy to get it dangerously sharp and whittling hairs !!

The good thing also is that 52100 is supposed to be tougher than S30V and the thin point of the Paramillie needs plenty of strenght. Now I wonder what is the HRC of that blade.

I also like the matte black clip provided. It’s made for a low profile EDC.

It seems like the 1075 is getting drak faster than the 52100 as the wipe marks are visible on the Opinel blade.

So the Paramillie 2 is now ready to get some used. I will go near the Ocean for four days at the end of the week. It will be occasio to test it in a humid and salty environment.

 

 

The new king of bottle butt cutting is my Opinel N°12. It goes through plastic like in butter. The Paramillie is stuck but slowly and steady goes through.
But so far nothing beats the Nilakka or the Opinel in that exercise.
But the 52100 will be slowly more thinned for that matter. 52100 is a steel to be thinned on the edge.

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Cutting bread is another great test. The cruch is hard and the inside is soft. That’s why Opinel are great on that too. But here the Paramillie is also reliable.
52100 is “alive” . It means it needs care and the patina will evolve in time.
I have greased the pivot and now the cheese is greasing the blade. Let’s not forget Carbon Steel folders have been in use much more longer than stainless steel. Roman folders have been found in archeologic sites. So this Eric and Sal design enhanced by this bold move — bringing 52100 to a modern folder — is all an adventure !!
So…
“New” because it’s a new idea to give ball bearing steel to a tactical folder when the tendance is to S35V and M390 manufactured in China (Don’t mistake me I do love my Falcon). “Old Timer” remembering the Schrade 1095 collection made in the USA and Workhorse because this is a knife made to be used not kept in a safe. It needs to be oiled and sharpened and used and oiled and honed…
More to come !!

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I remove the edge’s shoulder with the diamond side of a Double Stuff 2. I do that until I got a burr.

Doing it without guide, free hands, gives a gentle convex edge.
Then I use the white ceramic to erase the deep diamonds cuts.
And then leather stropping. On 52100 it is a breeze to do.
Now it can whittling hairs.

 

And for good vintage look, some P1000 sand paper on the clip will age it.
But rust could be a problem in the pivot area… as shown on part II.

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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.

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 !