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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:03 am 
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"Convex edges are stronger than a conventional grind, get sharper, and wont roll over / chip out during hard use"

vs.

"Why in the fuck would you pay $150 for a knife with an edge you can't sharpen in the field without a leather pad and abrasive, or a mousepad and sandpaper, or all the things that are more complicated than a small $4 stone"



Discuss.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:03 pm 
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I have a $200 knife with a Full Convex grind. I thinned and flattened the area right above the edge so that I can sharpen it with anything. That carbon knife cuts like nobody's business. It's in my avatar. I also did the same thing to another Full Convex $100 whittling knife. Ease of sharpening, "and" convex grind combined.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Being that it is a stronger profile, it's good for chopping. The shape also promotes "seperation" of cut material better too - like when you are splitting wood or hacking through thick under growth. Good for axes and machetes. If you carry a convex profiled axe or machete, get your self a puck to sharpen it with too... or something that will help facilitate proper sharpening of a convex blade.

Not good for small knives geared towards general work though; albeit I am a scandi-nerd.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:50 pm 
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I'll be honest. My convex knives cut well, as do my conventional grind knives. Good steel, well maintained and sharp, simply does the job. I don't see one grind being better than another.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:16 pm 
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ninja-elbow wrote:
Being that it is a stronger profile, it's good for chopping. The shape also promotes "seperation" of cut material better too - like when you are splitting wood or hacking through thick under growth. Good for axes and machetes. If you carry a convex profiled axe or machete, get your self a puck to sharpen it with too... or something that will help facilitate proper sharpening of a convex blade.

Not good for small knives geared towards general work though; albeit I am a scandi-nerd.


Agreed whole-heartedly on the axe/hatchet. I just finished putting an edge on my hatchet last night, actually.

Its nigh-impossible to sharpen a convex knife with a puck though, I wrecked the edge on my bark river last year trying it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:26 pm 
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My only convex knife is my scramsaex "Big Tooth" that I used in my SCA days. Custom job by Micheal "Tinker" Pearce and built for fighting but will never taste that so used for chopping duties and mostly clearing black berry vines for camp sights and now lives on a display shelf waiting for when the giants arise again :P . I take it in to get it sharpened right when that needs to happen; no way in Hel will I'll do it myself. Unless I get a buffer wheel and such.

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Its nigh-impossible to sharpen a convex knife with a puck though, I wrecked the edge on my bark river last year trying it.


Speaking of Bark River - for those not in the know on how to sharpen a convex profile:
http://brkca.com/convex.htm
Works great for smaller blades but I just don't see the use of a smalleer convex blade.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:23 pm 
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I think Black Dog uses a convex edged knife for bushcrafty stuff. Maybe he might know? Like ninja-elbow I am of the scandi clan.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Well, I see a lot of people with Bark Rivers around here, and I know all of their stuff comes with a convex on it. I bought one, and learned how to keep it sharp both using leather and polishing compound as well as using a mousepad and 2000 grit sandpaper.

Neither one of those seem like they would be feasible for resharpening in the field, and I've certainly had to sharpen a knife in the field before.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Can't be beat for chopping hard stuff. Great for axes and bush knives, and swords, I suppose.
For anything that's not generally going to be hacked with, unneccessary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:52 pm 
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jamoni wrote:
Can't be beat for chopping hard stuff. Great for axes and bush knives, and swords, I suppose.
For anything that's not generally going to be hacked with, unneccessary.


Mike, have you ever figured out a good way to resharpen a convex knife in the field? a puck works great for touching up an axe or hatchet, but what about a bushknife?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:15 pm 
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crypto wrote:
jamoni wrote:
Can't be beat for chopping hard stuff. Great for axes and bush knives, and swords, I suppose.
For anything that's not generally going to be hacked with, unneccessary.


Mike, have you ever figured out a good way to resharpen a convex knife in the field? a puck works great for touching up an axe or hatchet, but what about a bushknife?

No, because I don't carry them. :) I only carry flat or scandi grinds.
For hatchets I just carry a fine file and a rough stone.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:52 pm 
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And yet every wintergheddon I see you trashing hatchets back into shape using my puck :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Jes' spit on it! << re puck and axe :o

If I needed a field kit to sharpen a small convex blade like a BR, I'd do like some of the altoids kits people build with strips of varying sandpaper grits and a chunk of mouse pad backing that you can lay flat on top of the tin. Check out this BCUSA thread:
http://www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/showt ... hp?t=53435

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:46 am 
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ninja-elbow wrote:
...

If I needed a field kit to sharpen a small convex blade like a BR, I'd do like some of the altoids kits people build with strips of varying sandpaper grits and a chunk of mouse pad backing that you can lay flat on top of the tin. Check out this BCUSA thread:
http://www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/showt ... hp?t=53435


I put together a kit like this for my BOB.

In my limited experience so far, a good knife made from good steel would need little more than a few passes over a leather strop to bring it back to working sharp - provided the edge is maintained.


Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but when I sharpen my "conventional" blades using a stone, the "V" bevel eventually become slightly convexed anyway (compound bevel?). I couldn't imagine doing this any better in a field environment. And certainly not any better with a $4 stone.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:21 pm 
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I think Coal-Cracker bumped right up into it. How can you free hand sharpen a knife with a stone an not have it turn out convex over time? Maybe just maybe in this time of high speed data flying around the world we over think this stuff just a little too much.

Now for a little time machine stuff. I became a Eagle Scout in 1972 so have been screwing around with knives since the mid 60s or so (a bit before the invention of mouse pads any way).

:::::Just as a big fat giant disclaimer:: I have never become any type of knife expert in all that time. Types of steel and all the 101 kinds of grinds and sharpening methods are pretty much Greek to my hillbilly ass, really I just don't care all that much.::::::

Standard practice back in ancient Hooterville was to draw the knife towards you leading with the spine. Now this will convex the blade automatically over time unless you have magic cyborg vision and control (for what its worth I never even heard the term convex or bushcraft either for that matter until the invention of the WWW.) Take a peek at your grandfather's (or maybe great grandfather ,,, yikes the years they do roll on) well used knife or even a well used knife in a museum and tell me what type of edge is on it

Back to present time, I am thankful I guess that the guys with the machines take care of the hard part and just leave the maintenance to me.

Don't get me wrong, a mouse pad is great, but not 100% required. How much cutting action and coarseness of the stone is required is determined by the amount of the blade's wear and tear. Just draw the spine towards you while rolling the the blade (just like you would with a pad) until you start to catch the edge a little bit. Get a wire or burr. Clean up the wire or burr with very fine stone and/or a strop. The end.

Doing a pull and roll often with a real fine stone keeps this from becoming a chore.

Lately I have been using one of the Viking stones that Ragnar sells for quick touch ups and maintenance (AKA screwing around while walking the dogs). Kind of thought it might be a toy, but guess what?? it's not.

Here is a knife that a Uncle gave me sometime in the 60s. It was convex when I got it and remains that way. Pretty sure that my Uncle would have no idea what the heck you were talking about if you were to mention the word convex in relation to a knife.

Image

Here is a recent (as in today at work) example of field repair and sharpening of a convex edge. Pictured is a wee little Barkie that I managed to drop a fair distance onto a tile floor. The fall broke a little off the tip and squished the edge up in that area quite a bit. I reshaped the broken tip in a kind of circular cutting process and then rough sharpened the blade (first picture shows the in progress stage) by the pull and roll method until I got a wire and then got rid of the wire with the finer side of the stone. No strops, no pads, fairly quick and no problem, the blade remains convex (just a little ugly bugly if that matters to you) The damaged area cut these curls and is sharp enough for field work. 15 or 20 minutes tops from broken to convex and sharp enough to work with using just a stone. If I want to sit down with a mouse pad and sand paper or even a nice say Fallkniven DC4 later I can do so at my leisure.

Image

Image


Now for just a little experiment:: Net time you pick up a brand new, Oh lets say a Mora take a real close look at the edge and see if you can see that super wee little (convex I believe but could be wrong and blind as a bat as well) edge the factory throws on that scandi before it rolls on out the door. As a final thought:: I do really like a scandi edge too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Shit, thanks BD.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Coal-Cracker wrote:
ninja-elbow wrote:
...

If I needed a field kit to sharpen a small convex blade like a BR, I'd do like some of the altoids kits people build with strips of varying sandpaper grits and a chunk of mouse pad backing that you can lay flat on top of the tin. Check out this BCUSA thread:
http://www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/showt ... hp?t=53435


I put together a kit like this for my BOB.

In my limited experience so far, a good knife made from good steel would need little more than a few passes over a leather strop to bring it back to working sharp - provided the edge is maintained.


Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but when I sharpen my "conventional" blades using a stone, the "V" bevel eventually become slightly convexed anyway (compound bevel?). I couldn't imagine doing this any better in a field environment. And certainly not any better with a $4 stone.

Practice. :)
Yes, your bevel will have a slight convex edge to it after a while. Every so often I'll use a rough stone to reprofile the bevel, then progressively re sharpen. When I do it, I usually thin out the main bevel so my secondary bevel doesn't get huge.
(EDIT: Yes, most of my knives are scratched up and ugly as shit. But they're sharp!)

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Realistically, I think I can launch a nine pound chain saw at 50 fps from a shoulder mounted rubber powered bazooka...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:51 am 
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First post here. The subject of convex grinds lured me in. Since pretty much the only knives I bother using anymore are all convex grinds, I thought I'd share a few things based on my experience with them:

It is a total misconception, but a common one, that convex grinds are "hard to sharpen in the field." In fact, they are really quite easy, if they are properly maintained, and if you make sure that you are heading into the field with an already sharp knife (and really, shouldn't you be doing this regardless of the grind?). And, of course, this is all assuming you are sticking to the kind of tasks that are "proper" field knife tasks, and not doing some of the innapropriate and dumbass things that knives were never intended for, but that you see demonstrated by "experts" on the interwebs...

I have yet to find any reason to carry sandpaper or a mousepad, etc. in my pack while in the field, even on multi-day trips, though I may have those items with me back in my vehicle or basecamp (rarely needed). I carry a small leather strop in my pack, pre-loaded on each side with two different types of compound, in a zip-loc bag. And that's all. Fine grit sandpaper is really only for edges that need to be "brought back" from a more significant state of dullness, to be followed by stropping to finish the edge. For a convex edge that has just experienced some normal field wear, stropping is really all you need in my experience. Another advantage to ease of sharpening in the field with convex edges is that precise blade angle is not as critical as it is with conventional edges (hence many conventional edges inadvertently becoming convex over time...)

Full convex grinds make for an extremely tough edge (more steel behind the edge), and when combined with a high quality carbon steel like A-2 or CPM-3V, will maintain their edge integrity longer through hard field use than any other grind I have experience with. I honestly just don't find that I need to do that much sharpening with them in the field, other than a little strop touch-up now and then. Do the work at home, before you head out into the field, and there is usually very little else to do, in my experience.

In addition, the notion that convex grinds are only useful for "hacking" or chopping tasks, indicates a misunderstanding, or lack of experience with them. As with any other type of grind, there is still a spectrum of blade thickness to be found, depending on the knife type. While thicker convex blades are an excellent choice for chopping, batoning, etc, a "thin" convex-ground blade is every bit as effective for finer, slicing tasks, and something in between is an ideal all-arounder. Convex grinds are, imo, superior for just about every type of field task there is, due to their inherent edge strength, geometry and ease of maintenance.

So, to answer the question, "Why in the fuck would you pay $150 for a knife with an edge you can't sharpen in the field without a leather pad and abrasive, or a mousepad and sandpaper, or all the things that are more complicated than a small $4 stone?:"

You CAN sharpen them in the field, and it's actually quite easy, with a little practice. And a piece of leather and some compound is hardly more expensive, or any more complicated, than a stone (and lighter, if you're backpacking). And there you have it. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:51 pm 
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For a little bit of an offshoot, my hard use knives aren't fully convex, but have a biggish microbevel on them. Same general benefits as convex, but simpler to do with a plain old flat stone if that's what you're proficient at. Same thoughts as smithhammer too, I've never really had problems with my edges getting too nasty when out in the field cos they last so long, just do a good job at home on it and you're fine. Plus because the bevel you're working on is so small it's real quick to get that little area good as new again.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Convex vs other grinds is a complex topic, partially since there is no one type of convex, but different types of convex blade that function differently.

Image

The image above is from a great explanation on http://forum.grtc.org/viewtopic.php?p=6041 of convex blade design and what these different convex edges are good for. This is from a Chinese sword site rather than knife site, so is more geared toward sword folks. However the different convex shapes still applies.

There is also the difference between a true convex grind and a convex bevel.

Image

All this makes judging convex vs other grinds difficult as it is different depending upon what sort of convex your talking about.

For me I really like convex edges, and prefer them generally to other grinds. I will mod most my knives to a convex bevel almost immediately after buying them if not a full convex grind. Though full convex grind is not always possible to put on a knife not made for it.

As for field sharpening a convex edge, I have had no trouble with doing so, but then that might also be my long experience in convex sharpening due to being a sword enthusiast and doing plenty of convex sharpening. For me the rocking of the blade on a sharpening stone to make a proper convex is natural.

But also just good maintenance helps, keeping the blades honed and never letting them get dull. A small leather strop or even a piece of denim can be used to hone your edge on a convex knife easily if you have practiced with it.

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