Hawkbill utility

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
olywa
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Hawkbill utility

Postby olywa » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:31 pm

Hawkbills are one of the few blade types I've never really explored. However, I was intrigued enough by the all the praise on this forum for the Ladybug Salt Hawkbill to pick one up. I've been alternating fifth pocket carry between it and my Manbug Wharnie for a coupla weeks now and though I find them both to be pretty useful for general EDC use, I still prefer the little Wharnie overall.

That being said, I want to explore Hawkbills further and I'm thinking of picking up a Tasman Salt PE and putting a coarse edge on it. I would prefer that to using and maintaining a serrated edge. I have absolutely no need for it in a defensive capacity so I'm wondering about other's experience using one of these for EDC general use, if there is indeed a case to be made. Tell me what I've been missing and why I should just go ahead and pull the trigger.

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wrdwrght
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby wrdwrght » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:37 pm

The essence of a hawkbill is that it gathers what you want to cut, and will cut what you have gathered simply by continuing your pull.
-Marc (pocketing a Slysz SwayBack today)

olywa
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby olywa » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:49 pm

Thanks, I get that part and Mr. Janich goes over that and its' defensive capabilities very thoroughly in videos I've watched. I'm just curious about any other capabilities I may not have considered. Maybe I'm overthinking this.

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Superflex
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby Superflex » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:50 pm

My wife uses her DF hawkbill for work at the garden center trimming plants.
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FK
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby FK » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:20 pm

When I was in the Navy, met some Marine snipers who liked the hawkbill for trimming small foliage from their line of sight in sniper positions. Easy to reach forward with one hand and remove weeds, small branches, etc.

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby ZrowsN1s » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:30 pm

I've got just about every hawkbill Spyderco makes. (Only missing a harpy and the discontinued superhawk).

Seems like you've got a grasp of the general function. Material won't slide off the edge like with a traditional knife. That can be advantageous in some tasks. In particular when you need to cut away from something as opposed to into something. Especially if you need to get under or behind something and pull it towards you. Like cutting a rope, or a strap, a seatbelt, even clothing in a rescue situation. The curve allows you to get under and behind what you need to cut, and allows you to make the cut towards you and away from the thing you dont want to damage. Pull cutting lets you put more force into the cuts as well.

In IT I often had to cut zip ties off bundled cables. This wasn't possible with a regular knife without accidentally damaging the cables. I'd use the tip of my Hawkbill Dragonfly or ladybug to hook under the zip tie. The flat spine of the knife was against the cables so no danger of cutting them, then I'd pull cut it towards me and away from the cable (it takes a bit of force to pop off a zip tie even with a sharp knife).

I also had to regularly open boxes that had things like monitors and other things you didn't want to damage inside. In much the same way as I cut the zip ties, I could use the tip of the hawkbill to to make a shallow cut into the box or package keeping the spine facing the inside, then basically cutting up from the inside of the box outward.

Another use you may not think of is using the tip to reach things on high shelves, like a role of paper towels thats just out of reach. Did that this morning with my Matriarch :rofl


........................
Besides the regular hawkbills I've also used the Karahawk Karambit as a Utility knife with great results, it was designed for defense, but the wave opener, retention ring, and powerful leverage make it a superior Utility knife.

I'm also far from the first person to do so, here's a great old thread about using the Karahawk as a warehouse knife.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=88202&p=1473492
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James Y
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby James Y » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:54 pm

I use my SE Tasman a lot for yardwork, including pruning vines in my yard; both my own and my neighbors' passion fruit vine that grows over my fence (though I get free fruit out of it). The hawkbill works much better for this type of work than a wharncliffe blade, IME.

Jim

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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby James Y » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:17 pm

Not Spydercos, but hawkbills…

https://youtu.be/-TJ6h6firVo

Jim

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Evil D
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby Evil D » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:19 pm

All blade shapes tend to work good/better/best at certain types of cuts, this is something we're all fairly familiar with on some level. It shouldn't take much explaining for example to tell you that a hawkbill isn't going to work very well for dicing veggies. A hawkbill blade shape gives sacrifices a lot of versatility in favor of making one type of cut really well, and that's pull cutting. Think about every predator on Earth that utilizes claws as part of their hunting tool set. A hawkbill practically grabs material as you cut it, and creates a mechanical leverage when making a draw slice since the leverage increases throughout the slicing motion towards the tip of the blade. The blade tip can also provide a weird sort of grabbing action in some situations where you can't hold the material with your off hand, allowing you to more effectively get the cut done in a pull cut where other blade shapes would most likely slip off the material and fail to make the cut. When you add serrations to all of this they multiply the whole effect and compound the cutting aggression.

All of that in a Ladybug just makes for a very aggressive cutting knife in a tiny package.

The question, or rather obvious thing to consider I guess, would be if pull cuts are something you do often enough that sacrificing the other types of cutting situations you may encounter are worth the advantages to you or not. I see a hawkbill as more of a specialized tool rather than an EDC option, because I often need to make stabbing cuts into things and hawkbills aren't the best at that. I've also found that a wharnie/sheepsfoot with a bit of negative blade angle can do pull cuts almost as well without sacrificing quite as much versatility. Overall a hawkbill is definitely a fun design that everyone should try out though, why limit yourself to a whole collection of the same general blade shape knives?
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olywa
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby olywa » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:31 pm

All very helpful, thanks guys. I figured that I'd want to carry a hawkbill in conjunction with my regular carry blade(s), so your examples really resonate with me. I look forward to picking up a black Tasman Salt and putting it to work.

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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby Blnd » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:40 pm

Spyderco’s hawkbill designs tend to not allow the blade to be deeply seated in the handle when closed. This means that stuff can get wedged in or that you have much less wiggle room before you have a blade that can cut you. They CAN open up in the pocket inadvertently and they CAN cut you (ask me how I know). Just something to consider.

olywa
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby olywa » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:43 pm

Good reminder! I noticed a couple where I could see daylight between the blade and handle when closed.

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ladybug93
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby ladybug93 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:53 pm

i tend to pull cut for most of my edc cutting tasks. i like the control when opening packages, etc. i find the ladyhawk perfect for this and i really appreciate the cutting power of the spyderedge in the hawkbill. i don't think i would like a pe hawkbill as much. and the sharpmaker makes keeping it sharp easy.
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skeeg11
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby skeeg11 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:35 pm

Blnd wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:40 pm
Spyderco’s hawkbill designs tend to not allow the blade to be deeply seated in the handle when closed. This means that stuff can get wedged in or that you have much less wiggle room before you have a blade that can cut you. They CAN open up in the pocket inadvertently and they CAN cut you (ask me how I know). Just something to consider.
File down the kick so that there is no visible daylight between the blade and handle. Easy peasy.

zhyla
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby zhyla » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:40 pm

olywa wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:31 pm
putting a coarse edge on it. I would prefer that to using and maintaining a serrated edge
Well... the most efficient way to sharpen a hawkbill plain edge is with a Sharpmaker stone. So you might as well get it serrated. I think hawkbills make the most sense serrated.

olywa
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby olywa » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:42 pm

Yeah, but I've been drinking the Vivi koolaid so I'm gonna order the PE Tasman and put a coarse edge on it. I've been impressed with how it's doing on a VG-10 Endura so far.

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Airlsee
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby Airlsee » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:46 pm

Don't forget about the Byrd Hawkbill, fantastic budget blade (SE only).
So it goes.

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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby prndltech » Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:55 pm

Airlsee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:46 pm
Don't forget about the Byrd Hawkbill, fantastic budget blade (SE only).
I came here to say this. I recommend it over the tasmans!
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The Meat man
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby The Meat man » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:22 pm

prndltech wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:55 pm
Airlsee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:46 pm
Don't forget about the Byrd Hawkbill, fantastic budget blade (SE only).
I came here to say this. I recommend it over the tasmans!
100% !
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

skeeg11
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Re: Hawkbill utility

Postby skeeg11 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:41 pm

prndltech wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:55 pm
Airlsee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:46 pm
Don't forget about the Byrd Hawkbill, fantastic budget blade (SE only).
I came here to say this. I recommend it over the tasmans!
Kinda refreshing to discover someone who agrees with me. :winking-tongue


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