Plain Edged Hawkbills: What Advantages? Uses?

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JD Spydo
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Plain Edged Hawkbills: What Advantages? Uses?

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:24 am

Being the devout Hawkbill fan/enthusiast that I am I will admit that even though I own a few "plain edged Hawkbill" blades I don't use them nearly as often as I do the serrated, Spyderedged versions. Personally I find many more viable uses for the fully serrated Hawkbills and I also find them to be super cutters/rippers for very difficult cutting jobs that you wouldn't normally even consider for most standard blade designs.

I do find some uses for plain edged Hawkbill blades and I do use my blue VG-10 Spyderhawk on certain jobs that I don't use anything else for. One is my fall harvest ( shortly coming up) of persimmons, apples, pears that I enjoy yearly here in the good ol' state of Missouri here in the great USA.

But most of the time when I use a Hawkbill it is one with Spyderedged teeth. I've talked to at least 3 of you who actually swear by plain edged Hawkbills over the serrated versions. So tell us what cutting jobs you use plain edged Hawkbills for? Also tell us of any advantages you feel that the plain edged versions have.

I still lament the fact that the Superhawk model was never made available in Spyderedge. Maybe the great Spyder factory could tell us why they chose to do that? OK so what's up with plain edged Hawkbills?
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Postby Evil D » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:33 am

I'd say cleaner cuts and ease of sharpening are my biggest reasons but hawkbills do shine brightest with serrations. I'd still like to have a PE hawkbill Ladybug.
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Small Hawkbill? Other brands of Hawkbills?

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:52 am

Evil D wrote:I'd say cleaner cuts and ease of sharpening are my biggest reasons but hawkbills do shine brightest with serrations. I'd still like to have a PE hawkbill Ladybug.
"Pull cutting" has some distinct advantages for sure whether or not you use SE or PE>> but again I find that the Spyderedge for pull cutting has many more advantages. But hey I'm all ears today and if any of you can enlighten me on the virtues of a Plain edged Hawkbill and what advantages you've discovered I'll sure listen to what you all have to say.

Now EVIL D you most certainly have my curiosity going>> because to tell you the truth I've never used a Hawkbill smaller than a Harpy or Tasman. Because small blades just don't cut it ( no pun intended) compared to mid sized and full sized Hawkbills. But I really don't even like extra small standard blades either. So tell me some advantages you have with a small Hawkbill like the one you've mentioned?

Also boys and girls you don't have to limit this thread to Spyderco's great Hawkbills which I undoubtedly believe to be the best. I would also like to hear what other brands you all have had luck with particularly in the plain edged variant.
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Postby sharpguitarist » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:34 am

Hey guys,
Here's one of my non Spyderco hawk bills in pe.

Image

I don't edc it anymore because of it's collectability.
It worked great for pull cuts on packaging, but I bought it because it looked so bad a**ed.
Just wanted to share.
Later,
Don
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Postby Evil D » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:08 am

JD Spydo wrote:"Pull cutting" has some distinct advantages for sure whether or not you use SE or PE>> but again I find that the Spyderedge for pull cutting has many more advantages. But hey I'm all ears today and if any of you can enlighten me on the virtues of a Plain edged Hawkbill and what advantages you've discovered I'll sure listen to what you all have to say.

Now EVIL D you most certainly have my curiosity going>> because to tell you the truth I've never used a Hawkbill smaller than a Harpy or Tasman. Because small blades just don't cut it ( no pun intended) compared to mid sized and full sized Hawkbills. But I really don't even like extra small standard blades either. So tell me some advantages you have with a small Hawkbill like the one you've mentioned?

Also boys and girls you don't have to limit this thread to Spyderco's great Hawkbills which I undoubtedly believe to be the best. I would also like to hear what other brands you all have had luck with particularly in the plain edged variant.
I do almost nothing but pull cuts and occasionally push cuts...very rarely do i have a need to do the sawing motion that serrations seem to really excel at. Also i generally cut corrugated more than anything, and i just prefer a smooth slices over a jagged rip that i tend to get with serrations. I bought a H1/SE/HB Ladybug a while back because i wanted to try out H1, and i figured serrations is the way to go with H1, and i've always believed that a hawkbill is just one large serration itself, so having a serration full of smaller serrations seems like a logical winner. In the end, that Ladybug compared to the slicing ability of my ZDP Ladybug is just no contest (as far as what I cut the most that is). You might attribute that to the thinner grind of the ZDP version..i dunno. My interest in a PE/HB Ladybug is just that i really like the Ladybug, and the HB blade is very useful for pull cutting corrugated, and i think i'd be happier with the best feature of both knives...the hook action of the HB combined with a thinner slicing profile. I think it would give a smoother, less resistant cut.
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Postby The Deacon » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:57 am

Easier to maintain, although the trade off for that is the need for more frequent sharpening. Smoother, cleaner cuts with less likelihood of producing chaff. Probably not important if you're cutting rope, but can be if you're cutting open a plastic bag containing food. Less likely to snag in certain materials, although the tradeoff there is less efficient cutting of others. Like all plain edge blades, they allow you to cut by pushing something against the edge with your thumb, doing that with any serrated blade invites puncture wounds. Granted, that's a technique most often used in food prep, for which hawkbills are not well suited, but it's still a potential advantage. Like everything else about knives, advantage and disadvantage are not constants, they're situational.
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Postby JD Spydo » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:31 pm

sharpguitarist wrote:Hey guys,
Here's one of my non Spyderco hawk bills in pe

I don't edc it anymore because of it's collectability.
It worked great for pull cuts on packaging, but I bought it because it looked so bad a**ed.
Just wanted to share.
Later,
Don
"Sharpguitarist" if I wasn't a completely saturated Spyder-head and didn't devote 90% to 95% of the cutlery I buy/use/collect and admire being Spyderco then Microtech would probably be one of the competitor's brands of blades I would be going after.

No doubt about it that is a beautiful PE Hawkbill and I do thank you for sharing that masterpiece with us. I just recently visited a good friend I hadn't seen in quite a while and he was showing off a fixed blade Al Mar Hawkbill which was one of the main inspirations I had for starting the Fixed Blade Hawkbill thread. There are other companies starting to get into Hawkbill territory but they are in no hurry about it and the most of them are treading lightly.

Spyderco is still the master of Hawkbills as of this day>> but others are starting to realize the potential that Hawkbill blades have. Now I guess I sort of see why our resident Hawkbill expert i.e. Dr. Hannibal Lecter always went ape over the PE Harpy and PE Spyderhawk. But that still doesn't excuse Spyderco for not making an SE version of the Superhawk IMO. I know there are more of you Hawkbill fans out there so let us know where you stand.
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Postby sharpguitarist » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:02 pm

Hey JD,
Thanks for the compliment!
The Kestrel is one of my grails.
I got a great deal on it about ten years ago. A closeout for $110.00.
It's an awesome knife, with fantastic fit and finish, very solid lockup, and attitude!
The lock is unique in that the bar is hinged and has a coil spring behind it to engage the lock.
It has a very gratifying thwack when it engages.
Thanks for looking!
Later,
Don
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Postby Blerv » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:21 pm

They seem to be better shirt tag and box tape openers. Also better for envelopes.

It's not exactly the diesel that a serrated knife is. That said, little more civil for a relaxing commute :)
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Postby JD Spydo » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:33 am

Blerv wrote:They seem to be better shirt tag and box tape openers. Also better for envelopes.

It's not exactly the diesel that a serrated knife is. That said, little more civil for a relaxing commute :)
Hey Blerv I like your parody of SE Hawkbills being equivalent to a "diesel">> "running steady and pulling hard" :cool: I never actually thought of it that way but it's truly apropos for their ideal cutting chore purposes :D

I am a bit surprised however that this thread hasn't gotten any more hits as of this time :confused: Because the way everyone seems to gravitate to plain edged Spyders of all types I thought this would be a thread we would hear from many more who are normally on the sidelines.

One of my PE Hawkbills I really like to experiment with is my PE yellow Tasman. It's so unbelievably versatile for peeling apples and tomatoes. and it takes a pretty good edge when using diamond sharpening equipment. But my blue VG-10 PE Spyderhawk is the "bomb" of all PE Hawkbills at this time.
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Postby Blerv » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:15 am

Haha thanks :) .

Personally my dream hawk combo would be a large blade in serrated and a small in PE. The serrated models ability to do massive amounts of aggressive work is just superior. Perhaps the folks who prefer to keep their main blade sharp would go with a serrated small one instead. Having both edges is very beneficial and as you said some things (like peeling an apple) just can't be done properly with teeth.

Of all my knives two have seen a ton of cardboard duty. A SE Dragonfly and SE Ladybug. I'm sure a snobby steel Para would have been just as good sharpened nicely but there is something about a blade with teeth that just seems to want to get used :) .
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Postby Studey » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:27 am

I agree that serrated hawkbills excel in rough cutting, but an advantage I've found when using my plain Tasman as compared to its serrated counterparts is in push cutting. Now this is a bit different than push cutting with a straight blade. What I'm referring to is pushing the tip of the hawkbill into a medium and then pushing the edge through the rest of the way. Sort of the opposite of a pull cut. A serrated blade can certainly do this, but it tends to snag heavily as compared to my PE Tasman.

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Postby Rutgrr » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:30 am

Manbug Hawk anyone? :D
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Postby O,just,O » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:10 pm

JD Spydo wrote: So tell me some advantages you have with a small Hawkbill like the one you've mentioned?
I have 2 black FRN Ladybug hawkbills. When the knife first came out I jumped at it & got 2 because I could see how much LBK was in that package.
Here in Australia with our knife laws the way that they are this little knife is the ideal to carry unobtrusively & use palmed where no one even sees it. It is so small & appears (to those who don't know) to be a bit a joke knife.
We who own & use them know just how much of a cut they can pull. Amazing LBK.
O.

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Postby Lord vader » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:31 pm

The biggest advantage I see that a plain edge has over the Spyderedge,it`s easier to do a non stop pull cut on things that require clean cuts.The spyderedge requires more of a sawing back and forth motion,which is good if your cutting ropes or small limbs on bushes or trees.

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Postby Donut » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:13 pm

JD, I don't have any PE hawkbills, but I think the advantage to them is purely in "purchasing" power. What other blade shape can you penetrate a flat object as well as a Hawkbill with? This makes it apply well to self defense and general use.

Now, it can be used for other purposes, too. I've seen threads of PE hawkbills slicing tomatoes and such, when I asked how it performed, they said it worked well.
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Postby Clip » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:19 pm

Donut wrote:JD, I don't have any PE hawkbills, but I think the advantage to them is purely in "purchasing" power. What other blade shape can you penetrate a flat object as well as a Hawkbill with? This makes it apply well to self defense and general use.

Now, it can be used for other purposes, too. I've seen threads of PE hawkbills slicing tomatoes and such, when I asked how it performed, they said it worked well.
Wharncliffe? Although the Dodo's hook has come in handy quite a few times for grabbing a zip tie or something similar.
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Postby Zenith » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:35 pm

I only own a PE Tasman Salt because it was the only one available locally, but I believe ease of sharpening would be the main issue.

People struggle to sharpen even normal shaped SE blades, now throw in a hawkbill and they are dumb struck.

I enjoy having the PE with an aggressive 600grit diamond finish. It might require more sharpening in the long run.
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Postby akaAK » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:35 am

My only hawkbill is a SE Tasman which sees a lot of use out in the yard and garden. This will get carried with a CE Millie so I have never found the need for a PE Hawkbill. IN general hawkbills are not as usefull in my everyday life, but for specialized tasks they excel. As its H1 it was natural to go SE.

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Postby tr4022 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:45 am

Rutgrr wrote:Manbug Hawk anyone? :D
Yes, absolutely!


Wit much respek to folks with differing opinions, to me, buying a pe hawkbill is like buying a car w/out wheels. Wait, did I make that up, or did JD Spydo say that before? Whatever, it's friggin' brilliant!

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