Sharpening so much over time that it's too much?

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peacefuljeffrey
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Sharpening so much over time that it's too much?

Postby peacefuljeffrey » Sun May 26, 2013 5:22 am

I was looking at my Manix 2 yesterday and thinking about the depth to which the blade tip is nested between the handle scales when it is closed. It's not really far in there, and of course from model to model, the amount varies.

It got me thinking about how one factor that determines a knife's useful life is how many times (or just how much) it can be sharpened before the tip of the blade recedes to where it is now not laterally bordered by the handle scales. It would at that point be dangerous to carry and need to be replaced. Anything could snag the tip and not only get cut but force the knife to open inadvertently.

I took out my Manix 2 XL and saw that by comparison, it could undergo nearly twice the amount of sharpening before this happened than the Manix 2 could.

Now, I don't expect to have this happen. I don't sharpen my knives that super-often, nor do I remove much metal (I think) each time I do. But the idea is there. I don't know how many people have had his become a reality, but I have to figure that the number is greater than zero.

Any of you out there ever wear down a knife (Spyderco or otherwise) to the point I described?
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ChapmanPreferred
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Postby ChapmanPreferred » Sun May 26, 2013 7:21 am

I was handed a Diad Jr that had the PE tip above the scales from agressive and repeated sharpening. On that model, the knife was able to be saved by removing a bit of "kick" and lowering the tip angle down to below scale again. Other models would have be handled differently, and should be sent back to Spyderco to see if it is possible to be repaired.
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Postby noseoil » Sun May 26, 2013 7:37 am

I think this may be what you're talking about. My wife told me she had found a "knife" in the cactus in front of our wall. I went out to see what was there and found an old Buck 500 which had been either "lost" or discarded for an unknown amount of time. It must have had a broken tip at some time in its life, & someone had sharpened it so much that it was no longer a pocket candidate. I worked on the edge, polished it up a little and now it is a tool box knife. Although it has seen better days, it is still a useful knife, but I wouldn't want to carry it in my pocket. Perhaps a candidate for the "World's ugliest knife" award? The second one was found last Saturday morning. It is a cheap Chinese folder with a stainless steel too soft to sharpen well. It was just sitting in front of our wall. I wish someone would send me something useful and of better quality.

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Postby ChapmanPreferred » Sun May 26, 2013 7:58 am

That is similar condition to the Diad Jr that was able to be "Repaired" so the point dropped below the level of the scales.
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Postby sharpguitarist » Sun May 26, 2013 8:28 am

Hey Jeffrey,
I have a D4 that I carry as a loaner knife, and before that, it was my primary edc.
Because of the abuse it's been subjected to by my non knife carrying coworkers, it's been sharpened more than any other knife I own.
The edge has receded so much that the tip has lost the "hump" on the spine, and in turn, was sitting above the scales when closed.
As CP mentioned in the above post, I filed down the kick to allow the blade to sit deeper in the handle, and now the tip isn't exposed.
I removed just enough metal to do the job, so if the problem comes back, I can repeat the procedure to lower the tip again.
Going too far too soon may cause the edge to hit the back spacer or lock bar when closed.
Other lock designs would need another solution.
Later,
Don
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Postby Evil D » Sun May 26, 2013 8:35 am

On some models it's possible to modify them to allow the blade to sit further into the handle. There's usually a spot on the tang that hits something when shut that stops the blade from closing further (the name of this slips my mind). On the Para 2 for example, there is a little dip in the tang just behind the choil jimping...if you were to grind this dip inward further, it would allow the blade to go into the handle further and cover the tip when closed. Unfortunately, on the Manix 2 I don't think this is an option, because the part that does all this is a little dip in the tang that the ball bearing seats into when shut, which I believe does both jobs of stopping the blade from closing further and acts as a detent to keep it shut. I may be wrong though, it's been a while since I had my Manix 2 apart.
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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue May 28, 2013 2:51 am

I've never had my Manix 2 apart, but I am pretty sure that what you're saying is correct. I don't think that a regrind to seat the blade tip farther in is an option with that design.

I understand that some could say that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, or that this isn't really a big deal, or that it would be a really long time before this became an issue. Honestly, I sort of agree, but it still kind of bugs me that this seems like it could be much more of an issue with essentially my favorite Spyderco knife than it is for many others.

It made me take a look at other knives to study their propensity for early retirement due to oversharpening. For example, my Manix 2 XL doesn't have this issue, and even my Dragonfly 2 doesn't. My Benchmade 555 doesn't, either. Those knives look like you could sharpen them for many years before this came to be near an issue. So, when I look at the Manix 2, it occurs to me that simply extending the tip of the blade without making it any broader (where contact with the spacers would become an issue) would resolve this and result merely in a slightly more gradual curve to the blade's belly.
I really wish that Spyderco would consider doing that on future production of this knife. Why not give it that much greater of a lifespan? I mean, the knife is already, in every other respect, one that owners can feel likely to be able to hand down to a future generation.
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Postby jackknifeh » Tue May 28, 2013 7:56 am

I think this issue happens more often than we realize. I have a Case stockman (3 blades). The wharncliff blade tip was very close to being exposed when I opened one of the other blade. Like the recommendation above I filed the kick down. This is the spot right behind the heel of the edge. I also had another Case that out of the box the kick wasn't big enough and the edge did hit the backspacer dulling it. I got that one replaced. I don't remember which knife it was but when I was first learning to sharpen trying to get higher levels of sharpness I "practiced" enought so the tip was exposed when shut. I filed the kick on that one to fix it. It was a Spyderco. It took several reprofilings for this to happen so under normal use and sharpening it would not have been an issue for many many years.

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Postby Invective » Tue May 28, 2013 9:04 am

I think if this happened to one of my knives, I would just have a leather sheath made for it, would make it safe again for pocket carry.

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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue May 28, 2013 9:48 am

I just don't feel that the end user should have to resort to grinding kickers in order to keep mature knives useable.

Is there any reason to object to the suggestion I made about extending the blade of the Manix 2 just a touch, to obviate all of the later remediation? As I said, the only real ramification of it would be a slightly more gradual curve to the blade's edge. I think that it's seriously worth a revision. Whenever I look at the knife now that I've noticed this, even though any issues for my specimen would be years down the road if ever, I can't help seeing this as I would a birth defect.
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Postby phillipsted » Tue May 28, 2013 10:05 am

My Grandad's old pen knife from the 1950s was sharpened so much it morphed from a clip point into a recurve shape over the years. It didn't hold an edge worth a darn, but it sharpened up easily...

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Postby Fancier » Tue May 28, 2013 11:29 am

I just pulled apart my Manix 2 and inspected the clearance on the spot on the tang that folks are calling the kicker. It does not contact the back spacer when the knife is fully closed. The slide for the lock is sandwiched between the tang and the back spacer when the knife is closed. The extent of closure cannot be changed without disassembling the knife.
Edit: I'll side with the majority and agree that a knife is a tool that wears out with use. How long a tool lasts depends on how it is used, and some do last longer than others.

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Postby Minibear453 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:36 pm

Well, through novice sharpening and use, I've managed to change the shape of my endura slightly. But if you do oversharpen a knife, it's possible to either file the portion where the tang meets the stop pin, so the knife can sit further down. However, that's not always possible, because if you do that too much, the blade with run into the handle. A possibly safer and easier fix would be to grind the spine of the knife down, and effectively shorten the knife a little, but lower the point so the blade remains within the handle.
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Postby GoodEyeSniper » Tue May 28, 2013 3:43 pm

pretty common on old slipjoints and lockbacks for a variety of reasons. Blades were usually in the low to mid 50s rockwell hardness instead of modern steels all approaching or exceeding 60HRC. Usually they were the only knife carried for years and years of hard use. Usually sharpened on coarser stones, etc...

I think you can only grind down the kick on knives with no built in detent, but where the blade stays closed because of lock style, like slipjoints and back locks. If you did it on, say, a linerlock, it would no longer line up with the detent hole.

I can't imagine many modern knife nuts getting their knives to this extreme level of sharpening because half the time we have problem carrying one single knife throughout the course of a day, let alone for a decade or three. And we usually remove much less metal from modern, harder steels, in the course of sharpening.

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Postby Joshua J. » Tue May 28, 2013 7:00 pm

Minibear453 wrote:Well, through novice sharpening and use, I've managed to change the shape of my endura slightly. But if you do oversharpen a knife, it's possible to either file the portion where the tang meets the stop pin, so the knife can sit further down. However, that's not always possible, because if you do that too much, the blade with run into the handle. A possibly safer and easier fix would be to grind the spine of the knife down, and effectively shorten the knife a little, but lower the point so the blade remains within the handle.
Yes.

The whole issue pretty much goes away if you only grind the spine down to restore the tip.
If the tip snaps off, never re-shape it from the edge, just grind down the spine and your knife remains perfectly usable.

With enough time you may have to artificially shorten your knife as well, but if it's no longer pocketable you probably won't use it anymore anyway.

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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue May 28, 2013 9:10 pm

Fancier wrote:I just pulled apart my Manix 2 and inspected the clearance on the spot on the tang that folks are calling the kicker. It does not contact the back spacer when the knife is fully closed. The slide for the lock is sandwiched between the tang and the back spacer when the knife is closed. The extent of closure cannot be changed without disassembling the knife.
Edit: I'll side with the majority and agree that a knife is a tool that wears out with use. How long a tool lasts depends on how it is used, and some do last longer than others.
We can all agree that tools have lifespans. But how have you missed the fact that what I'm saying is that there is a shorter lifespan built into this knife needlessly merely because the blade tip doesn't extend about another 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch? This is not an issue of, "Well, what can ya do? Tools wear out," and an unavoidable circumstances.
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peacefuljeffrey
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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue May 28, 2013 9:19 pm

Joshua J. wrote:Yes.

The whole issue pretty much goes away if you only grind the spine down to restore the tip.
If the tip snaps off, never re-shape it from the edge, just grind down the spine and your knife remains perfectly usable.

With enough time you may have to artificially shorten your knife as well, but if it's no longer pocketable you probably won't use it anymore anyway.
That sounds like a viable solution, and I hadn't thought of it. Thanks.

I don't have my Manix 2 right with me at the moment, so I can't examine it to see if this would apply to that particular model; the shape of the handle might still mean that a shortened blade would come out from between the handle scales.
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Postby Minibear453 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:36 pm

peacefuljeffrey wrote:That sounds like a viable solution, and I hadn't thought of it. Thanks.

I don't have my Manix 2 right with me at the moment, so I can't examine it to see if this would apply to that particular model; the shape of the handle might still mean that a shortened blade would come out from between the handle scales.
If you're grinding the spine down, you'd reduce the height of the point. I'm pretty sure it would work on the Manix. When you do this, just imagine reducing the length of the knife and moving the point down along the edge. (If that didn't make sense, I'm trying to say that your point would end up somewhere along your current edge.) Since your edge is always covered by the handle, by doing this, it's pretty much guaranteed to work, although the amount you would need to take off may be drastic if you've sharpened away 0.25" of your edge somehow.
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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue May 28, 2013 10:09 pm

My concern is the way the finger groove area of the handle also recedes at that point.
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Postby Fancier » Wed May 29, 2013 10:51 am

Yes, the contour of the scales on a Manix 2 follows the contour of the blade for about the first quarter of an inch, so you might have to move the point back that far to resolve the issue if the problem comes up. Alternatively you could file the tang of the knife where it hits the lock slide and preserve the length of the blade. Considering the lever arm involved you'd be removing a lot less steel as well.


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