Jazz wrote:II don't really get the reverse S shape. The belly part seems useless to me. How would you bring that part into play whilst using the knife? The hawkbill part I get. I have a Cricket, and have used it and wondered this.
I'd much rather have a wharncliffe Manbug.
Hi there Jazz, the belly on the reverse "s" definitely isn't useless. It may not be as versatile as the belly of a conventional blade but offers a much broader range of use than the cavity that would occupy that space on a normal hawkbill. Here's a few examples where I find a reverse "s" more functional than a HB.
- Cutting tag line (or anything) on a flat surface. Yes, you need to find a table corner or a narrower surface like the gunnel in my kayak, but the belly of a reverse "s" will lay flat against a flat surface for this type of cut where as with a HB you are simply out of luck...corner or not.
-Cutting string or line that is held against the blade with the thumb. This is another very common task for me and the reverse "s" does it much better. It offers a portion of the blade that is aligned with the handle just like a traditional blade so it will make these cuts just like any other knife. With a HB these cuts are certainly possible but they feel awkward. When you hold the string (or whatever) against the blade and twist the knife, it is hard to get leverage to make the cut because of how the edge lines up with the handle. Possible, but awkward. Win goes to the reverse "s" again.
-Whittling, notching or other push type cuts. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sell the reverse "s" as a bushcraft blade, but it is perfectly capable of these types of cuts. HB? Not so much.
-Want to chop a carrot? You can do it with the lil Matriarch (though you might have to spin the carrot at the end). How about peel an apple or potato? Once again, possible with the reverse "s" and nearly impossible with the HB.
Don't misunderstand, I am not claiming that the reverse "s" is the best knife for any of these tasks. What I'm saying is that it is much more capable of making these cuts than a hawkbill. Both blade shapes excel at a certain type of cutting and in my use I see no real advantage to either when making pull cuts. That is because when making the type of cuts where a HB excels, I am typically using the last 1/2-3/4" of the blade...the tip. I get the same functionality from a reverse "s" that I do from a hawkbill, but where a HB is a bit of a "one trick pony" I can get the majority of my normal work done with a reverse "s".
To leave you with an motorcycle analogy, the HB is a bit like a drag bike that goes very fast in a straight line and is not allowed to leave the track. The reverse "s" is a street legal sport bike that will still hang with the drag bike on the track. You probably don't want to ride either one of them across the country but one of them is definitely a better "around town" bike than the other. I'm not sure if that's a fair analogy but it matches my experience with the two blade shapes.