Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

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Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:33 pm

To some degree I've really beat this subject into the ground over the years. But still I don't know of any blade type or design that has so much difference in SE & PE uses than I do with Hawkbill and Reverse S blades. I've had threads in the past trying to pick the brains of Hawkbill users to see what all they use plain edged Hawkbill blades for. But I've not gotten very many responses at all. But on the other hand I've found so many great uses for Serrated/Spyderedged Hawkbills that I hardly ever take out one of my PE Hawkbills for any reason.

I can' say the same with Spyderco's great Reverse S blades as well. I've got an older serrated VG-10 Matriarch that I've used just like I would a regular serrated Hawkbill model. I"ve also got a plain edged Matriarch that I've never carried or used. I'm to the point now I'm starting to wonder what I ever bought any plain edged Hawkbills or PE Reverse S blades for? But hey I'm open minded and if there is ever a job I could use them on I would love to try them. But again when it comes to most blade designs with "curves" in them I find that serrated/Spyderedges just have so many more practical uses to them.

Now I've heard a few of you chime in on certain threads claiming that you prefer plain edged blades over SE blades by a huge margin irrespective of the blade design >> and hey that's cool but I'm still wondering what if any advantages that Plain Edged Hawkbills and/or Reverse S PE blades have over their serrated counterparts.

I do find plain edged blades useful and I carry and EDC one daily but only in standard, conventional type blade designs ( C-36 Military). But I also carry/EDC a fully serrated companion blade and I'm finding myself using it more than I am my plain edged EDC. But any blade with a curve in it I'm finding that Spyderedged blades win hands down in most cases.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby Jazz » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:19 pm

My #1 Hawkbill use is - SE - plants, gardening, yard work.
- best wishes, Jazz.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby SalomonA » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:30 pm

I like hawkbill PE knives because it fits well for what I use my EDC knives for. The reason I would prefer not to carry a SE edged hawkbill is because I'm not cutting rope and doing tasks that are catered to that type of edge very often. A PE hawkbill is something I can get and keep wicked sharp, and it slices open packages, opens up taped boxes, and slices cheese and small vegetables great for me. Using the curved blade for these uses for some reason is more satisfying than using the standard drop point or leaf-shaped knives. I see where a SE hawkbill definitely has the edge over a plain edge one in most of its intended uses, but for my EDCing purposes, I do not see myself ever using my pocket real estate for a serrated knife over a plain edge one. I'm not sure if my reasoning is something you have not heard before, but I hope it adds to your insight. If I wasn't clear, I just prefer the way a plain edge wicked sharp hawkbill cuts over the serrated version(which by the way I do not have the skills/tools to properly sharpen) for my specific EDCing purposes as a college student and office worker. I will add that I would love to see another run of the Super Hawk in perhaps a PE M390 steel, a serrated version doesn't spark my interest personally. One can only hope.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby The Meat man » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:36 pm

I like my SE hawkbills but I would really like to see a PE, FFG hawkbill in something like 4V, K390, or REX 45. I like the cutting dynamic of the curved blade and I think a high hardness, high carbide steel would make an amazing cutting machine. If you think about it the hawkbill shape acts itself like one giant serration.
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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby Bloke » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:16 pm

I don’t own a Reverse S and was slow to jump on both the HB and SE wagon. More fool me.

My SE, HB Ladybug was/is the handiest knife I’ve ever carried, hands down. Even when not sharp it pops heavy pallet strapping easier and safer than a hair popping Military (my favourite large folder), it won’t be beaten popping cable ties, it opens paint tin type coffee cans in the closed position, pops light strapping on reams of paper etc, like they’re not there, doubles as a fork, it’s great for eating octopus etc. caveman style, cuts 1” plus rope easy by just running the knife around it, is the best blade type for cleaning fish and the list goes on.

On top of all that it looks like a toy and nobody freaks out when they see it. ;)
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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby PeaceInOurTime » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:58 pm

My limited experience says that a SE saber ground hawkbill can do anything that I need a pocket knife to do :) . In most cases, my hawkbill just performs normal everyday cutting tasks better. The "angle of attack" (negative blade angle) is one of the reasons I really appreciate many of Spyderco's designs, and adding a wharncliffe or hawkbill blade shape only maximizes that feature.

Opening mail, breaking down boxes, cutting zip ties, rope, cordage, fabric, vines, my lunch at work... Literally anything I need a pocket knife to do, my hawkbill handles it with ease. I'd love to see more existing models get wharncliffe and hawkbill versions

I'm a very small data point with my limited experience, but clearly I'm pro-hawkbill for normal EDC :) .
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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby PeaceInOurTime » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:04 pm

Bloke wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:16 pm
My SE, HB Ladybug

Seeing your Ladybug so often has me on the verge of pulling the trigger on one :) , especially with the possibility of a pocket clip coming soon!
+ Wanna see knives in use? Visit my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3z6R5 ... hrIn41j14A
+ I'm currently participating in a serrated edge only challenge for 2020: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85560
+ "Wouldn't it be tight if everyone was chill to each other?" -Gryzzl (Parks and Recreation)
+ "Don't ever, for any reason, do anything, to anyone, for any reason, ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you've been, ever, for any reason whatsoever." -Michael Scott (The Office US)

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby Bloke » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:21 pm

PeaceInOurTime wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:04 pm
Bloke wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:16 pm
My SE, HB Ladybug

Seeing your Ladybug so often has me on the verge of pulling the trigger on one :) , especially with the possibility of a pocket clip coming soon!
Hey Peace, you couldn’t possibly go wrong. It’s one knife that I won’t be without. I had the last one three odd years I s’pose but only started carrying it full time about six months ago. It hadn’t seen a drop of oil or a screwdriver and before I lost it, it was still as good as the day I bought it, except I dropped it a while back and damaged the tip a little but even that didn’t impact performance.

I couldn’t say enough good things about the little knife. :)
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby cycleguy » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm

I don't use them, but there is a bird's beak peeling knife used in the kitchen; & I don't look for them, but I've only seen them in plain edge.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby JD Spydo » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:29 am

Jazz wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:19 pm
My #1 Hawkbill use is - SE - plants, gardening, yard work.
I'm hearing of more and more people discovering that serrated Hawkbills tend to be great tools for lawn, gardening and landscaping jobs. Especially in the past 3 to 5 years it seems like there is a lot of people that are discovering on their own the great amount lawn, gardening and agricultural uses for serrated Hawkbills that they had never before discovered in other blade designs.

Also pull cutting jobs with serrated Hawkbills are really much easier.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby zuludelta » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:36 pm

I don't know if there is a context where a plain edge hawkbill is clearly & incontrovertibly superior to a serrated hawkbill, but it's perhaps worth noting that many carpet knives have plain edge hawkbill blades. Whether that's because of better performance for that particular task, or just a function of limited production budgets & factory capabilities, I haven't the slightest idea.

In addition, I guess for a lot of people, sharpening a plain edge hawkbill is easier than sharpening a serrated one (I find that neither one is any harder or easier to sharpen than the other with a Sharpmaker, though).

Plain edge hawkbills also seem to be more common than serrated ones in the self-defence context (i.e., karambits), with the thinking that a plain edge blade is less likely to snag on clothing than a less than-optimally ground serrated blade, but I think that is more of a theoretical use case for the overwhelming majority of people, and there are self-defence knives such as the serrated versions of the Civilian & the Matriarch 2 whose designs run counter to that idea.

I've used both serrated hawkbills (Tasman Salt 2, Byrd Knives Hawkbill) & plain edge hawkbills (Karahawk) extensively at my job & at least in my case, serrated hawkbills are better at cutting the materials I deal with at work (pallet straps, rope, netting). The plain edge hawkbill is no slouch either, though, and it works well enough for my needs (it's just that the Spyder Edge hawkbills work even better).

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby Evil D » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:57 pm

Yard work is really all I use my Spyderhawk for, it does a great job cutting vines.
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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby James Y » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 pm

I’m not sure if they qualify as hawkbills, but linoleum knives are hooked PE blades that work really well for their intended purpose.

As far as folding hawkbills, I’ll always choose SE. It’s the SE that really helps the edge to grab on to what’s being cut. I own one PE hawkbill, a small DKD CA-legal auto called the Shark’s Tooth. It’s a great little knife, but not nearly as effective in use as it would be if it were in SE.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby araneae » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:30 pm

SE ladybug and Dfly hawkbills are my choice for zipties, rope, cord, clamshell packs, vegetation, plastic fencing, etc. As bloke mentioned, the ladybug hawkbill is the most knife per inch you can get.
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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby bbturbodad » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:31 pm

For a pierce 'n pull cut like taking the top off a box I don't think anything beats a reverse S. For this task I prefer PE as it cuts straighter than SE for me. When using an SE reverse S I need to change my technique to keep the blade from wandering. I would be interested in trying a FFG SE reverse S. *Hint hint Sal* ;)

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:26 am

bbturbodad wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:31 pm
For a pierce 'n pull cut like taking the top off a box I don't think anything beats a reverse S. For this task I prefer PE as it cuts straighter than SE for me. When using an SE reverse S I need to change my technique to keep the blade from wandering. I would be interested in trying a FFG SE reverse S. *Hint hint Sal* ;)
I knew those plain edge Reverse S and PE Hawkbills had the potential. But every time I've sharpened either one it sure takes a lot of time and effort even with the 204 Sharpmaker. No doubt that you can get a plain edge to cut straighter. But a super sharp SE Hawkbill I've never failed to cut through most anything I've ever attempted.

OK that's one job PE Reverse S and PE Hawkbills are good for. I would like to hear about more jobs they are good at. With a conventional/standard blade design I would say that ease of sharpening would be an advantage. But I know better with PE Hawkbills and PE Reverse S blades>> because I've even learned new curse words while sharpening those types of blades :o But I am glad to hear more good stuff about them though.

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Re: Practical Uses For Hawkbill and Reverse S Blades?

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:32 am

James Y wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 pm
I’m not sure if they qualify as hawkbills, but linoleum knives are hooked PE blades that work really well for their intended purpose.

As far as folding hawkbills, I’ll always choose SE. It’s the SE that really helps the edge to grab on to what’s being cut. I own one PE hawkbill, a small DKD CA-legal auto called the Shark’s Tooth. It’s a great little knife, but not nearly as effective in use as it would be if it were in SE.

Jim
Oh yes they most definitely qualify as Hawkbill blades. One summer when I was short on work I helped a friend lay linoleum floors. And guess whose job it was to keep those linoleum knives sharp :rolleyes: ??? Yep I sure spent a lot of my spare time in the evenings working on them. A few years back I won an Ebay auction for a BUCK linoleum knife and I still have it. And it's a really good quality unit.

Oh for sure the Hawkbill blade had a history before Spyderco made them more famous. Also I have one linoleum knife that I still have from that job that was a combo edge believe it or not. I didn't use the serrated part very often but sometimes it did come in handy. I was looking in a Klein tool catalog and they have a PE Hawkbill blade for specialty uses. And Klein makes tools mainly for electricians.


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