Kale wrote: ↑
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:35 pm
Wow, thank you to everyone for all the welcoming and helpful replies!
I'm willing to have another go at sharpening, but a serrated hawkbill is daunting. Does the sharpmaker DVD include this style blade? As suggested, we would definitely use it on hoes, shears and other equipment as well.
The Spyderhawk is definitely the best tool. Where should I be looking for used ones?
Lots of great hawkbill options... and as some have suggested, a large-ish serrated straight blade would be useful. I was looking at the Pacific/Atlantic Salts. Can all of the Spyderco H1 models be rinsed-out with soap and water? Just knowing how dirty my tools can get, ease of maintenance is big. Victorinox actually has a tempting straight-edge and hawkbill combo (Hunter XT with locking blades), but I just know the internals will get gritty (or worse) and leave me without any way to clean it.
Yeah, sharpening hawkbills is easy wih the Sharpmaker. Comprehensive instructions come with it and are also on Youtube, and there are plenty of threads here on sharpening all the different kinds of Spyderco blade shapes and configurations.
A good trick with the Sharpmaker on garden tools is to use the rod in your hand like a file. On hoes, mattocks, shovels etc, I would use a file first, then clean up the edge and maintain with the Sharpmaker rods.
The diamond/CBN rods are very useful in this freehand ‘file’ role, if used with very light pressure.
Whether the Tasman or Spyderhawk or another hawkbill like the byrd Crossbill or Dragonfly is the best, really depends on your own intended uses.
I find smaller knives like the Tasman can be better suited to pruning and harvesting in tight quarters with a lot of plants around, without damaging the surrounding foliage and fruits.
The Spyderhawk might be more effective for bigger cutting jobs in more open spaces.
People will always have their favourite knives they like to recommend, but it’s useful to consider your own tasks you will need to use your knife for.
You may even find, like a lot of the regular crew here, that it’s useful to carry a couple of blades that augment each other.
I personally like to carry a medium and small combo in the garden, and often combine a plain edge blade and a serrated Tasman as well.
The Dragonfly Salt hawkbill seems like a very capable knife, too. I haven’t actually tried one, but I have a bunch of other Dragonflies.
Yeah, you can just wash the Salt knives in soapy water - or even seawater - and they’ll be good to go. I use an old toothbrush and dishwashing liquid on mine sometimes. A can of compressed air can be handy for blowing out the blade channel and pivot area.
But they really need very minimal maintenance, besides sharpening.
I have a Victorinox Soldier I use in the garden as well and it’s certainly also able to be cleaned with soapy water and a Q-tip, as long as you dry it diligently. But the Salts are on another level as a gardening tool.
You could try the Exchange on Bladeforums, or make a Wanted post there. There are possibly Spyderhawks still around in some stores as well. The Tasman and Dragonfly Salt hawkbills are still currently available.
Good luck, and it would be cool to see some pics of your knife at work in your community garden when you get it.