Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

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Jeremy McCullen
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Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby Jeremy McCullen » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:52 am

Went camping this past weekend and took my M4 Mule (with Micarta scales). I used the knife for basic bushcrafting. I made feather sticks, tinder by scrapping the inside of bark and camp tools from small tree limbs to name a few things.

The knife would not keep a keen edge. It would keep workable edge that could be stropped back to a shaving sharp edge but as soon as I started to cut something the sharp edge would be gone. I have read about the M4 steel knives that are used in cutting competitions and how the steel holds a shaving sharp edge while being used alot harder than I used my M4 mule.

Has any body else noticed this with their M4 Mule?

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toomzz
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Postby toomzz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:58 am

Wish I had one....
Tom

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jackknifeh
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Postby jackknifeh » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:10 pm

Jeremy McCullen wrote:Went camping this past weekend and took my M4 Mule (with Micarta scales). I used the knife for basic bushcrafting. I made feather sticks, tinder by scrapping the inside of bark and camp tools from small tree limbs to name a few things.

The knife would not keep a keen edge. It would keep workable edge that could be stropped back to a shaving sharp edge but as soon as I started to cut something the sharp edge would be gone. I have read about the M4 steel knives that are used in cutting competitions and how the steel holds a shaving sharp edge while being used alot harder than I used my M4 mule.

Has any body else noticed this with their M4 Mule?
I don't have a Mule but I got the Manix2 with M4. I was VERY disappointed with the edge holding ability. That was the main reason I wanted that knife. I used it and sharpened it as needed. Now, believe it or not it holds an edge like I think it should and as I expected. I don't know why. Work hardening? I still haven't decided if that is a myth, wives tale, truth or what. Anyway, try to keep an open mind for a while and see if your edge retention gets better. If someone said what I just did I would think they were crazy or just stupid so if you develope that opinion of me DON'T THINK YOU'RE THE FIRST. :D

Jack

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toomzz
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Postby toomzz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Strange, I experienced no retention (or chipping/rolling) issues with both M4 Bradleys I have. (I remember we discussed M4 and its issues on the Bradleys widely already) Heattreating and tempering might be extra precise processes on this particular steel I suspect.

Tomas
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Postby Slash » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:25 pm

jackknifeh wrote:I don't have a Mule but I got the Manix2 with M4. I was VERY disappointed with the edge holding ability. That was the main reason I wanted that knife. I used it and sharpened it as needed. Now, believe it or not it holds an edge like I think it should and as I expected. I don't know why. Work hardening? I still haven't decided if that is a myth, wives tale, truth or what. Anyway, try to keep an open mind for a while and see if your edge retention gets better. If someone said what I just did I would think they were crazy or just stupid so if you develope that opinion of me DON'T THINK YOU'RE THE FIRST. :D

Jack
Haha, I think you're crazy. But, I heard and experienced that before. Sometimes you have to get(sharpen) past that bad steel caused by higher heat treat temps near the edge and into some good steel.

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unit
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Postby unit » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:29 pm

I do not have the mule but I have a few M4 blades and no experience like yours, but I have heard some postulate that factory edges *can be* potentially defective in that sometimes the person sharpening them allows too much heat build up and this tempers the edge.

Some people Immediately regrind their new knives by hand for this reason. (to put on a good edge with no power tools and therefore no elevated temperatures).

I will tell you, that I generally am eager to put my own edge on every knife and it does seem to take a lot more time to get to the second sharpening than it did to get to the first sharpening after purchase. This seems true of every steel I have tried though...
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Postby yablanowitz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:25 pm

I've got a couple of the M4 Mules, one cord-wrapped and one I stuck CF scales on. Both have been used a lot harder than you describe with no such issues. It sounds to me like you have a wire edge (i.e. a burr along the edge) that you are aligning by stropping but is too thin to stand up to harder use than shaving hair. M4 is tough enough to have a really stubborn burr. If it was mine, I'd start by running the blade edge down on a medium grit stone until the edge was flat, then sharpen it alternating sides to avoid a burr.
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Blerv
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Postby Blerv » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:03 pm

Its not zdp-189 but it's tough. Compared to some rugged steels like 1075 or O2 it holds a nice edge.
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Postby gaj999 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:28 pm

unit wrote:Some people Immediately regrind their new knives by hand for this reason. (to put on a good edge with no power tools and therefore no elevated temperatures).
This would be me. :D I've had so many factory edges that were wanting that the first thing I do is sharpen a new knife. I reprofiled/sharpened my M4 Mule to 20 degrees included. It's now got a 30 degree microbevel on that. Edge holding has been superb.

Gordon

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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby Skunker » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:35 pm

I'd be happy to buy that knife from you if you don't like it.

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Wartstein
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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby Wartstein » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:41 am

Skunker wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:35 pm
I'd be happy to buy that knife from you if you don't like it.

Welcome to the forum,
And you realize the post you're replying to is almost nine years old?? ;)
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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby Slash » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:33 pm

Test another (decent)steel with similar(mule) geometry on the material you're using the m4 on. That would be the real test.

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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby djinnzfree » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:47 pm

gOT 3 MULE TEAM #3 s90v AND very satisfy!

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standy99
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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby standy99 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:39 pm

Wartstein wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:41 am
Skunker wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:35 pm
I'd be happy to buy that knife from you if you don't like it.

Welcome to the forum,
And you realize the post you're replying to is almost nine years old?? ;)
The things people will do for a M4 mule ;)
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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:36 pm

Well, you have to rule out the sharpening, if you're just burnishing the edge to death on ceramic and never making a crisp new apex by cutting steel to establish a fresh new apex than it won't work as good as it could.
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Re: Disappointed with M4 Mule Performance

Postby jpm2 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:59 pm

With a couple exceptions, my sharpening has always been the issue in situations like this.


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