The Cutting Edge

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20 Best Wharncliffe Blade Knives

For nearly two centuries, the Wharncliffe blade design has remained a staple of the knife community.

While the function has evolved from a whittling knife to more of a self-defense or EDC purpose, the Wharncliffe continues to be a useful tool.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the History of the Wharncliffe, and now I’m taking it to the next step with a look at the best production knives with Wharncliffe blades.

I’m capping the list at 20, although I will undoubtedly be missing a few essential additions, so let me know in the comments.

1. Spyderco Ronin 2

I wanted to start off with the Ronin because this is is pretty much where the modern interpretation and tactical obsession with the Wharncliffe blade came from.

The origins of the knife are documented in the History of the Wharncliffe, but self-defense expert Michael Janich wanted a superb cutting knife for a self-defense tool. After extensive testing, he found the Wharncliffe blade — with its piercing point and flat edge — was best.

He created the Ronin fixed blade with knife maker Mike Snody. It was picked up by Spyderco briefly but it was ahead of its time. Eventually, it came back in a second iteration.

It features a 4.08-inch blade made from CTS BD1 steel with a Wharncliffe blade that has a slanted spine that tapers to a point. The handle is black G-10.

2. CRKT Delilah’s PECK

Ed Halligan was a master of minimalism. It all started with his KISS (Keep It Super Simple) knife that was barebones but beloved. He took the concept of a minimalist and compact knife to the next level with the PECK (Precision Engineered Compact Knife).

This tiny knife weighs 0.9 ounces and features a 1.75-inch Wharncliffe blade design. What’s interesting about the inclusion of a Wharncliffe blade profile is that it’s functional to the design of the blade. The straight edge means the edge is completely hidden with the knife rather than protruding out of the handle to cause problems.

On top of that, the Wharncliffe is suited for all types of tasks.

3. KA-BAR TDI LDK

The KA-BAR TDI Last Ditch Knife takes cues from Janich’s Ronin. This small fixed blade is made to be used in last ditch self-defense situation. The overall length is only 3.6 inches and it is meant to be put in its sheath in a boot or wallet. The backup knife is great at slashing and piercing.

4. Gerber Razorfish

I wanted to include a few budget knives on here and the Gerber Razorfish qualifies. The Razorfish almost looks like a sheepsfoot blade but turns into a Wharncliffe at the last moment. It has a fishy look (hence the name) and a 2.8-inch blade.

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Fox 479 Folding Karambit – Badass Knife of the Week

Although some people call the karambit nothing but a gimmick, it just means they’ve never used one the right way.

Because when it comes to self-defense, it’s hard to beat the Fox 479 Folding Karambit.

This unparalleled self-defense tool has undergone rigorous testing in extreme climates and high-pressure situations and utilizes all the advancements you could ever need.

Here’s an excellent video review from ForPete’sSake:

Highlighting the knife is the curved 3.14-inch liner locking blade that’s been coated in black teflon to dampen the reflective properties of the N690Co stainless steel.

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See the New 2018 SOG Knives

It’s time for some more new knives.

We’ve already checked in on the new releases from Benchmade , CRKT, and Kershaw.

A few others have announced their new lineup, but today it’s all about SOG.

SOG has done well over the past few years. They strove for innovation and succeeded last year in the very unique Baton multitool series. Here’s a writeup on the Baton series if you’re interested. 2017 also saw the arrival of a few slipjoint knives and more Arc-locking knives.

For 2018, SOG kept the lineup nice and tight. I almost prefer a smaller, more manageable lineup of knives than being inundated with dozens of models. Let’s just hope that focus on fewer models means they’re very well done.

SOG-TAC California Special

I currently live in California. It’s not the most knife-friendly place, but there is a growing number of knives that cater to the tighter knife laws regarding automatics. SOG is getting in on the action with the SOG-TAC California Special.

This is an automatic that conforms to the laws in California. You’re basically allowed to carry an automatic as long as it has a blade under two inches. The California Special abides with a 1.9-inch AUS-8 clip point blade — well it says clip point but the small blade gives it a nice curve.

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New 2018 Kershaw Knives

With SHOT Show starting today, that means Kershaw is releasing its new line of knives for 2018.

What do they have in store for us this year?

Kershaw has 15 new products this year. However, several are simply updates or new iterations of old products. From a quick glance at the new models, there’s nothing really mind-blowing, but you can expect some solid EDC knives.

Kershaw Method

Kershaw collaborated with Jens Anso on a few knives over the years, including the Fraxion. The latest is the Method.

The knife has a 3-inch 8Cr13MoV steel blade that uses KVT ball-bearing opening and a flipper. It looks good and comes to a piercing point.

MSRP $39.99

Kershaw Decimus

The Decimus is based on a Rick Hinderer design. It has the look of a stiletto with a dagger-style blade (though only one side is sharpened for legal reasons). The blade is 3.25 inches and uses 8Cr13MoV as well as SpeedSafe.

This is visually appealing though I’m not sure how many people would actually carry it.

MSRP $49.99

Kershaw Flythrough

On first glance, I almost thought this was the Blackout, but it features a different design upon closer inspection. This is an RJ Martin design, who has designed a few very solid knives for Kershaw.

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Buck 102 Woodsman – Badass Knife of the Week

Take a poll of outdoorsmen on what their favorite lightweight fixed blade for general outdoor use and most will put the understated Buck 102 Woodsman on the list. The kicker is that the Woodsman would be on that list any time in the past 40 years.

So, how could such an old knife remain in the hearts and minds of knife fans everywhere for so long? The answer is in the tried-and-true design perfected by Buck.

The design stems from the hugely popular and successful Buck 119 Special, complete with its clip point blade, black handles, and polished hand guard.

The Woodsman is a smaller version of the knife with a 4-inch clip point blade made from 420HC stainless steel. In less capable hands, the steel would only be adequate but excels under the tutelage of Paul Bos, an industry leader in heat treating.

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Canada Customs Bans Import of Nearly All Folding Knives

What is going on?!

Just a few months after Canada joined the rest of the world (except the United States, of course) in allowing small knives on planes, it announced a sweeping change that essentially bans nearly every type of folding knife in existence from being imported into the country.

On January 5, here’s what the Canada Border Services Agency wrote on its website:

In accordance with subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code and the CITT’s recent decision in T. LaPlante, the CBSA resolves that centrifugal knives will be classified as prohibited weapons if the following conditions are met:

a. a knife has a blade that opens by centrifugal force, when the blade is released from the handle into the fully ejected and locked position with a simple and brisk outwardly flick of the wrist; and

b. it includes knives that require some preliminary or simultaneous minimal manipulation of either a flipper or other non-edged parts of the blade.

Knives that can be opened with the flick of your wrist are prohibited. This could include those knives that also use a flipper or other non-edged parts like a thumb stud.

If applied broadly, that pretty much covers the vast majority of folding knives — whether it has an assisted-opening mechanism or not. While slipjoints are safe in theory, you could probably open most of them with centrifugal force if you tried because this includes non-edged parts of the blade. (Hold the spine of a blade on your Swiss Army Knife and it’s not hard to see how you could do it.)

The ZT0350 was the subject of other CBSA disputes.

If you think I’m being a bit flippant, just take a look at how a similar law was implemented in New York City. The laws there are very vague and police have taken advantage of the vagary to classify pretty much any folding knife they want as an illegal gravity knife.

Needless to say, the takes have been brutal.

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History of the Wharncliffe Blade

KA-BAR Wharnstalker

Tracing the origins of anything related to knives is difficult.

The sheer length of time knives have been used by humans makes going back to the first anything often impossible. Who made the first knife? Well, it depends on what you classify as a knife, but it was probably some unnamed Australopithecine dude more than two million years ago.

But when you have the ability to trace a single invention related to knives to a single moment, it’s always cool.

In a series of posts, I will be examining the history of specific innovations and evolutions in the knife community.

This first post will deal with the Wharncliffe blade.

The Origins of the Wharncliffe

The year is 1820 (or thereabouts). For a look at what was going on in the world, Maine had recently become the 23rd state in the burgeoning United States of America.

According to the 1878 edition of “British Manufacturing Industries,” the first Lord of Wharncliffe — James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie — was having dinner with his relative Archdeacon Corbett in Great Britain.

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Victorinox Pioneer – Badass Knife of the Week

There are hundreds of models of Swiss Army Knives, each with its own set of tools and appearance. It’s hard to pick just one above all the others, but if you only have one choice for EDC, consider the Victorinox Pioneer.

With the Pioneer being the civilian version of the Soldier — “the true Swiss Army Knife” — it has everything you need to get by, nothing more and nothing less.

The Pioneer has eight functions. It has a large blade, reamer, can opener with small screwdrvier, bottle opener with large screwdriver and wire stripper, and key ring.

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How to Tell If You Have a Real Damascus Steel Blade

The knife world is plagued with fakes and frauds.

People on eBay are trying to pass off $400 Sebenzas as real and sellers on Amazon are unknowingly selling fake CRKT and SOGs to unsuspecting customers.

Because of all the tricksterism plaguing the knife community, I often get asked whether a knife is real or fake. While I recently wrote a guide on how to spot a counterfeit knife, it didn’t address another popular question — is my Damascus knife a fake?

Damascus knives are becoming more popular and more prevalent from the most popular knife brands like Spyderco (with the Endura and others) to lesser known brands like BucknBear.

What makes people even more confused about the legitimacy of Damascus steel is the vast price differences. Could a $50 knife with Damascus steel be real when you see other Damascus blades topping the $500 mark?

Let’s dig deeper.

What is Damascus?

Before determining whether your Damascus is fake or real, we should first define what Damascus actually is.

Damascus is that wavy pattern in steel that looks exotic and downright gorgeous.

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Watch Woodworker Create Homemade Knife Sharpener

Sharpening is a necessary evil when you own knives. While it can be complicated to start with, it doesn’t need to be with a little practice.

But, if you’re good with your hands, you can make your life easier by making your own knife sharpener with a few simple items.

That’s what carpenter John Heisz of I Build It did on his YouTube channel.

By using an old oil stone and some plywood, he was able to craft a homemade knife sharpener that you pull through interlocking teeth.

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