Rlaing

Need to pull trigger on Swivel Knife Opinion plz

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Rlaing   

Could someone explain how and if the Barry King swivel or other High Swivel knives are better than (exclusive of the blade), the downside of BK or any other specialty brand as I see is they use non-standard blade shanks?

Tandy Leather Craftool Pro Swivel Knife-Large 82009-02 exclusive

Thanks in advance.

Richard

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Rlaing   

Tandy is the only knife I have held.  The substantial feeling was good.

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kseidel   

I prefer Chuck Smith Ol' Smoothie.  Shaft and yoke are mounted with a ball bearing and are balanced and smooth.  Barry King's are not.  Both are the same price.  No comparison.  I have them all, and carve many hours a day.  I mainly use the ol' smoothie.

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Rlaing   

Thanks, K      They look very nice and add a new wrinkle to the equation.  Cradle length. Which I'm seeing as barrel length. Plus adjustable overall length version, non-adjustable version.  109.00 each ouch!!! and that is with no blade.

 

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Tugadude   

On BK's website they are $50.00 including one blade.  Don't own one but BK has a great reputation for quality.

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Rlaing   

Thanks, TugadudeI need to hear from someone that has used the BK knives and Tandy's better knives, as I mention the Tandy knife is the only quality unit I have held beside the cheapo knives you see for sub 10.00 everywhere. I would hate to buy the easy route of the Tandy for 58.00 including blade to find out the BK was better in some substantive way. I am obsessive compulsive about buying only once. I will pay whatever I need to pay but not one penny more.

What do you use TUG

Edited by Rlaing

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kseidel   

Your swivel knife is not a tool to skimp and go cheap.  All of your tooling depends on the swivel knife... right down to the borders.  You will use it more than any other tool.  The cheap knives produce a lot of friction in the barrel as you carve since you are applying pressure to the top of the yoke.  This leads to ragged cuts and tremendous fatigue!  You will never regret spending a few more dollars on the swivel knife.  If you want professional quality results, get a professional swivel knife.

Chuck Smith also makes a blade machined from cobalt bar stock.  This material offers a nearly drag free cut.  I seldom even strop these blades, they carve so smoothly.  Total cost of knife with blade about $125.  Not that much in the scheme of leather working tools.  It's not like buying a stitcher!

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Rlaing   

I agree with you completely and I have come to understand the blade is the most important part of the equation. 

Thanks for your help!

Edited by Rlaing

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I just received a BK knife a couple days ago. 

It's nice and feels good, but I was surprised at how dull it was when I received it. I sharpened and honed it. But I haven't used it enough to comment on how the blade holds up. 

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Rlaing   

Hmmm, that surprises me. One of the reasons I would consider BK is that I would expect all required was stropping. How did you sharpen, isn't the blade shank nonstandard? Will it fit the typical swivel blade fixture?

 

Edited by Rlaing

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11 hours ago, Rlaing said:

Hmmm, that surprises me. One of the reasons I would consider BK is that I would expect all required was stropping. How did you sharpen, isn't the blade shank nonstandard? Will it fit the typical swivel blade fixture?

 

I don't use a swivel blade fixture. I pinch the blades between my fingers and use my finger tips as a sort of guide against the stone. But yes, I believe the BK blade shank is different than say a Tandy for example, I'm not sure what some of the other custom or cottage industry makers use for a shank diameter. 

My blade was dull enough to easily see the light reflecting off the apex or the edge. I started on a 600 grit stone, but quickly dropped down to a 220 when I realized it was going to take forever on the 600.

I then progressed up to 8000, and stropped it, I made a couple quick cuts on a scrap of leather, and went to bed. I haven't had a chance to use it since then.

I think I will be very happy with the knife now, I just mentioned it because not everyone will be willing or able to touch up a new knife. And it could very well be that I got a blade that slipped through the cracks, and all the other ones are much sharper out of the box. I'm not complaining, or unhappy, at this point I would say that I would order one again.

Like I said, I haven't had a chance to really use it long term, but from sharpening it I can tell that the steel is good enough to last awhile between stropping sessions. I have hand sharpened a lot of other knives and tools, so in comparison I'm confident that the blade steel is decent enough.

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I've been using my BK for about 3 years now and honestly I love it. I started with a Tandy CraftTool then upgraded after a few years. I have small hands and I use the 3/8" comfortably. I do have to sharpen and strop quite a bit, but usually a few passes on my block and its good to go. I use it daily for at least a few hours at a time, the checking on the barrel sometime chews my fingers but I put some med tape around it and it's good to go. I haven't had any problems with it and honestly would recommend it to anyone wanting to transition!

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I just recently went from the " el cheapo " hobby lobby kit swivel knife to one of the craftool ergo grip knives, while a significant improvement it still wasn't what I was looking for. I then upgraded to the craftool pro swivel knife with a 1/2 inch barrel and wow at the difference. It is built with all bearing construction and it is super smooth. I have not used the higher end but I have a bob beard knife in the plans for the future. But I am very pleased with the craftool pro.

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