GeneH

Used straight or round knife on a budget - brands?

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We all have our favorite knives and I kinda like this one. I paid $1.00 for it at a resale shop. It was covered in tar, probably used for scraping roofing tools or something. It was dull, no edge, just a cheap scraper. It called out to me, probably the price. After cleaning the tar off and sharpening it ,I thought it might work for something. The blade is a little curved at the edges and that makes it work well for cutting very thin leather since I can sort of roll it over the leather and not have to pull it to cut. I strop it often and it maintains a good cutting edge. Probably not great grade of steel but it works great for what I use it for.

And for $1.00 I smile every time I use it!

IMG_2081.JPG

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Glad to hear that a right hand knife will do just fine in my left. IMO the more mainstream the less likely to get a bum product. I try to stay with ambidextrous tools, left handed only when there’s a significant advantage.  Remember the stupid classroom desks with only a right half desktop? Ugh. :offtopic:Now THAT was a pain.  Someday I want a left hand Suji  or Deba from Japanese Knife Imports out in CA.

Gotta go look at a Kizer in SC35. My boys have just purchased Benchmade with SV 35 (or is it 30?) but darn nice edge retention. (Cutting up lots of corrugated cardboard)

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1 hour ago, TomWisc said:

We all have our favorite knives and I kinda like this one. I paid $1.00 ..,

And for $1.00 I smile every time I use it!

IMG_2081.JPG

Those are the really fun finds. I’d love that one too for all the same reasons you do.

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I made my knives in a similar way to that in the video. To remind you I used an old box plane blade and a piece of 40mm hacksaw blade

A friend shaped & sharpened the blades on his bench grinder for the price of a pint. It is difficult to sharpen such thin hard steel so the bevel is a bit steep; I am gradually reducing this as I resharpen it by hand. Nevertheless it does the job. But having a sharp, polished cutting edge is the most important part

For the ferrule I used a piece of copper water pipe

The rest of the handle making was all done with hand tools - a small saw; drills; files, rasps, and sandpaper; and glued with 2 part epoxy

Some of the available knives have a curved edge to the upper part of the offset blade, but as you can see from the video, a straight line works just as well

One of the tools I used was a Shinto Japanese saw rasp - find them via Google and on YouTube; they're available from Amazon USA for about $17. These are excellent, and cut easily without clogging

If you're still interested you could think about making your own English style paring knife or Japanese KIRIDASHI knife, they're very similar. Search for kiridashi on the Net and YouTube

Edited by zuludog

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16 hours ago, zuludog said:

That's a fair comment. I started with a Stanley knife/craft knife/box cutter knife and still use it sometimes. It seemed to work better after I'd resharpened the blades with a fine oilstone and a strop; probably because that reduced the shoulder of the bevel and gave it a better polish

Whatever knife you get, you will need two - the first is for cutting leather. The second can be more or less anything you want. Use it for opening parcels, sharpening pencils, cutting string, and that sort of thing; its purpose is to make sure you use the first one exclusively for cutting leather

Yup!   More than one utility knife is a great idea for sure.   It doesn't work around here, tho.  I have several lying around, and just two that i try to keep reserved for leather work.  Yet somehow, with the ones reserved for "around the house" lying right out in plain sight, I always find my hidden leather knives out used to open packages all the damn time.   Amazing!

 

- Bill

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That's it, I'm gonna have to buy me a few more leather knives.

I will do some review when the slow boat from China arrives.

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Well, Wuta offers this one in a Lefty model. I have one on the way.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F153396227566

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On 3/13/2019 at 3:26 PM, GeneH said:

These just popped up for me. Stated as DC53 steel, and according to a quick google education, superior to D2, (tougher, more chip resistant at higher hardness)....soooo... if the HT is good then I should be more than satisfied. For a while. At the price I can't justify the T&M to make one. BONUS if it's really good then we might be looking for belt knives. heh.

I wonder if there is any real difference between left and right orientation when using the knife, 'cause I'm a leftie. No matter, we'll see what happens. If it wasn't for the videos I would have been using it backwards anyway.

 

image.png.74a4bc1781a45564e5511b654bc82fed.png

I messaged Kevin on this exact posting and he said he had them available in left hand models. 

So, now I have one of those coming too.

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Does a round knife work when using an acrylic template to cut against?  I am using an 11 surgical blade and they dull pretty quickly (i have an endless supply...) but get the job done when i am not at the right angle and just barely touch the template

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I doubt I would have the muscle control pushing a knife (round or head knife) around a tight curve template since I've used pulling strokes all my life when cutting shapes.

Part of your question hints at the knife's ability to hold an edge. Are you asking about a round/head knife for it's utility for leather work because of its shape?  That was part of my questions also when deciding on a new knife.

Either way you need a knife with hard steel, thin behind the edge, but not too hard or thin that it chips or snaps off a millimeter of the pointy tip. (...and I have no idea what hardness or steel to suggest for leather... but hope to get a little education when my knife arrives. I want buttery smooth slicing, and no chipping if I use it on a poly cutting board)

 

Edited by GeneH

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30 minutes ago, GeneH said:

I doubt I would have the muscle control pushing a knife (round or head knife) around a tight curve template since I've used pulling strokes all my life when cutting shapes.

Part of your question hints at the knife's ability to hold an edge. Are you asking about a round/head knife for it's utility for leather work because of its shape?  That was part of my questions also when deciding on a new knife.

Either way you need a knife with hard steel, thin behind the edge, but not too hard or thin that it chips or snaps off a millimeter of the pointy tip. (...and I have no idea what hardness or steel to suggest for leather... but hope to get a little education when my knife arrives. I want buttery smooth slicing, and no chipping if I use it on a poly cutting board)

 

It takes a little practice to do the push cuts. But, it is not difficult to learn. 

2 hours ago, Husky3 said:

Does a round knife work when using an acrylic template to cut against?  I am using an 11 surgical blade and they dull pretty quickly (i have an endless supply...) but get the job done when i am not at the right angle and just barely touch the template

Yes I have used mine many times around a template.

If you strop those surgical blades you will find them much easier to use.

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I can recommend this eBay seller. I bought one his "vintage" leather knives similar to the one in this listing and about the same price. Sharpest blade I have ever used and at least as sharp as the Lisa Sorrell skiving knives; which were excellent right out of the box.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Vintage-Japanese-Skiving-knife-Leather-craft-37-180mm-Saburo/202620461502?hash=item2f2d1ee1be:g:OXEAAOSwfvlbvVAP&frcectupt=true

Edited by lonesome dove

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HUSKY 3 -------  Any knife used against a template is liable to become blunted. The procedure you should use is - 

Use a round or scratch awl (hence the name) against the template to mark out the pattern on the leather. Do this quite firmly to produce a definite scratch or groove. Then remove the template and cut the pattern freehand. A deep scratch will make it easier to see the pattern, and will also act as a guide for the blade

Depending on the thickness of the leather, start with light cuts to establish the line of the cut, then use that line for stronger & deeper cuts. As you gain experience and strength in your hands & wrists you can do fewer light cuts and go to deeper cuts more quickly - that's the theory anyway

the disposable blades used in craft knives & scalpels can be improved bu a fine stone & stropping

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Zuludog: I though making multiple passes to get through leather or anything else was just a bad habit of mine developed from either poor tools and skill. 

Thanks for validating that I'm not as skill-less and wimpy as I thought.   :-) 

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8 hours ago, GeneH said:

Zuludog: I though making multiple passes to get through leather or anything else was just a bad habit of mine developed from either poor tools and skill. 

Thanks for validating that I'm not as skill-less and wimpy as I thought.   :-) 

A single cut is the best way, and experts & purists will tell us it is the only way, but it is difficult to maintain the hard pressure needed to cut thick leather whilst at the same time following the line of the pattern. For most mortals a few passes are needed, depending on the thickness of the leather. The downside is that you must be careful to follow exactly in the same line, or you will produce a stepped effect on the cut edge

As I said, as you gain experience, both with cutting the leather and sharpening your tools, so you can manage with fewer cuts

I can usually manage up to about 2 to 2,5mm leather with one cut, but for 3 or 4mm I often need a second or third pass, especially on curves.

The advantage that I, and I think most members of this forum have, is that we do this for a hobby, and we can evolve our own methods, without a college lecturer or a workshop foreman to tell us off. 

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On 3/11/2019 at 4:58 PM, bikermutt07 said:

Check out this guys stuff

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F153109324797

This is as close to 40 bucks with some quality you're going to find. Be patient he is out of China. But he makes quality stuff.

I checked out his knives they are very nice I just ordered one yesterday. Thanks for info...

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3 hours ago, BattleAx said:

I was wondering why one end is chopped ... less material for extra blade most of us won't use?

Have 3 of us ordered new knives from Kevin Lee about the same time as this thread is active or just before? Mine will arrive  4/8 - 5/13.   This might be a good time for some reviews after a little use and sharpening. I'll probably take go slice up some cardboard boxes and compare with a very inexpensive D2 belt knife with a scandi grind. (granted I have a bit of small primary bevel so the belt knife will have an advantage. But I will be...fun?)

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52 minutes ago, GeneH said:

I was wondering why one end is chopped ... less material for extra blade most of us won't use?

Have 3 of us ordered new knives from Kevin Lee about the same time as this thread is active or just before? Mine will arrive  4/8 - 5/13.   This might be a good time for some reviews after a little use and sharpening. I'll probably take go slice up some cardboard boxes and compare with a very inexpensive D2 belt knife with a scandi grind. (granted I have a bit of small primary bevel so the belt knife will have an advantage. But I will be...fun?)

Looks that way, I also ordered the 19 dollar knife from Wuta in hss. I have been recommending his starter set which is really well thought out. I have a few of the tools in that kit and they are really great for the price. So, I really need to check out the knife if I'm gonna keep recommending it.

This is the kit...

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F153332451784

 

4 hours ago, BattleAx said:

I checked out his knives they are very nice I just ordered one yesterday. Thanks for info...

Welcome.

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WOW!  Ship notice said my knife passed through Chicago USPS!

 

 

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38 minutes ago, GeneH said:

WOW!  Ship notice said my knife passed through Chicago USPS!

 

 

I can't seem to get any accurate information on any of the stuff I have ordered from Kevin.

But, unbeknownst to anyone, he and Wuta are in a race. A slow Chinese race.

I ordered a knife from each of them within a few minutes of each other.

We shall see who gets the shipping nod.;)

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Happy Wednesday!  I received my knife today from Kevin (Crazy cut on ebay) and am totally impressed. It's ready to use out-of-the-box.   Fit and Finish is excellent. The blade is straight with the handle. The handle itself is remarkably smooth, endgrain popping nicely, and does not appear to have a varnish coating.

As for the blade, most of it is a nice satin finish.  The bevel does have fine grind marks, and is polished to a high shine by (I'm guessing) a buffing wheel because the polish extends above the bevel a little.

The really nice surprising is the edge. I'm used to good cutting edges, and this one is as good as it gets. When I run my fingers across it splits the fingerprints and threatens to keep going. Kevin apparently put a really small neat micro bevel and did an excellent job of it. Not a burr to be found, no roughness or unevenness. I planned on using the knife to cut some corrugated cardboard patterns then resharpent it, but not now. That edge is just too nice.

I'll try to post a couple pictures.

Leather Knife Crazy Cut Kevin ebay 1.jpg

Leather Knife Crazy Cut Kevin ebay 2.jpg

Edited by GeneH

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Update on the shipping race from China......

Wuta won in the fastest shipping, but I received the right hand version instead of the left hand model.

Kevin's knife hasn't arrived yet.

Both were ordered on March 14th.

Wuta knife arrived March 28th.

And, let me make sure and mention that I am very confident that Wuta will make it right. Things happen.

I still have two items from Kevin that I ordered in January that haven't arrived yet. He has been good about responding to inquires and I did place my order while the Chinese New year was going on. 

To date I have received 2 orders from Wuta since the January order with Kevin was made.

The Wuta knife did arrive plenty sharp and shiny for 18.99 with free shipping. I haven't done anything to the blade as he will probably like to receive it back.

Further information to come.

 

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I'm a little late on this topic, but may I suggest some of the various wood carving knives from Pfeil? I bought mine from Woodcraft, but looks like you can get them in a lot of places. They're Swiss-made, come in a variety of sizes and blade profiles, and whatever metal they're made from holds an edge for a LONG time. 

They come razor sharp, but I find the edges need polishing (they're intended for wood so maybe a smooth, mirrored edge isn't important for that?)

Prices range from around $15 to $30. I bought this size #10 for $20.  It's my go-to knife for 90 percent of all my cutting.

 

Knife2.jpg

Knife3.jpg

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I received word from Wuta that I can feel free to keep the right handed knife they sent and the left handed model is on the way.

That is good news..... 

Meanwhile my January order and my Japanese style knife from Kevin Lee showed up yesterday.

The Japanese knife looks very sharp and we'll made for the 38 dollar price tag. However the handle is pretty fat with a short blade so we will see how it does for skiving. The little hawk billed knife I ordered in January looks like it will come in handy for tight corner work.

I have had several orders from Wuta over the last 4 years. Shipping has always been slow, but free, and I have always been more than satisfied with the quality to price ratio.

These were my first 2 orders from Kevin Lee, shipping was slow and free.

I sent him an inquiry about why my January order shipped with my March order. I am assuming it has something to do with containers filling with orders. I am waiting on a reply about that.

All in all I am happy doing business with people in China trying to bring quality to the American market for reasonable pricing.

I will be ordering more from both suppliers.

Edited by bikermutt07

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3 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

...These were my first 2 orders from Kevin Lee, shipping was slow and free...

I paid $35 for the knife and $8 shipping. Weird.  Maybe your order was just big enough to qualify for free shipping.

Now you will have a pair of left hand knives and a right hand and a little hawkbill? Cool. Always a sharp one handy. I'm able to use my right hand knife left-handed. I did not specify left or right when I ordered.

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