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Nathan Creech
(norcalblacktail) - M

Locale: California (Kestrel Knives)
Kestrel Ultralight Knives - BPL Special!! on 12/01/2011 17:02:58 MST Print View

Its time for me to give back to this great site by having a special deal for BPL members. All paying members may take $15 off any model and will also receive a FREE UL Velcro Sheath when choosing the "Ultralighter" model. Non paying members will receive $5 off any model. I can answer any questions you may have in this thread. Pre orders are now open. There is a limited number of knives so pre order now!

I will also be giving away a couple of knives on the Kestrel Knives Facebook page soon!! All you have to do is become a fan and Like the page to enter the giveaway.

Kestrel Ultralight Knives is pleased to announce 3 new knife models designed with the backpacker in mind.


New Kestrel Ultralight Knives Models


Ultralighter in S35VN


Thanks
Nathan Creech
Kestrel Knives

Edited by norcalblacktail on 12/01/2011 17:07:38 MST.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Locale: www.hikelighter.com
ti carbide on 12/02/2011 22:01:12 MST Print View

Hello,

Why are you going with the carbide edge for a ti version?

I have a number of 100% Ti knives from Mission Knives and never had any problem with them taking and edge nor keeping one.

I would freaking love an ~11g fully handled knife to go with my SUL/XUL setups.


John B. Abela
RedwoodOutdoors.Com

Gerald Weigl
(Overton) - F

Locale: 3rd rock from the sun
Ultralighter in Ti on 12/02/2011 23:08:26 MST Print View

When is the Ultralighter in Ti out? I would love to have one!

Edited by Overton on 12/03/2011 04:39:03 MST.

Nathan Creech
(norcalblacktail) - M

Locale: California (Kestrel Knives)
Re: ti carbide on 12/03/2011 12:05:24 MST Print View

John,

I am not certain but I believe that Mission uses a Beta Ti and is able to heat treat it to a higher hardness. I have not tried one so I am not sure how well the edges hold up. But I have heard good things about them.

The reason I am using the Tungsten Carbide is because the 6AL-4V Ti that I am using does not hold an edge well alone. It is too soft. By impregnating one side with carbide it creates a micro serrated edge. As the Ti wears away or is sharpened it exposes more of the hard carbide on the other side. This type of edge is something you have to get used to. It does not excel in push cutting but does in draw or saw cutting. It wont feel super sharp but it will keep the micro serrated edge for a long time and continue to cut with the right motion.

I will let you know when they become available. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Nathan

Nathan Creech
(norcalblacktail) - M

Locale: California (Kestrel Knives)
Re: Ultralighter in Ti on 12/03/2011 12:09:07 MST Print View

Gerald

The Ti version will be available very soon. I will let you know when. I also have a SUL Ti knives coming that weigh in the 7-10 gram vicinity. They wont be a full sized knife but they should satisfy those who only do minimal cutting on backpacking trips.

Thanks
Nathan

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Re: Ultralighter in Ti on 12/06/2011 19:47:54 MST Print View

Hi Nathan,

What knife would be suitable for splitting small sticks like those used here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiqRn8Ec0K0

(Skip to 1:10 in the video)

I am looking to use a Vargo Ti Hexagon wood stove this winter. It's a small stove, but may need to split small, wet sticks at times to get to dry stuff.

Also, I assume the current discount won't apply to the Ti knives when they comes out... are there any downsides to Ti blades other than cost? How they hold an edge vs. this or that, how easy to sharpen, etc.

Thanks.

Edited by bster13 on 12/06/2011 19:52:03 MST.

Nathan Creech
(norcalblacktail) - M

Locale: California (Kestrel Knives)
Re: Re: Re: Ultralighter in Ti on 12/08/2011 10:42:11 MST Print View

Bryce,

Although you can do it with the Ti knife, a regular steel knife would be better for splitting small sticks. Sometimes with the Ti knives small edge damage will occur when working with hard materials. It is easily fixed and doesn't really effect cutting ability. This isn't to say that a Ti knife wouldn't work. For instance if you wanted a Ti knife and told me you would be were going to be splitting small sticks I would make the edge a little thicker. I have split kindling up with my Ti knife that I carry everyday and there was no noticeable damage but I tried it with one of the knives that I grind thinner for more performance cutting and slicing and there was slight edge damage that was easily fixed with a quick pass on a steel rod.

The current discount wont apply to the Ti Ultralighter since it is being offered only through KUIU.

The tungsten carbide edge is something you will need to get used to. It is different from a steel edge in the way it cuts and acts. The Tungsten carbide edge excels in draw and saw cutting motions, in contrast to push cutting. So while the edge turns meat into butter with a draw cut, it would not make the best bushcraft blade. At times the carbide edge may not even seem sharp at all, until you put it to work and find it still cuts just fine with the right motion.

Sharpening is very easy once you learn how. The only materials needed are some wet/dry sandpaper and a block of wood with mouse pad or leather backing adhered. To begin, if the edge is really dull, steel it to eliminate any rolls or dings. You only need to steel the uncoated side of the blade. After this, take your wood block with some mouse pad or leather-backed 400-600 grit sandpaper (the softer backing allows the sandpaper to form or conform to the convex edge). Put the blade on the sandpaper and lift the spine so only the edge is touching the sandpaper. With a smooth motion, draw the knife over the sandpaper. Excessive pressure is counterproductive, so go light. Furthermore, you only need to sharpen the uncoated side of the blade. You are essentially uncovering carbide at the edge. Work your way up in grit to about 1500-2000. After that, employing the same motion on a leather strop loaded with some black or green compound will work to finish it up. I am currently putting together a home and lightweight field sharpening kit that will be available shortly, for those that would like to buy everything together. Also keep your eye out for a tutorial and video on how to sharpen your Ti knives on the Kestrel site.

If you would like when you order your knife I will send you a Ti knife to test and see how you like it. I am getting ready to send some out to a couple of testers here on BPL and you can be one of them if you would like.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks
Nathan

Edited by norcalblacktail on 12/09/2011 11:13:01 MST.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Locale: www.hikelighter.com
Re: Re: ti carbide on 12/12/2011 05:45:56 MST Print View

Mission uses a Beta Ti and is able to heat treat it to a higher hardness. I have not tried one so I am not sure how well the edges hold up. But I have heard good things about them.


Correct that is what they use. I have, as I mentioned, a few of there knives and they are the best tool for the job they are designed for. For obvious reasons they are not designed for the backpacking/hiking sector so even being Ti they are reasonably heavy.

The reason I am using the Tungsten Carbide is because the 6AL-4V Ti that I am using does not hold an edge well alone.


Very much understand. And I understand the value of using WC on the edges.

I will let you know when they become available.


Please do!

I also have a SUL Ti knives coming that weigh in the 7-10 gram vicinity. They wont be a full sized knife but they should satisfy those who only do minimal cutting on backpacking trips.


That would be very excellent. I am a SUL/XUL hiker and rarely (maybe once every few hundred miles) find the need to break out a knife. Full handles, nor even full blades, are really truly required for hikers. I have used nothing more than the one inch blade on my Victorinox Swiss Army Classic for the last two seasons - though the scissors do get a lot of use. There are times however when trying to cut a block of cheese within a tiny blade, well, it just sucks lol. So I would welcome a short bladed short handle knife 7-10g range.


Off-topic, any specific sharpener required for WC? I have been using a NMS Diamond Sharpener for years on my Ti blades but am not sure what WC requires for putting an edge on.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
considering on 12/12/2011 06:10:15 MST Print View

I am only considering a "real" knife because I'm going to rock a wood stove in the winter. But after watching a million vids of knives shaving arm hair on youtube, I think ill stay w/ my chinese folder until I can use a stone properly (how do u put a proper edge on a knife that is convex on one side and straight on the other! :o) I sucked at sharpening this wknd, wouldn't want to ruin a nice knife like these. :(

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: considering on 12/12/2011 07:36:06 MST Print View

Bryce, basically these are sharpened like a chisel or plane iron in the sense they are ONLY sharpened on ONE SIDE. You will find the other side will sharpen fine provided it is lapped clean periodically, that usually means taking the knife appart and flattening (lapping) the whole surface.

A concave, flat or convex grind on the other side can de added per your choice.

Concave: Flatter & straighter cut, a more delicate edge, thinner edge, stays sharper for longer when honed, easy to touch up on a leather hone.
Flat: Somewhat higher angle cut, less straight, less delicate edge, thicker edge, can get dull quicker, but holds an well sharpened edge longer, much more difficult to hone to an extreemly fine edge, but possible. More splitting of wood than concave grinds in use. Sort of a compromise.
Convex: More controllable, but also least straight cut. A rugged edge, the rounded grind, typical of most "scary sharp" sandpaper sharpening systems, also leads to a lot of dull seeming edges, even though they can remove your hairs from your forearm. Really, not well suited to honing much beyond a #2500 or #4000 grit wet/dry paper. Honing on a leather doesn't help them enough to bother with, generally.

I have 4 sets of chisels, each ground and sharpend a bit differently. Often the thick set of mortising chisels is often refered to as dull. These work great for deep cuts, and splitting out chunks of wood. My fine paring chisels are hand use only. I would not dream of striking them with a mallet. But both are 1/2" chisels. Only the grind really makes them different. My pocket knife has a flat grind on the back, near the handle, becoming convex near the front as the blade thickens. For small splitting chores, anything less than an 1" - 1-1/4", I start near the tip. For nothing I start near the handle. YMMV.

Nathan Creech
(norcalblacktail) - M

Locale: California (Kestrel Knives)
John, Bryce and James on 12/12/2011 18:14:57 MST Print View

John,


I will let you know when I release the SUL and XUL knives. As far as sharpening goes I will be offering a sharpening setup for these knives specifically. These knives are full convex with a zero edge and require a leather stropping setup. There will be a couple different sizes for home and field sharpening. I should have some pictures and a tutorial up shortly.


Bryce,

You do not need a stone for these knives. And I gurantee that you will be elated to see how easy these are to sharpen. It will literally take you 5-10 minutes to learn. As I stated above I will be offering a sharpening setup for these knives and will have a tutorial up later this week. I would also be happy to talk to you over the phone and walk you through the sharpening process.


James,

These knives are not chisel ground. They are fully convexed on both sides which is perfect for splitting wood.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Appreciate it on 12/13/2011 14:55:59 MST Print View

Hi Nathan,

I appreciate the help/replies. Unfortunately at this time I'm not prepared for my newbie self to spend this much on a knife for fear of ruining it (I just ordered a Mora to practice with, practice sharpening). I also did not notice how small the blade was. Probably not suitable for my wood stove needs this winter. Good luck with the sale!