SUBCOM arrived... and a few things learned
After a UPS delivery delay due to a "late train" one night, my SUBCOM finally arrived from NGK this morning.
First impression was while intentionally blinded as I figured this would be a good way to get an impression of the ergonomics. I had only seen this in pictures, but was aware of the thumbstud and liner lock, and it seemed to fall naturally into my hand. Smaller and thinner than expected, but getting it oriented in my hand and opening was a SNAP! (this contrary to my general hatred of thumbstuds) Also expected more resistance in opening but it literally popped open under the force I thought would be necessary against the thumbstud. Unlike many of the small round thumbstuds or spine-mounted discs I've handled in the past, the shape of this thumbstud DOES lend itself to the thumb and work WITH you as the blade moves open. The ergonomics are strangely comfortable. Initially I thought that it would be like holding a small brick, but my hand naturally found it's grip on the knife as if it were a [rather thin] subcompact pistol (hence the appropriateness of its name) the pad of my thumb finding a comfortable resting place along the spine of the blade half on the small jimping, half on the large textured bumps. Again defying my initial image-based impressions were those large textured jimping bumps. These actually DO seem to increase grip as opposed to being the gimmick I initially thought. A stronger grip on the knife yielded only a mild pressure point near the lanyard hole. A reverse grip on the SUBCOM, while extremely secure, DID put a great deal of pressure on the inner second knuckles of my middle and ring fingers, but most likely was caused by the large jimping texture in that particular region of the handle. Unlocking was initially a challenge due to a rather flush linerlock, but after a two hand closing it was a skill quickly learned... comfortably... and all with the LEFT HAND!!!
And then I opened my eyes
During the blind handling of this blade I learned a great deal about the ergonomics developed into this knife, and throughout the day became more and more fond of it.
SHARPNESS: My blind test posed no danger of an accidental knick on the blade as it was barely sharp enough to cut paper with the tip right out of the box. The grain in the metal from factory sharpening was oriented the same throughout the entire edge, so the belly was plenty sharp, but the tip never had a chance. A few passes on the Sharpmaker's medium grit stones and that was all fixed
CUTTING: While the blade is mildly reminiscent of the Poliwog, with which I had intended to do a side-by-side test of the SUBCOM, this little beast quickly showed itself to be a POWERHOUSE cutter that outshined the Poli in a matter of minutes without even having to compare. I've used my boss' Poliwog many times before, and it has a great deal of difficulty in things like cardboard due to lack of a serrated edge and a rather thick blade. Even without a serrated edge, the SUBCOM will MELT through cardboard (with a drawing cut), and will teach you that the place you rest your thumb can get really warm really fast with friction against that cardboard...
BLADE STEEL: Yeah, yeah... I used to look down on AUS-8. That matter of experience stemmed from experience having to constantly sharpen my brother's CRKT tanto, but I like this. The one thing I keep forgetting about is EASE OF SHARPENING! The SUBCOM took a new edge in a matter of a few minutes as opposed to the half-hour I sometimes spend on my Dodo's and PE Native. It's also a blade shape that lends itself to the proper sharpening angle, so it makes for less work when that time comes.
I learned 2 somewhat unrelated things today:
1) You can tell that someone might not be a knife person by their incapacity to operate a linerlock, nor understand its "innermost workings" That was amusing...
2) I cut a LOT of cardboard today, and realized later on that the blade got REALLY hot. I start to wonder whether this is a work-hardened steel like H1. But I've never seen a blade get this hot before just by cutting! Conclusion: I need a Salt. I'm gonna get a salt and cut all the cardboard I can find to see about getting the Rc up to its unexpected 65.
Chad, you really did this one right! GREAT WORK!!! Granted yes, there's things I'd change, but overall you have created one AWESOME KNIFE!!! This will be in my pocket along with my regular EDC. And it will open the Lava box, when they arrive...
I smell food, but I shall return...
I'd like an order of BUTTER with extra BUTTER and a side of BUTTER!
"To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace."
A very wise man once told me "Eat to live; don't live to eat." ...To my knowledge that's the only stupid thing he's ever said.