When I had good experiences with HCV steels for my task, I looked for steels with similar properties(wear resistance) and I've found that these steels worked well for some of my tasks. That's my experience and the experience of a lot of folks here.
Now Cliff says that knives of bevels angles set at over 10° inclusive are not much use to him since he says cutting performance is so degraded. Ok, I accept that, BUT, then he goes on to say that all the experience of the mainstream is invalid and is a result of a placebo effect and in fact, he is the only one with the TRUTH.
Now, how does it happen that only he(and a few of his friends)have results like that? Obviously his results are like that because of his protocols. He sets the protocols that way because that's his preference in a knife for his use and that again is fine.
Now, not everybody uses angles as low as Cliff's(I'd guess less than 5% of users). Cliff himself says that unless the bevel angles are that low, then wear resistance will "overpower" edge stability. Here's where my problem is. I don't like edge damage and I dislike repairing it even more. That's why I bevel my pocket knives at around 30° which for me provides a good compromise between sharpness and durability.
My question then follows, what are you cutting that a sharp 30° bevel is considered degraded performance? Are you using your knife as a scalpel? Shaving with it? If your tasks mandate an extremely low angle, go for it. Choose a steel that supports the angle and accomplish your task with elan.
BUT, there's a big BUT, the low angles are not for everyone and not for all tasks. Obviously a lot of people are going to have their bevel angles at between 20°-40°. According to Cliff himself, wider angles are where HCV steels will perform best. So isn't it a foregone conclusion that since a lot of people use wider angles, that HCV steels perform better for them? Why then dismiss the majority experience as "placebo effect"?
If Cliff wants a wider audience, then he should set his protocols where the wider audience have theirs at. Unless, he is trying to find a set of protocols that will enable him to set himself up as the purveyor of THE TRUTH.
As someone just PM'ed me, Cliff seems to be trying to incite something.
I hope that reply is clear enough to you now. It's a bit wordy so you'll have a more fun time of trying to say "it's nonsense" or trying to twist my words.
Oh BTW, what bevel angles do you have on your knives? What steels do you use?
Last edited by chuck_roxas45; 12-17-2013 at 05:02 PM.
Personally, it's pretty obvious that he got results so far off the mainstream, because his testing is so far off the mainstream, and you agree completely, Yahoo! This was my entire point. Testing to particular circumstances doesn't make it bad, it just makes it relevant to those circumstances.
Personally I'm similar to you in that I don't enjoy sharpening edge damage a lot, and therefore I give myself more obtuse angles on the steels I use to decrease edge failure on knives used for wide ranges of tasks. Probably about 10 degrees per side? I dunno, I'm a sloppy free hander.
Daily cutters range from VG-10 to S30V to 3G, to Pakistan's finest mystery steel. They lie somewhere between very fine angles and the factory angles. Did I mention my free handing produces sloppy angles? If I had to average them out, I find they settle around 10 degrees per side, but convexed to the edge...?
So just to make sure we are on the same page, this whole discussion started when Cliff mentioned that Kylie was sending out a knife to be tested by many people who did not know what the steel was, and you said that would only be useful if the testing wasn't biased or skewed.
My argument was that there would be no bias, because the testing is blind, and in circumstances relevant to each of the testers. I think we agree on this point now, from what I have read.
Last edited by BrutallyEffective; 12-17-2013 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Skipped word
I don't think this argument actually holds, that the geometries I use are extreme in a general sense. In fact it is obvious that the opposite is the case if you do even light research or if you are even more than a casual user. As just one example, in what is well known as the bible of axes by Cook he describes how to sharpen axes (not surprising). In a full size felling axe, the final sweep of the edge (where the angle is the highest) it is 15 dps.... against Cliff's testing saying that it is non-representative of the mainstream
Now think about the forces which are subjected to a full size felling axe in use and then think about the forces which are applied to a pocket knife in use. Is it not immediately obvious, blindingly obvious even that the pocket knife is subject to less force in use. Because if this is the case then someone with the most basic grasp of physics should be able to grasp that the pocket knife should be slimmer at the edge than a full size felling axe.
If you use a knife by :
and the list goes on, then nothing that I say is extreme geometry wise.
Or simply note that the SB Delica is not actually radically thinner than a common Opinel. If you buy a knife which costs 10X that of a Opinel should you not expect more out of the steel and the knife :
or a fancy one :
Note the secondary bevel on that is so thin that you can barely see it.
It isn't the case that I am the only person using knives in these geometries, Alvin was talking about this in the late nineties on rec.knives and making knives and giving them to people so ground. Roman's work of course discusses such geometries, and the list continues.
It is also a significant cultural/regional thing. I have a number of very nice japanese kitchen knives and it is very common to have edges which are < 0.005"/15 dps. In fact it is so well known now that this produces far superior performance that even western manufacturers are doing it and you can easily get common US brands which have edges < 0.010"/15 dps and this is on $5 knives.
Just think about if your knife should have lower performance than a $5 420J2 stainless steel knives. I expect more from the makers I work with and from the manufacturers I support, and they deliver - it is why I work with and support them.
But among the mainstream are people without that level of understanding. For most people, if they severely damage a knife, that knife will never cut well again. Ever. They just don't have the skill (or equipment, or both) to repair and resharpen it with a consistent and appropriate angle.
I've seen this a lot in commercial kitchens, Chefs with knife rolls and draws and tupperware containers filled with unused knives, because they "don't like the handle" or "Got a new, better knife". The thing all the knives have in common are damaged edges they cannot repair, and they won't admit it, and these are people who use knives as their occupation.
I think this is why most knives are sold with these obtuse edges; the lowest ability knife users are not that far off the median of knife users' ability.
Last edited by BrutallyEffective; 12-17-2013 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Mixed mathematical metaphors; made less embarrassing.
Note that the maximum peak of performance in that table is for fairly high carbide steels. The angles/finishes I actually carry/use are at a lower angle and higher polish which shifts the peak. However that table is part of a much larger body of work which will map out how the angle/grit finish which is optimal is dependent on the carbide volume.
In the discussion on Jeremy's chef knife for example the work was taken to the point the edge failed by using the knife in a manner that I would not personally do in the kitchen. But again to provide a more comprehensive commentary I used it in a manner which is common, but that I personally don't use.
The silliest thing of course is that I have been sponsoring pass arounds for decades. I have no control over what people do on them and that information is added to the reviews, posted on the forums and video's are made on YT. If I wanted to make some kind of biased argument that would be a pretty insensible way to do it, allow an opened ended independent evaluation.
Of course the most ridiculous thing is this - if some really feels the passarounds are biased/skewed and are missing critical points of evaluation then just participate in them and provide that information that is what they are used for.
I'm aware of (and greatly appreciate) your testing Cliff, I just figured I would refer only to the testing Chuck had selectively referred to.
What I found interesting about that page is the relatively small differences between a lot of the steels. It confirms a bit what Stuart and Chuck were saying earlier, in how hard it is to differentiate steels simply with daily use only. Do you have a table that contains all three classes of steel, rather than the 3 separate classes?
Actually, another very interesting thing is the performance of the ZT Elmax and a few others, and how poor they were. This really drives home the importance of good heat treating and grinding with respect. The Maker really is so much more important than the steel they have chosen.
It's always good to see Spyderco giving the customs a run for their money too!
I daresay there are quite a few people who have as much if not more experience with knives, steel, and sharpening and yet not prefer sub 10° for general use. I guess you can justify their preferences by saying they do not have a strong understanding of blah blah blah...
I wonder what bevel angles Sal uses on his knives...
I also think I read somewhere that Phil Wilson puts 20° bevels on his customs. I guess you'd say Phil doesn't have a strong understanding of steel, knives, and sharpening then. LIke Phil, I prefer thin blade stock with decent angles rather than going with really low angles but thicker blade stock. However, since I can accomplish my tasks with production knives(I also don't have the money to indulge my desire for customs) at my prefered bevel angles, I stick with them.
I wonder what materials you cut that a sharp 30° bevel underperforms for you. If you're a sushi chef, that's pretty understandable on the sushi knives but on an EDC pocket knife?
I have gotten tired of playing word games with you because that's all we're really doing here. You have your preferences and your admiration for Cliff and I have my preferences and skeptism of his testing and his motives. I'm not gonna convince you and you're sure not going to convince me.
Last edited by chuck_roxas45; 12-18-2013 at 04:14 AM.
What I meant by the 30° bevel underperforming, was that more acute angles slide through stuff (fruit, plastic packaging, cardboard, meat, everything) a lot better, and don't seem to fail or get damaged any worse for me. Why not just take the knife that feels sharper?
chuck_roxas45 your problem, and it is a problem, is that you are arguing sentiment versus data. These are not arguments of equal merit on equal footing. There is an excruciatingly strong precedent for people doing this, never for anyone's betterment, and typically it eventually falls apart. Its perfectly fine then to disagree with Cliff, but to do so without contradicting data, you ought poke holes in methodology, some of the vague "quantifications," etc. Saying "well my position is right because everyone does it, isn't an argument. Have you ever actually tried to replicate Cliff's results? Typically thats how science works. If you don't like someone's conclusions for whatever reason, you look at the experiments that lead them to those conclusions. You then can replicate them and show your own results. If an experiment can't be replicated, it is by definition unscientific, so that would poke a pretty major hole in Cliff's argument. Alternately though you could end up with exactly the same conclusion and learn something.
I love it how this is always brought up. Its a cute little left handed slight, implying Cliff has some sort of secret agenda. This was the accusation over a decade ago when Cliff preferred INFI for his larger knives, and at the time I'll grant you his experiments had a narrower scope so accusations of bias were easier to make because he condoned fewer manufacturers. Now though, dare I ask who you think his motives are? Which brand is paying him to say wonderful things about them? Or perhaps you think he is just trolling the entire knife industry for his own amusement? Be serious. You aren't even bothering to seriously refute his points, this is just degrading from a "well so and so does/uses therefore it must be better because I like them more/they're more mainstream" to slanderous accusations of sinister motives and bias. The offer is still there: replicate his results, offer a science based refutation or even hypothesis for why he is in error, or just leave it be.I have gotten tired of playing word games with you because that's all we're really doing here. You have your preferences and your admiration for Cliff and I have my preferences and skeptism of his testing and his motives.
I trace all of my results back to materials data and physics, so if you refute them you are refuting pretty basic and very well supported data. Not saying it is impossible, but again - good luck, you are going to have to over turn work which is supported by layers of peer reviewed and published data.
I am also really careful and do blinding, random sampling, heavy / multiple trials and it generally takes me a LONG time to come to a solid conclusion. For example I still have not made a YT video on SM-100 but I would bet I have used it more extensively than anyone else as I am still waiting for one more of the four test blades I had made.
Not saying it isn't possible, but again, good luck. I can guarantee I am a much more harsh critic of the work I do than anyone else.
That large table I have going now with the 600 DMT finish. Before I even did that table I did a base run with another finish just to map out basic behaviour and overview the classes, and all of that underlies the work presented. I gather/collect more than 10X the data that is ever released, all of it is just calibration, verification, and similar.
These knives are *five* generations old.
These knives are (and were) seriously used and thus the performance is/was critical. If you are cutting out cod tongues then you make money by the volume and so the knives are full ground with minimal edge bevels. If I take a standard 0.025"/20 dps knife to any of them then it will be disregarded immediately because it simply isn't "sharp", by which they mean it doesn't cut well.
I think it is an interesting question as to what the masses use, or what is in general representative but we have to clearly ask what do we want to be representing. We also have to be clear of regional differences. In the time I spent in India I never say anything close to a 0.020"/20 dps bevel. Again, all the working class people sharpened flat to a stone.
To me it is kind of silly that you pay 10-100X as much as you get a vastly inferior cutting tool, at that point is it really a knife or is it a piece of jewelry?
There is a massive table which lists every steel used, however it is pretty incomplete and doesn't really present a true (or at least complete picture). I need to update it to include :
-extent of damage at the end of the run
-amount of steel to be removed in sharpening
-time of sharpening/abrasive required
-skill/experience required to sharpen
Yeah, check out Kyley's knives. When he noted that the Elmax knives had issues he took one of his knives, intentionally burnt it and then had this checked to see if that could be the case. His burnt knife behaved statistically identically to the problematic ones (ZT). His non-mangled one shot up tremendously and is comparable to Elliot's. Roman of course has direct materials data on this and I have shared that as well.Actually, another very interesting thing is the performance of the ZT Elmax and a few others, and how poor they were. This really drives home the importance of good heat treating and grinding with respect. The Maker really is so much more important than the steel they have chosen
Along those lines, I think, and Roman agrees, that what we may be seeing is not just over heating in grinding that it could also be decaurb which will his the edge very strongly, especially if they are ground too thin before HT.
In regards to placebo/bias, this is something I have talked about extensively. In short, if you are not using proper methodology then your results and thus conclusions are going to be dominated by bias such as the placebo effect. This may upset some people but it is the frank reality of experimentation. This is why research is done the way that is it done. No one does blinding, random sampling, multiple trialing because it is so much fun - it is done because it is necessary to know.
Generally, I am not open to looking at anything really, I am an experimentalist so as long as I can do it is very likely if you ask then it will be done. Most of the extreme work I do is almost always at the request of someone asking what would happen. The concrete block thing for example all started with one maker asking me to do it in public on one of his knives (Ray Kirk) due to a number of other makers vastly over promoting both it and the implications. Ray's very thin ground bowie could slam into the concrete with no fracture, just impaction as it was inherent a very tough steel and too far less damage with a far higher cutting ability/geometry than a high carbide steel.
Last edited by Cliff Stamp; 12-18-2013 at 11:09 AM.
It's like Vassily all over again.
Bottom line is that a lot of people are buying AND using HCV steels. They can't all be blinded by the placebo effect. Their experience is what it is.
I made a bunch of 12C27 knives that no one wants, even though they are similar profiles as my N690 and VG10 blades...which do sell...
Folk have this idea propagated by the 'Net, that 12C27 is out of date...
Let us say that someone wants a "super steel" blade and and in his search, someone else rubbishes the "older" steels...
If he/she is new to the game of knives and steels, they might be swayed by the "older steels are rubbish" frame of thought. and that is their perogative...
I have S30V steel at home, but I still prefer to use N690 overall...if does what I want, I can sharpen it when and how I want, but if there was only one steel in the world, and that was either 12C27 or AEBL, I would be just as happy to make knives out of the "rubbish" steel " till I run out of money...
And we have not even started on the angles yet...
If you'd bothered to understand Ankerson's rankings (which I'll provide here http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...-5-8-quot-rope ) and contrast it against Cliff's rankings (which I'll provide here http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/reviews/cardboard.html ) you'd have seen that a critical part of their statement is their methodology. While Cliff's is significantly more detailed in his results and broader in his rankings, the two aren't necessarily contradictory.you are arguing sentiment versus data
Just as an example though, because you apparently hold Ankerson in such high regard, let me draw your attention to something. He places S30v, from two different knives, in both category 5 and category 7. Meanwhile a low carbide volume steel (super blue) and 3V are both up in category 4, performing better than S30v. Your world view then that chemistry and carbide volume are absolute, appear to have been refuted readily by Ankerson as well as Cliff. The irony is that BOTH individuals cite geometry as a critical performance factor.
No, and I use them as well. Nobody is saying something so simple, if only cutlery were so simple. HCV steels perform better at more "normal" apex angles, such as 15 degrees per side, As you increase the apex angle, you're increasingly handicapping high carbide volume steels as the edge can't perform effectively when the carbides are just tearing out. You'll also note that Ankerson makes a public recognition of the importance of geometry at the top of his chart by saying:Bottom line is that a lot of people are buying AND using HCV steels. They can't all be blinded by the placebo effect. Their experience is what it is.
The Custom Phil Wilson knives in M390 (62) and ELMAX (62) are not added to the data, they wouldn't fit into any of the Categories due to the Optimal HT and cutting ability, the difference is off the scale percentage wise so it wasn't added.Thats just it though, Cliff is testing blades within parameters usually beyond the scope of other tests ergo their results don't necessarily apply and vice versa. Its easy then to conclude, for you to refute them, you would need to replicate the experiments and see if you produced the same results. Otherwise you're comparing apples to oranges. HCV knives are advantaged at lower apex angles (to an extent as a fascinating recent publication of Cliff's showed) but that doesn't necessarily produce optimum cutting geometry.Not at all, the only problem I see is that Cliff's results are so different from a lot of other tests by a lot of other reputable people.
This indicates that either this discussion, and/or the discussions involving Vassily, you fundamentally did not understand. If you subjected his results to statistical analysis, as I do recall, what you realized is that he was losing the signal through very noisy data. What ultimately gave him the boot was his emotional nature when confronted. Even he had a published testing protocol though, which would allow independent attempts to replicate the experiments and I do believe (correct me if I'm wrong Cliff) that Cliff did exactly that.It's like Vassily all over again.
Now now don't be smug Cliff. Replicating your experiments is the basis of good science, particularly for those seriously interested in refuting it. Lets go out on an insane limb here and say Chuck was actually serious about contradicting you, rather than just saying "well everyone else agrees with me so I must be right by default." (which, amusingly, in this thread isn't the case) If he replicated your experiments there are a few possibilities:Good luck.
1) He reproduces your results and is forced to cede the point
2) He fails to reproduce your results because your experiments are actually fake/imaginary/etc
3) He reproduces your results, but is unwilling to cede the point so discards the results arbitrarily as invalid
4) He fails to reproduce your results due to some protocol infidelity
Or alternately he can take option 5 which is:
5) with zero specific or otherwise cited experimental data or even a flawed methodology hypothesis, he continues to publicly lambaste you based on his own sentiment
Did I miss an option?
I should note by the way that, before you go call me a Cliff "shill" based solely on the fact that I disagree with you, I disagree with some of Cliff's arguments pretty frequently and we have fun butting heads over it. Unless he is secretly shaking his head saying "what a moron" :P , I assume its just an activity we both enjoy I certainly learn from, and maybe I even score the odd point against him on. When you take the debate though from hypothetical technical to simply inane, something is definitively lost.
Last edited by hunterseeker5; 12-18-2013 at 02:40 PM.
Hi Sal, I hope you will welcome me to contribute here occasionally.
Chuck_roxas45. I find the angle you are taking with your above quote to be ignorant of the development of experience and learning rather than proof of the truth of experience.
There was a time when the majority of people held the view that the earth was flat and those few scientists that actually tested new ideas and broke ground discovered very interesting things about our flat world. They were harassed fairly well because the majority of people experienced a flat earth and lacked the ability or presence of mind to seek deeper knowledge.
I hope you can see the similarity between your approach and proofs against Cliffs methodology in what you are saying?
Do you agree that we should have stayed on a flat earth and have no tech or internet because the majority were incapable of experiencing the truth or understanding the value it could have in their lives?
The interesting thing about advancement is that most naysayers don't want to give up such advancements in thinking once the majority have been swayed.
Cliff is seeking knowledge. There is a good chance that at some point in time knowledge gained will then be utilized by sal and other companies to the betterment of the product. Especially when you look at the release of knives such as spydercos zero ground folding pukko. The s30v didn't handle the geometry well. In the future sal might choose to try again using a razor blade steel that can easily support 62rc at that geometry.
Finally. To both sal and chuck_....
I find the continual use of cliffy in a derogatory manner insulting to him and annoying to read. It's against the rules I just read when I signed up.
If that is the tone you want to have when you disagree rather than courteous dialog then it's really a shame to have rules of conduct. Cliff chooses to use his real information unlike most. That should give reason to harass.
I also use my real name on every other internet service available.
I chose not to here after watching the insult to his name here. My name is funny enough without having someone intentionally mangle it.
Merry Xmas to everyone here.
That is indeed reality biting...no pun intended...
Sorry if I go off thread...
I too resisted the "thoughts" of Cliff years ago when I read his tests on the 'Net...how could someone be THAT intense...?
I tried what he did with my limited resources...I now think I understand what Cliff says, when he says it...
Because it makes sense in practice...it is tangible for a simple bloke like me, and it works...
More of what is wrong, is still wrong...more of what is right, should still be right...
Facts are repeatable, given similar circumstances...
Right...back on thread again, folks...