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Discussion Starter #1
I was asked several months ago to do up a FAQ's page for knives and edged weapons. After tnbtlaa , and lots of reading, and re-reading I'm going to make a stab at it.
The neanderthal man was the first to utilize sharpened wood, bone, and rock to either stab, cut, and sew. From learning how to knap flint or obsidian to help with cutting, and cleaning flesh, to helping to create other tools to try and make his life easier. For these earlier pre-human there has been some evidence of them attaching these sharpened stone or bone to a handle or staff. Remember, even though primative, these were the guys who learned to control fire, and gave us the wheel.
It was after the rise of cro-mangon man(SP) that the skill was attained to attach a handle or staff to the cutting tool to increase its cutting ability. Once man learned to form and control metal, our advancement continued to what we have today. Granted there are different designs, metals, and handle material, but little has changed as to what they originally were, which is a tool to cut with.
Knives today come in all forms, slip joint pocket knives, twist lock, lock back, frame lock, and switch blades(Auto) for pocket knives. For fixed blades we have everything from our kitchen cutlery an tableware to our hunting knives to combat type blades.
Swords, and axe's made of metal have been with us since the bronze age, swords being used in combat, where as axe's have been used from everyday work on the farm to combat.
The majority of all cutting tools made were more for making our lives easier than those utilized for combat, and they have been made from flint and obsidean to modern ceramic's. Some have great historical backgrounds i.e. Sykes-Fairburn, Roman gladius, Gaul Fransica, Scottish Claymore, Japanese Samurai, and the KaBar. While other designs have just marched along in time.
In todays world we have lots of different design's being manufactured out of every imaginable type metal, rock, and ceramics. I'm not going to go into every type of metal, style, design, or use. or this would become and e-book.
I know this left alot unanswered, and I leave it up to you the reader to ask questions, and I will try an answer them to the best of my abilities. If any faults are noted, please feel free to address them with me, and I'll update as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Axe's. The axe has been around since man first tied an elongated rock to a stick to use either as a hammer or club. Once he learned to attach a knapped piece of flint or obsidean, he had his first axe able to cut, not just pound on things. The hand axe has to be one of the most useful of all our cutting tools. It can fell lumber, used to cut and quarter meat, and makes a very nasty, close quarter, defensive weapon no matter its size, due to the leverage that can be applied. Most of the time though the axe is a tool for around the home, farm, or place of work.
Todays axe's come in every size you can think of, from small single bladed one hand affairs to large double bladed, two handed woodsman axe. Handle material is usually wood, but polyimers, plastics, and even steel are used. No matter where you live, its a tool that should always be close at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Pocket-Knife" Wow, thats a term that means different things to different people. Even with all the different books, periodicals, and other writings I have on knives and bladed tools no one really knows when the first true pocket knife, folding type, came into the world. Its been with us along time in alot of different styles. The earliest and most common found is the twist lock. This was nothing more than a blade that had been pinned to a piece of wood, that when opened a band of metal with a slit for the blade to open was rotated to keep the blade from closing.
After that is when the slip-joint pocket knife came about. The slip-joint was made where the spine of the handle would apply the pressure to help in keeping the blade from closing back onto the users hand. Usually the slip-joint was an all metal knife with two flat sides holding a pinned blade, with a metal spine. The rear of the blade was rounded, slightly oblong, and a shallow notch that matched with the spine, the blade is always in contact with the spine. To ensure there is proper pressure from the spine to the rotation of the blade, the term "walk and talk" came about by how the blade would make a click of sorts on opening, and a snaping noise on closing.
There are probably more models of slip-joint knives than any other made in the world. They go under names such as Barlow, Pen, Congress, Hobo, Canoe, Hawkbill, Stockman, Doctor's, Hunter, Fruit..... Usually the outer metal side's are embellished with wood, bone, Mother of pearl, and other more modern materials.
After the slip-joint comes the liner-lock, this was the first true form of locking the blade. Its actually a combination of the joint-lock and using a seperate length of metal that had been sprung so as to sring out against the back of the blade when opened. This small piece, usually of brass, had to be pressed back out of the way before the blade could be folded shut. These were only made originally on the smaller single bladed Pen knives.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pocket Knives Cont;

After the advent of the small liner locks, our next big advance was with the Top lock. I'm not going to get into this as much as withthe latter ones as most know this one. It was popularized by the Buck Knife brand a few decades ago(wow I feel really old saying that, cause I remember) with a lock along the spine of the knife either at the back or center. The blade was pulled open against pressure, an upon full opening the spine lock would snap into place. To close the lock would have to be pushed down raising the spine and releasing the blade to be closed.
Since then we've had the resurrection of the liner-lock, the frame lock(which is almost identical to the liner-lock, and now the Axis-lock which uses a spring loaded bar to lock into the back of the blade once it opens. Its true strength depends on the materials the frame is made of, and the locking bar.
 

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Fixed Blade Knives; The fixed or solid blade knife/short sword has been with us since man first learned to attach a sharpened rock to some type of handle. They have been carried by noble, and common man. They have seen war, and kitchen. They have taken life and saved lives, be it the battlefield or the operating room. Man would not be able to function today without a good knife. Knives/short sword/dirk's come in many different sizes configurations, types of handles, and metals its almost impossible to name them all, and I'm not about to try or we'd be here till next week.

Your basic fixed blade knife consists of a few parts, the blade, the hilt or guard, the grip, and the butt. Blade designs; spear, clip, sheeps foot, drop point, skinner. These are your basic designs, there are modifications of these, and there are other styles as well, but we will stick to these, as these are the most common.
The Spear is nothing more than a blade with two cutting edges, usually from face on it looks like an elongated four sides box. The blade will usually come to a very fine point. Some spear blades will have false edge.
The clip(Bowie) blade unlike the spear is flat on its sides with only part of the blade being forged down to an edge, and the edge will sweep upwards to a point, and recurve back along the upper spine in usually a false type edge to the spine or back of the blade.
The Sheepsfoot looks as though someone turned the knife upside down and then sharpened it. The blade is straight with the spine or back coming over and curving downward to the point.
The clip point looks alot like a spear point blade, but the sides are flat, with the blade bellying up to the point, and the spine or back flowing downward to the point while maintaining most of its thickness.
The skinner blade has a very long upswept blade with minor point, and sometimes a small clipped back, its name is what it does, and its the pattern that our modern butcher knives are shaped after.

One other design to mention in the "Tanto", this style of off pointed blade supposedly to resemble a samuri blade isn't. If you look at the tip of a samuri sword you will notice that the blade sweeps upward, and not cut at an angle. Its just a marketing gimic.
 

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Pocket Tool Boxes; These have been around for several hundred years. Man loves gadgets there is just no way around it. For centuries man has tried to attach everything to one thing, from knives to guns, and guns to knives, and all other kinds of gizmo's. The first truly functional one was the Victorinox Swiss Army knife. This was back in the middle 1800's, and his first was quickly accepted, and the snowball really started rolling. Today we have a plethora of multitools on the market from VSAK's to Leatherman's. Now most of these little multifunction tools are fairly reliable. No they won't build a house, but they can and will get you out of a tight spot. I have atleast one of every type made, and have put them through their paces. Of all these different ones there are two that stand out. One is the VSAK(Victorinox Swiss Army Knife) in just about any configuration. These little pocket knives with their tools are just plain tough, even if you damage it, all you have to do is contact Victorinox and they repair it for free or replace with a new one. You really have to abuse one to break it!! Also included with them is their multitool they are a beast.
The other is the Leatherman series of tools. The ones I prefer are the ones where the blades are acessed on the outside of the tool, they are very tough and also come with a lifetime warranty.
A word to the wise on the Swiss army knives. There are two companies that make them. Victorinox(Original), and Wegner(pronounced Vegner). If your wondering which is best find someplace that sells both and play with them, you'll see the difference, Wegner is the cheap cousin!
 

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I carry an assist opening CRKT knife called an Hissatsu folding knife. It has a blade of 3 3/4", overall length of 5". It is a Samurai design blade coated with black teflon. They have a new one I am going to buy, it is a CRKT knife called Heiho folder. It is assist opening with a 3 1/8" blade of stainless steel. It also has the Samurai blade design. If you lose your firearm, or have to go someplace where it is prohibited, you have a way to protect yourself. If knives are prohibited, I always have my cane. I am looking for a better cane now.
 
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