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Old 26-11-2008, 19:43   #1
elusiveweasle
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Default Martin Knives bushcraft knife

Greetings All,
I have just returned from a glorious 3 days in the back country along the Patuxent River. While I was out there I got to really use the prototype bushcraft knife sent to me by Ed Martin of Martin Knives. I used the knife for every camp chore I could think of as well as splitting wood for kindling and carving a spoon and fork.
Let me start off by giving you the specs of the knife. The blade is 4" long and 3/16" thick differentially tempered 1095 carbon steel, flat ground with a convexed edge. The handle is 4 3/4" long black micarta. The knife is full tang. As some have already stated this knife is very similar to the Bayley knife carried by Bear Grylls.
I have to say how very impressed I am with this knife. It carves cuts and slices with very little effort, and was even able to out perform my Fallkniven F-1. The edge geometry is so good I was able to baton the knife into Cottonwood using the heel of my hand.
The handle ergonomics are excellent and I found no "hot spots" even when using the knife with cold wet hands.
The fit and finish of the knife is excellent, and with a starting price of 250USD it is a great alternative for those who like the Bayley knife but cant afford his asking price. Ed and his family are very nice, and an absolute pleasure to deal with. I currently own four Martin made knives, and am waiting on my fifth, a WSK. To contact Ed, please visit www.martinknives.com.
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Old 27-11-2008, 05:17   #2
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

Nice one sounds like a good trip!
Looks a great little knife mate i like the look of it, its different. Got any pics of it in use and of your trip buddy, sorry im nosey lol
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Old 28-11-2008, 08:29   #3
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

I am sure that the knife is all one could want. For you to say it out cuts an F1 is high praise indeed. It's surprising that 1095 would outperform VG10. There must be something about the profile of this knife.

Looking at the website, the ones shown there seem to be even better finished that the knife pictured, although I was somewhat disappointed to see that many models or distinguishing features seem to close to famous knifemakers' signature knives. I apologise for my negative tone and these comments should not detract from your happy purchase.
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Old 30-11-2008, 04:07   #4
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

ZDP - there are a few things in your post that I feel should be addressed. You commented about the finish of the knife pictured not being on par with other knives shown on the website. The finish on this knife is rough on purpose - it is a prototype. In form, it is just fine and for a bushcraft knife, form follows function. Ed Martin assured me that once I was finished with my evaluation that he would apply a professional level finish to it if I so desired.

Regarding the performance of the steel, while VG10 is a good knife steel, to date, there really are no stainless steels that can outperform 1095 carbon steel as a knife steel, except for the fact that 1095 can and will rust if not properly cared for. It should be noted that the majority of custom knives made by the makers on this site are made out of carbon steel, and not the super stainless steels that are now available.

You also commented about the fact that Ed makes a lot of knives that resemble famous, signature knives of various knife makers. Here's the deal - if a knife maker wants to stay in business, they need to sell a certain number of knives. By offering knives that resemble the signature knives of other knife makers, he not only keeps himself in business by selling more knives, but he also provides a service to the consumer who wants a usable knife, but doesn't want to wait for it to be made, or to pay the premium prices those famous signature knives sell for. The quality of the knives speak for themselves, and the more knives he sells, the better he becomes known as a knife maker. Some might consider it cheating - I consider it smart business, as well as filling the demand for those kinds of knives.

The bottom line for me is that Ed Martin makes great knives out of great materials, the price is right for the consumer, and the wait time on a special order is weeks, rather than months or even years. (I had this prototype within a week.) I know that in a pinch, this prototype Bushcraft Tactical won't let me down. Ever. That's really all I can ask for.
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:42   #5
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

I personally think technical BS can over come the soul of a knife, is a servicable sharp edge after all the rest are asthetics, it grips my **** when the nerdiness of metallurgy comes between some one and a good usable knife, I have a mate he wont mind me saying this that makes the most utilitarian knives i know, Roger Harvey he makes no *****nce knives they dont look like show room Aston Martins but they hold an edge for en eternety and do the job they was intended to, rugged and work horse looking. An honest knife that wont let you down, thats a high reccomendation to say the least IMO.
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:47   #6
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

Quote:
Originally Posted by elusiveweasle View Post
The bottom line for me is that Ed Martin makes great knives out of great materials, the price is right for the consumer, and the wait time on a special order is weeks, rather than months or even years.
None of the rest really matters, eh..!!
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Old 30-11-2008, 12:12   #7
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

Quote:
Originally Posted by elusiveweasle View Post

Regarding the performance of the steel, while VG10 is a good knife steel, to date, there really are no stainless steels that can outperform 1095 carbon steel as a knife steel, except for the fact that 1095 can and will rust if not properly cared for. It should be noted that the majority of custom knives made by the makers on this site are made out of carbon steel, and not the super stainless steels that are now available.

.
I totally agree with you there regarding different steels,i think its just steel snobbery,I have owned knives in RWL from various top uk makers,and with an Rc of 60/61 find them a lot harder to sharpen, admittedly they hold an edge longer,but you still have to spend more time putting and edge back on,so its like robbing Peter to pay back Paul.You just cant i dont think beat high carbon steel Rc 58/59 for ease of sharpeninig and edge holding

As for corrosion yes, if not looked after it will happen,but as a knife owner and user its in your interest to look after your knife so its not a problem.
When they start making wood chisels,plane irons and the complete range of woodworking tools out of these super steels,i'll perhaps start making knives from them IMO

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Old 28-06-2009, 21:01   #8
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

AGREE! I just purchased a Martin Knife- Bushcraft Tactical in S30v. Very personalized service by Newton and Eddie Martin! I'm very impressed with the overall quality, balance and feel of the knife. I can't wait to field test the knife in the ADK high peaks region and Appalachian Mountains!

You can view some photos of the knife at: http://beargryllsadvocate.com/martinknives.html

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Old 29-06-2009, 19:05   #9
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

They do make chisels from super steels, ive seen them in cpm3v. You dont seem to see chisels in stainless because a chisel needs good impact resistance.

No doubt 1095 is a great steel as is 01, but neither will out cut Vg10

All of these with the same grinds etc will cut the same (that you would notice)

But Vg10 will do it the longest but will be more prone to chipping. As bernie says it's a little harder to sharpen some of the super steels but you wont need to as often.

Personally in use i hardly ever need to sharpen my knife i made in Cpm3v and when i do, it only takes 10 seconds. I would be perfectly happy with the same knife in 01.

But given the choice id rather have a knife that will wear down quicker. And some poeple do use them enough to wear them, ask a lot of makers who have had knives sent to them half the original width.

Not all of them have been oversharpened some of them are just used a lot. Not everyone is an armchair bushcrafter, Just me
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Old 29-06-2009, 19:35   #10
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Default Re: Martin Knives bushcraft knife

Bah! Who cares what steel a knife is made out of. If it's sharp, stays sharp for a while, is sharp enough to cut what you want it to cut and can be sharpened on a rock and stropped on bark to bring it's sharpness back I'm happy. And, if it's cheap.... even better.
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