Maxam Knives – Good or Bad?

Maxam Knives – Good or Bad?

I was recently walking to my local gym and low and behold I ended up finding this little gem on the ground.

front of maxam knife

At first, I thought it was a Spyderco. I was STOKED! Unfortunately, I picked up a ‘Maxam’ branded knife. So, what do I think of it? Meh… It doesn’t impress me.

Overall, the knife screams cheaply made Chinese mass-produced crap. Nothing against Chinese knives. As of the time that I am writing this article (Year 2020) the Chinese are making some quality blades. This Maxam knife, however, is not one of those high-quality pieces.

The black handle is made from cheap plastic, not the Zytel or G10 quality plastic that many knife-collectors are used to. The pocket clip… I actually like. Sure, it isn’t deep carry, but the “springiness” of the pocket clip is perfect. The knife-hole opener is more of a Byrd knife shape rather than your typical Spyderco circle.

maxam knife in both good and bad conditions

Since I picked it up from off the ground, I wanted to test the sharpness of the blade. This bad boy has gone through quite some use. The smooth edge was so dull that it could barely cut paper even when I laid it flat-down on my table. The serrated edge is still in pretty decent condition.

The blade steel is trash. Very soft steel. It took me a few passes on my sharpening system to get this blade razor sharp, aaaannnndddd… it was dull again after cutting rope for less than 10 minutes.

serrated edge of maxam blade steel

In summary, if you see a Maxam knife at your local sporting goods store and it is over five bucks… save your money. This knife may be okay to shove into your fishing tackle box or in the glove compartment of your vehicle. But, as a knife snob, I would recommend you skip out on these Maxam knives. The quality is seriously lacking.

What Is Knife Batoning?

What Is Knife Batoning?

Knife batoning is when you use your knife in the same fashion that you would use an axe – to split wood. The difference between using an axe and using your knife is that, for the most part, your knife doesn’t have the weight and blade geometry of an axe.

batoning knife

In order to make your knife function more like an axe, a piece of wood or other heavy club is used to provide more force to the wood you are trying to split.

What Is The Best Knife For Batoning

There are many good choices. Our personal favorite is the Becker BK9. Ethan Becker is well known among knife fanatics and he designs some of the most robust blades on the market today.

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The Becker BK9 is a knife that has stood the test of time. We here at I Luv Knives believe that the BK9 is not only the best knife for batoning, but also the best bang for your buck if you are looking for a blade that will last you a lifetime.

The main thing about a batoning knife is that it needs to have a heavy blade in order to chop through wood. The entire premise of batoning is to chop or hack through. You are mimicking the action of an axe.

Will Cutting Paper Dull My Knife?

Will Cutting Paper Dull My Knife?

dull knife blade from cutting paper

This is a very common question many knife owners have asked. The “Paper Cut” test is commonplace in the knife community to get a good glimpse on how sharp your blade is. But does cutting paper actually dull your knife?

Short answer: For most instances – No. The average piece of paper with a razor sharp knife will be sliced like butter.

However, there are a lot of assumptions being made there. There are so many factors that go into the “Paper Cut” test that will determine the end result of your knife blade’s sharpness.

For instance – What type of paper are you cutting? What is the hardness of your blade? Angle of the blade edge? Geometry of the blade?

I could go on and on, so let’s set some “average knife” parameters and continue from there.

Let’s say our average pocket knife has a drop point blade as shown below

Benchmade Bugout
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The angle of the blade is a common 20 ° and the hardness at HRC 58.

How well would the knife hold up versus the following paper products?

Printer Paper – Your knife will stay plenty sharp. You most likely could cut soft printer paper for an hour straight and see no discernible difference in sharpness.

Glossy Photo Paper – Alright, now you aren’t only cutting paper, but a glossy layer on top of it. Your knife will dull much faster with photo paper because not only is it thicker, harder, and made of different materials – but there is an adhesive layer between the paper and gloss as well.

3-Hole Punched Binder Paper – You might as well be slicing butter. You could cut binder paper all day and not see a difference in sharpness.

In conclusion, most readily-available types of paper won’t harm your blade’s sharpness so feel free to do the “Paper Cut” test regularly.

All About CPM-S30V Steel

All About CPM-S30V Steel

CPM-S30V Steel Header image

First of all, let’s start out with the bottom line deal – Who is CPM-S30V Steel best suited for?

CPM-S30V is best for those who want a tough knife that is also incredibly resistant to rust and takes a long time to dull.

Here is the breakdown of the S30V

Carbon 1.45%

Chromium 14.00%

Vanadium 4.00% 

Molybdenum 2.00%

This combination is what makes CPM-S30V what is considered a, “Premium Steel.” Most knives that use S30V tend to be a bit pricier due to their higher quality and the fact that S30V is much harder to work with due to its tough properties.

Examples of some, “Premium Knives” that use S30V are shown below

Benchmade 940 with CPM-S30V Steel
Benchmade 940
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zero tolerance knife 0350 s30v blade steel
Zero Tolerance 0350
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CPM-S30V Spyderco Manix 2 Folding Knife
Spyderco Manix 2
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Biggest Benefits of CPM-S30V Steel

Probably the biggest benefit of having a knife made from s30v is the all around utility. The steel, in our opinion, gives the best of all worlds. It is resistant to rust, the steel is super tough and takes forever to dull, and it is flexible enough not to shatter easily. The original creator of CPM-S30V is Crucible.

How is CPM S30V So Tough?

The chemical makeup of CPM S30V is a martenistic stainless steelm Meaning that it has a chemistry that has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides, which are more effective and much harder than chromium carbides in giving the steel wear resistance.

My Absolute Favorite FULL TANG Bowie Knife

My Absolute Favorite FULL TANG Bowie Knife

If you have never gotten your hands on the Buck 124, then you definitely need to. There are many things that I ABSOLUTELY love about the blade. It comes out of the box with a RAZOR sharp 6-1/4″ blade made from 420HC steel. The build is absolutely solid. I’ve used mine quite extensively for over two years now and it is still rock solid, no rattling, minimal sharpening needed, and perfectly capable of batoning. For these reasons alone, I think that the Buck 124 is the best full tang bowie knife.

western bowie knife
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The Grip of the Buck 124

The grip is solid and secure. It is a black micarta handle with curves and palm swells that allow for the perfect grip. It fits in my hands perfectly and I wear large size gloves. There is a bit of extra room, so if you wear XL gloves you shouldn’t have a problem. The aluminum pommel is a nice touch as well. It does add a bit of extra weight, which is the only caveat. However, I will take a bit of extra weight for a good looking knife.

The Leather Case

leather sheath of bowie blade
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The case is quite convenient. The Buck 124 bowie knife is designed for best carry, and if that is what you plan on doing with it, then it will serve you well. The case is made from genuine, high quality leather.

Made in the USA

best bowie knife of all time

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The knife is made in the USA. So, if you are a fan of USA made stuff, then this is the knife for you. I am bias to Japanese knives personally, especially tanto knives, but lately the Americans have been making some extremely high quality knives. Buck has been making their knives in the USA since 1902. There are plenty of good reasons why Buck is still in business, and the Buck 124 is one of them.

The Spyderco Native – A Great Drop Point Knife

The Spyderco Native – A Great Drop Point Knife

Guess What I Found!

I was trolling around a Goodwill Thift Store one sunny summer afternoon. I was just about to go to a job interview and so I needed a pair of pants before I interviewed. So, after I found a pair of pants I strolled by the glass cased section and this beauty crossed my eyes. Yep, a Spyderco Native in S30V!

spyderco native drop point example

Forgive me for the blurry photos, my phone has a potato as a camera, but I was super stoked to have found this gem. Now you are probably wondering… Okay, great knife, how much – drum roll please…….  $4.98! As for the job, I didn’t get it. But, just getting the knife made the trip worth while. It was up in the gorgeous city of Chico, California. Beautiful city, super green with tons of trees.

super steel knife blade

Lovely S30V Steel Blade

So, naturally after the job interview I started whittling on pieces of wood and making mini spears. I must say, the knife was kept in incredible condition. I managed to chip the blade though on a piece of oak wood. It was on a knot in the wood, but for $4.98, I wanted to test how far S30V could push.

s30v steel blade spyderco native

Turns out, this steel is pretty tough. I went HARD on the knife in a short amount of time and only managed to chip two small parts, which is much better than something I would expect from a 440C or an AUS8.

Any Other Blade Updates?

Unfortunately, this is all I’ve got for today, but I’ll let you know how this knife resharpens once I get the chips out of the blade and strop it to a razors edge. The next knife purchase that I have had my eye on is the Cold Steel American Lawman knife. I LOVE that black on black look. Maybe soon, but not today.

folding knife spyderco drop point native

 

The Amazing Japanese Wakizashi Sword

The Amazing Japanese Wakizashi Sword

An Awesome Edition To Any Collection

wakizashi japanese sword

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The Japanese have been making swords since the dawn of their existence. The Japanese Wakizashi is one of their most famous swords used by the Samurai. The Samurai were an elite fighting force that still exists to this day. However, they are much less relevant and dangerous that they once were thanks to the invention of firearms. Swords are still very prevalent even in the present. The Wakizashi is a sword that has been around for a long time.

 

 How the Japanese Wakizashi Blade is Designed

The best thing about the Wakizashi is how there are two separate types of metal used in the sword. There is a hardened center metal and a softer (but still very hard) metal on the outside.

handle of wakizashi sword

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The softer metal is used on the outside to get a razor sharp edge, while the hardened metal on the inside is used to give the sword strength. The design of the Japanese Wakizashi sword is why it is so deadly. Due to the design, it is very deadly at short distance.

 

How Powerful The Wakizashi Can Be

It breaks through bones easily (assuming it is razor sharp) so if someone was to try and defend themselves with a broomstick or another softer device, then the sword would slice right through it.

displayed wakizashi sword edge

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However, while this sword is primarily used as a weapon, it is also a piece of art. This sword would look great inside a living room on display.

Kershaw Brawler Tanto Review

Kershaw Brawler Tanto Review

The BEST Affordable Assisted Tanto Folder.

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’ve had many knives pass through my hands over the years and Kershaw has been hit or miss for me. However, the Kershaw Brawler *cough cough* excuse me… I meant to say the Kershaw TANTO Brawler is the BEST affordable assisted folder with a tanto tip that I have ever purchased.

kershaw brawler tanto knife

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Let’s start off with my absolute favorite thing about this knife – the blade length. The Brawler has the PERFECT amount of blade as well as not a sharp tanto angle, but a bit of a curved edge making it not only have the awesome tanto look.

The Grip Design

Another huge factor in my decision to name this as the best affordable tanto folder that I have is the grip. Not only is the design really cool, but it also allows for a great grip. There are shallow grooves within the grip which allow your hands to still dig in without slipping even when they are sweaty.

tanto grip kershaw blade knife

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The knife comes with the clip positioned in a tip down position on the grip straight out of the box. However, I always prefer my knives to be tip up and luckily the Kershaw Brawler tanto allows for a 4 way repositioning.

The Flipper

The flipper is well designed, but it falls a tad short in my opinion. I wish that Kershaw would have extended the flipper slightly more and made the edge a bit more rigid instead of smoothed over. However, it is a small price to pay for the overall great design of the knife.

kershaw knife with tanto tip

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I also love how deep the knife sits in the pocket. It isn’t a deep carry knife, but the knife does carry pretty deeply in the pocket regardless. Also, I love how Kershaw has been making all blacked-out knives lately instead of their typical black handle, grey blade models. The all black looks much better in my opinion.

 

Hinderer XM-18 3-Inch Knife Review

Hinderer XM-18 3-Inch Knife Review

Razor Sharp Hinderer XM-18

I don’t think that I have ever had a production knife come straight out of the box as sharp as my Hinderer XM-18 did. It was so sharp that I was making micro-slices in printer paper. I also love the lock bar stabilizer that came with the knife. Most stabilizers I normally have to push too far just to unlock the knife, but the stabilizer on the XM-18 is PERFECT. If you want to skip this review and go straight to where you can buy the knife, click on the picture below. However, if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of this knife, I will break down both the good and the bad.

hinderer xm-18 3 inch

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The Good – Hinderer XM-18 3 Inch

Hinderer is famous for overbuilding their knives. The XM-18 is no exception to this. This knife is completely overbuilt. Now, some may think that this is a bad thing. I think that the fact Hinderer makes their knives to take a beating is one of the greatest things about their knives.

hinderer xm-18 slicer

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The construction of this knife is solid. In fact, I have dropped mine several times on my solid concrete floors in my house and it hasn’t even managed to make a scratch on the Hinderer XM-18 spanto. I would assume that the Hinderer XM-18 wharncliffe would behave in the same manner, but I only own the spanto version of the knife.

The Bad – XM-18 3 Inch Knife By Hinderer

Unfortunately, the blade is so heavy that when I open it the recoil is quite large. Now, I get that this may be a good thing for some, but I don’t like how authoritative the opening is. I wish that it wasn’t so forceful, but I guess you can’t get everything when you get a knife that is so overbuilt. I also wish that they used a polish finish on the blade, but I do like the finish regardless.

hinderer xm-18 3

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Bottomline – Get It

This is a great knife for bad conditions. If I were to only have one knife for the rest of my life, I would definitely pick a knife close to the Hinderer XM-18 spanto. This knife isn’t going to break easily, and if I needed a folding knife for survival-like situations, then this would be a great option.

Boker Besh Wedge Review

Boker Besh Wedge Review

Finally! A Neck Knife With A Besh Wedge!

Thank you Boker, finally someone in the knife industry decided to make a neck knife with a besh wedge! Boker was kind enough to create a beautiful blade with 4.25 inches worth of cutting edge. Most neck knives are so small that I can barely fit my large sized hands comfortably on them. However, Boker stepped their game up and made a knife that I can actually grip. I was so excited to get my hands on this knife when it first came out, and I am glad that I bought it. With that being said, there are some things that could be changed about this knife, but overall, it is a great knife. If you want to skip my besh wedge review and just go buy the knife, click the picture below. However, if you want to hear about all the nitty-gritty then keep on reading.

besh wedge review

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Slick Besh Wedge Design By Brent Beshara

Brent Beshara was the original designer of this besh wedge knife and I think that he did a great job. He hails from Canada, where it is so cold you need a knife just to cut through your frozen food. The knife looks slick overall. I understand that it is a neck knife, and being a neck knife it does have quite a bit of handle grip.

boker besh wedge knife

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However, I would have extended the handle a little further out, but I have bigger hands than the average person, so your opinion of the knife may be slightly different from mine. A person who wears medium sized gloves should find no issue with the size of the handle.

 

Kydex Sheath Included

One of the main reasons that I bought the Boker besh wedge neck knife is because of the fact that they included a Kydex sheath in the mix. I love Kydex. It is much better than your typical cheap plastic sheath that you get with most Chinese knives.

kydex sheath besh wedge blade

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Kydex is actually heat formed to make a better fit to the actual blade resting inside of it. I actually don’t know if I would have originally bought the blade had they not included the Kydex sheath. It was a major plus to the overall package.

Boker Besh Wedge Bottomline

In conclusion, I would buy the knife again if I didn’t already have one. I might gift a couple during the holidays to my friends and my nephew. While this knife isn’t a complete homerun for me, it has most of the features that I look for in a knife. However, I am a tad bias about this besh wedge review. I am bias because I have never really been a huge fan of neck knives. I get that there is a huge community of neck knife owners that swear by them. However, for me, I prefer to have a folding knife in my pocket. Having something around my neck gets annoying after a while. But that may just be me. If you personally love neck knives, then I recommend you pick one of these up.