Has anyone actually "used up" their SAK blade from heavy and/or prolonged use?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Ultraman, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Ultraman


    Oct 28, 2005
    Hi all,

    Just curious if any forumite used their SAK blades to the point that the original blade width has been worn down considerably. I suspect it would be due to a combination of use and repeated sharpening. How many years did it take to reach that point? Any pics would be gravy.

    This has not happened to me although I have nicked horribly a blade from a Victorinox champion model when trying to take corroded batteries out of a flashlight.

  2. shecky


    May 3, 2006
    I haven't. However, I bought a couple old style German Army knives in the Mauser pattern. They were surplus, some made by Victorinox, all used, and typically used hard. Many had been sharpened very agressively and ended up significantly reshaped. I don't know what the German Army used them for, but almost every one had the tip of the blade twisted and bent, seemingly used as a prybar. Some of the previous owners had ground the twisted tips off.

    Despite all the abuse and grime, almost all still had quite a bit of life left in them. Also interesting, despite being made by different manufacturers, they were all quite high quality.
  3. jtb49er2000


    Dec 7, 2005
    I've got a Soldier that I purchased new right at 20 years ago. I've carried that knife more than any other knife and have used it as an EDC again for the last year or so. Anyway, the clip blade is worn down to what looks to me like a wharncliff blade. Definitely years more use out of it, but the metal will wear down if you use them enough. I can tell a difference in the alox handles too. They're not worn out or anything, but they feel "broken in" when compared to a newer alox model.
  4. Casares


    Dec 6, 2005
    I have an old Alox Dutch soldier that I bought in a junk shop - it had an electrical burn on it that I did not notice until I got it home.....

    this abuse (using it to cut a live cable) had burnt a small nick into the edge of the blade...

    but I sharpened it out and it is ok... and I have used it a lot, in the garden, the workshop etc...the blade profile has stayed the same, but the total available blade width has been reduced by about 15%.

    the other tools are in perfect order, so I decided to just keep sharpening the blade. It has worn down a bit, but it is still usable. I use it for unpleasant and dirty jobs, like cutting plastic, roofing felt, opening heavy duty plastic sacks etc. and it is doing fine. It fits in the pocket and the hand so well, that it is taking all the abuse I would not give my other SAKs.
  5. pogo


    Jun 8, 2005
    I rotate my SAK's on a weekly basis. I do have some non-SAK KeenCutter knives that have the blades ground down quite a bit due to constant carry/use (got them used.) The SAK steel is actually harder than the softer KeenCutter carbon steel which suprised me!
  6. stevekt


    Dec 10, 2003
    I recall seeing a few eBay photos of SAK's with drastically thinned out blades. My guess is the owner oversharpened them.
    jackknife likes this.
  7. Eyegor


    Feb 22, 2006
    When I was in Scouting, we were well educated on knife safety but horribly under-educated of sharpening, cleaning, oiling, etc. Let's just say that a 14 y/o, a weekend camporee at a historic village, a pedal-powered stone wheel, and a poor Wenger don't make a good combination. Boy did the sparks fly though!:eek:
    Country_Squire likes this.
  8. mp510


    Mar 20, 2006
    I own two of those knives that I picked up at a sporting goods/surplus store in Delaware in August. One is an Aitor (Spanish made under German contract), the other is a Vic (Swiss under German contract). The Aitor is in excellent condition, but was clearly carried an used as is evidence suggesting such including light wear on the tools and scales. And then, I have the vic, and it has clearly been beaten on, little blade chips, and some minor damage on the screw driver. I am going to put the Aitor away, but the Vic may find it's way into my gear when I clean it up. I have heard that the Germans use their cutlery hard before surplussing it, and finding primo examples can be difficult. Guess that's understandable since it was a .mil used item. Look at the GI carried M-16/M-4 series weapons for example. Many of them have very heavy finish wear, and what not.

    I have never worn out a bleade on any knife, or come even close. If I know something is going to be really hairy, I'll use a utility knife, if possible- which is especially convenient with the new folders on the market.
  9. Andess78


    Feb 9, 2020
    Parachutist worn blade.
    I used to open big cans ( containing turbo chargers bearings ) using the blade and a small hammer. The can edge was wide for the can opener to grip it. That was a long time ago, I was younger and enjoyed abusing it, though it was my only knife.
    jmh33 and Storm 8593 like this.
  10. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I have not personally, but my grandfather carried a Vic classic and when he used up the blade or lost the scissors spring he'd just toss it and buy another for $10 at the nearest Walmart.
    jackknife and jmh33 like this.
  11. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004

    More knives are worn out by obsessively over sharpening than by actually use. They just don't learn that when and soon as you get it sharp enough to cut, to STOP! Don't keep sharpening trying to get that hair whittling edge that is going to go to hell the first time you open a package or or break down a box for the trash or recycle.

    My old Wenger SI is a few decades old, but has an almost full blade in spite of being used a lot. I just give it a few licks on a stone until its got a good working edge for cutting twine, opening packages, break down a box, cut a sandwich in half, gut a fish, or what ever. Since I don't use my pocket knife for shaving or surgery, I don't put a scalpel or razor edge on them. If it starts to drag when cutting, it gets a few strokes on the bottom of a coffee mug and off we go.

    Don't obsess over a shaving edge and your SAK should be fine. If you're going to use it on dirty rough job cutting, go get a replaceable blade utility knife. Since cardboard is so hard on knife edges, I keep a Stanley 99 by the recycle bin. Save my pocket knife for when I'm out and about.
    mnblade, 315 and Welshie12 like this.
  12. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    I've been guilty of this. It must be an old man thing.:eek:

    Since the humble classic is the smallest and lowest cost SAK, I tend to use them as a semi disposable cutting tool to "Save" my other larger pocket knife. Doing so, has been an eye opener as to the abuse the little classic will take.

    I personally know of at least three other old guys who carry a classic and use it all to hell in the same way. I think it all goes bad to my grandfathers day, when the used a small cheap pocket knife from the five and dime as a semi disposable tool. I remember in the 1950's, the dime stores had stand up cardboard displays of small cheap one and two blade pocketknives for sale up by the cash register check out. Kind of like a last minute by thing. When you saw someone takeout a pocket knife to sharpen a pencil, open a package, it was one of those little pocket knives with the fake white plastic 'pearl' handles.

    They were ubiquitous in those days. Small cheap cutting tools to be 'used up' or just tossed if you broke it abusing it. I think today, a lot of people buy the little classic at Walmart and do the same thing.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    jmh33 likes this.
  13. Welshie12


    Jan 15, 2020
    I have a very worn huntsman that has seen a lot of use. I bought it in early 2012 and used it exclusively for everything until 2017. The big blade is about 2/3 of what it used to be but I think that is because I sharpened it too much more than use. But it has seen a lot of use. The saw, awl and scissors are blunt from use and the scales are a mess. The springs don't snap like they used to either and oil didn't really help.
    It still performed ok though. I hadn't realised how worn it was until I got a new one and saw them side by side. I only bought a new one because I thought I'd lost the old one and was heartbroken. I was over the moon when found it again in the mud at work. It stays safe in the drawer now but I still use and carry it on occasion. It has too much sentimental value to break it or lose it again. Me and that knife have been through a lot together.
    And it is what really started my love of all things sharp and multitools. I had plenty of knives before and after but this one is special.
    Ace Rimmer and 315 like this.
  14. marsturm

    marsturm Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I have a tinker that I used for years, the blade became very worn at the tip so I reformed it as a wharncliff and it is still usable.
    lonestar1979 likes this.

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