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Victorinox blades dulling quickly?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by sogflash, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. redsparrow

    redsparrow Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    Yes, seems he's cut a lot of rope with several different blades.
  2. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    That hits a very big and important nail on the head!

    Yes, edge holding is nice, but its a fact of life, just as much as the sun rising in the east, that knife is going to be needing a sharpening. Sooner or later. I don't want to spend a lot of time trying to sharpen a knife out someplace, that needs special hones or a a lot of time to re-bevel the edge.

    Like the old pocket knives of the 1930's and before, its a cutting tool that needs to be put back into work soon as possible. Some working guy on a job site, or soldier in the field, don't carry sharpening gear that is complex. A small pocket stone, maybe. I know I don't. Most of my fellow soldiers didn't. Old Schrade and Camillus, Victorinox, all touch up fast and easy with some minimal stone, coffee mug, piece of broken crockery, smooth river rock in a few minutes.

    I've had a few of the higher end steels, and frankly, they were a giant PITA. Not worth it. I love SAK's, Schrade Old Timers, Imperials, and the other knives of the old days. Life is for living, not sitting there trying to sharpen a super steel. If my knife can't be sharpened up in a minute on the next coffee mug I drink, forget it. I ain't interested.
  3. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    I don't take mine to the stone very often. Once I get a useable edge, I touch them up on a strop . . . OFTEN! Yes, they do dull quickly, but the strop usually does the job and keeps me from taking too much steel off.

    And the Trekker / German Army Knife serrations take better to stropping than stones and sticks.

    jackknife, Storm 8593 and microbe like this.
  4. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I also use the 'shaving arm hair' method also to check when I've arrived at sharpness. Unlike trying to find some receipts lying around to test on, my arm is always there. :)
    gaj999 and The Zieg like this.
  5. Storm 8593

    Storm 8593

    Jan 4, 2019
    Just make sure you don't sharpen too many at once or you'll be out of test material as it were
    WolfyW, Pomsbz, gaj999 and 2 others like this.
  6. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004

    Stropping often and sharpening less means a much longer lasting blade. Ive seen more knives worn out from over sharpening than real world wear. Every time you sharpen, you remove a bit of steel. A stropping with a SAK, either on the back cardboard of a legal pad or notebook, or a leather belt, will restore the edge somewhat. I know I sure as all heck have over sharpened in the past. When I was much younger and obsessed with he whole knife thing, I'd practically get an anxiety attack if my knife got less than shaving sharp. I'd go some cutting job, opening a box or cutting rope or something, and if it wouldn't shave arm hair anymore I'd pull out there sharpening gear and go to town until it would shave. Happily, I outgrew that obsession, but not before some of my knives had somewhat "narrower" blades.

    My old man was a great teacher as well as a father. It was like growing with Sheriff Andy Taylor with a dash of Jethro Leroy Gibbs tossed in. One day I was obsessively sharpening my knife until it would shave. Dad came up, and asked quietly "Whata doin, kid?" and I told him my knife wouldn't shave anymore. He just walked off and I obsessively kept on sharpening on a fine stone. A few minutes later dad came back and gently smacked me on the back of the head, and tossed a piece of twine and a Gillette safety razor in my lap.

    He told me to cut the twine with the razor. I looked at him baffled and he told me that the razor is for shaving and my pocket knife was for the twine, so cut the twine right now. I took my Camillus scout knife that I was unsatisfied with the non shaving edge and doubled over the twine and slipped the blade in the loop and pulled. It cut right through the twine like normal even though it wasn't shaving sharp. Dad had taught me a valuable lesson in his own way and it stayed with me all those years. I never again obsessed over my blade being shaving sharp again. If it will decently slice paper from a notepad or cut jute twine easy, its good enough to go through the day with. If I need to trim around the edges of my beard, I use a Bic razor.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  7. WolfyW


    Oct 28, 2017
    Since reading your similar advice posted many moons ago, I've been trying your advice not only on my stainless pocket and fixed blade knives but also on the big kitchen slicer my wife loves to abuse. That sharpening works dandy and the edge holds up much better. Thank you.
    UnderDawgAl and solphilos like this.
  8. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    While not a Victornox, I've been carrying an old Ulster Scout knife from the 60's or 70's lately, and find that the thin bladed single beveled awl is an amazing secondary cutting tool when it comes to plastic straps and clam packs. Saves a lot of wear and tear on the main blade.
  9. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    I once managed to shave off a layer of skin when I had a blade sharp enough to tree-top hair. That certainly expands the amount of test material available. :) I'd use the cat, but I only have a total of four arms and legs available for my wife to break ... I'm not all that hairy and my arm hair is blonde, so not too many people notice that my right arm is much hairier than my left.
  10. mbkr


    May 20, 2018
    Try that with any cats I've known and you'd be so busy staunching the blood flow, you'd forget all about shaving sharp :p
    gaj999 likes this.
  11. Fred Sanford

    Fred Sanford Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    So true and well said. Do it like this guy.
    UnderDawgAl and Storm 8593 like this.
  12. Country_Squire


    Apr 7, 2019
    I reprofile and sharpen all my SAK’s on a Sharpmaker and haven’t had any problems. In my opinion the fantastic blade geometry makes up for any lack of edge retention. I touch up my work knife every week and it just takes a few minutes to get it perfectly sharp. I also have to give Victorinox kudos for their nice even grinds.
  13. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Check out this old post. LINK > > >
    I'll try to find that Vid and post it later.
  14. Storm 8593

    Storm 8593

    Jan 4, 2019
    Might have to give that a go on my farmer as I struggle to get to the same stage as on my thinner blade stock knives. Cheers for the tip:thumbsup:
  15. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Yep, when it comes to Jacknife this is always sound advice!
  16. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Here you go.
    Reprofile the very apex and put on a shallow grind. If it dents increase the sharpening micro bevel by one degree per side until it doesn't dent. As it comes from the factory though the sharpening bevels are like the second triangle in his example. Wide angle and dulls quickly even after making the edge crazy sharp.
  17. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Victorinox knives hold edge just fine....and sharpen up easily,geometry cuts,not the latest steels and expensive stones,sil carbide norton is all you need,or dmt diamond coarse or medium...
  18. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    In my book victorinox or opinel 12c28 m9d...does the job,have many more expensive knives in better steels,its not needed,i dont want to spend much time sharpening,for what...these knives sharpen on coffe mug,plate or on any stone,hold edge long enough and cost much less than other ones.They perform better than most knives with super steels because of geometry.
  19. WolfyW


    Oct 28, 2017
    Seemed to hold up ok for me battling with mega fauna...

  20. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    I've been carrying a Victorinox SwissChamp for months now, one month of that in the field. The edge actually holds up quite well, if treated properly.

    Like many here, I don't go too fine on my edges. I generally use an India stone to sharpen the blade at a 30 degree inclusive angle. Then I put on a 40 degree microbevel. The coarser finish cuts beautifully on everyday stuff, and I've found stainless steel in general to be fairly abrasion resistant, in comparison to common carbon steels. The fact that Victorinox grinds their knives fantastically thin, helps them to cut far longer than many other brands with similar steel. But many Case Tru-Sharp knives exhibit these same excellent characteristics, so it isn't just Victorinox.

    The secret to working with softer stainless is to "steel" the knife ever now and then. More often than not, the edge doesn't become dull, but it deforms. You can feel it by running your finger down the edge bevel. You'll feel a catch on one side. Just use a sharpening steel such as a Schrade Old Timer Honesteel, or even the tiny Victorinox serrated steel that comes with many of their pouches. I used a Victorinox steel as my sole method of sharpening for my entire month in the mountains, and it performed admirably. I was never want for a sharpening stone in all that time. Heck, I bet you could find a very hard piece of wood to realign the edge in a pinch. Steeling a knife also hardly removes any steel at all from the blade, even on the serrated honing steels, so the blade will last a ton longer than continually sharpening it on a stone.

    My bet is that people who successfully strop these knives are actually realigning the edges from the pressure applied to the strop, rather than merely polishing the edges.

    jmh33, WolfyW, mbkr and 6 others like this.

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