ESEE 4 Mystery Steel Pass Around----all spots taken

Discussion in 'ESEE® Knives and Gear' started by shaneadams90, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    Okay so I was going to let these sit for a couple of days. But it seems like my test worked a lot faster than I thought it would.

    I’ll save my final thoughts for later. But here are the pictures after sitting in my warm garage for about 20 hours. As you can see, the pictures are with the droplets still on and then the droplets wiped off to expose any surface discoloration. The lemon juice dried a jet black on the 1095 and a dark grey on AEB-L

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  2. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Interesting. Thanks man.
     
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  3. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    If it rusts... then we can kill it.
     
  4. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Contact the person ahead of you and let them know to send it to the next in line....
     
  5. KnOeFz

    KnOeFz Member

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    I'll miss rubbing my knives with oil when switching to stainless :D
     
  6. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    Update!!

    So I masked off all of the blades and had my wife shuffle them up and give them back to me. This way I had no idea which knife I was actually holding.

    I sharpened each knife as close to the factory angle as possible with an 800 grit diamond stone using my Apex sharpener. Each knife was only sharpened enough to form a burr on each side, then the burr was removed using a ceramic hone and then lightly stropped on black compound.

    As I finished each one, I wrote on the tape which characteristics I found with each one.

    Hardness: length of time it took to form a substantial burr as well as the amount of “grab” the stone had on the edge. A harder edge, the stone seemed to slide over it, a softer edge and the stone felt like it dug in a bit.

    Edge “toothiness”: the amount of “grab” each edge had after sharpening. I compared these to my general definition of a toothy edge that’s produced on my other knives with the same grit stone. All received the same 3-4 swipes per side on the strop, with no added pressure.

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    Of course I grew my own opinions, biases and guesses along the way and I was very surprised once I removed the tape to reveal which knife received which “ratings”.

    Very Hard = Knife #1
    Hard = Knife #2
    Soft = Knife #3
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  7. Mountainmistwanderer

    Mountainmistwanderer Member

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    It will be done
     
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  8. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    Liking what we see so far. Very interested in use and how it measures up to other steels such as 440C, S35V, etc. So, if any of you have other knives with similar geometry that you can test against that would be the ultimate evaluation.
     
  9. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    Haven't tested in regards to cutting performance, but in regards to sharpening an the type of edge produced by my 800 grit stone, Knife #2 is VERY similar to my Carothers EDC in D2 (PSF 27)
     
  10. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    Final Thoughts!!

    No, officer, this doesn’t seem weird.
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    Today was the big day. The edge retention test! This is my own personal test for knives when I first get them. Of all the years I’ve been “collecting” knives, I’ve only owned 1 that’s passed this test. That’s the Carothers EDC in D2 (technically PSF 27 which is some wizard black magic spray form of D2). Passing the test means that the knife is still shaving sharp after cutting the netting off of a full size round bale of hay. As discussed earlier in this thread, the hay holds lots of dirt, grit, “stuff” and the netting itself is a fairly tough plastic material.

    The test materials...
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    I made sure to dig into the hay as best I could so I would actually engage the majority of the blade, not just the belly or the tip.

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    Lots of stuff in there!

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    I’ll be honest, all 3 knives failed the test. None of them could shave after making a full pass across the bale (I cut 3 sections of the netting all the way across. One pass per knife). But again, failing this test isn’t really a huge deal, it’s just the fastest way I’ve found to dull an edge without actually causing damage to it.

    Knife #1: Came out with its edge feeling the closest tohow it felt before the test. It actually still had quite a usable edge on it and still some toothy “dig”. But it wouldn’t shave arm hair no matter how hard I tried. This knife only took a few swipes on the strop to get it back to laser-beam sharpness. I really like the edge that this knife takes and it reminds me a lot of S30V or S35V. The only caveat being that this knife might take the typical person quite a bit of effort to sharpen. Especially if they don’t have diamonds.

    Knife #2: Close to knife 1. It also still had a very usable sharp edge, but also wouldn’t shave. I give this one a bit more grief just because of how much “tooth” it lost. Knife 1 already had a “less than toothy” edge so it didn’t seem to lose much. Knife 2, before the test felt like a razor blade. Really grabby and could probably slice tomatoes paper thin without looking at them. Again, only a few swipes on the strop got this thing back to a killer edge that scared hairs in the opposite direction. Again, I would compare this very closely to the S30/S35 family. This knife felt like the best compromise between ease of sharpening and edge retention.

    Knife #3: Though it started off my favorite, that quickly faded as my tests went on. After the corrosion test, I saw very obvious discoloration where the salt water had been, giving me the idea that this knife might be semi-stainless. Something along the lines of 3V or D2. However, after fully cleaning off the corrosion “stuff” the discoloration was completely superficial. It faired exactly the same as 1 and 2, with absolutely no signs of discoloration. The sharpening test showed me that this knife is a bit softer than the others. The edge retention test bolstered that opinion. It came out the worst of the group. Not only did it lose its ability to shave, it lost most of its ability to cut. A very obvious rolling of the edge occurred and a pronounced burr formed. Stropping wasn’t good enough to bring the edge back on Knife 3 and I had to remove the burr with the ceramic hone before stropping it. While it’s certainly still a very usable knife, I would compare this more to a stainless version of the 1095 ESEE’s. While it’s absolutely not a comparison meant to be insulting, I feel its performance is a bit sub-par when compared to the other knives.

    All in all, Knife #2 has to take the crown for me. It seems like the best middle ground option of the 3. My guess is that all 3 knives are the same steel but with different levels of hardness after the heat treat. I haven’t cleaned any of them off besides the work I did under the scales. I hope to see these form their own character during the passaround and maybe their secrets will become more aparent as time and abuse take their toll on them.

    I should have these out to the next guy within the next day or two.

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  11. Black5

    Black5 Member

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    Gee...so I'm not nuts about the hay bales demolition test!:p

    Seriously, I thought twice before posting that request, but man, did it bring out some info on the blades! I did two bales this last weekend with my 4hm and results were similar. Toothy edge, a noticeable difference in the "feel" of the edge afterwards, and a quick strop brought it back again.

    So #3 is similar, based on this test, to a standard 4's steel.

    This has been great watching you guys testing, and not trying to sound like a butt kisser here, but having forum members test these knives in real situations rather than guided by the manufacturer just reinforced my opinion about Esee.
     
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  12. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    Great field tests and info, Bcamos!
     
  13. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Excellent work @Bcamos ...thanks for your report....awesome job
     
  14. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent work sir. Those hay bales are edge killers.
     
  15. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    Thanks guys! Testing stuff is a huge fascination of mine, especially when there's no bias of materials used. No matter what their makeup is, I'm sold on knife number 2 being the best of all worlds. I'm really excited to find out what they're made of and what the HT is for each one.
     
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  16. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    After playing Mr. Mom all weekend (all 3 kids and the wife are running a fever) and having to tile one of the new bathrooms, I finally have the knives and about 3lbs of tape headed to @IW17

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