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Posted: 1/9/2002 2:48:52 PM EDT
I don't have a pic to post, but I would like to know why this happened. I was processing a hog last evening and decided to split the rib cage perpendicular to the direction of the rib cage. This would make two half sized rib sections for grilling. I had been using a large, old, slightly pitted knife for a wedge/chopper. I would tap the back of the larger knife with the backside of a smaller knife. Progess was fine for seperating joints etc, but when I needed to cleave the middle of the larger ribs it was progressing too slowly. I got a hammer and used it to bang the larger knife through the bones. Perfect! Until the handle snapped off my knife? Grey looking metal underneath. No problem, of course, it was a .50 cent knife from a garage sale. I liked it but figured it would still serve as a cutting wedge. I finished the ribs and decided to cut a large piece of the neck/spine into a few soup/bean bones. The knife took about 3 whacks and shattered! I mean it broke into three large pieces, and several small pieces (the size of pencil lead.) I am going to probably need to trash part of the neck/spine because it has tiny pieces of metal in it from the broken blade. What caused the knife blade to shatter? Too little carbon? Not enough? What do I need to look for in another blade that CAN take this kind of use? TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 3:27:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 3:35:13 PM EDT
Probably goes back to an overheated quenching of the steel, not really something that should be unexpected for a $.50 blade. Not really a whole lot you can do as far as just looking over a blade to see if it was worked correctly, or even the alloy makeup. There are tests that can be performed, but there all a little involved; Rockwell for hardness requires a testing machine. A good magnet is handy to have when looking at stainless steel blades... the higher the carbon content, the more of a "pull" you'll get, but it's still going to be very slight with any grade of stainless. Lemon juice (Yeah, like anyone walks into a cutlery store with a squeeze bottle of lemon juice) will discolor a carbon steel blade, and of course you can always cinch a knife into a vice and give it a bend test, but I'm not about to do that of anything I own already, let alone one in a store display. Believe it or not, the best indicator of quality steel will be the price tag, caveat emptor aside. As for knives that can take that kind of (ab)use, carbon steel is best for hard work like that. Carbon toughens up the steel by imparting a tensility, or springiness to the granular structure, and allows for the blade to spring back to true, instead of staying bent like a piece of copper pipe, say. Stick with the name brands, and spend a little. A good knife is pleasure to use. Best of luck, PS- Why not saw through the brisket and ribs, and avoid having to hammer anything? Just curious...
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 3:38:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 6:38:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat: What caused the knife blade to shatter? Too little carbon? Not enough? What do I need to look for in another blade that CAN take this kind of use? TheRedGoat
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Uh, I'm no expert, but I have a feeling the pounding on it did it.
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Ya think? [/finger in nose]
Not a flame, but, sheesh, a knife is not meant to be pounded through a bolt (ala Buck) or a rib cage. Use a cheap meat saw, it is also far less work, at least on deer, which is the only large animal I've butchered.
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Well, I own several knives, but no meat saws ( I have used a wood saw on a bone a time or two...). Besides it worked GREAT up to the point at which it entirely failed. I have seen other large bladed knives used for cleaving meat. However, I have priced cleavers and decided to try using the large knife I owned instead of purchasing a 50+ dollar plus cleaver. I fully expected the back edge of the blade to become bent/smashed where it was being struck by the hammer. I expected some damage, but not a shattered blade. As for the work involved, I have used saws before to split a carcass, suprisingly enough cleaving the meat was much easier than sawing. I also had fewer pieces of stray bone. Arquebus12, thanks for the knife tips. I will print it out and keep it handy when I go garage saling for another knife. TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 6:49:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 10:20:14 PM EDT
OK I figure it this way... you get what you pay for. The last time i paid less than a dollar for something , then hit it with something hard I did not expect it to last very long....Did you????
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 10:48:33 PM EDT
Well if you where trying to actually cut the bone, you need a meat clever. Clevers are designed the way they are for a reason, to cut through bone is one of them. They are nice and heave, with good balance, sharpened well. The knife that I am picture in my head from what you descibed, is good for joints cause you are cutting conective tissue, not bone. Well, tendons ligaments and such. It also sounds that you where using the knife wrong to. As one can tell, I love sharp knives and such.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 5:43:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat: I fully expected the back edge of the blade to become bent/smashed where it was being struck by the hammer. I expected some damage, but not a shattered blade. TheRedGoat
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If steel is hard enough to be a knife, it is automatically too hard to bend or smash. I'll bet you noticed no damage until the brittle steel broke. It's the nature of the beast. Perhaps trade a hog for a good knife? Or a goat?
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ROFL... Ok, I did not know that a knife was too brittle to be smashed or bent. YMMV, but I have bent knife blades before. Trade for a GOAT??? That would be cannibalism!?! You Freak! It dawned on me today that I might have a family member that can make me a cleaver. He is a plant manager at a steel mill nearby. I am going to pitch the request to him for a high carbon steel meat cleaver. Wedge shaped 10-12 inches long with a backstrap large enough to be struck easily. As for price vs. quality... It is/was a garage sale knife. Looked good, pre-abused, and a .50 cent experiment in metallurgy is fair enough. I have priced a good cleaver and they ones that I want are 100.00. Used, but acceptable, are still 50.00+ Correct me if I am wrong, but I need to request a HIGH carbon steel metal for use as a cleaver, right? TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 5:51:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat: I am going to pitch the request to him for a high carbon steel meat cleaver. Wedge shaped 10-12 inches long with a backstrap large enough to be struck easily. As for price vs. quality... It is/was a garage sale knife. Looked good, pre-abused, and a .50 cent experiment in metallurgy is fair enough. I have priced a good cleaver and they ones that I want are 100.00. Used, but acceptable, are still 50.00+ Correct me if I am wrong, but I need to request a HIGH carbon steel metal for use as a cleaver, right? TheRedGoat
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Sounds to me like you are looking for a hatchet. What about that Gerber mini-hatchet? It might do the trick, and you wouldn't need to bang on it.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 6:16:36 AM EDT
Where you went wrong was pounding on it with other metal objects. If you use a mallet or a wooden billet, it is unlikely that the same thing would have happened. The Frost (no relation to the American dealer in cheap knives) Swedish army knife, and the Lakota line of fixed blades and folders were, in fact, designed to do exactly this. I've done it with fixed and folders both, and have yet to break a knife. The wood gives out before the metal, I guess.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 8:32:20 AM EDT
Sounds to me like you are looking for a hatchet. What about that Gerber mini-hatchet? It might do the trick, and you wouldn't need to bang on it.
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I thought about using a hatchet. However, the long blade of the knife allowed me to make a nice, long, neat seperation along the rib cage. Golgo, I will try to locate a good mallet, or a reasonable wooden 'hammer' for use until I get the cleaver made.
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