Donnerstag, 10. Oktober 2013

Short introduction of an Otter sailor´s knife / London / sheepfoot slipjoint folder

 This is a knife I have owned now for some time, and I realized how much I like it just because it always rides in my pocket, and I actually use it quite often. It is an Otter sheepfoot blade with a slipjoint construction. This knife is dead simple, but it comes with a real spring and a rectangular blade root making for a half-stop for safety. Liners are made from mild steel, as are the bolsters. Cocobolo scales are pinned in place by brass pins. I drilled a lanyard hole through them and fitted a leather lanyard. The blade is C100 still, with a hand-ground very thin convex bevel. It has an even temper aiming towards a higher flexibility and comes at a claimed hardness of 56 HRC. The blade is 75x2 mm with a sheepfoot tip, with a speciality, for the edge line is slightly offset and diagonal to the spine. It is a very effective cutter, whittler and eating knife. You can use the spine to spread butter very effectively making it a great snacking knife also.
 Plus, it is a knife with history and atmosphere, for this blade shape originated as a "Boscher" (a Solingen dialect term for a bos-scher, "woods shearer" or "woods knife", cognate with the Dutch "bos" for woods.) This shape goes back to the medieval ages and was quite a common shape throughout the North of Germany. Many Solingen kitchen and general use knives were forged that way. The "Scherper" of miner´s attire origin often shared characteristics with it, but it was most famed as a mariner´s knife. Legend has it that boatsmen tended to break off the tip of any knife brought on deck of any ship privately, except for knives in this shape, so it became a common mariner´s blade shape. The French folding knife type often called "London" is nearly identical.
By the way, apologies for the lousy pics, I still cannot figure out how to use this camera properly...

The knife is not a masterpiece of craftsmanship, in that the blade is fixed a bit off centre in the handle. The grind, however, otherwise is excellent. It can be made hairpoppingly sharp, so sharp in fact that you can split a hair with it. Talking of which, out of the box the sharpness was nothing to brag about, either. But then, it comes dead cheap. The spring is super stiff and actually gives you a lot of confidence, the blade has a nice geometry, the knife has a rustic, but serviceable finish. It is capable of hard work and begs for more. Buy it;-).

They come in a size even  legal in the UK and Denmark. Get them here.

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