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Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

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  • Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

    Being that ive made several straight razor carving knifes,
    i would like to get opinions of the owners and users of straight razor carving knives as to their performance and maintenance issues. if you think they apply.

    1. is a razor knife worth the difference in price?

    2. have you broken the tip off or busted the blade?

    3. did you have to change any carving practice to use the knife?
    : ie not pick or pry out chips, or stop making twisting cuts?

    other comments are definitely welcome if it pertains to straight razor carving knives or other hard metal tools. (high carbon content)

  • #2
    Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

    1. is a razor knife worth the difference in price?
    Good question. There are many many excellant knives out there for a lot less the the going rate for razor knives. At least as far as I know. Having said that I wouldn't trade the two razor knives I have for anything.

    2. have you broken the tip off or busted the blade?
    No I have not but I'm careful with them and ususally doing detail work I would put that much pressure on the knife I don't think. I have broken a couple of Denny's small detail knives but the blades are really fragile on the two that I use. I like them so much I have extras in case I can't resharpen the broken one quickly. Very flexible but fragile.

    3. did you have to change any carving practice to use the knife?
    Not really that I remember. The handles are a lot smaller on mine. I bought them early in my carving start days and would probably buy one with a larger handle now. In fact, if they weren't so expensive I would like to have a rough out razor knife but the espense would probably chase me off. I would make one and have an extra on the shelf to do just that someday.

    Of course I know the extra expense is obviously the time it takes to hand make a razor. They are nice to own.

    Good thread Thomp


    • #3
      Re: Straight razor carving knife owners:s (openions)

      Good thread, I have six of Rick's straight razor knifes. I wouldnt change them for the world when I hand carve I dont use anything else even though I own over 50 knifes. No I have never broken a tip off of any of them because I never pry with them. I have done so with other knifes but not these. The reason is that I am much more carefull with these as they are not only great knifes but they are so beautiful.
      Yes when I am using them I do carve differently for the above reason I dont want to damage them.
      Jim - The Doing is as much fun as the Viewing!
      Jackson, MS


      • #4
        Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

        so far i agree with the comments: thanks for the reply's guys!

        to answer a few of my own questions (its only fair)

        i cant afford one of ricks knives, nor can i ever get to ricks page when he has one for sale before its sold,
        so i make them, but i do have a knife i made and sent to rick for evaluation after following his on site tutorial.
        he tuned it up for me and it's definitely not the same knife in performance as i sent him... i wouldn't part with that one for the world, even though its over 2" long blade results in me getting cut every time i use it still.

        did i change carving practice:
        i use to pick and pry chips out as well as make twisting cuts and ive busted off the tip off one razor knife 3 times the 3/4" blade is now 1/2" as well as breaking one of the tip off of a pin file knife trying to make a short curved cut on a upper eyelid on a bottle stopper face..

        Maintenance & sharpening:
        I don't have a lot of experience with other name brand carving knives, other than walnut hollow and several great pocket knives, but as to sharpening straight razor knives ive made (flat ground) i find them hard to sharpen out a nick, or re-point the blade.. unless i use a diamond stone first.. then moving through the different grits of scary sharp, and honing.
        i dont find it too necessary to bring the razor knife back to a stone but about 6 months to a year, all honing is done on a hard thin leather keeps my knives in great shape..

        is a razor knife worth the difference in price?
        from what i see razor knives sell for about $60 bucks delivered. and the benefits are worth the difference, if your not in the practice of loaning out your tools, or if your a tool mis treater, or if you got butter fingers!
        i'm thinking that other good carving knives will go for $40 bucks.

        me being on fixed income i have to sell knives or carvings (blood), or wait for tax returns to support my carving tool collection habit, which usually winds up with me buying one cheap tool at a time.

        hope this thread turns out to be an education for all....


        • #5
          Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

          i do not have a straight raz kinfe, but am hoping,
          i have broken the tips, but was not prying, just took the blade too deep and didnot bring it back out, mistake.
          to tell the truth, if i had one like you make , i would only use it to finish, or to make me look good in a group!!!!!
          still, i would like to know , why carvers are always, me too, looking for another knife,
          me i hope i get the one that has the mojo in it, thus hoping the blade from the swamps works magic.


          • #6
            Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

            Good subject Thomas, I have only one Razor knife and that is rick Ferry's and have used it a couple of times but to tell you the truth, I put it up. Beautiful knife. Now I hope to get one of yours before long and will send you an e-mail to answer you questions from your e-mail

            I tend to pry sometimes and as a result have broken tips off of a couple of Flexcuts and one of Denny's detail knives but repointed them. Also, I tend to like a little thicker bladed knife for roughing out and a middle thickness for detailing. Can't honestly say about a thin bladed knife, I don't own one.

            Interesting to see what other opinions are though and thanks for bring it up.

            I will say that the tips I have broke are the drop pointed ones and I like that style but maybe I need to change how I carve with them or go for a more rounded tip. Lately, I have watched and tried to not pry.

            Thanks for the thread.


            • #7
              Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

              I have a few knives. I have given all my cheaper ($10 - $20) knives to new carvers to start out with. I have one razor knife (Double Duck) that Thomp made. And I have one knife made from a barber shears blade that Thomp made. I also have a bunch of the pen file knives that Thomp mentionned. I have several Dunkle knives, Denny, a Lyons detail knife, and my OAR CARVER single blade.

              I have tried to use all of the knives that I have had. In so doing I have discovered that that are several knife properties that if present, will cause me to use one knife more than the others. These are:

              a. Blade edge holding sharpness
              b. Blade profile and length
              c. Handle (Look and feel)

              When these three items come together it's magic (mojo maybe).

              As to a razor knife being worth the money - Yes! (if the three properties are there).
              Do I use razor knife differenty - probably! I carve small, and there is a natural tendency to pick at a chip to remove it. I am working on this.
              I have never broken a razor knife nor a pen file knife.

              Right now one of Thomps pen knife blades has the three properties and I love it. But I have to be real careful when I carve so small, and use its tip so much.

              Tom H


              • #8
                Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                Thomp, I have the one I bought from you, and one that I bought from Rick Ferry, they are both EXCELLENT knives and well worth the money. I do not pry so have not broken any tips. Thank you again for an excellent knife.



                • #9
                  Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                  wow i better stay closer to this thread, just went to the shop to get some practice carving sticks, and its about got away from me, i was hoping to make comment as needed.

                  Sammy: your knives were sent to tom h for him to practice putting on handles, they should be waiting for you next tue ...
                  i ran out of swamp water but used louisiana rain water, and bled on it some to keep your blades cool sam,

                  Kenny, Its a hard bad habit to break, i still catch myself using the knife to scrape or rake out stubborn chips that didn't meet the stop cut properly, and i get so mad at myself when i damage a blade doing something stupid with it...

                  i think that the tendency comes from me using a lot of them flexible warren blades i dont think you can hurt them limber things...

                  like tom h said im going out on a limb here and saying, Razor knives are not for beginners, but after about a year of carving experience you can respect the difference in performance, and change your carving style to match the performance of the tool, or another reason for me was the razor knife being made of very hard high carbon steel dont dull out as fast, i was really tired of honing more than i was carving with them walnut hollow knives, until i made my 3rd razor knife, i too dont use he first knife the blades too thick, the second one is th one rick had both hands in making, but the 3rd one has been broke and about used up... currently i have 7 and still want more, but i cant keep up with health and all.

                  tom h. its very surprising to me the scissor inserts made such a fine knife i use mine frequently and it appears to be a harder blade than i first thought,

                  i dont know the exact formula your explaining for a great knife but ill hit it eventually if i just keep experimenting. im using some of the best metal i know of without going to hot work and learning the heat treating process again.

                  blade length can easily be shortened with a dremel fiber grinding wheel and water drip, the profile is another thing hard to create until you discover it...

                  handle shape is as custom as the color of your car, not every body likes the same shape handle, i wish there was a way to form custom grip to the customer without all three shipping charges or more, maybe something like skulpy clay molded and gripped by the prospective knife buyer and cooked then sent to the knife maker.. to put a blade into... but skulpy is to fragile.

                  Dave, glad to see your pleased and your getting some usefulness out of your knife, hope it serves you many years..


                  • #10
                    Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                    I have two razor knives that were made by Rick Ferry and they are great knives and in my mind well worth the cost. I also have Denny, Drake and Dunkle knives which I like and use depending on the type of carving I am doing.

                    I have never broken a tip off with any carving knife so I have no reason to think that a razor knife is unique in that regard. I don't pry and try to maintain good tip control. Now that I have written this I will probably snap off a tip.

                    I have changed some things on how I carve with them. I never use then on cotton wood bark, too much crud to damage the blade embedded in the bark. I never take them with me when I fly. I take other tools because if the airlines lost my luggage with my good knives in it I would freak out big time :-)

                    Maybe when Rick reties he can start making more knives again. I realize that when you take a hobby and make it into a business your hobby is not so fun anymore. I know that several members of my carving club would love to have one.



                    • #11
                      Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                      I don't own any razor knives, but by far the best knives I own are the ones that I make myself from old sizzors. Very inexpensive; you can make two knives per pair of sizzors; you have a built-in handle to hold while you grind/sand to shape! Holds an edge great if tempered correctly and you get great satisfaction from making your own knife! What a deal!
                      Homosassa, FL


                      • #12
                        Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                        I thought I would post a funny here, cause it seems there's a lot of knife tinkers here. Thomp sent me all these pen file blades to set into handles, and to finish off the sharpening. Since the blades a ground flat, I lay them flat of a stone, then the scary sharp paper, then the stropping compound and leather. In this process I use my index finger on top of the blade to hold it flat again the sharpening material. After two of these small blades, I noticed that the wet dry paper was getting red streaks on it. I didn't feel anything, but had worn a hole in the tip of my index finger. So I scrubbed it our and applied several layers of super glue. I learned something new about super glue. Specifically, when you apply layers of the stuff it takes a lot longer to dry. I just spent the last 1/2 hour removing my superglued finger from my computer mouse. Now I have an even larger hole in my finger.

                        Tom H


                        • #13
                          Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                          So the phrase goes, "I don't care what anybody says...That's funny".


                          • #14
                            Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)


                            sorry to hear of your infliction,
                            just hope you didn't have to take the mouse to bed with you last night...HA!

                            The last knife i made's blade is a bit longer than im use to 1-3/4", so when tuning up the blade process and testing it out i have managed to cut the index finger on my left hand 3 times within 1 hour, none bad cut that resulted, but with the blood thinners i take it sure is hard to get the leaks to stop.. like a stuck hog...

                            i too gobbed on the super glue, but it bled through so i wiped it with tissue and reapplied, and after 3 or so applications tissue paper and super glue started to build up into a wart looking thing, then i remembered the super glue accelerator i have, so now i got a chick pea sized lump on my finger, of tissue and super glue but i got the leakage to stop by doggies!

                            guess ill take the dremel to the lump later today when i get up th nerve to use the small sanding drum on it... i think it would hurt less than finger nail polish remover.....


                            • #15
                              Re: Straight razor carving knife owners (openions)

                              These stories are killin me!
                              I thought I was the only one that did these kind of things. Ya'll will be the talk of our little four man carving group this morning. I'm sorry your pain is going to be our funny oats this morning.....

                              CAUTION:do not go to the bathroom after using super glue.