Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Ceramicknife.org, Phil Cressman's edge over the competition.
I've gotta admit, aside from working at a cutlery shop where ceramic kitchen knives, and a few folders were sold, I didn't know too much about ceramic knife blades. I have had the chance in recent weeks, to evaluate the Rigger's Knife, from Ceramicknife.org
Phil Cressman's business is small, but creative and worth checking out. Phil decided to design and have knives manufactured, after seeing the ridiculous prices charged for many ceramic knives, and the limited useful selection of these same blades.
The Rigger's Knife sports a white ceramic blade, just under 3" in length, folded up, this knife is about 3.75" long, and extremely thin. The handle is a stainless framelock design, but don't think it's heavy, oh no! Because of the skeletonized style of the handle, its thinness, and the ceramic blade, it's very light indeed.
From Cressman's site:
""It appears that sailors in particular require a one hand opening knife. A ceramic folding knife has particular appeal due to the need to cut some lines containing “Kevlar” and other really tough materials. This knife design uses a reverse tanto point to reduce the possibility of an accidental deep wound on a tossing vessel. Using a white ceramic blade on this knife serves to keep costs a bit lower AND does satisfy sailor’s penchant for wearing white costumes. This ceramic pocketknife again has a blade length of just under 3” to satisfy most regulations about concealed knives. Folded it measures 3 ¾” and has a handle width of only 3/8”.""
I contacted Phil via email, and he verified that a large portion of his customer base consists of military personnel who need a sharp blade which can be used to quickly and safely cut injured soldiers out of web gear and clothing.
The blade is sort of a sheepsfoot design, which minimizes the risk of cutting a fallen comrade. And the blade...damn! This thing CUTS! I used the Rigger's knife for several weeks to break down recycling, make sandwiches, open packages, scrape caulking and more. I even loaned it to my dad for a day, to get his impressions and feedback. My dad is like many dads, he's a king of tool abuse, he works hard, and he uses his tools hard. Weeks later the blade is every bit as hair popping sharp as it was when it arrived in the mail from Ontario. Try that with a steel blade, hell, even S30V needs a light touchup on a ceramic rod after a few good workouts! My dad was impressed with the design and just the fact that the blade is a unique material, he'd never handled a ceramic knife, and really enjoyed it.
Most people are under the not-always accurate assumption that because of its hardness and fragility, that a ceramic blade is not durable, that's not so, throughout all of my days working with this knife, the only bit of damage done, was about 2mm snapped from the tip, during intentional force while scraping caulking from around a toilet (who caulks around a toilet!!?). During this task, I put extra lateral pressure on the blade, out of pure curiosity. Other than a tiny chip off the fine tip, there's not a scratch or damage of any kind. And admittedly, I should have used a scraper or a contractor-grade utility knife for a task like that.
I'm extremely impressed by Mr. Cressman's designs and the private overseas manufacturer's quality. The Rigger's isn't the only knife offered by the site though. Phil tells me that his Stanley-style razor-shaped utility blades fit perfectly in Gerber's EAB moneyclip/knife tools. And Ceramicknife.org even offers a titanium "pocket hanger", which can be used like a traditional moneyclip, or attached to keys or valuables via a split ring and hung so it dangles inside your pocket for extra security. Pretty cool!
If you want to try something different, and extremely effective, ceramicknife.org's prices are extremely reasonable, maybe even a bargain, the Rigger's knife goes for about $50.00 USD + shipping. I think it's a great deal, and Cressman even has an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) knife for bomb squads, it's a capable looking fixed blade, with no magnetic signature, really a nice looking blade. I'm having a great time with my Rigger's knife, it doesn't have a pocket clip, but there is a lanyard hole, and it carries nice and light in either a jacket pocket, or the front pants pocket. One day, I walked around with it in my back pocket, having forgotten it was there, no damage done, and I was glad I had it, as I made good use out of it helping a store my company visits set up a display with the products my employer sells.
Phill Cressman's ceramicknife.org is a trasure trove of durable and inexpesive ceramic bladed knives that cut extremely sharp and smooth, and rarely will require you to touch up the edge, although Cressman says it can be done on a fine diamond hone while taking care to use light pressure. Check out ceramicknife.org's wares, you'll be glad you did!
265 Shakespeare Dr.
Canada N2L 2T8
Phil's ceramic pocketknife:
The pocket hanger, in titanium:
The ceramic Hunter's Knife: