July 30, 2006

Glossary : Beat Knife

Beat Knife :
A cheap blade, usually factory-stamped but sometimes made by home smiths. Beat Knives are ideally less than twenty dollars.

Beat knives are intended for carry and use in situations where an expensive or higher quality knife would not be valid. A sintered titanium blade with tungsten carbide coating and excellent heat treating is an incredible blade, but I wouldn't want to take it White Water rafting, for example. Even if the incredibly hard and brittle material doesn't shattered or get lost, I'd still have a lot of extra wear and water on a very valuable blade.

Beat knives fill the space of where a blade needs to be both constant and expendable. Ideally, they should be made of resilent material - plastic and steel rather than bone and aluminum oxide. They should be, of course, cheap, but reliability is a concern. Beat knives are often the tools you fall back on in emergencies, you don't want them to be dull or rusted at that point.

I personally use 1095 high carbon steel with a nylon wrap around the tang for a 'glove compartment' beat knife. It rusts too fast for normal carry, but for something that will only meet water from a coffee spill or very bad rain storm, the hardness and edge retention, in combination with the fairly cheap material, make this an excellent choice. For normal carry, 440 grades work well (preferably 440c, but typically the differences aren't significant enough on a beat knife), as does AUS-10, all of which are good metals with significant rust resistance.

The majority of beat knives are folding knives, simply because the majority of cheap knives for sale are. The ease of carry is another good aspect. Make sure to get a blade with a decent lock.

A bladesman should always have one or two beat knives on him or herself.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandfather had another classification of Knife. A "Plug Knife" was a knife specifically for work which would damage a knife beyond practical utility for almost any task very quickly. I think he looked for the things you look for in a "Beat Knife" but he was not terribly picky as he expected to destroy this knife in short order by using it for the harshest jobs.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 2:10:00 PM  

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