Benchmade Black Class Killiam Tomahawk

 

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Blade Type Information: 4140 Stainless Steel

4140 is a type of steel grade used by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It is sometimes called chromoly steel due to the fact that the alloys used in making the metal include molybdenum and chromium. The steel has exceptional strength to it when compared to its overall weight. It is considered superior to its standard cousin, 1020 steel, for it is by far stronger, tougher, and harder. The addition of the alloys in the right proportions also makes the steel extraordinarily resistant fatigue stress fractures.

As one would assume, this steel is extremely popular in the automotive world. The ability of manufacturers to manipulate the outer metal while keeping the bulk of it stable, makes it ideal to form such pieces as gears for cars and planes, heavy duty crankshafts, fast moving pistons, and durable bike frames on your everyday bike. The metal is also used in many automotive axels, during the construction of important aerospace products, and for making high end firearms used by military and civilians alike. You can find this type of metal everywhere; transporting pressurized gas through pipes across cities, saving numerous lives as a roll cage in a wide range cars, structural tubing for high end motorcycles and architecture, and even in military firearms receivers.

All of these great properties come with their own drawbacks. Since 4140 steel is so hard and tough, it is also extremely difficult to weld it properly. A person would need to perform several steps before the initial weld and after the completion of the weld in order to avoid cracking the metal. The chromium in this steel has also been reduced in order to strengthen some of the other properties. Unfortunately, this makes 1440 stainless steel a bit more prone to corrosion when exposed to extreme climates.

Handle Material Information: G-10 Laminate

Micarta is the brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic originally used in electrical and decorative applications. Micarta was developed by George Westinghouse in 1910 using resins invented by Leo Baekeland. These resins were used to impregnate paper and cotton fabric which were cured under pressure and high temperature to produce laminates. In the years following, this manufacturing method began to include the use of fiberglass fabric and other resin types.

Modern Micarta laminates are produced with a wide variety of resins and fibers. The term is now used generically to describe most resin impregnated fibre compounds. The largest use for Micarta laminates is a high strength electrical insulation in power generating and distribution equipment. The laminates are also used for knife handles and handgun grips, guitar fingerboards and bridges, pool cues, and safety gear such as hard hats.

A G-10 micarta is resin impregnated fiberglass. Such a handle is unlikely to shatter or crack and won't absorb liquid or chemicals its surface layers. It's also resistant to showing dirt or hand oil marks.

Rockwell Hardness: HRC 54-55

The Benchmade Black Class Killiam Tomahawk has a Rockwell Hardness of HRC 54-55

Stanley P. Rockwell inevnted the Rockwell Hardness Test in 1919 while working as a metallurgist in ball bearing plant. Rockwell wanted to measure the uniformity and hardness of inner and outer rings on which the ball bearings rolled. He designed a device that could measure hardness accurately and quickly.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standardized a set of scales for testing Rockwell hardness values. Each scale has been designated a letter and corresponds to a different group of materials. Scale C is used for steel, titanium, deep case hardened steel, hard cast irons and other materials harder than scale B 100.

Knife blades and other steel hardened tools are made from metals that match to the Rockwell C scale. Most blade makers display the hardness number as "HRC xx" or "HRC xx - xx" providing a range, where "xx" indicates a Rockwell hardness number. Not many blades measure over HRC 70. Most functional blades rate somewhere between HRC 56 and HRC 63.

Generally, blades with a lower HRC number don't hold and edge for long under demanding use, but they are easier to sharpen. Blades with a higher HRC value stay sharp for longer, but are more difficult to sharpen. As an example, stainless steel has a HRC higher than carbon steel, but it is also more difficult to sharpen than carbon steel.

Company Information: Benchmade

Benchmade is an Oregon company originally founded in California in1979. The company produces a variety of products, catering to exclusive niches in the cutlery world. All of their manufactured products have a definite leaning towards weaponry. They have an abundance of sporting blades, rescue pieces, law enforcement weapons, martial arts designs, and military grade blades. Throughout the years, Benchmade has pulled their artistic resources together with those of custom-made knife makers to bring the public some of the most unique and beautiful designs ever seen by blade connoisseurs. This has allowed the company to become an influential party among their industry peers.

The company is best known for manufacturing ‘Bali-Song’ knives. These knives, also known as butterfly blades, have become such an integral part of the company that they have trademarked ‘Bali-Song’ and incorporated it into their company’s logo. Enthusiasts for these types of blades appreciate the artistic attention to detail that Benchmade places into each of their trademark blades. The original design of the first Bali Song blade manufactured 1979, Jody Samson, won the Knife of the Year Award from the respected publication Blade Magazine.

The products produced by Benchmade are in the higher bracket of the knife market, due to their exquisite designs and the use of the finest materials. A good portion of their services and products are geared specifically to law enforcement agencies and military personal. These particular items are restricted and not available to the general public. Yet the average consumer that is interested in high-end cutlery still has a wide range of options available to them. Benchmade produces a beautifully diverse selection of switchblades any person can purchase, most with their patent locking mechanism in the design. They also have an extensive catalogue of outdoors utility knives for hunting, fishing, and general outdoors activities.

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