To choil or not to choil.?

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
I modified a design I found of hunting knife. I’m not sure what it calls for. Should I add a choil or start the bevel in the middle of the finger guard. For some reason I am not crazy about the finger guard look and bevel. I remember somebody saying you don’t need a choil if you have a finger guard, because it acts as a choil. Any thoughts of what you would prefer or reasons why one over the other? My bevel drawings were freehand so they are not that consistent.



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Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
Very helpful. I am hoping to concentrate on making 2 knife designs to sell. A Hunter and a skinner. I never hunted so I am unaware of the particulars of the knifes so thanks for any help and I will continue researching.
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
My own personal opinion here. Don't overthink the design aspect. Uniqueness comes from a maker's techniques, material choices, eye for proportions, and execution. I'm not saying this as a maker who's good or accomplished at knife making, but a user and admirer of the craft. By far the most well received knives I've made are my short Kepharts. Purists may even be offended that I even call it that. It certainly is a very obtuse interpretation. But they just work. Straight uncontoured handles are just easy to manipulate, which is super important in a hunter where the hammer grip is infrequently to never used. This one is going to a fella with side deer processing business because he loved using a my friend's knife skinning. ED83D4B9-5621-447C-A8C8-A6EFBB2AA11B.jpegCD2B243B-CF05-42A3-B2AD-C7CA53816CE9.jpeg4B92E4BD-6C6A-484F-B387-C10BB27C9E74.jpeg
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
I like both but prefer #1. I have incorporated choils in a few of my designs but try not to. But that’s just my personal preference.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Personally, I'm a "no choil" kinda guy. (#1). To me, #2 has always looked like somewhat of an "after thought".....as if a knife where not well planned out prior to making it....but that's just me. I'm the kind of Knifemaker who likes to have distinct reasons for just about anything to do with a knife I produce..... mostly functional, but occasionally I do some things just for "cool factor" :) That's what so great about what we do....there's rooms for just about every direction a person wants to go.

I think the key is to not just MAKE knives.....but also USE AND TEST THEM......doing so will quickly give you insights to usability features, both good and bad, that you simply will not get any other way.
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
nice that’s kind of a hybrid.
Personally, I'm a "no choil" kinda guy. (#1). To me, #2 has always looked like somewhat of an "after thought".....as if a knife where not well planned out prior to making it....but that's just me. I'm the kind of Knifemaker who likes to have distinct reasons for just about anything to do with a knife I produce..... mostly functional, but occasionally I do some things just for "cool factor" :) That's what so great about what we do....there's rooms for just about every direction a person wants to go.

I think the key is to not just MAKE knives.....but also USE AND TEST THEM......doing so will quickly give you insights to usability features, both good and bad, that you simply will not get any other way.
I know that’s part of the problem. I’m not a hunter or even a camper. I was a butcher but have no interest in making culinary knives. I really just got into it because of you guys. I definitely have to hang out with a better crowd. Seriously. That’s why i ask , even if I get different opinions. I learn something in each thread.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
No knife is perfect for every use, or every user. Any design will always be a compromise, and if you look at it that way the choices you make become clearer to you- because you weigh the pros and cons of the compromise and the answer becomes clear.

Choils are a good example. Choils do get caught on stuff... sometimes. When I worked on boats and was pull cutting rope and line all the time, having a choil aggravated me bad. However, that's the only time a choil ever got on my nerves. For normal day to day stuff the choil is no issue at all for me.

But the problem I kept running into on blades with no choil is that after a few sharpenings you have to figure out what you're going to do with that funky angle you begin to develop at the end of the cutting edge. (Assuming there was a plunge line and some sort of finger guard/notch).

On the PRO side of choils, they make sharpening so much easier. They also eliminate that funky little angle you end up with at the plunge. And personally I think they look really cool.
 

TimGinMN

Well-Known Member
I like functionality my vote would be number 2, the finger well and Recasso will keep your finger safe and the Choil is great for easy sharpening.
That was my first thought about design 1, that it looks like that finger well would be sharp and cut you if you slipped. I would like the plunge/recasso on number 2 without the choil… maybe?
 

Kevin R. Cashen

Super Moderator
….But the problem I kept running into on blades with no choil is that after a few sharpenings you have to figure out what you're going to do with that funky angle you begin to develop at the end of the cutting edge. (Assuming there was a plunge line and some sort of finger guard/notch).

On the PRO side of choils, they make sharpening so much easier. They also eliminate that funky little angle you end up with at the plunge. And personally I think they look really cool.
I will have to give the dissenting opinion here. I like choils except for fillets and kitchen knives because they do not look good on those to me. I like having the notch for sharpening purposes and it gives me a place to always put my plunge.
Thank you so much for bringing this point up guys, these are my thoughts exactly. I have a small section in my knife design class/lecture devoted to this and how we need to think not so much about the exceptional cases but instead what every knife will face all the time, and sharpening is one of those things. If you are born in Michigan, it is with a hunting knife in your hand (our women are tough ;) ) and I have never really had as much of a problem with choil snagging as a blade that has limited use due to a whole area of the edge that gets less useable on every sharpening. That is also why I like the drop down edge without the choil cutout, it is the natural result for forging and allows one to take a clean flat stroke with the entire edge on a stone.
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
Well here is the cutout. I’m really trying to master segments of knife making. This may be my first knife that the cut out is exactly how I planned the design. The new porta band helped and I really took my time scribing and grinding to the line.. it might seem like small potatoes but I want to be more precise in my work.
I usually mess up after this point . You know I didn’t if I keep posting pictures.

I still haven’t decided on the choil but leaning towards it. F3992CFE-817D-43C8-BFEE-DD4563401CA8.jpeg
 
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