Just Recently I had the Task of dismantling the small swimming pool that my two boys used throughout the summer when visting with my In-Laws. The Pool an inflatable model from Intek has seen six or seven seasons worth of use. This year the Wife and I decided that with several small leaks developing and two growing boys that this would be the last year.
The pool itself was about waist high and if I am correct about fourteen feet around. I am sure at this point some of you are asking what does this have to do with knives, I myself would be asking the same thing. I want to give all a reference to how much material I had to deal with.
I decided that the best thing to do for all concerned would be to simply cut the pool up, then dispose of it a bit at a time while placing out the regular household waste versus a trip to the Landfill. My wife agreed and asked the the question.."Do You have anything to cut the Pool up with?". I stupidly responded "Yes", not thinking that this could have been a great Opportunity to aquire an SAK.
All was not lost though as I felt that this would be a neat way to try out several of the different knives I have on hand as I prepared the pool for disposal. More importantly, the material bieng cut was in enough quanity and cosistency to really get a good idea as to which knife could do what.
I decided to use my Buck Tiburon, Buck Folding Alpha Hunter, Benchmade Juju, Benchmade Ambush,Victorinox Champion,Locksmith,and RescueTool.
I think I have a decent representation of different blade styles. To me though this was not to be a test of which brand is better...Just something to satisfy my curiousity and make a crummy job a bit more fun.
If any here have a pool similiar to the one I cut up You already realize that the material is not exactly the hardest in the world to cut. Yet as I found out it posed it's own issues as I cut away.
I am not going to give You the reader a Blow by Blow of how it went. I am sure that any of the knives here were more than capable of disecting the swimming pool.
I share a few things that I found interesting.
1. As I said all the knives did fine, but something I noticed was that even though the serrations on my Tiburon, and Ambush were sharp I had a bit more trouble making the cuts. It seemed like the material wanted to slip through without really getting cut. Then when a cut was made the material would load up in the serrations. The knives did fine when using the straight edged portion, yet by using the straight edeged portion I now only had a cutting edge equal to my SwissChamp.
The serations on my RescueTool did well. Both the main blade and Safety blade had no trouble cutting through the Materials. I think, and maybe others here can verify or dispute, is that the less aggressive serations are more efffective on a flimsy, stretchy material. In the case of the main blade on the RescueTool I feel that having the serations reversed on the main blade was great. I had no problem making the initial cut then the serations plowed on through.
2.The Safety cutter on the Tiburon was not a good choice. It could not keep up with the material and would, well I guess "Stall Out" would be the best way to describe it. It works fine on fishing line and very light string, but anymore than that..Time to go to the primary edge.
3.The Warncliff Chisel ground edge of the Juju was awsome. It seemed to just zip right through. I do remember reading an article in "Tactical Knives" magazine where one of the regular contributors,Michael Janich, if I am corrrect tried out several different edge styles
and said that the straight edge was very effective at slashing, I agree. As I made my cuts with the JuJu I thought of how quickly the point or edge could slice through some basic clothing items if I would become careless.
4.The smaller SAK's were represented by the SwissChamp. One thing I noticed is how easily the knife could be repositioned in my hand. I did not try out the smaller blade that much. Just the Main blade as I feel that unless I really had to I would not use the smaller blade for a task like this. The Locksmith and RescueTool, despite their width were easily reposistion as I saw fit. The pool bootom was wet,grimy, and covered in old grass. So my hands did get a bit slippery at times. throught the destruction of the pool I took the time to dry my hands off. I will give the Ambush, and Juju a big plus over the Swisschamp, and a bit of an edge over the Rescuetool and Locksmith in the retention dept. The downside though was I could switch grips and reposition the SAK's faster. The Juju, with its Japanese Cord wrap definetley likes to stay put.
The Tiburon, even though a Skeleton/One Piece seemed to be a happy medium along with my Alpha Hunter that I "Customized" by removing the scales along time ago when they disintergrated.
5. Clean up on the all the knives was no real chore. A bit more time was spent on the folders, especially the SAK's making sure that no debris had come to rest between the liners. Sharpening I really do not feel was required either. I noticed that all blades had lost a bit of edge. I think from cutting through the crud as well as the material. I really do not think that I spent more than 2 or 3 minutes on each knive cleaning/sharpening/oiling.
I used my Diamond M from EZ-Lap for all knives.
Well in Closing that was about it. The biggest thing about all of it was trying to have a bit of fun as I took care of a dirty chore. Sorry no really difficult meduim to cut. I'll leave that up to the seasoned "Veterans" over at "Knife tests". I for one don't spend money to destroy a knife. I spend my Money to buy a knife that gets whatever task I purchased it for done in a reasonable amount of time, with a limited amount of fuss.
Thank You for taking the Time to read my Thoughts..