Things you should know about batoning

To baton, or not to baton: that is the question. Why or why not? Is it really such a bad idea? How old is batoning and is it stupid?

It all depends on context I suppose. I have batoned since I knew how to use a knife and never broken a single blade while doing it. After watching several videos featuring knife fails, I think most of them have to do with either a bad heat treat or bad batoning technique. If you try and pound you mora classic through a 3″ knotty piece of seasoned oak, you’re asking for it. Same thing if you whack your knife at an awkward angle.

But if you know what you’re doing, if you’re being sensible, you can get away with unbelievable things. Like my grandmother did when she batoned a thin, stainless kitchen knife through bones pounding on it with a hammer for decades. I still have and use this knife BTW 🙂

There is one thing I don’t mention in the video. It is to do with heat treat and blade hardness. I’m no expert, but from what I understand, different knife types are made with different purpose in mind, which is reflected in steel type, and hardness. Some knives are meant to be rather softer (bainite or spring temper) and less brittle. These will be much better for batoning or prying. Other blades, such as the super hard Roselli knives from the UHC (Ultra High Carbon) line – HRC 64 to 66! and carbon content 1.5 – 2.0% – are obviously designed for different tasks, as their hardness approaches or even exceeds that of metal files. They will perform best when used for skinning and dressing game and should hold an edge much longer than softer, less brittle knives.

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