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Old 01-20-2011, 11:05 PM
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CJS Knives CJS Knives is offline
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Blueing a knife blade????

hey guys i am thinking about getting one of my blades powedercoated and have been doing research on it. a friend of mine sent me a link to a guys website where he used gun blueing on his Kukri.

it seems like a good idea. it will keep the blade from rusting and give it a great looking finish.

what is your opinion on this modification??


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Old 01-21-2011, 10:09 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Bluing, powder coating, moly coat (baked on finishes), etc all do a good job. They can protect a blade from oxidation and they can make for an interesting appearance, The downside is the appearance only lasts until the knife is used at which time the thinner finishes like bluing will get rubbed off in short order. Not all of it, of course, usually just in streaks. Once the finish is rubbed off there is no more protection against oxidation.

Carbon steel knives have been around for centuries and survived pretty well without coatings beyond what is provided by natural patination or a coat of oil. So, my final take on the idea is that coatings are fine on a collector's piece if they complement the piece and they are helpful to a degree on using knives if you don't expect them to look good for very long. Other than that, they are a waste of time and money .....


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Old 01-21-2011, 10:20 AM
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Woodchuck Forge Woodchuck Forge is offline
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There are a few ways to do this. Cold blueing can be done but the finish is very fragile and will not last long as Ray pointed out. Next is the hot application finishes, these can cause problems with the HT. Hot blue (nitre blue included) is the next one and is a little less fragile but will wear off a user in short order. If you look at guns kept in holsters just the rubbing on the leather will wear the blue off rather quickly. Then there are several epoxy type coatings, duracoat etc. These are a bit better. They cover the blade completely. The last a lot longer but hide the beauty of the blade. They look painted. A positive of this finish is you can get the camo look so many like. Then of course as you mentioned powder coating.

Like Ray mentioned above, if you take care of the knife it will be just fine. It does not require a whole lot of maintenance to keep them looking good. If the customer is afraid of or not willing to maintain a carbon steel blade they should consider stainless.

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Old 01-21-2011, 12:32 PM
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ARCustomKnives ARCustomKnives is offline
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My only experience with blueing is with guns, and like Chuck mentioned, it can wear off just from sheathing. Some blueing, if done correctly, will last a lot longer than others though.

None of the coated knives I have used have ever held up for too long, especially if I'm using them to chop through wood and such. Granted, I think it has potential to add a little bit of character to the knife, if the finish was done well in the first place, and isn't just flaking off in big chunks.

Either way, if it's coated, blued, or what have you, I always oil my entire blade for that added bit of protection.

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:40 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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I've seen knives blued, parkerized, and painted. Depending on the design - and the execution of the coating - it can look really good. What the others have said holds true: a knife is a tool and any surface coating is going to show scratches and wear.

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:33 AM
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CJS Knives CJS Knives is offline
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thanks for your help guys. this is concerning my Parang knife that i am working on. i was thinking about doing a cerakote, but its expensive, so blueing came up as an idea.

i talked to a guy at another forum and he said the blueing would "poison" any game that i killed or skinned with the knife. what is your opinion on this??


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Old 01-22-2011, 10:48 AM
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ckluftinger ckluftinger is offline
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The poisoning part is not accurate. Although cold blue contains selenium dioxide, which is poisonous in sufficient quantity, it is not enough on a blued knife. If you were to stick your blued knife into a raw piece of meat and leave it there for a few days, it would be conceivable that the iron and lactic acid in the meat would react with the residue of the gun blue and cause some sort of toxic chemical compound, but the same could happen if the slug or lead shot was left to fester in the meat as well. So, I don't think this is a valid concern. As far as the whole idea of blueing of a knife goes, I think it's been said already. I used to collect old military rifles, and most of the bayonets that came with them were blued. The rust protection is minimal; I think they did that more to reduce the glare of the weapon at night. Interestingly, it was the enlisted men's bayonnets which were usually blued, and the officers' models which were bright (and had bright brass fittings). Perhaps the thinking was that an officer was less likely to use his bayonnet, and it looked prettier in bright. Else, maybe someone wanted to make sure the officers would get picked off first...doh!

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