The motto of Woods’ Bladeworks is “Redefining Elegance through Brutality”. After getting to see/hold/use Will’s creations, I can say that the motto fits his work to a tee. His Titan 2 in particular is something to behold. I am not sure what I would do with a folder the size of a newborn infant, but I sure as heck would like to have one.
The Kraken fixed blade is nothing to sneeze at either. I saw bigger knives at the Blade Show, but most of these simply appeared to be blown up versions of smaller knives. The Kraken is different in that it was specifically designed to be as big as it is. When you start looking more carefully into the design you see an art and subtlety that make this a very functional knife as well.
The sub-hilt is probably the most noticeable feature. Instead of being at the front of the handle, it is set further back. This allows the user to place either one or two fingers in front, depending on the level of leverage or fine control desired. The slightly forward tilt to the blade counteracts the tendency of a typical blade to ride up and lose leverage when making a cut – especially a slash. I spent a bit of time talking blade geometry with Will over the weekend, and this tendency to ride up out of a cut is why Will puts a Wharncliffe blade on many of his knives. The forward tilt of the Kraken serves the same purpose since the pressure/leverage actually increases rather than decreases 2/3 of the way through as it would when reaching the point where the blade rises away from the material being cut. (I hope that made sense). It is also the largest hunk of finished S30V I have ever held. The micarta scales are grippy and will only get more so with moisture or blood.
I haven’t done much with the Kraken yet. But I did spend about a half hour last night cutting stuff and batoning a piece of firewood. So far I am impressed. I intend to put the knife through the same battery of tests as I put the Mora Bushcraft, as I see the Kraken filling the same role – at least for me. But I believe that while I believe I pushed the Mora to the outside of its envelope, there is still considerable reserve capacity within Will’s knife.
I am not setting out to find the Kraken’s failure point, Will does want the knife back. But he wants us to give the knife a workout, and thus I am looking for ideas from you.
What tests would you like to see me put the Kraken through? Be creative. I anticipate cutting meat – maybe dismembering a groundhog. I want to cut, shave and chop wood. I want to test the knife’s piercing power. I want to see how the knife functions in delicate tasks. In short, I want to throw the kitchen sink at it, and see how it holds up. And if the task happens to be a bit silly, so much the better. It makes for fun testing and entertaining reading.