Nutnfancy Knife Abuse: “Rockwell” testing knives


Nutnfancy’s Youtube commenter Hubolds1 wrote: “I don’t think the Rockwell test is what you think it is”

I am still trying to build my knife collection. When I test a knife, I am hoping that it can rise to every challenge I throw at it. I am hard on my knives, we have debated batoning pretty thoroughly in these pages, but I do not set out to destroy them. At the end of the day I would like a knife to be able to enter my rotation.

When you have over a half-million subscribers to your YouTube channel, the calculus changes slightly. Nutnfancy has said presence on YouTube, and thus can be a little over the top. Knife companies usually will send me something if I ask, someone with Nut’s exposure finds knives in the mail without asking I am sure. 

Like testing knives for brittleness by beating their spines 30x each against chunks of shale.

This is definitely not supported by any major manufacturer’s warranty, and is not something I plan on trying. I can make an intellectual case for at least attempting some batoning with a lighter knife as I did with the CRKT Hootenanny. Both my Leek and David’s Benchmade 665 suffered significant damage in our testing.

That isn’t to say that Nut’s rock test is completely without merit. As knives get made with harder and harder steel, they run the risk of becoming brittle. It is a good thing to know how much of a concern this is in a knife you will be staking your life on. I just don’t want to do it myself.

Unless the companies want to send me two knives…


  1. David says:

    As knives get made with harder and harder steel, they run the risk of becoming brittle.

    True, true, and true. There is a reason why “outdoor” blades like axes, machetes, etc. are often made w/ “softer” steels that work. The first blade was a buck nighthawk in 420hc and passed.

  2. Sam L. says:


  3. I went back and tweaked some grammar and poor wording. I just re read this and it was atrocious. Apologies.

  4. Mike L says:

    Ok this topic ” just makes me go beserk ” as Billy Jack said. If there is one thing which triggers all the nutso in me it is abuse of tools and other stuff made by human hands. I get sick going by the used gun racks of America. Seeing guns rusted, pitted and cut down cut up and filed on. Cleaned with Brillo. Lubricated with WD40 or painted with house paint. Left in barns or propped up on fences or on the porch. Drenched in the rain or snow to rust up. Knives used as pry bars or giant nails pounded by blunt tools into all sorts of media. Left in fishing or tool boxes after salt water bathes. Rusting away.

  5. savaze says:

    I found myself in an unexpected survival situation where batoning wood was the least of the abuses I put on one of my knives knife (Spyderco Chinook 3). It came away unharmed (as did I), but it was designed as a fighting knife, maybe that was the difference. That knife holds a special place in my heart and finds it’s way into my EDC rotation, even though it’s huge, heavy, and all around less than ideal for an EDC knife (though I do appreciate the precision I get out of it’s trailing-point).

  6. Roger says:

    I trust Nutn to be ethical. I’ve read stories of him sending knives, and other gear, back to viewers with a “thanks but no thanks” letter when sent personal gifts. He’s gone completely “no gifts” from any manufacturer. Instead he buys two or three copies of each knife.

    I like the abusive tests. When knife companies claim to have the hardest locks, best steels, sharpest knives, etc there has to be someone putting each of them to the breaking point. And he’s honest about the abuse.

    1. Cool, I hadn’t heard that. Good for him.

      I wasn’t accusing him of anything not above board. Personally, in my much smaller role, I am still excited when a company sends me something.

      Obviously we are careful about disclosing where we get the knives, whether they are gifts or personal purchases if they are purchased, we tell you if it was MSRP or industry discount.

      I just can’t afford to be as cavalier in destroying them.

  7. elcas says:

    well, IMHO he can do whatever he wants to the knives, whether he buys them or receives them, AS LONG AS he speaks the truth on what he did

    i mean that if he tests them until failure they WILL fail, knowing the amount of abuse you can put a knife through helps “ME” in how “I” will use my knife:
    maybe i’m being abusive of my blade and risk breaking it, which will then put me in danger,
    maybe i can go a little further and make my life easier and still not abuse my blade…
    obviously i don’t want(am not ready) to do the same to my blades but he has 1/2million subscribers and i have none

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Nutnfancy Knife Abuse: “Rockwell” testing knives

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