Impressive competitive knife skills chopfest

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Meh. I’ll be impressed when they can cut a clove of garlic into paper thin slices like in Goodfellas. They should add that to the list of challenges, and it should come at the end after they’re done whacking logs and plastic
bottles etc. It would show whether their blades kept an edge or if they are dull.

Um, “Hulk smash,” I guess?

I was hoping that the final challenge would be shaving that enormous beard in two strokes.

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To be able to hack through dimensional lumber in four chops, and then immediately slice a hanging, unweighted rope, is VERY tricky. I was prepared not to be impressed, but the circuit alternates between power actions and precision actions, which are hard to get in a single knife – at the very least, doing a power cut (like the lumber hack) would mess up most blades enough that the subsequent precision cuts would be nearly impossible.

I’m not an expert, so I don’t know how much of this comes down to the blade design (certainly the blade seems specialized) or the guy’s skill (he certainly seems to have some), but either way, I’m impressed.


Isn’t that a matter of where you hit? When I hit close to the hilt, the blade near the tip won’t suffer for it.

That’s certainly true, but with a blade that short there’s probably less room to work, which speaks to the guy’s skills. Further, I’d think that both for chopping and for precision cuts you’d want to favor the end of the blade for leverage – and for draw cuts you might start closer in on the blade but still draw towards the tip. Definitely a challenge any way you calculate it.


Watching it again, he’s definitely favoring the weak of the blade for the finer cuts and the middle for the power cuts. I continue to be impressed. That cardboard tube, for instance, is no joke – four clean cuts like that is something else.


I’m definitely hiring this guy next time I need my place trashed.


Some of these stages are similar to tests used in ABS master smith testing

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Ok, I can see that. I would still be more impressed if he could then cut up a garlic clove into paper thin slices at the end.

The blade profile probably isn’t ideal for that task, but you’re right; it’d be a good test of the blade’s microstructure and endurance through the other challenges.

This started as a variant of the ABS tests, then turned into a competitive contest/sport at hammer-ins, the Blade Show, and other knife shows.

The blades are generally specifically designed, and the contestants usually don’t know what the tests will be. I’ve seen ping pong ball chops/stabs, 2x4 chops followed by slicing wet paper towel, and a variety of other difficult cutting tasks.

Usually one of these competitors tries to design a generalized knife that could do all tasks (without knowing what they’ll be doing specifically), and tries to get the heat treat as spot on as humanly possible. Some competitors aren’t knife makers nowadays, and work with someone else to get a custom competitive cutting knife.

It’s an interesting outgrowth of custom knives and the ABS testing. Not my personal cup of tea, but there are tons of people into it.


Meh. I can drive a Phillips screw, pick my teeth, read the fine print on a wine bottle, pull the cork, and my knife is just as sharp as when I started.

Cutting is a skill, he has it. Although he’s just powering through the initial wood-chopping bit, taking advantage of the ability of his short machete to stand up to powerful blows to gain speed.

In my (not entirely inexpert) opinion, he is best at the water bottles and bamboo tameshigiri and worst at the dangling ropes.


If nothing else, that’s an extremely specific type of sport.

It would be interesting to see chefs and butchers compete in this kind of thing, or other people who make their living with a knife.

Maybe that big guy is one, for all I know.

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