Ka-Bar Mini Dozier AUS8

old4570

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Feb 15, 2009
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2,820
Location
Melbourne - Australia

I do love small light easy to carry pocket knives . I have several .
Recently I had an itch to try the Mini Dozier and I purchased one out of the USA .

A) Looks great 8/10
B) Feels Great 8/10
C) Bolted together great 9/10
D) Edge retention not great 1/10

For edge retention , 1 out of ten is the lowest possible score .
I have tested a lot of knives and for 2021 I am starting fresh with the video's I am posting .

The knife :
Physically speaking , I have no complaints what so ever . The mini Dozier fulfils all my expectations for a Ka-Bar , except in edge retention . Here unfortunately the blade performs at a level I personally like to think of as bottom of the barrel . My test is simple and repeatable . I have some rope that is run over some pine board ( cutting surface ) and I cut rope . The results are consistent and repeatable making the results comparable to my other tests ( other knives ) . As an example I have 2 knives ( the same ) branded differently ( but the same knife ) and they be 420 SS . Both knives deliver 140 slices of rope and have done so over repeated testing ( repeatable and consistent results ) . These sorts of results give me a base line from which to work from when calling something good or bad .

Mini Dozier AUS8 blade :

After some 30 slices of the rope the edge began to vanish ( not a good sign ) and by the time I got to 50 slices ( my base line for rubbish steel ) I was pushing the knife hard . And it did fail on the paper cut test , both ways / with the grain and against the grain of the printer paper . Can I say how disappointed I am ? 2020 ripped me a new one on blade steel ( so much bad steel ) and looks like 2021 is going to do the same .
The edge - I use a guided knife sharpener and put down a 22deg bevel until I get a bur and then slowly work the bur away and then strop to finish with and without polishing compound ( I have 3 different strops of varying leather hardness ) . So I do try to put down a decent edge . So I was a little surprised the edge began to vanish after 30 slices .
The good news ? might be that edge maintenance is easy . I put the knife to the strop after the test and the edge came back really strong cutting / slicing paper with the greatest of ease . Only thing is the lack of edge retention ! ( Which is a little annoying ) .

Conclusion :
Love everything except the blade steel - so obviously I hate the knife ! The knife is only as good as it's blade steel , so if the blade steel is rubbish so is the knife . There we go , another knife for the junk knife box .

2nd Chance @ the rope


Yep , when a knife fails . I give it a 2nd chance to not fail so badly .
This time around using my whetstone grinder , I put a new edge on the mini Dozier .
I also gave it a few passes on the stropping wheel to remove the high spots on the grind .
In a nutshell , I doubled the edge holding with the rougher finished edge .
When the test was done , a few passes on the leather strop had the edge back
eek.gif
.. ( How soft is that steel ? )
Anyways , I really like the ground edge as edge maintenance is rather good . ( Easy )

So original test , after 30 slices the edge began to vanish
After being machine cut / ground the edge was still cutting rope at 90 but failed on the paper slice .
tongue.gif

But that fail on paper could be simply the rough edge ...
I think putting a fine finish on this one is a waste of time and hopefully it might be ok around the house as a general purpose light duty cutter .
rolleyes.gif

We will see . Still dont recommend it !

 

ledbetter

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Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
405
Location
California Central Coast
Good review and I think aus 8 makes a decent kitchen steel or a cheap folder steel as long as you don’t ask too much from it. And as you said, it’s saving grace is its ease of sharpening,so it’s great for non pros or those without power tools to touch up or even a complete rebeveling with a little patience. Blades I have with aus 8 see a bit of abuse too because I really don’t care about them that much!
 

Modernflame

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Jan 27, 2017
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4,317
Location
Dirty Dirty South
Such a dramatic improvement after sharpening suggests that the factory edge may have been burnt. Also, you may have corrected bad factory edge geometry.
 

old4570

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Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
2,820
Location
Melbourne - Australia
AUS8 - When properly done is a decent steel .
In fact almost any steel when properly done is decent .
I own a few knives , so I have a bit of test data .
Cr/Mov The bad stuff , fails bellow 50 .. I have a CRKT with 8cr13mov that went over 200 .. :faint:
I own bad AUS8 and good AUS8 , bad D2 and good D2 ( if it's really D2 ) .
Unfortunately , without access to expensive test equipment , everyone without such access is completely in the dark .
Which is why I cut rope , it simply tells me one thing - The blade is good or bad . Also cutting rope allows me to develop and experiment with my sharpening techniques .
Find out what does what and what needs what . Bit like , bad steel wants a rougher finish so that it can cut better and longer ( If that matters )

As far as sharpening goes , guided knife sharpener !
For over 40 years I did it by hand / feel . ( Oil stone ) And slowly I incorporated a ceramic rod into the mix . ( Lose less steel while bringing back the edge - also great in the field )
Some knives responded well , and other knives not . Especially softer steels were a PITA to sharpen by hand .
I would recommend very strongly , anyone not getting results try a guided knife sharpener . I picked up some in 2020 for around $20 australian bananas . I wanted more handles / rods so I dont have to swap sharpening stones all the time . Prices have jumped 100% for 2021 , so when and if they drop , I will buy another for the handle / rod .

Lansky System - I currently own two of those kits , and 3 of the ones I currently use .. ( Still havent tried the Lansky )
Guided knife sharpening ... :grin2:
 

old4570

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Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
2,820
Location
Melbourne - Australia
Such a dramatic improvement after sharpening suggests that the factory edge may have been burnt. Also, you may have corrected bad factory edge geometry.

Steels are a little on the soft side ..
I just got one the other day thats buttery soft . ( I will be playing with that one - have some fun )

Factory grinds are in general very average to poor and some times just terrible .
I just tested a knife the other day ( 14c28n ) that was afflicted by bad grind . ANd it does make a difference .
Gona have to buy some of those files for testing steel hardness . Gives you a general idea what range you steel is in .
If only I had unlimited funds !!!
 
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