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Username Post: Randall #18 owners...        (Topic#816491)
11-10-14 16:25.38 - Post#2618211    

    In response to mtngunr

  • mtngunr Said:
this is a very old thread, but questions are constant.....they were in my own mind as well....

I finally bought one, and now own several older ones from circa wasn't until i looked at my first one that i saw just how strong it is, and will try to explain with words...

Firstly, how strong is a piece of 1" outside diameter stainless steel tubing which has 1/8" wall thickness leaving only 3/4" max space across widest point interior? about if it is only 5" long? hard would it be to bend, warp or deform that tube?....

Now, take a blade close to 1/4" thick, add steps to back of blade (with small radius in steps) leading to a tang 3/4"+ tall and several inches long (approx 2" for knives of mine vintages), and butt against the end of the blade a 1/4" thick hilt/guard which the tang passes through....then braze this hilt/guard with 96,000psi shear strength solder at 1100degF....

Next, press or beat the tubing onto the tang with an interference fit which distorts slightly the exterior of tubing, then braze tubing to back of guard/hilt with same high-strength solder, with probably some internal brazing going on where top and bottom of tang already tinned by guard now contacts interior of tubing....

this leaves a maximum gap at widest point of 1/4" on either side of tang, tapering to zero at top and bottom.....this gap is filled flush to end of tang with industrial epoxy, mainly to prevent small items getting stuck...

in short, it is a very strong handle, and my opinion says one of their strongest.

This all sounds very impressive, but it isn't very clear.

The description of the tang being 2" long is very unlikely to be accurate, and yet that is the most crucial aspect of your entire description... Where/how did you come accross the details you describe?

I've seen a broken Model 18 that was well over 30 years old, more like 40, and the tang was barely 3/4" (picture below), probably a bit less. More recent Model 18 handles are currently made of 4 1/4" of exposed tubing (probably still with barely any indentation into the guard), now allowing for a depth of compartment, from the mouth of the opening, of just under 3": This means that the tang cannot possibly be more than 1 1/2" long in those very recent vintage knives, including the portion going through the 1/4" guard thickness. This is a long, long way from your claimed full 2" tang from the blade.

Another dimensional problem is the claim of 1/8" wall tubing: It seems quite a bit thinner here on this broken example, but I could be wrong:

One of the biggest issues I have with the Model 18's strength is the completely unnecessary use of a brass guard: Since the guard in this concept is such a central piece to stabilizing the strength of the joint, why not simply use steel?

The Model 18 seems to depend entirely on silver soldering and epoxy for strength, when a properly designed hollow handle knife should have a fully mechanically "locked" primary joint, with soldering/epoxy for filling/stabilizing purposes only. At the very least, the tang should not be a featureless stub, but have slots or holes to "grab" surrounding materials...

I don't fully know what is involved in the model 18's construction, but I do know it is the only higher price hollow handle knife that I have heard to fail at the handle joint. For instance, such failures are completely unheard of on the Buckmaster, which is now pushing 30 years old, or any of the cast-on handles of the cheap Parker-origin knives, which are of similar vintage to the Buck, or even much older. Even the separate-tubing Parker knives seem to hold up through the decades, with the help of a peculiar strenghtening collar ring butting against the rear of the guard...

Maybe silver soldering is enough for mild use, but it is high time some real information is provided to distinguish the durability of those knives...


Edited by Gaston444 on 11-10-14 16:30.50. Reason for edit: No reason given.

01-07-15 18:06.06 - Post#2622759    

    In response to Gaston444

I have more detailed information now: Apparently Randall has settled for a 1" tang for quite a while now (at least 30+ years).

I have examined one, and given the way the silver soldering wraps around not only the guard at the rear, but also at the front, deeply radiused all around the whole base of the ricasso, I have no doubt the entire assembly is very strong despite the use of a brass guard. This silver soldering seems to be a very hard material, not the common jewelry silver soldering we might be more familiar with: It is a kind of silver soldering that is intended for industrial use I am told, so very strong stuff.

The tang does appear to be jammed into the 1/16" thick wall tubing, which has a larger internal diameter than most others, thanks to the thinness of the tubing: 24 mm inside vs 23 on the Apparo. Nevertheless, 1/16" thick tubing is immensely strong yet is not overkill in weight, as most other HH tend to be (in my opinion).

On my sample the guard was welded off-center and tilted, so it will have to be re-ground to a more symmetrical appearance, bobbing the spear holes off with squarer guard ends.

This is very poor quality control for the price you pay, but I can live with a smaller guard rather than send it back to get a knife of uncertain blade shape back (Model 18s are all drastically different, so I am not interested in getting another)...


09-08-16 13:23.47 - Post#2626949    

    In response to Sufler

hello All,

I am new to this site and to the Randall forums. Please accept my well ment $0.02 worth.

OP: by "out in the field" do you mean camping or hunting? Or do you mean way out in the endless sand box?

If it is the first, then by all means get a #18. If you are about to deploy to a war zone though, I'd get something else.

When our son deployed to Ieaq with the Marines in 2004, he brought along a Randall #16-1 "Special /fighter", I bought it for him instead of the standard #1 Fighter because it had a thick full-tang.

I posted that story here earlier today BTW Look for :Anxiety".


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