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Fehrman Extreme Judgment

Posted by CliffStamp 
Fehrman Extreme Judgment
December 23, 2012 08:21AM
I bought this knife and used it for a very short time in 2005, it was being promoted at the time as the knife line to take out Busse Combat. It had a number of problems with the steel which became obvious very quickly in use :

-edge chipped easily on wood even after resharpening
-fractured readily on even light impacts on concrete, didn't deform just cracked
-primary grind rippled on harder knots

The maker was contacted and asked for a replacement if this performance was a fluke / not representative or a refund if it was as it didn't match the marketing (the knife was returned at the same time). The next statement showed a refund on my credit card with no communication from the maker.

In total I only had the knife for a few days and it didn't have a lot of use, it was unfortunate that at the time one of the hardest thing to do with a knife was the thing I had to do right at that time - splitting knotty wood in the winter. It would have been useful to have more experience with lighter work - but again this was being promoted to take out Busse so the failure was not expected.

Looking back on this with seven additional years of experience it is unfortunate that the maker responded in that way because it is very obvious to me now that the main problems were due to the edge being sharpened in the normal production manner which leaves it both weak and brittle and with repeated sharpening it would have likely stabilized.

Similar the maker could have noted or clarified that they ran the edges a little thinner than many to produce high cutting ability (the edge was the same thickness as the Hinderer XM-18 for some perspective) but this could leave it prone to rippling in extreme heavy use such as splitting the knotty wood, something which would not be a concern with a Battle Mistress.

Review : [www.cliffstamp.com]
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 07:29AM
Quote

Using Roselli axe as the baton, the knife was hit hard enough to cause the coating to shatter off the flats from the vibration. There was no spine mushrooming, however the edge took damage on the harder knots, 0.1-0.2 of a millimeter deep, under magnification they were clearly fractures

The initial edge was rough which weakened it in regards to impacts and it was resharpened to a high polish. More wood was split for about an hour and the edge still chipped but smaller, no longer visible by eye but felt by thumbnail. On one six inch round with heavy ring knots the edge rippled. The blade took a bend about 1/2" in length and up to 0.05" thick on the primary grind, twice the edge height.

As a check on edge durability it was also lightly chopped into a concrete block. Just wrist pops which induced cuts a fraction of a centimeter into the block, the edge fractured readily.




I think that you review of this knife & steel is in somewhat Legendary. Even today the negative commentary about the steel "CPM-3V" still vastly use as reference point.



Also it seems? that you don't give the same treatment at some knives of the same steel been send to you recently.
Actually it's look like that you change your point of view and nearly embrace this steel as good steel?



Quote

Grip
The handle was a step up from the similar grip on the Steel Eagle, the same basic design with a couple of much needed improvements. Removed are the hand mangler serrations along the top and the index finger groove is more rounded and comfortable. However it is a still flat along the top and bottom. The index finger cutout on the blade however is decently well rounded, one of the better jobs seen in that regard.




I had always some sort interest on buying this knife at that time and you review didn't help either. Despite the negative report comment on the steel side from you review, the true stopping power for not buy this knife did come from the handle ergonomic.
The small choil inside handle having devastating consequence on the hand in little period of use, and this was also confirmed by various reports. The main difference between the Steel Eagle and the Extreme Judgement are the Choil's size application & degree inside handles.
My Steel Eagle lock my finger from fuss movement or impact, I won't expect the same thing from Extreme Judgement miniature choil.

__________________________________________________________________________________

A man is never too weak or too wounded to fight if the cause is greater than his own life.

---Doctore Oenomaus, in Spartacus---
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 09:27AM
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kuro1
Also it seems? that you don't give the same treatment at some knives of the same steel been send to you recently.

In regards to what specifically?

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Actually it's look like that you change your point of view and nearly embrace this steel as good steel?

It isn't a steel I would ever choose for a custom knife for reasons noted, mainly the combination of hardness/grindability isn't suitable for any of the ways I use knives and prefer them to perform. For a light utility knife it doesn't have the required hardness and for a heavy use knife the grindability is far too low. I would prefer for example W1 and Calmax as examples of steels for those knives. 3V is a steel which tries to do both at the same time and ends up doing both fairly poorly. It has problems in hardening as it is one of the few air hardening steels which in general does not actually air harden well for knives (read the thread on Cashen's forum for more details) and the ways that people in general try to compensate for this (high temper) make the problems worse.

Fehrman was a curious case and I often wonder how differently that would have been had the maker actually supported their product. The kind of response from that incident is the kind of thing that never would happen with a Busse which is one of the main reasons that the products have achieved such a striking difference in market demand.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 12:34PM
It's quite funny. 3V has often been hyped as some Infi-killer or at least Infi-competitor, and yet it seems quite hard to find any head-on review. There are many comparisons against obviously brittle knives (D2, S30V...) but not so often with tougher competitors. For example I'm not sure if Noss ever tested a 3V knife.
I know at least one performance user who was fanatical about Busse until he got the Fehrmann (but I suspect he prefered the Fehrmann over the fact it's thinner and a tad harder).
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 01:01PM
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bubo
It's quite funny. 3V has often been hyped as some Infi-killer or at least Infi-competitor, and yet it seems quite hard to find any head-on review. There are many comparisons against obviously brittle knives (D2, S30V...) but not so often with tougher competitors. For example I'm not sure if Noss ever tested a 3V knife.
I know at least one performance user who was fanatical about Busse until he got the Fehrmann (but I suspect he prefered the Fehrmann over the fact it's thinner and a tad harder).

Noss tested a massive Dan Keffeler blade in 3V. He couldn't break it. But... Keffeler openly made that knife specifically for Noss's D-test, and it is much thicker than nearly anyone would want a knife to be. I actually probably would use something like that as a dedicated batoning blade, but it was overly thick for cutting tasks.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 01:51PM
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bubo

It's quite funny. 3V has often been hyped as some Infi-killer or at least Infi-competitor, and yet it seems quite hard to find any head-on review.

I had intended to do a more direct comparison on heavy work, the problem was that it could not even do wood work without damage and the maker didn't support the knife. It was an unfortunate thing as the steel is inherently better than that knife performed.

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Chum
I actually probably would use something like that as a dedicated batoning blade, but it was overly thick for cutting tasks.

Mainly the edge, the spine would have little influence, so all you would need to do is add a transition bevel. David Boye used to make drop point hunters out of 1/4" stock and they were among the highest performing knives I have ever seen, of course the edges were 0.005"/15 dps. It is fairly rare to cut something where the forces bind high on the blade, in that case though the performance can be rather low. Take a Boye Hunter and a A. G. Russell Deerhunter and cut some 1/2" thick cardboard, 1" foam, heavy plastic etc. and the Deerhunter is many to one, but on ropes, meat, woods, etc. the Boye is ahead as the edge is thinner in general.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 02:04PM
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CliffStamp
Mainly the edge, the spine would have little influence, so all you would need to do is add a transition bevel.

The spine would have little influence on batoning? I'm not sure I understand.

Also, Keffeler's monster that was used in Noss's D-test was over 1/2" thick and it was 2.4" wide. I'm not sure adding a transition bevel to something like that would be an easy or fun task.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 02:15PM
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CliffStamp
I had intended to do a more direct comparison on heavy work, the problem was that it could not even do wood work without damage and the maker didn't support the knife. It was an unfortunate thing as the steel is inherently better than that knife performed.
That was actually not (solely) aimed at your review. Just noting that for some reason, people are running around the bush but those tests rarely happen or at least have little publicity.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2013 02:16PM by bubo.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 03:20PM
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CliffStamp
In regards to what specifically?


Don't let say names please, we don't want another conspiracy theory take place.
In 2012, you come in possession of varus knives made of the same steel, right?
Do you expect the same performance as Extreme Judgment " steel wise" or there's the probability that Extreme Judgment tested by you was a Lemon?
I'm asking all those questions because I may buy my first production knife made of "CPM-3V".

__________________________________________________________________________________

A man is never too weak or too wounded to fight if the cause is greater than his own life.

---Doctore Oenomaus, in Spartacus---
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 03:31PM
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kuro1
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CliffStamp
In regards to what specifically?


Don't let say names please, we don't want another conspiracy theory take place.
In 2012, you come in possession of varus knives made of the same steel, right?
Do you expect the same performance as Extreme Judgment " steel wise" or there's the probability that Extreme Judgment tested by you was a Lemon?
I'm asking all those questions because I may buy my first production knife made of "CPM-3V".

You're going to buy the CS Warcraft blade aren't you Kuro?
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 05, 2013 03:54PM
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Chum

The spine would have little influence on batoning? I'm not sure I understand.

Cutting ability in general. I actually wanted to buy that knife from Dan, the only modification I wanted was :

-bring the edge down to 0.025"
-taper the tang and enclose the handle

I was too late on the email though, he already sold it.

Quote

I'm not sure adding a transition bevel to something like that would be an easy or fun task.

A transition bevel is just a bevel between the primary and secondary to reduce the thickness of the secondary to a minimum, it isn't effected by the stock thickness or width significantly - but it would be non trivial to grind with 3V.


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bubo
Just noting that for some reason, people are running around the bush but those tests rarely happen or at least have little publicity.

Busse tends to promote use of his knives, always has, hence the ease of finding commentary - plus the secondary market is strong even for the users so there is no real concern about using them as they are supported well if anything happens and trivial to sell if used if it turns out to be not exactly what you wanted.

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kuro1

Don't let say names please, we don't want another conspiracy theory take place.

This isn't Bladeforums.

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In 2012, you come in possession of varus knives made of the same steel, right?
Do you expect the same performance as Extreme Judgment " steel wise" or there's the probability that Extreme Judgment tested by you was a Lemon?

Gav's and Dan's blade doesn't show the same fragility that Ferhmans did, they easily chop/cut wood without the same level of damage, and the edges are actually far thinner and more acute.

I don't know if all of Ferhmans knives are like that or just that one, it was one of the questions I asked him that he would not respond to. He would not in fact respond at all.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 06, 2013 05:29AM
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Chum
You're going to buy the CS Warcraft blade aren't you Kuro?


Later on... yes.






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CliffStamp
This isn't Bladeforums.

Amen.



Quote

Gav's and Dan's blade doesn't show the same fragility that Ferhmans did, they easily chop/cut wood without the same level of damage, and the edges are actually far thinner and more acute.

I don't know if all of Ferhmans knives are like that or just that one, it was one of the questions I asked him that he would not respond to. He would not in fact respond at all.


Considering this paradox and my ignorance on steels knowledge. I still have hard time to understand what to expect from this steel.

__________________________________________________________________________________

A man is never too weak or too wounded to fight if the cause is greater than his own life.

---Doctore Oenomaus, in Spartacus---
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 06, 2013 10:49AM
Two of the properties which can vary a lot depending on HT are corrosion resistance and toughness. Not so much because there are things you can do in HT to improve them, but there are many things which you can do to damage them. It is not uncommon to pick up say one ATS-34 blade and have it react very differently from another in terms of resistance to rust because of the effect of high vs low temper for example.

That is why in general, and a few other issues, that the durability of steels reported varies all over the place. Unfortunately even among the high end knife makers/manufacturers these issues are not well understood hence you get steels like 5160 in the hoodlum snapping easily showing less durability than D2 which is pretty shocking and shows just how poorly the 5160 blade was hardened.

If you are getting a 3V blade then make sure :

-during the heating that it is equalized at least once
-it is oil or plate quenched
-has a low temperature quench (without snap temper)
-uses a low temper
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 08, 2013 10:17AM
I have a extreme judgment and are waiting for a second one! I use my knives extremely hard (abuse them) and so far the performance is pretty good.I have used many different knives and Fehrman is in a class of its own! The edge on my knife is a lot thicker thow!!

Anton
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 08, 2013 03:16PM
What other knives have you used and how has the Fehrman outperformed them?
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 08, 2013 06:32PM
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number41
I have a extreme judgment and are waiting for a second one! I use my knives extremely hard (abuse them) and so far the performance is pretty good.

What do you consider extremely hard use? Have you cut sod, or metal? Have you pried anything substantial with it? Split frozen oak or similar hard wood? Dug a hole in rocky soil? Chopped up bone?

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number41
I have used many different knives and Fehrman is in a class of its own!
What other knives have you used and how did they fail were the Fehrman succeed?

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number41
The edge on my knife is a lot thicker thow!!

I wouldn't consider that a good thing. Is it thicker from normal wear or from repairing damage? Could it be thinner or would it be damaged?
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 10, 2013 03:04AM
let's not jump to conclusion to fast, back 2004/5 CPM-3V as steel was pretty much sperimental....HT protocol included.
Even true I have no doubt that Cliff did some justice back then but, who knows today, if the same knife could be tested today, we can hand up with different result.


Somebody here can point out some bad reports of this knife chips etc....LINKS?

__________________________________________________________________________________

A man is never too weak or too wounded to fight if the cause is greater than his own life.

---Doctore Oenomaus, in Spartacus---
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 10, 2013 07:23AM
I agree it would be poor method to conclude that the steel or Fehrman knives are poor in performance in light of the one experience I had, at most you would draw a conclusion about customer support and the maker from the interaction. However the "experimental" argument gets thrown around a lot and it is really not one that works in defence of a maker at all if you give it some thought.

Fehrman was aggressively advertized as a Busse-killer, this wasn't an implication, they were the first semi-production/small shop knives to really take this stance of not shying away from the toughness/durability market of Busse Combat. Now considering this is it a sensible option for Fehrman to use an experimental product without extensive R&D and just put it out there for the ELU's to sort out the problems?

At a minimum, if this was the case then Fehrman would have to issue a recall, but given this position it would be a serious lack of responsibility to make a survival/rescue/emergency type use knife and then stand back and say "Well it was a new steel, not a lot was known, we didn't do any R&D, etc. - so there were some problems to be expected."

The reality is that this steel, like the vast majority of steels was not made for knives and there is extensive data available on how to harden it if you call the manufacturer and combine that with metallurgical knowledge of similar steels of that class. If Ferhman didn't do any of this then that would be gross incompetence.

What is the likely real reason for the issues I had :

-the edge was ground very fast on a coarse abrasive and then hit on a buffer

This left the edge weakened from the x-coarse scratches and over heating. When it was sharpened there was improvement but still there were issues, this likely would have continued to improve with further sharpening to remove all weakened metal. In regards to the edge turning, that is the part which is a bit surprising but there is a lot of variability in loading there and I would want to try at least one other knife before concluding it was a steel issues or just a random very high load.

Again, I think it is a decent steel inherently without the flaws shown in that knife, but in general, I would find it hard to argue that it practically better than Calmax for large knives and in fact I would see it as inferior due to the grindability/maintenance issues.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 04:43AM
Cliff

Get another one and give it similar treatment, I'm certain that you will be happy! Otherwise I will do a test closer to the end of the month and send you some pics and results!

Anton
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 06:23AM
Quote
kuro1
let's not jump to conclusion to fast, back 2004/5 CPM-3V as steel was pretty much sperimental....HT protocol included.
Even true I have no doubt that Cliff did some justice back then but, who knows today, if the same knife could be tested today, we can hand up with different result.


Somebody here can point out some bad reports of this knife chips etc....LINKS?

There isn't a single review where the user is unhappy with Fehrman!
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 12:58PM
number41, please provide evidence of the knives actually being used from something. Please define what hard use is, and what you did with your knife. Stop endorsing Fehrman until you can provide some evidence. The majority of reviewers aren't actually performing any testing or proof of serious use. Cliff's review of the Fehrman is a review were the user isn't satisfied with the knife.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 04:33PM
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number41
Cliff

Get another one and give it similar treatment, I'm certain that you will be happy! on

Anton, have you read the original review, the work I did, the reaction that Ferhman had and his response as a maker to questions from a user where the knife performed very poorly? It isn't something that is conductive to me wanting to buy another one when there are lots of makers that fully support their work. If I was reading that work done by another, the most important part to me was not that the knife failed under rather trivial use but that the maker did not support that the knife was actually capable of such use.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 10:39PM
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CliffStamp
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number41
Cliff

Get another one and give it similar treatment, I'm certain that you will be happy! on

Anton, have you read the original review, the work I did, the reaction that Ferhman had and his response as a maker to questions from a user where the knife performed very poorly? It isn't something that is conductive to me wanting to buy another one when there are lots of makers that fully support their work. If I was reading that work done by another, the most important part to me was not that the knife failed under rather trivial use but that the maker did not support that the knife was actually capable of such use.
Yes, I read your original review a long time ago, and understand what you mean by not getting a response from the maker! I myself had a problem with a ZT and they sent me a new ZT 301 without even seeing the faulty blade! I'm still gonna do a review because I know how good the Fehrman is!
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 10:53PM
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Old Spice
number41, please provide evidence of the knives actually being used from something. Please define what hard use is, and what you did with your knife. Stop endorsing Fehrman until you can provide some evidence. The majority of reviewers aren't actually performing any testing or proof of serious use. Cliff's review of the Fehrman is a review were the user isn't satisfied with the knife.

Like I said! I'm gonna do a review on my Fehrman and provide pics! First test will be chopping kameeldoring wood(very hard and knotty) let's say 50 pieces plus! Second test will be stabbing thru 50 gallon drum 100 times! Third test will be be toning thru a 16mm raw bolt! (I did the same test with my ZT0100-cpm3v) I cut thru 2 bolts with the zt at separate occasions with no chipping just blunting! The bolt is @ my local gun shop in Cape Town on display! I F#*@ up all my knives so please do not tell me about hard use, I don't care about my weapons I just use them ! I'm telling you know there will be no damage and if there is I will be the first one to admit!
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
January 11, 2013 10:56PM
We will see. Looking forward to these tests.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
November 04, 2014 04:40PM
Ugh, sorry for reviving an old thread.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2014 04:45PM by Gavin S..
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
November 08, 2014 01:18AM
ok, i really wanna know that does the steel really tough when well HTed ? and in comparition to other steels how tough it was ?

why not go Survive! Knives ,cliff ? looks cool.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2014 01:25AM by dingy.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
October 03, 2017 11:01PM
I will soon be able to compare Busse INFI and CPM-3V on similar 10-11" knives, which will be matched in apex edge angle at least (a Battlesaw and a GSO-10).

Anybody knows of previous comparisons of Survive! with Busse?


Gaston
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
November 12, 2018 08:14PM
I did get a rough comparison between a GSO 10 and a Busse Battlesaw. INFI did not do well, but I understand a moderately slicy convex concentrate the "pinching" of the wood near the weakest part, the edge... Here vs 5160 in a FFG... V edges and hollow grinds do better, being pinched by wood higher. Full Flat Grinds are in between, but tend to "stick" due to the lack of concentrated pinching points, making a broader friction area not easily "broken".

[i.imgur.com]

The gso ten I found a truly great design, but the steel apex rolled too early vs 420j (typical of cpm), except at minus forty celsius(!): Same good extreme cold performance for infi! 420 crumbles badly in extreme cold(!), but 5160 does somewhat hold on .

[i.imgur.com]

Busse's overall design felt low on slicyness. Saw should be pull with that narrow talon design!!! GSO 10 felt more efficient on a per bulk and weight ratio, but lack of pointiness vs even the bulky Busse is annoying; Must be put down on the ground, no sticking point at all... Busse handle is outstanding, with gso ten surprisingly good for its thin shape.

Gaston



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2018 08:17PM by Gaston444.
Re: Fehrman Extreme Judgment
November 13, 2018 08:23AM
Gaston444,
Interesting results.

"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
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