Grayman’s new Mega Pounders are bringing a different cutting edge to the modern battlefield. Single-bevel-edge grinds are by no means a new phenomenon in the world of knives, though they do tend to turn heads every time they pop up. On the contrary, they have been around for centuries—primarily on kitchen cutlery and woodworking tools. They’re simple to manufacture, easy to maintain and nicely functional in the field. For soldiers on deployment, the first two factors are nearly as crucial the third. Simplified manufacturing means faster production, which translates into less customer wait time—and for those customers with their boots on the ground in hostile environments, speed of delivery is a primary consideration. So, too, is ease of maintenance. A blade that can both endure the hazards of the battlefield and be easily sharpened is a tool of inestimable value.

The Mega Pounders, in accordance with their name, are massive beasts. They are fashioned from full 0.25-inch thick 1095 hi-carbon steel and come in three sizes, with blade lengths of 6, 7.5, and 9 inches and overall lengths of 12, 13.5, and 15 inches respectively. Rated at 55 to 57 HRC, they have a hardness that offers durability over edge retention, and they are designed to be very tough, hard-use tools. At a glance it could be said, with a good degree of accuracy, that all three knives are essentially sharpened pry bars. One could easily see these knives functioning well in that role. The question is, how well will they function in various common knife-use roles?

Edge Alignment

It seemed to me like the first logical step was to start off in the camp kitchen with the smaller Pounder. Though much has changed since Napoleon’s day, some things clearly have not. Military ground forces still march on their stomachs, and food is still sometimes requisitioned by whatever means available and then prepared in the field. Granted, a knife with a thickness of 0.25 inches will never be ideal for food preparation, but the test samples I received had nice, sharp, “toothy” edges, and the 6-inch Pounder bit deeply and was relatively easy to handle for a knife of its size—much like a large heavy-bladed cleaver with a point. It made short work turning the front leg of a young buck into steaks, stew meat and soup bones. The thick blade performed as well as could be expected quartering potatoes, and it sent carrot sections careening across the cutting board—but cut it did, saving me the unwelcome task of breaking the vegetables into sections by hand. The knife cut celery stalks well, and in further tests it sliced the potatoes into slivers thin enough to become potato chips. Its precision, I think, is due to the blade’s edge alignment, as well as the fact that, when slicing, the focal point is the tangible side of the blade, rather than an imaginary line in the center. The tip of the knife also handled the chore of opening large tin cans with no serious deformation of the edge; only some slight dulling that was easily fixed with a small coarse stone.

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For the complete article please refer to Tactical Knives July 2013.

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