Jump to content


Photo

Yet ANOTHER MIL-K-818 thread


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:15 PM

Hello All, 

 

As my first topic on USMF, I wanted to show my two "Knife, Pocket, General Purpose"'s. I have one from 1985 (below), and one from 1994 (above), both by Camillus. 

IMG_0193.jpg

 

The '94 was in almost unused condition, with almost no wear at all on any of the tools. I actually carry it every day along with my Swiss Army Knife and Leatherman. The '85 shows more signs of wear, especially on the main blade. This was partly my fault. It arrived fairly dull, and after I unsuccessfully tried to sharpen it (I hadn't developed the skill yet), I asked a friend to sharpen it for me. He used a belt sander  :( and you can see the results. But I have since then managed to get it razor sharp, it just looks ugly. 

 

IMG_0194.jpg

IMG_0206.jpg



#2 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:27 PM

I tend to focus on little details, and one difference that I've noticed between my two examples is the diamond stamping on the scales. My '84 example has deep, sharply-defined, inverted-diamond-pyramids stamped into it.

IMG_0197.jpg

My '94, on the other hand, has much less distinct diamonds on it; they are more like pyramids with the top two-thirds cut off.

IMG_0202.jpg

 

I realize that this is picking nits about minor details that most GI's would never have noticed, but I found it interesting. To me, it looks like the stamping dies were worn down by the time my '94 was made.



#3 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:38 PM

Don't see much on the newer steel pocket knives, bunches of information on this forum on the WW2 up through Vietnam era.  It's always been one of my favorite knives, I carried one for many years until it took flight over Normandy drop zone at Fort Bragg.  Replaced in with a Buck Lite which was more useful for my immediate needs, but still retain the rigger made sheath with a 1971 dated knife in it.

I'm sure a lot of members of this forum have post-Vietnam knives that they just don't post much about so maybe this thread will get some interesting replies.

Thanks for posting.



#4 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 03 January 2019 - 03:01 PM

Don't see much on the newer steel pocket knives, bunches of information on this forum on the WW2 up through Vietnam era.  

 

I'm sure a lot of members of this forum have post-Vietnam knives that they just don't post much about so maybe this thread will get some interesting replies.

Thanks for posting.

It's completely understandable that the forum doesn't see many posts about post-Vietnam knives; they're not exactly rare or expensive (yet!). I purchased both of mine on Ebay for around $35 each. I find myself drawn to them because they are fairly easy to find in almost-new or at least usable condition, and at the same time are common enough and recent enough that I don't have to worry about destroying a historical artifact by sharpening or using one. 

 

 

 

It's always been one of my favorite knives, I carried one for many years until it took flight over Normandy drop zone at Fort Bragg.

Wow, what a way to lose a knife! I hope there wasn't anybody below you, or at least that they were wearing their helmets!  :wacko:  Reminds me of a story of a 101st trooper who lost his Garand in the D-Day jump and hoped it hit a German on the head.


Edited by HoustonSooner17, 03 January 2019 - 03:03 PM.


#5 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,269 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 04 January 2019 - 01:14 AM

Here are a couple of later knives I have not too rare, but still good variants.

 

Western MIL-K-818.jpg

 

Western branded  utility knife made by Camillus.  This knife isn't date stamped, but they are recorded to have been made in the 1995 time frame.  These knives were made for commercial sales. Another departure from the more standard MIL-K is that the main blade was beveled with a hollow grind.



#6 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,269 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 04 January 2019 - 01:20 AM

Next is a Queen 1986 made for military contract.  

 

Queen MIL-K-818.jpg Queen 1986 MIL-K-818.jpg

 

The main blades came stamped two different ways one with the printing legible with the blade open pointing away, and the other like the one shown above.



#7 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 04 January 2019 - 10:47 AM

Is it my imagination, or is that Queen a bit shorter in handle length? Something just looks a bit different. I didn't realize that other companies were still making these knives under contract as recently as the '80s. 

 

It's interesting that Western felt the need to keep the "CAN OPENER" label on a product intended for commercial sales. 


Edited by HoustonSooner17, 04 January 2019 - 10:50 AM.


#8 SKIPH

SKIPH

    FORUM SUBJECT ADVISOR

  • FORUM SUBJECT ADVISOR
    • Member ID: 7,773
  • 4,132 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NC

Posted 04 January 2019 - 01:32 PM

Suspect they left "can opener" on the device, because there is now a generation that is not familiar with manually operated can openers. I work with a young veteran  that had never seen a "P-38" can opener before. Had to give him a class on how to use it. LOL!  SKIP



#9 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 04 January 2019 - 01:56 PM

You might be right about that. If that Western knife was made in 95, then its the same age as me. Ive never used the can openers on most of my multitools or Swiss Army knives, but then again I dont eat much canned food. Then again, since Camillus made that knife, it makes sense for them to use the same machinery that was already set up to stamp CAN OPENER on the Camillus-branded knives.

Its odd, though, that Camillus took the time to hollow grind the blade for the Western knife rather than using their own blade style.

Edited by HoustonSooner17, 04 January 2019 - 02:08 PM.


#10 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,269 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:27 PM

I think that "can opener" got stamped on it because in 1944 it was a new design that didn't look anything like the previous can openers used for at least the previous 50 years.  Maybe the practice just became something of a tradition.

The only ones I Remember from the WW2 era knives that were unmarked were from the "second arrangement" knives, (when the can opener was moved next to the main blade). My Ulster 48 also has a sterile can opener.  Yet my early 60's Imperial's have "can opener" stamped on them.

All my Camillus made ones have "can opener" stamped on them from 1949 to 2006.  There maybe ones that didn't get stamped, as of now I don't remember seeing them.



#11 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:48 PM

Did you mention can openers?  Neither one of these is stamped.  By the way, this is a WW2 production.

Attached Images

  • OddSteelKnife.jpg


#12 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:16 AM

Did you mention can openers?  Neither one of these is stamped.  By the way, this is a WW2 production.


This knife was brought to you by the Department of Redundancies Department.
LOL, I remember seeing that knife on USMF before I joined and immediately checking to see if it had been posted on April 1st.

#13 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:14 PM

This knife was brought to you by the Department of Redundancies Department.
LOL, I remember seeing that knife on USMF before I joined and immediately checking to see if it had been posted on April 1st.

 

It's as real as they come.  Bought at an estate sale believing it was just another steel pocket knife, found out it was a little different when I started to clean it.
 



#14 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 07 January 2019 - 10:52 AM

 

It's as real as they come.  Bought at an estate sale believing it was just another steel pocket knife, found out it was a little different when I started to clean it.
 

In the original thread you posted it in, there was speculation as to how it came to have two can openers, with most assuming that it was a mistake. Could it instead have been an experiment? In the amazing MIL-K testing documentation that Dustin posted, one of the testing findings was that the can opener (in its then-current position next to the awl) did not work well on large round cans or square cans because the handle of the knife interfered. Perhaps the additional can opener was installed on your knife in order to test how well it worked in that position.



#15 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,269 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:58 PM

thorin6, is the krinking in the two can openers opposite to each other?



#16 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:25 PM

Both can openers kink in the same direction.  One is thicker than the other.  The photo is a bit blurry but shows the kink.

Attached Images

  • Two Can Openers.jpg


#17 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:29 PM

One other thing I have noticed.  The hole for the post on the screw driver blade looks like it has never had one installed.  It does not look like the post existed and was broken off.



#18 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,269 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 07 January 2019 - 09:10 PM

Thanks Thorin6.  If I'm seeing this right, I'm looking at the back of the can openers with the piercing tip pointed away from me.  If so that's interesting that the can openers are sterile.  These look like they are krinked for the first arrangement knives, and I'm used to seeing these with the CanOpener printed on the side of them.



#19 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 January 2019 - 05:25 PM

Thanks Thorin6.  If I'm seeing this right, I'm looking at the back of the can openers with the piercing tip pointed away from me.  If so that's interesting that the can openers are sterile.  These look like they are krinked for the first arrangement knives, and I'm used to seeing these with the CanOpener printed on the side of them.

 

You're right on the view of the can openers.  I thought it was unusual that neither had CanOpener on them, but I'm am going to have to eat my words.  I cleaned the hooked blades after your post, and ever so faint, the word CANOPENER is on the lower right side (looking at them as in the picture).  I'd take a picture but it's so faint that I needed a magnifying glass to see them.  Any comments?
 


Edited by thorin6, 08 January 2019 - 05:25 PM.


#20 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 09 January 2019 - 12:02 PM

Thorin6, do the two can openers nest well between the blade and screwdriver, or are they an awkward fit? You mentioned that one was thicker than the other; I'm wondering if one of them was modified in order to make it fit, which would tend to suggest that it wasn't installed accidentally. After all, from the point of view of the factory worker, why go to the trouble of modifying the wrong part (a second can opener) in order to make it fit, when you could install the correct part (the awl)?



#21 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:09 PM

Thorin6, do the two can openers nest well between the blade and screwdriver, or are they an awkward fit? You mentioned that one was thicker than the other; I'm wondering if one of them was modified in order to make it fit, which would tend to suggest that it wasn't installed accidentally. After all, from the point of view of the factory worker, why go to the trouble of modifying the wrong part (a second can opener) in order to make it fit, when you could install the correct part (the awl)?

The can openers close nicely between the knife blade and the screw driver, both of which nest to the left side (looking from the bail) of the can openers.  The thinner can opener is to the left of the thicker can opener.



#22 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:13 PM

I might add that I have always thought this was a Friday night rush job, get the knife done and into the hopper with the other knives and not even being aware that it had two can openers.  Always open for other interpretations.  Also I cleaned out the hole on the screwdriver, and after getting the crude out (which was basically hardened grease), it's as clean as a whistle, no indication the post was ever installed.



#23 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,269 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:52 PM

I've run across so many knives that were obvious parts knives assembled who knows when that I'm always a bit leery of anything a bit out of the ordinary.  This is especially true of some pieces I had repaired for obvious defects and the high quality of the results.  Some pieces would defy finding something different from an original NIB example.

Even so there seems to be a lot of examples with differences to parts that suggests they were looking at most every thing on the knife to try and decide what would be best.



#24 HoustonSooner17

HoustonSooner17
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 210,037
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 26 January 2019 - 10:09 AM



Next is a Queen 1986 made for military contract.  

 

attachicon.gifQueen MIL-K-818.jpgattachicon.gifQueen 1986 MIL-K-818.jpg

 

The main blades came stamped two different ways one with the printing legible with the blade open pointing away, and the other like the one shown above.

For some reason, that looked familiar to me for some reason. Obviously it's a stainless steel MIL-K-818, but there was something about it that reminded me of something else. I couldn't figure it out until I recently rediscovered my Marbles "G.I. Utility Knife with Stainless Handles" ($11.00 on Amazon). This was the first MIL-K-818 -style knife I bought, back in college when I was broke. The resemblance is striking, particularly the bottle opener design.

IMG_0273.jpg


Edited by HoustonSooner17, 26 January 2019 - 10:10 AM.


#25 thorin6

thorin6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,546
  • 2,230 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 January 2019 - 01:52 PM

Just picked up a 1991 Camillus steel knife at the flea market for $5.  Best looking knife I've got now; never sharpened or used.




4 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 4 guests, 0 anonymous users