Sharpest Knives in the World and How to Find Them
While everyone thinks that steel makes the sharpest knives in the world, other materials might work better. For example, tungsten is quite strong, and so is obsidian. Though tungsten might be used for the handle, it’s not as good for the blade in regards to sharpness.
If you’re looking for the sharpest knives out there, you have come to the right place. Here, we talk all about the different materials used in making knives and how they hold up. However, some of them aren’t on the market or are very hard to find, so we also talk about comparable steel blades.
About Obsidian Knives
Obsidian makes for a razor-edged knife, and it might be the sharpest in the world. With that said, it’s harder to find one compared to its counterparts. The thinnest of the obsidian blades are just three nanometers wide. This makes them 10 times sharper than any razor blade.
Generally, obsidian knives are made by flaking off a thin, long sliver from the core of the obsidian stone, which is also called volcanic glass. Though obsidian has been tested as a knife for surgical scalpel needs, the stone hasn’t been licensed to be used on humans because glass fragments could be left in the wound. However, it is possible to find obsidian blades for sale as hunting knives and the like.
How to Break Obsidian
Flint-knapping is a technique used to help make edged tools from stones such as flint, obsidian, and chert. Obsidian is very hard. With the flint-knapping method, a professional strikes the piece of rock at a strategical place to break it into smaller flakes.
While this is a dying art form, it is still possible to find skilled flint-knappers. Of course, you can try the craft yourself if you wish to make your own. This, however, is typically not recommended unless you are in a survivalist situation and require a very sharp knife that you can make yourself.
Why Is Obsidian so Sharp?
Generally, the obsidian stone has to be fractured or broken. When that happens, it leaves behind a flake that has one of the cleanest and sharpest edges you will ever find. Sometimes, they can be just a molecule in thickness. Because it is a natural “glass,” it can be much sharper than manufactured glass.
If you were to find the sharpest metal knife, you’d notice that it still has an irregular, jagged blade. It might not look like that, but under a microscope, you would see it. However, when viewing an obsidian blade under an electron microscope, you won’t see anything but evenness and smoothness.
Many people wonder why obsidian blades are not used in the medical industry. Some countries do allow it, but the U.S. and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) do not. The main issue with using it for a cutting tool is that it is hard but fragile.
Would you make a knife out of regular glass and try to cut up an animal or your food with it? Of course not. You’d worry that glass fragments would get inside and cause problems later. Since obsidian has a “hardness” of about 5.5 (similar to window glass), it’s not as strong as steel. Therefore, the blade can’t be very large and won’t hold up against hard cutting needs.
How to Sharpen an Obsidian Blade
While all blades will need to be sharpened at some point, obsidian blades tend to dull much faster. Another issue you may find is that the edge chips off with time, which leads to unevenness.
To sharpen an obsidian blade, follow these steps:
Step 1: The first step is to get a sharpening stone (any kind will work). Then, make sure the blade is flat, and position it at a 45-degree angle to your sharpening tool. It’s best to hold the knife at the handle with the index finger on the backside of the blade. This makes your hands steadier so that the blade doesn’t slip off.
Step 2: Now, raise the flat surface of the blade off of the stone so that it’s at about 20 degrees. Ensure that the edge is still touching the stone.
Step 3: Draw the knife to you while maintaining contact with the stone and the 20-degree angle. You should lift slightly and apply medium pressure. Repeat on the other side, being careful not to press too hard, as you can damage the blade.
About the Ultimatedge Liquidiamond Edge Knife
You can’t find it on the market because it’s still in the funding stage, but one knife claims to be sharper and stronger than any other in the world. It features a liquid diamond edge that’s patented. The metal alloy was developed by Cal-Tech and NASA. No one really knows what the metal mixture is, but Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) is used, as well as tungsten.
As such, it is supposed to be double the strength of titanium. The company that hopes to create this knife is called UltimateEdge. If it succeeds, no one else could have the right to use the same metal mixture. This knife is designed for outdoor usage. Since the knife-edge angle is a critical factor that determines sharpness, this hard material is going to produce a sharper edge.
Why It’s Different than Traditional Steel
Primarily, steel knives that are designed for hardness mean that the knife edge isn’t easy to maintain. The sides can chip very easily, which reduces the sharpness.
This new knife from UltimateEdge is harder than steel because of the metal mixture. As such, DLC and tungsten help it resist rust and keep it slightly flexible so that it doesn’t break or chip.
Of course, no knife is ever going to stay sharp forever, and this knife will be no different. However, it is designed and guaranteed to stay sharp 10 times longer than other blades.
It features nano-serration, which is like ultra-hard, microscopic teeth that give it the cutting power it needs. This nano-serration also makes the knife self-sharpening. The more you use the knife, the sharper it gets, at least up to a point.
Sharpest Knives in the World and What They Can Do
Seeing as Ultimatedge Liquidiamond Edge Knife isn’t on the market yet and there isn’t an indication of when it will be, you may want to know how to find a sharp knife right now. If you’re worried about obsidian, too, your best bet is likely to buy a high-quality blade and sharpen it yourself.
As such, you should test the sharpness before using it to ensure that it will do what you need it to do. That way, you will always have something that is durable and ready to use. There is a multitude of tests you can perform to see how sharp the blade is. However, it’s generally best to use the knife to see how it performs.
Most people have heard of this option. Slicing paper effortlessly using a knife means that it is relatively sharp. As such, that means that it doesn’t tear the paper as it moves down the sheet.
Of course, there are different paper thicknesses, so this might not be the best test, especially if you want an incredibly sharp knife. However, it is likely to work well for most cutting needs.
Cut Phone Books or Magazines
While it’s still paper, phone books and magazines are a different type. Generally, phone books and magazines use glossy paper, which can be harder to cut with a dull edge. If the blade you use slices through without effort, it’s sharp.
Consider rolling up the book or magazine and try to cut through it, as well. This indicates that the blade is quite sharp, though it’s probably not the best in the world.
Cut Through Nail
Use extreme caution because this test is a little dangerous. While holding up your index finger, take the blade and lay it gently on the edge of your fingernail. The knife should be perpendicular to the finger.
You’ll be able to determine if the blade is sharp if it bites into the nail without any pressure at all and doesn’t slide. If you’re a little nervous about this one, wait until you cut your nails again. Then, perform the test; it’s sharp if it cuts through the nail with ease.
Another variation is to get an acrylic nail, such as what you’d get from a salon. You can purchase them at drugstores and other locations, and they’re usually inexpensive. Then, perform the same test. If the knife bites into the nail when it is flat, it’s sharp. As such, if it cuts through the nail effortlessly, it is extremely honed.
Cut Vegetables and Fruits
While there are seemingly endless fruits and vegetables to cut, you can test the sharpness of your blade by choosing to cut an onion or a pineapple. The onion skin is slippery and thin. Therefore, the knife has to catch it and bite into the skin to start cutting.
Pineapples are quite hard, especially the outer layer. Consider trying to cut through the thick skin with the knife. Make sure you are safe because the pineapple can roll around or the blade could slip. If it cuts through the skin with ease, it is quite sharp. However, it still isn’t likely to be the best in the world.
Do You Really Need Very Sharp Knives?
Most people are never going to have a use for an incredibly razor-edged knife. With that said, others like to collect these types of items or know that their knife is one of the sharpest in the world.
Collectors are likely to enjoy obsidian knives because they aren’t as likely to use them. It can be tough to find them on the market, but it’s not impossible.
The top reason that you don’t need to buy a super-sharp knife is that you can always sharpen it yourself with the right tools. However, for most people, the goal is to have something “out of the box” that they can use immediately for any purpose.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Knife
When you decide to buy a new knife, your first thought shouldn’t be its sharpness. Instead, you should focus on what its purpose is going to be. For example, you wouldn’t use a butcher knife to skin an animal, right?
You can find knives that are specifically designed for almost anything. Hunting knives can be all-purpose for a variety of things related to hunting, and it’s also possible to find specialty knives for survivalist purposes, field dressing, and much more.
There are a few points to consider when selecting the right knife for your needs. These include:
1. Folding vs. Fixed Blade
Serious hunters are likely to enjoy a fixed-blade knife because it will always be at the ready and won’t fold into the handle when in use. It tends to be more reliable and stronger too. It’s also ideal if you plan to skin and gut a lot of animals.
Folding knives have their place, though. If you only hunt occasionally and want to use the knife for other purposes to get your money’s worth, it might be a good choice for you.
Primarily, there are three blade designs available. The clip-point style works well for occasional hunters because it has a defined endpoint and performs all the tasks you’re likely to encounter.
A drop-point style, on the other hand, is ideal for big-game hunters and usually features thicker steel blades. The skinning knife is self-explanatory, but it can do the jobs of the drop-point and clip-point version when needed.
Of course, there are specialty designs out there, such as a gut hook. It can help you open the animal up without puncturing its organs and tearing the skin. Some knives have this hook included, or you can buy it separately.
Most hunters, even those who do it frequently, are going to go with a steel blade because it’s easy to find. Usually, you can find a few options. When choosing one, make sure that it will not rust and will hold a good edge.
It’s best to find one that says “heat-treated” because this means that it is more likely to stay sharp for longer periods. You can sharpen the blade, but the goal here is not to have to do so multiple times a day or every day.
We have been talking about the sharpest knives in the world, and as you have learned, there aren’t very many that actually lives up to that claim. Obsidian is, by far, the mightiest, but it can also be brittle and inflexible.
Of course, the newest and sharpest knife isn’t on the market yet, and there is no way to know if or when it will arrive. In most cases, your best bet is going to go with a regular steel blade that you can sharpen to your preferences.