The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Okay, all, I'll admit that this is something that has been gnawing at me for a while, and I'm curious as to what others' opinions are when it comes to hollow-ground blades.
Hollow-ground blades are extraordinarily common, and for fixed-blade knives appear to be the most common grind for a blade. The primary reason, as far as I can assess, is cost-effectiveness, as in, it's the lowest-cost method to get a thicker blade to an effective cutting edge.
However, in my experience, the hollow grind is really only optimal -- as a blade grind -- for cutting meat. For most other foods, a thin, flat-ground blade usually works much better, while a thicker, flat-ground or saber-ground blades are better for wood working & carving.
Hollow-ground blades seem to be sufficient for cutting cordage, getting into boxes or opening letters, but in all of these cases, a thinner flat-ground blade often works better. Actually, the same can be said of knives for carving meat -- such as carvers, boning, and fillet knives -- as these activities are best with a thin, flat-ground blade.
The explosion of knife companies in recent decades serving higher-end markets -- such as ESEE, TOPS Knives, White River, and so on, as well as older companies like Kabar & Ontario -- has been developing knife lines focused on flat-, scandi-, & saber-ground blades, catering to expanded catering to survivalism, bushcraft, & outdoors knife skills generally. To some degree, the knife industry is responding to greater market trends caused by TV shows & YouTube videos, but it also appears that the industry is also creating demand, as is often necessary in order to maintain growth, or even to maintain consistent profits.
All the while, lower-end knife companies such as Taylor Brands (Smith & Wesson, eg.), Frost Cutlery, etc., along with many unbranded (likely OEM) manufacturers in China, haven't strayed from the hollow-ground fixed blade knife. The same can be said of Buck Knives (known for relying nearly exclusively on what used to be considered low-end 420 stainless steels well before the 8cr-type steels blew up in the American markets -- neither of which is a good thing), as well as others, like Gerber.
Recently, however, I noticed that the high-end production company Fiddleback Forge has been making a lot of knives with hollow-ground blades. Medford Knives too, though they are not the only company by any means with hollow-ground knives that surpass the $100 mark (easily surpass, in many cases, as with Fiddleback & Medford).
So I'd just like to hear others' experiences & opinions on hollow-ground knives, their performance, & whether it seems they are re-gaining their foothold in the contemporary market.
Also, I'd love to hear from anyone who has custom-ordered a knife with a hollow grind that they intended to use, & how that's ultimately worked out.
Thanks, & knife on, y'all!