Best grafting knife value for money.

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Jedidiahwiebe
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Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby Jedidiahwiebe » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:09 pm

Hey! I've been grafting for a couple seasons now with razors and home-made jobbies. But I'm willing to invest in something decent. I can't honestly say if I do more budding or more grafting at this point. Some of both I guess.

I have access to excellent sharpening tools and would be capable of changing the bevel on my blade from right to left (I'm lefty) as well as a minor modification or so.

Been shopping around. I've seen some expensive german stuff. Is it really worth the high price. If it is then by all means.... But is it worth it to just get a couple cheaper knives. One grafting, and one budding and just sharpen them more often?

Mind you. I know perfectly well that better steel means a finer edge, and a finer edge means higher success rates no?

Thank y'all so much. I really appreciate the tips.

Levers101
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby Levers101 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:13 pm

The steel on Opinel's is of the best quality I've ever seen from a pocket knife for the cost. I have an Opinel no. 4 that I carry all the time for light duty stuff (opening boxes, slicing apples for lunch, etc). The carbon steel blade takes an edge well. For $8-$15 off Amazon they are cheap. I've been meaning to get a no.6 because they have a locking ring. I heard about them from YouTube fruit enthusiast Stephen Hayes.

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aphahn
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby aphahn » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:33 pm

Levers101 wrote: I've been meaning to get a no.6 because they have a locking ring. I heard about them from YouTube fruit enthusiast Stephen Hayes.
Don't let Stephen Hayes' videos fool you. He is incredibly skilled no matter how easy it looks. I tried a no. 6 after watching him and couldn't make a strait cut to save my life. You might do better, but for me I need a blade sharpened on one side only.

I recommend you go with the classic Wenger grafting knives. Totally worth the $20. See the resources page for a few places that sell them. The thing to invest in is a good sharpening stone. I like the diamond embedded steel ones, but any good one will do. You may go through a few knives over the years, but with a good sharpening setup they will all be razor sharp!
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jbclem
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby jbclem » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:38 pm

Good sharpening stones seem all seem to be high priced ($30-60). If you want to have a wide range of grits (say, 60-6000) you can spend some serious money. Is there such a thing as moderately priced high quality sharpening stones?

Jedidiahwiebe
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby Jedidiahwiebe » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:45 pm

Oh wow, that is really helpful. Opinel looks promising, I could always sharpen the bevel onto the correct side for me. I will ask them if they ship to canada. Their prices are shockingly reasonable. I thought the solinger made knives were way more. The wenger's look very pretty, but I've always been afraid of 'stainless steel' never found a stainless steel knife that holds an edge as well as high carbon steel. Does anyone know if the statement made on the England's Orchard site: "Wenger Grafting Knives are ... tested and have proven to keep a fine cutting edge longer than other grafting knives" is true? Is it possible that this supposedly "highest grade" surgical steel will hold a good... no excellent edge?

I'm the kind of guy who's inclined to spend a bit more money on a better tool, because I know my performance when making accurate cuts on wood is nearly always improved when I use a very sharp blade. (I'm a professional woodworker - luthier by trade)

And re. quality sharpening systems. Fortunately I do already have that covered.

Levers101
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby Levers101 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:27 pm

aphahn wrote: Don't let Stephen Hayes' videos fool you. He is incredibly skilled no matter how easy it looks. I tried a no. 6 after watching him and couldn't make a strait cut to save my life. You might do better, but for me I need a blade sharpened on one side only.
Oh I totally agree. I'm new to the grafting thing. I tried some last spring with a regular sharp paring knife. I was disabused from that idea really quick. The No. 6 Opinel is for daily use, not grafting. A no. 4 isn't big enough for a lot of tasks, but it fits really nice in a coin pocket. I have a Felco budding & grafting knife.

SkillCult
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby SkillCult » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:59 pm

The best one I ever had was one I made by filing a kitchen paring knife down, but I lost it. I am a pretty big fan of the victorinox florist or gardeners knife. It is cheap. It comes very sharp so you can use it right out of the box and it seems durable enough. the blade is thin which makes sharpening easier. It is beveled on one side only. I've heard people complain about how small and thin the handle is, but it hasn't bothered me any. I wouldn't want to use it all day, day after day, but I think it's fine for us amateurs. The victorinox grafting knife has a budding flap lifter tab on the back of the blade, but it is much more expensive and I think the lifter is completely unnecessary unless you're a professional. Here is an amazon link to the florists knife

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Floral ... victorinox

I also really recommend the bright yellow handled version. I've lost several grafting knives, but this one you can see a mile away!
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starch
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby starch » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:36 am

I am going to second everything (nearly) that SkillCult said about Victorinox. I have both the florist knife and the grafting knife. Very sharp and thin beveled edges. Both do the trick when it comes to veneer and cleft grafting.

But the grafting knife with the budding flap lifter is more useful to me because I do a lot of citrus t-budding. And that lifter is perfectly made to do that. It lifts the pocket flap without tearing it. If I just use the grafting knife blade I inevitably gouge the wood trying to get the bark flap up and then often tear the bark. The lifting flap is just the right size to do it efficiently without tearing.

So if you plan to do any budding, I vote for the grafting knife upgrade.
Chandler, AZ. USDA Zone 9b / Sunset 13
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Jedidiahwiebe
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby Jedidiahwiebe » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:08 pm

It's very encouraging to hear the positive reviews on these stainless steel knives. (correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that all responses so far have recommended models which are equipped with stainless.) If y'all are having such good success with stainless steel knives, then I guess the razor sharp edge holding capability of the blade on a grafting knife is not as important as I had thought. Or am I wrong? Until corrected I am still assuming that stainless steel will never be as good as carbon steel.

Does anybody have experience with both types of steel? And can report on the differences in edge holding capabilities?

Are there other reasons people like stainless so much, for example it's ability to resist rust in case you forget it outside? Does it disinfect easier than carbon steel?

I would also like to ask about the high-end knives like Tina. They are 4 times as costly as any recommended here. Is this because of quality of blade and user comfort? Or are companies like Tina simply trying to make a luxury item for rich people, which is only prettier, but in actuality no better than the 20 dollar blades?

SkillCult
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Re: Best grafting knife value for money.

Postby SkillCult » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:22 pm

Modern stainless is fine. I can get through a lot of grafting with the victorinox. Since I'm frequently working under wet conditions, the stainless isn't going to corrode or need special care to keep it in good shape when I put it away. I can just put it away wet. Of course any corrosion on a carbon blade is going to dull it. If there is a real difference between modern quality stainless and carbon, it's probably just splitting hairs in this case. I've been very happy with the edge holding on these and the blade is also so thin that it's easy to sharpen.
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