A Primer on Folding Knives is a comprehensive guide to folding knives. It is designed for both new and experienced knife users who want to expand their knowledge of folding knives.
Chapter 1 contains a detailed discussion of knife terminology and anatomy, knife operation and knife materials, including blade grinds, bevel angles, locking mechanisms and potential issues with locking mechanisms, ball-bearing pivot systems, blade construction, blade coatings, blade finishes, knife care (such as removing scratches from DLC-coated knives) and more.
Chapter 2 on steel metallurgy is a comprehensive but not overly technical chapter on the properties of steel that are important to knife blades, the heat treatment of steel and its effect on the steel at a molecular level. It also describes the effect of different amounts of carbon and alloy metals on the final properties of a knife blade. The goal of this chapter is to give you an idea of why it is so difficult (or even impossible) to produce the perfect steel for knife blades.
Chapter 3 is a comprehensive look at knife sharpening, including a discussion of sharpening techniques, freehand sharpening equipment (ceramic and diamond stones), sharpening systems including the Work Sharp, the Edge Pro, the KME and the Wicked Edge, and a detailed discussion of stropping, including nano-stropping with exotic materials.
What Master Knife Makers and Others Are Saying About the Book
Mel Pardue—Master Knife Maker
“This book is one of the best books on Knife Anatomy, Steel Metallurgy and Sharpening that I have seen. I very much enjoyed the Section on Steel Metallurgy. This book would be a great reference book for anyone that makes knives or collects knives.” Mel Pardue Knives
Matthew Lerch—Master Knife Maker
“A Primer on Folding Knives is very thorough. It contains detailed information on all aspects of the modern folding knife. A good ‘go to book’ for anyone interested in knives, knife terminology, knife anatomy, opening and locking mechanisms, knife care, knife sharpening and steel metallurgy.” Lerch Custom Knives
Kyle Crawford—Work Sharp Brand Manager|Darex, LLC
“With ‘A Primer on Folding Knives’ Steve Roman has created an essential desk reference for any knife user or enthusiast. While he dives deeply into complex topics like metallurgy, sharpening and blade geometry, he does so with detail and clarity that allows anyone to understand and learn. His brilliant use of photography and imagery also make the book easy to follow, understand and more importantly easy to enjoy. I also appreciate how Steve conveys the information based on his extensive research and experience and is clear about his personal biases and opinions and does not present them as fact. This is a complete resource on folding knives and has earned a place on my desk for frequent reference.”
Work Sharp web site
“I am amazed by the content in this informative book by Steven Roman. I am experienced knife collector and thought I knew about folding knives. Since this book arrived, I have not been able to put it down, it is so full of relevant information that I thought I knew, but didn't until now. Every collector of folding knives just has to read this great book to be informed. It is well written and I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in knives no matter if you are new to folding knives or a serious collector. The information is that good.” Richard W. Davies
“If you are relatively new to folding [knives] this book is a must. You’ll learn more from it’s pages than from months on the Internet. But that does not mean it is shallow or non-technical! Old hands at the knife hobby will learn a ton that they had no idea that they didn’t know. This is good stuff.” Amazon Verified Purchaser
“I bought this book at a Knife Show 2015 in Orange County directly from the author, Mr. Steven Roman. He is a nice humble person. After I read the book I found it was so informative. It was well written in a technical term but easy to understand. The book provides information that will help you to understand deeper in the subject of knife making or knife collecting. Well done Professor Roman.” Donna Nguyen
“Have you ever heard of a man named Steven Roman? He is a retired mathematics professor who also collects and uses knives and has a deep interest in metallurgy. I am reading his book: " A Primer On Folding Knives". It is SUPER EXCELLENT. He has good information on some of our favorite steels such as ZDP 189 and one of his favorite everyday carry knives is the Spyderco Tenacious, which he gives info on. He also discusses and shows experience, pictures, and info on knife sharpening systems and methods that would be very useful to forum members. Cliff: You would enjoy this book greatly as would everyone else here.” SpyderEdgeForever, on the Spyderco Forum (www.spyderco.com/forumII)
Images From the Book
A few of the 122 images and photos from the book, organized by chapter.