There is an interesting video about the influence of blade’s geometry on edge retention. Just watch it. From my experience, Opinel no.7 has much much better edge retention than Mora Basic 511 that is made of much much better steel. I own these knives
I also happen to own both of those knives and they’re made of similar steel actually (chemically similar to 1095). Both are great knives and they’re tempered to approximately same hardness (58-59 rockwell).
The reason your 511 appears to dull more quickly is most likely because you’re keeping it at a true zero scandi grind (this is what happens when you lay the main bevel flat against the stone), while your opinel has become convexed (I don’t know anyone who sharpens an Opinel in a way that would preserve the full flat grind it comes in from factory - you always put a secondary bevel on it, be it saber or convex).
If I was using a Mora for hunting I’d probably end up putting a scandivex (rounded bevel) on it to help it survive contact with bone better.
Despite the fact that it is made from 420HC. It is an ordinary steel. In Poland, most of very very very cheap kitchen knives are made from 420. It is soft and very easy to sharpen.
420HC and 420 are very different beasts. HC designates high-carbon, which is the primary component that dictates the ability of steel to be hardened. This is why your standard kitchen cutlery can only be sharpened to a certain point and stay there without rolling over - that steel is indeed very soft. Buck 420HC will take a much better edge and keep it longer, thanks in part to the HC bit, and in part to their manufacturing process.
I won’t attempt to argue your examples of hunting knives for two reasons - without hands-on experience that kind of a moot point, but also I don’t trust marketing terms, i.e. just because a company calls something a hunting knife doesn’t automatically make it a good hunting tool.
Thankfully, the game doesn’t specify a model either, so it’s open to interpretation, and I choose to interpret this to mean something along the lines of Loveless drop-point hunter, Canadian belt knife, traditional puuko, etc.
I have tested friend’s few hunting knives and they were awkward. 2/10. This is the main problem of modern knives. Knifemakers and companies often do not make knives that they want to make. They make knives that they HAVE to make because they need profit. Knives become thicker and thicker. They are made from ‘better’ steels that become harder and harder to sharpen. Even with good whetstones. Knives on the market change due to increasing interest in bushcraft / survival. Customer requires very durable knives (all that ‘torture tests’ from YouTube) so knifemakers make them thicker. This is a snowball effect.
I absolutely agree, the sharpened prybar trend is annoying. Super-steel trend less so, though people should really put more effort into learning about knife maintenance rather than focusing on “best” steel. Check out this video by Lonnie of Far North Bushcraft - he hasn’t taken his Mora to a stone in years - turns out you can simply realign the edge and get it back to shaving sharp (my father who’s a vet and has used knives as surgical tools on occasion does the same).
I don’t own any knives in the supersteel category so I’m not sure if they can be aligned but if yes then they offer a definite advantage, even if you will need to use a diamond stone when you eventually need to fully resharpen it.
I would rather use a sheepsfoot folding knife that weights nothing and allows me to put my finger on the end of the blade in order to gain 100% control over cutting. The blade is straight so it is very sharp till the very end of the blade. With a little practice, you do not need a pointy knife to do the job. And a knife without ‘belly’ is much more easier to sharpen (especially for a beginner).
I’d call this a learned preference rather than objective advantage. Sure, finger-guiding your knife is pretty much the most precise way to do this but is a) not necessary and b) would work just as well with a short pointy knife such as a Mora Eldris (and I would wager you can get even better control with that than with a sheepsfoot blade). Sheepsfoot blade is easier to sharpen, but if you’re using sharpening steel and realigning the edge rather than removing material from it it won’t really matter since you won’t be doing actual “sharpening” in the field anyway.
Do you want to sharpen a modern, very thick knife that is made from high quality ( usually very hard) steel without a whetstone or even a file? People often complain about high quality modern knives if it comes to sharpening. And they have whetstones. What may happen in a survival situation when a flat rock is the only option? It may be catastrophic…
In that situation it would be easier to find some flint and get a good sharp flake instead (and I know you have plenty of that over where you are).
I did not write this to disrespect you. Maybe it is because I live in Poland. Here in Poland, generations and generations of people used folding knives and small fix-blade knives for skinning, butchering, processing wood, carving etc. In Poland, folding knives are called ‘grandfathers knives’. Maybe this and my experience (I live in village) are reasons why I have such perspective on knives
No offense taken, I happen to spend a lot of time in Poland since my wife has family there. In fact, I often visit her uncle who used to be a hunter and a forester long the Bug river and his house looks like something out of Ace Ventura’s worst nightmare
To summarize, a hunter’s knife in my mind represents the best possible compromise between several tools - skinning knife, butchering knife, and a hatchet or a cleaver. This means it needs to be capable of gutting and skinning a reasonably large animal without damaging the hide or fouling the meat, cutting and boning the meat, and separating joints.
The game only specifies several archetypes of knives, which means there’s one layer of abstraction. Then, there’s a second layer of abstraction in the “butchering quality” number, which doesn’t really correspond to any real-world quality as such. Much is left to your interpretation and I choose to interpret “hunting knife” as being best suited for skinning and butchering an animal with least improvisation necessary, compared to other options.
In real world terms, the skill of the user is what dictates the success and duration of such an operation anyway.