Handmade Black Rock Knife

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I love unique knives such as these handmade rock knives.

Technically, these are obsidian knives that have been hand-knapped. Which means it uses an ancient manual process to shape the rock into a blade shape. This type of rock has been used for centuries, even going back to early humans. This is because it’s a common rock that when broken creates a “perfect” sharp blade.

These blades are so naturally good, medical researchers continue to see if they can be used to create better scalpels.

The maker of these knives does not use any machines. Instead, he knaps the obsidian using the same techniques our ancient ancestors used to make their tools.

This would make a great gift for campers, hunters, and rock collectors.

If you would like to know more about these obsidian black rock hand-napped knives read on.

Everything You Need To Know About A Hand-Knapped Obsidian Rock Knife

Obsidian is a unique type of igneous rock that forms as a natural glass due to the rapid cooling of lava from volcanoes. It contains nearly 65 to 80% silica and hardly 1% water. Obsidian’s glassy luster and hard texture make it a suitable material for knives. These knives have an air of mystery around them because of the way they look. They aren’t as polished as the knives you usually use, but they can work just as fine as them.

The history of obsidian knives goes back to prehistoric times when volcanoes were quite common. Once the lava cooled down, people found it hard to remove the rocks formed due to the viscous lava. Soon, someone made a pointed instrument with one of these rocks, and that’s how everyone started making similar objects which you now call hand-knapped obsidian rock knife.

Where Can You Find An Obsidian Knife?

You can find obsidian knives almost everywhere in the world. But it’s better to buy from the places that manufacture these knives. These places experience the most volcanic activity or at least used to experience volcanic activity in the past. Some of the countries where you can find this naturally-occurring volcanic glass are Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, Turkey, Peru, Papa New Guinea, Mexico, Japan, Greece, Italy, Georgia, Chile, Canada, and Argentina.

You can find significant deposits of obsidian in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the USA. For example, you will see many stores near the Yellowstone National Park selling hand-knapped obsidian rock knives. This is because people had discovered tons of obsidian between the North Geyser Basin and the Mammoth Hot Springs.

Current Use Of Obsidian

Previously, people used obsidian to make various tools and even mirrors. But now, you will mostly see them making knives. Hand-knapped obsidian rock knives are extremely sharp. Experts believe they are way better than manufactured glass knives. Obsidian has also found its way into the operation theater in the form of scalpel blades. However, the FDA doesn’t approve of using obsidian blades to operate humans.

Most of the hand-knapped obsidian rock knives have cutting edges that are multiple times sharper than some of the high-quality stainless steel knives. The approximate cutting edge of a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife is only 3 nanometers. It is so thin that you may not be able to touch the edge as it may cut through your skin immediately.

Moreover, metal knives come with a jagged and irregular blade surface. Although you can sharpen them later, they are not as smooth as you want them to be. However, a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife has an ultra-smooth surface if you view it under a microscope. This ensures that it can cut through almost any skin without any hindrance.

How Did Obsidian Evolve?

Obsidian has a surprising history, making it a mysterious rock. The first use of obsidian dates back to the Acheulean age. This age is famous for its first practices of stone tools. It was a chance encounter when someone found a pointed rock near a volcano. He used the rock to cut leaves and small branches. The edge was so sharp that it even cut his hand once. Soon, people started using this rock as a flint starter. In fact, historians believe that obsidian may also have played a part in starting a fire.

Imagine how primitive humans discovered something so unique and used it for multiple purposes then. Apart from starting a fire and cutting down leaves, some of them used obsidian rocks to cut dead animals’ skin.

Pros And Cons Of Hand-knapped Obsidian Rock Knives

A hand-knapped obsidian rock knife has tons of benefits because of its sharp edge. Experts claim that its primary benefit is its potential for sharpness. If you place any carbon steel blade and hand-knapped obsidian rock knife side by side under an electron microscope, the latter will come out as the better knife because of the smooth surface. Carbon steel blades usually have an irregular surface and edge. They may last longer than obsidian rock knives, but they are hardly as smooth as their counterparts. This shows how perfect nature can be without even trying.

As already mentioned, the edge thickness of a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife can be approximately 3 nanometers. This is significantly thinner than some of the stainless steel knives that you use these days. Doctors and surgeons claim that obsidian blades encourage quicker healing because of their cleaner cuts, but the FDA is still not convinced about using this type of blade on humans. And that brings the cons of a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife forward.

While this type of knife is undoubtedly one of the sharpest in the business, it is also a brittle material. It cannot cut through strong surfaces like barks or thick wood. That means you cannot substitute it for the pocket knives used for survival in the forest. These knives can still cut through logs and branches because of their sharpness and tough surface. But you can’t expect these characteristics from a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife.

Using a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife on a hard surface may break or chip it. Your obsidian knife will likely crack even if you are doing the simplest of tasks, such as cutting a thick rope or trying to make a big branch smaller. The tip or the surface may show signs of cracks if you pry the knife against a hard surface, like trying to open a beer bottle.

Moreover, you shouldn’t use this knife to chop food. If there is a chip somewhere, you may accidentally digest shards of glass. This glass is excellent at fragmenting. It means you may not be able to see if there is a crack or chip inside.

The cost of a hand-knapped obsidian rock knife varies according to its size. You may expect to pay a premium price if you buy it from a country that doesn’t experience volcanoes. But make sure you keep it as a souvenir instead of using it as a survival weapon.

Disclaimer: Please only purchase where it’s legal to do so and only use for legal purpose.