Prime Meridian

DiamondBlade Meridian    Stag
DiamondBlade Meridian Stag

The new Meridian fixed-blade knife from DiamondBlade combines both beauty and functional performance in an unbeatable edged tool.

While normally associated with longitude and latitude, a meridian is an imaginary line that slices the earth from top to bottom in 360 degrees. The prime meridian is the point from which all others are determined. Certainly, the new Meridian fixed-blade knife from DiamondBlade is one from which all other such edged tools can be evaluated. Since there is only one “prime,” this means that all others are subordinate. To shed some light on such a bold statement, let me say that when compared to similar fixed-blade knives, the Meridian (like all DiamondBlade products) provides peerless edge retention. Simply put, there is no comparison. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

About five years ago, I was invited to take part in the initial Alaskan field-testing of the new DiamondBlade “Friction Forged” knife line. While there were only two or three knife models available at that time, I selected a sizeable fixed-blade for testing. The knife was used to skin the full body of two large coastal brown bears. Since the bears were taken in the dunes adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, their hides were encrusted with so much grit it was like cutting through sand paper. Interestingly, after spending much of the day carefully skinning both bears, afterwards my knife still popped hair off of my arm like a razor. About two months later, I also used the same unsharpened knife to field dress and skin four wild boar hogs with hindrance. To date, I’ve never used any knife that could provide comparable edge retention. This is all due to DiamondBlade’s patented “Friction Forged” technology.

DiamondBlade Meridian Ram Horn
DiamondBlade Meridian Ram Horn

While I’ve reported on the Friction Forging process in this column previously, for those who may have missed that discussion, let me reiterate. The folks at DiamondBlade begin with a D2 tool steel blade blank that has been heat treated to Rockwell hardness of Rc 42-45, then the edge zone is Friction Forged using rotational heat and tremendous pressure to Rc 65-68. The result is a blade that is differentially heat treated, with a hard edge for superior edge retention and a tough spine to eliminate brittleness.

The D2 tool steel that’s used in all DiamondBlade products, including the new Meridian, is very chip resistant and incredibly rugged. The steel itself doesn’t possess quite enough chromium (12%) to be considered stainless (13% or greater), but it is very stain resistant. However, after Friction Forging sufficient chromium has been released from the chemical formulation to produce a corrosion poof edge zone. To protect the rest of the blade from rust, an NP3 coating has been applied. NP3 is an electro-less nickel based phosphate that also co-deposits particles of PTFE (polytetratfloroethlene), also known as Teflon, on whatever surface it’s applied. The entire surface of the Meridian blade is evenly coated and baked under low heat to set the coating. Once set the NP3 is very abrasion resistant, won’t flake off and entirely prevents rust. Even if the coating is penetrated, corrosion won’t migrate under the adjacent coated surface.

The Meridian is the latest fixed-blade model from the folks at DiamondBlade. The knife features a wedge ground, drop-point pattern blade that measures 4-1/2 inches in length. A 440C stainless steel single guard, which prevents a finger from accidentally riding forward onto the sharpened edge, provides a measure of safety when the knife is in use. Handle scales are available in Suregrip (a molded rubberized themoplastic material), presentation grade desert ironwood, ram horn and polished stag.  And all handle scales, with the exception of the Suregrip handle, feature mosaic attachment pins for a touch of class. Each knife comes with a vegetable tanned, pouch style, tooled leather sheath that features a Kydex insert to prevent the sharp blade from cutting through the leather.

I’ve used Diamondblade knives on everything from boar to bear and elk to eland and they are not only “scary sharp,” but when it comes to edge retention nothing else can

DiamondBlade Meridian Presentation Desert Ironwood
DiamondBlade Meridian Presentation Desert Ironwood

compare. Of course any blade that stays sharp for an extended period of time will present some difficulty when it comes to edge reestablishment. While a diamond sharpener can be used on any DiamondBlade knife with success, should your knife need edge maintenance, simply return it to the manufacturer and for a nominal fee it will be returned to you razor sharp. It doesn’t get any better than that!

The new Meridian is a magnificently designed knife that combines stark beauty with peerless performance. Prices for this knife range from $395 to $490, depending on which handle material is selected. The knife comes with a lifetime warranty and is entirely domestically produced   For more information, contact: DiamondBlade at (800) 221-6873, or use your Internet browser and go to: www.diamondbladeknives.com.– Durwood Hollis

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