A lexicon of knife terminiology

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A lexicon of knife terminology: Section O
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O-1 Tool Steel (carbon steel):  O-1 is a carbon steel used by the Randall Knife Company.  It is proven superior to 1095 Carbon Steel.  It contains 0.90% carbon 1.0%–1.4% manganese, 0.50% chromium, 0.50% nickel, and 0.50% tungsten.. It can be hardened to about 57-61 HRC.

Obsidian:  A stone used for making knife blades. It is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth. The use of obsidian dates back to prehistoric man, at least 5-10,00 years and most likely earlier. However it was still be using in America until as late as the 1600, when iron tools were introduced by Europeans.

The properties of obsidian are such that if a person with enough skills strikes the stone correctly a razor sharp edge can be obtained. Because of this reason, obsidian has been used for everything from knives to axes, fish hooks spear points and arrowheads.

Obverse: The front side of a knife. The side normally with a shield.  To determine the obverse side of a pocket knife, hold the knife in front of you with the main blade pointing toward your left side and the sharp edge facing the ground.  You are now looking at the obverse side of the knife.

Offshoring: When a company located is located primarily in one country but has most its production out- sourced to other countries to reduce overhead. Because the company is now operating in more than one nation, it is often referred to as a Global corporation. However because most of the product being made is not sold in the country of production, the product is considered internationally outsourced.

Okapi: In general conversation, most people are refering to either German made or South African made Okapi ring-lock peasant knife. This is knife made on a powder frame with an external spring and ring lock that holds a large ratcheting clip point blade in place.

The Okapi knives were originally made in Solingen, Germany for the South African market. When Germany stopped making them production moved to South Africa with the company making the knives adopting the name Okapi not only for the knife but the company name. Thus there are other Okapi knive made in South Africa that no longer fit the original design.

South African Okapi

Old Timer: A line of knives manufactured by Imperial Schrade. Currently made in China

Opinel: A long time knife maker located in France known for their ring lock friction folding knives.

Out-source (outsource): When a company is located in one country but has their production occurring in another country normally to reduce overhead. This has lead to political/ethical arguments among knife collectors primarily in the United States. 

Out The Front:  Any number of knives with a retractable blade that is deployed point first from the front of the knife handle. The blade does not fold into the handle but is rertracted and deployed by gravity, a sliding mechanism, of by spring assistance. These include Gravity Knives; Single Action or Automatic OTFs; and Double Action or Sliding OTFs.

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