TESTING DURACOAT FIREEARMS FINISH ON KNIVES

Dura Coat...Making a Great Knife
Even Better!

by: Major Ian Humphrey
  I was recently able to test and evaluate two
 Relentless knives featuring the Dura Coat
 finish.  The first knife was my original M1i
 Interceptor model that is now coated, and the second knife
 is a working prototype of a possible
 water/backpacker model.  The Interceptor is made from 5160
 steel, while the prototype is L6.  Both types of
 steel are known for their durability and resistance
 to shock and lateral force, great for a good
 field knife, but they are also known to stain and
 rust easily if not properly cared for.  Now, with
 the application of Dura Coat, you can have the
 best of both worlds: high performance non-stainless
 steels, with little to no maintenance to keep
 them looking new.  I of course needed to see just
 how durable the Dura Coat was, so I took both
 knives into the woods for a little testing.
     The advantage of using the Interceptor was
 that I already knew how the knife performed.  Dan
 completely covered the blade, even the edge, with
 Dura Coat.  Despite the application, the knife
 was still able to perform all the tests I
 performed in the past.  While the knife did not cut free
 hanging paper like a razor (I have a feeling the
 Dura Coat created a “wire edge” along the blade),
 it did cut the paper and had no issues with
 chopping green or dried wood.  Throughout all my
 tests cutting rope, cord, paper, cardboard, green and
 dry woods, and snap cuts and baton chopping, the
 Dura Coat did not flake or come off in any way.
  I was really surprised that the edge did not
 peel away due to the force of chopping, etc.  I
 even drove the knife point first into a large log by
 pounding on the butt of the knife.  There were a
 few “smudge” marks along the blade, but none of
 the actual steel was exposed.  The best part
 about the Dura Coat was that the only “maintenance” I
 did to the knife was wiping it dry with a towel
 after pouring water on it.  No stains and no rust
 on the blade...perfect!
     The prototype knife was put through the same
 cutting and chopping tests as the Interceptor
 with similar results.  The Dura Coat finish held up
 to repeated stabbing, cutting, and chopping.  I
 even secured the knife to a branch for a
 makeshift spear.  Even after repeated throws into a dead
 tree, the finish showed no damage.  I did perform
 one additional test with this knife: I found an
 old oil drum in the woods and used a rock to
 pound the knife through the side.  Once the knife was
 inside the drum,
I twisted it back and forth and
 proceeded to cut the steel.  When I pulled out
 the knife, there were sections of the Dura Coat
 that were pulled/rubbed off the blade.  I will say
 that this was an “EXTREME” test for the coating
 and one that I did not think it would survive
 intact.  

     The final test of the Dura Coat finish was a
 water submersion.  I placed both knives into a
 glass of water overnight.  The next day I removed
 the knives and examined the blades.  The
 completely covered Interceptor looked good as new.  No
 rust, discoloring, etc.  The prototype had some
 surface rust along the edge of the blade (Dan did
 not coat the edge like the Interceptor) which
 easily wiped off.  There was no rust along the areas
 that were left exposed by the missing Dura Coat,
 which makes me wonder if the application process
 still left some protection on the steel.
     All in all, I was very impressed with the
 Dura Coat finish.  While the coating is not immune
 to extreme abuse, it is made to add a measure of
 protection to the blade while also allowing you
 to customize the knife with different colors and
 patterns.  It is not cheap , but
 if you go for this option you will find yourself
 with a great combination of a high performance tool
 with a considerable extra protection against the elements.


Dura Coated Knife






M1 Interceptor with black Dura coat



After lot's of wood cutting the finish holds




Chopping....the Dura Coat still holds.

Back Packer prototype with Tiger Stripe Dura Coat Camo











DURA Coat failure resulting from  Extreme steel on steel abrasion


About  Knife Coatings

by: Daniel.M. Certo
Coatings on High Carbon steel knives, are very popular, yet I have resisted  them because rust can creep under the coating from the exposed edge, and result in
the coating formed shell containing what looks like a steel knife, but is actually a rust basin. resulting in failure ....and probably at a time that you will be in need.
Dura coat is a firearms finish, and slightly different from other coatings, it is flexible.
This flexibility is what attracted me to the finish, as should you have a rust problem, you will notice a change in the surface of your knife and not be unpleasantly surprised.
Of course, if you properly care for your equipment, by keeping both high carbon and stainless steel coated with  a rust inhibitor like P.B. Blaster,
your knife will never be faced with that problem. And from Ians initial tests,  it seems that Dura coat will make that job way easier.
Another problem, is that unlike guns, knives are by nature subjected to constant abrasion. so, there is only one answer to that , is the coating tough  enough to withstand this ....and if so, for long enough to make it worthwhile.
So far Ian's tests show great results., and I am Dura Coating knives on a limited basis.
We are however still in test mode. If you own Dura coated knives let us know your experiances.
Watch the Enews for futher testing on Dura Coat