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Author Topic: Miller Brothers Blades  (Read 3167 times)

Coronach

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Miller Brothers Blades
« on: March 30, 2013, 07:51:07 PM »
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schapm

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Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 09:22:51 PM »
Any particular model you're looking at? On the whole, this niche of edged weapons is not my thing, but I know a lot of people dig the look that these guys have going on.
Indiana

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 10:58:05 PM »
They appear to be just as advertised.  No frills, no nonsense, blades for hard use.  5160 is good steel but I would like to know a good deal more about their heat treating and hardness testing before dropping serious coin on one of their blades.   Inconsistent heat treating, quenching and tempering can take an inspired design and make it into an expensive paperweight pretty quickly.

Speaking of design, I only found two of theirs to be of any interest to me.  Their handles are probably durable but they are pretty crudely fashioned and executed.  The test of any blade is how it performs in your hand but some of those things look downright uncomfortable to me.

They seem to take great pride in the fact that they don't use any CNC machinery and that every blade is made by hand but stock removal is stock removal regardless whether it is automated or not.  No real difference to the end user.  If you want to impress me with your hand made knives, show me your forge and your anvil. Show me that you understand how important proper balance is to a sword.  Show me that you can make something other than a glorified lawn mower blade.

Based on what I saw and was able to learn from their site, I would not buy one until I either saw it reviewed for performance and/or had it in my hand to evaluate.   
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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 12:06:49 AM »
None of these blades can do anything an Ontario GI issue machete can't do and I can put an Ontario (with a modified clip point) with a plastic GI sheath in every vehicle and my packs for less than one of those Miller sword things cost. The money saved can buy ammo and food to put up.
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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 12:16:08 AM »
I think the Zombie Tools are cooler looking blades. Those didn't really jump out as anything special, and if I'm going to spend that kind of coin...
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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 12:25:19 AM »
Their prices gave me sticker shock.  For the price, I expect to see something exceptional, and I just didn't really see anything that a metric s___ load of other makers and manufacturers aren't doing.  I also have the impression that they are marketing them wrong. If I want to buy something that is hand made, I want to buy an object that I can appreciate for its artisanship, not something that could just as easily - and more cheaply - be churned out by a CNC grinder.
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schapm

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Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 12:56:58 PM »
I was trying to be diplomatic, but I agree with all of the above. These blades are not very unique, very high priced, and for the money I'd be inclined to buy an ESEE 3 or 4 and a good machete and still have money left over. My taste in knives runs very much to working blades rather than just cool looking ones.
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Coronach

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 02:28:29 PM »
I was thinking pretty much the same. Decent kit (as far as can be determined from the web, which is not much) at half the price, but it looks like they're charging custom blade prices for stuff that looks like it was mass produced. Of course, if it really performs better than anything else, that's a winner ... but you can't determine that from their website gallery. And I'll be darned if I'm spending $1k to try one out and see. I was hoping someone here had experience with them.

My taste in fixed blades is for ones a little bigger than a standard knife but shorter than a full-on western medieval sword. So the Gladius and shorter Spatha patterns are very intriguing. Pity I don't like Bowies...

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Desert Rat

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2013, 02:43:16 PM »
Their blades seemed to be priced similarly to some of the higher end knife makers such as Jerry Busse. For hand-ground blades, these prices aren't unreasonable. But they do cost more than most people who aren't knife nuts are willing to pay.

They're made of 5160, which is a really tough carbon steel that holds its edge. They grind mostly from 5/16" stock. That makes for an almost indestructible knife, but IMO, is really not the most ideal thickness for many of their designs. They saber grind most of their knives as well, so the designs that have the narrower blades will end up with some really thick cutting edges that just won't be very slicey. 5/16" is much more appropriate for swords and wide-bladed choppers rather than narrow fighting blades. Again, IMO, their daggers and fighters need either full flat grinds or 3/16" stock to be optimal.

My biggest gripe with their blades is that some of them just don't seem to have been thought out for maximum efficiency.

For example, take their M-5 Fighter. Trailing point; saber ground; straight G-10 handle; finger choil; 7 1/2 " long blade; and 5/16" thick. Comes with kydex sheath. $275



This is billed as a fighting knife. Yet, thanks to the heavy stock and saber grind, the M-5 is going to be a heavy knife, and probably too slow in the hand to make a great fighter. Fighting knives have to be fast in the hand.

Now, take a similarly-sized knife of similar design, the Becker BK-5, designed by master bladesmith Jerry Fisk. Trailing point; full flat ground; straight G-10 handled; finger choil; 8" long blade; 3/16" thick. With G-10 scales and aftermarket kydex sheath, $195. 



Even though the Becker is a production knife, it is still a much better design. Very light and fast in the hand thanks to the distal taper and full flat grind. The handle is a better design, and the edge geometry is amazing. This thing is razor freaking sharp. The BK-5 will glide through meat much easier that the thick-edged M-5 will, and it will get there faster. The funny part is, the BK-5 is intended to be more of a competition and camp knife rather than a fighter, yet I believe it would make for a much better fighter than the M-5, based on my own experience with thick, saber ground blades over lighter, thinner full flat ground blades.

See what I mean? The Miller's designs just don't seem to have been refined for each knives' intended task. I could go on about some of their other designs, but who's got the time?

Some of their handle designs need to be reworked a little, in some cases a lot. They have mostly straight handles, and many of them don't have pinky hooks, which means chopping and slashing with them will be harder to do than if the handle was curved a bit to add leverage and had a pinky hook to help retain your grip on a swing. I also don't care for the finger grooves on some of their designs. I hate 'em on Glocks, and hate them on knives.

I'm not trying to knock the guys. The Miller's blades look very hardcore. They're tough and made from good steel. The guys who have used them say you just won't break them.  I like some of the Miller's swords, but I'm not really a fan of their knives. There are other makers who grind similar knives that I like better for less money. Hand-ground blades are expensive, so if you don't want to pay their prices for what are essentially very simple designs, then the Beckers, Esees, Scrapyard, and Swamprat knives are probably a better choice.

Coronach

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2013, 05:27:45 PM »
Quote
I like some of the Miller's swords, but I'm not really a fan of their knives.
What are your thoughts on the more sword-like offerings?

Sticker shock at the knives turns into sticker outrage at the swords, so there is no way I would buy one without some very authoritative reviews and/or (preferably "and") holding one in-hand.

I'm not very well-versed on swords, but one thing I know is true, the balance of the blade can make or break the weapon's usability, and seemingly small things really add up when you start to get into longer lengths. Lots of SLOs balance like rebar because the guy who slapped it together decided not to incorporate a simple distal taper, for example.

Mike
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Desert Rat

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 12:37:43 AM »
What are your thoughts on the more sword-like offerings?

Sticker shock at the knives turns into sticker outrage at the swords, so there is no way I would buy one without some very authoritative reviews and/or (preferably "and") holding one in-hand.

I'm not very well-versed on swords, but one thing I know is true, the balance of the blade can make or break the weapon's usability, and seemingly small things really add up when you start to get into longer lengths. Lots of SLOs balance like rebar because the guy who slapped it together decided not to incorporate a simple distal taper, for example.

Mike

If you think the prices on the Miller swords are outrageous, you should see how much some of the Busse swords go for even on the used market.

Some of the Miller sword designs look intriguing, specifically the M-11, M-19s, and M-24, but given the prices I'd probably have Bill Siegle or MCSWood make me a sword of my own design, and it would probably come out cheaper.   

Gabrielus

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 01:25:40 AM »
Those things are gonna have to be created in Hephaestuses forge, by the god himself, etched in ancient nordic runes that say "Hand held epicness", blessed by every hindu god, thrown into a lake to be polished off by Japanese water nymphs, then taken to a native american chief, who would bless it and then a huge lightning bolt comes out of nowhere and strikes the blade which would give it the mystical ability of being worth something!

In the end it would get up, of its own free will and in the middle of the night smite my next door neighbor with extreme prejudice!

Oh yeah, it would worth every penny after all of that
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coelacanth

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 01:30:25 AM »
If you think the prices on the Miller swords are outrageous, you should see how much some of the Busse swords go for even on the used market.

Some of the Miller sword designs look intriguing, specifically the M-11, M-19s, and M-24, but given the prices I'd probably have Bill Siegle or MCSWood make me a sword of my own design, and it would probably come out cheaper.   

Yeah, I was thinking Bill Siegle myself.  His stuff makes the Miller offerings look bad by comparison. 
"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." 

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Lupinus

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 06:24:59 AM »
Count me in with the looks nice but sticker shock crowd.

Paying for quality, I'm all for. But that reaches a limit. Namely, the limit where my wife sees the invoice and stabs me to death with it.

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Coronach

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Re: Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 08:31:31 AM »
If you think the prices on the Miller swords are outrageous, you should see how much some of the Busse swords go for even on the used market.
Hmmmmm... I have a Busse AK-47... am I sitting on some sort of goldmine?

Quote
Some of the Miller sword designs look intriguing, specifically the M-11, M-19s, and M-24, but given the prices I'd probably have Bill Siegle or MCSWood make me a sword of my own design, and it would probably come out cheaper.
Yeah, assuming good balance and heat treatment, it is the price that is killing it.

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mnw42

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2013, 11:56:36 AM »
They have some interesting stuff, but not $600-$1000 interesting.
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Desert Rat

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2013, 05:54:20 PM »
Hmmmmm... I have a Busse AK-47... am I sitting on some sort of goldmine?

Well, I don't know how much you paid for yours, but depending on the version, the AK-47's I've seen being sold go anywhere from $800 to $1800. Most are around a grand in good condition.

Coronach

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 07:11:47 PM »
I think I paid $400 or slightly under for it, back when they first came out. It's LNIB. I've played around with it a bit and done the obligatory hack-up-the-box-it-came-in test, but it doesn't have a mark on it.

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Desert Rat

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 09:09:33 PM »
I think I paid $400 or slightly under for it, back when they first came out. It's LNIB. I've played around with it a bit and done the obligatory hack-up-the-box-it-came-in test, but it doesn't have a mark on it.

Mike

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Nice. You could probably get a grand out of it, though if it was me, I'd hang onto it for awhile. Those things only go up in value.

Coronach

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2013, 09:54:53 PM »
Yeah, I like it, even if I don't use it. I shoudl make a glass case for it: Break in Case of Zombies.

Mike
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miller bros blades

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2013, 09:18:18 PM »
I was trying to be diplomatic, but I agree with all of the above. These blades are not very unique, very high priced, and for the money I'd be inclined to buy an ESEE 3 or 4 and a good machete and still have money left over. My taste in knives runs very much to working blades rather than just cool looking ones.


I usually leave everyone on the forums to there own opinions, but I thought I would clear up what looks like a lot of mis information.
for starters, we make our our knives and swords 100% by hand, this allows us to cusomize the knife or sword to the customers specific needs, thats hard to do when you have a stack of blade blanks that where cut out by a machine. Our prices are based on the amount of time it takes to make the knife or sword. so double edged knives and swords cost more then single edged ones, curved more then straight etc, etc.

There were several other knife makers, and production models that were mentioned throughout the thread, and I am certainly not going to tell you that any of these knives are not well made.
I am going to say that our knives are designed to be the most rugged and durable knife you can buy. We make knives for a specific purpose, that is to withstand anything you do to it without breaking.

We started making knives because we were not satisfied with the preformance of the many production and custom knives that we had used and tested over the years.

We understand that our knives are not for everyone, just as a Barret 50 is not for everyone. maybe it is an overkill, but when your life is on the line I like to know that my gear is up to the task. So if our knives are to tough for your needs, you are welcome to look somewhere else.

But make no mistake, our blades ARE working blades, and are not just to look cool. there are plenty of other cheap knives that cover that category.
even our swords can take full steel on steel impact without breaking.

Here is our most recent video of our standard Model M-8 It is a pretty straight forward test that anyone is welcome to try for themselves, we use standard 1/4in plate steel. I am sure everyone would like to see your videos as well.
I think it speaks for itself.




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coelacanth

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2013, 09:57:00 PM »
Thanks for checking in.   :thumbup1   Its always good to hear from the maker and the video is helpful as well.   I'm not sure what "mis information" you are referring to unless it was a reference to your blades resembling some mass produced knives.   Your blades certainly seem to be crafted with durability as the primary focus and that was amply demonstrated in the video you posted.   I think very few mass produced blades would stand up to that treatment.   

Do you folks do your own heat treating and hardness testing?  I couldn't find any info about that on your site.  Also there didn't seem to be any pricing info about sheath options. 
   
"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." 

            Robert A. Heinlein , "Friday"

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Re: Miller Brothers Blades
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2013, 10:11:51 PM »
If you look on the custom options page, we have a few sheath options listed.
The best way for us to customize your sheath for you, is to let us know how you are going to carry it, and we can
make the sheath to fit your carry preference. You can contact us directly at amiller@millerbrosblades.com

We do a lot of custom MOLLE mounts for military. We are in the process of updating our web site with some newer options. We just got back from Blade Show in Atlanta this week, so please be patient.
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