Belt knives

Posted by: Ors

Belt knives - 12/05/18 02:04 PM

So Ive been getting reacquainted with the prepping community and current best practices. All I keep hearing about with belt knives high carbon steel, 90 spine, Scandi grind, uncoated blade.

Ive got the RSK Mk 2 on my wish list, but other than the high carbon steel, the Mk 2 doesnt check those boxes.

Is the high flat grind of the Mk 2 easy to maintain in the field? What about the spine? 90?

Could use some thoughts/opinions on this.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Belt knives - 12/05/18 04:19 PM

The 90 degree specification allows effective use of the spine with a ferro rod. I am sure people have come out of the woods alive carrying steel other than high carbon (like stainless).

The capabilities of the knife owner with respect to sharpening are probably more important than the type of grind.

It is possible to escape disaster with only a SAK or even a multi tool - they may be more versatile and useful than a fixed blade knife for many (not all) situations.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Belt knives - 12/05/18 07:10 PM

I strongly prefer stainless steels. Carbon steels have their advantages, to be sure, but I'd rather have a high-end stainless for most purposes.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Belt knives - 12/05/18 09:28 PM

Not to say that a knife meeting the OP's specifications would not do a perfectly satisfactory job, but really, "the knife you have with you is the knife with which you will survive".

I have been in a fair number of "borderline' situations, and frankly, I can't recall any where a knife was absolutely essential, whereas the ability to produce fire and heat, or find and render water potable, was essential.

If I had to choose between carrying a good topo map or a knife, I would take the map in most situations..
Posted by: Ors

Re: Belt knives - 12/05/18 11:50 PM

Let me clarify...

Im wondering, from those knowledgeable about knife grinds if the high flat grind on the RSK Mk 2 is easy to maintain in the field...with a whetstone lets say.

I am also curious from a RSK Mk 2 owner if the spine is 90 or not.

Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Belt knives - 12/05/18 11:58 PM

I'm not a fan of scandi grinds at all. I'll happily tolerate them on a Mora due to the cheap-and-cheerful nature of that brand but I prefer a full flat grind for almost every purpose. When it comes to steels I feel they all have a place. Stainless if fine (or semi-stainless) for most purposes but 3V and O1 are also good. Really even the venerable 1095 works very well when the HT is good.

I'll confess that you'll almost never see me actually wear a knife on my belt. Certainly there will be at least a couple in my pack and I'll always have a folder in my pocket if I'm wearing pants. It's such a rare occasion that I need a fixed blade available at a moment's notice that I almost never carry it that way. When out in the woods I will sometimes have an ESEE Izula/Izula II on my neck, secured with a necklace of gutted paracord with a breakaway section to prevent strangulation.

It certainly doesn't bother me to say someone carrying a fixed blade on their belt but the other reason I don't is that there's virtually always a sidearm there. As a righty the best spot to conveniently access a knife is the same spot where it's handy to access a firearm. If I do the need the firearm the need may be more urgent than the need for the knife.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Belt knives - 12/06/18 12:55 AM

For some reason, when I carried a fixed blade it was on the left (weak) side. These days a larger fixed blade will stay in my pack. I have a Dozier Companion that rides in a mostly horizontal kydex sheath just left of my belt buckle very handy when needed, but small and very unobtrusive.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Belt knives - 12/06/18 01:51 AM

See the above for Doug Ritter's views on survival knives; he seems to prefer a flat grind, no surprise, but it doesn't seem to be a big deal.
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Belt knives - 12/06/18 03:12 PM

Knives likes that usually have a second bevel grind i. e. the shiny part of the blade has a slightly bigger angle than the coated part. That kind of grind is fairly easy to maintain, if you have some pratice. It also allows to sharpen the knife without taking the coating off.
I use a Fallkniven DC4 for maintaining my blades. Its small enough for carrying.
Sharpening a knife is an aquired skill. If you have not done it already, you might want to find someone to show you how to do it and get some pratice with it.
I do not know whether the RSK MK 2 has a 90 spine. However at 57 HRC you could just use the cutting edge close to the handle for scraping the ferro rod without too much fear of damage. That will allow you to hold the knife the way it was designed - which may be safer anyway.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Belt knives - 12/06/18 04:15 PM

I seem to recall that my Mk2 has a 90deg spine. Ill be home tonight and will double check.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Belt knives - 12/06/18 08:14 PM

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
I seem to recall that my Mk2 has a 90deg spine. Ill be home tonight and will double check.

It does have a 90 degree spine, but as you'll recall the knife has a heavy protective powdercoat, including on the spine. I'd expect to have to scrape through that coating before being able to strike sparks with it.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Belt knives - 12/07/18 12:01 AM

To me the 90 degree spine issue is kind of "meh". It's nice to strike a firesteel but most of the 'steels I carry have dedicated strikers (my favorite being the GobSpark Armageddon by Perhaps the bigger reason for that feature is to scrape wood to make very fine tinder. Great if you do it that way but that's not my usual technique.
Posted by: Famdoc

Re: Belt knives - 05/29/19 04:50 PM

Today on Woot:
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Belt knives - 05/29/19 08:56 PM

Some good deals!
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Belt knives - 05/30/19 12:10 AM

I like Moras a lot;just about all the knife you will usually need. One I carry a lot is the Light my Fire Mora with integrated firesteel; I have used one as my primary ignition source for a canister stove quite a lot lately. With one of those and a Bic lighter you are well equipped for making a fire.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Belt knives - 05/30/19 12:25 AM

I love knives and have quite a few but it's a rarity that I actually carry one on my belt. Never really thought much about it til reading this thread. confused
Posted by: Roarmeister

Re: Belt knives - 05/30/19 01:40 AM

I prefer the sharp spine to the average striker tool. It will generally produce far more sparks and larger sparks than say the striker that comes with a Light My Fire Scout. The striker tool is just one more thing that potentially will be lost when you need it the most.

A 90 spine is used for more than striking a ferrocerium rod. The edge can be used to scrape cedar tree bark to create kindling or to create micro curls from a chunk of wood or scrape birch bark to create kindling. Any time you can save the working edge of the blade and not dulling it you are doing yourself a favour. The 90 edge on a carbon steel blade also improves the ability for it to strike flint to create sparks.