Choose my fixed blade. Please.

Posted by: MichaelJ

Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 03:29 PM

I’ve started practicing general “bushcraft” using my RSK Mk1 mini folder. So far so good, but I plan to have a fixed blade for non-city EDC. As that’s where I’m more likely to need bushcraft, I figure I should practice with my fixed blade. Which one to get???

I have my field narrowed to four:

Ritter RSK Mk3 (

Swamprat Howling Rat (

Grohmann #1 (

Grohmann #3 (

Which one would you choose?
Posted by: Frankie

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 03:47 PM

The shape of the Grohmann knives are specialized for skinning game applications with their high spine and the point is not ideal for piercing.

For general bushcraft applications you can follow Kochansky's recommendation and start with 10 bucks Mora knives. They have a single wide bevel which allows you to shave wood more easily. When there's a secondary bevel it acts like a sled on the wood, preventing you from creating nice shavings.

Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 04:37 PM

I don't carry or have any experiance with any that you listed but I wil throw my two cents in for what it's worth any way.
I have been carrying an Anza knife for both hunting and general use for 15 years now. Unlike the factory mass produced knives you listed Anza knives are not edged hardened. Last but not least they are really not expensive (my most exspensive Anza was $70.00) when you consider you get a handmade quality knife.
Posted by: MichaelJ

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 04:49 PM

The Grohmann knives are available in "flat grind". I think that style appealed to me because of the ease of sharpening. What I don't know is if that makes the blade weaker overall.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 05:45 PM

If you choose the Howling Rat, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. If you are, I will buy the knife from you for what it would cost new from the Mfr., even if it is damaged, unless the damage was intentional.

You can't get a better endorsement than that I reckon.
Posted by: pworks36

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 07:57 PM

This is going to be a hard use knife. Go with the one you think feels best in your hand. Unfortunately you may not find your ideal knife in your first purchase. Use will tell you more. Hot spots that are not necessarily the fault of design crop up from time to time simply because people differ. Modern steels are great. Provided you go with a reputable manufacturer the rest comes down to preferences. I love the RSK, but that is just my opinion. For practicing your bushcraft may I offer an endorsement of a $10 Mora (the one with a finger guard though) or a Coldsteel Bushman (large or small) or even a Ka-Bar? Practice tools are just that, for practicing. While I too like the idea of practicing with that which I will be using, sometimes practice moves into abuse and if something gives I'd rather it be a $10 Mora than a significantly more expensive blade. Not saying that knives are not for use, just my picture of practicing involves things like digging with a knife or perhaps prying a bit and these are not things I prefer to do with my costlier blades unless warranted by the circumstances. Just my opinion...
Posted by: Themalemutekid

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 08:02 PM

Howling Rat test & review
I'd go with the howling rat.
Posted by: sicily02

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/29/07 08:38 PM

MichaelJ get a RSK MK3 I have one and like it. All the knives that you put in your thread I have. The Grohmann 1 and 3 are easy to get and do not cost as much as the MK3 and the howling rat unless the company is getting there knives out faster than they use to take so lnog to get I think mine took all most 9 weeks. I called and to order a MK3 and had it in 3 days. They are a great knife. I have ordered from Grohmann and they are pretty quick at getting a knife to you too.
Good luck in getting your knife picked out. The MK3 is one sweet knife though.
Take care,
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 01:40 AM

I think that knives are too personal an item for me to pick for you. For example, I do not like the looks of the Grohmann's, no matter how well made they might be. You, on the other hand, must like them, or they would not be on your list. So you should go with what turns YOU on...
Posted by: Stretch

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 02:23 AM

A flat grind is not a weaker blade, in fact, in most cases it is stronger than a hollow grind simply because there is more metal on a flat grind.

I agree with Nighthiker but maybe not for the same reasons. I'd get the Howling Rat because it's cheaper. Then I'd order a Mora or two to go along with it. But if price is not your primary consideration, then I would get the Ritter Mk3. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a better knife, I own neither so I couldn;t do that. But, being a Benchmade fan and an owner of several, I trust that the Ritter fixed blade is high-quality and a step above the Swamprat.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 02:26 AM

The Ritter- it helps keep the server on. smile
Posted by: ssbauer

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 02:29 AM

I carried at one time a Cold Steel Master Hunter which I beat the heck out of... So it worked for me then.

Now I carry a Mora for small chores and Himalayan Import Khukri for chopping. These work for me now.

I tried several others before and in between that I did not like.
So I agree with OldBaldGuy, " should go with what turns YOU on..."
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 02:58 AM

Interesting that you should mention the CS Master Hunter. I have had one for 20+ years, and really like it. Great minds...
Posted by: Tom_L

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 05:36 AM

I'd warmly recommend a 4" Scandinavian knife. Either a Mora or something slightly more expensive (up to $30). A laminated blade would be a good choice and it still won't hurt your budget. Perfect for daily chores (anything short of chopping), light, extremely sharp and easy to sharpen, simply the most knife for the buck you could possibly find.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/30/07 12:53 PM

For general purpose bushcraft use I would go with the Ritter RSK Mk3 from your selected 4 options. A slightly larger blade might be required if you are going to chop branches and cut wood though, something like a FÄLLKNIVEN KNIVES - S1 FOREST KNIFE maybe better suited in a VG10 Laminate Steel with a 5 inch blade. Have seen it for about $109 with a leather cover and should be within your budget from your initial selection. VG10 and CMP-S30V are both top notch steels but the VG10 Laminate steel may have an edge on the CMP-S30V over its resistance to reported possible edge chipping (this is most likely to heat treatment issues from other manufacturers, therefore would not be an issue with the Ritter RSK Mk3). The Swamprat Howling Rat is not made from a Stainless Steel and will have good/excellent edge retention and excellent toughness qualities but poorer corrosion properties (important to retain an edge in a corrosive environment i.e salt water)

Posted by: Frankie

Grind terminology confusion - 05/30/07 03:41 PM

I've read the article about grinds on Wikipedia to try to sort things better:

So according to wikipedia, a true flat grind would be like no. 2 and would taper all the way from the spine to the edge of both sides, without a secondary bevel and it seems to be rare. I think the Grohman flat grind is actually a no. 2 combined with a secondary bevel (no. 5) to add resilience. So my guess is that it could probably indeed weaken the blade slightly.

If I understand correctly, the Mora knives have a Sabre grind (no. 3) so is Ray Mears' "Woodlore" knife BTW. This is the one I'm talking about that will make nice shavings (like a double chisel) and is easier to sharpen. Is this correct?

Posted by: KenK

Re: Grind terminology confusion - 05/30/07 04:28 PM

I don't have most of the knives you mention, so I can give fair comments.

I have several Moras, a Buck Special, a Becker Crewman, and the Ritter Mk3. The Moras have been sent to kitchen duty in my popup trailer. The Buck Special, purchased when I was a teenager, hasn't seen the light of day for some time. The Crewman is too heavy and "tactical" for my camping trips (I've got to be careful around the Scouts).

My clear favorite is the Mk3. It goes with me everywhere when camping. It is simply a wonderful design for all-around camp use. That's in addition to my newly established faith in the S30V blades.

Don't just assume that the Mk3 is an Mk1 without the joint. It is much beefier than the Mk1. Black length & thickness provide huge tradeoffs. Doug got it just right with the Mk3.

I should also mention that I've found the folks at Aeromedix a delight to work with. When I ordered my mini-Mk1 a few years back they accidentally sent me a fullsize Mk1. They were very good about the exchange process (even though it hurt to send back a beautiful Mk1 - I already had one though).

Ken K.
Posted by: Frankie

Re: Grind terminology confusion - 05/30/07 11:11 PM

The Moras have been sent to kitchen duty in my popup trailer.

The grind configuration that the Moras come with out of the factory just lend themselves to the wood working and shaving that is so crucial in bush survival. A sub-bevel is justified primarily for kitchen knives because you want the edge to last longer and don't want to spend too much time sharpening them, and you never have to shave wood with them. That's how I understand it.
Posted by: hazeywolf

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 05/31/07 09:34 AM

As mentioned, picking a blade is a personal choice - Your list of blades is great! Have you looked at the SOG Revolver? Its not perfect and doesn't fit everyone's needs but I love mine and you'll find some good reviews about it on the net if you look around. Its lite, its pretty tough, its not a huge chopper but the integrated saw is very agressive and the blade is very handy... I love big blades too, but for non-city EDC where you may run into people, the SOG Revolver and Hunter Revolver are very concealable, functional tools.
Posted by: KenK

Re: Grind terminology confusion - 05/31/07 02:50 PM

Please don't misinterpret my comment about my moras ending up in my popup trailer. They fine fine knives, especially for their cost, and I'd highly recommend them to anyone who is looking to get a fixed blade on a budget. Its just that the fine Mk3 has replaced them in my daypack.
Posted by: sodak

Re: Grind terminology confusion - 05/31/07 10:26 PM

I'd go with the Howling Rat. The steel takes and keeps a very good edge, and is easy to sharpen. I've never had a problem with rust yet. The grohmans are a little too specialized, and I really dislike S30V. I'm not a fan of Moras, they are fine for cheap knives, but many of my knives outcut them and are much quicker to sharpen. But, at $10 each, they might be worth a look. YMMV.
Posted by: ohiohiker

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/06/07 03:21 PM

I'll echo Mors Kochanski's vote: a #1 Erikkson Mora in carbon steel.
Posted by: Tom_L

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/06/07 08:00 PM

There are Moras and then there are Moras. For $20-30 you can get a superb Frost knife with a laminated carbon steel blade. It will rust if not taken care of but other than that it will outcut, outlast and outperform pretty much any high grade stainless at a fraction of the cost. It will also take a finer edge and can be sharpened very easily on any kind of stone.

Not to say I don't like stainless steels, they have their place (EDC folders, salt water and tropical climate knives...). But as far as a serious fixed blade utility knife in a temperate climate something like the Frost or comparable high quality Mora is pretty much the best choice IMHO and by far the most cost effective you'll ever find. I say that as an outdoorsman as well as an amateur knifemaker.
Posted by: MichaelJ

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/06/07 08:58 PM

Is there a difference between the knives sold here
and the knives sold here

I'm coming to the conclusion that I need to learn a lot more about knives before finding and spending a lot fo money on my "one" knife.
Posted by: Frank2135

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/06/07 09:14 PM

IMHO: Life is too short for just one knife. I wouldn't blow the farm on experimenting, but spending $11 on a Frost Mora or $12 on a Cold Steel Finn Bear would inexpensively let you know if that type of knife works for you. Then you can decide if you want to upgrade or go in a different direction. The money spent on the initial knife won't be wasted, because you'll still have it "just in case". I'm not what you can call a knife enthusiast, but over the last 20 years or so I've acquired 3 fixed blade knives, all of which I use from time to time in different applications.

For some reason I've also acquired 6 different folders, but 1 was a gift and shouldn't count...
Posted by: Tom_L

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/07/07 07:26 AM

Michael, Mora is both a trademark and a generic name for Swedish knives made by a number of manufacturers based in that town. There is not a lot of difference between various manufacturers but most of them provide knives in several grades, both in terms of blade construction and overall assembly (hilt and sheath).

If you need a good utility blade but you're still not sure which one to pick my suggestion is to get a Mora in your preferred configuration. You won't regret it. At worst you can use it as a kitchen knife (and a good kitchen knife it will be). Personally I would pick a laminated Frost with a traditional birch grip and leather sheath, but that's just me. (As a matter of fact my primary belt knife is a laminated Frost that I mounted myself, only bought the blade). Plastic is cheaper and might last longer. 12C27 is a good stainless steel, not bad if you're worried about rust. A carbon steel laminated blade will cut better and stay sharp longer though.

Frank made some good points. Don't fall for paralysis by overanalysis. A utility knife is foremost a tool. It should be well made but it doesn't have to be expensive. It's a tool, not a fashion statement. I honestly don't care for overhyped survival knives that cost $100+. That's because in my experience a Mora or puukko will do the job at least as well and won't empty your wallet. If you lose it you can always get a new one. But out in the field it's just the kind of knife you can rely on. When I look at experienced woodsmen I have yet to see someone who carries a $100+ knife regularly. What they use day to day are simpler, inexpensive knives and here the Mora is the No. 1 choice.

Also keep this in mind - the design of Scandinavian knives has remained almost unchanged over many centuries. It's a product of a very long tradition that has proven itself time and again through hard use in a challenging environment. This is something that modern one-of-a-kind designer knives with fancy logos simply can't compare to.
Posted by: aloha

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/07/07 08:27 AM

My personal choice:

Fallkniven F1
Bark River Golok
Bahco Laplander Saw

That is a great working combination. If you are in a colder climate, you might want to substitute the golok with an axe. I have a Wetterlings axe, but for me here in Hawaii, a machete like blade is more appropriate, hence the golok. I have the F1 and Laplander and am waiting on my Golok. In the meantime, I use a Cold Steel LTC Kukri or a Tramontina machete.

To lower cost, the F1 can be replaced with a Mora (better slicer, but less robust) and the Golok can be replaced with a machete. I would keep the Laplander saw though. This combo can be had for 50-60 bucks and offers redundancy.
Posted by: norad45

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/07/07 01:45 PM

A word of warning. Frosts of Sweden is NOT the same as Frost Cutlery. The Swedish knives are a great value. Frost Cutlery makes knives that are, shall we say, a little farther down on the quality scale. Think "50 knives for $12.99!" on the Home Shopping Network.grin If you buy from Ragnar you will be safe and get great service to boot.
Posted by: tfisher

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/07/07 09:30 PM

You might look at a Gerber LMF II
Posted by: duckear

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 06/11/07 02:35 AM

RAT 3 in 1095
Posted by: MedicineMan

Re: Choose my fixed blade. Please. - 07/22/07 08:59 PM

When deciding on a fixed blade I was also deciding on a 'chopper' and a trap maker.....I wanted to spend less than $ choices:
Cold Steel Kukri as chopper $70
RAT-7 as all around bushknife $70
SAK Rucksack as trap maker $27
Leatherman Surge for improvisation $70
So for all around $240

I cant imagine spending 300 on one knife to loose,break,or have stolen....but thats just me.

I've got Ritter's folder but for EDC I carry a Gerber, have several of those and wouldnt cry if i lost one, would def. hate it to loose the Ritter.