Best field/survival knife?

Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Best field/survival knife? - 01/28/10 08:32 PM

In my never-ending quest for the perfect field/survival knife, I purchased a Remington Elite Drop Point Hunter. It has a razor sharp 4mm thick 5" 440C blade, and an awesome fitted leather sheath. I feel a little guilty sometimes, because Native Americans, and in fact all of our ancestors survived well enough with flint knives. I'm going out in the woods this weekend to field test it while cutting firewood on my brothers farm.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/28/10 09:12 PM

It is quite true that the stone knife is and was a very capable tool/weapon, but when metal knives became available, they were absolutely hot trade items, possibly desired more than firearms.

Very primitive and clunky looking tools can cut effectively, but the edge must be renewed far more often than a metal implement, thus they wear out quickly, which is good news for the archaeologist.
Posted by: scafool

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/28/10 10:14 PM

A lot of people end up with collections of knives.
Part of the reason is they are on a never ending quest but another part of the reason is there is no single ideal blade for all locations and conditions.
In response they find themselves with a selection of good blades that are all different from each other.
It is kind of like how pro chefs have a roll of favorite kitchen knives and yet use just one of them for 90% of all the cutting they do.

Good luck with your new knife, and the next ones too.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/28/10 11:13 PM

I'm one of the guys who thinks that Les Stroud is the real deal. I collected all of his Survivorman episodes, and we spend some of the subzero evenings watching him cope with different problems and environments. I noticed that he has used many different knives, starting with Swiss Army, then a Buck 110, and ending up with a Leatherman. Once he also had a 12" Rambo cheapie blade that he made into a spear.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/28/10 11:46 PM

Usually I find a longer blade, anything more than 4" or so, to be tiring to use for production work. Even with a smaller knife I often find the bulk and weight to be burdensome. For a long time I carried a SAK, a Tinker, in my pocket for EDC but it started to annoy me. I switched to a much smaller and lighter Shrade single-blade knife that has a blade about 3" long. It did about 95% of the same jobs without being annoying or making it look like I really happy to see the ladies.

General consensus if in favor of larger knives but it has to be noted than our distant ancestors clearly skinned and butchered woolly mammoth with a stone knives that were only a couple of inches long. Some experts claim most working blades of the time were an inch long or less.

A knife should cut well. Sharpness is up to the user so saying a knife is sharp doesn't mean much. The metal should be soft enough to sharpen without having to use special equipment but hard enough to hold an edge so you aren't spending all your time sharpening. Also tough enough to take a moderate amount of heavy use and outright abuse without dimpling, chipping, or breaking. Forty years ago you had to spend real money to get an acceptable quality stainless steel. It is pretty hard to find a knife over $15 that doesn't have a usable level of metallurgical quality.

It should also be light and compact enough to make carrying it a insignificant burden. Rambo-sized knives tend to get left at home because their size and weight make them a burden for most people. Life is simply too busy and tiring to spend energy schlepping around a knife which is sized for the largest job you can imagine.

Most survival uses can be handled by a small knife. It is only when you get to fighting grizzlies and splitting shakes that a large knife shines. The first is pretty much optional, not to mention foolish, The second is homesteading. Survival is getting out of trouble. Not setting up housekeeping.

Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 12:00 AM

A lot of great information, and I think you're right. Look at the knives still made by hand in Lapland/Finland; the puukko. The blade on most of these are 1 to 4 inches long. There is no finger guard, and the blades are scary sharp. These are the traditional knives of a people who lived in the subartic and had to live off the land and process large animals for food and clothing. Even their military knive are puukko's, almost identical to their field knives, but just a little bigger.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 12:19 AM

After fighting it for years, I finally dropped $14 on a Mora from Sportsman's Guide (they had a 2 knife set). Cheap looking handle with a dinky tang, but it's held up suprisingly well! For the price, you can't go too wrong in giving them a try.

But they tend to have barrel handle. You can get some with a bit of a finger guard, if you feel the need.

I also took my SAK a lot (love it), and a few times my benchmade. I've found thinner blades do better in the field.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 03:44 AM

MDinana,

I am absolutely leaning that way too on blade thickness. I field tested a Becker BK-2 last winter back in the woods. It is a foot long knife with a very heavy 1/4" thick blade. Don't get me wrong, it's a great knife, and it worked well for lopping off small branches and light chopping. You would be able to chop through ice and pry up rocks from the frozen ground with it. I thought the blade thickness made batoning through 4 inch branches to split them for kindling more difficult. I had to hit the knife so hard with a log to move it, that eventually my arms got tired and I bashed my thumb. I think a thinner blade would have cut through more easily.
Posted by: LED

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 06:13 AM

For all around use the stainless Mora Clipper is hard to beat. Especially for $12. For heavier use I prefer the Fallkniven F1. It is a little thick though.
Posted by: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 11:36 AM

Originally Posted By: LED
For all around use the stainless Mora Clipper is hard to beat. Especially for $12. For heavier use I prefer the Fallkniven F1. It is a little thick though.


+1 on the Mora.
As a survival knife you would have to go a loooooong way to beat a Fallkniven F1 or S1. A1 or A2 if its getting into lightsaber territory.

For me.
Fallkniven F1.
D.R. Mk1.
Victorinox '09.
Victorinox Multi-tool.

Clipper goes in the bag as a back up.
Posted by: sodak

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 12:28 PM

For surviving, I think that a Vic Huntsman, Huntsman Lite, Deluxe Tinker, or even a Farmer - pic one - makes the best survival knife by far. As far as I've tested, they do everything that a Mora can do, and better, as well as doing a whole lot more.

Now if you are talking about heavier duty usage, I would go the Fallkniven/Becker/Busse route. But I would ALWAYS have a Vic on me...
Posted by: oldsoldier

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 12:57 PM

Mdinana, what a lot of folks do, I think I have even seen it here on the forums, is remove the Mora handle & fasion their own. IIRC, its a 3/4 tang, which is plent strong for anything we would need it for.

On the subject of knives, I too find myself constantly "upgrading" to something better-only to go back to my original. Currently, I have 2 multitools, 1 SAK, 4 folders, and 7ish fixed blades. With the exception of the fixed blades, I have the knives stashed in kits in my jeep, my PFD, and the SAK in my workbag. The Leatherman & my current folder, my Zero Tolerance, are on my person as all times. I used to carry my Leatherman Micro on my keychain, but I didnt like the weight of it, so it went into a kit as well.

Think of knives sort of like fishhooks. There are all kinds, and different sizes, purported to do specific tasks. But, a small hook can catch small fish AND large fish-a large hook only large fish. A smaller knife is a MUCH better multitasker than a larger fixed blade.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 01:02 PM

I have a Victorinox in my car as a convenience tool. I'm not sure which model, but it is a larger one. I wear glasses, so I bought the little optional screwdriver for $2 that goes into the corkscrew and it has been a lifesaver when the screws work loose in my glasses. I also bought 10 used Victorinox Classics on ebay for $10. I carry one in my pocket, one is in my PSK, and the rest are stashed all over the place. Those are amazingly handy little knives, and they take and hold a razor edge from my ceramic sharpener.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/29/10 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: oldsoldier
Mdinana, what a lot of folks do, I think I have even seen it here on the forums, is remove the Mora handle & fasion their own. IIRC, its a 3/4 tang, which is plent strong for anything we would need it for.

I actually bought a 5" mora blade and made a handle last year, kind of a "keep busy" project as school ended and I had a month off before graduation.

I've never carried it frown I also discovered that power tools would have made everything MUCH easier.
Posted by: Mark_F

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/30/10 05:01 AM

At the risk of sounding like Spongebob Sassypants, the best field/survival knife ... is the one you have with you when the SHTF. To each his own. I've went on record on another thread here:

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=192818&page=8

that I prefer a longer blade, and seem to be leaning more towards carbon steels in a longer fixed blade. but I would certainly not object to a good quality high carbon stainless blade. I am also anxious to give the S30V in Ritters RSK 1 a try. laugh

Opinions on knives are like the other drivers on the road. Everyone going faster than you are is a maniac and everyone going slower than you are is an idiot. But hopefully somewhere along the way you learn to appreciate that it is all a matter of perspective and experience. So just sit back and enjoy the ride. smile
Posted by: SwampDonkey

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/30/10 05:17 AM

I often use the Clipper in the field and am pleased with it, but yesterday I bought 10 Mora AllRound Knives from Paul at Workwear Canada. Nice guy to do business with. The knives are going to be part of 10 Ice Rescue/Survival Kits I am assembling for my co-workers and I to use while on remote snowmobile patrol.

I also have many, many knives to select from but find that I usually carry a lighter knife with a 5" blade or less. Usually with a multi-tool or SAK and often with an axe, saw or brush-hook when in the bush. The larger tools do the bulk of the heavy wood cutting, that is what they are made for and I accept the weight/bulk as a trade-off for efficiency and safety.

Mike
Posted by: KenK

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/30/10 03:55 PM

If you can afford it ($165), don't overlook Doug's RSK Mk3 fixed blade knife. it is a really REALLY nice knife.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/30/10 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: SwampDonkey
I often use the Clipper in the field and am pleased with it, but yesterday I bought 10 Mora Craftsman Allround's from Paul at Workwear Canada.

Mike


I'll be interested to hear your review. I love the shape of my Clipper but always felt it could be a little beefier in terms of reserve strength. The sheath on the Craftline Allaround seems different too; I wonder if they've improved it in terms of holding the knife more securely?

P.S., your link has an extra "http://" in it.
Posted by: KG2V

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/30/10 10:30 PM

The is NO "perfect" knife. There are knifes that are very good, to perfect for a particular job, but all knifes are tradeoffs. The knife that I want to peel an apple/gut a deer is NOT what I'm going to want to to pry open a crate, or chop down a sapling
Posted by: Adventureboy

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/30/10 11:10 PM

Leatherman (new) Wave and Gerber LMF II. (PERIOD) NO discussion.
All you need. pm me for more info.
Adventureboy
Posted by: KenK

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/31/10 01:08 AM

My son and his best friend both earned their Eagle Scout ranks last fall. As part of their courts of honor both boys were presented Kabar Marine Corps knives from the local Marine Corps Detachment. Very cool. Great knives, BUT both boys said they wanted to save the knives and not use them when camping. I can understand that - at least for now.

So, as an extra gift, I bought each of them a Mora Allaround as a knife that they can use, enjoy, and not have to worry about loosing (for that price I'll replace it for them).

I have several Moras, and these do not disappoint. I like the handles a lot - grippy without feeling tacky (like it might attract dirt). Nice thickness for most hands.

The blades are better finished than most of my other Moras. The trademark stamped on the blade is VERY clear and clean and the spine is nice and smooth - which gives more of a sense of quality. Same great edge and blade shape as the others.

The sheath fit is nice and tight - enough that the thumb ramp on the sheath is real handy for popping the knife and sheath apart. It has a belt clip (doesn't have to be threaded through the belt) and has a drain hole near the blade tip.

The only complaint is that I wish the sheath could be used either right or left handed. My son's buddy is right-handed - my son is left-handed.

Oh, and I like the color - not too bright to embarrass a young teenage boy, but enough to be more findable on the ground if dropped (especially the sheath - which I think may be more likely to get dropped than the knife).
Posted by: SwampDonkey

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 01/31/10 08:06 PM

Thanks Doug, hopefully I edited the link correctly to www.workwearcanada.com

Thanks for the review KenK, I am eager to try the new Mora Allround knife out, they should arrive this week.

Mike
Posted by: gatormba

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/01/10 02:35 AM

Call me old fashioned but I still love my Ka-Bar and for a folder my Ka-Bar Mule.
Posted by: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/01/10 11:45 AM

Originally Posted By: sodak
For surviving, I think that a Vic Huntsman, Huntsman Lite, Deluxe Tinker, or even a Farmer - pic one - makes the best survival knife by far. As far as I've tested, they do everything that a Mora can do, and better, as well as doing a whole lot more.

Now if you are talking about heavier duty usage, I would go the Fallkniven/Becker/Busse route. But I would ALWAYS have a Vic on me...


Heavier duty use is a given in a survival situation. I consider a Mora/Fallkniven/Becker/Busse complimentary to the SAK.

Having said that: If it's one knife only time, I either carry a full sized Victorinox Multitool or Trekker/Soldier '09.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/05/10 04:15 AM

Originally Posted By: SwampDonkey
Thanks Doug, hopefully I edited the link correctly to www.workwearcanada.com

Thanks for the review KenK, I am eager to try the new Mora Allround knife out, they should arrive this week.

Mike



I went to the link, and in addition to the Mora knives, they have Wetterlings axes. I have a Wetterlings, and it is surprisingly light and sharp, with a long tapered cutting edge. I can do some carving, make a featherstick, gut a deer with it. Maybe the best survival knife is not a knife after all......

Posted by: SwampDonkey

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/06/10 01:03 AM

Hey, I received the 10 Mora Craftmans Allround knives yesterday. The knives are very nice and will serve the purpose well, I like it better than a Clipper, and that says a lot. The red sheaths are as poor as Mora sheaths always are. I put neck lanyards on them as when they are clipped on a belt they do not extract well. If you push hard enough to extract the knife the plastic bends at the junction of the sheath pocket and clip.

In summary, really like the knife, really hate the sheath.

Paul at Workwear Canada does have lots of neat stuff and I will be ordering more from him soon. Check out his product review videos, he does a good job, sounds like a normal kind of guy.

Mike
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/20/10 12:54 AM

Hello to you all. This site is great, tons of info to go through here!
I have a question. I plan on purchasing a Mora allaround for basic usage and I am also looking at 2 other knives to compliment that. I am looking at the Becker BK2 and BK7. What are your thoughts on those 2?
They are in my price range. I cannot afford a Fallkiniven. I also heard that the SOG seal pup is a good blade. Any thoughts on that one as well? Thanks.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/20/10 02:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Lqdtrance
Hello to you all. This site is great, tons of info to go through here!
I have a question. I plan on purchasing a Mora allaround for basic usage and I am also looking at 2 other knives to compliment that. I am looking at the Becker BK2 and BK7. What are your thoughts on those 2?
They are in my price range. I cannot afford a Fallkiniven. I also heard that the SOG seal pup is a good blade. Any thoughts on that one as well? Thanks.



I have a Becker BK2, and I field tested it last winter. It is a well built but very heavy knife. It has a good kydex sheath which holds the knife securely. The BK7 and other Beckers come with a woven nylon sheath. The blade is a full 1/4 inch thick at the spine. IMO, it is too short for efficient chopping, and too thick for detail work, but would stand up to pounding, digging and prying. I keep in in my SUV for emergencies. There ia a dazzling array of knives available but you didn't say what your purpose is, so it's hard to advise.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/20/10 05:01 AM

Of the larger fixed-blade knives I've handled the Becker BK2 is one of the better ones. Simple, tough, small enough to wear it covers the bases. Inexpensive and completely un-flashy are good also.

It is a bit bigger than I usually carry, even for a large fixed blade knife I would rather it had a 4" blade instead of the 5.5" but the difference isn't a deal breaker if I'm away from civilization. A smaller knife can usually do everything a larger one can. It just takes a little more time but also might save you effort. So perception is the real difference. Wear a knife with a 5" to 6" blade while in the woods and you look prepared. Wear the same knife in an urban area and your a nut. A large folder might be better if you like a larger blade.
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/20/10 01:11 PM

Byrd - Sorry I didn't add that info. I am mainly going to use the knife for Backpacking, hiking, camping and a survival knife. I plan on supplementing the larger knife with a smaller one like the Mora allaround or Ritters MK5.
A 1/4 inch thick spine is quite thick though. Is it the same thickness on the BK7? I couldn't find the data.
Now you know what I am using them for. My price range is under $100 for a knife. That's why I was looking at those. I also checked out the military issue Ka-bar. I know nothing of those either though.
I know I want a solid tang and preferably one with a pommel. Unless a pommel isn't worth it. Any suggestions? Thanks again.
Posted by: tomfaranda

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 01:18 AM

Rather then spend a lot of money, why not get the mora craftline which is in the "marketplace" on this site, and purchased through amazon. It's about $15, so you can't go wrong. I did a review of it on the amazon site, comparing it to a couple of other similarly sized knives which I also own.

Unless you truly need a "survival" knife, some of the other knives you mentioned - the beckers - are pretty heavy to be carrying while hiking.

A last thought - look at the short kabars, priced around $45 if you want a bigger, heftier knife without a big outlay.

Where in the Adirondacks are you? I am 35 miles north of Manhattan.
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 03:40 AM

Lake George area, the lower Adirondacks.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 04:41 AM

Full tang is great, but a pommel might just add weight and conceal the fact that the tang is of the weaker 'rat tail' construction. Most are no good for pounding. Ontario Cutlery offers some nice USA-made knives in your price range. Take a look at the RAT-3. Don't rule out the Buck brand either, maybe the big 119 Special for about $50, or it's little brother the 105 Pathfinder. You get a lot of blade for the money, but I wouldn't hammer on anything with the pommel.
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 01:14 PM

Thank you for all the info and suggestions. It is still a hard decision. I think it will be easier to see what I want if I can get my hands on a few and see for myself. I guess a trip to some knife shops are in order.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 01:26 PM

I have used a 105 for many years, at least on those fairly rare situations where I really needed a large blade. When I needed to hammer on something, I picked up a handy rock and used that, a lot safer and more effective than any knife pommel.
Posted by: tomfaranda

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 05:14 PM

Walmart sells the buck 119 for about $40.

Lake George area ehh? I stayed with family at Rogers Rock a few years ago on way to Vt and NH.

A beautiful area of the Arirondacks.
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 05:36 PM

For a multi-day outing, the principal blade I'd be inclined to take is my Gransfors Bruks Mini-Belt Axe. Also the Ritter Mk-1 mini (3 oz). A Ritter Mk-5 (1 oz) would also be along (that blade goes with me to the grocery - it's in my wallet).

Upon the recommendations on this forum, I've also acquired a number of the Mora knives. They are light and you're getting a fair amount of decent steel for the money. I keep a couple of the stainless steel in my car.

For any day hike, near to the city or further out, I have a Ritter Mk-1 with me.

From the Gransfors Bruks website, on the Mini-Belt Axe:

It is hand forged of high carbon Swedish steel and tempered at the bit to a hardness of 57 Rockwell C.

This little hatchet has a 2 inches cut-ting edge, a 10 inches hickory handle and weighs only about 12 oz. The hatchet comes with a grain-leather sheath.

Posted by: Teslinhiker

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 06:23 PM

I have owned a Buck 119 for 12 years. The kife originally cost ~ $30.00 and dollar for dollar has since proved as one of the best knife purchases I have ever made. I have used this knife extensively and is holding up well. The only change I have ever made to the knife was to wrap some black cloth (hockey) tape around the handle as it is bit too smooth when wet and hard to keep a grip when the hands are cold.

THe Mora Scout 440 is also a good knife for those who are looking for something a bit smaller and lighter.
Posted by: Hanscom

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 07:06 PM

Benchmade has changed the steel in the Rant fixed blade to D2. List is $85, available online for $70-75. The previous version in 440C (still a pretty good steel) is still available online for ~$50.

4.5 inch blade, 0.165 thick (about 1 MM thicker than the Ritter Mk3 ((0.140))). Drop point--my favorite--or Bowie style clip point.

The handle on the Rant is overmolded and I don't know how much tang there is. Does anyone know?
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 08:32 PM

What tasks is a knife likely to be needed to perform?

I understand some might need to dress an elk, but I'm not a hunter and if I was lost in the wilderness I probably wouldn't have a gun to shoot one to dress. Any of my knives could gut a stream fish.

I got the knife bug a couple years ago (in no small part because of ETS -- cha-ching!$!$!) so now have most of the Ritter stable (Mk-1, mini, 3, 4 and 5), a few Bark River and some other folders.

It's the "other folders" that I rely on during car camping where the major knife tasks are cutting tent rope and opening firewood bags.

The Barkies have very thick blades. The Ritters less so. The Moras even less. All are sharp as heck. As I consider which to carry, when and where, I ask myself what I expect to need them to do?

I've recently been focusing more on axes. All Gransfors Bruks. Most recently the Splitting Maul and a splitting wedge. Of course, those won't be in the backpack.



Posted by: Russ

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 09:05 PM

In addition to an EDC folder, SAK or multi-tool, a Ka-Bar Becker BK-9 can handle a lot of the big jobs. The Becker line is using thinner 1095CroVan (1095 with chromium and vanadium?) stock than before (1/4" 50100 IIRC) and IMO the knives are better for it. They may not be better pry-bars, but they are better knives. My opinion. . .
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 10:16 PM

Are you aware exactly how large that knife, BK-9, is? It's over a pound and almost 15 inches long. Essentially a short sword.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/21/10 11:09 PM

Yeah, I've got one, specs are at the link. It may weigh more than your typical EDC, but it's a well balanced and very capable blade.

Byrd mentioned batoning with a BK-2 at the top of page 2 and noted it had a thick edge. The new BK-9 is thinner stock and should do much better at batoning, although I haven't had the need. I use an axe for chopping.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/22/10 02:37 AM

Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
I got a Victorinox bug in me now a days after I got decent folders. I got a list about a mile long for Vic SAK models on my Amazon.com basket. Lol.


I really like the Vic knives that have saw blades. With one of those, you can make just about anything you would need in the bush. I never leave home without a little green Vic Classic in my pocket. The knife blades on all SAKs sharpen easily with a Firestone ceramic wheel sharpener.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/22/10 02:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Dagny
[

I've recently been focusing more on axes. All Gransfors Bruks. Most recently the Splitting Maul and a splitting wedge. Of course, those won't be in the backpack.


I have a little Swedish Wetterlings axe. The handle is a foot long piece of hickory, and the head is forged with a razor sharp polished edge. I put it in my hunting daypack in case I need a little help with the deer pelvis. It is sharp enough for skinning.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/22/10 02:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Hanscom
Benchmade has changed the steel in the Rant fixed blade to D2. List is $85, available online for $70-75. The previous version in 440C (still a pretty good steel) is still available online for ~$50.

4.5 inch blade, 0.165 thick (about 1 MM thicker than the Ritter Mk3 ((0.140))). Drop point--my favorite--or Bowie style clip point.

The handle on the Rant is overmolded and I don't know how much tang there is. Does anyone know?



The older Benchmade Rant was made in the far east, the newer in USA. Here is a video that shows a Rant tang
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNrAs9j3Nzs
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/26/10 11:55 AM

Well, I am buying a Mora craftline "allaround" and I left it up to my wife and kids to surprise me for my birthday on the other knife. I gave them some ideas to look at the Rat3, Rat5, Becker BK2 and BK7. So we'll see what I get if I get one. Thanks for all the suggestions and help. I'll post which one I get after I get it.
Can anyone recommend a good sharpening system? I was looking at the spyderco 204mf tri angle. Anyone try it?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/26/10 12:28 PM


Spyderco Sharpmaker
Posted by: jenkinma

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/26/10 03:38 PM

+1 on Sharpmaker... easy, peasy to get a VERY sharp edge quickly
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/26/10 09:27 PM

Nice, I'll check that out immediately. Thanks!!
Posted by: KenK

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/26/10 10:00 PM

+1 on the Sharpmaker. Super easy to use and provides excellent results.

If you're using Doug's Rittergrips remember to use the 30 degree slots to keep the factory grind angle.
Posted by: Lqdtrance

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 02/28/10 11:32 PM

I will def. keep that in mind. Thank you.
Posted by: ILBob

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/01/10 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Dagny

I have a little Swedish Wetterlings axe. The handle is a foot long piece of hickory, and the head is forged with a razor sharp polished edge. I put it in my hunting daypack in case I need a little help with the deer pelvis. It is sharp enough for skinning.

I was surprised to see on another forum a picture of one of these with a chipped blade. The poster said he was just chopping away and a chunk of the blade came off. No sound indicating he had hit a nail or bullet or anything hard.

Yesterday I went to a gun show. No bargains and no beef jerky. I really miss the beef jerky vendor because he had some really good stuff. I wonder if the show kicked him out to make room for more guns, ammo, and knives. It was pretty packed with dealer tables and customers. Lots of guns and ammo, but no bargains.

The usual gun show style knives. Mostly junk. A few decent used knives that seemed to be randomly priced. Saw a fair number of generic decent lock back knives (Gerber, Buck, etc.). To me they are a basic $5-$10 knife used. I saw some as low as $5 and a couple that someone had priced at $50. Most were priced at $15-20 so if I had wanted one for $10 I probably could have gotten it for that.

The strangest looking thing I saw was some kind of machete looking blade labeled USMC. The thing was maybe 16 inches long and had a blade that was at least a quarter inch thick and maybe 2 inches wide. I picked it up and the thing was heavy - probably at least 5 pounds. The dealer tells me they were issued to marines in WWII to chop off limbs (arms and legs type limbs) in cases were the marine was so badly injured he needed a field amputation. The guy actually said this with a straight face. Based on the heft of the thing, if it was sharpened I can believe it could chop a leg off. It was one big chunk of steel.



Posted by: Doug_SE_MI

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/01/10 03:04 PM

I believe the knife you refer to is a M1942 Bolo Knife (United States Navy Hospital Corpsman).

They use to be very common in surplus stores. I bought one as a kid and tried to sharpen it, but the edge was too thick to take any kind of edge.

I have found nothing of there use or intended use (but would be only slightly less useful than an entrenching tool (the WWII/Korea/early Viet Nam wood and steel variety) as last ditch hand to hand fighting implement.

(My battalion(2/7) Sergeant Major earned a Silver Star in Viet Nam for effectively demonstrating the proper use of an entrenching tool to several Viet Cong.)
Posted by: ILBob

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/01/10 04:22 PM

A corpsman knife.

Maybe it really was used to implement emergency amputations. smile
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/02/10 12:08 AM

Originally Posted By: ILBob
Originally Posted By: Dagny

I have a little Swedish Wetterlings axe. The handle is a foot long piece of hickory, and the head is forged with a razor sharp polished edge. I put it in my hunting daypack in case I need a little help with the deer pelvis. It is sharp enough for skinning.

I was surprised to see on another forum a picture of one of these with a chipped blade. The poster said he was just chopping away and a chunk of the blade came off. No sound indicating he had hit a nail or bullet or anything hard.



I suppose it could happen if there was a flaw in the forging process. I have to admit that I baby my Wetterlings. I carry it in my pack and would only use it for light duty like dressing a whitetail or making a featherstick. I have other hatchets and axes to beat up chopping out a stump.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/02/10 02:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Doug_Botimer
I believe the knife you refer to is a M1942 Bolo Knife (United States Navy Hospital Corpsman).

<snip>

I have found nothing of there use or intended use (but would be only slightly less useful than an entrenching tool (the WWII/Korea/early Viet Nam wood and steel variety) as last ditch hand to hand fighting implement.


Reading up on military gear I came across a reference to that knife that suggested that its origin in WW2 was in the Pacific where it was intended to be used by navy corpsmen as a short machete to chop poles to use in setting up aid stations and for litters. As we all know the Marines don't have medics from their service branch like the army does. Marine medics are all navy corpsmen.

--- Insert old joke about the guy trying to stay as far away from combat as possible by joining the navy and becoming a corpsman here. ---

It happened more than once. A good number of them were pacifists and volunteers.
Posted by: scafool

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/02/10 03:04 AM

A couple of points about the axes mentioned.
We used to heat an axe before using it in cold weather to avoid it chipping. The steel takes a lot of stress when chopping and if it is hard enough to hold an edge it can become brittle when cold.(not red hot, just warm to touch)

Bones (beef) will often chip an axe edge because they are so hard and grab the steel.

The knots in hemlock are the worst though.
Hemlock knots take out nice half moon shaped chips.
I am not sure why knots in hemlock are so bad but they are, especially the thin pin knots.

The way these bones and hemlock knots take the chip out is a bit interesting.
They don't dent or bend the steel. It isn't like what you see if you hit a nail or a stone.
It is more like they grab it and pull the chip out of the edge.
When you look at the cut the chip is still right in there. If you dig it out it is still sharp and shows no noticeable deformation.
It really is like it was simply plucked out of the edge of the axe.

I have had chips taken out of the edge of a decent machete when trimming branches off hemlocks too.
It was the knot in the centre of the branch as it entered the trunk that did that. Again, nice little crescent shaped notches neatly removed from the edge, about the size of a fingernail.
Posted by: Richlacal

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/02/10 03:47 AM

Hey Art in FL-I'm not trying to be a Smart alek but, The USMC IS of The Dept.of The Navy,Same tree,smaller branch so to speak.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/02/10 04:00 AM

Originally Posted By: scafool
I have had chips taken out of the edge of a decent machete when trimming branches off hemlocks too.
It was the knot in the centre of the branch as it entered the trunk that did that. Again, nice little crescent shaped notches neatly removed from the edge, about the size of a fingernail.


Using a machete, or other relatively thin bladed tools, a trick to cut down the chance of damage is to always chop at an acute angle. Like your shaving the wood or bone. Coming at a chunk of wood square the wood cleaves and spreads away from the edge but as soon as the blade slows the wood closes tightly around the blade. Efforts to extract the blade which is gripped like a vice by the wood then fatigues the metal and it cracks. I've seen chunks torn out of otherwise reliable and tough tools because of this.

<hangs head> <digs toe of boot in the dirt>
I've done it a couple of times myself when I got impatient and tried to bull my way through a job with a tool not designed for that sort of brute force technique.

Coming at the wood at an acute angle allows the blade to slice the wood and the slice is thin enough that it can't tightly grip the blade. Cutting at an acute angle one way and then completely removing the flap by chopping at an acute angle the other way allows you to make progress. It takes a little longer to chop through a log this way but it works.

The thinner the blade and the tougher the wood, or bone, the more acute the angle you come at it.

Also, if you do get a blade stuck, get another tool and work around it chopping at a shallow angle until the stuck blade is freed. Don't try to wrench the stuck blade out. With luck the stuck tool comes out intact.
Posted by: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/03/10 12:06 PM

He mostly did that just for testing purposes. He primarily uses multi-tools. He's seen most times using the Leatherman Wave and the Victorinox Spirit.

As it stands now I have 14 Swiss Army Knives, 5 Multi-Tools, 3 Fixed Blades and 22 Folders.

And yet like Scafool said I find myself using the same two 90% of the time. Leatherman "New Wave" and the Benchmade "Ritter RSK Mk. 1 Griptilian."

Is that all? grin
Your practically knifeless..... grin grin grin




Posted by: clarktx

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/03/10 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: MDinana
After fighting it for years, I finally dropped $14 on a Mora from Sportsman's Guide (they had a 2 knife set).


I actually picked up the same set. Actually I got 4 (2 sets), and put one in each car. They are cheap enough to sit there forever and never be used. The plastic sheath is lousy but is functional and will keep you from getting your finger cut when you put your hand in the glove box at night smile

I mostly have multitools... most recently a skeletool (the built in carabiner is a huge improvement in portability/accessibility). But I didn't have any fixed blades outside the kitchen.

I've decided that Moras are a wonderful start for fixed blade use.
Posted by: boatman

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/03/10 06:16 PM

I agree with the idea of a MORA or similar for on an auto or BOB kit.They are good enough quality at a low price for a knife you hope to never use.Lets face it,we prepare for emergencies but hope they do not occur...

BOATMAN
John




Posted by: LED

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/03/10 08:18 PM

Just noticed Mora makes a clipper with a half-serrated blade. Sharpening would be a PITA, but it'll make quick work of most any rope.
Posted by: boatman

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/04/10 06:50 PM

I don't know why people think they need a serrated blade to cut line(rope to you land lubbers).I spent four years on board a ship in deck department.No one used a serrated blade because you needed special gear to sharpen them.If you like them and are comfortable with them thats OK.I just think that they are to hard to maintain in a limited resourced environment.A non-serrated blade can be sharpened with a smooth rock if needed.JMHO,YMMV,etc.etc.....

BOATMAN
John
Posted by: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/04/10 07:03 PM

It's amazing how many people equate pacifist with coward. Most of those stretcher bearers and corpsmen/medics were insanely brave.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/04/10 08:02 PM

Tension on the line is a lot more significant that the configuration of the blade edge. Any decently sharp knife can cut line just fine.

Aren't there two ropes aboard (sailing) ships - bolt ropes and man ropes? digging way back into my trivia for that one....
Posted by: KG2V

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/04/10 09:01 PM

I seem to remember that lines that have not been used/assigned to a purpose are technically 'rope' if over a certain size, and are small stuff if under
Posted by: Andy

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/04/10 11:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Leigh_Ratcliffe
It's amazing how many people equate pacifist with coward. Most of those stretcher bearers and corpsmen/medics were insanely brave.


Sorry to wander off topic a bit but I recently read a book called "Doc" which contains numerous first hand accounts of the actions by US medics and corpsmen over nearly 100 years from WWI thru the actions in Iraq and Afganistan. Authors are Mark Littleton and Charles Wright.

It appears to be out of print so if you're interested in reading please PM me and I'll be happy to loan it out. If there's signifcant interest I'll add it to the lending library here.

Andy
Posted by: MostlyHarmless

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/05/10 08:37 AM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Tension on the line is a lot more significant that the configuration of the blade edge. Any decently sharp knife can cut line just fine


Sure they can - but a serrated knife will saw through those fibers a little more efficient. And it will do so even if it is slightly dull. A slightly dull plain edge is a real pain to cut with. Face it, a lot of people don't sharpen their knives as often as they should.

I'm no fan of serrated knives (I hate them, as a matter of fact), but let's give credit where credit is due.
Posted by: fasteer

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/05/10 09:32 AM

knives... lately I've been buying about 1 a month.
I have several partial serrated folders (CRKT, mostly, various models) and a fixed blade CRKT with VEFF serrations.
I can't claim any great expertise, but the serrations seem to snag & shred anything I need to cut, whether it be rope, tape, cardboard or a sandwich.
A snagging knife is hazardous to your fingers, BTW, just like a dull knife is.

As I learn what I like, my definition of 'best' allround (call it survival if you prefer) knife is: fixed blade, plain edge, drop point, 0.125" thick, 154CM (or one of the good CS steels), blade about 3-1/2", OAL about 7-1/2", some choil or finger guard (not too pronounced) and a kydex multi-position sheath.
Landi MPS or Tre Kroner 5 is getting close to this spec.
I will buy the Landi 1st chance I get & the TK-5 when I win the lottery.
Be ready to gasp at the TK-5 pricetag:
http://www.workwearcanada.com/fallkniven/detail.cfm?product=3

Still looking for my perfect knife(to my wife's dismay), but have a couple customs that are very close.
BTW, a good custom knife costs much the same as the quality production knives discussed in this thread.

I've been looking at the Mora knives which get such great reviews.
I have to confess that they don't please my eye esthetically.
Not to dispute their function, but a good knife can be a thing of beauty & Mora doesn't cut it (excuse the bad pun).

As other have said, though, a good multi-tool is usually close to hand.
At work its a Leatherman Charge, at play it's a Leatherman Skeletool, both with the good 154CM steel blade.
Posted by: saniterra

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/29/10 05:20 AM

I have been trying to find the perfect field knife for more than forty years. For the most part, I mostly succeeded as a collector, because I've kept every knife I've had. Over that time my knives have been folders and fixed blades made by Buck, Kershaw, CRKT, Kabar, Victorinox, Ontario, Camillus, Spyderco, Bark River, Zero Tolerance, Martindale, Becker, RAT, Swamp Rat, Frost's of Sweden and more than I can even remember. I have never found a single knife that is good for everything one may need or encounter. However, if I was forced to pick just one knife to take into the bush or for survival, I would pick the Bark River Canadian Special. It's about 9" long with a 0.17" x 4" full tang blade of A2 steel. It comes in a leather sheath that molds to the blade and covers the knife up to about 1" from the end of the handle. Out of the box, it's by far the sharpest I've ever seen. I paid about $125 for mine. I'd use it for everything except digging. It would not do anywhere near as well as a machete for clearing brush or chopping trees, but it would come nearer to being good for that than a machete would be for slicing meat for cooking. The Bark River knives are not cheap, though. If you feel the need for a big knife, look at the Cheaper Than Dirt DBA models. KnifeTest.com did a test on it - http://www.knifetests.com/CheaperThanDirtRoughUseKnifeDtest.html. $10 plus shipping. Should give you plenty of money left for a smaller blade such as Swiss
Army or nice mulitool so you have all bases covered.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/29/10 11:15 AM

Imagine you suck it up and purchase a Mora instead of the T-5. You are going to have an agonizing time, making tough decisions about what items you buy with all the money you save. You would probably go to the field with a superior all around kit rather than what is an admittedly fabulous knife.
Posted by: ILBob

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/29/10 04:49 PM

I am pretty much convinced that most people worry way too much about what the perfect field knife is.

Get something adequate for $30 and put whatever you saved on some horrendously expensive knife you will be afraid to use to better uses.

I bought three CS Bushman knives for $39 shipped when they had a factory second sale. I would prefer a field knife thats a bit thicker for splitting wood, but I tried one of mine when it was close to zero and I was surprised how well it worked. I did not like the steel handle one bit, but wrapped with paracord it is not bad. The sheath is real basic, and badly needs some kind of strap to hold the knife in place (I keep meaning to buy some Velcro to make a strap, but never seem to get around to it).

Some time ago I bought a Glock field knife. I think it was under $30 shipped. Another imperfect but serviceable blade.

Somewhere I have a Kbar pilot's survival knife. I don't like the saw back on it, but its another serviceable knife. I have had it for many years. I might have paid $30 for it. You might have to go $50 for it these days.

Last fall I stopped by a garage sale. Guy had dozens of knives for sale, including some very nice looking butcher knives. Whats the difference between a solid butcher knife and a field knife? Not all that much. i am pretty much convinced the big difference is that field knives usually come with a sheath of some sort. I could have had my choice for $1 each. I wish now that I had bought some of the nicer ones.
Posted by: MostlyHarmless

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/29/10 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: ILBob
I am pretty much convinced that most people worry way too much about what the perfect field knife is.

Get something adequate for $30 and put whatever you saved on some horrendously expensive knife you will be afraid to use to better uses.


Good advice. I know I will buy more knives (love knives!!!) at a later point in time, but sharpening a mora 511 from my tool box and putting that through some dirt time as my hip knife was a real eye opener.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 03/30/10 02:23 AM

Originally Posted By: ILBob
I am pretty much convinced that most people worry way too much about what the perfect field knife is.

Get something adequate for $30 and put whatever you saved on some horrendously expensive knife you will be afraid to use to better uses.

Last fall I stopped by a garage sale. Guy had dozens of knives for sale, including some very nice looking butcher knives. Whats the difference between a solid butcher knife and a field knife? Not all that much. i am pretty much convinced the big difference is that field knives usually come with a sheath of some sort. I could have had my choice for $1 each. I wish now that I had bought some of the nicer ones.


Intellectually, your position makes perfect sense. I have an old Remington Hammersmith butcher knife that would make an excellent field blade. In fact, all field blades were similar to butcher knives until the early 1900's when one Webster Marbles of Gladstone Michigan introduced the Marbles Ideal knife. He also invented the compressed leather washer handles we still see today. His blade was much thicker than a butcher knife, was fullered to reduce weight and cutting friction, had a novel, comfortable, sturdy handle, and came with a nice sheath. An industry (and an eternal search) was born. My Hammersmith would do anything I would ever require of a field knife, but I admit to an insatiable fascination with mans oldest and best tool. A tool that can be used to fashion almost every other tool. The knife forms the basis for so many other inventions old and new: scissors, hair clipper, lawnmower, blender, sword, haybine, corn combine, razor, meat grinder, metal shears, lathe, scalpel, mill, buck saw, paper shredder, food processor, adze, nail clipper, router, band saw, planer, axe, veg-o-matic, chainsaw, drill, shovel, hoe, arrowheads, stump grinder, mattock, wedge, can opener, spear, scythe, and all manner of chippers, choppers, and chisels........ How can anyone stop at just one, no matter how practical?
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 04/30/11 02:23 AM

I resurrected this old thread just to post a link to these knife pictures. No, that's not me, but I sure wish I owned some of those knives............ http://forestandstream.com/board/index.php?topic=832.0
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 04/30/11 05:09 PM

I like a good mid-range knife - sheath or folding - so I can have several.
Posted by: Mark_F

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/02/11 05:27 PM

[drooling ... and crying while looking at meager back account]
Posted by: Reddave

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/07/11 04:33 PM

My choice is a kukri. Big knife for all the graft and a little one for the intricate work. Whole thing is inexpensive enough not to care if it gets 'dented'. As a side note, I'm thinking of swapping the small knife in it for a buck hartsook. Quite taken by those little demons.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/07/11 05:06 PM

If you want the genuine article ... check out the kukri's at Himalayan Imports. They are made in Nepal, using steel from old auto springs (specifically springs from Toyota, BMW, and a couple of other cars). It's actually a smart way for them to do the metalworking.

Have fun.

Pete #2
Posted by: comms

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/07/11 07:02 PM

Wasn't that the impetus for the last Rambo knife? Not being disparaging, just amazing how people overcome and adapt to their situation.
Posted by: Byrd_Huntr

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/08/11 11:26 AM

I'm convinced that there will never be a consensus on the 'best' knife simply because there is no best knife for all situations.

I wonder if the fascination for knives that so many people feel is 'hard-wired' into our species. The knife is our oldest tool, and probably at least partially responsible for our success as a species.
Posted by: JBMat

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/08/11 03:18 PM

The "best" knife is the one you have.

Improvise, adapt, overcome. Any blade is better than no blade.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/08/11 05:56 PM

I agree that there's no perfect knife, and for that reason I don't get worked up trying to search for the perfect design. So long as you've got one with a reasonable blade, that's a good start.

"I wonder if the fascination for knives that so many people feel is 'hard-wired' into our species. The knife is our oldest tool, and probably at least partially responsible for our success as a species."

That's a very interesting insight. I wonder if the survivors amongst our primitive ancestors were the ones who obtained a sharp blade (e.g. flint) and developed their blade-making skills. It makes good sense. The best hunters should have been successful at producing bigger families.

Pete #2
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/08/11 06:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Pete
I agree that there's no perfect knife, and for that reason I don't get worked up trying to search for the perfect design. So long as you've got one with a reasonable blade, that's a good start.

"I wonder if the fascination for knives that so many people feel is 'hard-wired' into our species. The knife is our oldest tool, and probably at least partially responsible for our success as a species."

That's a very interesting insight. I wonder if the survivors amongst our primitive ancestors were the ones who obtained a sharp blade (e.g. flint) and developed their blade-making skills. It makes good sense. The best hunters should have been successful at producing bigger families.

Pete #2



People collect all kinds of things -- cars, teapots, Barbies.

Maybe we're all hoarders at heart.

I have an art collection that makes no sense whatsoever. If I had the past decade to do over, I'd forget the art and put it into knives and axes.

Or put it into Apple stock and collect more money.
Posted by: Reddave

Re: Best field/survival knife? - 05/08/11 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Pete
If you want the genuine article ... check out the kukri's at Himalayan Imports. They are made in Nepal, using steel from old auto springs (specifically springs from Toyota, BMW, and a couple of other cars). It's actually a smart way for them to do the metalworking.

Have fun.

Pete #2


Giggling like a kid now......
http://www.thekhukurihouse.com/catalog/product.php?id=313934f87
and its not afraid to get stuck in...... so to speak.