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#156972 - 12/03/08 05:45 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: bigreddog]
Herbie Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 17
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: bigreddog


For survival give me rubber, stainless steel, kydex and every feature available so that I have a safety margin when tired cold hurt etc. (and as we are talking survival, lets also hope I have a knife on me when disaster strikes!)


Agreed.



This has been my survival kit knife for many years. Its a shame about the lousy sheath, but for I've added a velcro ratainer that surrounds the grip and wrapped the main sheath body in paracord. Eventually I might form a kydex sheath for it, but for now I wanted idiot proof. The first time I scaled more than one fish in a sitting (a lucky day!) with a wood handled knife, I realized rubber grips or scales were in my future.

Oh, and I spend a lot of time near the coast, so stainless steel is a necessary concession to durability. My Grandfather's Puukko wasn't fairing well on my trips near the shore, so I keep it well oiled and at home as a collector's piece now, and pack stainless from now on.

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#156974 - 12/03/08 05:52 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: bigreddog]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I'm not real sure how "bushcraft" is defined, but if you are out bushcrafting and things go to pot and turn it into a survival situation, you'd better have the best blade for the job with you at that time. Unless one wants to pack two fixed blade knives with them all the time, the blade you have with you has to do whatever needs to be done...
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#156975 - 12/03/08 05:53 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: Hookpunch]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Here are some Moras with guards, though the text is telling:

"Knives with guards are often used by Scouts and other children in Scandinavia. It is something of a rite of passage when the child is considered skilled and careful enough to remove the guard."

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#156979 - 12/03/08 06:51 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: ]
sodak Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 410
Originally Posted By: Smash
Quote:
Things aren't always this cut and dried in the real world.


I don't mean to sound too sarcastic here, but what real world are you refering to?

I have been borderline hypothermic before. When you are shivering like crazy and and unable to straiten or move your fingers properly then its time to put the knife away. period. The hand guard will do little when the knife slips and you drive the blade into your thigh or foot. If you are properly prepared then you will have another way of getting a fire going without having to resort to using a knife.(I keep a cut road flare for exactly that purpose) But hey, they are your fingers. Do what you need to do I guess. All I know is that in the real world or an imaginary one trying to cut slivers of wood with hands I can no longer feel due to cold would only be worth the risk if there was no other option available.

looks fairly cut and dried to me. YMMV


That's just it. Situations are never cut and dried. Neither you nor I can possibly anticipate all survival situations. That's the real world.

I've been around hypothermic people, and have been hypothermic myself. It's one thing to say that you should put the knife away, but when you feel yourself slipping, some quick action can make all the difference. Some people have greatly impaired judgement as they start getting colder. I'm not talking about cutting slivers of wood either, it's interesting what conclusions you automatically jump to. If you can make fire without a knife while being hypothermic, good for you.

In any event, there are plenty of knives out there that do have good lower guards that protect, yet don't prevent choking up and fine work. As another poster noted, I'm all about stacking the deck in my favor.

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#157002 - 12/03/08 11:21 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: sodak]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Hand guards are mostly there for when your using a stabbing motion with enough enthusiasm to cause the hand to slip. Or to keep an opponents blade from sliding into your hand in a knife fight.

Not much call for stabbing things if your not using the knife as a weapon and such knife-on-knife fights are rare even in desperate close-quarter conflicts. Those situations are fixtures in movies and fantasy novels but not common enough to worry about in real life.

In real life the knife is much more likely to be used for housekeeping, food preparation, and general utility than as a weapon. In practical use a hand guard is superfluous and likely to get in the way. Usually it just makes the knife bulkier and heavier than it needs to be.

Skinning, scraping and carving it can be an advantage to have a knife that will lay flat so you can use the length of the edge. A hand guard tends to get in the way in such situations. As does the acute point on many spear point and false edge military designs. Usually a moderately sized single edged, drop-point knife without a hand guard is more practical.

If the worry is getting and keeping a grip on the knife because your hands are frozen a more practical solution is to have a knife with a loop of sturdy cord attached to its pommel. The loop is sized to be caught by the little finger and wrapped around the back of the hand. This reinforces the grip on the knife and eliminates any chance the knife will slide while allowing the knife to be released easily. Far more practical than any guard.

Using mittens, which don't allow access to the little finger, the cord goes around the hand first and is wrapped around the thumb once. It is a little less secure but still more effective than a guard.

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#157031 - 12/04/08 02:55 AM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: Art_in_FL]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I feel the same as Art, a guard is a trait of a fighting type and or military knife. A guard is not a necessity on an outdoor/bushcraft/survival knife.
You can buy all tha Ka-Bars, AF Survival knives and Gerbers you can haul in the motorhome, as long as you're happy. In many regards a guard or no guard is a matter of personal choice and opinion. Try using the knife for some of the potential camp/survival/bushcraft tasks and see what you prefer.
A good mixed choice is the Grohmann #3 Boat Knife, it has no guard but due to the design the user is fairly well protected so a guard is not needed. You can still do the fine work because it is easy to handle.
As for Hypothermia, unless you get submerged in cold water suddenly, you should be able to avoid hypothermia by proper use of clothing and shelter systems. Don't leave home without the proper gear.
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No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#157067 - 12/04/08 03:51 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: widget]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Now I'm confused. I thought the RSK MK3 had a guard at the bottom. Ritter himself calls it a "half-guard". Does that make it less good as a survival knife?


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Quality is addictive.

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#157077 - 12/04/08 04:43 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: Brangdon]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
'Less good' than what? the MK 3 has an ergonomic handle, fancy talk for it feels good in most hands, although Mors Kochanski critiqued the checkering when shown one. And you can index it, another fancy word for 'I can tell which end is up while cutting my way to freedom from my captor's yurt tent at night and not look stupid (again in the dark)trying to force the spine to cut felt and complaining about the fancy metallurgy.
Of course, If we HAD a fighting knife, we wouldn't be a prisoner.
Luke Skywalker's original light sabre is up for auction this weekend in Hollywood. It lacks a guard, indexing and even a sheath! it looks like those cheap torches ( flashlights)at the Megamart survival kits for $49.99.
But I digress. It's less good for what? clearing landmines if you crash in a warzone? You better buy Fallkniven's knife designed for that purpose, or buy a good long bayonet.
Impressing some survival guru? Well, definitely, do not show up with a Ritter MK 3 when you REALLY need an;atax,tracker,bushcrafter or battlemistress.
MK3 is lousy for cutting grass and vines, bettter buy a cheap Tramontina.
Building a igloo? Anyone have a carpenter's saw?
ALL KNIVES are compromises, or designed with parameters of perceived need and use.
We have the greatest selection of knives today than any other period in pre and history.
Hand a bunch of 440A Indian made fantasy swords to the greeks at Troy.
You would be elevated to God status.

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#157090 - 12/04/08 06:06 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
JohnE Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
Got my Tramontina in the mail the other day...the compromising continues...

John E
_________________________
JohnE

"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen


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#157101 - 12/04/08 07:09 PM Re: why no handguard on a bushcraft knife [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
Originally Posted By: Chris Kavanaugh
'Less good' than what? the MK 3 has an ergonomic handle, fancy talk for it feels good in most hands, although Mors Kochanski critiqued the checkering when shown one. And you can index it, another fancy word for 'I can tell which end is up while cutting my way to freedom from my captor's yurt tent at night and not look stupid (again in the dark)trying to force the spine to cut felt and complaining about the fancy metallurgy.
Of course, If we HAD a fighting knife, we wouldn't be a prisoner.
Luke Skywalker's original light sabre is up for auction this weekend in Hollywood. It lacks a guard, indexing and even a sheath! it looks like those cheap torches ( flashlights)at the Megamart survival kits for $49.99.
But I digress. It's less good for what? clearing landmines if you crash in a warzone? You better buy Fallkniven's knife designed for that purpose, or buy a good long bayonet.
Impressing some survival guru? Well, definitely, do not show up with a Ritter MK 3 when you REALLY need an;atax,tracker,bushcrafter or battlemistress.
MK3 is lousy for cutting grass and vines, bettter buy a cheap Tramontina.
Building a igloo? Anyone have a carpenter's saw?
ALL KNIVES are compromises, or designed with parameters of perceived need and use.
We have the greatest selection of knives today than any other period in pre and history.
Hand a bunch of 440A Indian made fantasy swords to the greeks at Troy.
You would be elevated to God status.


On that subject I have just acquired a Benchmade model 10502 in 440C. To me, this is the knife that the MK3 should have been.

http://www.benchmade.com/products/product_detail.aspx?model=10502

Benchmade's 440C is light years ahead of anything else I have ever used. Might be something to do with their tempering process.



Talking of the Greeks at Troy and the Bronze v 440A Steel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze

Came across this when I did a throught exercise.

_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

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