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#16538 - 05/29/03 03:26 AM Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I was looking into Chris Reeve fixed blade knives. I like the one piece design of them, the steel used, the hollow handle that can be used to hold basic survival supplies, the quality Chris puts into his knives, and even the look of the sheaths.
In particular I was looking at the Chris Reeve Shadow III and the Chris Reeve Aviator. They look the same, but the Aviator has serrated spine. What do you guys think of these knives? I was thinking of getting one of those two, but I can't decide which. Having the serrated part is nice, but would it really be worth it to have? Do you think it (the serrades) would be pretty useful to have? Will the serrades tear up the sheath when I sheath/un-sheath the knife? Anyone here have either of these knives? If so, what do you think? Thanks <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Oh, and what survival supplies would you put in a knife handle kit like this? Keep in mind I have a regular altoids can kit I carry, this would just be some handy spare supplies to keep inside. <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

#16539 - 05/29/03 03:05 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives

I can't speak for those particular knives but I have a Cold Steel Bushman and I found that the most useful thing I could fill the handle with is ParaCord. I cord-wrapped the handle and then stuffed a hank of cord (still attached to the cord wrapping the handle) into the handle. I, too, carry an altiods PSK with all the fixin's so I wasn't trying to re-package those supplies. Having a spare bit of room in the handle of the Bushman presented a way to carry a bit of extra cordage. I believe that the handle space is about the same between these knives. The Chris-Reeves knives handles form closed water-tight containers which presents some options That I didn't have with the Bushman so I might have packed it with something else...

Just my $.02

#16540 - 05/29/03 03:25 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1776
i have seen the CS bushman in the store's and i wonder what the coating is ? it looks very shiny compared to other knife's that are coated with exposy powder or teflon. And i don't expect that CS usses paint. and a second question: is there a butt cap for the hollow handle so you can close it ? the one i have seen in the store's don't have caps...

#16541 - 05/29/03 03:43 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives

i read a review years ago on the chris reeve aviator, in a uk mag called "survival and outdoor techniques" its no longer in print,in fact hasnt been since about 1995! hmm back to the point, the reviewer pointed out that the saw back has a bevel, this meaning that as the teath are in a straight line they don't cut very deep before the saw jams in its own cut. also if you wanted to use the knife to split small logs, the batton would end up mashed. just my two pennyworth.

#16542 - 05/29/03 05:51 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives

I'm not sure what the coating is. Doesn't scratch off too easily tho. No butt cap and nothing plugging the opening at the front where the handle meets the blade. The paracord I have jammed in there stays because of the way I wrapped the handle with it. I suppose if there were a butt-cap I might have been tempted to fit a small fishing kit or other items that would have fallen out otherwise. As I have been moving to a more modular approach I have been considering establishing wilderness / urban microkit modules and a large fixed blade with a fishing kit in the handle might be just the thing to grap when heading into the wilderness that could be left at home during a walk to the convenience store. (I live where the walk to the convenience store doesn't require the large fixed blade for protection and the .45 is adequate anyway)

#16543 - 05/29/03 08:33 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives
WOFT Offline

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 391
Loc: Cape Town, South Africa
I'd go without the serations. I've never needed them, but i've often needed more force on my blades, and i'd rather push on the spine than have to use the knife to 'chop' things up.

Why not put a wire saw in the hollow handle? I'm sure it is more efficient at sawing wood than serations on the jknife.

BTW, I've never handled either knife, but i have used fixed blades with and without serrations. they are also of a lesser quality than Chris Reeves or Cold Steel, so it may be a different situation.
'n Boer maak 'n plan

#16544 - 05/30/03 02:25 AM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I have the Shadow III and think it is just about an ideal knife in all respects. 4" blade is just what I like, the design of the hollow handle is without peer IMO, and sheath (pancake style) is perfect. Mine was made in 1988, and the sheath is an El Paso Saddlery, which is not who Chris uses now, but still a fine design.

The hollow handle is small. Mine is packed with 3 vaseline/cotton straws and a BSA hot spark and a bit of heavy thread and a sailmakers needle only. Too small for much else.

The knife was and is sharp as hell, it handles very well, and the coating has stood up to use.

I recommend this knife fully. As far as the Aviator version is concerned I have not handled it but Chris states the saw teeth on the spine are marginal at best. I would go for the Shadow III or the Mountaineer again in a heartbeat.

The round handle and knurling bug some people but I find them to be fine.

Worth the money.

#16545 - 05/30/03 04:43 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives

You may want to take a look at the Randall mod.#18. I've had one since 1976 and has served me well. I've yet to find a knife that holds an edge and is also easy to sharpen. It can take all the knocks you can give it short of out and out abuse. the serrations are quite sharp and chew through rope like no tomorrow. Not always needed, but real useful when you do. Not cheap, but for a lifetime investment you'd be hard pressed to beat the quality and durability. Check out randallknives.com

#16546 - 05/30/03 05:35 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives

Is the handle of the Randall knife one-piece with the blade as the Chris Reeves knives are or is it screwed / welded onto the blade? The experience of others is that the attachment point between the blade and the handle is weak if they are not of a piece. I have avoided all knives that are not "full tang" type knives which is why I went with the Bushman. I also don't have an exceeding large budget which is why I chose the bushman over the Chris Reeves knives.

#16547 - 05/30/03 10:43 PM Re: Chris Reeve Fixed Blade Hollow Handle Knives

I had a Randall #18 for some years. The early ones (through the era of the American presence in Viet Nam) had the tang bent to one side inside the handle and silver soldered against the inside of the tube. Later ones have a two-inch or longer section of the handle that is left as a solid billet, with a fairly wide tang threaded into that. I've never heard of one failing, and I'm certain that if Randall had, they would have changed the design. There are many cheap imitations where this is a serious problem, but I would be amazed if it were a concern with either Randall or Reeve. They are both excellent products, and worthy of extreme trust.

That having been said, I eventually sold mine. It's weight and bulk, the roundness of it's handle (and it's symmetry, with an asymetrical blade.. though it is angled slightly, and that helps a bit), and the fact that the balance changed a lot depending on what was in the handle, finally started to bug me. I found as time went by that it was more and more seldom with me.

It's worth noting that on the Randall #18, the sawteeth on the back are explicitly NOT for wood, but for sawing out of the aluminum skin of a downed aircraft. The fact that the Chris Reeve knife is called the "aviator" makes me suspect that he may have had the same use in mind.

Both are very well-made knives, and in your position, I wouldn't worry a bit about durability, but I'd be more concerned with whether the weight, bulk and design is what I want for real use. Of course, no one can answer that for you- but both are almost legendary for being well made, durable knives. If I had to choose between them today, I'd go with the Reeve, mostly because the much-less-cumbersome guard should make it less of a pain to carry, but neither would be my first choice.

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