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#194473 - 01/28/10 08:32 PM Best field/survival knife?
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
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.
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#194476 - 01/28/10 09:12 PM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7310
Loc: southern Cal
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.
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#194482 - 01/28/10 10:14 PM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: ]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
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.
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#194485 - 01/28/10 11:13 PM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: scafool]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
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.
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#194487 - 01/28/10 11:46 PM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: scafool]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
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.


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#194490 - 01/29/10 12:00 AM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: Art_in_FL]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
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.
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#194493 - 01/29/10 12:19 AM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: ]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
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.

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#194511 - 01/29/10 03:44 AM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: MDinana]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
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.
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#194519 - 01/29/10 06:13 AM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
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.

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#194527 - 01/29/10 11:36 AM Re: Best field/survival knife? [Re: LED]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
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.
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