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#198370 - 03/19/10 01:27 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: hikermor]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
[/quote]

II have found that anything under four inches in blade length will do any necessary task just fine. I have never thought - "If only I had a bigger knife." There have been times I wished for a saw, but even those were rare.

I suspect there is a Freudian explanation for the fascination with big knives. [/quote]

My wife likes big knives and she says my knife is just the right size, and it fits the sheath perfectly.
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#198378 - 03/19/10 01:53 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: hikermor]
Mac Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/24/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Alberta, Canada
...


Edited by Mac (03/19/10 11:29 PM)
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#198393 - 03/19/10 02:56 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: hikermor]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
From my observation of others and personal experience I've found the bulkier and heavier the knife the less likely you are to carry it and have it with you when you need it. Most of the large knives I have bought tend to stay in the drawer. Most of the guys I grew up with who bought Rambo sized knives humped them around for a few days, got tired of them, and then they were never seen again.

Sad to see a guy spend hundreds of dollars buying a dream in the form of a huge knife and to see it go unused because they got caught up in the symbolism of the item and overlooked the lack of utility.

Then again most North Americans will never be more than twenty miles as the crow flies from civilization. Even when hiking and climbing. Pretty hard to find a spot in the lower forty-eight that isn't twenty miles from a habitation of some sort.

Most of us in North America live near cities in a suburban environments. Even overlooking the annoying extra weight and bulk strapping on your 14" long orc sticker and walking around the mall is going to get you looks. At the very least people are going to think your a trifle odd.

It has to be noted, as hikermor did, that even in the woods most experienced hikers and campers eschew large knives if they don't have a specific use on that trip. You might see a machete on someone doing trail maintenance and the odd woodsy group feed my tote in a large chef fillet knife to prep the grub but generally if you see a large knife, particularly a large military style knife, it is a mark of inexperience.

North America has some dangerous wild animals. Cougars, several flavors of bears, alligators, wild hogs, even the normally docile buck can ruin your day.

I saw a couple of hunters run out of the woods by a buck. Everyone laughed and the buck got away. One of the guys spend most of the evening searching for the rifle he dropped. Hint: Either buy your firearms in colors you can see if you drop it, or don't drop it.

Given the number of potentially dangerous animals I have never met anyone who carried a knife seriously thinking they might fight them off. Fight off a grizzly bear with anything smaller than a Scottish claymore and I want to shake your hand. And other than what we saw Tarzan do in the movies I doubt any knife small enough to carry in one hand would help you much against an alligator.

Riding horses around the pampas sniffing out maneating pumas and wild hogs you carry what you please. Realistically if I found myself potentially dangerous area I would seriously consider taking my little knife and sharpening a pole. A spear is the traditional non-ranged weapon used by hunters of dangerous animals.


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#198400 - 03/19/10 03:19 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Art_in_FL]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1356
The blade on my Buck 119 model is 6" long which I feel is about the most useful maximum length for me.

I could go with a shorter knife blade which I did with the recent purchase of 2 Mora Clippers, however the Buck will probably continue to be my most used. Not because of the length, rather it fits my hand great and after 12 years of ownership, I am very comfortable using it.
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

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#198403 - 03/19/10 03:49 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Art_in_FL]
Mac Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/24/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I was just teasing Art.

I know what you mean now. We have enought mall ninjas up here as well. Don't always assume everyone fits into a certain category based on the ideas of the general population either. That guy who you assume is inexperienced may shock the hell out of you.

To clarify I don't carry it on me, it stays on my pack. I just find it funny that if I were to mention that I carry an axe in my pack everyone would think it was normal, but when I say I take a kukri machete instead of an axe I am apparently compensating for something. Same job, different tool. I just like the lighter weight and easier packability(is this a word?) of the flat Machete.

To each his own.
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#198404 - 03/19/10 03:53 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Hghvlocity]
Mac Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/24/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Alberta, Canada
So, Hghvlocity

Make up your mind yet ?
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#198423 - 03/19/10 10:36 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Teslinhiker]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
The blade on my Buck 119 model is 6" long which I feel is about the most useful maximum length for me.

I could go with a shorter knife blade which I did with the recent purchase of 2 Mora Clippers, however the Buck will probably continue to be my most used. Not because of the length, rather it fits my hand great and after 12 years of ownership, I am very comfortable using it.


That is also my idea of a big knife. When I am in the woods, I carry a razor sharp Western W36 that I have had for years. I also have a Buck 119 that I alternate with. They are both the same size, and fit my large hands well. When I go into a backwoods roadhouse for lunch, or even into a small northern town for food or supplies while hunting, no one even glances at the knife on my belt. With these larger knives, I can gut a deer, cut a block of cheese for my sandwich, make a featherstick, clean my fingernails, trim small branches, remove a splinter, stick a wolf, dig a hole in the ground, or carve a replica of the Statue of Liberty from a pine log if I wanted to. I reserve my $650 micro-mini titanium coated mother of pearl handled damascus 1 3/4" slipjoint folder for trimming the crust off of my finger sandwiches while I type on survival forums.
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#198426 - 03/19/10 10:51 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6432
Loc: southern Cal
Now wear that fashion accessory in certain neighborhoods in SoCal and you will get plenty of glances, although you are perfectly legal (barring some local ordinance). Go to more rural areas close by, and you are wearing just another tool on your belt.

I am a Buck fan, too - a Pathfinder (105) I have carried for a long time, although anything I do with it can be done with a smaller blade, like a CRKT Stiff Kiss - lighter but just not as pretty.
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#198428 - 03/19/10 11:43 AM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Teslinhiker]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
The blade on my Buck 119 model is 6" long which I feel is about the most useful maximum length for me.

I could go with a shorter knife blade which I did with the recent purchase of 2 Mora Clippers, however the Buck will probably continue to be my most used. Not because of the length, rather it fits my hand great and after 12 years of ownership, I am very comfortable using it.


What you're comfortable and experienced with is an extremely important factor.

For me, a blade around 4" is an extension of the hand. I work around the limitations of that blade (obviously no chopping!) by selecting the jobs that I need to do. The flip side of "the right tool for the job" is choosing "the right job for the tool". Around here, there's plenty of small diameter stuff to work with, both green wood and dead wood. In a survival scenario, I see no need to attack bigger diameter stuff - a 1" or 1.5" pole is long and strong enough for most shelter building, and dead firewood is usually around. And if I foresee a bigger job for a camping trip or whatever I will bring along the right tools for those jobs.

I learned the 4" lesson by making the wrong selection of a very appreciated gift from my beloved wife. She knows how picky I am. I was in doubt, but selected a 5" knife from Helle (Jegermester from this catalog, scroll down). The handle fits my hand like a glove, the blade is razor sharp (and I can keep it that way, easily!) ... but just an inch too long. I have used it for a couple of years, but it will never be the extension of my hand a 4" blade is (such as the mora 511). So why did I pick the 5" blade? Apart from not knowing better... a 5" blade works much better than a 4" for slicing bread! Probably the silliest reason EVER for selecting an outdoors knife. Sometimes it takes a misplaced buy to learn your lesson. If there is an easy way of shortening it without ruining the temper I would do it.


The big Leuku's have long traditions for the Sami people of this area. Traditionally, they would carry three knives: The big ones (7-10") for general purpose camp chopping, a smaller knife (3-4") for slaughter, skinning and delicate woodwork and a special tiny knife for marking the ears of their rain deer and other special detailed work. I have an 8" Stromeng (Ragnars Ragweed catalogue).

Frankly, I am still struggling to see the utility of this 8" leuku. It is somewhere between a light and short machete and a stout chopper, but too little of either to find much love in my book. And I have carried and used and abused it quite a bit, more out of stubbornness than anything else. I like the handle, I like the balance but the cutting and chopping performance just isn't that great - and clearly doesn't justify the bulk and the weight for me. There is probably some ancient secret that I am missing (lots of people LOVE this kind of knives, example), but it just doesn't cut it for me.


Edited by MostlyHarmless (03/19/10 11:50 AM)

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#198431 - 03/19/10 12:29 PM Re: Birthday Decision - Please help! [Re: Art_in_FL]
GauchoViejo Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Argentina
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL

Riding horses around the pampas sniffing out man-eating pumas and wild hogs you carry what you please. Realistically if I found myself potentially dangerous area I would seriously consider taking my little knife and sharpening a pole. A spear is the traditional non-ranged weapon used by hunters of dangerous animals.



Man-eating pumas, there ain't no such animal, as the farmer said when he saw the rhino. I have only heard of two attacks in my life and one of them was a two-year old child.
A spear is useless for boar hunting, we tried them and discarded them. When a boar is at bay by 4 or 5 dogs, let me tell you, that's not a static scene but a whirlwind. What works for us is to come in from the left side (if you are right handed) and a bit back from the head, then you grab an ear and plunge the knife. You only use a spear when hunting from horseback. "Pig-sticking" the Brits call it.


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