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#256764 - 02/22/13 06:50 PM Best survival/ hunting knife?
robbiejoe111 Offline

Registered: 02/22/13
Posts: 5
I'm new to this forum and have tried to search for this topic. But just wandering what y'all's thoughts are on the best survival knife,the USMC fighting knife from K-Bar is one of the best and time tested from what iv heard...

#256765 - 02/22/13 07:07 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: robbiejoe111]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6743
Loc: southern Cal
You are guaranteed to get some responses on this topic; there are quite a few threads that discuss knives and there are some pretty good ones offered for sale on the ETS home page. The Kabar is certainly a classic.

I think the best knife is one you feel comfortable with, and the one with which you are familiar. The need for a knife depends greatly upon the circumstances and the situation and its duration. Very often the means for lighting a fire and/or the means for signalling (signal mirror) will be more important than a cutting instrument. Sometimes a knife will be all important - I don't know if this is true or not, but I have hear the Ka-Bar was developed so that a downed pilot would have the ability to cut himself out of the fuselage of a crashed aircraft.

I am quite happy with my Wave multitool; I would be almost as well off with a good SAK.
Geezer in Chief

#256766 - 02/22/13 07:24 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: hikermor]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 857
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Sometimes a knife will be all important - I don't know if this is true or not, but I have hear the Ka-Bar was developed so that a downed pilot would have the ability to cut himself out of the fuselage of a crashed aircraft.

I think you're mistaken on this unless it was a first-revision of pilot survival kit in the 1930's.

Pilot survival knives with sawtooth spines have been around for less time than the Ka-Bar. They are shorter which would make them more liveable in the crowded cockpit environment.

"Best knife" - sounds like an innocuous question but them could be fightin' words :-)

Best for WHAT?

For dayhiking I carry an Ontario Spec-Plus Pilot Survival knife.(I tried carrying a Ka-Bar for hiking for awhile. Darn thing is too long.)

For my BoBs I have folding Buck hunting knives.(plastic handles, stainless blades)

For my pocket at work I have a 1" long SAK (and it's against the rules to have it - Security is concerned that someone will hijack the building).

For peeling old paint and caulking off the house before re-caulking and painting I have a nice Case folding hunting knife I found while out 4wheeling one year.(the knife is way overqualified for this but it works well)

I'm sure that none of them is "the best" for the applications.

I've never skinned an animal so I don't know about the "hunting knife" usage.

#256768 - 02/22/13 07:50 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: robbiejoe111]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3048
Loc: USA
Welcome to ETS robbiejoe111!

For a knife to be effective, first and foremost you need to have it with you. The Ka-Bar is undoubtedly a great knife, but some people may find it on the heavy side for their needs.

For a smaller fixed blade, I think pretty highly of the Mora line, especially the stainless Companion. For a larger knife, I'm very fond of my RSK Mk2. That's not to say that there aren't other great knives out there, these are just ones that work well for me.

#256769 - 02/22/13 07:50 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: unimogbert]
RNewcomb Offline

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
I have a couple of the CRKT Sting knifes.. these have a quick release Zytel sheath, are made from solid 1050 Carbon Steel. They are razor sharp and indestructible... and I rarely use them unless I am out hiking etc.

My everyday carry? A leatherman Wingman. Sharp knife, great pliers and a basic phillips and straight screwdriver along with a few other goodies. I use this thing practically every day, and it's one thing I would seriously make a special trip out to Bass-Pro to replace if I ever lost it.

Ka-bar makes a very good knife, but I would take a look at the CRKT family of knives. Also, as a pocket knife I also like the Tanto Flash II series of knives by SOG. I don't own one (yet), but I'm going to pick one up sometime this year.

Edited by RNewcomb (02/22/13 07:54 PM)

#256771 - 02/22/13 08:12 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: robbiejoe111]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
Do you have experience with survival (perhaps a survival class) or with hunting? The tasks that your skills allow you to do may determine what constitutes the "best" knife for you. It's really hard to tell just by looking at knives unless you have experience and knowledge. Manliness isn't a good test of knife quality, I'm afraid.

The same is true also of fighting knives. So many knives that are being sold as "fighting" or "tactical" knives are, as far as I can tell, complete junk. If you train in a good martial art, you'll soon discover that you're going to gravitate towards something that doesn't look Rambo-esque at all, or you're going to end up with a specialized-looking tool, depending on your fighting techniques.

With that said, I am fond of the Benchmade Griptilian. Doug Ritter's modification also seems very good. Not sure you can cut yourself out of the fuselage of a crashed plane with it, though. I'm not a big fan of Ka-Bar -- a bit unrefined to me, but that's just a personal opinion. I've been impressed by ergonomics of Helle knives, but I've never used one. They're also expensive.

#256772 - 02/22/13 08:26 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: robbiejoe111]
Denis Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
For a wilderness knife, I'm partial to the Fallkniven F1. I think it is a great camp knife with a robustness that would make it an asset in a survival situation where it might be the only tool available.

Last year I made a post that detailed what I thought would make a good wilderness knife and what features I was looking for which might help: Choosing My Knife

I found it really helpful to figure out what features I was looking for first, and then evaluate the available knives using the criteria I had come up with.
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

#256773 - 02/22/13 08:35 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: Bingley]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2047
Loc: Colorado
Some people prefer the Rambo-sized knives like the K-Bar. I don't. I'm not saying that the K-Bar is a bad knife. I just have no desire for something that large personally. I think a 4" inch blade is best for general utility for a fixed blade. So that's what I stick with (no pun intended!) But everybody has differing opinions. You probably don't want to get an el-cheapo $3 knife, but you don't need a $200+ "designer handmade wonder steel" model either. Plenty of good things out there for under $100, many are far below that.

#256775 - 02/22/13 09:32 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: robbiejoe111]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
I like the Hultafors Heavy Duty Knife for general camp use.


Cost was about $7.

For an agricultural indestructible survival chopping knife the MoD 4 i.e chopping down trees, it is quite handy.


These knifes can be readily abused out in the wilderness without worrying about breaking an expensive knife.

For example splitting 6-7 inch wide logs for a fire is the limit of Mod 4.

Getting to know the limits of what your survival knife can do is probably more important than the model. Some very expensive survival knife bling have been known to fail badly even during light duty.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (02/22/13 09:40 PM)

#256780 - 02/22/13 10:14 PM Re: Best survival/ hunting knife? [Re: robbiejoe111]
Pete Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
Rob ... welcome from me also.
Always glad to give thoughts about knives.

The original K-bar knife used by the USMC in WW2 was famous for taking a very sharp edge. The alloy was soft enough that the Marines could sharpen the knife when it got dull. The same alloy did not hold a great edge for a long time. But the Marines did not care - they just sharpened their knives again. I can't say that I have any problems with that logic :-)

I tend to agree with ChaosMagnet. Over the years I have carried every kind of steel known to man ... knives, long knives and Bowies, machetes, tomahawks, you name it. But what tends to happen is that any piece of heavy hardware gets left at home, or camp, eventually. So the most useful knife is probably the knife you are willing to carry around all the time. Right now for me ... it's a folding knife from Emmerson with a blade about 3-1/2 inches long. I use that for all purposes, including survival and defense (if necessary). The Emmerson cost way too much $$ by the way :-) - but it's a nice knife and the blade steel is excellent.

For strictly hunting purposes, you would need a knife that excels as a tool for cutting, and also can be used for skinning game. I'm not sure I'd use a K-Bar for skinning ... you want something with a finer blade and more dexterity. Really, survival knives and skinning knives are two completely different animals. You need both if you are going to be preparing freshly killed game in the wilderness.

You should probably go away and think a bit harder about your real priorities ... don't ask "what would I like?". Instead ask ... "what am I going to be doing most of the time - realistically?".


Edited by Pete (02/22/13 10:21 PM)

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