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#263563 - 09/17/13 09:02 AM $10-ish survival knife?
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2839
Loc: Big Sky Country
Okay, I'll admit you won't get a top shelf knife for the $10-ish price range. But what would you choose if you had to get a cheap knife for a survival kit? For the sake of argument let's say we're talking boreal forest, any season. Ten bucks in the general range, with maybe a buck or two leeway.

A couple ideas I'll throw out there; Mora or Opinel. Neither would be a great choice for batonning but both will take very good edges. Several Mora knives can be had for right around $10 if you shop carefully, as can Opinels like the No7 or smaller. Also, both can be had in carbon steel for that price (a little better for use with a firesteel and generally takes a better edge- not too worried about rusting in a survival situation).

What would you folks suggest? FWIW I'm specifying a lower priced knife for a situation where you had to put together kits for a number of people, making price an issue.

Alternatively, what cheaper blades have you tried and found to be unsatisfactory, even for the money?
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#263564 - 09/17/13 11:23 AM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Hultafors Craftmans Knife Heavy-Duty GK HULGK



Edit - just checked Amazon.com, the Hultfors Craftmans Knife is available for $10.83 with Free shipping.


Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (09/17/13 11:41 AM)

#263565 - 09/17/13 11:52 AM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7411
Loc: southern Cal
I wouldn't worry one bit about using either of the Moras I have. I am sure they would accomplish any essential tasks they were called for - which would not include batoning, which is just plain silly IMHO.
Geezer in Chief

#263573 - 09/17/13 04:24 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
tomfaranda Offline

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 301
Loc: Croton on Hudson, NY
Mora 510, with 202 reviews on amazon. I give them as gifts. Carbon steel, $8.99 on amazon.


#263576 - 09/17/13 04:39 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2934
Loc: Alberta, Canada
It's hard to beat the plastic handled Moras for value per dollar. They will take quite a bit of abuse and keep going. Note however that they are cutting tools not prybars. I have noticed that the carbon steel blades are vulnerable to corrosion where the blade meets the plastic, creating a potential weak point over time; not a negative, just something to be managed.

I like the Opinels for their aesthetic quality and the edge they will take. Great for whittling. However, they don't strike me as terribly robust from an abuse point of view. Worst, the wood swells if it gets wet and you can't get the blade out without pliers. Not a good choice IMO.

Don't forget about the Old Hickory knives made by Ontario. Not tacticool, but very much the type of blade that won the West (as the phrase goes). Very inexpensive, with 1095 carbon steel that takes a wicked edge. I think they make a dandy bush knife, though you have to make your own sheath. Some blades are thicker than others.

Edited by dougwalkabout (09/17/13 04:44 PM)

#263579 - 09/17/13 05:56 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 870
Loc: wellington, fl
victorinox paring knife with sheath

Last time I was at the Randall Knife factory store in Orlando, I passed up the opportunity to get a $375 model 14 in favor of a paring knife from Victorinox, stamped on the blade "Randall Made Knives". Very sharp, in daily use in the kitchen, and altogether more sensible than the sharpened pry bar.

Alternatively, can the knife concept entirely, and substitute emt scissors and produce a kit that TSA will allow in carry-on luggage.
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

#263580 - 09/17/13 06:15 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
go to a garage sale. buy a used butcher knife for $2-5. As best I can tell, an older butcher knife is just about the same thing as a modern bush craft knife without the price tag and marketing malarkey.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#263581 - 09/17/13 07:21 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: ILBob]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2239
Loc: Colorado
My choice used to be a carbon steel Mora Clipper, but now it's the SOG Field Pup (seems to be perpetually on sale at Cabela's these days).


#263582 - 09/17/13 08:44 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
Burncycle Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 559
Mora hands down. And if you use proper technique and are smart about it you can baton wth them just fine.

#263583 - 09/17/13 09:23 PM Re: $10-ish survival knife? [Re: Phaedrus]
boatman Offline

Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 424
Loc: Michigan
Get an OLD HICKORY butcher knife and modify it.The edge can be convexed and has enough carbon content that it can spark on flint or quartzite rock.It might be a little more than ten dollars but its a "modern" version of a trade knife.They have gone up in price but the COLD STEEL Bushman is another bombproof blade.Cold steel often has a "threefer" deal on these....


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