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#27934 - 05/29/04 03:22 PM The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
DennisTheMenace Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/29/04
Posts: 47
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Around 1978, when I was young and new in the Air Force, a friend showed me the Randall knife catalog. I decided it would be neat to own a 'survival knife'. So I ordered, and eventually received, a 7 1/2" (because bigger was better) Randal Model 18 "Attack and Survival" knife. It's the larger of the two knives in this picture (Model 18).

I later became an in-flight radio technician on the airborne command post and carried the knife (among other things) in my personal gear when I flew. I never needed it in an emergency, so if it served as a good luck charm or talisman against Murphy’s Law it served me well.

Since I discovered Equipped.org I've learned it was not exactly the best choice for a survival knife, and I'm wondering if it still has a place in my survival kit. I don't fly for the Air Force anymore, but my wife and I recently purchased a Jeep Wrangler and plan to take it on day trips into the boondocks. I’ll have an emergency/survival kit in the Jeep, and it occurred to me that while the Randall knife might have a place in the kit, it might be possible to alter it to make it a better and more useful tool.

My primary concern is that the knife has a very sharp saw-tooth edge on the top of the knife. From my reading on equipped.org I’ve learned that’s not a particularly useful feature, and is probably a detrimental feature. I’m wondering if it can be modified to make it more useful as a ‘saw’ (perhaps by doing some offset filing of the teeth to make it more ‘saw-like’) or to remove it by grinding the teeth off to remove them as a hazard to the user. Totally removing the teeth would change the contour and visual balance of the knife, but mike make sense if it makes the knife a more useful tool.

I would appreciate anyone’s opinion regarding the Model 18 knife. In particular, is it an example of a foolish purchase that should be relegated to a display case, a good knife that should remain unchanged or a knife that could/should be modified to make it the most useful tool it can be.

Your thoughts?

Dennis

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#27935 - 05/29/04 04:00 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1948
You would probably do much better to sell the Model 18 to a collector and buy a more suitable knife. The older Randalls are generally very collectible and you may be surprised by what it's worth.
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Editor
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#27936 - 05/29/04 04:29 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
DennisTheMenace Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/29/04
Posts: 47
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Doug,

I'm honored by having you reply to my first post on the forum, thank you! Actually, I thought about selling it, but there's a minor hitch. When I ordered the knife I have them put "USAF" and my serial number (social security number) on the knife so I couldn't 'lose' it. Now, with identity theft a serious threat it's not something I can safely sell unless I remove the markings, and destroy the collectors value of the knife.

By the way, I just ordered three of your pocket survival kits from aeromedix. One will go into an emergency box I'm building for our nephew (who graduates from High School tommorow) and the other two will go into my emergency kits. I hope to never need them, but they'll provide a lot more security for less money than a lot of other things I've purchased over the years.

Dennis

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#27937 - 05/29/04 05:00 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Actually, many collectors find past ownership or provenance part of the allure. You may want to pose this question @ www.knifeforums.com in the military knives forum. If it's just your S/S # identity theft is less likely.

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#27938 - 05/29/04 05:32 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
IMHO, keep the knife. If you want to put it in your vehicle kit, OK, but I would keep it at home. Get something different for the vehicle - plenty of discussion here and at knife forums about that sort of thing. You can afford the weight for a hatchet, axe, froe, saw, whatever, so as little as $10 for a stainless Mora will net you a good, useful knife for the Jeep. Or a Leuko (sp) set of a large and small scandi-type knives.

Regards,

Tom

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#27939 - 05/29/04 05:57 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
DennisTheMenace Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/29/04
Posts: 47
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Chris,

I went whole hog when I bought it, full name (including middle initial), "USAF" and social security number. However, upon further reflection I think you're right that it if were only my social security number my identify theft risk would be low. To tell the truth, I hadn't handled it in so long, I had to go get it and look at the blade to write this paragraph.

I shouldn't complain. When I was stationed in Hawaii I put the Randall knife in the sheath of stereotypically large scuba diver's knife and took it scuba diving. Once. Before the dive was over I realized the knife had fallen out of the sheath. I learned that day how important it is for each piece of a tool to fit together properly. My mismatched knife sheath combination could have been fatal in an emergency.

That story ended happily, there wasn't an emergency. And when I got home there was a message on my answering machine from a Marine who'd been scuba diving in the same spot (Shark's Cove on the North shore of Oahu) and who had found my knife. He saw my name and "USAF" on the knife and tracked me down. I drove to his home at Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station that evening to retreive it.

I think I'd better keep it, it's traveled a lot of miles with me. It's flown many long boring hours circling over the midwest, spent many weeks stashed in the airplane while it was on alert in Strategic Air Command, and flown across the Pacific many times. While there were inflight emergencies, the planes always came down on runways, even if not the one's originally intended. I think I'll have to take half of Doug's advice and buy a knife better suited to service in an emgency. But I think I'll keep this one ready as a backup, just in case.

That, and continue my education on equipped.org.

Dennis

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#27940 - 05/29/04 07:49 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I would say put the Randall in your safe keeping box as a collectors item you can pass on one day. I'm sure it is something your (future) son or nephew would like? May I also suggest writing up a little paper of where it has been and put it in the handle, for future refrence. Then go out and buy yourself a nice new "survival knife." If you like the hollow handle design take a look at Chris Reeve knives, they arn't cheap, but they are certainly worth it and are the same (if not better) quality then the Randall.

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#27941 - 05/29/04 09:44 PM Re: The follies of youth? Randall knife from 1978
bountyhunter Offline


Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
Dennis,:

Does your Randall have the sharp internal threading that cuts a thread into wood shafts inserted in the handle?

How is the handle and blade attached to each other?

Bountyhunter

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#27942 - 05/30/04 12:40 PM Re: characteristics of Randal model 18 (1978)
DennisTheMenace Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/29/04
Posts: 47
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
BountyHunter,

The hollow handle on my Randall model 18 is soldered to a brass handguard located between the handle and blade. There is also an epoxy plug about 1" deep in the handle which also serves to help keep everything together. The only threads on my knife are the fine threads for the buttcap to screw on to the end of the handle. The brass guard has lanyard holes at either end to serve as tiedown points in contstruction of an improvised spear.

Does that answer your question?

Dennis

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#27943 - 05/30/04 08:51 PM Re: characteristics of Randal model 18 (1978)
bountyhunter Offline


Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
Dennis:

That does answer the question.

Do you or anyone on the forum know who made the "Survival knife" that used to advertise that it had threading die like deep threads in its handle that would allow you cut threads in wood and to screw it onto a properly sized shaft for use as a spear?

If anyone knows of the knife, was it a legitimate claim and were the handle and blade sufficiently joined so that they could not come apart easily, or was it a cheaply made knife?

A quality knife of this sort would allow you to use a walking stick with threads on the end and not scare the "sheepl" that might be concerned if you had a spear as a walking stick. In a pinch, you could always make a shaft by whittling the end of a piece of wood to the approximate diameter and cut the threads onto the wood as you attach the kinife.

Thanks!

Bountyhunter

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