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#288097 - 02/04/18 07:23 PM A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty?
albusgrammaticus Online   content
Newbie

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 39
Loc: Italy
I’d like to tap in ETS collective wisdom for help in a task that will surely delight most of this forum members: choosing a good knife.

It’ a tradition among me and my friends to go, twice or thrice a year, on a weekend trip to a friend’s mountain house. There, we would usually go on a short hike or two, but basically the entire trip is an excuse to make a big barbecue that lasts for the better part of a day… whistle

Each member of the group has his own duties, and I’m in charge of food preparation. My friend’s house is not very well stocked in terms of cutlery or other kitchen implements, so I got the habit of bringing some basic tools with me. Here I must stress that weight and space are an issue: we are four people traveling in a medium sized car, and every time is a hard task to cram all the supplies in the trunk: clothes, sleeping bags, food (and beer! smile ) for a few days etc. Therefore, I can’t bring a whole set of kitchen knives, and even a full sized chef knife is little too much in my opinion, especially because the one I have at home doesn’t come with a sheath.

So, I’m looking for a very sharp knife to handle basic “camp kitchen” tasks: slicing meat, boning and dicing a chicken breast or a turkey leg, chopping vegetables e so on. It shouldn’t be too big (max 10 inches in length, I think), but must be sufficiently “hefty” to be a good chopper.

But here comes the additional requirement: I mentioned we use to go on short hikes on these occasions, so it would be nice to be able to carry that very same knife for basic field duties: cutting cordage, clearing branches, building a camp fire in case of emergency etc.

Initially I thought a good basic Mora would be perfect for the job, but I confess that I would like something a bit more substantial for chopping… and a tad better looking! I never owned a classic bushcraft knife (something along the lines of a Buck Selkirk or a Helle), with wooden scales, and I like their look very much. The question is: can they fulfill the job of a good kitchen knife for food preparation?

My budget is around 100 USD. I’m from Italy, so I would prefer European brands or US brands that sell internationally.

I would like to hear your suggestions, please!

Thank you very much.

albusgrammaticus


Edited by albusgrammaticus (02/04/18 07:37 PM)

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#288098 - 02/04/18 08:55 PM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4660
Loc: SOCAL
IMO while the scandi grind on a Mora knife is ideal for bushcraft, it isn’t the best for kitchen duty; it’s too thick. In the kitchen I prefer a wide blade with a full flat grind for slicing — a 6” cooks knife comes to mind. I recently purchased a 5” utility knife (Zwilling) which does a good job of slicing as well as cutting vegetables down to size. But neither of those knives would be good for bushcraft; the blade stock and edges in particular are too thin.

Were it me, I would take part of that $100 and buy a good field knife that would do well chopping in the kitchen. With the rest I would buy a paring knife, and a good 5” utility knife with a full flat grind. The chopping blade will save the edge on the 5” utility knife for slicing meat and cutting vegetables. The paring knife is just handy for small stuff where the larger knives are clumsy.

Nothing specific, there are lots of good knives available in the EU: Mora, Victorinox, Henckels, Zwilling et al.

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#288099 - 02/04/18 08:56 PM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6131
Loc: southern Cal
Give me ten minutes, some cardboard, and duct tape and you will have a genuine HCS (Hikermor Custom Scabbard). Make it sheet plastic and white Gorilla Tape and it will be a HCDS (Deluxe!). Combine that with a Mora and you are good to go....

I hadn't read Russ's comment about a Mora knife before I posted the above. I am a Mora fan (the Mora, the better) and anything more expensive is hard to justify (although not impossible). My oldest was purchased around 1971, used in my shop for eons, and is now my kitchen knife. Mrs. Hikermor doesn't like sharp knives, so my Mora sits in the kitchen drawer for my exclusive use, and it cuts everything just fine and has done so for more than forty years...


Edited by hikermor (02/04/18 09:08 PM)
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Geezer in Chief

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#288100 - 02/04/18 09:06 PM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1980
Loc: NE Illinois
I tend to like the stainless steel Swedish Mora knives for camping kitchen work. Their carbon knives are excellent - my favorite Mora is the Robust - but group camping typically involves sanitation with a bleach solution, and for that stainless steel is better suited. I also like that the plastic Mora sheath can be sanitized in the bleach solution, if needed.

For working with meat I'd tend to prefer a slightly longer blade, but if you're going to carry it on hikes then you simply can't reasonably have it too long.

Here is my recommendation:

https://www.ragweedforge.com/SwedishKnifeCatalog.html

search for the #748-G Allround -- 5-3/4 inch blade, which will feel large in the hand. The sheath is the olive military green, which is not my preferred, but it will be a great knife. $24 + shipping.

Any Mora knife will do just find chopping fruits, veggies, and meat. If you want to do chopping of wood get an axe.

Save your money for other great outdoor gear.

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#288101 - 02/04/18 09:24 PM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4660
Loc: SOCAL
The ZWILLING 5" Utility Knife was not inexpensive. As I understand the “FC61 fine-carbide steel” is supposedly VG-10. Zwilling has a similar line which uses 52100 carbon steel and another line in Damascus for the steel snobs out there. I won’t say which steel I went with, but I’d have a hard time justifying Damascus in a kitchen knife.

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#288103 - 02/04/18 11:52 PM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Ren Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 107
Personally would go with 2 knives.
Something like a folding opinel for the kitchen duties.

As for camp knife. Lion Steel is probably the most well known Italian knife maker, though budget may exclude them.

Enzo knives are generally well thought of, plus can by them in as kits to drop the cost.

http://brisa.fi/enzo.html



Edited by Ren (02/04/18 11:54 PM)

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#288106 - 02/05/18 08:48 AM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: KenK]
albusgrammaticus Online   content
Newbie

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 39
Loc: Italy
Thank you very much for all the suggestions!

Ok, you got me here. I fell prey to the “coolness” factor and started this thread to find any reason to NOT buy a Mora, and justify the expense for some gorgeous bushcraft knife with curly birch scales or similar.

Fortunately for me, ETS confirm itself to be a serious, no-nonsense community and the practical consensus emerged. A Mora has all the advantages in my situation: it’s sharp, inexpensive, lightweight and readily available in my country.

I think I’ll get a Mora for the practical uses ahead, and wait for the next holiday season to ask for a finer piece as a gift…

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#288107 - 02/05/18 08:56 AM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: Ren]
albusgrammaticus Online   content
Newbie

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 39
Loc: Italy
EnZo knives were already on my radar and I really like them, but they're slightly above my budget.

Another Scandinavian brand I'm checking out is Casström, of Sweden. They're cheaper here in the EU than in the US (for once!) but still above my pay grade.

At the moment, if budget wasn't a factor, the classic Scandinavian style is the one I like the most.

Thank you very much.

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#288108 - 02/05/18 09:19 AM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: Russ]
albusgrammaticus Online   content
Newbie

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 39
Loc: Italy
Thank you very much Russ.

I too heard that a Scandi grind is not ideal for kitchen knives, but here I'm talking about basic food preparation.

I don't plan to fillet a trout or making a julienne with this knife. More like dicing meat and vegetables to make kabobs. The finest tasks I expect to accomplish are removing the membrane from a slab of ribs or cutting thin slices of ham or salami. Nothing too fancy.

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#288111 - 02/05/18 01:27 PM Re: A good knife for bushcraft AND kitchen duty? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4660
Loc: SOCAL
Cool, good clarification. Crushing the vegetables in process of making them smaller is acceptable wink
I’d still take a good steak knife though. In KenK’s link above, Ragweedforge, the #277 would be a nice addition.

Yeah, I’ve never been a one knife guy.

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