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Thread: Bushcraft Knife Test Tasks?

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    Default Bushcraft Knife Test Tasks?

    I've been purchasing a number of knives over the years, from higher priced custom knives (Fiddleback) to common inexpensive knives (Mora). I'd like to test these knives using a range of bushcraft tasks, and so far I can think of making fuzz sticks, carving and notching - I tend to think of batoning as more of a last-ditch survival task, something better suited for a hatchet/axe. I'd appreciate your advice on what tasks to use in my bushcraft knife test, and please state whether these tasks should be performed on dry or green wood, etc.

    I plan to post the results of my test here, realizing that much of it will be subjective.

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    All you said plus other things I do when I am in the woods. Slicing for food prep, cross batoning for notches and such, game prep (clean fish, small game etc), whittling/carving (spoons and such) umm......

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    Everything that has been said. I personally think batonning is a very important test though. I do it even if I have a ax/hatchet just because when my kindling gets real small it's easier to baton. On top of that it is a good test for strength.

    Another thing to consider is what maintenance it requires. Is the edge easily sharpened with just some simple tools? How is it's edge retention? How susceptible to rusting is it?

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    If you can't do a one stick fire with just your knife and a firesteel then it doesn't work for bushcraft. IMHO
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    I think if a knife performs pretty good on hardwood , greenwood generally isn't a problem. For me , a bush knife should be able to baton wrist-size thickness relatively easily , peel bark off , knock smaller twigs of branches , have a point for piercing , be able to clean game , and do food prep. Good to be able to use it as a weapon if the need arises. Almost any sharp knife can do smaller tasks like notching and feather sticks.

    With those criteria in mind , I like no smaller than a 4" blade , spear ,clip ,or drop point , full tang , and comfortable grip.

    If you have only one knife in the bush it should be able to perform those tasks all reasonably well and be able to be maintained on a regular basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJWHN95 View Post
    Everything that has been said. I personally think batonning is a very important test though. I do it even if I have a ax/hatchet just because when my kindling gets real small it's easier to baton. On top of that it is a good test for strength.

    Another thing to consider is what maintenance it requires. Is the edge easily sharpened with just some simple tools? How is it's edge retention? How susceptible to rusting is it?
    Don't take me wrong here, but I'm wondering why batoning is so important. In the area I live in will all its thick forests, I can always find all sorts of sizes of useable wood just lying about the forest floor for use in building a fire without ever even needing to pull the knife from its sheath except to scrape the fire steel for sparks. So my question is, "is the reason you all have to baton due to not finding any small wood in your area" ? I carry a hatchet for cutting fire wood to shorter lengths, but I can always find enough of the small stuff to get a fire going without the need to split anything.

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    Just do the standard tasks youd do while camping or out doing bushcrafty things. Green or dry wood kinda depends on the task dont'cha reckon. Would be pointless to make feathersticks from green wood and you don't wanna use dry wood if you're making a fishing spear. I've done a few knife tests, check them out, maybe you'll get some ideas.

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    Don't take me wrong here, but I'm wondering why batoning is so important. In the area I live in will all its thick forests, I can always find all sorts of sizes of useable wood just lying about the forest floor for use in building a fire without ever even needing to pull the knife from its sheath except to scrape the fire steel for sparks. So my question is, "is the reason you all have to baton due to not finding any small wood in your area" ? I carry a hatchet for cutting fire wood to shorter lengths, but I can always find enough of the small stuff to get a fire going without the need to split anything.
    It's a woodsman's skill. There may be a time and place when making a fire in wet conditions will warrant getting to the dry heart wood. You may not have your hatchet. The knife is the only tool. You should to check out bushclass and hardwoodsman challenges, also IAwoodsman's video series for a better explanation. Twig fires don't always work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzer View Post
    If you can't do a one stick fire with just your knife and a firesteel then it doesn't work for bushcraft. IMHO
    ^ Agreed. I'm also fond of Mors' criteria - sharpened pry bar with the ability to carve a netting needle in a few minutes, or something to that effect. IMO the pry bar bit is meant to emphasize toughness (full tang, no worries with batoning, beating the snot out of it, etc).
    Last edited by dRobinson; 03-06-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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    You can baton with any knife, within reason. Arguing about it is moot. Check it out.

    http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showth...-not-the-arrow

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