Batoning

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Oreal, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    Hello everyone. I see that there are a lot of people who disagree Batoning wood with a knife.

    What about others wood processing tasks ( Building shlter, carving, building weapons, breaking small bones in processing meat, and so forth) They also include chopping and cutting wood, it is ok?

    Let's assume you were on a field trip or in a survival situation or just on a hunting trip and you have both an ax and a knife, what was the use of each of them?
     
  2. Stags Crest

    Stags Crest Crafty McBushcraft Supporter

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    There is an old philosophy, use the right tool for the right job. If you are in a true survival situation then do whatever you have to. On a well prepared trip you should have a proper set of wood processing tools. Personally if I'm in a survival situation I'm gonna do everything I can to preserve that knife and don't see myself needing to baton a log and risk damage to my precious tool. Each person has to decide but I've never ever had to baton or otherwise abuse a bushcraft knife unless doing a stress test.
     
  3. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    "survival situation I'm gonna do everything I can to preserve that knife and don't see myself needing to baton a log and risk damage to my precious tool."


    What about others wood processing tasks ( Building shlter, carving, building weapons, breaking small bones in processing meat, and so forth) They also include chopping and cutting wood, it is ok?
     
  4. Stags Crest

    Stags Crest Crafty McBushcraft Supporter

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    Knowledge will always beat tools. Understanding how to use your knife to build your shelter is thousands of times more important. You don't really even need a blade to build a shelter if you know how. For chopping tasks get an axe or hatchet or machete depending on your regional needs. I also reccomend a folding saw. But again I cannot stress knowledge enough.
     
  5. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    This is what I tried to reach in this paragraph, in fact, if you have to keep the knife so much from work with wood, what other great uses do the knife have besides cooking in survival situations?
     
  6. Snake Doc 415

    Snake Doc 415 Plumb smack-dab right in the middle of nowhere Supporter

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    I use my knife to baton. It’s easy and effective, BUT it’s still a resource that can be used up (it can become dull). In a survival/ true bushcraft situation you’d want to use your knife only if you had to. Try to break sticks first, use a sharp rock, etc.

    But in my opinion, knives are made for use. They are the quickest, easiest, and sometimes safest tool for the job. It kinda comes down to your own take on bushcraft I guess. Me; I use my knife when I want to and sharpen it afterwards.

    -Snake Doc 415

    Edit: forgot to mention, if you know your knife and know the proper technique to baton, it’s not some crazy abusive thing. I’ve batoned two inch trees with my Griptillian. Just beaver chew around the tree and don’t think of your baton like a sledge hammer. If splitting wood, find a crack and/or go with the grain.
     
  7. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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    You just have to have the right knife...

    B3A80C38-734D-4961-B6E6-278812EEF192.jpeg
     
  8. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    From what I read it does not matter so much in which knife and steel, because even the best can break, what do you think?

    What do you think about s35vn or m390 or 20cv for wood processing? I ask about tham cus thay are high stain.

    Did anyone of you really break the knife during wood processing?
     
  9. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    Ok, so you're not one of the people who disagree with baton, but I'm more interested in hearing the people who are aginst bton to understanding what uses they have with the knife besides cooking and cutting and so on.
     
  10. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB 42 Supporter

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    I baton often. I usually use my Mora Robust for this. No, I have never even come close to breaking it.
    When building bush shelters I like a daw, hatchet and knife. Covers all bases.
     
  11. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    Do you think that the warnings and fears against bton are exaggerated and even irrational?
     
  12. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB 42 Supporter

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    It depends.
    I have batoned a lot. As a result, I know what wood to use, and more importantly, what wood not to use.
    I can feel the tension/resistance.

    Banging away, too hard, too fast, knotty wood.... yeah, that will probably eventually wreck the knife.
    Otherwise? Personally I view batoning as an excellent skill.
     
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  13. Stags Crest

    Stags Crest Crafty McBushcraft Supporter

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    It's not that you have to avoid using your blade. It's really useful to process wood with a knife. It can be very helpful with many many tasks. The point I was trying to make is that the more knowledgeable you become the less you will find yourself using it. I also recommend carrying more than one knife. If I'm in the field I always have a belt knife and a pocket knife and if I have my haversack or daypack I've usually got a backup fixed blade in there too.
     
  14. Stags Crest

    Stags Crest Crafty McBushcraft Supporter

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    Mora knife for the win!
     
  15. Stags Crest

    Stags Crest Crafty McBushcraft Supporter

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    Can't go wrong with good old fashioned 1095 carbon steel!
     
  16. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    I tend to put my field knives through a ton of abuse. I wish i would have filmed myself batoning a piece of knotty, twisted wood. Hahahahaa. I was pounding and swinging that thing around like a crazy person. I have no doubt in my mind it would have been a cringe worthy experience for most in this forum had they seen it.
     
  17. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    Meh...do what ever you want to your own knife. Don’t ask to borrow mine.
     
  18. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3% Supporter

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    Did someone say Baton?

    AB4E7939-E934-4842-B36B-9674A1CA289E.jpeg 46D6EBA1-7C09-4C72-BF08-6570C6AB8DC6.jpeg 2CC99A33-E218-4083-BB4F-97237BD50BDA.jpeg 21959FD2-DC8F-45A4-80DC-29F5224A926C.jpeg
     
  19. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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  20. Oreal

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    Yes but I want to do the right thing with the tools I have. In my mind and my little experience of carving wood I never thought it would hurt the knife to copping and baton. I did it a few dozen times and never did anything happen to the knife, but then I started to see on the Internet that it was not recommended at all and I even saw some videos that the knife breaks down and it really seems to me that it really should not happen to you in survival situations. In any case, what I have learned from this post is to make a logical use of a knife and it is better to do great things with an ax
     
  21. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    So, in my experience, batoning with a "rat tail" tang or anything less than a full tang knife can cause catastrophic structural failure of the knife itself. Of course, I've batoned with my Mora companion, so..... ymmv.
     
  22. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Sometimes you learn more from just reading from the thousands of threads offered on this forum on just about any subject that you're interested in than it is to ask a question, especially if you aren't open to varying opinions. :33:
     
  23. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    I baton small branches, etc for tinder and kindling. I think it's safer than trying to use an axe to split thumb thick wood. On the other hand, I have no interest in trying to split 4-6" diameter logs into firewood with a knife...that's a job for the axe, IMO.
     
  24. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom I'm not lost, I've just misplaced myself. Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    But what if it's just the tip?
    20190203_101706.jpg
    Okay, fine. The whole blade it is.
    20190203_101531.jpg
    I vote use your knife however you want. I'm yet to break one and I baton all of them. It's a very rare trip that I don't use my knife to make a split wood fire. Axes are heavy.
     
  25. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    If I were you I’d go ahead and baton your knife in non-survival situations. Learn to trust your gear. I do it a lot and have for way over a half century. I have broken only one cheap pocket knife when I was a kid.
     
  26. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I

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    You definitely need a beast of a knife to reliably baton. This is 9V steel heat treated to a custom Rockwell of 27.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Black5

    Black5 Supporter Supporter

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    That's why people like me buy the junk knives from Esee so I can pound on them and chop with them, then resharpen with a smooth rock if I need to do it that way.
    If I had to limit myself to specific tasks because I was afraid I'd hurt my equipment, I'd be driving a Chevy instead of a Superduty.
    I'd be a Pepsi over Coke, Ginger over Maryanne kind of guy.
    And I still shoot my 1911A1 with thumb under safety, because it's the way I was taught.

    So, it's your knife, do what you want with it. If it breaks, get a better tool or don't do it again.

    This knife was batoned through rebar. Not smart, but wood ain't steel.
    61976938_2361819790507138_832192184668127232_n.jpg
     
  28. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    I'm into ultra-compact/-light and deep conceal so forget about axes and even fixed blades are inappropriate around here, so I use robust pocket tools to process wood. As long as its not a thin slicey hollow ground blade, I have no problems with centered batoning a folder for the start cut (full spine above the wood)....and unlocked if I'm worried about it. Then switch over to a wedge (1 oz plastic, or carved wood) for the follow through to avoid the off-center tip batoning - that's what is brutal on anything that's not a full tang.

    [​IMG]
     
  29. victoratsea

    victoratsea Supporter Supporter

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    Hey Brother. I see you're new here, welcome aboard. Opinions on batoning vary from " you must test your knife by beating it through the gnarliest wood with a rock" to
    " you must NEVER baton a knife, it's ABUSE !! " In reality, it's up to you, it's your knife. Common sense would dictate if you choose to baton, learn how to do it properly to minimize the risk of hurting yourself or damaging the knife. Use a sturdy knife. If you have an axe or hatchet, learn how to use it, for the same reasons. A well rounded bushcrafter will know how to use any tool available to him. It's not about, this is right or wrong; it's about having the knowledge and skills to use what you have in any situation.
    Victor
     
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  30. Enzo

    Enzo Supporter Supporter

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    Use whatever tool you think can realistically complete the job.

    Axes, saws, hatchets, and knives all have their own place, and they sometimes overlap. I usually split smaller pieces of wood (up to 4” diameter) with my Becker BK2, just because it’s easy to handle and it is strong enough to handle it. Anything bigger, and I opt for using a hatchet. If it’s real big, that means I’m probably at home splitting firewood and I’ll use a splitting axe.

    So I do baton with some of my knives, in some situations. With my weaker knives I don’t baton. My 511 doesn’t baton anything but the occasional stick of fatwood.

    I never baton with a folding knife.

    But as far as the other tasks, they’re too broad to generalize. You mention shelter-building. That’s a pretty broad category. It involves some heavy work (harvesting the big pieces of wood) and a lot of lighter work (notching, whittling posts, shaving the edges of end grains to prevent splitting, etc) and that can be done with most knives.

    In a survival situation, the rule still stands. Use whatever can realistically complete the job.
     
  31. Coyote Charlie

    Coyote Charlie Roughian #88 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I baton with knives and split with an axe. For me it depends on what I have on hand and how much weight I am willing to carry in. A good knife is still much lighter than a hatchet. I worked with this yesterday:

    2019-05-31-13-44-12.jpg
    Used the saw on the back to cut one branch and batoned through the other.
     
  32. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    Friends Thank you very much for all the answers and help.

    Let me tell you a funny little story. I had a sog fiild knife and after that I bought a better knife I did not use it anymore so I decided to do an experiment after I saw YouTube videos of knife testing in extreme situations, and one of the tests was a brick break, so I went and did it with the sharp side of the knife and of course after Twice the knife was broken completely, after that I went and saw the video again and only then did I notice that the test should be done with the reverse side haha
     
  33. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Scout

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    As noted, once the wood is small, batoning is, in my opinion, safer. I have a massive chopper that I have batoned large pieces with, just as a test. It works, so I know I have another tool in the event I don't have a hatchet or axe. That said, I will also split small wood safely by batoning my tomahawk. So, as stated, know your tools and techniques and choose as appropriate to the situation.
     
  34. victoratsea

    victoratsea Supporter Supporter

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    OK, now you lost me. Why would you want to cut a brick with a knife? What purpose would this serve? What did you learn in this "experiment", aside from the very obvious fact that a knife is the wrong tool for the job? :confused:
    Victor
     
  35. Coyote Charlie

    Coyote Charlie Roughian #88 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Yeah brick cutting is not something I do with my knife. There are better tools for sure.
     
  36. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Scout

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    As I read thru this thread, and take notice of the pictures....90% or more of the pictures are of chain sawed wood being split with a knife. That makes me question if it's actually a nessessity , or simply a desire/choice ? No wrong answer, but it kinda looks like a justification to ones self to spend excessive amounts of money to tote around a heavy tool for pleasure. If that's a mans choice, good for him. But a $15 mora and a $12 POS hatchet from Wal-Mart will do the same chore without breaking the bank or blade. I've made it 53 years in the woods and water without ever needing to beat my knife, reckon I'll make it the rest of the way without it. To each his own, but I don't think it's a nessessity.
     
  37. Wendy Owens

    Wendy Owens Scout

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    Like making Feather Sticks, I think too much emphasis is placed on the use, or misuse of a knife for batoning. (Please **note** this is just my opinion, and what you do with equipment you own is your own business.)
    Is there a time and place for it?
    Yes
    When is that?

    When you don't have a better or proper tool at hand in an emergency situation and you absolutely, positively need to process larger wood down to get to the drier insides to get a fire started.

    Should you baton your knife?
    Again... it's your knife and you can do whatever you want to it.
    But just because my car is capable of running well over 100 mph doesn't mean I should go tear assing down Hwy 65 Freeway in the middle of traffic.

    Would or do I baton my own knives?
    I have only because I was too lazy to hunt down my axe, hatchet or tomahawk.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  38. Wendy Owens

    Wendy Owens Scout

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    @SpookyPistolero a Custom Rockwell Hardness of 27? Wow that seems soft, how is edge retention? Does the blade bend and is it springy?
     
  39. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    What about others wood processing tasks ( Building shlter, carving, building weapons, breaking small bones in processing meat, and so forth) They also include chopping and cutting wood, it is ok?
     
  40. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom I'm not lost, I've just misplaced myself. Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    If you break your knife batonning you don't have to worry. At that point you will have 2 knives that are capable of doing the tasks that some think are "appropriate" like cutting cordage and taking Instagram photos.
     
  41. chesterpulley

    chesterpulley Scout

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    Every outing is different, or rather, you can make any outing different by the choice of tools you bring along.

    I grabbed one of the BR Bravo 1's when they came out and proceeded to baton everything in sight with it, in addition to playing around using it for more mundane knife tasks. Design of any multi-role item is full of compromises so one ends up with performance that excels in some areas and is kinda meh in others. In the sharpened slab category the B1 is an overall winner for me and it ends up in the pack most times I step off pavement.

    That being said, outside of batoning as an exercise I generally don't see a need for it. I did baton through an elk femur once, but prefer a cheap miter saw from the box store for the task - they're short enough to fit in a pack and don't weigh much. Most of my knives are on the smaller side and I prefer a full size axe or a folding saw to augment it. Starting out as a youngster I fell into the Bowie knife trap like many, and I still have a couple. Of note is the Cold Steel Trailmaster that I picked up after using a buddy's on an outing when I discovered that it was a highly underrated chopper. It goes mostly unused sorry to say.

    A memorable trip a few years back had us camping in the Gila of NM during monsoon season and all the wood was saturated. The axe would thunk/skwoosh into logs and get stuck, and batoning would've been a dangerous/slippery proposition. The folding saw saved the day(s), as we were able to seek out the rare dry stuff more efficiently to stay warm and fed. I've been a saw fan ever since.
     
  42. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Scout

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    Never had a need for it. All mammals come apart the same way in the joints. I've never needed to baton for a shelter and never broken a knife carving. What weapons are you making in the woods that require batoning ? I'm curious, I always have a firearm for a weapon . I haven't chopped wood on any of my outings, it seems a waste of time and energy for the most part. Abundance of firewood is one of the things I consider when picking a campsite. Cutting wood is done with a saw, chopping is done with an axe or machete for the most part. Maybe I'm missing out on something .
     
  43. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom I'm not lost, I've just misplaced myself. Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I'll occasionally baton to make certain notches, usually pot hangers. Not usually necessary if you're using green wood but it can certainly come in handy when you are working with seasoned hardwoods. Everybody has their own style and their own way of doing things. I baton quite a bit. I also buy knives that are designed with that kind of use in mind.
     
  44. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    To baton or not to baton, that is the question?
    This issue has been cussed and discussed for over a decade on this forum alone. Search is your friend. Hopefully this thread was not intended as a trolling stir up the mob thing, but it does seem that way.
    Simple answer though. Batons are wood, the material being worked is wood (assuming intelligent user). Wood impacting steel has a very low probability of causing damage. It is usually TWISTING or transverse force that causes problems. So, if you have a well made knife, and do not try to baton through knots or twisted grain you are okay. Baton bricks or rebar, you are not okay. Hike your own hike, let others hike theirs.
    JMO/YMMV
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  45. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sorry, I was just fooling around, that blade is just an old saw blade sharpened up and peened into a discarded axe handle. No idea on the Rockwell but holds an OK edge and takes a lot of abuse. It was in an 'S' shape during some batoning instances. But even this cobbled together knife can tolerate fairly rigorous batoning without any issue.
     
  46. Hillbilly stalker

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    I sure didn't think I was trolling .Wasnt my intention. Just voicing an opinion and facts that are evidentially objected too. I'll keep my comments to myself. I've always valued others opinions and ways of looking at things.
     
  47. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    And THAT is a knife that will do anything that needs to be done. :)
     
  48. Oreal

    Oreal Tracker

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    thanks a lot for the answer. Which method is higher impacting. bton or copping ?
     
  49. Nick Dundua

    Nick Dundua Scout

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    I've done with my Mora HD so much I can't even name what I have not done, from batoning to fileting a fish to shavng beard to skinning a moose, I am against batoning as I am a big axe nut , by big I mean I have axe next to my bed at home and never go in woods without one , not because I cant but because won't , I baton maximum two finger width wood when making kindling , thats it sometimes even that I do with an axe, every tool has its use and just because it can doesnt mean it should , even in survival the last thing I wan't to do is damage or brake the most valuable tool, I have made fire in the woods even in rain which was a week making everythng soak but I still found dry wood, dry pine branches , maybe if you're in somekng of situation where you either start a fire or die and your making a bow drill set and really need that extra dry pieces maybe then baton , maybe.....
     
  50. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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    How about batoning your hatchet?
    6424FBF5-C970-43DC-8DA9-B68B288A9806.jpeg D2A96475-68E5-4BA1-B71F-FD223E5DE345.jpeg
     
    Tdr, MrFixIt, buckfynn and 18 others like this.

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