Full Tang vs Full Grip Handle

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by j0lee, Nov 8, 2018.

?

Full Tang or Full Grip?

  1. Full Tang

    6 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Full Grip

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. j0lee

    j0lee Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    16
    If you are out in a temperate forest for several weeks and want to bring a knife (3.75" to 4.25" blade) that can handle some bushcraft tasks, while being capable of survival tasks if need be, and weight is the limiting factor (under 4.5 oz), what's more important, having a full tang or a full grip handle?

    For example, would you go for something like a full gripped Mora Companion or a full tang thin knife like the Bark River Highland Special, or Fiddleback Ladyfinger? Without getting caught up in those specific models or brands, which factor is more important to you and why?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    buckfynn, Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  2. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,903
    Likes Received:
    8,728
    Location:
    New England
    You mean hidden tang or full tang? I mean there are hidden tang blades that are basically almost full tang. I'd go with that imo.
     
    Ragman, Lichen, buckfynn and 4 others like this.
  3. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    8,155
    Likes Received:
    50,033
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    Look at the puukko and how it is used if you are wondering about durability. joe
     
    Lichen, backlasher, JasonJ and 3 others like this.
  4. woodsranger

    woodsranger Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Location:
    Michigan
    Full grip handle. Mora Bushcraft and Mora robust are not full tang, yet you never hear of them breaking because of it.
     
    backlasher, JasonJ, buckfynn and 2 others like this.
  5. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    4,733
    Likes Received:
    22,531
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Full grip for me.
     
  6. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Hobbyist Hobbyist Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Location:
    N of ATL
    Full grip. A puukko would serve me fine.

    Though full tang can be light and full grip. It might not be cheap. ;)
     
  7. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    8,270
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    ^What those two said.
     
    JasonJ, buckfynn and central joe like this.
  8. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    2,846
    Full grip. Given the conditions stated and known or predicted weather, comfort in use would win.
    I haven't experienced any failure in my Mora Companion despite some rather brutal use. :)
     
  9. j0lee

    j0lee Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    16
    What full tang knives are there that have a full grip and are under 4.5 oz? I'd imagine there might be a couple, but definitely hard to find.
     
    JasonJ, buckfynn and central joe like this.
  10. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    2,846
    Green River/ Dexter Hunter. Just looked it up. I need one of those.
     
  11. Derzis

    Derzis Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    806
    Location:
    Canada
    What are those “survival tasks”?
    For bushcraft full grip is enough but for “survival” I want full tang no matter what that means. Grohmann #3 fits the description - is full tang, around 4” blade and 4 oz (just knife).
    My single question is why I waited so long to get it ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    central joe and JasonJ like this.
  12. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,622
    Likes Received:
    5,529
    Location:
    North San Diego county
    I’m confused.

    What do you mean by full grip?

    It sounded like you meant a hidden tang knife like a puukko at first, then you used it here in conjunction with full tang.

    So what do you mean by full grip?
     
    Lichen, central joe and JasonJ like this.
  13. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    7,013
    Location:
    Bay City, MI
    The premise is over thought... Don't need to reinvent the wheel here...

    What have people been using in temperate forests, areas like the Boreal forest for the last two centuries or longer?

    Canadian frontiersmen? Scandinavian people's?

    Hidden tang, full handles that wrap around. Full tang is fine... Would certainly work. Just not needed.

    Plus the lack of exposed tang metal will be appreciated when it's winter time, even in a temperate zone.
     
    WILL, tramp_trade and central joe like this.
  14. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Hobbyist Hobbyist Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Location:
    N of ATL
    My point was that you might have to go custom.

    I'm not going to searching near and far for a list, but here's one that I made from and old hickory.
    [​IMG]

    3.0 oz and full length grip on my XXL canned hams. If you wanted a more hand filling grip you could use wood instead of micarta and still keep the weight down.
    [​IMG]

    You can make one too. I detailed the build here:
    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/some-old-hickory-mods.162498/#post-2871174
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  15. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,703
    Likes Received:
    9,590
    Location:
    Québec
    here is a file knife i made with a japanese tang. it scores at 2.3 oz.

    this is a very hard slicer blade, but with a convex and a quick retemper, i would not hesitate to baton this kind of knife. and if it ever breaks (cause nothing is undestructible) i could still use it ligtly without a handle, or make an other rough one in the field. no glue assembly makes this easyer. IMG_20181010_174317175.jpg IMG_20181010_174605222.jpg
     
  16. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Hobbyist Hobbyist Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Location:
    N of ATL
    Is that flame pattern and spalt @Guillaume Longval , or is that something you added with a burner? Looks very nice.
     
  17. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,703
    Likes Received:
    9,590
    Location:
    Québec
    thanks!:)
    its curly maple. i sculpted grooves on the back, the home made finish pruduct got intentionally stuck in it making them black. the finish is roughly 75% colophan, 25% cooked birch tar, plus a pinch of mineral oil (maybe 5%ish added on top). i could have cut it with turpentine to make it liquid, but i just applied it hot and evened out with a heat gun/rag.

    edit: the home made milkweed cordage of the wrap is glued with the same mixture. its basically pinepitch glue with a twist (and some flex)
     
  18. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    2,475
    Location:
    BC West Coast
    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer for this. It really comes down to the user's style. Some are well suited for a well-built stick tang, and others are better suited for a full, broad tang.

    There is no arguing the strength advantage of a full, broad tang, but there is also no denying that a well built stick tang in the hands of a skilled user can get just as much work done.

    I think ultimately it comes down to user skill and personal preference.

    Just my humble .02
     
    MountainWanderer, JasonJ and buckfynn like this.
  19. WILL

    WILL Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    5,827
    Location:
    Florida
    Which factor is more important to me and why?

    Listen, if I'm headed into the forest for weeks and think a survival situation is possible, I'm not even remotely concerned with cutting ounces from my knife.
     
    buckfynn and morganbw like this.
  20. morganbw

    morganbw Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    1,202
    Location:
    East TN
    I like my full tang knives and I like my (not full tang knives), I do not worry about breaking either style.
    I do not worry about the weight and rather enjoy a heavy feeling knife.
     
    buckfynn likes this.
  21. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    2,144
    The problem, always, with these type discussions, is vocabulary, which nobody ever settles upon.

    We have older phrases borrowed from print pubs, such as "full tang", then imprecise internet speak such as "stick tang" which has no exact size or proportion or strength.

    I like to start off discussions by differentiating between fully exposed tangs, and hidden tangs,...

    and then folk can get into details as to what is hiding inside the handle, whether a shallow/skinny tang, the length (where "full tang" formerly meant a full length tang protruding and fastened at pommel end), or one nearly as deep as the handle (Mora Garberg comes to mind) and other details, so everybody understands each other.

    But, only a dream, as the internet fosters invented words and acronyms like wildfire, where nobody speaks the same language, even in the same language.

    To the original post, a fully exposed tang for most abusive and stressful work, and wear gloves in cold enough weather the tang might stick. And keep knife on inside of clothing layers. Otherwise, a nicely radiused shoulder and stout hidden tang, whether full length or not, can accomplish most all chores, and with greater comfort/materials/shaping in the handle end of things..
     
  22. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    3,226
    Location:
    NW Montana
    You can have both full handle and full tang and fall under 4.5oz with the specified blade length. It just takes a knife around 0.100 in thickness at the spine.

    20181109_130952.jpg 20181109_131752.jpg
     
    buckfynn likes this.
  23. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    3,226
    Location:
    NW Montana
  24. MountainWanderer

    MountainWanderer Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Pacific NW USA
    I own full, partial, and stick tang knives. Some are of the opinion that a ‘survival knife’ should have a full tang. So it can be used for prying ? In what way is prying important for outdoor survival ? Couldn’t you make a lever from a strong long tree branch ? Afterall, the Egyptians built the pyramids with simple levers, ramps, and other tools.

    This is a question, not an argument. I myself, have purchased full tang knives for ‘survival use’ because they are ‘stronger ‘. But I have to ask, ‘Does this make any real practical difference? ‘
     
    tramp_trade and buckfynn like this.
  25. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    2,475
    Location:
    BC West Coast
    whoops, forgot the quote ...
     
    buckfynn likes this.
  26. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    2,475
    Location:
    BC West Coast

    I misspoke. I meant to say hidden tang. :44:
     
  27. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    2,475
    Location:
    BC West Coast
    These are my thoughts as well. I tend to use my knives to make tools rather than demand my knife do something it's not really intended to do. But then that's a whole 'nuther can of worms ...
     
    MountainWanderer likes this.
  28. MountainWanderer

    MountainWanderer Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Pacific NW USA
    It also means you can carry less weight which has its own survival benefits.
     
    tramp_trade likes this.
  29. WILL

    WILL Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    5,827
    Location:
    Florida

    I agree. In early March we'll be doing a 5 day back-packing adventure on the AT. We're fairly new to winter camping at high altitudes. We typically bring a SAK & hatchet on most hikes, but that's just because we enjoy working in some bush-crafting, they aren't necessary. For this trip, I have legitimate survival concerns. The trail will be much less populated and weather much more dangerous. It's conceivable we could have to keep a fire running all night or build some sort of shelter to stay alive. This conversation isn't hypothetical for us and pack weight is a factor.

    My choice is a hatchet & SAK. If I couldn't carry a hatchet, it would be a Sven or Boreal 21 saw. My last option would be a full tang fixed blade in the chopper size range. For me it's all about the efficiency of the tool in breaking down arm to leg size wood. I'll eat the weight hit for that kind of peace of mind. I've cut weight ...….elsewhere in my pack. That's what I was getting at in my earlier post. If it's seriously a woods survival tool, weight may not be as much of a limiting factor as this thread boxes one into.
     
    tramp_trade likes this.
  30. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    2,475
    Location:
    BC West Coast
    The SAK / Hatchet combo should serve you well. Sounds like a grand adventure!
     
    WILL likes this.
  31. Mookietherooster

    Mookietherooster Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    307
    I would choose the knife on the bottom. These have been the choice of the Sami people for centuries, and their lives depend on tools that work. IMG_20181111_144952519~2.jpg
     

Share This Page