Not a Fan of Big Blades?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Watcher of the Woods, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Anyone else find that they're not really a fan of big blades? Most of my tasks are able to be completed by a 2-4 inch blade. I bought a fiddleback duke recently and last night I used it quite a bit. Worked great to baton wood and chop, but when it came to carving, my kephart KICKS IT'S BUTT. Thinking I might just stick to the trio of kephart, axe, and saw. Anyone else out there think like this too?
     
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  2. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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  3. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Kabar USN MK1 is my favorite. Been using one for 50 years. Yes I have others and bigger ones, but it serves me well. I now have two I like them so well. joe
     
  4. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Agreed. I'll stick with the dub trio... Knife, Saw, Shovel.
     
  5. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

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    I am not a user of bigger blades. My knife i use for the majority of my daily and camping and hunting needs has a 3 3/4 inch blade and a handle of a little over 4 inches.

    For camping i carry an axe for splitting and when wandering the woods I carry a small saw and do not need to baton any wood over 2 1/2 inches in diameter to start a roaring fire.
     
  6. southron

    southron Guide

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    I tend to have a SAK and a old hickory 7" butcher knife when I"m out and about.

    Often my BK 17 also.

    But I do have some nice larger blades and am esp. fond of my Bill Bagwell 13" bowie, and several machetes I use for various things.

    Also of course BK 9 and a few others.

    I do have some smaller carving / whittling knives.

    I find that while I can do much with little I really like the perfect tool for the give job.
     
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  7. scottman

    scottman Guide

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  8. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm a fan of big blades, but for no good reason. I certainly don't need them, and I rarely use them, but I have to confess that I really, really like them.
    I'm a large child, living in my own world where reason and logic rarely come into play.
     
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  9. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    They're totally useless. ;)
     
  10. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Bwahahaha!
    I like my kukri and machete. They are useful tools in my AO.
    HYOH!
     
  11. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Big blades have their place. It's up to you & you alone, to decide if you need one or not. HYOH.;):dblthumb:
    Dominick........
     
  12. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    nailed it!
     
  13. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    if all you want to do is carve, then yeah. but bushcraft is not limited to carving.

    I don't see any pretty curls here but this falls in line with my idea of bushcraft -

     
  14. Pinebaron

    Pinebaron Curmudgeon Supporter

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    I am not a fan of big blades either. I have had some and sold them. My biggest sheath knife now is a 6" Randall Model 1 that I carried in the Army but that had a different purpose. Most of my sheath knives are in the 1-5 inch range. I have a TB Tracker, but I never use it. I also don't like thick knives either. I am pretty handy with a hatchet so I prefer it over a large knife. I would even go so far as to say a hatchet and a lock back knife would suit me well. I have carried a SAK OH Trekker and I have just reacquainted myself with a Buck Folding Hunter. Dang, now I am thinking about hatchets again.
     
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  15. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Agreed. Plus, pretty curls are easier with a big knife.

     
  16. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

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    image.jpeg

    Nah, I never use big honkin Godzilla gutters to actually cut anything. :D

    (Sorry guys, I know I've used the pic before but the creeper eyes makes me smile every time.)
     
  17. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like my little knife (Fiddleback Forge Hiking Buddy).
    That being said I have been limited to one knife at times and for a one knife challenge I always go with a big knife.
    It's kind of awkward for a lot of things but I can get the job done with it (Condor Primitive Bush Knife). But for those things you NEED a big knife for and you lack a hatchet it is invaluable.
    Most things=small knife.
    Most other things including the small knife stuff=big knife.
    Druther have both.
     
  18. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    About as big as I go is a BK2. I have several and really like them but find myself carrying them less frequently anymore. This trio has been getting a lot of use lately. Technically the 8" Gerber hatchet could be considered a big blade. The three of them can accomplish pretty much anything I need to do.

    Kelton Christmas & Bushclass Mentor 084.JPG
     
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  19. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    The "creeper eyes" made me smile too! :dblthumb::D
     
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  20. Elwha

    Elwha Supporter Supporter

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    I've got a few but the knives I use the most are all smaller - Mora, small modded butcher knives, small Cold Steel knives like the Pendleton Lite, and several other puukko style knives. I am a backpacker and don't like having a heavy, large knife hanging from my belt. That said I do have a few larger blades that I enjoy clobbering things with sometimes. They include the Cold Steel Bushman, several large vintage butcher knives, Condor Varan, etc. Also enjoy my ESEE 6 and Cold Steel SRK. Are those large or small blades? Ha-ha!
     
  21. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Scout

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    I’m sure there are guys (or gals) who could fillet a mayfly with a machette but I’m not one. I grew up using 3”-5” blades and that is my comfort zone. I have an OKC 12” camper machette but haven’t used it in 10 years. Just depends on what your circumstances require of you I guess.
     
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  22. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor

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    I'm a big blade lover for sure, a 6 to 8 inch blade is my favorite size to process deer with and it can handle almost all of my camp chores. But I dont fo a lot of carving so there is that.....
     
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  23. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Largely describes me and big blades, if I'm being honest.

    I have a few "choppers" but never really find them useful unless I set out deliberately to create a situation where they can shine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  24. kamagong

    kamagong Scout

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    +1.
     
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  25. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I guess one needs to define what a large blade is. Everyone’s definition is likely different. I personally don’t think a blade is large until over six to seven inches or so. I don’t consider any of my knives with 5” blades to be big, but others may. If most think 4” or more is big, then I will admit I enjoy using big blades as I have a few now.
     
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  26. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    I like big knives and I cannot lie...:D I have some small (around 3") blades I use just for fine woodcarving, but for most outdoors stuff I like a blade about 8-9". I don't ever carry an axe or hatchet, which may have something to do with my preference.
     
  27. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    4.5" blade is as big as I want, I'm finding I only need a 2.5" blade to get almost any task done.

    Feather sticks
    Meal prep
    Carving

    Add a bahco and occasionally a hatchet and I'm all set.
     
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  28. kamagong

    kamagong Scout

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    Excellent point. I know it's entirely arbitrary, but I've always considered knives with < 4" blades small. 9"+ are large. Everything else is medium.
     
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  29. Zunga

    Zunga Bushmaster

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    I started with a big one and have gradually gotten smaller. I can't say I don't get the urge to buy. When I see a big shiny one. But as far as the most functional tool I prefer smaller. The two below are my new imperial, daily carry and bahco bush knife.
    Cheers Jim

    20180710_112029.jpg
     
  30. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Maybe I mean medium then...

    I just went out and messed aroung more with my duke (5.25" blade). It's good, and it'd be good if I only have a knife and nothing else and needed to survive, but it seems a little unweildy.

    The kephart (3.75"), can't chop at all, but it makes very precise cuts and seems easier to control.

    If I'm going out I always have a silky saw with me, and if it's overnight I have an axe. I guess I just find it rare to need to baton or chop. I guess it depends on intended use.
     
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  31. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    I find I tend to like the bigger blades, till it comes time to carry one. :)
    They are very reassuring in the hand, but in the way on the belt.
    Denis
     
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  32. kamagong

    kamagong Scout

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    Interesting that you point out the Kephart. The original Kephart knife, made by the Colclesser Brothers, was offered with either a 4" or 5" blade. Your Kephart is not historically accurate.
     
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  33. ozwolf

    ozwolf Scout

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    I like big blades.
    I edc a buck 110
    However normally I carry a 4" or less fixed blade camping, fishing, picking ect.
    But if you're going to put me me in an alone situation I'm going big between 8 and 10 inch blade.
     
  34. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic Supporter

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    I'm not a fan of big blades, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful. But... I don't like using them, I don't like sharpening them, and I'd rather carry two tools than a big knife.

    Since most of what I do, I do because I enjoy it, I mostly don't play with big blades. When I do, they're machetes. And I still want to try out a parang eventually. And every time @NWPrimate makes a video... it makes me want to play with them.
     
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  35. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Mmmmm..parangs. Likely my next big blade.
     
  36. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    No big knife fan either, not much use for one up here in the Maine woods. Something the size of a KaBar Navy MK1 is all you need if you don't have a good pocket knife.
     
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  37. badglide9705

    badglide9705 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    You took the words right out of my big mouth!
     
  38. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Bushcraft Friend

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    I like big knives, but I do tend to like small knives better. I like about 3.5'' to 5'' blades for a main knife.
     
  39. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    I've been moving in this direction as well. I also have no need to travel particularly light or with minimal tools, so it's comfortable for me to bring the trio.
     
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  40. flip888

    flip888 Tracker

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    I use to like big knives a lot for the coolness factor. And it was fun to chop down small trees and stuff when I was clearing my dad's land and things like that. But for actual use I like the 3-4" blades with a 4-5" handle. The handle is actually more important to me than the blade length though, practically speaking. I have big hands.

    Anything I would want a blade longer than 4" for, I'd use a hatchet or machete.
     
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  41. buckfynn

    buckfynn Old Geezer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I am of fan of big knives, just don't have much use for them. My most used knives are 3 to 4 inches in length and 1/8 inch at the spine give or take a bit either way.
     
  42. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    hahahaha...
     
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  43. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    a machete is a big knife...
     
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  44. flip888

    flip888 Tracker

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    There's a big difference between a knife and a machete in my opinion.
     
  45. buckfynn

    buckfynn Old Geezer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    So just curious, where do you draw the line between a machete and a big knife?
     
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  46. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    I like all blades but I find myself always going with something 5in or less .

    I never know what to do with a big blade ,outside of work, that I wouldn't be more comfortable doing with a hatchet or short axe.

    I've really grown on the Mora Camp Axe .It reminds me of a Ulu on a stick .

    Stout enough to chop wood .Fine enough for cutting food (meat & veggy) and its light ! 18oz .
     
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  47. flip888

    flip888 Tracker

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    I understand it's a grey line between the two and people's definitions can vary.

    Anythin I'd use for knife tasks is a knife to me. Anything I'd use for machete tasks is a mechete.

    I personally wouldn't use a typical hardware store machete to cut up an apple for lunch or clean a trout out on the lake.
    And I wouldn't use a 4" knife to clear an acre of undergrowth out in my yard.
     
  48. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Little knives have their place ,
    in my pocket.
    I like small knives too , but their function is pretty much consigned to more precision work , from intricate carving to surgery or stripping wire . and if your doing "that stuff "it is the tool of the hour. so is the person wheedling it.
    Coming from a big dumb frontiersman that kind of need doesn't come up very often, at lest for me.
    so yes I have a few ,only about 2 dozen or so . I try not to wear them out.
    My pocket knife comes out of hiding 3-4 time a day. My big knife comes out purposefully dealing with brush and limbs and slashing trash .
    A new one I just got on a whim is a Camillus titanium.
    I naturally modified it to fit my own agenda . for 25 bucks it's worth the experiment to see how it stands up .
    It's a big blade mostly for processing brush and chopping stuff up , so far so good . Haven't had the nerve to baton with it yet , seems to be a pretty stiff blade about a foot long originally 5/32" thick. takes a while to get an edge and it seems to hold so far .
    I have a few other big knives I like to use , but it's fun to see what's new. especially if it's cheap and I'm feeling creative .
     
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  49. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Scout

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    The largest knife I use has a 7 inch blade.
     
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  50. backwoodstrails

    backwoodstrails anatidaephobic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like big blades, however, I tend to use smaller blades more often. The only problem with the smaller blades is they tend to have smaller handles making them uncomfortable to use.
    Small, thinner blades with larger handles are a pleasure to use. Some examples are the Mora 711, Mora Kansbol, BCNW-O1 and the new Kamrat from Bens Backwoods.
     
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