Small Knife with a BIG Handle?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by oddjob35, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    I am working on refining one of my "Trios" of tools at the moment and am looking for suggestions for a small knife with a big handle.

    The current Trio I am working on is a saw (folder or Boreal 21) with a 10" My Parang and a small fixed blade. I have tried using a larger fixed blade in this set up and find it is almost redundant with the parang. I have tried a folder and although its OKish I miss having a fixed blade available either on my hip or I am thinking maybe as a neck knife.

    To this end I am looking for a necker (convertible to belt carry, just in case I find I don't like neck carry). Probably in the 2-3inch blade length, BUT with at least a 4 inch handle. I have tried various smaller knives (some of them favorites here) like the Izula but they just don't feel right or work well in my huge paws!! The little tiny ones with like 2 finger choils for a handle are absolutely useless to me as I just cannot seem to get a grip on them at all (that's with bare hands and with gloves on makes it worse!). To give you an idea of the size handle I like, I find the Mora HD handle is just about right, no smaller really, and my go to belt knives are the TOPS BoB or KoA Bush Camp.

    I am thinking it should have a "good" steel or possibly SS blade as it is likely to do kitchen chores and small fine woodwork like notches and feather sticks. Budget would be up to about $150, but would prefer to spend a lot less if possible LOL.

    Any suggestions meeting these criteria would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

    OJ
     
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  2. Midwest.Bushlore

    Midwest.Bushlore Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Have you looked at the ESEE Izula II? It's enough larger than the Izula to make a big difference, especially with the TKC scales. That sounds like exactly what you're describing.
     
  3. highlander

    highlander Veni Vidi comedit lardum Supporter

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    Mora Eldris. I have baseball mitts for hands too. It seems to fit me well.
    About $27-$30 depending where you get one.
    The Enzo Elver has a 3 1/4” blade and 4” handle and comes in 12c27 steel.
    $78
    There are a few other Enzo Knives that may fit your budget. They use O1, D2, 12c27, 3V, and Elmax. Price generally goes up with the steel choice.
    I’m sure some of the forum makers could make you one that fits that description for your price.
     
  4. schapm

    schapm Fidei Defensor. LB #42 Supporter

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    @rwfred MOK would be good in this role.
     
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  5. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

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    What I'm hearing is you want an "Otzi" type. There might be blade blanks made just for this but I would poke one or two of the guys here and see who would be interested in your idea. :)
     
  6. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor Supporter

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    Alot of us vendors can hook ya up with just what your wanting, some really cheap some really not cheap just depends on what ya wanna spend.
     
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  7. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    IMG_2565.JPG LT WRIGHT BOAT TAIL SCANDI
    LTW-VS2BTS-DCM-RBLM-BP_alt3.jpg
    Blade steel: A2.
    Blade length: 3 3/8".
    Overall length: 8.0" .
    Blade thickness: 1/8" .
    Knife weight: 5.8 ozs.
    Scale material: Red & Black Linen Micarta.
    Black Micarta Pins.
    You can wear it as a neck knife but I added a dangler to wear it on my on my right side.
    Dominick..........
     
  8. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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  9. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    The biggest handled knives I have around :D

    DSCN1808[1].jpg

    (Home-made basketry knives...the long handle is actually to help you hold the blade steady in a chest-lever grip when paring weaving strips down to proper thickness. The bottom version makes a decent little chopper/machete, too.)
     
  10. rmorgan736

    rmorgan736 Scout

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    turn the handle around on the eldris and slip it into the sheath makes a nice big handle that way............
     
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  11. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sounds like you just need to look at traditional puukkos and sloids.
     
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  12. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    I might be on the wrong track with this, but look at Cummings Bladeworks' Trailmaster. It has a 4" handle, 3.5" blade, and is made of AEB-L stainless steel. You can pick them up for about $150 with micarta or G10 handles. The blade might be a little bigger than what you're looking for, but what you were saying made me think of it. The Knife Connection has some in stock currently I believe, based on an email yesterday.
     
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  13. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    That is 2 for the Eldris and an intriguing way to make the handle seem bigger! I will certainly go check that one out on my next trip to a blade store.

    Thank you for the tip guys.

    Hahahahahaha!! Now you are extracting the urine LOL Even my paws ain't THAT big LMAO. Can just imagine one of those hanging around my neck!!!

    Two (@freebirdfb and @schapm) for R W Fred which I must say are very pretty knives, so will look into those as well, thanks.

    @DomC & @GoKartz Interesting suggestions thank you gentlemen, but overall I feel they may be a little too much blade for what I am thinking.

    I did try the IzulaII, but without the scales. Didn't like it bare but will see if I can try one with the scales. Thanks.

    @08H3 I must admit I have only been looking at production models so far and had not really considered custom, but now that you have stirred that thought, I may well consider designing something and see what can be done. Thanks for your input Sir.

    Appreciate the input so far gents.

    OJ
     
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  14. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor Supporter

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    If you come up with a design and want a price hit me up. From just a blank to full blown finished knife we can make it happen.
     
  15. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Bushcraft Friend

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    The LT Wright Next Gen has a large /thick handle for such a short blade. It's a stout piece of kit.
     
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  16. Urban Whittling

    Urban Whittling Scout

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    Mora Eldris
    Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter
    Izula 2 with updated scales
    LTWK Next Gen
    LTWK Kamrat
    Bark River UL Bushcrafter
     
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  17. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Well there are two now for the LTWK Next Gen. Thanks both @american & @Urban Whittling. Again this may be a little too much blade though, but I will try to get a look at one.

    Just to give a little more idea as to my line of thought on this there are 2 already on my list of those I would love to hold before buying. One is the Spyderco Enuff, the other is the White River Backpacker. You can see them here …. https://www.smkw.com/spyderco-enuff-fixed-blade-leaf-blade …. and here …. https://www.whiteriverknives.com/co...ducts/m1-backpacker-pro?variant=7926297296924 I am now adding the Eldris to have a feel and the Izula II with scales.

    But if anyone else can offer something along the same lines, please feel free to add them to the list. Thanks to all who have responded so far.

    OJ
     
  18. woodsmanjohn

    woodsmanjohn Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    What about an Esee JG3 I have one it is a great blade.
    The Mora Eldris is a great knife I use it quite a bit.
    You could get a mora blank and add your on handle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  19. BushcrafterAU

    BushcrafterAU Master Tracker Supporter

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    I’m also looking for a similar type of knife.
    I’m not saying I’d buy it (limited money), but what sort of price would a small knife blank similar to the Morakniv Eldris cost but with better steel (VG-10, S30V, 154CM) and a full length rat-tail tang or even maybe full tang?
     
  20. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    20180711_101222.jpg
    Middle one is a lauri blade @Runesland handled. Just about ideal.

    More handle than the eskabar or the enzo.
     
  21. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Guide

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    I need a handle at least 4 1/2 inches on a working knife. I wind up having them made to order.
     
  22. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    I understand that sentiment now! I have said a 4in handle minimum as it is a bit of a squeeze for me, but would still be manageable as a neck knife with the short blade. I intend to try out those on my list as best I can first as they may give me a better feel of what I need/want. If none are suitable, then I can see about designing what I need and getting that produced by one of the guys on this forum.

    @nograveconcern That Lauri blade looks great and a good idea for a way forward too. Though I may think about a less traditional handle and have something a little flatter so that it is not as bulky hanging from the neck. But certainly food for thought.

    Once more, thank you for the responses.

    All the best. OJ
     
  23. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yeah, if you are looking for it to lay flat under a shirt then it may be a no go.

    With less than 3" of blade though, i start to really question the need vs weight-cost of a fully exposed tang style necker.

    You could have someone do you a tapered tang and it might not feel too too clunky I suppose.

    Things to ponder.
     
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  24. Urban Whittling

    Urban Whittling Scout

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    Since you are into a larger handled knife, I wanted to mention:

    Mora Craftline Pro with a 3.5" blade
    Mora Allaround (711) my favorite handle and you can grind down the blade to your desired length.
    Surviveknives 3.5

    For what it's worth, I find that a small chore knife benefits from having a 3.25-3.75 blade length. Less than that and I feel I use the knife for quick cutting or real fine/detailed work only. I do not like extended cutting or carving with a tiny knife. The NextGen, SK 3.5, and UL Bushcrafter can do everything I would ask a Genesis, SK 4.1, or Bushcrafter to do. Since this is going to be your only knife I thought that should be considered.
     
  25. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor Supporter

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    Alot of factors there, I cant post $ openly cause it would be considered advertising in the open forum and that's a no no
     
  26. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    IMO those steels trade ultimate edge sharpness and fine grind angle for wear resistance. "Better" depends on what you are after.

    I also don't see a need for a full tang there. The blade is too short to put much leverage on. 'Course it doesn't hurt if you don't mind the weight around your neck.

    For me, the eldris blade was too tall and not pointy enough. Great handle shape though and a nice light package. Might be a fun mod project. :33:
     
  27. Angus McGunnigl

    Angus McGunnigl Guide

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    Sounds like the time for a shortened and reground old hickory
     
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  28. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Enter the Handyknife!
    IMG_20180107_101643.jpg
     
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  29. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yep. Or a @MrFixIt sawblade otzi. I've seen scissor blades repurposed to carving knives too. Make it sharp and stick a handle on the end. :dblthumb:
     
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  30. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the mention!
    :)
     
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  31. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Now that has the creative juices flowing … certainly in terms of proportion of blade to handle! Now if only I had the skills …. and the blade was stainless …. and!!

    Not really demanding am I?? But that is now why I am considering having one made to my specs/design so that it avoids the old buy and have to get rid of something that doesn't quite do it for me. So back to reviewing specs, making notes and trying to arrange a "feel" of those on the shortlist to help refine my requirements. If I am going to get something made, I want to give the builder as much detail (and help I hope) as possible, so that neither of us is disappointed.

    OJ.
     
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  32. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    85CD47B2-F49F-408D-B4B4-88DACC1AF191.jpeg

    I’ve been thinking of trying a trio built around the Mora 120 wood carving knife. The blade is the same thickness as the larger Moras, which makes that little blade really stout. It’s a treat to work with.

    I bet I could get along quite well with the Mora 120, a GB small hatchet, and a Vic Huntsman.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  33. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Another great idea, thinking out of the box a bit! The 120 or 122 may well be worth a look. I agree with your assessment of the toughness/stoutness of the short carving blades and they do seem to work above their weight.

    I do like the wharncliff/sheep's foot blade shape as it leaves a single straight edge for use against a food prep board etc. and I was considering that style if/when designing my own! Also with the low prices on the Moras I would not be so upset to buy and try, then if it didn't work as a neck knife it could go straight into the carving kit. Hiding the Bushcraft spending as carving spending with SWMBO too! LOL

    Thanks for the idea @BradGad OJ.
     
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  34. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Good deal. :)

    That sheath that everyone rags on is great as a neck sheath. Those holes with slots running down from them — which of course were designed to go on a button — can be clipped onto one of the upper buttons on your shirt, so the knife doesn’t bounce around on your chest or dangle forward when you do something like lean forward to work on a fire.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  35. BushcrafterAU

    BushcrafterAU Master Tracker Supporter

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    No problems. I hadn’t thought of that!
     
  36. Runesland

    Runesland Tool Maker

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    My old Lauri handling days...... on so last summer Taught me so much.
     
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  37. Dubhelix

    Dubhelix Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Roselli Grandfathers knife.

    Roselli Carpenter

    Mora Basic Carver

    The esee RB3 has a 3” blade and full size handle, but is kinda heavy. Still my favorite.
     
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  38. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Thank you for those suggestions @Dubhelix . That Roselli Carpenter looks interesting, saw it on the Ragweed forge site. The mora basic carver may be an option too.

    Certainly the small carving knives seems a good way to get that small blade and good sized handle. Being carving knives I am sure they will stand up to things like making feathers and notches, so shouldn't have trouble with a bit of food prep and paracord/bank line cutting either.

    Thank you everyone for your time and input. I am now going to be doing some more research and try getting my paws wrapped around some of these knives to check the feel.

    Regards, OJ

    PS. I MAY even let you know what I finally go with … or Not!! LOL
     
  39. Top Gibson

    Top Gibson Scout

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    kamratcompanion.jpg A Lagom bush knife or kamrat companion knife might fit your needs.....
     
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  40. mtngoat

    mtngoat Supporter Supporter

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    I’m sort of partial to the Esee CR2.5
    C2D2A497-AEE1-4231-90F8-47CB4E828167.jpeg
     
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  41. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    @oddjob35

    Hey OJ, did you settle on something?

    I just became aware of this little guy last night on another thread.

    https://agrussell.com/knife/A-G-Russell-Woodswalker--AGPRS#

    OK, maybe that’s not a big handle, but it looks sweet, and I was really surprised by the price... $34 after shipping.

    Russell knives were kinda legendary back in the day. I’m tickled that he’s still producing and the prices are so sane. (The knife is made in Japan but I still consider it a Russell knife.)

    I’m gettin’ one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  42. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Hey @BradGad

    The short answer is Yes I think I have settled on something! Long answer below /[Suspense ON]

    So the story so far ….

    After a LOT more looking on the web and drooling on the keyboard, I was wandering around in my local Cabela's, as you do, having seen that they had a Mora Eldris on their website. Asked a nearby "sales person" where I would find them and was told they had nothing like that in the store and it must only be available from the website. So I carried on browsing and lo and behold there on an end rack were about 5 Mora Eldris all hanging there in their sealed plastic bubbles!!! So I approached another sales person and asked if they had one already open, or if I would be allowed to open one for a feel! Of course, no there wasn't an open one available and no I could not open one anyway. So having had as good a look as I could, I decided to go ahead and buy to try for under $30, with an ulterior motive in mind if it did not suit me.

    So first off, I have got to say that I am really impressed with the Edris. For a sub-$30 knife I think it is excellent and like all Moras I have used, it performs way above its price point.
    I tried using it as it came out of the plastic bubble and found that I had a reasonable 3-fingered grip on the handle with my little pinky wrapped under the butt of the handle. This was a fairly secure grip due to the bulbous nature of the handle, but I found after prolonged use that my pinky and hand were starting to cramp because of the unusual position I was keeping them in.

    I then tried the suggestion from @rmorgan736 and reversed the knife handle into the sheath. This was really quite effective and surprised me at how well it worked. For all normal slicing and dicing type operations I found this a really good way to make the knife more useable. The main problem I had with this method was when cutting some notches into a rather tough old stick and rocking the knife back and forth, I felt the handle beginning to separate from the sheath and got a bit worried about the whole lot coming apart and me ending up grabbing the sharp bit!! Another slight issue was that I could not put a lanyard on the knife, to aid getting it out of the sheath, as I couldn't then get the handle to seat properly back in the sheath when reversed.

    I also tried a skinning type grip, with my pointer finger along the top of the blade, middle finger and thumb pinched at the blade end of the handle and last 2 fingers wrapped at the butt end of the handle. Again this worked reasonably well for a number of jobs like food prep and cutting rope, not so well for carving/feather stick making, but I did end up with a couple of small punctures in my pointer finger where it had moved forward just enough to catch on the very sharp tip of the blade. I think the just on 2" blade is a fraction short for me to use it in this manner.

    So it looks like the grandson will be getting his first fixed blade (see, I said there was an ulterior motive!) to go with his Opinel Kid's folder with the rounded tip (no point).

    So what did I go for? Well, after waiting for pay day last Friday I finally put in an order to one of our own @andy.t yesterday and am now impatiently waiting for my package to turn up!

    /[Suspense OFF]

    I have ordered a White River Knives Backpacker with the additional handle scales. See it here …. https://5col.com/products/5col-back...ath-and-belt-plate-white-river-knife-and-tool

    I ordered the G10 scales as well because I am not too keen on the idea of having "stuff" soaking into a paracord wrapped handle on a knife that I am going to use for food prep and not being able to easily wash it off. Especially if I used it to gut and skin the food first (or worse, a previous outing where blood may have soaked into the cord and festered a bit!!), think smelly fish scales jammed into the wrap, but then that may just be me LOL.

    So there you have it. Just waiting for it to turn up so that I can start testing it and if this doesn't work out for me in the long run I may have to get on the drawing board and have one made to my design after all. Thinking about it, I may do that anyway. Sounds like a good reason for another knife purchase to me!! LMAO

    Hope someone finds this useful.

    OJ
     
  43. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    I think you made a good choice, and hope you'll love the knife. It's on the way to you by Priority Mail, so shouldn't take long to get there.

    Good choice with the scales, by the way. It took a long time for White River to make those available, but I think they're pretty ideal. That frees the included cordage up for lanyards, neck carry, etc.
     
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  44. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    5col.com is a pretty cool site with stuff that’s hard to find elsewhere, like mil-spec 1A parachute/accessory cord and heirloom quality sailmakers’ needles. I have some of that cord (second batch) in my shopping cart and have bought sailmaker needles from there.

    Another lesser known site that has some cool hard-to-find items is bestglide.com.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  45. tarzan

    tarzan Supporter Supporter

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    Glad you found something, still would,like to hear your thoughts on the ESEE cr2…5 and the JG3. 1095 steel instead of stainless, so was wondering if that discouraged you from looking at it. Just curious. Enjoy the White River and pics are always welcomed.
     
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  46. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Guide

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    A second vote for the Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter.

    Also both Mora carvers.
     
  47. Gecco304

    Gecco304 Scout

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    image.jpeg

    MOK!
     
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  48. Torrin

    Torrin Pan Supporter

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    Been curious about this one for awhile.
    Silver Stag Squirrel 2.0
    2" D2
    5" stag
     
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  49. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Hey Tarzan, I gotta say that the Esee tools did look quite interesting and that they did have my minimum 4" handle. There was no single major thing that said "NOT THIS ONE" and the same has got to be said about a lot of the knives that were suggested above. After nearly sending myself blind with the web research and the lists I compiled and compared, it started getting down to some of the smaller things and just me being picky!

    I ended up highlighting things that I REALLY wanted if I could get it in the right size/shape/feel and going back to my list of wants mostly mentioned in the first post here.

    So for the Esee knives one of the major off puts was the sheath, to be honest, it is not a nekker sheath convertible to a belt attach in case I am not keen on long term neck carry! Yes, the fact that they were "only" 1095 and not stainless did have a bit of bearing on the decision to drop them from the list as well.

    There were a variety of reasons that others were dropped from the list and they could all be called minor, or picky, or personal preference, or just me being me! LOL For example:-
    1) Coated blades are not my favorite at all. Yes I know they can be stripped, but a suitable alternative without coating was there.
    2) The shape/size/material for the sheath, especially if it is going to be hanging around my neck.
    3) The handle material as I explained in my reasons for buying the add on scales for the White River Backpacker.
    4) Having tried the Eldris with quite a bulbous handle, I realized that I would prefer something with a flatish handle for neck hanging. This is what took out the majority of the carving type knives suggested above.
    5) Price was also a component. There was one knife I certainly drooled over (even though it had a leather belt sheath) but it was right at the top of my price range and then I would have had to get someone to make a kydex sheath on top of that, so it was dropped (it was this one BTW … https://www.smkw.com/helle-fire-hunting-knife).

    I hope this shows a bit of my thought processes and how I came to pick the knife I did.

    OJ

    ETA Another very close runner was this one …. https://www.smkw.com/spyderco-enuff-fixed-blade-leaf-blade and I think it almost came down to just plain old aesthetics being the deciding factor!
     
  50. tarzan

    tarzan Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks, nice to hear the reasons behind your decision, very interesting. I hope you enjoy the one, and pics always welcome...if you have time.
     

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