The best beginners bushcraft knife?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by MattKlepp, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. MattKlepp

    MattKlepp Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    124
    I am new to the bushcraft knife game and was hoping to get some help. What is the best knife to start with and what should I work up to? Is getting a knife with a tool steel blade worth the price?
     
  2. dirt7

    dirt7 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Messages:
    1,338
    Likes Received:
    8,893
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Get a Mora, lots of folks who spend hundreds on custom knives still enjoy using a Mora. Good steel, comfortable design, and an all around nice knife for most tasks.
     
    hotelZulu, Hasco, JasonJ and 28 others like this.
  3. BladeScout

    BladeScout Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    2,341
    Terävä 110.
    Youll get loads of responses saying 'Mora.' Either will do:D
     
    JasonJ, beestokk, BradGad and 17 others like this.
  4. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    3,384
    Likes Received:
    9,653
    You get my load of carbon steel mora companion.
    $16 will buy you about $50 worth of knife. Once you get this bushcraft stuff sorted out and love it then consider a $150 semi custom. Or maybe about 10 more moras.
     
    Hasco, fishiker, JasonJ and 15 others like this.
  5. Enzo

    Enzo Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    8,200
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    My first fixed-blade was a Buck 119. It’s great, and I highly recommend getting one. Very easy steel to sharpen, strong design, and it’s safe for folks unfamiliar to bushcraft activities since it has a front and back guard. The phenolic handle is also really strong, and it’s excellent for cold weather. Also, the 420HC steel is one of the most corrosion-resisitant knife steels available, which is a big plus for anyone who isn’t used to keeping their knives oiled/dry. Doesn’t matter if it’s raining, if you’re on a lake, or even if you leave your knife to soak overnight, it simply won’t rust.

    I’ve put my 119 through very hard use, and it’s never chipped or given out in any way.

    My main fixed-blade nowadays is a Becker Bk2, which I also recommend although it’s not as friendly to beginners. It’s very heavy, and although I find it comfortable and balanced, a lot of people have a hard time getting used to it. It’s also carbon steel and can rust if you don’t oil it. Similar to the Buck 119, it’s easy to sharpen. If you ever feel like you’d like to get a beefy (but higher-maintenance) knife, remember the BK2 as a good option.
     
    FTG-05, FWG, Sandcut and 14 others like this.
  6. MattKlepp

    MattKlepp Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    124
    I own a more bushcraft and really like it but after making a few split wood fires with it the blade has a nick or two in it. just thinking of the future. Thank you.
     
    JasonJ, beestokk, ExAF1N1 and 8 others like this.
  7. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    6,402
    Likes Received:
    16,801
    Location:
    KC Metro
    Mora classic or a basic 4" drop point hunting knife.
     
    FTG-05, Plainsman, backlasher and 8 others like this.
  8. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    12,217
    Likes Received:
    83,545
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    Start with something that feels good to you. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on the first one, just get your skills down with it. I started with a Kabar USN MK l bout 50 years ago, been through many since and always grab that one. It just suits me. There is no wrong answer. joe
     
    aaronu, FTG-05, Sandcut and 17 others like this.
  9. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,086
    Likes Received:
    7,455
    Location:
    KY
    These days my favorite knife is made from an old saw blade. It's not 'full tang' and has no epoxy. I beat the hell out of that knife.

    I mention this because a mora (which is my recommendation) is many times stronger than that knife. You should not be worried about breaking it or outgrowing it. It's literally ideal for a great many tasks associated with bushcraft. It's easy to sharpen and maintain. It's lightweight. Lots of folks with hundreds of days of Bush time still prefer a mora.
     
  10. PVF1

    PVF1 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    850
    Likes Received:
    3,642
    Location:
    Washington
    There are a few excellent "entry level" (I put it in quotes because you could be perfectly happy with any of these knives, to be honest! They are entry level in price, not performance) all around bushcraft knives. Here are some examples:

    - Mora HD Companion
    - Mora Bushcraft
    - Mora Classic (No. 1 or No. 2)
    - Terava Jaakaripukko 110
    - Condor Bushlore

    These will run somewhere between $20 and $65, depending on which knife and what kind of deal you get. If you plan on doing a lot of batoning, it could be better to choose one of the full tang knives (such as the Terava and Condor). That said, I've used a Mora Bushcraft to baton a bunch of times and it has never felt weak or dicey. Also, if you live in a wet or humid environment, the Mora Bushcraft and HD Companion come in stainless versions made from 12c27 -- a respectable Swedish stainless steel. I believe all of the remaining knives on the list are high carbon only.

    Good luck and welcome to the rabbit hole :dblthumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  11. mountainman11b

    mountainman11b Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    801
    Location:
    Mayville, tn
    On the cheap end to get started
    Fixed blade - mora (I’d only look into the wooden handled ones if you have smaller hands)

    Friction folder- svord peasant

    Or the fixed blade knife you already have will work until you figure out your tastes

    Check out bushclass. That’ll help you learn what you prefer. I swapped knives like 8 or 9 times throughout my bushclass time so no need to drop a few hundred bucks on one. These <$15 knives will work just as good as the $100 + knives
     
    FTG-05, marbleman, beestokk and 11 others like this.
  12. batmanacw

    batmanacw Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    5,954
    Likes Received:
    19,219
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    The Mora companion is the easy and obvious choice. You get to learn on something that cost less than a date at McDonald's.
     
    aaronu, FTG-05, JasonJ and 18 others like this.
  13. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    7,331
    Likes Received:
    22,219
    Location:
    Middle of flat lands Oklahoma
    A Mora like you have is the best place to start. It let's you get used to a good knife and learn to sharpen a scandi the right way without trashing a nicer custom knife.

    I went from a Mora Bushcraft black to a Wolf Creek Forge to a Matt Paul Bowie and now make my own brand of knives. The sky, or how deep your pockets are, is the limit.

    Lots of guys, myself included, can put you into a great tool steel custom for $150 ish and up.
     
    Elwha, FTG-05, goon and 18 others like this.
  14. batmanacw

    batmanacw Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    5,954
    Likes Received:
    19,219
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    What will really fry your gizzard is when you realize you can do 95% of all Bushcrafting tasks with a Opinel no 8. It might take you a few years and lots of money spent on knives to find it out for yourself.

    That is not to say that fine knives are not worth it. I really enjoy using some of the beautiful knives I have. Fine knives are not as much about capability but about the simple joy of using something truly excellent.
     
    FWG, Muskett, JasonJ and 18 others like this.
  15. JimG

    JimG Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    Mora, one of the Russell Green River Camp, Classic or Sheath models, OR take a look at the Rapala/Marttiini Classic Birch drop point knives.

    I'm surprised as to how much knife you get for your dollar with the Classic Birch models.
     
    aaronu, FTG-05, backlasher and 9 others like this.
  16. JimG

    JimG Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    Here's a pic of the Rapala/Marttiini drop point.

    drop.JPG
     
    aaronu, GrayGhost, FWG and 12 others like this.
  17. Walking Crow

    Walking Crow Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    1,447
    Location:
    Ohio most of the time
    I would join the cheering section for the Mora Companion or Companion HD, but if you can/want to spend a bit more, one of the vendors here, 5col.com has the Mora Bushcraft Black for $38. This version not only throws amazing sparks from a ferro rod with its 90* spine, mine (and I believe all the BB's) throws impressive sparks from flint/chert/quartz. So good, you don't have to spend $$ for a dedicated steel for flint and steel fire making when you are ready to get into that.
     
    andy.t, aaronu, beestokk and 11 others like this.
  18. fixits

    fixits Noble Savage Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    4,696
    Location:
    Utah
    Can't go wrong with a Mora Companion but my personal recomendation is the Condor Bushlore.

    Beefy but nimble, awesome sheath that's easy to convert to a dangler and holds a good edge. I like a thicker spine on my bushcraft knife.

    Check out Baryonyx Knife Company for the best service.
     
    beestokk, backlasher, Teeps and 8 others like this.
  19. Noddy

    Noddy Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    All of the above, plus look at the Svords - their Thwitel, Kiwi General and Drop Point ... all in 15N20. Also the Roselli Carpenter; which it is a puukko ... but lighter/handier than many (carbon steel or wootz).

    For a bit more look at the Enzo Elver (D2) and/or Trapper (O1).

    I like the look of the current Otter Outdoors knife. It is like a Kephart in 1075. If I was starting again I might start there and, you never know, maybe not move on ... I mean if it was good enough for ole Horace...

    Have fun :)

    (oh, btw .. sheaths tend to be a problem at this end of town. Enzos are passable)
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    goon, backlasher, buckfynn and 6 others like this.
  20. Togus

    Togus Echo of the Loon Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    6,697
    Location:
    Maine
    Mora. I repeat, Mora. Next up, Terava puukko 110. Can have both for less than a hundred clams. Condor Bushlore is a fantastic knife and very budget friendly. No tool steel needed at all.
     
    goon, beestokk, backlasher and 9 others like this.
  21. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    15,699
    Location:
    South Side Mordor
  22. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    15,780
    Likes Received:
    108,865
    Location:
    Under the Blue Nevada Sky
  23. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    15,780
    Likes Received:
    108,865
    Location:
    Under the Blue Nevada Sky
    Or, a Mora Companion, HD in carbon is my preference.
     
  24. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    19,644
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    If I had asked as a young lad "What knife to get?" and I saw all of the responses that said "Buy a Mora!", and I actually bought one as a first knife-


    I'd have tossed that plastic piece of trash into the garbage and moved on to a different hobby or interest!
     
  25. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    4,250
    Likes Received:
    7,331
    Location:
    Southern MA.
    Since I'm not a big fan of Mora Knives I'll just wish you luck in your quest, and back out of here as quietly as possible. :57:
     
  26. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    4,250
    Likes Received:
    7,331
    Location:
    Southern MA.
    You sir are far more daring than I. :dblthumb:
     
  27. Top Gibson

    Top Gibson Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    2,458
    Location:
    South Alabama
    the mora 510 in the center of this picture is a great knife....one that I gave $8.00 for some years back. With a chopper and saw, it will do anything.... DSCN3357.JPG
     
    yohan, goon, beestokk and 10 others like this.
  28. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    13,163
    Likes Received:
    55,044
    Location:
    Kansas
    Mora Companion
    Condor Bushlore (comes with a really quality sheath).

    You are getting this response because these are tried and true tools that have proven themselves in the field.
    It IS surprising that in the case of the Mora such an inexpensive and light tool can be so capable. The reason for that is a superior design using appropriate materials as opposed to being overbuilt of less than optimal material with style over substance.
    90 percent of the responses to your question have been along these lines.
    Bang for buck you will not go wrong.
     
    yohan, okapimike, freebirdfb and 6 others like this.
  29. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4,696
    Likes Received:
    24,132
    Location:
    Central PA
    Is a "nick" bigger or smaller than a coffee ground? If it's bigger, I'd say that maybe an axe is in order. If the nick's are smaller, I'd say it could happen with any knife when batoning depending on wood species, knots, etc. Either way, the Moras are great knives. Step up from them is a Terava Jaakaripuuko...a bombproof knife, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    JasonJ, beestokk, Dpinga and 6 others like this.
  30. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    19,644
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Gossman Polaris
     
    beestokk, dirt7, freebirdfb and 8 others like this.
  31. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    3,038
    Location:
    Texas
    Hahahaha yes!!!!
     
  32. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    3,038
    Location:
    Texas
    @MattKlepp I got an extra mora Bushcraft that was gifted to me. Shoot me your address I’ll send it your way.

    Let’s get this guy some sharps!
     
    J.M., goon, Sandcut and 16 others like this.
  33. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4,696
    Likes Received:
    24,132
    Location:
    Central PA
    Part of what I love about BCUSA is the various methods of bushcraft. While you can drive sparks off the spine of a carbon steel knife, I prefer a dedicated fire steel. And for a buck or two, you should be able to find some old Nicholson files at a local flea market, etc. Break or cut off a 4" piece, grind the teeth off the narrow edges and you have a first rate fire steel. Sure, it's not a hand forged model, but it makes sparks and your not gouging up the spine of your knife. Also, the file can be used to dress up an axe bit, grind some fatwood or chaga into dust for catching a spark, etc. YMMV
     
  34. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4,696
    Likes Received:
    24,132
    Location:
    Central PA
    :eek: BLASPHEMER!!! :58:

    :D
     
  35. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,842
    Likes Received:
    2,433
    Location:
    In the Redwoods, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.
    Wal mart mora knock off "Bait knife" for $2.97 with sheath! Until you figure out what you'll be doing with it.
     
  36. Wesridge

    Wesridge Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    579
    Tool steel is worth it and I would go ahead and spend a little more and get a knife you can sell to move up if you should choose or when you choose too. I would say Lt. Wright GNS in O1. Beast of a knife I actually started my sister out with mine.
     
    freebirdfb, buckfynn, BBizy and 2 others like this.
  37. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    3,547
    Likes Received:
    8,008
    Location:
    CT
    Mora, need I say any more.
     
  38. WILL

    WILL Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    7,790
    Location:
    Florida
    I'd recommend a Morakniv Companion HD. Good luck breaking it. I've owned many knives in my day and still have a soft spot for the HD. Not the prettiest, but form follows function.
     
  39. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    5,927
    Location:
    Colorado
    There's no right or wrong answer for everyone. Moras are common because of their price. One will get you far along, and I think it's a good enough knife to practice and learn with, I have two and they still get used. They're good enough for Mors Kochanski, Cody Lundin and you can find footage of Ray Mears using them.

    But I found out over time, I'm not as big a fan of Scandinavian grind as a flat grind. They slice better, but still carve well enough. I dont have a lot of experiences with many full flat grinds, but I owned at one point either a spyderco/auckerman serrata, benchmade bushcrafter and ontario rat 5. My main knife currently is a custom Kephart, with a full flat and I love it.

    If you're looking for a non scandi, the Esee knives and Ontario rat series have good reputations. The condor kephart has some fans here as well.

    It will take time to figure out what you like. I loved everything about the benchmade bushcrafter except the weight. Same for the rat 5. I tried blades that were longer than 5" and didn't like that either.

    No matter what you get, you'll buy more, sell some, buy more, and sell more yet. One piece of advice, invest in good stones for sharpening. You'll learn to hate any knife if you can't maintain it.
     
  40. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    13,163
    Likes Received:
    55,044
    Location:
    Kansas
    I think the OP was just looking for advice not free gear.
    @MattKlepp , am I right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  41. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    3,038
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah I misspoke by bringing others in saying “let’s get this guy some sharps” however, I have a knife that I would love to pay forward
     
  42. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    6,595
    Location:
    NW Montana
  43. MattKlepp

    MattKlepp Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    124
    I would say smaller than a coffee ground for sure. I was trying to put it though its paces and learn the split wood fire. It worked great just when sharpening I felt the bur I had made with the small nick.
     
    JasonJ, beestokk, freebirdfb and 5 others like this.
  44. MattKlepp

    MattKlepp Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    124
    I really appreciate the offer very nice of you. I have a mora bushcraft that I am using right now. I really like it I was trying to pick the mind of some real woodsman so I can get a great new knife when I decide to. Again thank you for the offer.
     
    aaronu, goon, beestokk and 6 others like this.
  45. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4,696
    Likes Received:
    24,132
    Location:
    Central PA
    Sharpen it up and keep on going! You already have a good bushcraft knife.
     
    Sandcut, JasonJ, beestokk and 10 others like this.
  46. MattKlepp

    MattKlepp Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    124
    Yes not looking for free gear just advice for real woodsman.
     
    FTG-05, beestokk, freebirdfb and 7 others like this.
  47. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    Messages:
    2,092
    Likes Received:
    8,578
    Location:
    Central Maine, USA
    At this point in the post you have plenty of advice. I'll just say
    Welcome to the campfire!
     
  48. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    3,038
    Location:
    Texas
    No problem. Another way to try some knives is to get in on some of the pass arounds that happen on here. There usually are a few going. Will give you the opportunity to try new knives and get out with them.
     
    goon, beestokk, freebirdfb and 7 others like this.
  49. dbltap45acp

    dbltap45acp Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Casper, WY
    I have a couple Adventure Sworn, a few Sargent Edged Tools, Gossman Puukko, LT Wright, and have had many many more over time. Love them all, but I still have and use on many occasions my Mora Companion. That says something about how good those little cheap knives are.
     
    FTG-05, Ragman, beestokk and 10 others like this.
  50. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    3,038
    Location:
    Texas
    I literally just read this and went on amazon and bought a companion lol.
     
    aaronu, Ragman, beestokk and 7 others like this.

Share This Page