What makes a great survival knife?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Midwest.Bushlore, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Correct. But then look at the testing of edges that has been done by members here. I'm not just using one source of information. That just was the best numbers illustration I could show. Go hit up the tests gossman does on his knives, or Iz on his, or MP. I kinda meshed it all together. To answer the edge deformation question... knife didnt break did it... grab a rock and start sharpening lol. But really, we see edge testing done all the time on the forum so we can make our own conclusions about that.
     
  2. field-expedient

    field-expedient Misfit Supporter Bushclass II

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    What makes a great survival knife? - The one whos wielding it.

    I like survival type knives and almost everything I would want in a good one is unpopular so you would probably be ridiculed going by my recommendations lol
     
  3. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Naa, no knife is bad... unless its bad lol. Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  4. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Guide

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    The best knife in the world is the one you have in your hand when you need it. I would much rather have a $2 second hand old timer knife in my hand rather than 50 knives in my safe.
     
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  5. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17 Supporter

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    And what fits your needs and your pocket book. Prov 27 : 17
     
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  6. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    *^^^Read every post. Agree with this one the most.^^^*
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  7. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    For this fella. The difference between a chosen BC and survival knife would be length and maybe width. I generally dont like using long blades if i dont have to but i recognize the benefits of having the extra length if it is a 1 tool event.
     
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  8. riverrunner

    riverrunner Scout

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    Ok I see what your saying but since a survival situation is an unplanned event, the knife you have is the knife you get so in a survival situation that's going to be the best knife. Now with being said, it pays to always have a good knife with you.:)
     
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  9. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

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    Gossman Makes great knives. No doubt about it. BUT most of the people out there don’t spend $500 on a rifle much less a knife. Or a backup knife. Shoot, some of them are walking into the woods with a $30 Walmart special made by Winchester. Trying to talk them into spending $150 on a knife like an ESEE 5 they they have to order sight unseen is hard enough.

    The Gossman is a hard sell. Wish I could afford one though.
     
  10. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    I do not buy into this survival knife marketing. In these survival situations you would want to preserve your tools, not beat on them, which is what marketing has defined a survival knife to be a thick sharpened prybar to use and abuse to get you home safely. Such as your knife doesn't have to baton, you could use your knife to start the split and continue splitting with a wooden wedge. A drop point hunting knife with a 1/8" thick blade in the 3-4" length is good enough for me. There will also be a folder in my pocket. I may or may not have my kukri with me but that might be able to be classified as a survival knife. Carry what ever knife you want and use it wisely and preferably carry other tools along that complement your blade choice.
     
  11. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Many 3-4" knives that you describe are marketed as survival knives - also sharpened pry bars (some of relatively brittle SS), like the typical khukuri, and fantasy knives.
    Closer, but no, the knife that you have may be crap - so far from the best you might have had as to boggle the mind.
     
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  12. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    @TAHAWK yes indeed but when I think of a survival knife I envision knives that are almost 1/4" thick and 6-8" blades. I love my kukri, but I wouldn't want it as a stand alone blade in the woods. Now pair it with one of my kepharts (Wolf Creek Forge 3 3/4" blade or an RW Fred stacked handled kephart 4 1/16" blade) and a trapper or jack knife in my pocket and I have an array of cutting tools at my disposal to distribute the usage. Yes that stacked handled Fred is plenty strong and @Vanitas has proven that with his shorter Freds. I don't feel the need to get into the full tang debate just use what ya like.
     
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  13. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Watch every episode of Survivorman. He uses a different knife and different style of knife in each one and always makes it to 7 days. He has never made the statement, "Well I could survive longer if I had a different knife." It is always, ALWAYS the user, not the knife.

    The trend in recent years has been to make a knife that can't be broken no matter what at the expense of edge retention and cutting ability. What is more important is to KNOW the limitations of the tools you have with you and apply your skill to work within those limitations. I have a USMC Ka-Bar and a BK2. I personally don't like carrying them so wouldn't have either on me when "Bushcraft" turns into "Survival". I WILL have on me a SAK Fieldmaster or Leatherman Charge and Enzo Trapper Elmax in flat grind. I know the limitations and can use them both to great effect.

    Headline you will never see: "He/She would have survived if he/she had a tougher knife".


    Much better to focus on developing knife skills than chasing a unicorn knife.

    Since every post is better with a picture, here is my favorite knife. It is a little less tough than 3V but with better edge holding and fine edge stability.
    20180106_023821.jpg

    Would building a shelter be a little easier with this though? Probably. But I'd be much less likely to have it with me.
    20170220_171920.jpg
     
  14. never.truly.lost

    never.truly.lost Timber Cruiser Supporter

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    No matter the theory, you have to have the best knife for your experience/use case/and a big one is trust, ON YOUR PERSON to put it into practice. I know many guys have lots of blades to choose from so whichever you pick, you can make it work.
    I am very privilaged in that my office is the bush so I always carry a bigger blade or a two blade combo daily/edc, and always have an axe in the truck or on me depending on what I am doing for the day.

    With the Trade Blanket and other buy/sell arenas, it gives us a great chance to try a certain maker, style, or steel out and make our own calls on what works best for us. A great example is the Beck WSK. Thought by many to be the ultimate, and take a look at the Tracker Action thread to see some amazing work done with those blades. For me, I managed to get one, use it for a bit and it just didn’t work for me and how I use a blade. Knives are so personal there isn’t an exact fit for someone. All we can do is look at the aspects of different steels we want, go off of reputable makers, and find what boot fits the foot so to speak.
    If you hang out in the jungle ish like wet and brushy areas that are generally warm, you won’t be able to put in perspective or be able to recommend some of the needs a dude in the Yukon/Alaska deep freeeze has for a knife or woods tool.

    Keep checking the TB; lots of good deals pop up but if possible see if anyone is close to you who has one to check out if you do not want to buy without getting a look at it first.

    For me settling on the BBT I have now took about 4 different variations/different knives to find the right fit for me. Now I have it, that box is checked and I don’t have to keep looking!
     
  15. Plainsman

    Plainsman Scout

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    When I see the word “survival,” I think things like lost, crashed plane, tipped canoe or broken ankle in the wilderness.
     
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  16. Plainsman

    Plainsman Scout

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    This is why I typically have 2-5 on me and in my pack and rifle when out and about! I’m sure to have at least one this way.
     
  17. Plainsman

    Plainsman Scout

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    Why doesn’t it baton well?
     
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  18. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    I was lost in the jungle of the Amazon. Fifty miles to civilization. Thankfully, I had a knife, and it's always the user and never the knife, so I made it out.

    [​IMG]

    Traded it to the chief and his ten wives carried me to safety. :18:
     
  19. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Depends on what he means by "heavy batoning." Have you seen some of the stuff on YouTube?
     
  20. Jacob

    Jacob Supporter Supporter

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    Everyone keeps saying

    The one you have with you.
    Or
    It’s all about the skill of the user.

    Makes sense but lets pretend for a moment that your lost and you have nothing but your clothes. You run across a magic lamp, you know, the kind that looks like an old time gravy dish and nothing like a lamp. Anyway, a genie pops out and says “you got one wish, and it has to be for a knife. By the way, you suck at not getting lost”

    What would you pick then? And why?
     
  21. Plainsman

    Plainsman Scout

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    You might want to start a new thread with this question.
     
  22. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    See in that scenario I get to pick what is on me so it would depend on the environment. I am however likely to have a 3-5" fixed blade on me at all times when I'm out of the house... might as well make sure it is out of a steel that can take a beating.
     
  23. never.truly.lost

    never.truly.lost Timber Cruiser Supporter

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    More likely would be you are going on a fly in backcountry hunt with a pickup in 10 days but weather moves in/or you have your ruck and gear torn apart by a bear/lost downstream/get injured and cannot make your rendevous timing.

    I remember reading books like Lost in the Barrens, Hatchet, Far North, and thinking what kit I have that I would take with me every time going on trips that the scenario has a possibility of playing out.

    At the end of the day, I think most of us like fantasizing about what we would take, places to set up camp, etc. if we had to survive. I know I do!
     
  24. Midwest.Bushlore

    Midwest.Bushlore Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Some great answers! I didn't start the thread expecting any definitive answers, just a good discussion which can lead to even more questions!

    First, it's a valid question to ask- is a knife even a priority for survival? The answer can vary but is sometimes "not". I too recall the story of the six year old girl that survived her plane crashing in the woods; her grandparents were both killed but she walked to safety (two or three days though the woods, alone!). Certainly she didn't need a knife but that doesn't necessarily mean I won't.

    Next, what is 'survival'? Well, the short answer is not dying! We all survive every day...until the day we don't! But personally when I use the term survival I'm talking about a situation where I'm lost or stuck in the woods. There are lots of ways a person could find themselves in a bad spot but for those of us that hike, fish, camp, hunt, ski, etc the most likely situation is that we either get turned around lost or we get a mechanical injury that prevents us from making egress from the woods.

    In that situation who important is a knife? Well, it depends. In the summer if it doesn't get below 70 F at night there's probably not much actual need for one. A fire is more for morale if it's warm. A blade is handy to make a shelter but shelter might not be needed at all depending on temps and the weather. Of course, it's possible to make a debris shelter without a knife. A knife can be handy for fire making depending on what else you're carrying. The fire might be important even in good weather if you have to boil water to make it safe.

    In bad weather or in a situation that runs longer than the 72 hours that many folks plan for, then maybe a knife is more important. In some situations, particularly if it's very well, it's helpful to have a means to split wood to get to the dry stuff. That doesn't have to be a knife but a knife can certainly do it. If you need to salvage materials (say you were in a brush plane that crashed and you're cutting material out of the seats, etc) than a knife would be a godsend.

    A knife can be really handy for more mundane tasks. I've had food packages that were basically impossible to tear open! If I hadn't had a knife I probably wouldn't have ever got into 'em. Maybe eventually you can find a sharp rock but it would suck to have food you couldn't open.

    Again, I'm more interested in hearing everyone's reasoning more than just a pat answer.:dblthumb:

    I apologize that I can't recall who said it but I couldn't agree more that there is no single knife that's best for everything. I could carry an ESEE Junglas for processing wood and it would baton like a boss! But it wouldn't be the best blade for carving or for skinning and filleting a small bluegill or crappie. An ESEE Izula would be nice for cleaning rabbits but it wouldn't be ideal for cutting down 3" trees to make a lean-to.

    Still, if you have good skills and some other decent equipment any blade you have with you will be an asset.:)
     
  25. Midwest.Bushlore

    Midwest.Bushlore Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yep, that's kind of the spirit in which I framed the question!:14:
     
  26. ManyHammers

    ManyHammers Supporter Supporter

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    Survival knife and Bushcraft knife are modern terms.

    It's a tool and what is between your ears makes it what it needs to be.

    Too many white collar college folk out there over thinking things.
     
  27. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    [​IMG]
     
  28. ManyHammers

    ManyHammers Supporter Supporter

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    An underrated tool. Hardly anyone mentions McGuyver anymore.
     
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  29. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Now there was a guy who could do anything with anything.

    But for normal mortals, who may be cold, hungry, sick, exhausted, injured, maybe some quality if a tool is relevant. After all, the cheese may be tough.

    [​IMG]

    Some professionals in the field of survival seem to think there are choices to be made (Then we have "all stainless is hard to sharpen" Cody.)
     
  30. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    For many of us, the term "survival knife" is always going to mean a hollow handled stainless steel knife with a very weak joint between blade and hilt, a cheap bubble compass as pommel, and a collection of small miscellaneous items careied in the hollow hilt. The SS blade will be too soft to hold a good edge, and the 5 to 6 inch blade will have several useless excrescences such as a bottle opener, dull saw back, etc.

    To me, a bushcraft blade is simply a durable blade large enough to make shelters in my AO and small enough to use cleaning rabbit, squirrel and panfish. What more is needed in an outdoorsmans knife?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  31. svh

    svh Supporter Supporter

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    Because of the tang situation. It is a hidden tang, about 3/4 length, and although she would probably take it, I wouldn't want to push the structural integrity too much ..... Undue stress, and all that. I would have no problem however, beatin it through some smaller diameter, softer kindling type materials.
     
  32. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    As you said "AO" is the key and where you will most likely ever be in a true survival situation which is basically an unexpected camping trip of unknown duration. Fortunately my AO provides more than adequate flora & fauna where a knife of any type is un necessary for fire wood gathering/processing/starting, making basic brush/pole type shelters or making small game dead falls/traps or fish weir traps although I admit my EDC SAK is more convenient for cleaning such than my fingernail, small stick or snapped in half sharp edged credit card.
     
  33. 556mp

    556mp Bushwhacker Vendor Bushclass I

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    I guess it is pretty dependent on what you mean with "survival"

    Were you hiking and got lost in a giant national forest?
    Did we get nuked and there is not government and the grid collapsed and the Chinese invaded?
    Is there hand to hand combat happening in the street?
    Did I fall through the ice?

    I suppose one common thing that would flow through all of these is durability. You would want a knife that you know would not break on you, and that you could keep sharp.

    I had been thinking recently about what I would want in a knife if everything went south and I knew a little bit before hand that it was going that way. My answer was, something with a bit of a guard, full tang, 3/16-1/4" swedge point, 6 1/4" blade, micarta or g10 handle, and made from 80crv2, exposed tang/pommel. I picked a tallish hollow grind for the knife so that it would still slice and cut well. Something I'd want if I had to fight a bear or coyote with just a knife... heh. A bit of a fantasy, as are most "survival" ideas... but if everything else was gone and I only had a knife to do everthing from fighting apex predators to building a fire... That would be it... Will I ever really need it? 99.9999999999999% chance, no.
     
  34. S.Gossman

    S.Gossman Guide Vendor Supporter

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    I'll be one to admit the word "survival" just like bushcraft, tactical are marketing terms used to sell knives. Just about every knifemaker and knife manufacturer uses these terms to sell their products. There are also makers and companies that use names to market their proprietary heat treating of steel. As far as a "survival" knife, it can be any cutting tool you want it to be. I use the term survival for the knives I make because of their ability to be hard use knives. Any knife has the possibility of failing. You just don't know if it will until it's put to the test. A buddy once said, you really want to test a knife, give it to a teenager hell bent on destruction. I've have had many customers put my blades to extreme use over the years but the one that will always stand out to me is this guy.
    https://www.tactical-life.com/tactical-knives/conibear-trapped/ All he had with him was one of my O1 steel, blade only PSK knives to get out of a potential survival situation.
    Scott
     
  35. Jacob

    Jacob Supporter Supporter

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    /\ that is an awesome story. I cant imagine a better feeling as a craftsman then knowing the quality of your work literally may have saved someone’s life.


    Fair enough man. I mean no distrespect by the question. Just looking to expand the scope of the discussion. I’m also genuinely curious what folks would choose if pressed, however unrealistic the question is.

    If @Midwest.Bushlore feels that my post is off topic, I’ll delete it and leave an apologie in its place.
     
  36. Harpoon

    Harpoon Scout

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    FullSizeRender-2.jpg To me, and again, to me, when looking through history many designs and blade lengths etc. have been "survival" knives. Longhunter scalpers, or rifleman knives have long been on the belts of our forefathers.
    For me the best example of a knife specifically designed to do a multitude of tasks in a woodland, desert, or high mountain environment was the Hudson Bay Knife. It was a skinner and fighter and chopper and a butcher all wrapped in one. For sure the men, not the knife endured the hardship of living and working in ice cold river, sleeping on frozen ground and traveling in 100 degree heat.
    I like this ML, not a true HB but in the genre and one of my favorites:
     
  37. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    When I hear Survival Knife

    image_18374.jpg
     
  38. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    Having designed and made this thing for "wilderness survival", more or less, I thought I'd post a pic. I've used similar big knives as my primary woods tool for many years, they work very well in my AO. I always carry a folder for tiny work, too.

    parang.jpg

    A steel socket handle is just about unbreakable, and can be easily attached to a stick to extend reach. One about 18" plugged in there makes this a very effective machete. The epoxied wrap greatly improves grip.

    The blade is 9" long and rather thin, under 1/8"...still plenty tough, but a good slicer too. It's also light and unobtrusive to carry. Convex bevels, maybe 28-30* included angle. I did a bunch of mean-spirited testing with it, up to and including chopping copper wires, antler, and so on; it passed all tests.

    Heat-shaped PVC scabbard...the plastic has holes for ventilation, and doesn't retain water like wooden models, which is nice. It has it's own belt, for easy on/off. Although it's not present in the pic, I often attach a diamond plate sharpener to the back with ranger bands.

    I use it in the kitchen a lot, too...:p
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  39. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Traits/parameters of a great survival knife imho.....my take.
    1) fixed blade.
    2) full tang.
    3) non serrated.
    4) sturdy point.
    5) reasonable thickness. 3-4mm.
    6) blade length of 4"- 5".
    7) comfortable, durable handle.
    8) sharp 90° spine.
    9) good steel(HC or SS) and heat treat must be spot on.
    10. good snug fitting sheath (leather or kydex?).
    This would fit alot of today's knives imo. It really boils down to preference and skills of the wielder.
    Dominick......
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  40. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

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    I snapped one of these at work one day -- just prying, no cheater, no hammer, etc...
    nothing is immune from breakage.
     
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  41. gdpolk

    gdpolk Supporter Supporter

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    So what you do, the folks of BUSA, consider to the hallmarks of a survival knife? What attributes do you feel are the most important?
    Durability and an appropriate size/design for the area that you are in. It can't fail you. The jungle in South America may be best with a machete type blade, while in the Ozark Mountains you will be best off with a 3.5-4.5" fixed blade, while in the Sarahan desert something small and light might be better.


    What if any difference is there between a survival knife and a bushcraft knife?
    Essentially, a "survival knife" is one that lets you thrive in your environment whereas a "bushcraft" knife is one that allows you to thrive in a wooded/forrest type environment. To my mind a bushcraft knife is a specific type of survival knife but a survival knife may not always look like a bushcraft knife.


    And lastly, if you have a favorite what do you consider the "best" survival knife?
    I like my own knives for this task. My favorite woods knife is a 4.25" drop point, full flat ground, with distal taper, and a full size anatomical handle shape similar to what Cody at Adventure Sworn uses. It's in CPM 3V steel and fits my hands like a glove. The best knives are ones that fill the hands and have no hot spots. It needs to be strong and reliable. It needs to take and keep a keen edge. It needs to be sizeable enough to do some semi-heavy work while small enough to be able to be carried easily.
     
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  42. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    If I had to go out of state one of the bowie knife.jpg se would be my "survival' knife.
     
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  43. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Your testing is exactly why I was looking at your stuff. When I work right of ways it's kinda scary when you think of what my company has found in the wood. Trip lines connected to two shotguns... presumably to nab the deer that run through, leg traps, all sorts of wonderful things can and have been found out there. Now keep in mind it's illegal to shoot or trap IN the right of ways but people still do. Where I am it's illegal to trap but we have still found them. My cohort work alone. We dont have help. Which is why I'm glad makers here put up with all my questions. If I ever need the knife to perform in a manner such as that gentleman I want to know it can instead of finding out in the act it wont.
     
  44. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Everything breaks, Rope, Steel etc. There is actually a formula for when you retire equipment, especially rope. It's basically how many times you've stressed that equipment and how much load vs its max load to breakage. If you load a rope close to its max point you'll only get 1-2-3 shots before you are suppose to retire it. After that the certainty of breakage is too high to risk. Every material has this quality the values are just different. You can think of it in terms of durability. Every time you stress a material it loses some durability. Depending on how much you stress it is how many times you CAN stress it before breakage occurs. So my concern is not just can the knife do it once without damage but how many times it can take it before failure. It's why I'm starting to look at High impact steels. They can take certain more stress (ie more durability). You might be able to cut through that chain once or twice with 1095, but can it do it 3-4 times? How many times can S7 do it? These are kinda the things I want to test. I dont really tend to express these curiosities as science makes peoples heads hurt lol.
     
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  45. Muskett

    Muskett Scout

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    When I was a young boy my survival knife was a SAK Victorinox Huntsman. I still often carry one today, and one lives in my washbag.

    We all like a good Survival knife thread. I've read most of this thread and given thumbs up for those I like.

    Survival knives came about from WWI and WWII, mostly from both Pilots and sailors. Soldiers had their "Combat" utility knife if not their bayonet. Generally they were private purchase though a few have been issued though mainly to pilots. There are some real classics and to me the venerable KarBar and Pilots knife, but also Randal, spring to my mind. The FS Commando dagger was classed as a survival knife when first issued on mass as "dagger" was a little to blood thirsty and not cricket!
    I have two Victorian sword sticks, one a walking stick and one a swagger stick. Carried for protection so a survival knife.
    Jump forward to the Vietnam War and private purchases became common again. The Gerber dagger sold well, and Randal's too. Combat Knife? Survival Knife? Utility knife? If it helped get you home then it was a Survival knife.

    Many got taken at basic training and many got binned if too heavy on a steep jungle mountainside. Some did honest work and opened many a MRE.

    Rambo! Lile! Whats not to like? First Blood great anti war film. To me as a practical survival knife all too Hollywood; but hay ho, fantastic example of blade making.

    I was taught by Lofty Wiseman in the Army. My neighbour's Woodsman when growing up playing in the woods. Ray Mears before he was famous. And I've done my own thing...just a few rabbits, in a few different continents. Most would say "the one you have on you". After that its pocket knife and something more. Wiseman a biggish machete chopper. Ray a Bushcraft and SFA. British Army clasp knife and Golok if you must. Other "Survival", "Bushcraft" celebrities have their take, but all say take something!
    Generally, whatever the locals are using and have in their hut or shed would probably be perfect.

    Recent years we have the Multitool, good bits of kit. Locking Folders have never been so well made. Fixed sheath knives are pretty good and better than made 20/30 years ago, well I think so. Axes and Mechetes are what they are. Silky Saws I love. There is no excuse not to at least have something, preferably two, one from each class. Shit hits the fan and a knife is useful. Annoyingly, laws, written because of idiots doing stupid things with knives, get in the way of EDC.

    I do like a Survival knife to be on the more robust side though it loses out on some of the thin refinements, tad heavier too. A robust build. I like a Survival knife to have a lower tine, or hand stop; more than found on a Bushcraft Knife. I like my Survive Knives GSO 4.1, but used to prefer something longer like my CR Project II. I love my Shrama.
    What you love is up to you and what you want to carry. Find yourself with just a KarBar and be happy! But your much more likely to find yourself with your pocket knife only. Train for both.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  46. lil'mike

    lil'mike Scout

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    That is true that you might not need a knife but as the saying goes it is better to have one and not need it the need one and not have it!

    I mentioned having a sak on me that I could process wood for a fire or a shelter if needed and I did mention that it maybe slower and take longer to do these chores compared to using a fixed blade I could baton thru wood with but with that said you just need to think outside the box and work with what you have. In my case I would make a wooden wedge to help split wood which was my thought and even mentioned earlier by someone else if I needed to cut bigger diameter of trees. This goes along with the statement below!

    It is also important to scout out your surroundings to see what resources are available and this will help give you an idea on what you need to do and how to do it between the resources you have around you and what tool or tools you happen to have on you! You might get lucky and find something or somethings that you can use!
     
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  47. Mr.Black

    Mr.Black WILDEROXEN Tracker Pack #1 Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Set up a camp with a razor blade to a large machete a few times
    That will give you a realistic view on what you need to realistically carry...the romamtic SAS tin approach will leave you feeling a little under knived...
    Think, take out your knife and cut here...is that gores on a parachute or moose hocks or cutting poles to build a shelter( combat or non combat) that little crackerjack kit blade comes in handy in the combat option to cut cord and gores to hole up and sort yourself chopping and pounding is gonna get you caught or worse so save that for the non combat scenario...that starts to whittle it down.
    You need a edge... rock, glass,wreckage thre will be plenty of that at the crash site but factor in the damage done to your carcass when the 47 burned in you wont be carving spoons or needing a fire.

    Say you got out by chute the forces of that alone most always will mess you up...keep whitling,that eliminated commercial flights so the Military Survival kit comes to mind and alot of thought and lessons learned went into that gear.

    So looking back at 10 years of working at a USAF Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape school add in all the blades you saw break,crack chip and fall apart including the issued stuff but mostly the cookie cutter type stuff advertised as Survival knives as well as inconsistent indigenous blades of the World...

    Again looking back at one of the total recalls where 60 HRC students need to be rounded up(all evading capture in a heavily wooded area) as temps are dropping, sleet is falling and they frown at dead people in Suvival training...thats when the blades get to work. 9 Instructors two IDMT you cut center poles rig canopies,drop, prep and light about 6 big barn burner fires whilst sending teams out to round up students

    A quick realistic glimpse at that gives a good idea on what you need.

    Think of the reason for the hand guard(a few career ending or close accidents have happened with a popular blade advertized as used for SERE training...not any more),the "saw back",the "bolt" the tootsie roll handle go look at my post a week of Survival Emersion or what ever and look at all the "Bushcraft" "woodcraft" "Woodlore" or what ever you perfer done with Air Force Survival knives...stones and wreckage for that matter.
    I Use a Beck WSK (big blade? Must be a greenhorn? Sez the greenhorn pretty much every time lol not to mention the parrot squawk nut'n fancyizms)but I have been around a bit, used enough blades for work and play for alot of years to realize not one blade does anything on its own,we manipulate them or we cant. if its a Bear gryllllles special or a Roy Rogers pen knife when you open the SURVIVAL kit, have your chuckle and get to work thats the only thing that matters.

    Dance with the one that brung ya....ugly, dull,big lol just dance
     
  48. Jacob

    Jacob Supporter Supporter

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    The little one was what I thought would make an ideal wilderness survival knife. It turns out that it wasn’t very useful but was fun to abuse.

    The big one (12” Ontario mod) is what I think will make for an ideal survival knife. It was finished about half an hour ago, time will tell I guess. If nothing else it’ll make a good garden tool.

    This is such a fun topic. 92D1C158-3C77-451A-89D0-A1CB66A0E8F9.jpeg
     
  49. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    "Making do" pushes the limits of survival.
    And it depends on the conditions survival is challenged .
    If you have the skill and the flint or glass , you can make do , but for a limited time .
    So the better question might be, What provides one the most service in a desperate situation ?
    A small knife on it's own, is not ideal for making a shelter or providing service for in indefinite stay .
    I rely on a Large Bowie because it is well capable of intricate dressing game and processing wood or being a defensive/hunting weapon .
    If I have to clear brush or limb trees it has the edge and kenetic energy to meet the need .
    If all other tools were lost , the bowie would fit a great many needs .
     
  50. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Sure, but how likely are you to have that bowie with you?
     

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