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Thread: Survival knife

  1. #1

    Default Survival knife

    well i have now successfully settled into my new house and frequent the woods on long hikes and what not that are in my backyard. i am also making a survival kit so i am looking for a good survival knife that will not break the bank. I presently EDC a sog flash and a sog B61 multitool. I am very impressed with there quality and staff, so i started looking at their fixed blades and i like the seal pup elite.

    First does anyone here have any hands on experience with this knife, and/or rec something that they use

    Second. What blade type should i be looking for a plain (more cutting surface) or partial serrated.

    Brian

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* jbosman1013's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    I had a seal pup and really liked it but it didn't hold a edge very well its also not something I would consider a survial knife. Take a look at these http://rangerknives.com/Knives/index.html they have great reviews and a good price.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    To me, "survival knife" in the woods means 'axe replacement' so it has to be big enough to chop firewood and build shelters effectively. For this reason I wouldn’t go with a blade less then 8 inches. Yes it will be heavy, but it will also get the job done with minimal effort. If your going to carry an axe already, forget taking a big knife and just carry a folder and multitool.

    A good entry level choice here is the Becker Brute Knife it should run under 100. A good high level knife here is the scrap yard knife dog father it should run about 200. I've used both and like the dog father. I have a scrapper6 from scrap yard knifes that I love for lighter duty, but it doesn’t bite into wood like the dog father.

    If your talking about a "camp knife" to do things like cut up lunch meat, trim the occasional branch, make fire curls with and the like, I would not recommend a blade over 6 inches. I really like the ‘Ozark trail’ knife that Wal-Mart sells for a camp knife. They run 10 dollars. It doesn’t hold a great edge long, but it takes a super fine one. it isn’t super durable but it gets the light jobs done very well. Its also incredibly easy to sharpen.
    Last edited by thesurefire; 02-11-2008 at 04:13 PM.
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    When I think of a survival knife, I always picture the old Navy pilot survival knife design, with the leather sheath that had the sharpening stone in a compartment. I think the end had a big hex nut design for hammering and the finger guard had holes in it for tying to a stick.

    Ah.. here it is:

    http://www.arms2armor.com/Knives/pilot1.htm

    Looks like Ontario still makes them.

    Ontario also made a couple of updated versions of the old knife. I like the newest look:

    http://www.knivesplus.com/QN-FF2-Ontario.HTML

    5 1/2" 1095 carbon steel blade, .1875" (3/16") thick.

    Chris Reeve makes a modern version of the Navy pilot's survival knife called the Aviator. Cut from one piece of A2 steel and has a hollow handle compartment.

    edit: looks like this knife might have been discontinued. (?)

    Then again, if you think the old Navy survival knife was a little on the light side or the Aviator is a bit small, you might like the latest thing in a USMC survival knife:

    http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/sh...hp?tid/793576/

    Check out the raw blade picture down the page.

    If you're a traditionalist though, they also make a retro version of the Marine fighting knife design with a 5" blade suited to hiking.

    http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/sh...hp?tid/794669/

    If you're like me and live near the ocean, you may not want a carbon tool steel blade no matter how tough they are. Luckily there's a company that makes comparable knives using laminated stainless steels. Their F1 and S1 are tested and approved for use by air crews in the US Marines/US Navy.

    http://www.fallkniven.com/next-index.htm


    They also make a wee steroid monster:

    http://www.fallkniven.com/nothern/tor.htm
    Last edited by NA8; 01-10-2009 at 04:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    The best survival knife in the world is the one you have with you when you need it. I EDC a Benchmade Rukus (good price here) and love it. It's heavy enough for chopping, and I have used it for that, albeit only for trees and bushes in my back yard.
    Last edited by JimH; 02-11-2008 at 12:12 PM.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* jbosman1013's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    if not a fixed blade +1 on a rukus best folder for the money. here's another place to get one http://www.newgraham.com/SearchResul...KeyWords=rukus

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    Flashaholic* AndyTiedye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Wenger NewRanger 58:


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    As others have pointed out, actually having it when you need it makes a difference, the best handmade knife in the world don't mean squat if you don't have it when you need it, and you never "plan" on being in a surival situation.
    So saying if you are going out camping or even for a walk in the woods a good blade is very useful.

    A well made folder will be very useful and helpful, for instance a Spyderco Pacific Salt with a serrated edge is impervious to rust, has a strengthened tip, is lightweight, and has a good lock. Its great for slicing and dicing and at a pinch will be useful to assist in chopping bigger branches.

    However to build a camp then a machete or kukri will be a much better choice, these will hack through most things with ease, will dig into the ground fairly easily if you need to hollow out some dirt/snow, Gerber makes a good machete that has a saw blade on the back, but forreal chopping an axe is a better option again. Once more these are heavy and probably not what you want to take for a walk.

    A good fixed blade is your next option, and probably the best one there is overall: can still slice and dice, should be stong enough to open a can (although a can opener is much better-this is emergency use not everyday) should be able to be tied to a stick as a spear or for cutting things out of reach, is strong enough to be put edge down on a big branch and then hit or pounded with another to cut it, should be able to be used for light digging use, should be fine enough to skin and gut as well, needs to be able to hold an edge, but should also be able to be sharpened on a rock if you do not have a proper stone with you. Point is often a weak point-for this I avoid the "bowie" style, tips often break, I prefer a tanto tip, very strong.

    Length: too big and you will not have it when you need it, too small and a folder is better, overall around 12 inches, blade 6-7 and handel remainder. A good sheath is needed, might be better to get a custom made one if the one it comes with is no good, and if you can put a bit of flint in it somewhere then thats a bonus too, some have a little pouch for a sharpener, throw away the stone and put together a tiny kit with a ceramic sharpening stick, a bit of flint and a striker, needle and tweesers, minimum bits and pieces in a tiny in or wrapped in tin foil.

    If you can wrap some paracord around the sheath as well this will be useful.

    Remember though - it needs to be with you to be useful, if its too big you will leave it at home that one time you go for a 5 minute walk, see something funny, take a wrong turn, and actually need it...

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    Default Re: Survival knife

    I'd suggest something fixed blade, but not too big you won't want to carry it, but big and heavy enough to stand up to heavy duty use light some light chopping or clearing brush. I've got the classic USAF survival knife, and it barely qualifies. One knife that I own that definitely fits the bill is my Becker Crewman knife with its fat 5.5" blade.
    http://www.knifeworks.com/index.asp?...OD&ProdID=3122
    Similar short, heavy knifes are also available from Ranger and Ontario. A knife like this and a good multitool will be all you'll need (for edged tools anyways) for most real "survival" situations.
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    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    For long time survival I'd prefer an axe over a knife. You can do a lot more things with an axe.
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    My friend who is a knife nut has told me a good rule when going out in the woods etc. Many thinks that you should just bring one knife with you, but he thinks you should apply the "three knife rule"! Depending on where your going, how long your going to be out, you should bring one big knife (that can take care of the biggest chopping chore you might encounter) one medium for food preparations and other chores that a smaller knife, that might be a bit sharper and thinner than the big knife, and finally one folding knife or preferable a multi tool!

    Thats it! This three knifes are going to variate depending where you are going. I and neither are he, thinks that you can bring just one knife, a "survival" knife that takes care of all your needs are going to be half good for everything you are going to use it for.

    And remember, everything a small knife can do, so can the the big knife, but not the other way around!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Survival knife

    ok maybe i was not all that clear

    Yes i am looking for a fixed blade for hiking/camping etc plus make sure it is in my survival kit.

    i know that you don't plan survival situations and in NJ you can't have a fixed blade on you at all times.

    I carry a sog flash II and a sog multitool B62 everyday, i do not leave the house without them. I am looking for a knife for the times i know i will possible need something a bit more

    Brian

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    When I go into the woods, I carry a Survival Golok from Valiant Trading Co. It's basically a 16" long razor blade that works well for chopping.
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  14. #14
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Quote Originally Posted by brianvmsu View Post
    ok maybe i was not all that clear

    Yes i am looking for a fixed blade for hiking/camping etc plus make sure it is in my survival kit.

    I carry a sog flash II and a sog multitool B62 everyday, i do not leave the house without them. I am looking for a knife for the times i know i will possible need something a bit more
    Still unclear here about "a bit more". What do you imagine you'll be doing with this knife that will make one knife more desirable than others ? That is, do you plan to chop wood with it like a boy scout axe, or skin a deer, or fight off a mountain lion ?
    Last edited by NA8; 02-12-2008 at 05:15 AM.

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    Flashaholic Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    For most camping tasks, I like a Frost's/Mora "Swedish Army Knife" for a light, compact fixed blade, and a Swiss Army knife for a pocket folder. Most of the time, I am not cutting wood, so most of the time an ax or machete or saw is not needed.

    For some larger cutting duties, consider a small, folding saw. I have a Gerber that cuts much better than one would expect for a six inch blade. A saw is quiet and makes cleaner cuts in wood that will be used for making things like stakes, or a makeshift stretcher, etc. It's also fairly efficient in terms of energy you use vs. the amount of wood you cut. To be fair, though, I'm in a warm climate where a campfire is mostly for cooking, not for heat, and only a small supply of wood is therefore needed. One big plus for the the saw is that it's safer to use when you're tired, cold or sick than an ax or machete.

    Knives and tools for the outdoors don't have to be big, nor heavy. My Swedish Army fixed blade is under four ounces and can be carried in a large pocket or taped to a pack frame. It's stainless, yet it's easy to sharpen and cuts like a demon.

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
    Last edited by Dirty Bob; 02-12-2008 at 09:35 AM.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Survival knife

    Bark River Knives

    awesome knives for survival. By the way I believe 4-6 inches is all you need. Especially with a bark river. They can't chop like a big knife but they can get the same job done by batoning.

    Big knives suck, try trail running, mountain biking,rock climbing, skiing,etc... with a big knife
    Last edited by dd61999; 02-12-2008 at 09:14 PM.

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    Flashaholic* DaFABRICATA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    I often do diving contests that involve multiple flip tricks while hold my Extrema Ratio Kukri KL in my mouth....
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Cold Steel makes a variety of inexpensive knives made of 1055 hot-roll steel. They include a simple sheath and come in under the $20 range. It's not everyone's idea of an exotic knife, but they're cheap enough so you always have it when you need it, and hell for stout. Ding the blade? So what! Grind it down on a river rock and keep moving! ;-) (I might lose a little sleep if that happened to, say, a Strider BT.)

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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Mora knives are great and cheap! check out my video on moras...Many outdoorsman prefer moras for their scandinavian grind, of course if youw ant to spend a bit more, you could just get another scandinavian knife with a nicer wood handle...

    http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=cutlerylover
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    I prefer a chopper.

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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Here is a nice choice, there is no sawing with this, this thing takes down anything...but a larger tree will take time and skill.


    http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/st....html?s=KA1249

    I use the Tom Brown Tracker knife its s bit smaller but still functions in what it needs to do.

    Last edited by ScubaSnyder; 02-13-2008 at 12:32 PM.


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    Flashaholic Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    The KA-BAR kukri is cool! I haven't had the chance to handle one, but I suspect it's quite useful. Kukris can do more than just chop. I once saw a guy on a construction site using a kukri as a drawknife, to peel bark from some huge poles that were going into a mess hall.

    If I need something bigger than a Mora, I'll reach for a Tramontina machete or a Plumb or Fiskars ax, or perhaps my homemade collapsible bucksaw. The bucksaw's not the most convenient of the tools, but it'll out-work an ax or machete, at least in my hands.

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Survival knife

    For a small fixed blade, I carry a Frost Mora.
    For something a little larger, a Kabar or Becker BK7
    For huge, a BK9 or my Battle Rat.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* DaFABRICATA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    One of my survival knives.

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  25. #25

    Default Re: Survival knife

    this one is only 6.8" long





    bark river




    nice thick spine for batoning



  26. #26
    Flashaholic ScubaSnyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Quote Originally Posted by DaFABRICATA View Post
    One of my survival knives.

    What kind of knife/machete is that ?


  27. #27
    Flashaholic* DaFABRICATA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Extrema Ratio Kukri KL.

    Its a BEAST!...... yet not too big to be thrown into a backpack.

    Holds a nice sharp edge too!
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Survival knife

    Quote Originally Posted by dd61999 View Post
    Bark River Knives

    awesome knives for survival. By the way I believe 4-6 inches is all you need. Especially with a bark river. They can't chop like a big knife but they can get the same job done by batoning.

    Big knives suck, try trail running, mountain biking,rock climbing, skiing,etc... with a big knife
    Hopefully the OP has figured out that there's no right answer, just a best-fit based on what you're willing to carry and how skilled you are at using it. If you ask seriously experienced wilderness experts, you'll see similar differences in opinion ... although more often than not you'll see many favoring the 4"-6" do-everything knife. And that's where my choice lies too; like the above poster, I favor something like a Bark River. The Woodland posted by dd6 is a fine choice, I favor the Fox River, but these are variations on a theme.

    A moderate-sized Bark River is easy to carry and very well manufactured. For something like shelter-building, I can baton it through small limbs faster than a slightly-bigger knife can chop through. Plus it's more nimble and usable for food prep and the like. It doesn't have to be Bark River, any 4"-6" knife made from good steel, with a performance-optimized edge geometry and very secure ergonomic handle will do.

    In real life, my choice in the woods is the Bark River (or similar) coupled with a big knife that's appropriate to the terrain ... larger machete, hatchet, etc. But I tend to doubt that you'll carry that really big knife on frequent hikes from your backyard, so ... back to the 4"-6" do-all knife, and develop the skills to use it.

    The knives that I definitely avoid are military-style knives, which may be big but often have crappy edge geometry for woodwork and food prep.

    No need for serrations.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Survival knife



    This is a knife I have used outdoors a bit, I don't think it could do any chopping work but it has a nice strong, thick blade and a very useful sheath. It's small enough that it doesn't sacrifice dexterity, and it fits very nicely in the hand no matter what grip you use.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Survival knife

    I would say a 3.5-4.00 fixed blade ( BRKT ) comes to mind , and a Victorinox farmer in the pocket would give you a leg up over most . I would also throw in a fire steel , with a piece of busted off hacksaw blade as a striker . The hack blade is also a possible auxillary knife . If I were in the bush I would also throw in a Granfors Burks hatchet , or axe of some flavor .

    Chris

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