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Help me pick a new fixed blade knife

Discussion in 'Knives & Other Discussion' started by GOG, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a fixed blade knife. I've had a Benchmade Rant that I liked, an ESEE 3 that was good, but a touch small. I also had and ESEE 5 that was excellent, but a touch heavy. I'm seriously considering an ESEE 4 thinking that it may be the perfect size. But it's a tad thin for my tastes.

    I'm trying to stay around $100. but will go to $150. for the right piece. I've been looking at TOPS, Benchmade, Al Mar and BRKT as other possibilities.

    I'm not looking for a fighting knife. Number one, I'm unqualified for knife fighting and number two, I carry a pistol. If I need a knife at that point, I'm in more trouble than I can probably survive. This will be more or less a daily carry knife with the main purpose being use in the woods. If it's comfortable enough with a good enough sheath, it will be carried more often.

    I want a non serrated blade the length of four to five inches, full tang with G10, micarta or other similar grip material. I don't want to buy a new knife and than have to lay out forty or fifty bucks to buy grips that should have been on it in the first place.

    I am not looking for an uber-tactical knife or sheath. I don't care about MOLLE compatibility and such. I prefer a good stout knife with a solid (preferably leather) sheath and I dislike "dangler" type sheaths. They're a PITA for sitting in a truck.

    So, please offer your ideas. Thank you.
     
  2. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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  3. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Nice knife. I'll have to give that some thought.
     
  4. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I edited the original post. I meant to say that I was looking for a knife 4" to 5" in length. I have a Ka-Bar if my needs require anything longer.

    I forgot to mention that I'm also considering a Becker BK2 as well, but I'm not sure how grippy the scales are. They look very smooth in the photos.
     
  5. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I've narrowed it down. The ESEE 5, I really like its heft although it's a bit heavy for all day carry. An ESEE 4 or a TOPS BOB Fieldcraft knife. They all meet my price considerations and all will do what I want. The ESEE 4 and the TOPS BOB are most similar, but the BOB has a Scandi grind and I've never had a knife with that grind.

    Pricewise, the ESEE 5 is the most expensive, then the BOB and least expensive, the ESEE 4. Any input?
     
  6. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I have an EESE 4 and find it very useful and easy to handle. Personally, after handling the 4, I feel the 5 would be too bulky to fit what I need it for. The 4 is stout, heavy and works for all around bush craft.
     
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  7. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Scout. You're right, the ESEE 5 is a bit too heavy for all day carry. Okay, I guess I can narrow it down to the ESEE 4 or the TOPS BOB.

    I like ESEE because I've had the 3,5 and 6, so they're a known quantity and their quality is outstanding. But the TOPS knives get good reviews, so I'm undecided.

    Would you mind checking out the video on the BOB and letting me know what you think?

    Link: TOPS BOB Brothers of Bushcraft Fieldcraft Knife (4.625") BROS-01 BOB - Blade HQ
     
  8. sepharad

    sepharad Portland Oregon New Member

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    Try looking at the Entrek Javalina. It's not sexy, it's not Rambo, it's really well made out of slightly unusual steel by one human being here in the USA. Shape and dimensions are completely ordinary, no fancy grinds and built like a tank.

    Entrek Knives
     
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  9. ArgyleAdams

    ArgyleAdams Portland, OR Active Member

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    Have you looked at the Ontario Rat series? I've had my eye on one of those for a while.

    Sent from a phone; typos likely
     
  10. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    The Entrek's look pretty darn nice. The Javelina is sweet. It reminds me somewhat of the Becker BK2. The reviews for the knives are pretty good, but they aren't very kind about the sheaths.
    I think it's still down to the ESEE 4 or the BOB, but I'll consider the Javelina before I decide.
     
  11. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Argyle, I considered them , but the Rat series doesn't have quite the quality they used to have when Randall was affiliated with them.
     
  12. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    GOG you cannot go wrong with either choice. ESEE is well established with a great track record. They've tested their products in the field especially in South America where they hold Jungle Survival Classes. They have a nice blade for a production knife. It is a saber grind which is fine for wilderness work...work just fine as a chopper and/or a whittler. The Pommel is designed as a window breaker for pilots to egress from a down plane. The blade is a quasi survival and fighter. I believe its sub title is down pilot or something like that if memory serves me correctly. Also it has a divot to be used as a socket for bow 'n drill.

    The BOB is a newer member on the market although TOPS has been around for awhile with a strong following. TOPS is migrating away from their tactical/warrior line moving into survival and wilderness. The BOB is less survival like the ESEE 4 and more in the lines of a bushcraft knife. It has a scandi grind which is easer to sharpen in a wilderness setting, and the scandi is notoriously shaving sharp for fine wilderness jobs like fuzz sticks, finishing a trigger for a snare, and even batonning. It too also has the divot for a bow 'n drill. The Pommel on the BOB is designed for using with a Fire rod or Ferrous rod rather than breaking out windows.

    Both will work. Not knowing exactly what your specific mission is you'll have to decide which one weighs heavier on the asset side of the balance sheet.

    The F1 mentioned above is more on line with the BOB and is excellent choice.
     
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  13. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    We live in the woods and it will be used there. It will be used for camping on occasion, but it won't really be used in a survival situation unless something unforeseen should happen. It will also be somewhat of an everyday carry knife, so it will be used for mundane daily tasks as well.

    I think I'm almost at the point of going for the ESEE 4. I know the ESEE line, like the warranty and I think it will do for my needs. I'm just kind of stuck on the BOB because it's different than what I'm used to.

    How tough is sharpening a Scandi grind blade?
     
  14. ArgyleAdams

    ArgyleAdams Portland, OR Active Member

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    Takes a little longer to sharpen (more metal removed) but it's a lot easier to keep an accurate bevel angle.

    Sent from my phone; typos likely.
     
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  15. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    It is the easiest to sharpen other than a convex edge. I've personally not found it taking any longer than others grinds but my experience may be different or I'm doing something incorrectly. I touch up the edge frequently. The Scandi edge is perhaps the most popular amongst serious wilderness instructors, schools and those who follow wilderness woods and bushcrafting. Mors Korchanski perhaps the grandfather of modern (last 40 years) bushcraft is a huge advocate of this grind/edge.

    The Scandi edge really bites easily into the wood and is ideal for making curls for fires, whittling tools/implements, and other bush tasks including processing game. This BOB is modeled after the very famous custom knife the "Skookum Bush Knife" which is next to impossible to find/purchase (google it) and the Mora knife which is extremely popular but smaller than what you wanted or I would have suggested it. Both the Skoookum and the Mora are scandi.
     
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  16. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you gents. This is definitely food for thought.
     
  17. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather have an ESEE 6 than a 4. The four is too skinny and the handle is too short in my experience.

    If you can get over the "need" for a fixed tang knife, an entire universe of high quality stick tang knives opens up.

    I have fixed blade knives costing as much as $350+, and my favorite "go to" knife is a Ka-Bar USN Mk. 1 kraton. Costs about $55 and comes with a triple retention sheath. Another great knife is the Mora 2000 or the Mora Bushcraft Black DLC for about $30-35. Another great entrant is the Condor Bushlore with micarta handle for about $50.00

    Fixed tang knives are overkill if you treat your knife like a knife rather than as a prybar.
     
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  18. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't stand my indecision anymore, so I just ordered an ESEE 4 clip blade from Knifeworks. Eighty six bucks plus shipping. $94.90 total. That seems like an excellent deal to me.

    Boats, I don't pry with any of my knives, but I've grown accustomed to a full tang and prefer it. I too have an old Ka-Bar that is my go to knife for beater work.

    BTW, I looked really hard at the Bushlore and I think it's a good value, but I wanted something more finished.
     
  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd go for a Fallkniven.. perhaps the F-1, it's about a 4" blade and close to $100.
    The A-1 is larger and around $200.. here's a destructive test of the A-1.
    They are VG-10 laminated blades.

    Fallkniven A1 Destruction Test - YouTube
     
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  20. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input, but I ordered the ESEE 4 last night. (see the post above yours)

    I have a Swedish Mora that I just love for its many attributes. So I looked pretty hard at Swedish knives in general, but I wanted to go with a made in the U.S.A. knife.