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Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by cooperritchey, Apr 9, 2015.
what is some good survival knifes???
Cheap? I like the Morakniv ($15) or Condor ($35) knives. Better knives? Look at ESEE, LT Wright, Bark River, or Fallkniven. Spyderco and Benchmade make a decent Bushcraft knife that might be in a more medium price range. If you're looking for a good blade for a decent price, I'd recommend ESEE knives. They're on sale quite often.
If you want bigger knives, I like the Bear Grylls Ultimate PRO without serrations. NOT the Ultimate. The regular Ultimate doesn't have a full tang. ESEE also makes a 5 in blade.
Stay AWAY from anything that doesn't have a full tang. Especially those Rambo type knives with hollow handles.
If you'really stuck in the woods with one knife:
5" or longer blade.
High carbon steel with a 90° spine to strike a ferro rod or flint.
Battle horse knives are quality.
They have a special every month as well.
I'd go with a Mora if it's your first knife.
Schrade SCHF9 is an excellent inexpensive survival blade.
A good knife takes up a lot of room and weight in your kit. You can still do tasks like batoning with a 3-4 inch blade. I've never run into anything I can't do with a 4" that I can with a 5". I do carry 5" blade or a hatchet sometimes as they do make most tasks easier. I don't end up carrying them often due to weight/size constraints. I usually end up using a Mora or my ESEE-4. The Mora's are cheap (and light) enough I can have one in all my packs, glove compartments, and at work.
Your survival knife will be the one you will have been willing to carry with you. A lot of people are uncomfortable with people carrying weapons or things that can be used as one. I don't necessarily like folders. Though fixed blade knives are inherently more reliable, I am uncomfortable carrying one in town. Where I'm willing to, I try to carry a fixed blade.
Also consider Oregon and Washington's weird laws about conceal carrying knives and things that might be a "dirk" or a "dagger".
Folding knives have a weak point in that they rely on lock strength. They are already designed to break in half... If all you're willing to carry is a folding knife, think about getting a VERY good folding knife with good steel like CPM S30V, CPM S35VN, CPM S90V, M390, or ELMAX. Pay strict attention to the quality of the lock mechanism. Take care of whatever you buy. Your life can depend on it. Mine has.
A VERY good folder, the Wilson Tatical/Hogue StarLight Tactical 4" Folder. Mine's the drop point, but they have other options.
I like the ESEE blade and handle shapes, but I strongly prefer rubberized handles and stainless steel.
Currently I like the value of the Gerber Prodigy. A larger version of the Prodigy is the Gerber LMFII which comes with a few added features and a sharpener built into the sheath. I have both, but usually carry the Prodigy in the woods as it is lighter.
I would not have just one knife. No one knife will do everything perfectly.
My EDC is a Tool Log SLP 2 with serrations. It is a folder and has an LED light, fire starter and whistle. I use it daily for mundane tasks.
Whether you want a knife with serrations or not is up to you, but I find them useful. A dull serration will cut something (like rope) faster than a sharp plain edge.
A survival knife should not be too large and heavy or you may find yourself not carrying it.
My usual combo that I carry is the Cold Steel Survival Edge (very similar to the Moras), the Prodigy and the TL SLP2. The CS knife (and most Moras) are a nice light small knife for camp chores and processing small game. The Prodigy or LMFII are heavy duty knives for heavier harder tasks. The folding knife is something I will almost always have on me just in case.
Also look at the Kabar Beckers, most bang for the buck. Look at the Ontario Rat series as well.
+1 for the Rat knives. Though esee has a better warrenty if your gonna beat it up.
I carry a RAT 3 for small tasks, no matter what when I'm the woods.
Recently, I started playing with my heavier knives. I really like the kukuri I recently bought (10" blade) and a TOPS Anaconda (also 10" blade).
I went with a bigger knife to get rid of my backpacking hatchet - though I still have a camp axe I'll strap to my pack if I'll be aways from my rig.
Wow. Just asking about "survival knives" opens up a huge territory for discussion.
First question: To fit your personal definition of the "survival" application, what must it be able to do?
Next question: How much knife can you carry every day (if we're talking about EDC survival tool vs one in a kit).
As observed above, knife laws are confusing and vary from place to place. Washington has a firearms preemption law, so a locality cannot pass a gun law more restrictive than the State. But not true for knives. I'm a rural guy, and there's a well worn Al Mar SERE2000 clipped into my right pocket. In some of the cities on the I-5 corridor, its 3.5" blade is OK, but in others anything over 3" is considered evil. Many places accept folding knives but don't like fixed blades.
Are we talking about EDC? I'm guessing you want a good strong folder that will not attract unwanted attention. If you are rural, especially during hunting season, a decent fixed blade sheath knife will draw little comment.
Like most of us, I believe in multiple blades. I have a good lock blade folder on my right, a Leatherman WAVE on my left belt, a backup mini-Leatherman in my left pocket, and a neck knife. Oh yeah, the buckle of my custom belt is a single edged Bowen Survivor that I've had for close to 40 years.
If putting on field gear and planning to go into the woods for a while, I have a straight handled Busse Steelheart II that dates from 2000, and it has a custom Kydex sheath that includes fire starter and sharpener. This is big enough to do most hatchet chores, particularly since it's as close to totally indestructible as a knife can get. But it was expensive when new and is more so now
A few years ago, I found a Cold Steel SRK at a show for twenty bucks. I took it and its homemade sheath home and went to work on the messed up edge. Eventually, I had a sharp, durable convex edge on it. I'd call that a good general purpose "survival knife."
I'm not entirely into the "sharpened prybar" school of knives, but for me "survival" means very durable, almost impossible to break. I'm trying to think which way I'd go if I was starting over on a tight budget (I'm always on a tight budget these days, but I already have most of the things I need). I might look for an inexpensive small hatchet mated with a modest sized good quality knife, to take into the woods. Take a look at Becker Knife and Tool. They have some durable products that seem to adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep your eyes open for what Cold Steel may have on sale. The more you learn about knives, the better your odds of finding a good deal on a used knife at a show or pawn shop (always try to negotiate at pawn shops, like you would at a show).
We wary of cheap "survival knives," particularly the ones with a hollow cast handle full of cheap trinkets. It may look like a refugee from a Rambo movie, but odds are it is NOT at all durable.
This is a discussion that should take up several cups of coffee. I'll look forward to hearing your definition of "survival" service, as well as the limits of what you can carry regularly.
I can't believe none of the glock guys haven't reccomended the glock knife. Way back when I was a glock guy I bought the one with the saw on the back and it is always in my truck. You can cut down a tree with it. I cut down our Xmas tree one year with it. They are great durable knives that are balanced for throwing.
I EDC a Leatherman Wave, and keep a 5.25" bladed Colonial Rhode Island hunting knife in whatever bag I choose to use and carry for hiking a 4.5" blade Imperial hunting knife... also have a Kershaw Fillet knife in fishing box. Sometimes I will add a Buck 444 folder in my pocket carry but usually the Wave and either hunting knife does a great job for me. Both hunting knives have a bowie style profile and the larger one is thick enough to baton with if needed, although my 80s Fuller Camp Hatchet works pretty good for most firewood duties.. sometimes I will strap my 21" bow saw to the pack if I feel that I need it.
My EDC varies; I always have a lock blade knife and lately I carry a mini-Leatherman in my pants.
In my truck I have a machete, a pickeroon, a chainsaw, handsaw, a tool bag.
When I'm on horse back I carry either a full sized Gerber or Leatherman, a fencing tool, as well as a folding knife and folding saw.
I once saved a horse tangled-up in a wilderness 'corral' thanks to having a hand saw VS a chain saw (long story).
When I was an avid wilderness back packer I carried a 3 bladed pocket knife, a Buck folding hunter, a bush knife (short stout machete), and a folding saw. After a few years I left the Buck at home, those heavy brass bolsters served no positive purpose and the bush knife filled the gap. If left only one tool to carry it would be the bush knife (and I'd sneak in a folding saw)
Like I said above.........once you go Becker you never go back. I have had 3-4 times the price of knives including Busse, Survive and Bark river. You cannot beat Beckers for the price.
Here is my woods rig, Becker BK9 with a BK24 riding piggy back in a custom drop leg kydex.
Next choice? Busse.
I used my HHFSH to open a Cessna 172 that had crashed on a SAR mission.
They are THAT good.
They are expensive though, worth every dime.
I had a Leatherman Wave. Still do, but I would never carry it as a survival tool. Not a quality tool IMO. Mine has failed in a couple of places, broken blades and failed lock points. I also have an LMF II, and it is pretty good, but too heavy to be a practical piece for my kind of backcountry travel. It lives in my SHTF kit. What I do get pretty entusiastic about is my CRKT Shennanigan. It ain't tactical, but it sure is practical. It is my EDC and it gets used multiple times every single day. I am a fence and deck builder, so the knife is exposed to dirt, sawdust, lots of concrete, copius amounts of mud, and water. In the over 2 1/2 years of heavy use and abuse it has never failed me, and believe me, I have broken plenty of knives. The blade has change it's shape a bit from all of the times I have sharpened it, but it is still going strong. To me, that is what a good survival knive should be, tough, light, dependable, and easy to carry every day, all day. Also, you can get one off Amazon for around $30.
I used to build my own knives, I would give them to prep-cooks and chefs just to see if they held-up to daily use. Some of them failed, some excelled.
Kitchen Prep knives are not survival knives, they must be light weight and stay sharp but they get a lot more use than a Rambo knife!
A Rambo knife is not a kitchen prep knife, it is too heavy and non-ergonomic, the perfect survival knife should have qualities of both. Such a knife does not exist.
Have a good quality folding knife, which suits your needs.
Have a quality folding saw to create the trigger mechanisms for traps and snares (even a hack saw blade will do the job) and saw limbs for shelters.
Have a 'chopper', an axe, hatchet (not recommended) or a heavy bush knife for the dirty work.