Fixed blade opinions..


October 2, 2010, 10:24 AM
No bug out pack would be complete without a good fixed blade. Use will be general purpose, wood/bush craft, batoning and a weapon if needed. I also want it tough as hell.
After much looking and reading up these are what I like:
Becker BK2
Becker BK7/BK13
Black Fighting/Utility Knife Straight Edge
I also have access to an older style second hand but NIB Marine Fighter with the phosphate coated blade and leather grip/sheath for $70


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October 2, 2010, 10:33 AM
Kabar (USMC/army) will do you just fine.

Some Bowies will as well ,but those will often be in a much higher pricerange, but are more fitted to bushwork (blade is thick and tough enough for wood chopping).

October 2, 2010, 10:41 AM
For sure Steve...I consider the ones I've picked "high value" knifes. I did look at many of the high end and very expensive designs but decided that these offer just as much and the money saved can get me other things for the pack ;)

October 2, 2010, 10:57 AM
The Glock knives are pretty worthless. Certainly do take them off your list.

I was given one for SO-ing a GSSF match years ago. It's not worth the price. (Free.)

Of course, it's good enough to leave in the truck as a pry bar or emergency poking tool. Not something you'd want to try to use for survival skills, field dressing game, or food prep.

October 2, 2010, 12:40 PM
No bug out pack would be complete without a good fixed blade. Use will be general purpose, wood/bush craft, batoning and a weapon if needed. I also want it tough as hell.

You need to look at ESEE knives, formerly RAT Cutlery. They make real tough knives, for people who actually use them. Their knives have full tang handles, and they are made from 1095 steel that is properly heat treated making it stay sharp and touch up easily.

If you want a larger knife, look at the ESEE-6. The balance is astounding. I used one exclusively for a weekend Primitive Skills class, for everything from cutting the parts for a bow-drill, to splitting logs into firewood. A few licks on the sharpener after the weekend was over and it was razor sharp again.

I keep the '6 strapped to my bugout bag, but I also have an Izula inside as a backup survival knife in case anything happened to my primary. The Izula is freaking amazing, and is the most knife for its size I've ever had the pleasure of abusing. has them for very reasonable prices.

Some Bowies will as well ,but those will often be in a much higher pricerange, but are more fitted to bushwork (blade is thick and tough enough for wood chopping).

Most "bowies" will snap off at the hilt because they lack a full tang. Any real use knife should have a full tang, the handle should be slabs cut to match the steel beneath.

October 2, 2010, 12:56 PM
I also want it tough as hell

I second Rat's opinion about ESEE knives. I like them a lot.

On the other hand, my buddy carries a Becker BK2 around in the woods and stuff, and if you want a tough knife, you need not look any further. I don't know that you could ask for a tougher knife, and it's pretty comfortable to use to boot.

For general purposes though, the good old cheapo Frosts of Sweden Mora Clipper is what I like. I resisted them for a long time, but after reading so much about them here and other places, I decided to order one and see what I thought. After all, they are only like 12 bucks on! I was amazed. Not anywhere near as stout as the BK2 or, for that matter, any of the knives on your list, but it was tough enough to hold up to some batoning, was and is excellent at all non-abusive camp tasks (slicing, feathering, carving, etc.) , is easy to sharpen (in fact, it stands as the only knife I have that I actually can sharpen. my sharpening skills blow), and is very comfortable to use. Also, as mentioned, 11 or 12 bucks.

Any real use knife should have a full tang, the handle should be slabs cut to match the steel beneath.

Normally I agree with you, but the Mora doesn't have a full tang and it is pretty awesome as mentioned above. Plus, keep in mind that is a pretty old design so it has been tested again and again. To be honest with you, I sort of don't get how it performs so well. It makes sense to me that a thicker (to a reasonable degree) knife with a full tang would outperform it in most tasks, and for some truly hardcore users, maybe they do. For me? The Mora actually performs considerably better than the bigger knives at most tasks.

Of the knives you listed, I like the BK2 the best, and I think it is the best choice of the bunch. When you order it though, I suggest also ordering a Mora and trying one out. I can almost guarantee you will be surprised!

October 2, 2010, 01:01 PM
Most "bowies" will snap off at the hilt because they lack a full tang. Any real use knife should have a full tang, the handle should be slabs cut to match the steel beneath.
Thus why I mentioned the bowies that would are expensive.

There are some cheap full-tang Bowies out there, but the steel used is poor quality (Winchester, white or black handle, but they may need re-pinned as even the pins are junk), but for a good bowie, one that's got a nice full tang under the handle, you're looking about $130 and up.

Even some of the wanna-be ka-bar designs out there have the junky rat-tail tangs that plague other large and cheap knives (and most cheap swords as well).

October 2, 2010, 02:01 PM
That GreenPete vid is AWESOME! He sure knows what hes doing.


iŽd go with a ( very light ) Glock knife for hacking, "battle-poking and maybe even making an improvised spear from .... for the finer cutting jobs iŽd take a big folder,
or a cheap ( lightweight) Mora-knife.

October 2, 2010, 02:03 PM
What are the opinions on the Gerber LMF knives? I have bought 2 of them for my sons, one is a 19D in the Army and the other is attending the USAFA. They looked like pretty robust knives that would fill a wide application of uses.

October 2, 2010, 04:23 PM
I forgot to add in my first post:

If money is an issue, and you can't afford an ESEE, definately pick up a Mora (or two or three ;) )

They are AMAZING knives for less than $15.

Hot brass
October 2, 2010, 06:26 PM
The BK7 will serve you well.

October 2, 2010, 07:17 PM

October 2, 2010, 11:30 PM
I have to moderate my Mora love a little bit. They are fantastic, but I have to emphasize "for general purposes". While I wouldn't be in a panic if that is all I had in the middle of the forest, it's not what I would choose straight away.

I genuinely would choose an ESEE or a Becker in a "survival" situation, because while I trust the Mora and really do think highly of them, I would prefer the extra comfort that comes with a larger knife. A lot of it depends on use and available options. Generally speaking I will say that compared to an Rat 3, I would choose the Mora, but compared to a BK2 sized blade or a Rat 5, I am going with those.

October 3, 2010, 07:43 AM
Made my decision to go with the KABAR Becker BK2 Campanion
Woods Monkey BK2 review (

I was waffling back and forth between the BK2 and its bigger brothers BK9 and BK7. Dependent on how much space and weight I have when my pack is finished I might add the BK9 in the future.
I ordered the BK2 from for ~$62 which I feel is a good deal. I was not able to find the BK2 locally but did handle the 7 and 9, both felt awesome and very sharp but were priced(before tax) at $90 and $100 respectively :(

October 3, 2010, 08:06 AM
Excellent choice

October 3, 2010, 02:41 PM
I like your choice.

Most kukuris are NOT full tang. The ones I have are the toughest knives in my collection. Genuine Japanese swords are not full tang...etc.

October 3, 2010, 07:34 PM

I bought these two FROST knives recently and tested them on a whitetail I shot couple weeks back in Maryland. Good steel and outstanding designs!

The sheaths are a little cheesy so I had a local Amish harness shop make me leather sheaths with custom embellishments. These knives are fine hunting companions.


October 3, 2010, 07:46 PM
The Higher end Frost knives are pretty good for the Price.

October 26, 2010, 10:13 PM
My list would include the Kabar in D2 steel, one or the other U.S.G.I./U.S.M.C. bayonets, and the large SOG bowies.

October 27, 2010, 03:54 AM
I have used a two dollar plastic handle mora and a hammer for tile removing (as a chisel and a prybar) and it took over 100 square meters of tile before the blade finally came off (through) the handle. So, it can be said that knives without full tang construction can be pretty tough. Also, I use a puukko with a short hidden tang and a wooden handle almost daily for demanding work and I am not particularly worried that it will somehow fail me. Similarly I would not be worried that a nail that has been driven two inches into solid piece of wood will come loose in hurry. If you have any doubts, try it.

Also, why would you need a big knife for bushcraft? If you need to split a log, for example, why not use your small knife to make wooden wedges for the task? My longest single "walkabout" in northern Lapland took about one month, and my simple puukko knife with a 3.5 inch blade was all I needed, although I did have a spare folder with me "just in case". In my experience having a knife that is good for making kindling for a fire is key, especially in the arctic. Not for a single time have I had a need to punch my puukko through a car door, or cut a thick free hanging rope know what I mean.

October 27, 2010, 06:50 AM
Esee +1

October 27, 2010, 08:47 AM
My primary knives for duty are the Gerber prodigy or LMTF, KaBar, and Becker knives. All have seen light use, some have been to Iraq. All have done well under light use. I would trust any of them for heavy duty/long term. I like the flat pommel of the Kabar for pounding when you don't have a hammer, but I also like the point on the others for breaking glass if necessary.

My only complaint of the Becker is that the handle, while comfortable, is thick and slick. But as a survival knife I like the fact that it can be removed to be used as a spear.

October 27, 2010, 11:00 AM
The Beckers are supposed to be good knives, however I don't own one yet and can't offer anything first hand.

The Mora's are great user knives. I finally broke down and tried one. Bought it last fall and have beat on it a bit (nothing harsh) and it has taken it all just fine and only required touching up occasionally.

I know you have already made your choice, but if anyone else is looking at this thread and trying to decide - I would suggest that they also look at Blind Horse Knives. Good guys turning out very good product. You can find them here

October 27, 2010, 03:29 PM
I have to say I was in the same market Mike was in - after a lot of research I picked up a couple Becker BK2s and man are they great! It's not a lightweight that's for sure, but it's mass is confidence inspiring - this knife will take a beating. And very sharp out of the box - shaved off some arm hair with it. And for 54 dollars off amazon - what a deal! Lot's of great fixed blades out there, but for the price the BK2 is tough to beat.

October 27, 2010, 03:59 PM
KABAR Becker BK2 Campanion +1

I have had mine for about a month now and have really put it to the test. Great, rugged, high performing knife. And for the price it just cannot be beat.

October 27, 2010, 04:32 PM
Another vote for ESEE. They are absolutely splendid knives and while not cheap, won't break the bank. They aren't really hunting knives but they sure do cut and stand up. 1095 carbon steel with the best heat treat and the best warranty in the business.

I think the KaBar Beckers are well thought of as well but I am an ESEE man (got 5 of them). Also 1095.

Everybody needs to get a passel of Moras as well. Some clippers and some of the Craftsmen series. If for no other reason than to have yourself some razor sharp beaters that you can get serious good service out of, learn to sharpen (if you need that) and not feel sad if you loose one. At $90 or so depending, you'll be sad to loose an ESEE. Mora is $12 to $30 depending on model. Stainless models are Sandvik steel and the carbon are 1095 and some proprietary steels of high quality (triflex).

At the mid-range, I'd highly recommend Helle Knives of Norway. They make very nice, laminated steel models in the $50 to $70 range. I have the Besseggen which is a stout working knife. I will soon be getting the Ny Fjording...also "a stout working knife". Big handles suitable for use with gloves and cold hands. Sandvik steel

Buck has come out of a bad period and their knives are pretty darned good these days...again. The use a 420HC and do a spectacular heat treat on them which makes 420HC pretty darned good. Their old 440C blades were so hard they were next to impossible to sharpen without diamonds but 420HC is much easier to maintain.

Glock knife...phooey. Terrible blade geometry, terrible cutlery steel (which know one knows what it is). Nice sheaths though but that's not much. Don't buy a Glock knife.

As for the Gerber LMF. Well, I have one but for really just a few dollars more, get the equivelent from ESEE, the ESEE 5 and you got yourself a serious monster of a "survival knife". Not a hunting knife at all but wow what a beast. The LMF is the knife I really want to love...but don't. But it is a good knife and would probably serve you pretty well. Steel is not specified which makes me leary. I want to know what kind of steel a knife is made of. I am not super picky once I know, but I do want to know.

October 27, 2010, 08:03 PM
I also recommend ESEE (formerly RAT Cutlery) knives. I have an RC-3, RC-4 and RC-5 and all are well made and tough.

I own several Bark Rivers. The Bravo-1 is a great choice as is the Gunny and Aurora.

My last suggestion are Fallkniven F1 and S1. They are also stainless steel which if you're in a wet environment comes in handy.

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