For Iraq/Afghanistan Vets - What Was Your Most Useful Sandbox Knife?


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Readyrod
September 4, 2012, 10:04 AM
So for those of you out there, or who have been out there, in Afghanistan and/or Iraq, what is the most useful knife you have used/seen? I'm thinking tactical and just downright useful. (And btw thanks for going out on a limb for the rest of us.)

MODERATOR NOTE: If you've not served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars please wait to post so the OP can hear from the people that have actually served in those theaters of operation about what the most useful knives they carried or saw. I'll put the older vets' posts back in a day or so.

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Sam1911
September 4, 2012, 01:14 PM
Hopefully John will be along shortly to reply, as he's on his second tour in Afghanistan and I know he has some very specific thoughts on the matter.

Basically, something fixed-blade and tough, but not too expensive. No more than 4" blade length so it can be carried in garrison without getting cross-ways with the rules against carrying "weapons." Should have a lanyard hole and be able to fasten to the front of a harness or plate carrier, preferably inverted, for immediate access. Not primarily a "killing things" knife, nor a field-dressing-game knife. More of a general all-purpose tool for opening MREs, slashing webbing or cord in an emergency, puncturing or prying cans, cases, crates and other things that need opened (sometimes in a hurry) but don't always want to be.

Here's a thread on a blade I worked on for him to carry clipped to his armor: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=587732

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc184/sam1911/Knife%20Work/Set1.jpg

hso
September 4, 2012, 01:19 PM
You can look through the various "knives for soldier" thread and see what folks have carried and recommended.

They're consistently smaller than you'd think.

DNS
September 4, 2012, 01:23 PM
First Gulf War I carried an old carbon steel Sharpfinger.
Sand is pretty rough on a folder.

An Esee Izula would be a good choice.

Biggerhammer
September 4, 2012, 01:24 PM
I don't know what rules are imposed on military personal these days when it comes to "Weapons" but I know in my service days (11B). There was quite a difference between a "Utility" knife and your go to knife when all other systems have failed or the situation calls for such. I prefer a little more length when it comes to a "Fighter" knife, 4" just won't cut it for angled edge weapons play. Especially when gear and such are involved. Back then I carried a Gerber MKII, then again. Knives have come a long way since then. Still keep my old piece stored away.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k269/landonmoses/DSC00150.jpg

PRM
September 4, 2012, 04:39 PM
I took a couple of knives with me on deployment. I bought an Emerson Super CQC 7 with the Wave just prior to leaving - never really used it.

What I did use on almost a daily basis was my Victorinox Trekker. It cut everything I needed a cutting tool for. Things a $200 Emerson didn't get close too. The screw drivers and other tools also came in handy from time to time. The only thing that even came close to the Trekker's usefulness was a Gerber multi-tool. The SAK was just my personal preference.

Aikibiker
September 4, 2012, 05:08 PM
I got the most use out of my leatherman sideclip (discontinued unfortunately) and CRKT M21-14SF. Very good for opening boxes or fixing broken things. Never had to use a knife for social purposes and I am glad of that.

I did know one fellow that but a dagger like was posted by Biggerhammer to good use in Afghanistan when he got into a ground fight with a taliban. I think it was one of the Cold Steel daggers, but I cannot remember exactly.

Creature
September 4, 2012, 05:15 PM
Ontario OKC3S. Carbon steel blade so a couple of seconds of preventative maintenance is required.

ApacheCoTodd
September 4, 2012, 08:18 PM
I was already all knifed up but was pretty impressed with the Gerber LMF II ASEK that a lot of fellas had.

rcmodel
September 4, 2012, 09:58 PM
I bought an Emerson Super CQC 7 with the Wave just prior to leaving - never really used it.

What I did use on almost a daily basis was my Victorinox Trekker.That sounds about like the Army I was in 40+ years ago.

The guys with the big fighting knives were always wanting to borrow my Victorinox SAK to fix things or open cans or whatever.

I still think today, a SAK and a Multi-Tool would be WAY more useful (and available in garrison) then any big fixed blade fighting knife.

rc

Madcap_Magician
September 4, 2012, 10:07 PM
Probably a quality Leatherman sees the most use.

JShirley
September 4, 2012, 11:10 PM
If you have a "fighter" of any length, odds are 50% or less now that you'll get to carry it. You MAY be allowed to carry a short, unobtrusive fixed blade.

What has become the MK1 is my educated idea of a good general knife for deployed service members. Sam should offer the next batch before Christmas.

John

Sapper771
September 4, 2012, 11:28 PM
I carried a Gerber Mk II for a few months. Then I decided that I needed a better general purpose knife. Used a Glock Field Knife (81 sawback) for most of my tour. It was light, tough, and didnt take up too much space on my vest.

If I had to go back, I would carry an ESEE 4 and a Emerson QCQ-8.

MrCleanOK
September 5, 2012, 12:05 AM
The observation about big knives staying in footlockers has been spot on for me. On my first deployment, my Gerber LMF II (http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-22-01629-Black-Infantry-4-8-Inch/dp/B000E3QUB6) stayed in the tuffbox. I like the knife, I'm bringing it with me on the next deployment, but it will probably stay in the tuffbox again. The knife itself is a little on the large side, but the sheath is what is really overkill. It just takes up too much room on my gear, and I do not like thigh straps so it will never go on my belt.

What I did carry every day was a Kabar TDI (http://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-1480-Knife-Tdi-Enforce-blk/dp/B003IXYW3M/ref=sr_1_3?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1346812789&sr=1-3&keywords=kabar+tdi). I carried it as a strictly defensive knife because I lived in close proximity to Iraqi soldiers. It went everywhere with me, and will be going everywhere with me on my next deployment too.

For everyday cutting and other chores I carried a Benchmade Mini Barrage (http://www.amazon.com/Benchmade-Osborne-Mini-Barrage-Knife/dp/B004VKUDPW) clipped in my pocket, and a Leatherman Wave (http://www.amazon.com/Leatherman-Black-Finish-Sheath-830246/dp/B0009JS2ZW/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1346812862&sr=1-1&keywords=leatherman+wave+black) in a pouch on my gear. Both of these will be making the next trip too. The Mini Barrage is a great little knife. Small enough to be unobtrusive in your pocket, but with a rock solid locking system. I never had problems with sand in the folding mechanism, but I wasn't in a particularly sandy part of Iraq either. The Leatherman is going because of course, it's a Leatherman. I throw the issued Gerber multitool in a desk drawer and use the pouch it comes in for a pistol magazine. That Gerber is "Gerbage".

Before I leave for my next trip, I'd like to add an Eskabar (http://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-BK14-Becker-Knife-Eskabar/dp/B004CIQY6K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346812985&sr=8-1&keywords=becker+bk14) to my gear.

Biggerhammer
September 5, 2012, 11:58 AM
I see the thread was edited, my Gerber that was pictured(MK-II) I carried from 90-98(Army)It had belonged to my father that served two tours in Vietnam as a Combat Controler with the Airforce. The knife was handed down to me. I'm not sure exactly when he purchased it. I would ask but he Has since passed, I did though miss the point of the thread " The most useful knife" staying on topic I would say I used my Gerber Multi-Tool every day.

danweasel
September 5, 2012, 04:02 PM
I was not an infantryman or anything like that. Signal Corps here, Iraq 2003-4.

The knife I wore out in Iraq (actually two seperate units, one got lost) was a Leatherman Wave. Beyond useful, it combines a one hand opening folder knife with an (actually functional!) multitool.

sixgunner455
September 5, 2012, 07:10 PM
Afghanistan 02-03, Iraq 03.

SAK Tinker got used every day. The Gerber multitool I got issued could have been better, but it got used a good bit as well.

As far as a knife that was bigger than that, on a daily basis, I had a Kershaw Onion clipped to my pocket. It worked.

I did take a 5.5" fighter and an M7 bayonet . They were on my combat gear, and when I went outside the wire, went along for the ride. I was told after the fact that they kept me and my buddies out of a couple of fights, because nobody wanted to piss me off.

YMMV.

Sgt_R
September 5, 2012, 08:49 PM
OEF 2003, OIF/OND 2009-10, OND 2010-11, OEF 2011-12.

Any semi-disposable 3.5" folder with a good lock, pocket clip, manual action (automatics are too expensive, and not worth the hassle you'll get in Customs) in the $50 range. I've had good luck with CRKT, Spyderco, and Benchmade.

A quality multitool. Your job will mostly determine which one you need (i.e., most of us really don't need the EOD tool). I like SOG and Leatherman. After the second Gerber literally came apart in my hands, I stopped buying them.

Whatever you choose, bring two of each. You can't always get spares when you need them.

R

sixgunner455
September 5, 2012, 09:03 PM
Whatever you choose, bring two of each. You can't always get spares when you need them.



Amen

Hacker15E
September 5, 2012, 09:14 PM
I was just a zoomie, so all of my travel outside the wire was in an airplane, but I was issued a Benchmade like this and it worked like a champ.

http://www.benchmade.com/images/products/model_main/5000.jpg

http://www.benchmade.com/products/5000

redbone
September 5, 2012, 10:30 PM
CRKT M21 plain spear point and a SAK.

OIF 08-09

RBH

elrowe
September 5, 2012, 10:35 PM
OIF III and OND - Kershaw Tanto Blur. The Army issue combat knife never left the sheath. But then again I never got face to face with anyone who needed stabbing.

JShirley
September 5, 2012, 11:13 PM
The "stabbing" has almost nothing to do with it. I'd be surprised to learn if more than 5 US troops have been forced to use a knife on insurgents in the last decade.

I use a Spyderco Manix 2 XL that a board member sent me on a daily basis, but it will never be used "in anger" unless I am assaulted inside the wire.

BCCL
September 6, 2012, 01:44 AM
One of my best friends spent about 3.5 years in Iraq over 2 tours, going in as part of the invasion itself, as well as 8 months in Bosnia and several South American deployments over the last 15 years in the Army, and he pretty much used a Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn folder the whole time. Being a knife nut, I bugged him all the time about knives he saw being carried and used in theater, and he consistently saw guys showing up with big 7-9 inch bladed fixed blades, that due to the heat, and weight of all the other crap they had to carry, were soon left behind and smaller knives were scrounged up to use.

Tim the student
September 6, 2012, 02:21 AM
I was a medic, in infantry and recon units.

I carried an Emerson that I did most of my cutting with. I also carried a Leatherman that I did a lot of other stuff with. Both came in handy, but I don't think I did anything with the Emerson I couldn't have done with a Leatherman. Thankfully I was not involved in any fights I had to use a knife for :D.

A good pair of trauma shears is damn hard to beat too, for some things.

PRM
September 6, 2012, 08:39 AM
I was just a zoomie, so all of my travel outside the wire was in an airplane, but I was issued a Benchmade like this and it worked like a champ. - Hacker15E

We too, were issued the Benchmade autos, great knives. I already had the Emerson shown in my post, so I didn't take it. Good decision - I would have lost it!!! Group I went with were embedded trainers (ETT/MTT Team). Because of my civilian police background, I was split from that group in Kandahar and embedded with the Afghan National Police. Never saw the team I left the states with again until we de-mobed at FT Riley. Coming back through Kuwait, Customs was taking the autos unless you had a memo stating they were organizational equipment.:eek: Glad now I left it at home.

US Customs were pretty descent, they took what they were told too. We went through screening by the Brits at Kandahar... totally different story. One of the Canadian RCMP Officers I worked with had a Kabar confiscated out of his checked baggage because they said he could not have been issued a "Marine knife"??? He gave in and let them take it to avoid missing his flight.

HorseSoldier
September 6, 2012, 09:11 AM
The knife I got the most use out of was a Benchmade 710. Also carried a Tom Halloran STX fixed blade (4" ish blade) on my body armor for any cutting or prying work a folder might not work for (and, yes, for the very remote possibility I might wind up needing to stab or cut someone).

Readyrod
September 6, 2012, 11:19 AM
MODERATOR NOTE: If you've not served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars please wait to post so the OP can hear from the people that have actually served in those theaters of operation about what the most useful knives they carried or saw. I'll put the older vets' posts back in a day or so.

Thanks, other conflicts are good too but I was more interested in the recent ones.

Whatever you choose, bring two of each. You can't always get spares when you need them.

That has turned into my general philosophy, find what works and double up.

Looks like the Saks, leathermans, and standard 3" to 4" blades are the most popular. Interesting as that's what I use in my normal life. I guess it makes sense.
Does anyone have any input on these breacher bars?
http://www.countycomm.com/eodrtool.html
How about other edged tools?
Thanks

HorseSoldier
September 6, 2012, 06:02 PM
Looks like the Saks, leathermans, and standard 3" to 4" blades are the most popular. Interesting as that's what I use in my normal life. I guess it makes sense.

It varies from unit to unit and such, but like someone noted up thread, there's not a lot of tolerance for knives with much more blade than that. My last trip, a few guys (mostly younger/limited time in service) tried rolling with with larger knives, some of which might meet some working definitions of short swords. The chain of command was not impressed, and beyond telling them to get rid of that stuff, they told they had to do so specifically because big knives "aren't COIN" and scare/intimidate the locals too much. (Strangely, this included a new guy who bought his own M9 bayonet because we weren't issued them and he was worried he'd be bayonet fighting the Talibs :rolleyes: -- silly idea, but you'd think the USGI bayonet wouldn't be "too much".)

The other thing is that knives are 99.9% or more tools in modern warfare and maybe weapons 0.01% of the time. We're fighting a war somewhere where much more than a 3-5" bladed knife just doesn't do much as a tool. Other places, machetes and bolo knives or hatchets might make a lot more sense. (And to be fair, we did get away with rolling with some tomahawks under the declared logic they were emergency breaching tools.)

billymarr
September 6, 2012, 07:13 PM
Leatherman wave on this last trip to AFG.

TimboKhan
September 7, 2012, 12:06 AM
I was machinegunner in desert storm, and I learned real quick that big knives just aren't worth the weight or space. A pocketknife and a pair of pliers were infinitely more useful. Had I know about leatherman back then, thats what I would have carried.

Readyrod
September 8, 2012, 06:34 AM
So I guess that these are not useful?
http://www.countycomm.com/eodrtool.html

hso
September 8, 2012, 08:34 AM
Just because it is offered for sale on the internet doesn't mean that it is of any use except to a very small group of people (if at all).

Readyrod
September 8, 2012, 10:01 AM
Just curious.

TimboKhan
September 8, 2012, 12:48 PM
Honestly, a crowbar carried off body (hummer, lav, whatever) would be more useful. Again, weight and space. Haul that stuff around all day in hot temperatures, and you quickly realize what's worth it and what's not. Not that that little bar is a bad tool, but it wouldn't be something I would have hauled around in the infantry. EOD people have different needs, so maybe for them it would be worth it.

DNS
September 8, 2012, 02:39 PM
I forgot i actually carried a Leatherman on my belt too.

Getting old...

Rob0321
September 10, 2012, 01:50 AM
I carried a Strider BT through three tours in Iraq and the most it really did was serve as an impromptu hammer through the first two. For most general cutting I had an Emerson CQC-8. I only opened MRE's with the blade on my Leatherman, as I didn't want to dull the edges of my good knives on foil.

I would still carry those same three were I to deploy again any time soon (not going to happen for a bit, got the Corps to send me to college and get a commission so I'm on a bit of a vacation).

Readyrod
September 10, 2012, 08:02 PM
One of the Canadian RCMP Officers I worked with had a Kabar confiscated out of his checked baggage because they said he could not have been issued a "Marine knife"???

I wonder whose collection that ended up in.

TAKtical
September 10, 2012, 08:14 PM
If you can get away with it, the esee 5 is one helluva knife.

whitefeathersniper
September 14, 2012, 12:34 PM
I carried a CRKT Ryan or a CRKT M16-13z. And a Leatherman type multitool
They were all purchased at the PX and I found them very useful for various tasks..

weaponhead
September 14, 2012, 08:27 PM
Spyderco Endura and Glock Field Knife

Readyrod
September 15, 2012, 09:24 AM
Hey weaponhead any downside to the Endura cause I was thinking of getting one. I have a stainless Grasshopper now and I really like it other than it's a little small.
Can anyone tell me how the plastic handled folders (esp the Spyderco's) hold up? I'm asking cause my steel Grasshopper seems way stronger than my plastic handled one.

weaponhead
September 15, 2012, 10:11 AM
The Endura 4 has steel liners within the FRN handles....don't think you'll have any issues!

Readyrod
September 15, 2012, 10:15 AM
I was thinking of the all stainless one.

JShirley
September 15, 2012, 10:22 AM
I talked with Sal Glesser about relative strengths of Spydercos at the 2011 SHOT show. He told me that the old FRN handled Spydercos were actually stronger than the steel-handled versions. Unless you do something like hit it with a hammer, you'll never have a problem with a Spyderco FRN knife.

I've handled about 100 knives pulled from the garbage here in Afghanistan. Only 2 Spydercos...both in working condition, and both FRN handled.

The only good reason to get any of the larger Spydercos with a steel handle is so you can engrave something nice on them.

John

elrowe
September 15, 2012, 10:23 AM
Forgot to mention that some knives get you laughed at. There was a USAF RC12 crewman at my base last year than wandered around in his flightsuit with a machete hanging from his waist - even in the DFAC. Yeah, we made a lot of jokes about him!!!

Readyrod
September 15, 2012, 10:29 AM
I talked with Sal Glesser about relative strengths of Spydercos at the 2011 SHOT show. He told me that the old FRN handled Spydercos were actually stronger than the steel-handled versions.

Wow. Sweet.

Unless you do something like hit it with a hammer

Sorry to admit to knife abuse but that was one of the requirements when I worked on the farm. Tho I promise I'll never do it again. Really, I promise.

Ps: I love my Spydercos

Ehtereon11B
September 16, 2012, 02:20 AM
OEF 2010. My favorite knife was and still is a Kabar D2 "Extreme Fighting knife" is what they call it. If you can find one of these for less than $90, jump on it. Also carried a pocket knife and Leatherman Wave multitool. Since the Gerber multitools that are issued are total junk.

JohnSkiS
September 16, 2012, 02:51 AM
I was USMC Infantry (0331) in Iraq 05-06 and 07, and Afghanistan 08, the knife I used the absolute most and was the most useful (for various reasons) was my traditional style, USMC KA-BAR. I still carry it when I hunt or go on long trips. And it stays by my bedside when I'm not carrying it

mljdeckard
September 16, 2012, 04:09 AM
I kept a Gerber Mk II on my vest. But the one I used most of the time was a CRKT full-size Tanto folder. I replaced it with a Spyderco near the end, and I actually preferred it. For little things like opening MREs and cutting paracord, It's the same pocket knife you use at home that's going to help you most.

DocWhiskey
September 16, 2012, 04:22 AM
In Iraq I carried a CRKT M16 type model. In Afghanistan I carried the same until the pocket clip failed and I lost the knife. I replaced it with a Cold Steel AK47. That was an upgrade in every way. I also had a the large KA BAR tanto tip fighting knife on my warbelt. I ended up using that to scrape for command wires and hammer nails in the hooch. I still wouldn't ever go to a combat zone without a fixed blade, no matter what.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mljdeckard
September 16, 2012, 04:48 PM
I also took my old Buckmaster, which is truly a throwback to a day when I was in combat arms, not support where I am now, because it's still a war, but it stayed in my tuffbox.

FMF Doc
September 17, 2012, 09:19 PM
My ZT 0301 Ranger in OD Green with Tiger stripe saved my life on more than one occation. The first time it cut me out of a jammed seatbelt when my truck was hit by an IED. I used it for everything from cutting open MREs to stripping radio wires to digging cat holes. The last time it saved my life, it stayed where it was used. I suspect the shroud man has a new tool these days.

Readyrod
September 18, 2012, 11:02 PM
My ZT 0301 Ranger in OD Green with Tiger stripe saved my life on more than one occation

Great story. I'm definitely starting to think that a strong one hand opening folder is the ticket.

Readyrod
September 21, 2012, 11:10 AM
I've handled about 100 knives pulled from the garbage here in Afghanistan. Only 2 Spydercos...both in working condition, and both FRN handled.

The only good reason to get any of the larger Spydercos with a steel handle is so you can engrave something nice on them.

Went to the local toy store and looked at the FRNs. Nice, may have to get one.

rklessdriver
September 28, 2012, 02:38 PM
OIF 2003 and OEF 2005 - I carried a Sypderco Endura (stainless handle) that I had been carrying and using since about 1997... It was just my everyday knife.

About 6 months into the second Det I lent it to troop who managed to break the locking mech on it, which turned it into a slip joint...

I still have it stored away in my knife collection as a reminder...

Other than that I was issued a Gerber Multi tool right before we shipped out in 03... Lots of guys broke theirs and bitched about how crappy the Gerber was.... but everything on mine still works (probaly because I never let "THEM" use it).
Will

TimboKhan
September 29, 2012, 03:44 AM
Spyderco will fix that, I imagine.

Readyrod
September 29, 2012, 09:37 AM
but everything on mine still works (probaly because I never let "THEM" use it)

Isn't one of the tradesman laws "never lend your tools"? (For me it's never lend my roadbike.)
I really like the stainless Spydercos. I have a grasshopper that I can't keep my hands off of. Don't know why but I've always loved stainless. It's my favorite semi precious metal. I'm trying to resist but I want a stainless endura or delica. Any suggestions on which is better?
Staying on topic, how did the endura handle the sandbox?

Ehtereon11B
September 30, 2012, 01:17 AM
I am very anti-stainless when it comes to knives. Stainless steel in knives is either 440A, 440B, or 440C steel. 440A being the "best" of the group and C the worst and cheapest. If I see a knife that says "surgical stainless" or just "440" I don't trust the company to know enough about their knives to buy from them. I will take a 1055, 1095, or D2 steel blade any day of the week.

Jason_G
September 30, 2012, 01:26 AM
I am very anti-stainless when it comes to knives.

I have always been the same way, but with some of the manufacturers using better stainless alloys now, you can get a decent blade that is stainless. I love my Benchmade folder in 154CM. All my fixed blades are plain high carbon steels though.


Jason

Readyrod
September 30, 2012, 03:18 AM
Yea, I know, stainless isn't perfect but I just like it.

hso
September 30, 2012, 10:17 AM
440A being the "best" of the group and C the worst and cheapest.

I've been known to type the opposite of what I was thinking at times so I assume that's the case here, but for everyone else's information 440A gets used for a lot of knives, but C is the better blade steel for most applications because it is more wear resistant (keeps and edge longer) and is stronger than A and hardened more than A. That said, A is easier to sharpen than C so some people like that it is easier to put an edge back on it.

Ehtereon11B
September 30, 2012, 08:05 PM
Yeah that was my fault. I get the two mixed up from time to time.

After the first 15 or so stainless steel knives it was time to stop buying knives with terrible blades and buy something that would last. My lowest quality knife is 4034 Stainless but I don't use it for any more than slicing open boxes or cleaning under my fingernails or something. So for that they last about a year and are cheap to replace if I lose them or break.

sixgunner455
September 30, 2012, 11:43 PM
Readyrod - I have a stainless handled Delica (VG-10 blade) and love it. Very slim, comfortable handle. If you have big hands, you will probably like the Endura more, but either would do.

JohnKSa
October 2, 2012, 02:00 AM
Stainless steel in knives is either 440A, 440B, or 440C steel.Except when it's: AUS8A, AUS6A, AUS10A, VG2, VG5, VG7/8, VG10, G2/GIN1, 425M, 420HC, 12C27, ATS-34, ATS-154CM, S60V, BG-42, S90V, S30V, Sandvik 12C27, N690, 17-7 PH, S35VN, S110V, CTS-20, CTS-40C, 8CR13MoV, etc.

ugaarguy
October 2, 2012, 09:00 AM
ATS-154CM
That's new one to me. Did you perhaps mean 154CM or CPM-154CM?

bikerdoc
October 2, 2012, 09:16 AM
A helpful steel guide

http://www.spyderco.com/edge-u-cation/index.php?item=3

Readyrod
October 2, 2012, 10:22 AM
I've been getting the feeling (message?) that in the sandbox knives have more of a utility use than other. So I'm wondering how folders fare what with the sand and dust. I'm specially interested in the steel Spydercos but that is just an aside as I have a thing for stainless. (and Spyderco)
Anyways I'm thinking that the most useful approach would be to think workknives instead of tactical. What do you folks think?

Sam1911
October 2, 2012, 10:35 AM
Anyways I'm thinking that the most useful approach would be to think workknives instead of tactical. What do you folks think?
Clearly so. While somewhere, sometime some US soldier in the current campaign(s) has undoubtedly used a knife for defensive (maybe even offensive!) purpose at least once, the uses will be for utility needs at about a million-to-one.

I got to inspect a box of folders which were all damaged and discarded in Afghanistan. Benchmades, CRKT, Gerber, Kershaw, etc. Didn't get any Spydercos back. (They're probably still working...;))

They universally appeared to have been used very hard in prying and heavy cutting operations. Many mangled or missing serration teeth. Most had broken tips. The folder mechanisms (especially the assisted opening blades) were pretty gritty. Flooding them with oil and/or repeated baths and rinses got most of that out, but they'd never be as smooth as factory new. That's a very, VERY harsh environment.

Nushif
October 2, 2012, 11:04 AM
Craftsman "Work Knife" ... I am finding out it's a rebranded Kershaw Chubby.

It's thick enough to not break when you're jiggling things apart with it and hefty enough to hit things with as well, when they won't go into the hole they're supposed to.

Readyrod
October 2, 2012, 11:27 AM
Thanks Sam.

Halal Pork
October 2, 2012, 12:04 PM
Short Benchmade folder.

During my first trip to Afghanistan, I really needed a saw and didn't have one. Before the next trip, I bought a camper's chain saw which looked like a bike chain you roll up and put in a pouch. I never needed it again and ended up leaving it behind after a short while.

For whatever that is worth.

Readyrod
October 2, 2012, 12:19 PM
Would the saw on a SAK have done the job? Mine works well, tho in a Mikey Mouse kind of way. I sawed off the end of an umbrella for the kids to use as a toy pistol. Gotta work on their muzzle control tho, LOL.

hso
October 2, 2012, 12:29 PM
The SAK saw is one of the best out there in a package of that size.

Halal Pork
October 2, 2012, 12:39 PM
Would the saw on a SAK have done the job? Mine works well, tho in a Mikey Mouse kind of way. I sawed off the end of an umbrella for the kids to use as a toy pistol. Gotta work on their muzzle control tho, LOL.
I don't think I would have been happy with less than a lumber mill. We were cutting down anything that would burn so we could fit it in a potbelly stove. That was a long time ago and I never ran into quite the same situation again. Most people don't get stuck up in the mountains for weeks during winter. Overall, a smallish Benchmade folder was my most useful knife but, as others mentioned, a Leatherman-type tool is worth its weight in gold. If you're going to have a truck, take whatever you want because overkill won't break your back. If you're walking a lot though go light and simple.

351 WINCHESTER
October 2, 2012, 12:45 PM
I had a good friend that used to send pocket knives to our troops in Iraq as he knew they needed knives. He did this for a while until he was told by our govt. to stop. Maybe some of you received one of his knives. His name was Bill Lankford.

rklessdriver
October 3, 2012, 05:41 PM
I'm trying to resist but I want a stainless endura or delica. Any suggestions on which is better?
Staying on topic, how did the endura handle the sandbox?

Given the choice between those 2, given my uses for knives at the time, I prefered the slightly bigger Endura.... However I will say that I EDC an all stainless Dragon Fly these days which is signifigantly smaller that both of them. Really it comes down to intended purpose and personal preference... The Endura seems fit my hand better. Now that i'm a DOD contractor the Endura seems a bit large and heavy to be carrying around in Kaki's so I bought a Dragon Fly... When I need it - it does the job, when I don't - I don't even notice it in my pocket.

As to how well my old Endura held up... The Sand Box was no big deal for it... As far as I could tell it was just another few months of pocket carry, cutting slash wire, opening boxes, MRE's ect.... The "Moon Dust" there gets in everything including all over my knife but it never caused any problems and every once in a while I'd scrub it out with an AP brush.

My 2005 tour in OEF was CJTF HOA, based out of Djibouti Africa.... Things were alot different than Iraq. Alot of maintaining, inproving and building infrastructure going on there... I can't count how much wire I stripped, many CAT-5 cables I made with that Spyderco or boxes I opened... Those actions were an everyday occurance 7 days a week.... The AO is nothing but rocks and hard pack sand that turns into rocks and a slick clay like material when it rains. BRUTALLY HOT and HUMID.... You sweat like a pig 24/7 there... Honestly even after that clown broke the lock I still carried and used that knife daily.... it always cut (Spyder Edge) and never rusted.

I don't know what else to say about it, other than it's got to be the best knife that I have ever owned. Back in 97 when I bought it (I think it cost like $55), I thought it was a pretty expensive knife... looking back now, it was just $$ well spent.

Spyderco will fix that, I imagine.
I thought about sending it back to them.... I'd be nice if they could fix it, as that knife and I have been thru and done alot together.... I honestly have a brand new Endura 4 also all stainless but I've never even carried it... because it's just not the same....

Will

hso
October 3, 2012, 05:46 PM
Will,

Call them at 800-525-7770 and tell them you're a vet with a stainless Endura that you need to have the lock repaired. Tell them you have a new one, but you'd like to get your's repaired instead of replaced because of sentimental reasons. Can't hurt.

Readyrod
October 4, 2012, 09:39 AM
Hey rklessdriver, thanks for the rundown. I've held both and the delica fits my hand better, tho maybe not with gloves. I have a bit of spare cash right now too. Hmmmmm?
Right now I'm edcing an all steel dragonfly.

steveracer
October 23, 2012, 09:55 AM
I used Spyderco Military folders. I had the same two for about forever. One of them was stolen out of my luggage, and the other is in my pocket right now. Plain edge, stainless.
From Kosovo in 1998 to Somalia four months ago.

griff383
October 23, 2012, 10:18 PM
I HAD three when I was in Iraq 06-07

One was a larger fixed blade tanto that I only carried outside the wire, then while on R+R it decided to take a vacation as well. I didnt really miss it so I never replaced it, cant remember the make / model but I want to say ka-bar.

One was a small 3-4" folder that wasnt fancy, straight blade with a drop point. With a regular strip down and cleaning it stayed functional at all times and I still have it today.

Lastly was a Leatherman Wave, blade easy accessible along with a plethora of other useful tools readily at your disposal.

JShirley
October 24, 2012, 05:19 AM
Steve,

Do you mean you have a Spyderco Military with a stainless handle? I'm not aware of that version.

John

blarby
October 24, 2012, 05:49 AM
I know they make an SS police, and a TI military, but i've never seen a SS Military either.

knife guy
October 28, 2012, 12:09 AM
i had esee-4 shapened clip edge. spyderco military both served very well.

crazy-mp
October 29, 2012, 01:33 AM
I carried a CRKT M16, and a Gerber Multi Tool on me and I had a S&W boot knife that was about 6" long and 1/2 inch wide that I clipped on the sun visor in my HUMVEE. They were all used nearly every day.

But that was back in 03-04
-Afghanistan-

leadcounsel
October 29, 2012, 03:04 AM
OIF 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and OND 2011.

I think at times I had 4 blades on me, which seems absurd but hell, it's a dangerous environment.

Gerber Mk II on my IBA in 2008. Too large. Switch to the Gerber Prodigy starting in 2009. Same knife but smaller.

Had a designated seatbelt cutter on my IBA, which is critical to have.

Had a smaller folder knife for quick use for utility cutting.

And of course a multitool on my belt - rarely used the knife but it was there if needed. More for plyers, openers, etc.

Readyrod
October 30, 2012, 10:55 AM
Well smaller folder, larger fixed blade, and multitool seems to be the consensus. I thought that the favorite fixed blade length was about 3" to 4" but I'm not sure now. What do you folks think is the perfect length? Ok, maybe it's easier to answer what is the max length before it starts to get in the way or too long to use effectively?
BTW thanks for all the replies, it's great info.

Sam1911
October 30, 2012, 11:40 AM
Ok, maybe it's easier to answer what is the max length before it starts to get in the way or too long to use effectively?Probably worth reiterating the 4" maximum allowed in garrison. If it is important to you to be able to carry this blade wherever you may be, you'll need to choose something at or under that limit.

'Course, the better question might be, is there something you CAN'T do with a 4" blade that you can do with a 5" blade? Obviously most would agree that a 6-7"+ blade is unwieldy for a lot of utility tasks. Maybe a 5" blade is just perfect, but if you have to leave it in the locker sometimes, maybe that 1 extra inch is hurting more than helping.

boatmanschneider
October 30, 2012, 06:00 PM
I had a small folding knife and a Leatherman.

I kept the bayonet in the truck. With all the other stuff I carried it served no purpose, it wouldn't mount due to the 203.

Readyrod
October 31, 2012, 06:27 AM
Probably worth reiterating the 4" maximum allowed in garrison.

If that rule is strictly enforced then I imagine it settles the length argument.

A 3" folder is about as big as I want as well as anything bigger is cumbersome. I have smallish hands.

JShirley
October 31, 2012, 12:34 PM
Also probably worth noting that 3" is the longest blade you're allowed to carry on your person on military fixed wing aircraft in theater. Longer blades will be carried in your checked luggage. Yes, it's silly (especially since you HAVE to carry your loaded mags on you, and you have your weapon), but that doesn't change the reg.

John

Ehtereon11B
October 31, 2012, 08:50 PM
If 3 inches is the largest we are allowed to carry on a military flight, I broke that reg every time I went somewhere. I never had an issue carrying as large as a 7" blade in country. Even allowed loaded mags, just not in the weapon.

Now on civilian birds, all knives that were "mission critical" were allowed in our carryon. Otherwise they went in the belly.

JShirley
November 1, 2012, 12:48 PM
You may have indeed broken it. I took something like 40-50 fixed-wing flights during my recent deployment (I'm still on leave from it). At least 90% of those flights were prefaced by telling us that automatic knives and blades over 3" were only allowed in checked luggage. You'll note I mentioned the contradiction with loaded mags in post #91.

It's also worth noting that most large terminals in Afghanistan have gone, or are in the process of going to, metal detector and x ray scanning to verify compliance. I don't want to give undue information away, but RC SW, RC S, and NKC are already there.

Ehtereon11B
November 1, 2012, 08:04 PM
Air crews never told me that little tidbit. I took around 15-20 FW flights during OEF 2010 and the only security checks were at BAF on the way out checking for war trophies, drugs, stuff like that. BAF had better scanning equipment than most stateside airports I've been through. I had a unit patch in my back pocket that I had forgotten about and they made out the writing on it.

TCBPATRIOT
November 4, 2012, 02:15 AM
OIF 2008-2009 OEF 2009-2011
SOG Trident
Gerber Multitool.
And the Ka Bar that my great grandfather went island hopping with in the 40s, his brother(my great uncle) carried with him in Korea, my grandfather had it on his hip when he landed in Da Nang. It went with my dad in the first gulf war and bosnia, I took it with me on both my deployments and it will continue to go with me. I type this as I am in the hospital as my wife and I are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first son. When the time comes this knife shall be his.

rbernie
November 4, 2012, 11:50 AM
^^^^^

Now that is just cool. :)

TCBPATRIOT
November 4, 2012, 12:27 PM
When I run home to grab a fresh set of clothes I'll snap a real quick picture of it.

Readyrod
November 5, 2012, 10:04 AM
When I run home to grab a fresh set of clothes I'll snap a real quick picture of it.

Too cool, I definitely would like to see that one!!!

TCBPATRIOT
November 5, 2012, 02:34 PM
It will be a couple of days before I can get to the house they are inducing her Wednesday.

Readyrod
November 7, 2012, 07:46 AM
BTW TCBPATRIOT heartfull congrats on the son. I have two and they are the joy of my life.

steveracer
November 13, 2012, 01:40 PM
You know, I am looking at it, and it doesn't have "military" on it, but it's a stainless knife. 4" blade, stainless handle, plain edge. Looking at pics of the "police" online, and it must be that, but it is un-marked. Just says "seki city, japan" on one side.

Zombiphobia
November 13, 2012, 06:14 PM
Gerber Multi-tool. I work in logistics in motor-pool, warehouse and armory.

Gotta cut open packages, adjust weapons sights, replace simple vehicle parts like hose clamps, etc etc. I haven't had to use a blade for fighting, but I have a Ka-Bar tanto tip 8" with a rubber grip just in case I get called on for a patrol or supply run that requires leaving the wire, I'd feel better having it JIC. It's probably bigger than what is practical for fighting, though.

I'd like to have a double edged knife like bighammer shows but without the shiny blade. I think that would be better then there's no problems with making sure the blade is facing the right way and makes it more versatile.

40 rod
November 22, 2012, 11:43 PM
For utility a gerber folding tool.

for defense the Gerber Applegate/Fairbain. with the false edge sharpened and the safety clip,lock thing removed. It served me well.

mike40-11
November 24, 2012, 08:11 PM
3. Ka-Bar on the web gear. Gerber multi-tool on the belt. CRKT clip folder in my pocket.

Never used the Ka-bar on anything dangerous but I liked having a knife where I could get at easily in full battle rattle.

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