Fixed Blade Knife Useless?


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Captains1911
March 21, 2013, 08:58 PM
I was chatting with a few co-workers today on the topic of knives, and mentioned how much I like my Becker BK2. One suggested that a knife like that is "completely useless." It's surprising since he's an outdoors person. I have trouble understanding how somebody could believe that, considering its likely one of the most useful tools I can think of. It's like calling rope useless.:confused:

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Coyote3855
March 21, 2013, 09:27 PM
He's jealous of your knife. Or just stupid and rude.

whetrock
March 21, 2013, 09:46 PM
The BK2 is a fine knife by all means, and has developed quite a following. While it's overbuilt, that's just its nature and claim to fame. I appreciate them for what they are. Unless he likes smaller fixed blades, and totes an axe or folding saw into the woods in conjunction to his fixed blade knife on his adventures, what he said is pretty senseless. All of this is coming from a guy who goes for smaller knives. Use what works best for you and nobody else.

Tirod
March 21, 2013, 09:56 PM
I've got an original Campanion. It is useless.

That isn't to say it can't be used, of course, but the knife has issues. It's heavy, the blade is too thick, the edge is too thick, and the grip is large. I don't carry it precisely because of that. I should have gotten rid of it years ago. Therefore, it's never used, and that makes it - useless.

What do I carry and use instead? A 3 1/2" folder. Dress a deer with any 5 inch fixed blade and you fight the length, constantly being forced to choke up on the blade. The edge needs to be thin, and a longer tapering point offers more utility for other chores. It still needs to be drop point, but the Becker could have a 45 degree angle clip and do as well. I carried a Swamp Rat Camp Tramp for a while, it's better than the Becker because the edge was thinner, the knife handled better. It was still too big for most hunting and camping chores, tho, and I question now whether getting an ESEE 6" would be any good, either. According to the users and makers, the 5" is a bit much.

After 22 years in the Reserves, Infantry, Ordnance, MP, I never used a knife to open an ammo crate - you just twist the wires and it falls apart. I didn't have to baton or chop wood, most dry limbs broke under my weight, and the larger ones burned in two and both ends shoved in the fire. What I couldn't handle, a hatchet or axe would. Woodsmen use those to build lean to's, it's required by Alaska state law for bush pilots. In the field, the worse thing we had to cut were roots - which we uncovered with entrenching tools, and which are quite capable of handling them with a serrated edge. The other was paracord, and a 3 1/2" locking folder or Swiss Army knife was more than a match. The scissors were prized for personal care.

If I had nothing else, I could use a BK2, but it wouldn't be the primary choice, or even on the list. For the extreme work they are touted to be good for, I'd rather carry a 4" camp knife and a boy's axe.

There's the long explanation, which comes from a having a share of the outdoor experience. Yes, having rope might just be useless - if it's kernmantle or rappel line - when you actually need some twine to bind sticks together to make a shelter or tie out a tarp. If three lay twist, it could be unraveled.

If some is good, more isn't better. We wear right sized shoes and underwear, not three sizes too big. I don't take a 6" fixed knife in the woods anymore. It's useless.

hso
March 21, 2013, 10:04 PM
What was his criteria, or was he pointlessly dismissive?

Captains1911
March 21, 2013, 10:49 PM
What was his criteria, or was he pointlessly dismissive?

"If I need to chop wood I'll use my hatchet." He owns a couple small cheap folding knives too, but not a fixed blade.

Goosey
March 21, 2013, 11:36 PM
Fixed blades aren't useless but I'd rather have something with a blade thinner than 1/4-in thick.

Certaindeaf
March 22, 2013, 12:49 AM
Whip out a clovis point and maybe he'll shut his yap about it.

rcmodel
March 22, 2013, 12:59 AM
It's like calling rope useless.But, rope is useless.

They used to use it to set rigging on sailing ships.
And I tied hay bales down with it on a farm wagon in 1955.
Even roped a cow or two with a real rope back then.


But today?

If Duct Tape, Tye Wraps, and a Blue Tarp or two don't do it?
It don't Get-R-Done around here.

I'm not even sure you can still buy real sisal or hemp rope in these parts?
Can't even get real bailing wire anymore to fix fences & Fords, dangit!

But if you could get rope, you for sure would need a good fixed or folding knife to cut it!

rc

Speedo66
March 22, 2013, 01:23 AM
I have never carried a "hunting" knife while hunting. Too big, heavy, etc.

I've found a Browning 3 blade folding knife to be ideal. Pointed blade to cut around the @nus and make a hole in the skin over the chest cavity. A blunt tipped blade to open the chest and avoid poking into the viscera, and a saw blade to cut through the pelvis or other bones.

Not macho, but it does work neatly and efficiently.

mgmorden
March 22, 2013, 01:31 AM
Did he specifically say that it was because the blade was fixed?

Without a bit more context it could be hard to judge. Personally I like my fixed blade (only one I have is a Kabar Hunter), but generally I have to say I don't really use it except when hunting. Other than that it just seems out of place to carry a fixed blade on the belt. For everyday carry to me a folder is just much more realistic, and lately I've been even gravitating towards smaller ones for convenience. Anything with multiple-blades is out (too thick), and I've found that I like most of my blades at 3 to 3.5".

With that in mind, the BK2 certainly wouldn't be my first choice for most tasks, but I wouldn't dream of calling it "useless". Maybe he just wasn't articulating his thoughts well. Or maybe he was just that dense ;).

CA Raider
March 22, 2013, 01:56 AM
captains - hatchets are heavy. I've carried them for long distances, and usually i leave them at home now :-) one good solid fixed blade knife is an excellent choice for survival. I wasn't familiar with the BK2 ... but took a look at some pix. it looks like an excellent choice for a survival knife to me.

i would suggest that your critical "friend" get some more experience. :-)
One thing about knives - everyone's got an opinion. Hahahaha!

CA R

22-rimfire
March 22, 2013, 03:51 AM
I suspect that the person making the remark feels the BK2 a bit unwieldy and they prefer a more finese knife for their outdoor activities.

The BK2 is chunky. I have one. I mostly wanted to see what all the talk was about with them.

Captains1911
March 22, 2013, 09:55 AM
Honestly, I don't even think he realizes how bulky and over-built the BK2 is, he's not a knife person. He was more so suggesting the uselessness of fixed blades knives in general.

Certaindeaf
March 22, 2013, 10:24 AM
He probably thinks Crocodile Dundee is the antichrist.

Sam1911
March 22, 2013, 11:03 AM
For any given task there is one (or a few) perfect tool(s). Then there are usually a quite large number of other tools that can do the same job reasonably well, maybe with a bit more effort and time. Then there's a huge number of tools that just can't perform that task.

So it follows that every tool has a few tasks that it would do perfectly, and a whole lot of tasks that it can handle reasonably well, a few that it could be pressed to do with a lot of effort and bother, and some it just can't do.

It is absurd to say a small, thick knife is "useless." You could perform thousands of tasks with that knife. The ratio of length to thickness of that particular model might make the list of tasks that it is PERFECT for very small, but it COULD handle everything from trimming your toenails to killing an elephant (under some rather specific conditions. ...perhaps including anesthesia).

The likelihood is, however, that you might have hundreds of other tools that would perform your most commonly encountered outdoor tasks with a bit more aplomb. In other words, if you've got one, and you like it, carry it and it will do what you need.

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 11:53 AM
Hmmm, let me see...yeah, totally useless! :D

dayhiker
March 22, 2013, 12:00 PM
captains - hatchets are heavy. I've carried them for long distances, and usually i leave them at home now :-) one good solid fixed blade knife is an excellent choice for survival. I wasn't familiar with the BK2 ... but took a look at some pix. it looks like an excellent choice for a survival knife to me.

The Bk2 is listed at 14.6oz. The sheath is listed at 3.9oz. (according to http://www.gpknives.com/kabarbeckerbk2campanion.html )

My hatchet weighs 20 ounces.

Just an ounce and a half difference.

In MY hands my hatchet will out perform a BK2 in any task, any day of the week. So for ME a BK2 serves no purpose. And, I have nothing but respect for Mr Ethan Becker, and his designs.

But I grew up with hatchets,pocket/belt axes, axes, and mauls. A thick,heavy, sharpened pry bar does nothing for me.

Too each his own,.....

Pilot
March 22, 2013, 12:02 PM
If you have hatchets, saws, axe's etc, a large knife is probably not required. However, sometimes we do not have access to these other tools, and that is when a larger knife will come in handy. It may not do small tasks, food prep, cleaning game, camp chores, very well, but it WILL do them.

The BK2 is a fine knife, and very versatile. It is also a good value.

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 12:07 PM
Dayhiker, you can skin a deer with a hatchet better than a knife? Please start a new thread, demonstrating. Sounds like a useful skill.

dayhiker
March 22, 2013, 12:18 PM
Dayhiker, you can skin a deer with a hatchet better than a knife? Please start a new thread, demonstrating. Sounds like a useful skill.

Don't hunt....but can carve detail work just fine with my belt axe.. And I am not going to start a new thread.

Here are just two pics....

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/axe/100_1748.jpg

And a figure four I carved with my Wetterlings.

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/axe/100_1765.jpg

If you still doubt my word, so be it.

Certaindeaf
March 22, 2013, 12:19 PM
.But I grew up with hatchets,pocket/belt axes, axes, and mauls. A thick,heavy, sharpened pry bar does nothing for me.

Too each his own,.....
Why do you hate Jim Bowie? And Vikings.. they didn't use no 20 ounce hatchets.

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 12:20 PM
Dayhiker, so...you cannot, in fact, skin a deer with it? Skinning an animal is an important survival skill. Claiming you can do "anything" with an axe better is only valuable if you can do all the important survival skills with it.

dayhiker
March 22, 2013, 12:36 PM
Dayhiker, so...you cannot, in fact, skin a deer with it? Skinning an animal is an important survival skill. Claiming you can do "anything" with an axe better is only valuable if you can do all the important survival skills with it.

Didn't say I "can"t" just said I "haven't". If ancient man could do it with a sharp flake of stone I am sure I can do it with a 2 3/4" edge hair popping sharp piece of steel.

I know you like big knives, that is plain to see.But if I could "survive" 36 years of playing in the New England woods with a hatchet WITHOUT skinning a deer. I think I'll manage 36 more. (If I live to be 80).

dayhiker
March 22, 2013, 12:38 PM
Why do you hate Jim Bowie? And Vikings.. they didn't use no 20 ounce hatchets.

:D That made me chuckle......(I am of Swedish heritage)

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 12:47 PM
big knives...and small knives. Both have their places. I'm sure I've said at least 15x on THR that a machete/kukri/large bowie/bolo/hatchet, plus a smaller task knife is the way to go. And it is. Hey, years of posting...easy to check.

ETA: here are some examples.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7542713&highlight=hatchet#post7542713

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7112328&highlight=hatchet#post7112328

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6783828&highlight=hatchet#post6783828

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6469699&postcount=16

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4870599&postcount=37

Certaindeaf
March 22, 2013, 12:56 PM
:D That made me chuckle....
I had a sneaky feeling it just might.. God bless the Vikings! and Jim Bowie

lemaymiami
March 22, 2013, 01:53 PM
Note to knife beginners or those that have never used a knife as a work implement, day after day.... See the picture in post #17 and note the size of the handle on each blade.... The first thing I ever look at on a knife is the handle and whether it would help or hurt if you worked with it for a few hours... Yes, the blade length, balance, shape and edge are important as well but the handles on the blades shown say it all for me.


Fixed or folder, take your choice but think about the part that will be in your hand first....

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 02:04 PM
Good point.

I know you like big knives, that is plain to see

You know, now that I think about it, I can look at the picture I posted...and see only 3 large knives, out of 8. Less than half. Big, small, and medium, each has its place.

John

Sam Cade
March 22, 2013, 05:06 PM
Dayhiker, you can skin a deer with a hatchet better than a knife?

Skin? Yes.
Seriously.

You basically hammer the hide off.

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 05:14 PM
But the question was, could an axe really skin a deer better than a knife? Doubt it. The fact that an axe can whittle has little to do with skinning.

Sam Cade
March 22, 2013, 05:29 PM
Doubt it.

Like so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTfCNYewIio

dayhiker
March 22, 2013, 06:04 PM
But the question was, could an axe really skin a deer better than a knife?

Actually that is your question for me.

Somehow you decided my comment that an "axe in my hands works better than a BK2" is wrong. Since skinning a deer equals survival in your eyes.

Dayhiker, so...you cannot, in fact, skin a deer with it? Skinning an animal is an important survival skill.

I, in fact, reject your opinion that it is an important survival skill. Unless you believe Bear Grylls really did snare that Reindeer with paracord.

Tree rats and bunnies need minimal cutting to be skinned. Large game is simply a fantasy in "survival". Unless you carry a rifle with you anytime you hit the woods.

Now I respect your service to our country, and respect your position as a mod. However neither lends any more support to your opinion on this matter than mine.

And I dare say, I KNOW what works in MY hands far better than you. And like I said in my first post....TOO EACH HIS OWN.

Now I am done......I am not about to argue with a mod who feels his opinion on my uses/needs is right.

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 06:57 PM
Well, being a "mod", as you describe it, has nothing to do with what there is evidence to support. In a survival situation, without having to obey sporting game laws, taking big game is actually fairly easy in most of the US. At least, that is my observation from observing game in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, Washington State, and Maryland.

You DID specify "for ME", but again, skinning is a very important survival skill. To each, his/her own, but in general, a large blade (knife or small axe/hatchet) and a smaller one is a good outdoors combination.

John

dayhiker
March 22, 2013, 07:20 PM
To each, his/her own, but in general, a large blade (knife or small axe/hatchet) and a smaller one is a good outdoors combination.

And that is the only thing we can agree on. However you never mentioned that in your first post. Instead you chose to question my abilities with a small axe.

In my past posts I'd like to think I have shown I am capable with an axe, SAK, and my beloved F1.

Yours show no such demonstrations in "outdoors" usage.

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 07:25 PM
Heh. Yeah, not like I've posted pictures of the heaps of brush I cut at a single time with my HI WWII model kukuri, or my review of the Camp Defender, or the recent review of the 'hawk/CD2/RTAK-2, or anything. But, carry on. :D

Tirod
March 22, 2013, 09:01 PM
Most of the American frontier wasn't traversed with 1/4" survival knives. If anything, early pioneers were forced to use common imported British knives we now call the butcher pattern, and expeditions carried dozens for supply and trade with the natives. Most were thin - bendable - which was likely a better survival feature than thicker and breakable. They also carried axes and hatchets, and the weight didn't bother them.

They didn't carry any fuel or sophisticated cook gear because they used the local wood sourced right at their feet. Most travel was by river then, trees were plentiful, and most of America was wilderness. They traveled twenty miles a day, and they cooked most nights if fresh meat was available.

They had an assortment of knives, yes. They also used them every day, and each was well known to be better at some tasks than others. What happens in the modern translation of "What knife should I use outdoors?" is the participants get wrapped into their image - not lessons of daily living and years of experience. If the internet is guilty of one thing above all else, it's being a locker room measuring contest of who's the alpha male. And if needs be in the constantly escalating showdown in threads, we see "bigger MUST be better."

No it is not. It's merely another choice, not a tiered hierarchy of status, and that goes to where do you stop? If a 6" blade is better than 4, then 18" is a whole bunch better, 32" is certainly another level higher, and a two handed broadsword tops.

The basic assertion being made in most of the conversation is false. A bigger knife isn't always better, anymore than a bigger axe will do more work - cleaning squirrels? Dressing out a grouse? No.

The OP's contention was they couldn't understand why someone would say "It's useless," when they saw it oppositely. The reality is that either knife - say a 4" camp vs a 6" - will do much of what the other can. Neither can do all, tho, and certainly not as well. It's NOT an absolute that one's personal preference is automatically SUPERIOR just because they think so. If anything, they may well be showing thru skill and use how to get around the limits in a manageable fashion - not that the results work out better. Skinning a perch with an axe is possible, skinning a buffalo with a 2" folder is also. The professional would use both, along with 3 or 4 others, too.

It's not an either - or choice, nor does the size of the blade have anything to do with skill or social ranking. Except on the internet, where the knife you advocate is the measure of your manhood.

Yeah, sure.

Certaindeaf
March 22, 2013, 09:44 PM
Some islanders in the south pacific use really huge coins.. they are funny like that and never even heard of the intermet. go figure

22-rimfire
March 23, 2013, 12:56 AM
Honestly, I don't even think he realizes how bulky and over-built the BK2 is, he's not a knife person. He was more so suggesting the uselessness of fixed blades knives in general.

To me they are "over built", but I read accounts of people who really like the BK2 and they use them for things like chopping vegies, cutting steaks and so forth. I think people do this because they can. As has been mentioned, different strokes for different folks.

I can understand someone who is not particularly a "knife person" saying a fixed blade is "useless" or better phrased "not for them". I bet they use fixed blades in the kitchen versus a folder? I wonder if he whips out his SAK to cut a steak in a restaurant? If he did, it would probably just be a statement against the restaurant that their knives suck. :)

As far as the hatchet or axe thing for skinning game... well it is possible, but I would choose another tool unless I had nothing else available.

I generally support the two or three blade approach in the woods. The individual blades choices change with personal experience and preference.

CA Raider
March 23, 2013, 04:46 PM
" Large game is simply a fantasy in "survival". Unless you carry a rifle with you anytime you hit the woods"

Because of my situation, it's no fantasy for me. I do understand that finding large game may be difficult, which is why I don't rely upon that option. I'm 100% happy with the philosophy of gathering meat from small game. But in a real survival situation - I sure won't turn down the chance to get a small whitetail deer. If my family is hungry ... I'll take whatever meat is available. For this reason, being able to skin that deer is an essential activity for me. I like Bear Grylls - but he usualy finds his way out of "trouble" in a few days. People who may be in a long-term survival situation will have different priorities. So sure ... a rifle in 22WMR or a small caliber is one of my options. Not the only one though :-)

The purpose of this comment is not to be argumentative. Just to point out that "survival" will mean different things to different people.

CA R

Sam Cade
March 23, 2013, 08:36 PM
So sure ... a rifle in 22WMR or a small caliber is one of my options.

Can you skin a deer with it? :D

sage5907
March 24, 2013, 11:30 AM
I understand the original point of the person that looked at your knife and I feel the same way. For years I carried fixed blade hunting knives but as I became more experienced I found they were not for me. I spend a lot of time hikeing and scouting which requires laying down on the ground and sliding under barbed wire fences. A fixed blade knife on your belt takes a huge beating with the handles being marred, the cases being shredded, and always the chance that the blade will be pushed into your leg. My current knife of choice is a Buck folding Hunter. I carry a small Buck single blade pocket knife in the trouser pocket all the time, 365 days a year. I am a taxidermist and when I skin animals I use a #22 scalpel with a stainless steel handle. Like I said, I understand what the person said but he should have been more diplomatic about his comment.

Torian
March 24, 2013, 11:57 AM
I'm a big fan of fixed blades under 4 inches. My ESEE 3 MIL saw quite a bit of use overseas.

http://www.eseeknives.com/esee-3-mil.png

Use whatever works for you!

CA Raider
March 24, 2013, 01:55 PM
Sam ... HAHAHA!
That was funny. I didn't point out - but should explain - I always carry a knife. Quite often I have a couple of them.
Good one :-)

CA R

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