Affordable Hunting/Backpacking Knife


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rodwha
December 17, 2013, 09:49 PM
I'm considering a good quality strong knife that can do minor machete chores that doesn't cost a bundle. One that'll hold an edge fairly well yet not take weeks to put an edge back on it. I'd want something 9-10" or a little longer.

I'm not that knowledgeable on knives, and so Cold Steel always comes to mind, but it seems most of the knives that I'm likely to want are up around $300 or more. I understand you get what you pay for, but I just can't spend over $300 on a knife at this time. Maybe it'll be that I'll just have to save a few more coins though...

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nebeel
December 17, 2013, 09:59 PM
Although I do not own one personally, the Kabar Becker BK9 has consistently gotten fairly decent reviews. It may not be the best knife you can buy, but cost is significantly less then $300 (<$100).

MErl
December 17, 2013, 10:07 PM
12" machete? (http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/products/imacasa/imacasa%C2%AE+12%22+Machete+with+Black+PVC+Compound+Handle/IMC503968.html)

Sam Cade
December 17, 2013, 10:10 PM
Buy a shortish machete of central or south American manufacture (Well under $20 or less) and a decent quality file if you need a machete. Use the right tool for the job. http://images.thehighroad.org/icons/icon14.gif
http://www.smkw.com/large/knife/IMC503968.jpg

http://www.shootingreviews.com/machetes-and-you-basic-useage-care-and-feeding-for-your-new-best-friend/



If you want a quality 9-10 inch camp knife/chopper and don't want to break the bank, the Becker BK-9 or KA-BAR heavy bowie are my usual recommendations.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61d7kwtC-sS._SL1500_.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-Becker-BK9-Combat-Bowie/dp/B001IPKL7I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387332287&sr=8-1&keywords=BK9

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61guejNcDKL._SL1500_.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-Heavy-Bowie-Knife-Large/dp/B009XN20G2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387332407&sr=8-1&keywords=ka-bar+heavy+bowie

rodwha
December 17, 2013, 10:24 PM
I don't necessarily want a machete, but being able to cut small pieces of wood when you can't quite make it back to camp seems like a good quality to have in a knife on your belt.

lobo9er
December 17, 2013, 10:28 PM
If you can spend 200ish I'd look into the Busse family knives. Best warranty in the business they just about dare you to break their knives. If you want to spend less than 100 go with the Bk9.

rodwha
December 17, 2013, 10:29 PM
So if this is all you have as far as a weapon while backpacking in the sticks and may possibly need to make some kindling and fire wood which of the BAR knives would you prefer?

rodwha
December 17, 2013, 10:30 PM
$200 isn't way too much. I'd prefer a good knife over an OK knife. Sometimes I feel you are paying for the name too though...

rodwha
December 17, 2013, 10:33 PM
My everyday carry knife is a SOG Twitch. Many of my knives are Gerber folders. My new skinning knife combo is Ruko as it got good reviews.

This knife may have my life or limb in the balance...

rodwha
December 17, 2013, 10:37 PM
This knife caught my eye:

http://www.swampratknifeworks.com/rodent-9/

Sam Cade
December 17, 2013, 10:43 PM
Although I do not own one personally, the Kabar Becker BK9 has consistently gotten fairly decent reviews.

I'm of the opinion that the current BK9s are among the best, most versatile, most intelligently designed, production camp knives available.

Are they perfect?

Nope.

But they nail the intersection of price and performance like nothing else.

lobo9er
December 17, 2013, 10:56 PM
If you have the cash go with the swamp rat, IMHO if you can afford a Busse or Busse'kin it is always worth it. Do some research on their stuff you won't be disappointed. The BK knives are good too, I have examples of both and use both. But I would go Busse if you can afford it. If you don't like it you can sell them for more than you paid when they discontinue them.

lobo9er
December 17, 2013, 10:58 PM
The swamp rats come for sale used on Blade forums from time to time also. Occasionally you can score a deal there.

Sam Cade
December 17, 2013, 10:59 PM
This knife caught my eye:

http://www.swampratknifeworks.com/rodent-9/

The Rodent 9 is a nice knife.
http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/server3600/8db7f/products/36/images/141/Rodent_9_Web__88385.1364581686.1280.1280.jpg
The edge geometry and thicker stock will make it less efficient than a BK-9 for most tasks. You will also have to locate a decent sheath for the Rodent 9.





The OKC R9 and RD9 are also decent knives if the ergonomics work for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Ontario-9418BM-Ranger-Detachment-Knife/dp/B002F4OGLS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1387335437&sr=8-2&keywords=ontario+ranger+9
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bRmkdnmFL._SL1500_.jpg

rodwha
December 17, 2013, 11:29 PM
That's silly that it doesn't come with a sheath, especially for that price.

I don't care for the looks of the BK-9's handle, but functionality trumps aesthetics.

lobo9er
December 17, 2013, 11:41 PM
Yes no sheath with any Busse's for free any ways. Definitely something to think about. With that said you wont regret a Busse'kin or the BK9.

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 12:30 AM
I don't care for the looks of the BK-9's handle, but functionality trumps aesthetics.

It couldn't get any uglier if it tried. ;)

But..serious thought went into the grip shape.

Smooth grip free of protrusions prevents hot spots and deceases user fatigue.

Large pommel and integral guard increase user and bystander safety.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=192539&stc=1&d=1387340729


Ergonomically excellent.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=192540&stc=1&d=1387340729

Forgive my late night sleep deprived photography. :o

CWL
December 18, 2013, 12:33 AM
After you spend a few hundred on a big knife (I've got plenty myself!), spend an extra $13-20 and buy a fixed Mora knife. I suggest a Mora Companion in either stainless of carbon steel for $13 from Ragweed Forge. You'll find that 4" knife incredibly sharp and handy for almost all the basic knife needs you will have in the outdoors. A Mora will make an excellent pairing to whichever big knife that you choose.

GLOOB
December 18, 2013, 05:27 AM
I would suggest a carbon steel for ease of sharpening. On a big knife, it makes a big difference. Sharpening a 10" stainless knife is no fun. The more you play around with the variables, you'll find that sharpness has little to do with the steel, and edge retention is largely determined by the geometry, esp when you're talking about chopping rather than wear resistance. I find the big difference is that carbon steels sharpen faster and easier.

In general, the edge on my carbon knives tend to fail by rolling; stainless by chipout. But they pretty much all fail at roughly the same edge geometries for a given task, so it's largely a wash... other than a rolled edge can often be fixed easier.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 09:03 AM
I see you own the BK-9.

Would you say that the grip has a nonslip surface?

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 10:35 AM
I see you own the BK-9.
Would you say that the grip has a nonslip surface?

Thankfully no.

A high friction grip on a large chopping knife will usually do more harm than good. The current production Kershaw "Camp" series are particularly egregious in this regard.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=187583&stc=1&d=1376092613

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=725229&highlight=camp

You want your hand to be able to move smoothly along the grip.
A well designed chopping knife achieves grip security by having a positive stop built into the handle.

The grivory grips that come factory on the Beckers are smooth, but they aren't slick. Folks who want a bit more grip to optimize control for more precise tasks have lots of options. It only takes a few minutes to cut in a bit of checkering with the edge of a file or add a bit of stippling. Sandblased scales are quite nice as well.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=190547&stc=1&d=1382979964

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 11:23 AM
Very nice!

I think you've sold me!

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 12:30 PM
Something to keep in mind, when you are willing to spend north of a couple hundred bucks on a big chopper and sheath, you don't have to buy production. That sort of money puts custom working knives like the
Shirley-Owens Camp Defender, Designed by our own Sam "Sam1911" Owens and Lt.John "JShirley" Shirley and built by Sam Owns...
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ms9r_zaos8A/TnD0hkTDEjI/AAAAAAAAARI/oNYTWj00T8w/s1600/campdefender.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc184/sam1911/Knife%20Work/Camp%20Defender/011512003.jpg

...or something from Bill Siegel in your price range.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 12:43 PM
Now that there is one handsome knife! Can you give me some more info such as approximate cost, size of the blade, and a way to contact him?

I'm not quite in the position to make a purchase, but I've been slowly collecting the things I've recently turned my attention to (muzzleloaders, casting projectiles, making my own wads/patches/lubes, backpacking/hunting, and brewing beer), and I have a few more things to return my attentions back to like fishing. I'm also ready to work on making mead....

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 12:51 PM
I have one custom knife that a good friend of my old boss made me, but he didn't follow through with what I had wanted, which was a tanto blade with a nice black wood handle and the sheath that went with it. Instead I have a rainbow laminate handle and the sheath to a more typical knife. It's rather silly, but it was made as a favor so it's hard to complain. Not to mention the fellow was well past his prime. Since the knife has no guard (proper term?) it would be hairy using to defend yourself with.

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 01:28 PM
Now that there is one handsome knife! Can you give me some more info such as approximate cost, size of the blade, and a way to contact him?

Other Sam, Sam Owens is one of the Mods here on THR.
Hit him with a PM and he will respond right away.
http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=54752

The Camp Defender is a bespoke item so specs will vary slightly and it exists in a couple broad revisions.
They are nominally 9" blades of 5160.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc184/sam1911/Knife%20Work/Camp%20Defender/092511067.jpg

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=616563

The last time we discussed it I think Sam O said that CD2s were around $200.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 01:37 PM
Cool! Thanks!

Esoxchaser
December 18, 2013, 01:46 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Ontario-8628-RTAK-Knife-Green/dp/B001DZV3BG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1387388683&sr=8-6&keywords=becker+bk9

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 01:46 PM
PM sent!

theotherwaldo
December 18, 2013, 03:01 PM
I prefer using the right knife for the right job. My pack holds a couple of Finn utility knives and a Green River skinner. A Cold Steel kukri machete gets strapped on between the pack and frame. The whole combo cost me less than $30 and does anything that I need.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 03:04 PM
When backpacking I feel compromises sometimes need to be made. I've finally got my pack down to about 45 lbs, which many call heavy, before a descent knife. So I'm opting for a somewhat universal knife.

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 03:32 PM
So I'm opting for a somewhat universal knife.
I'm crazy for big knives, but do yourself a favor and toss a Mora in your pack.
A 511 is less than 3 oz and 10 American fiat exchange units.

http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000cDx9HNeptbU/s/750/750/mora-511.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/Morakniv-Craftline-Allround-Utility-3-8-Inch/dp/B004GAVOUU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387394774&sr=8-1&keywords=mora+511

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 03:47 PM
Why this knife?

lobo9er
December 18, 2013, 04:13 PM
Yes everyone should have a Mora. There is no better knife bargain than the mora's. I like the companion in stainless. You can keep in your pack or truck and it isn't going to rust. They use an excel ant sandvik stainless. The companion is a bit more robust and is also called the robust I think. Well your checking out sam1911's knives check out the "shiver" I think he called it. not what your looking for but pretty rad looking.

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 04:43 PM
Why this knife?

Why a Mora?

The combination of a Scandinavian grind, relatively thin blade stock, perfect heat treat and quality steels noted for taking an aggressive edge come together to make a knife that cuts like a veritable lightsaber and is easy to maintain at optimum sharpness.
The ultra-durable plastic (most models have rubber overmolding, the cheaper 511 that linked to does not) grips are ergonomically excellent and comfortable for long term use.

...and they are light.
...and they are affordable. Extremely affordable.

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 05:04 PM
The companion is a bit more robust and is also called the robust I think.

The Companion is 2.5mm thick with a two part grip.

The "Heavy Duty" is slightly thicker at 3.2mm and is also sold as the "Craftline HighQ Robust" with a slightly different sheath.

I'm out in the shop with a HD Companion on my belt at this very moment.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=192574&stc=1&d=1387400632

Nighteyes
December 18, 2013, 05:13 PM
I went through much of the same decision process, back in the mid-1980s when we were backpacking and bushwhacking through the forests and swamps of the central Gulf Coast. I tried many different knives, machetes and etc., both singly and in combination.

My final choice, which still works for me today, is a 10-inch kukuri-styled bush knife that I partner with a Swiss Army Tinker, or sometimes a multi-tool.

My bush knife is a Jim Sargeant copy of a Mike Stewart design. The original sheath came apart pretty quickly, but this one won't. Though you can't tell from the pics, the sheath is made to be used three ways..

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a124/danielnighteyes/Glenns%20Knives/NighteyesBushKnife1_zps66d0ad5b.jpg (http://s10.photobucket.com/user/danielnighteyes/media/Glenns%20Knives/NighteyesBushKnife1_zps66d0ad5b.jpg.html)

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a124/danielnighteyes/Glenns%20Knives/NighteyesBushKnife2_zps4d51b837.jpg (http://s10.photobucket.com/user/danielnighteyes/media/Glenns%20Knives/NighteyesBushKnife2_zps4d51b837.jpg.html)

You can still find blades of this same general configuration, from China. Some of them are of good quality. Some are not.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 05:26 PM
Isn't the kukuri designed as just a chopping implement? I do really like the style and see it as a possibly better tool than a machete for chopping through stuff as the one I've seen was fairly heavy.

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 06:09 PM
I do really like the style and see it as a possibly better tool than a machete for chopping through stuff as the one I've seen was fairly heavy.

It depends on what kind of stuff we are talking about. ;)

"Khukuri" traditionally contains a pretty broad typology of choppers, most (but not all) of them optimized for dealing with tough woody vegetation.

Machetes OTOH are generally much much thinner and are more effective on green vegetation and wood no thicker than a couple inches.

While either tool can be used outside of its design envelope, efficiency and user comfort is going to start falling off rapidly.


Isn't the kukuri designed as just a chopping implement?

Traditionally khukuri wielders carried a smaller knife called a "karda" for general knife use.

Big Chopper/Little Knife combos are smart. :cool:

http://www.himalayan-imports.com/khuk1.html

Nighteyes
December 18, 2013, 06:11 PM
Note: My knife is not a Kukuri, but a kukuri-like bush knife. I primarily used it as a chopping and heavy cutting instrument. It replaced an 18-inch USGI machete AND a sheath knife. Because I know the tricks & techniques involved, it also did a fair amount of 'hatchet-work', though I don't recommend it as a replacement. Recall that I was in the woods, marshes and swamps of the central Gulf Coast, not in the deep North Woods or etc.

I have used the bush knife like a draw-knife to smooth and shape wood, and also found it surprisingly capable of being used in a number of general cutting/shaping applications; just not for fine or precise work. For that I used one of the blades on the Swiss Army Tinker, or the blade on the multi-tool (whichever one I was carrying at the time).

By the way, if there's room, tossing a Mora into your pack isn't a bad idea. They weigh next-to-nothing, cost next-to-nothing and, as previously stated, are extremely useful blades.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 06:15 PM
I'm thinking more in the line of mountainous timberlands and the possibility of not making back to base camp quickly enough and getting caught in a nasty mountain storm. So for me I'm thinking wood for a fire and possibly a shelter to last a few hours or overnight. Spruce or some type of evergreens most likely I'd suppose.

Not knowing where I'll be going or what I'll be finding myself in I've been figuring I'd possibly be doing some back country backpack hunting, not to mention backpacking trails if they are around with SWMBO, and possibly our little girl if the terrain isn't too terrible.

I have a nice hatchet, but it seems I could possibly get away from needing two tools. I would have a small knife for cooking purposes. I have a very small folder.

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 06:17 PM
I'm considering ditching the small folder for the Mora suggested. The folder is a cheap very small knife that's been mostly used to cut cheese and summer sausage and whatnot, nothing serious.

theotherwaldo
December 18, 2013, 07:18 PM
I like to use one knife for eating and food preparation and one for fishing or hunting jobs that you want to sterilize after - usually Moras fill the bill for this. Then there's the general-purpose knife, then there's the chopper. Finally, there's the ever-present pocket folder that I usually don't consider as part of the load-out.
The pack ranges between 22 and 28 pounds, depending on where I'm going, when I'm going there, and how long I'm staying.

50 Shooter
December 18, 2013, 07:26 PM
Sam,
How about one of the ESEE knives, say a 5 or 6 maybe even the Junglee?

rodwha
December 18, 2013, 08:21 PM
I'm still working on lightening my load. Spent some coin on the tent, and will eventually get a lighter sleeping back and backpack. I like big packs as I carry some of my daughters stuff and would like extra room in case resupplying is an issue. I do tend to carry an extra set of clothes that I've never needed. I doubt my pack would drop more than another 5 lbs.

Are you carrying 3 or 4 knives?

Sam Cade
December 18, 2013, 09:44 PM
Sam,
How about one of the ESEE knives, say a 5 or 6 maybe even the Junglas?

OK, now the ESEE/Rowen knives are built to an extremely high standard with quality materials, but there are some things about them that I'm not crazy about.

I don't care much for the ESEE handle shape or ratio of blade to handle. While they are better than their OKC cousins, the big belly doesn't work for me and I think that they are ill balanced and over-heavy. That is a matter of personal preference of course.
The Izula is the exception to this, they are a gem of a little knife.

To put things in perspective, a 4" Mora Companion is about half the weight of an ESEE-3. Half!

hardluk1
December 19, 2013, 05:23 PM
Your going to be carry'n somekind of general use knife right?? be it a larger lock black or small straightblade. Why not get a durable bad country tool that can chop cut brush branch or bear if need be. Check out this sight -

http://www.knife-depot.com/machetes/?sort=4&attributes%5B29%5D%5Btype%5D=1&attributes%5B29%5D%5Bval1%5D=-1&attributes%5B12%5D%5Btype%5D=2&attributes%5B12%5D%5Bval1%5D=0%7C15.99&attributes%5B13%5D%5Btype%5D=4&attributes%5B13%5D%5Bval1%5D=-1&attributes%5B19%5D%5Btype%5D=4&attributes%5B19%5D%5Bval1%5D=-1&brand=0&attributes%5B11%5D%5Btype%5D=4&attributes%5B11%5D%5Bval1%5D=-1&attributes%5B3%5D%5Btype%5D=4&attributes%5B3%5D%5Bval1%5D=-1

Ontario sp8 and the woodsmans pal or condor bursh knife. Take a good file for quick edges and good to go with some very lite weight blades.

Nighteyes
December 19, 2013, 05:40 PM
I'm thinking more in the line of mountainous timberlands and the possibility of not making back to base camp quickly enough and getting caught in a nasty mountain storm. So for me I'm thinking wood for a fire and possibly a shelter to last a few hours or overnight. Spruce or some type of evergreens most likely I'd suppose.

[<SNIP!>]

I have a nice hatchet, but it seems I could possibly get away from needing two tools.

If spruce or some type of evergreens is your most likely "target" and you're only planning to build a fire & some sort of temporary shelter (read as: only cutting small stuff -- less than 2 inches thick), I think you might be able to get by with only a bush-knife of some kind.

To be entirely clear, this is based on my assumption that the wood of the evergreens you're likely to be chopping is relatively soft and resinous, like the ones I know. If this isn't true, or if you are to be in deciduous-hardwood territory, keep the hatchet by all means.

Sam Cade
December 19, 2013, 06:00 PM
Are you carrying 3 or 4 knives?

If I'm camping by myself in the local area I will have a 3-5" fixed blade of some kind, a big chopper or hand axe plus whatever knife I'm currently playing with stowed in the pack.

I've got in the habit of wearing a neck knife so I'll have that too.

If I plan on doing any trail or campsite maintenance I'll have a 18-24" machete along as well.

GLOOB
December 19, 2013, 06:16 PM
For clearing brush, I might be tempted by something like a Svord Kiwi machete. It has a really thin blade, keeping the weight under 10oz.

More weight = better chopping, but more sharp also = better chopping, and the really thin carbon steel blade on this guy should be pretty easy to keep sharp.

For harvesting fire wood, I would also consider a folding saw. The shark-tooth Japanese saws are impressively fast and efficient for cutting large branches of even dead and dried wood. I do a little woodworking and pruning here and there, and these things are really good. http://www.amazon.com/Shark-10-2337-Folding-CutsAll-Saw/dp/B000078ONP

Regarding Moras, there is a lot of hype about these knives. IMO, there is only one exceptional thing about a Mora. They are light (esp when you add the weight of the sheath). They are cheap. And the most notable thing is they come razor sharp. Lots of other knives are cheap and light. IMO, the factory sharpness is the single biggest reason that Moras are so popular. Most knife manufacturers leave the final sharpening up to the end user.

Sam Cade
December 19, 2013, 06:48 PM
I might be tempted by something like a Svord Kiwi machete. It has a really thin blade, keeping the weight under 10oz
More weight = better chopping, but more sharp also = better chopping, and the really thin carbon steel blade on this guy should be pretty easy to keep sharp..

The svord is 1/8", the same thickness as an 12" OKC but the blade is slightly narrower and shorter OAL.

I've got both and prefer the short OKC with the loop sawn off.



Regarding Moras, there is a lot of hype about these knives.

Is it hype if it is true? :evil:

GLOOB
December 19, 2013, 06:58 PM
I like Mora knives for the value, but the truth/hype is debatable. I have 7-8 carbon steel Moras, including 3 of the laminated steel ones. The factory edge is not something I'd rely on, far from civilization. The edge will roll cutting slices off a thin piece of quarter sawn douglas fir (I think the growth rings in this "soft wood" are actually harder than oak, to be fair). Even the laminated blades roll. And for ease of sharpening, I'd put the scandi grind at the bottom of the class, personally. :)

Only 3 of my moras still have a scandi grind, and I sharpen them the same way as the rest of my knives, with a microbevel. It's just the secondary bevel (well, primary, technically) on these knives takes a lot longer to grind.

Maybe the sandvik stainless is better at holding that acute 24ish degree edge?

Sam Cade
December 19, 2013, 07:33 PM
Even the laminated blades roll. And for ease of sharpening, I'd put the scandi grind at the bottom of the class, personally. :)

I've never had any issues with rolling edges. The carbon steel blades are 1095 so there isn't any material reason for them to exhibit poor performance.
That said, I don't try to pound a feather light, near zero ground slicer-carver knife through seasoned hardwoods with a maul while shrieking the traditional caterwaul of my people. :neener:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/video/What-Did-the-Rebel-Yell-Sound-Like.html

I'd put the scandi grind at the top of the list for ease of maintenance. Just find a flat piece of sandstone or limestone and grind away.

GLOOB
December 19, 2013, 07:40 PM
I've never had any issues with rolling edges. The carbon steel blades are 1095 so there isn't any material reason for them to exhibit poor performance.
The reason is that when zero ground "true scandi," the edge angle is around 24 degrees. There's no knife steel that will hold that angle, and 1095 isn't even close to the top of the heap in that regard. Even cheap ole 440C is better.

don't try to pound a feather light, near zero ground slicer-carver knife through seasoned hardwoods
My personal test was controlled slicing (not hacking/pounding) strips off a very thin piece of douglas fir, quarter sawn to <1/8" thick. With the zero scandi grind, they fail. With a very tiny microbevel of about 35 degrees, they all pass. Laminated or 1095, didn't matter. When quarter sawn, the softer wood and the harder growth rings alternate, so this apparently makes it more challenging. But it's still a tiny piece of softwood!

Also, for those that think you can strop on a microbevel, I suppose it's technically true. But I have wasted lots of time stropping these knives to keep them sharp on my woodworking bench, before abandoning the idea of a zero scandi. Maybe if you stropped for 30-40 minutes, you would get there.

I'd put the scandi grind at the top of the list for ease of maintenance. Just find a flat piece of sandstone or limestone and grind away.
... and grind, and grind... and keep on grinding. The scandi is easy to maintain the same angle on the bevel, yeah. But it is also putting the maximum amount of steel on the stone. When I sharpen my scandi grinds, I'm using maximum 180 grit sandpaper, not a piece of limestone, and I often call it quits before reaching the edge. Heck, on my latest adventure, thinning the bevel on a larger 440 knife by essentially putting a scandi grind on it, I gave up and I was using an 80 grit belt sander. When I get a new belt, I'm gonna thin out the primary grind into a convex. :)

CWL
December 19, 2013, 08:10 PM
I'd have to disagree with you if you're implying that Scandi grinds make for poor wood-working edges, and I think I have all of Scandinavia, Russia, plenty of outdoorsmen plus the bushcrafting crowd who'd agree with me.

Yes, sometimes the Scandi bevel can be fragile, but I just strop the edge a bit after sharpening without any more need for care. The beauty of Scandi grinds is that it will always sharpen to the same angle and is one of he easiest edges to maintain. All you need are a few sheets of sanding paper (320-400 grit are enough) and a flat surface, like your workbench, a sheet of glass, or even a mousepad to hold the sandpaper as you sharpen your knife by pushing it along the bevels across the paper. It'd be easier to mangle the edge of your knife with stones, rods or even on sharpeners, than by using the entire bevel as your sharpening guide.

GLOOB
December 19, 2013, 09:01 PM
I'd have to disagree with you if you're implying that Scandi grinds make for poor wood-working edges, and I think I have all of Scandinavia, Russia, plenty of outdoorsmen plus the bushcrafting crowd who'd agree with me.

First off, the bushcrafting crowd has nothing to add to the discussion. Bushcrafters are people that like knives and occasionally go outdoors. That's about it. Most people who like knives don't even know how to sharpen them.

Secondly, I'm talking about shallow, zero scandi's in particular, such as on a Mora. I personally know of knives being made with a 33 degree scandi grind, just as an example. There's no reason a 33 degree pure scandi edge would be "bad." And I'm not saying the grind is generally bad for woodworking. The primary grind on a scandi does act like the shoe of a plane. This is good and bad. Mostly bad, IMO, for a woodworking knife. But that's because I don't reach for a knife when I want to make a piece of wood flat. I use the tip or belly of a knife for cutting just little bits of endgrain, or deburring, or for enlarging slots. And in this case, you don't need a plane. That would be like trying to use a large bench plane to smooth out a small defect in a table top. Unless you want to resurface the entire thing, you will find a small hand plane way better for this task. When used right, you can get the small hand plane in and out of the area you are fixing.

I have used a Mora #2 on my woodworking bench for years, and I noticed that the edge rolled and even chipped many times, through no undue abuse. Now, the knife did everything it was supposed to, but it wasn't as sharp as I would have liked every time I picked it up, because it was slow to sharpen and especially hard to remove the dings and chips. Also, for spreading wood glue, a nice full flat or slight convex is way better. :)

The "consistent sharpening angle" of a scandi is nice if you are a perfectionist. But it has no practical value in and of itself. What makes a knife sharp is a pure edge without defects. The actual angle across that final bevel doesn't hardly matter at all, as long as it's in the right range. That bevel can be perfect, or it can be rounded/convexed, or anything between.

There's a reason the Work Sharp has two angles, of which 30 degrees is the minimum. And 40 degrees is what you are supposed to actually put on the very edge. A 24 degree edge on a woodworking tool is a pipe dream.

Woodworkers who don't use microbevels are woodworkers who like to frequently use their power sharpeners and/or jigs, and they're still using angles of around 30+. Some experienced woodworkers put a small microbevel even on the FLAT side of their chisels.

Sam Cade
December 19, 2013, 09:31 PM
First off, the bushcrafting crowd has nothing to add to the discussion. Bushcrafters are people that like knives and occasionally go outdoors. That's about it. Most people who like knives don't even know how to sharpen them.

Whoa, slow your roll bro. :eek:
The problem with making broad generalizations like that they can sometimes be so wrong as to warp the very substance of reality and threaten to tear asunder the p-branes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brane) like a post-Crucifixion temple veil. So don't be jackin' up the extendons savvy?

They also make the statements that follow drop in value faster than the Papiermark.

CWL
December 19, 2013, 09:54 PM
Well, there are Bushcrafters and then there are people who think "bushcraft" means batoning a piece of wood.

GLOOB
December 19, 2013, 10:22 PM
The true bushcrafters developed skills out of two evolutionary factors. Suvival and laziness. They took what was most easily available, and they learned how to survive with what they had. They wouldn't care about this discussion at all, cuz w/e knife they have at their side is their "bushcrafting knife."

Modern American "bushcrafting" is more about buying the latest and greatest gear to go on a camping trip.

No offense to the true bushcrafters. But they aren't reading this, anyway. They don't have the internet.

rodwha
December 19, 2013, 10:27 PM
"First off, the bushcrafting crowd has nothing to add to the discussion. Bushcrafters are people that like knives and occasionally go outdoors. That's about it. Most people who like knives don't even know how to sharpen them."

I'm afraid this may very well include me. I certainly like my knives, but maybe I don't know how to properly sharpen them. I've nearly had to wing edges and firearms on my own.

I've become lost with words such as strop/ping.

I just use my Lansky knife sharpener:

http://lansky.com/index.php/products/universal-system/

Sam Cade
December 19, 2013, 11:05 PM
Modern American "bushcrafting" is more about buying the latest and greatest gear to go on a camping trip.

Y'know, that is pretty much the exact opposite of what most folks consider "Bushcrafting" to mean. Bushcrafting is software, not hardware.

I'm not sure where you are pulling your data from but it doesn't seem to be from the same reference copy as the rest of us. :scrutiny:

rodwha
December 19, 2013, 11:57 PM
I figure I understand what's he's saying in that there are those who have grown up this way in that it's a part of them, and then there's those who think it sounds cool and maybe know someone who's an "outdoorsman" who they fancy and would like to emulate.

Some of us buy our gear because a magazine or TV show says it's great and works well. I bought into that with firearms until I became interested in black powder arms and learned that the physics behind what they say works doesn't really hold much water.

I'm by far not one who's had to live it like someone up in AK, and I'm not even one who's put myself out there where it could be used, but I'd certainly like to be somewhat capable.

I haven't been in the mountains since I was a kid back in elementary school, but it still holds my fancy, and as much as I love backpacking/camping, it's something I intend on doing.

The biggest part for me is that I'll finally be moving out of Texas and into some place that doesn't have the same hunting conditions where you have a lease and hunt from a bling. Instead you'll need to go way out and find a good place on some public land, and likely have to backpack in and out.

And so it's the prospects of being in some awesome backpacking country, as well as prime hunting conditions that has me thinking I ought to consider a little ahead of time and get a little more prepared. I still have more to consider besides a knife...

CWL
December 20, 2013, 01:24 AM
The true bushcrafters developed skills out of two evolutionary factors. Suvival and laziness. They took what was most easily available, and they learned how to survive with what they had. They wouldn't care about this discussion at all, cuz w/e knife they have at their side is their "bushcrafting knife."

Modern American "bushcrafting" is more about buying the latest and greatest gear to go on a camping trip.

No offense to the true bushcrafters. But they aren't reading this, anyway. They don't have the internet.

Really?

Hmmm, I'd better snail-mail Mors Kochanski and tell him to stop putting vids on Youtube and releasing e-books.

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 01:31 AM
Mors Kochanski


"The more you know, the less you carry"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mors_Kochanski

GLOOB
December 20, 2013, 01:55 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BXKHRzn_yE
From his own words, Mors relied on flat and hollow ground folding knives for nearly his entire life. And he is pretty old. :)

Even the scandi ground Skookum that he uses in his current school was designed by someone else and doesn't necessarily look much like what he had in mind. He doesn't seem very picky at all, having used various knives he found for cheap in hardware stores. He comments that the main benefit of the Skookum over the other knives is that it makes a better prybar.

Suggesting that bushcrafters prefer scandi means nothing at all. It's just a recent marketing push that has caught on with the herd. There might be a famous guy here or there that has mentioned scandi for various reasons, but that guy is famous for his charisma in front of a camera and ambition to be rich and famous, for sure. Whether he is a true knife nerd that has played with various grinds, you don't know that. (I do, and the answer is no.)

Here's one of those guys showing you how to sharpen a scandi knife in the field... using nothing but 10 pounds of Japanese water stones. And don't forget to polish off that patina. What did I say about scandi grinds and perfectionists?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm53mCOQTR8

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 02:10 AM
It's just a recent marketing push that has caught on with the herd The herd of... Sami reindeer hunters? Scandinavian craftsmen and sportsmen?

There might be a famous guy here or there that has mentioned scandi for various reasons, but that guy is famous for his charisma in front of a camera and ambition to be rich and famous, for sure.

I have no idea what you are talking about.

GLOOB
December 20, 2013, 02:31 AM
The herd of... Sami reindeer hunters? Scandinavian craftsmen and sportsmen?
I'm referring to the original bushcraft comment I was originally responding to, which brought on your wrath. In this context, I'm referring to the herd of middle class Americans playing Rambo. There are lots of craftsmen and sportsmen in the world, and scandi grind was not popular anywhere else, even though it's the most primitive, basic way to grind a knife. Does that make you wonder?

Today, it still is the most primitive, fast, and cheapest way to grind a knife from bar stock. Does that make you wonder why it's gaining popularity, now? If each of Ray Mear's knives costs 10 cents less to grind, that adds up.

Morakniv made the scandi grind world famous. They did this by selling really nicely sharpened knives for cheap. Anyone who has never been able to sharpen a knife might pick up a $10.00 Mora and think there must be something special about the grind or the steel. But there is not.

T.R.
December 20, 2013, 08:36 AM
BUCK model 119 is also named the Special. This is a terrific knife made with 420 high carbon steel that is tempered to hold an edge quite well indeed. BUCK knives are made in USA.

BUCK model 105 is also named the Pathfinder. This is another great choice for outdoorsmen.

TR

Zeke/PA
December 20, 2013, 09:02 AM
Check out the K-Bar offerings at Smokey Mountain. Good rugged knives priced sensibly. The KA 1248 Cutlass looks very interesting.

alsask
December 20, 2013, 11:19 AM
Rodwa... take a look at the Cold Steel Bushman. I was given one about 10 years ago and at first I never thought much of it and just kept it in my Jeep as a camp chore type knife.

After using it a few times I really started to like it. Now when I go canoeing or camping it is allways in the canoe or pack. I seldom carry it on my belt, I have a Blackjack Model 16 for that.

The price is super cheap, around $25 I think, but the steel and heat treat are very good, at least on mine.

Basicaly I substituted my little Estwing hatchet with the Bushman.

rodwha
December 20, 2013, 11:48 AM
Cold Steel was the first thing to come to mind, but I don't know how well they stack up against others.

The Estwing hatchet is the one I have. I like it's single piece construction, and noticed it was on a list for best hatchets.

ahtoxa
December 20, 2013, 11:55 AM
Time to end the arguments and get back on topic.

This is not my picture, but I have this exact knife and I've been using it as my main backpacking knife for a few years. I own a bunch of knives and this probably sees the most use, outside of my EDC knife.

Ontario Tak-1
http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e287/cliffnie/S5002004.jpg

heavydluxe
December 20, 2013, 01:30 PM
Great thread... As a noob, I'd appreciate a link somewhere along the way to a good resource on the grinds and their merits.

lobo9er
December 20, 2013, 01:40 PM
the factory sharpness is the single biggest reason that Moras are so popular.
not to pile on gloob but the hype is true and while all things are debatable theres an awful lot of mora fans. I dont think factory sharpness is the big plus side to mora's its the quality steel. For a user factory sharpness disappears on all knives.

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 01:41 PM
Lansky has a quick overview with commentary on common grind types.
http://lansky.com/index.php/blog/knife-edge-grinds-and-uses/

Don't hesitate to start a thread for discussion on anything in particular that interests you.
Starting threads is a good thing and keeps the forum alive.

jmr40
December 20, 2013, 09:18 PM
I like the ESSE knives, but only the 3 or 4. The others are just too big and not balanced right. For me the ESSE 4 is as big a knife as I'm willing to carry. If I need more I prefer a folding saw or small hatchet to a big knife, but that is a personal thing I guess.

Another Mora lover. They are not a chopping heavy duty knife, never intended for that use, but I sure do like them for a lightweight super sharp field knife. The price can't be beat. Everyone needs 2-3.

alsask
December 20, 2013, 10:19 PM
I love scandi grind knives as they are one of the easiest to re-sharpen. Just follow the original profile and you can't go wrong, even free hand sharpening.

I have a little Mora tucked in the plane right beside the fire extinquisher. For the price and quality they are hard to beat. I used to carry one hunting but I find they are too small for dressing big game.

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 10:29 PM
I used to carry one hunting but I find they are too small for dressing big game.

The longer Morakniv outdoorsy knives are readily available these days.

http://www.passionepericoltelli.com/images/mora%20748.jpg

The stainless Allrounds go up to just over 8".
http://www.amazon.com/Morakniv-Allround-Multi-Purpose-Stainless-8-1-Inch/dp/B00CWMINNK/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1387590536&sr=8-16&keywords=mora+knife


Perfect if you need to work up a smallish pilot whale. ;)

alsask
December 20, 2013, 10:36 PM
Thanks for posting that Sam. I have not seen the longer Mora knives around here yet but I am sure I could order one from Amazon. I have a grandson that would love one for his birthday and maybe a spare for me!

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 10:50 PM
There are even bigger Moras availible

The 13" razorblade of the Model 333. Watermelons quake with fear!!
http://www.moraofsweden.se/20.0.0.0/760/cache/760_d1e642f8c96b5c0d3ea737161c5235aa.jpg

http://www.amazon.com/Morakniv-Craftsmen-Insulation-Stainless-13-2-Inch/dp/B00E6OOGHY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387593921&sr=8-1&keywords=mora+333


They have all sorts of fascinating stuff that you almost never see on this side of the atlantic.
http://www.moraofsweden.se/products-1.0.127.2

ugaarguy
December 21, 2013, 12:29 AM
They have all sorts of fascinating stuff that you almost never see on this side of the atlantic.
So the classic "Canadian" hunting knife is in reality a slightly modified version of the traditional Scandinavian / Northern European lamb skinning knife - http://www.moraofsweden.se/food/lammflakniv-ls5s-g1 ?

Sam Cade
December 21, 2013, 12:59 AM
Never really thought about it before but a lamb skinner (the only one I have is a Dexter) does feel pretty close to a "Canadian" type belt knife.

Similar tasks lead to similar tools I guess.

theotherwaldo
December 25, 2013, 01:09 PM
-And not that far from the Green River knife that I've been carrying since the 1960s, when I first found one on the bank of the Rogue River. It's the one they call the Buffalo Skinner. Maybe not the best knife, but one that fits my needs for a general purpose knife.
Add a couple of expendable basic Moras and a chopper of some sort and I'm ready to roll.

Use the right tool for the job.

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