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

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Readyrod, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Readyrod

    Readyrod Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2012
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    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

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    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.
  4. DNS

    DNS Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Well-Known Member

    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.

  6. PRM

    PRM Well-Known Member

    My Most Used Knife in Afghanistan

    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.

    Attached Files:

  7. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Creature

    Creature Well-Known Member

    Ontario OKC3S. Carbon steel blade so a couple of seconds of preventative maintenance is required.
  9. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    I was already all knifed up but was pretty impressed with the Gerber LMF II ASEK that a lot of fellas had.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    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.

  11. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Well-Known Member

    Probably a quality Leatherman sees the most use.
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    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.

  13. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Well-Known Member

    The observation about big knives staying in footlockers has been spot on for me. On my first deployment, my Gerber LMF II 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. 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 clipped in my pocket, and a Leatherman Wave 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 to my gear.
  15. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. danweasel

    danweasel Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    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.

  18. Sgt_R

    Sgt_R Well-Known Member

    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.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  19. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

  20. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Well-Known Member

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