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"Soldier Knives"

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Goblin, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Goblin

    Goblin Well-Known Member

    Do any of the major military services around the world still issue utility pocket knives to the troops. I would like to collect them if there are enuff different ones to make it interesting.
  2. Inazone

    Inazone Well-Known Member

    My wife just returned from overseas deployment (Army Reserves) and was issued a Gerber multi-tool but no knife. Granted, she's not in a combat MOS, so there's really no practical need for her to have a fighting knife, but I'd have to guess that the multi-tool serves the same purposes as a pocket folder and then some.
  3. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Most of them do in some capacity.

    The Bundeswher has issued SAKs for the last few decades.

    This is the current version TTBOMK:

  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    I wouldn't say "most". The Swiss and Germans are probably more of an exception in issuing a folder to all troops. We don't even do it. John has pointed out he didn't see it in Afghanistan and my discussions with Allied military personnel and my staff in Iraq and Afghanistan when I was bopping back and forth from Kuwait reflected that most countries don't generally issue knives to troops.
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    I think we just said the same thing. :D
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  7. herrwalther

    herrwalther Well-Known Member


    These are pretty close to what most soldiers in the US Military are issued. I had 4 when I deployed overseas and rarely used them, preferred my Leatherman Wave much more. I do believe the issued Gerber tools use the carbide insert cutters but can't be sure.

    Folder or fixed blade knives are rarely issued anymore. I believe for 2 main reasons: cost and personal preference of the soldier. My unit was issued a particular Sheepsfoot Gerber knife (that I can't locate on Gerber's site) about a year or two before we deployed. Some people loved it but most hated it. Had no real point or edge retention. Was good for slicing open MRE bags or cutting 550 cord but little else. So most who didn't like them gave them to the people who did.
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    All US Soldiers are now issued multitools.

    It is actually a written order for certain US forces that they are not allowed to carry "conspicuous" (large) knives. I'm pretty sure it was the 3rd Army orders I saw that said this.

    "Combat" troops or not, US soldiers have rarely needed "fighting knives" since the Civil War, and the Stone Mountain museum is full of examples of large bowies discarded by Confederate troops because they were too heavy- and this was still during the single-shot firearm days.

  9. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    I was a tech in the Marines and was issued a TL knife and pliers set. I also had a Mess kit knife and Demo knife.
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Looks useful.

    (How's that Spyderco, btw?)

  11. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    I got a Swiss SAK and it is a great knife. I wish I still had some good Calimus Steel Army Knifes.
  12. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Well-Known Member

    Every deploying soldier these days is issued a Gerber multitool. I have three of them that I have been issued/found. They're crap, and the Army doesn't expect to get them back. It's pretty much a disposable item. Some units in the past bought things like auto knives for deployment, but those were the days when the money was fast and loose. The money well was dried up pretty good on my last deployment.
  13. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member

    I have one of these...the US Civilian version. I was a little skeptical at first regarding the serrations. However I find I like them. Placed at the tip end vs the hilt end makes it a zip tie eating machine...or any other material similar. I put the thing to these heavy plastic handles that hold two plastic juice bottles together. Cut through there like nobody's business. I like mine and would think it a handy tool for anyone.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2013
  14. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    Did the US ever really issue those orange-handled el-cheapo switchblades to paratroopers?

  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Yes, they did issue the MC-1 switch-blade knife, but to pilots & air crews as survival knives, not paratroopers though.

    They were carried in a survival vest with the shroud hook blade open and the main blade locked shut.

    Third link in post #6.


    Paratroopers were issued single blade 'Presto' switchblade knives during WWII.
    They were very high quality jigged bone handle knives made by Schrade.


    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  16. herrwalther

    herrwalther Well-Known Member

    When I transferred units this last time, they asked for my 2 Gerber multi-tools back. Probably for re issue to whoever replaced me on the line. I only handed over one and was billed for the other. Although I think I found some in a trunk the other day.

    Would hate to be in those units. The only "rule" we had overseas was more of a common sense statement than an order: the knife could not extend past our knee. Yup that had to be said. I typically had a full size Kabar hanging off my left side. Now for stateside, all our knives must be folders or short enough fixed blades so they go under the uniform. Sort of like carrying a concealed handgun but for a knife.
  17. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Well-Known Member

    This is a WWII German paratroopers out the front pocket knife. In addition to the main blade, there is a fold out marlin spike for rope work. The lever on the side is pushed forward to release and then lock the main blade in place. Press the lever again with the blade up, and the blade slides back into the handle. No spring, it operates on gravity.

    Attached Files:

  18. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Well-Known Member

    I can only speak from 1994 to 2007 but in about 1995 while on deployment to Gitmo I was issued one of those all metal "US" multifunction folding knives... I still have it in my tackle box. I remember we all thought it was funny that we had to go down to supply and fill out an ECR card to get it.... They never asked for it back when we returned, so I hung on to it. Stayed in my foot locker the whole time anyway as I carried a Spyderco in my pocket everyday.

    BTW I have one of those knives from WWII time frame that was my grandfathers... He kept it in his tackel box as well after his service..... My father said he had one issued as well (from Vietnam time frame) but didn't know what happened to his... too bad.. I cherish what I do have but would be nice to have all 3 of ours in my collection.

    In the later 1990's we started getting issued the Gerber multi tools. Handy little addition to my trusty Spyderco. They were like GOLD the first few years.... I did have to return a number of them when checking out over the years but I alawys got a new one issed when I arrived at a new unit.

    In 2003, I lat-moved out of the infantry into a Communications MOS. When I arrived to my new unit from school, I was issued a Gerber multi tool and I noticed that some of the antenna bags had the TL knife and linesman plier set in it (the ones that Brian Williams has a pic of).

    I've trained with alot of foreign military over the years but never traded for any knives.. mostly rank insignias, name tapes, covers.... little, cheap and easy stuff to replace.... I did get a Thermal Mold magazine (for one of my Adventure Line mags) from a Canuk back in 1996 during an NATO joint training operation at Camp Lejeune... Man did he get the better of that deal....
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  19. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    Are you a 25 series? M just picked up a 25M MOS, to go with her 37F.

    I'm a former 11C, 42A, now 92A waiting to pick up 38A...

  20. Devonai

    Devonai Well-Known Member

    I was in an Army Guard Infantry unit for six years. We started to receive Gerber multi-tools about three years into my enlistment, right about the time we were transitioning from BDUs to ACUs. They weren't in the supply system, so the sergeant was just doing hand receipts and issuing them to the joes. By the time I ETS'ed that list had gone the way of Harry Houdini so I go to keep mine.

    Prior to that, bladed weapons were tolerated depending on type, configuration, or the mood of your platoon sergeant. I was admonished for carrying an M7 bayonet even though Ka-Bars were OK. Ostensibly a Ka-Bar is a better fighting knife than the M7 except for the ability to mount it on a rifle (duct tape notwithstanding), so I chalked it up to conformity rather than function.

    Beyond that, everyone had a folder of some sort. Benchmade, H&K, Spyderco, etc. I never heard anyone suggest that folders were somehow outside of the MTOE.

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