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Old October 1, 2014, 04:07 PM   #1
andrewdl007
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Dive Knife

I am looking to get a decent dive knife. Wanted to know if any of you had one you like/ don't like. What design have you found to be best? Pictures are always welcome.
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Old October 1, 2014, 04:23 PM   #2
readyeddy
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Dive knives often get dropped into the deep, so better not to invest too much. Spear fishing?

If spear fishing, then you need a pointed tip to dispatch the fish (shifting gears). Otherwise, there is no need for a pointed tip which could end up poking you in an environment where your legs are often near your hands while swimming.

If it's SCUBA, then I would get any one of the flat tipped titanium knives with line cutter.

If spear fishing, any dagger type stainless dive knife will do. The knife will eventually rust in salt water, but for $10 you can consider it disposable.
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Old October 1, 2014, 04:27 PM   #3
Willie Sutton
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Speaking as a former professional diver (saturation, Gulf of Mexico in the old days) This is what i carried for the entire length of my professional career. I don't know any commercial diver who carried anything different. We bought them by boxes of a dozen:

http://www.budk.com/catalog/product....oductId=169231


I now am fully involved as a deep technical diver doing rebreather wreck diving routinely to depths of over 400 feet (mainly in the US Great Lakes but also off NJ, California, and in the tropics), as well as doing some cave diving in Florida, we don't typically carry traditional "dive knives" any longer. We carry "cutting tools" designed to cut fishing line and the line that we use on our safety reels. And we carry several, and in different spots.


So: When technical diving (deep wreck, cave, etc) personally carry two Trilobite cutting tools where I can access them one-handed even if jammed in a cave restriction or a wreck, one on each wrist using two small loops of 1/8 thick latex surgical tubing on each sheath, worn like watches.

When I sport dive (any basic tropical diving, shallow water recreational diving, etc.), I carry one of the Trilobites and that's all.

http://eezycut.com/



When I cave or wreck dive (and by wreck diving I'm talking real wreck penetration diving using reels to lay line for exit path, etc), I ALSO carry the following:


On the waist strap of my rebreather, I carry a razor sharp orange-handle "cheap plastic commercial fishermans knife" to cut a larger diameter rope that I might not be able to cut with the Trilobite.

http://www.seattlemarine.net/product...9&idcategory=0

Note the price... as well as the blunt tip so I don't stab my own drysuit when sheathing it (see "toss it away instead" below). When I spearfish (I do freediving spearfishing as another part of the sport) I carry a pointed blade version of the above.


In a pocket on the thigh of my drysuit, I carry a pair of paramedics shears, which are able to cut stainless steel fishing wire.

http://www.moreprepared.com/emergenc...FeJF7AodzHEAlQ



Now for nice dive knives and where I keep them:

I have a Randall dive knife on my desk that I use to open letters... well, not really but it's on my desk:


http://www.randallknives.com/knives/model-16-diver/




And a DESCO deep sea divers knife in my den as a curio from my commercial diving career, noting that they are made about a mile from my house.

http://www.divedesco.com/P/133/USNavyDiversKnife




Buy a knife that you can throw away after you use it, because when the feces hits the rotating ventilation system, you want to be able to drop it after it's been used.




"If it's SCUBA, then I would get any one of the flat tipped titanium knives with line cutter."

Good luck keeping *that* sharp. We call those "decorations", not cutting tools.



Willie


.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; October 1, 2014 at 04:39 PM.
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Old October 1, 2014, 05:14 PM   #4
RustyShackelford
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Buck; Ernest Emerson.....

In the 1980s, Buck produced a big SEAL knife with sharp points that could screw in & allow the field/dive knife to used as a emergency boat anchor.
I looked into buying one of the large Buck knifes about 2 years ago but they were discontinued.
The gadget/YUPPIE toy store; The Sharper Image(which is also now defunct) sold it.

I like the left-hand Commander CQC-7 blade from Ernest Emerson. He's widely known for custom knives & tools. Many SWAT, tier one military units, police dive teams, NASA/search & rescue, etc use Emerson knives. He's sold design & material rights to other knife companies too.
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Old October 1, 2014, 05:55 PM   #5
Willie Sutton
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^^ And no serious divers use them. We carry cutting instruments, not weapons.


Diving at it's most difficult levels (cave, deep wreck, etc) is a crucible in which methods that work are perfected, and where methods that do not work kill people. The divers who are really out there diving "where things count" universally carry at least one and often several short bladed razor sharp knives with blunted tips, or a combination of those along with the razor-blade fitted cutting instruments such as the Trilobite. These selections are universally accepted worldwide by expedition-level divers.



A few thoughts from the *real* dive community:

Read this first: He's precisely correct.

http://www.underwaterjournal.com/the...-a-dive-knife/


These are also illustrative:

http://www.cavediving.com/how/compare/08.htm

http://www.cave-exploration.com/cave...ivingequip.htm




Typical selections of knives used by expedition-level divers worldwide:


http://www.diverite.com/products/cat...ssories/ac3211

http://www.diverite.com/products/cat...ssories/ac3208

http://www.diverite.com/products/cat...ssories/ac3212

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGChfne14gA





Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; October 1, 2014 at 06:00 PM.
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Old October 1, 2014, 06:07 PM   #6
RustyShackelford
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SEAL teams, NASA....

Emerson Knives are in use by many SWCC, dive teams & the SAR(search and rescue/recovery teams of NASA). More details are on Emerson's website.
Decide for yourself if his knives & tools meet your needs.

www.EmersonKnives.com
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Old October 1, 2014, 07:14 PM   #7
Willie Sutton
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^^ Uh huh.... Or so Emerson says. Great advertising for sure.... but serious divers don't carry them. I've been involved with the diving at it's highest levels for decades and what I suggest is what's used by the vast majority of the pros.

Now:

I'm sure many of the "tacti-cool dive team members" buy tacti-cool knives as fetish totems, and maybe a few of them actually carry them diving But: EXPERTS consider their diving knives to be disposable, and I can't think of one qualified diver diving at any of the top levels of the sport that are carrying knives like that (and I know hundreds of such divers).

Do a little reading from the spheres of knowlage that are diving-technology centric and not knife-technology centric and I think you'll come to find that what I say is true. You will always find the odd piece of inaproppriate equipment, but it's not common.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE quality knives. But we (and I mean myself and my peers doing true exploration level diving) use what I describe. I have plenty of fetish-totems in my collection. I just don't carry them underwater because... they don't do the job as well as a pair of razor blades in a bit of plastic, or a cheap serrated dispose-a-knife.



Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; October 1, 2014 at 07:24 PM.
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Old October 1, 2014, 08:32 PM   #8
Double_J
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I am also a certified diver (recreational only, no saturation/technical diving) and I have a few different dive knives. The most expensive one I own cost me $60 or so, it is a 6 inch "sharpened pry bar" and I use it as such. My other knives are cheap stainless steel 1.5-2 inch neck knives that I buy when I see them on sale. I carry two to three knives when in the water as getting caught up in fishing line/other ropes can be very bad. I also don't care if I loose/break one of those knives as they are cheap.

I have seen some Emerson knives at gun shows and they are very nice, but they are not something I would carry as a dive knife. The first reason is they are EXPENSIVE, Second they do not fit the role I would need while underwater (wrong blade shape as mentioned above), and they would be lost/destroyed during regular use. Dive knives are TOOLS not weapons. Tier one operators/S.E.A.L.s/etc. carry them as they need weapons after they exit the water. Knife fights underwater are a thing of fiction.

Salt water is one of the most destructive forces on the planet, which is why most professional salt water fishing guides use disposable filet/bait knives that are easy to clean and replace. I would not carry a $300+ knife that will be lost if I need to use it when I can spend $10-15.
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Old October 1, 2014, 08:51 PM   #9
Willie Sutton
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^^

If I lived in Georgia, I'd cave dive a lot more. It's world class diving, so get to it!

High Springs Florida is just down the road a piece. Go to Amigos dive shop in White Oak and see what knives he sells to the divers.. the choices will not be far off from what you carry now.... small and sharp.

Most divers like the Trilobite type hook-cutter knives as a very common snag spot is either cave reel line or monofiliment wrapped at the back of the cylinder valve. A hook knife is the easiest way to catch and cut those snags.


The Ripper Max is what Naval Aviators carry now BTW, and as a contractor flying for them it's what I am issued. A few of these have found their way into my dive gear too, and they are not uncommon on the dive boat:


https://www.square1.com/manufacturer...erMaxHookKnife


Skydivers have learned the same lessons, and our needs are similar. Hook knives work for what we need to cut.



Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; October 1, 2014 at 09:00 PM.
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Old October 1, 2014, 09:06 PM   #10
RustyShackelford
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Terrible?....

If the CQC6 knives & Emerson blades are so terrible I wonder why the SEALs, SWCC & NASA's elite search & rescue(the rescue swimmers/divers who recover NASA astronaughts & pilots) use Emersons.

Id agree that a dive knife & a weapon may be different but I'm sure a diver or someone in a shipyard/marine environment could make use of them.
I'd add that the Emerson products are pricey.

Rusty
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Old October 1, 2014, 09:19 PM   #11
Willie Sutton
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^^ Respectfully, Rusty: You read too much advertising.

Let's frame things: When I see you regularly out on the boat diving the Andrea Doria, in New Jersey diving the WW-II wrecks at 160 feet in the Mud Hole in three feet of visibility with tons of mono line everywhere, meet you down in NC diving the USS Monitor with NOAA, up in Manistique Michigan photographing the Carl D. Bradley at 380 feet in Lake Michigan where the water is 33 degrees and the dive time with decompression is three hours, in the Baltic diving the Graf Zepplin off the coast of Poland, find you 5000 feet back in a Florida cave with a rebreather, meet you in Singapore to dive the Prince of Wales, listen to your sea stories about locking out of a saturation bell at 1030 feet of sea water to turn wrenches on a wellhead, and see you running a dive boat catering to technical divers half of the year for 25 years.. well... I'll be very grateful for your opinion on dive knives.

I somehow think I'll be waiting for a while though... ;-)

Advertising is one thing, but real world experience trumps that. I know literally hundreds of divers diving within the sphere of what I do and have done (see above) and I know what they use.


BTW: NASA doesn't have a SAR team: We don't have a *manned space flight program* and there isn't anyone to rescue.


Best,

Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; October 1, 2014 at 09:44 PM.
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Old October 1, 2014, 10:11 PM   #12
rtz
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Try one of these: http://www.neptonicsystems.com/knife.php
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Old October 1, 2014, 10:23 PM   #13
rcmodel
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I can't even swim, or hold my breath under water.
I get scared taking a shower sometimes!

But it seems to this old Kansas flat lander that invisible mono-filament fishing line, or nets would be one of the worst hazards you could face normally.

I think I'd prefer to be cutting it off my neck and air hoses with one of those plastic TRILOBITE line cutters then all the razor-sharp 'dive-knives' anyone ever came up with!
I think I would carry two or three in various places in fact.

If you think you need a pry-bar, then get one of those too.

But I wouldn't think you would need a double edge (fighting) diving knife unless you regularly come up against Russian SEAL teams bent on killing you?

But then again, I don't know the first thing about diving.
Except you must be underwater to do it.
And that's a deal breaker for me!

rc
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Last edited by rcmodel; October 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM.
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Old October 1, 2014, 10:42 PM   #14
RustyShackelford
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Hey Willie....

That's odd because I could swear there were rescue swimmers & divers pulling NASA astronaghts out of the water in the film clips & videos.
Kennedy Space Center & Patrick AFB is near what that's blue stuff? Oh yeah; water.

You(Willie) can think what you choose or express your views but other forum members can post messages too. You're not the "Internet Marshal" or Supreme Commander of the World Wide Web.

These posts of flying jets, diving, treasure hunting & mountain climbing sound impressive but let others have their own opines.

RS
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Old October 1, 2014, 10:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackelford View Post
That's odd because I could swear there were rescue swimmers & divers pulling NASA astronaghts out of the water in the film clips & videos.
Kennedy Space Center & Patrick AFB is near what that's blue stuff? Oh yeah; water.

You(Willie) can think what you choose or express your views but other forum members can post messages too. You're not the "Internet Marshal" or Supreme Commander of the World Wide Web.

These posts of flying jets, diving, treasure hunting & mountain climbing sound impressive but let others have their own opines.

RS
Atlantis was the last space flight. The program has since shut down.
I think that's what he was hinting to.
Besides, there hasn't been a splash down in quite some time. Remember, we were using the shuttle for the past 30+ years.
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Old October 1, 2014, 10:47 PM   #16
Derry 1946
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Dive Knife

Willie: thanks for another informative and detailed post. Like RC, I'm no swimmer, much less diver, but I do want to be able to extricate myself and the wife and kids from a lap belt. Good info!!

BTW, my father was a proud worker on the Manned Space Flight Awareness Program in the Apollo era, for which he earned two Silver Snoopy awards/pins, one directly from Buzz with a nice letter of gratitude. Go, Dad!

Derry
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Old October 1, 2014, 10:59 PM   #17
CWL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackelford View Post
That's odd because I could swear there were rescue swimmers & divers pulling NASA astronaghts out of the water in the film clips & videos.
Kennedy Space Center & Patrick AFB is near what that's blue stuff? Oh yeah; water.
Last time was 1975. That's almost 40 years ago.

Things have changed a bit with technology & innovation since then.
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Old October 1, 2014, 11:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Sutton View Post
^^

If I lived in Georgia, I'd cave dive a lot more. It's world class diving, so get to it!

High Springs Florida is just down the road a piece. Go to Amigos dive shop in White Oak and see what knives he sells to the divers.. the choices will not be far off from what you carry now.... small and sharp.

Most divers like the Trilobite type hook-cutter knives as a very common snag spot is either cave reel line or monofiliment wrapped at the back of the cylinder valve. A hook knife is the easiest way to catch and cut those snags.


The Ripper Max is what Naval Aviators carry now BTW, and as a contractor flying for them it's what I am issued. A few of these have found their way into my dive gear too, and they are not uncommon on the dive boat:


https://www.square1.com/manufacturer...erMaxHookKnife


Skydivers have learned the same lessons, and our needs are similar. Hook knives work for what we need to cut.



Willie

.
^^^^^^That's good kit. I carry a Fallkniven F1 strapped to my calf with compression straps. I wear a vest when flying in the mountains with gear in it, mainly to avoid exposure.

I am PADI certfified, and have done a decent amount of recreational diving, and second the blunt tipped knives. Especially one small enough to attach to your BCD that you can get to with either hand.
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Old October 1, 2014, 11:00 PM   #19
danez71
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Im certified NAUI and never more than casual.

I cant find a single knife on Emersons site that Id want to take diving.
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Old October 1, 2014, 11:35 PM   #20
Psyphertext
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Flat tipped is best for sticky situations a d gear repairs. Pointed tips are necessary if you need to stab something or gut a catch. I carried a large titanium pointed in a calf sheath and a blunt tipped on my BCD. Monofillament is our worst enemy.

Personally, invest in a pair of good shears. They can do things a blade simpy can't.
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Old October 1, 2014, 11:44 PM   #21
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How often do you, or should you 'gut a catch' while diving?

Thats called chumming in Kanas lakes & ponds.

Seems a good way to attract every shark in the ocean to you, to me.

rc
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Old October 2, 2014, 12:45 AM   #22
N1vram
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Recreational diver here in FL. I carry a small flat tipped knife. It may be titanium, but think its stainless. It came with clip/sheathe that allows me to attach it to my BC. I've lost all my previous knives prior to this one (except a cheap folding titanium knife I keep in my bc pocket). I've owned it for at least 5 years now.

I can try to get a pic for you if you like. The brand name escapes me. But it's nice and secures well in the sheathe. Also easily accessed off my bc with both hands.
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Old October 2, 2014, 01:46 AM   #23
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Schrade makes a decent knife for about $20. Called the Schrade WR3 Water Rat. Here it is onsale:
http://www.knife-depot.com/knife-475690.html

Cheap, good quality, blunt tip with serrations, no serrations, and hook all in one.



However, I always carry my machete on dives in case I need to take out a school of zombie sharks
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Old October 2, 2014, 04:37 PM   #24
readyeddy
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Gutting fish is usually on the shoreline after the dive. Gutting while hunting is both difficult (no cutting board) and dangerous (sharks).

While in the water you want to dispatch larger fish so they don't keep struggling. This is done by sliding the knife into the brain and moving the knife back and forth, like "shifting gears". It is both humane and effective.
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Old October 2, 2014, 06:05 PM   #25
Sam Cade
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What do all you diver types think about the blunt tipped, serrated stainless Moras as semi-disposable dive knives?

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