Defend the large hunting knife!

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Dr. Sandman, Dec 24, 2013.

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  1. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    New York
    I've been a-hankerin' for a BK7 for quite some time, but simply can't justify it from a practical point of view as my Schrade LB7 and Old Timer Sharpfinger are more than adequate for my hunting/outdoor needs. But why should practicality be a factor? I'm thinkin' Rambo and Crocodile Dundee together have been responsible for more king-sized knife sales than WalMart ever has.
  2. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    SC (Home), VA (Work)
    Indeed, that it may be.

    Interestingly, the knife in question, and the illustration shown, would seem to support it's designed intent as a very utilitarian blade for a variety of uses, as one would suspect a knife of a frontiersman to be. The curve of the blade shown in the picture would tend to support one of it's primary uses as a skinning knife, as well as a general cutting/stabbing tool.

    One could easily argue that any utilitarian knife must necessarily follow a similar pattern in design, with some extremes for exceptionally specialized uses.

    A hawk-billed knife, a skinning knife, and a serrated bread knife are all examples of knives built with some extremes in order to best specialize it for it's primary intended use.

    But a multi-purpose, utilitarian knife will almost always have a design very similar to the Marble's Ideal Hunting Knife shown above.

    And, interestingly, it also makes for a pretty darn good combat knife, as well...what with humans being another kind of animal that some people hunt.
  3. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    I use a completely different set of knives for slaughtering (skinning and boning) game than I use for butchering (cutting and packaging for the freezer). If I had to choose a single knife for both tasks, I would choose a knife bigger than I normally take to the field for tasks I perform there. An 8-10" butcher knife provides me no advantage in skinning and quartering while a 4" skinner makes a mess of an elk or bison round steak.
    I am guessing that is why we see primitives feeding themselves with 8" butcher knives, and similar large knives carried by Gauchos and those working livestock far afield from their homes.
  4. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    DFW Area
    That's the point I was trying to make earlier. If you can only afford to buy or carry a single knife to cover all your cutting needs, it's likely going to be a big one.
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

    May 1, 2013
    One of, but they were not the source of this monstrosity. First off it was in a cheap faux leather sheath. Well those can be swapped out. Quick look on the website shows that all Kabar zombie knives, the entire handles is zombie green. The Arby's monstrosity had zombie green accents around the hilt and guard. I breathed a sigh of relief hoping Kabar didn't make such an ugly knife.
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    I have a confession.

    I like the "zombie" high visibility green scales.
  7. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Member

    Apr 15, 2005
    Greeley, CO
    I guess thats my thing with this thread. The size of the knife you use is irrelevant compared to how well you use it.

    I think there are times big knives are out of place, especially on an infantryman whom is weighed down enough already, bit at the end of the day, who cares.
  8. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Member

    May 23, 2009
    I don't, myself, think it looks a bit like a toy, rather than a tool, but the color does seem to be kind of hi viz, might come in rather handy in certain environments when the light is low and you have to set the knife down and pick it up again a lot.

    Gerber BG line is kind of the same. Personally, though, I like my fixed blades to be more inconspicuous, the less people that notice I'm carrying, the better, in my opinion. But I don't think that there is anything at all wrong with the brighter colors.
  9. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Sep 16, 2007
    When I'm in the kitchen, I tend to reach first for my 8" santoku. There's not much I need to do in the kitchen that the santoku can't do well.

    A 6-8" knife can be useful for clearing brush, cutting bread, slicing baloney, and a whole lot more. And if you're alone in the woods, it certainly makes a better sidearm. At some point, you have to put the rifle down.

    There's also no denying that a bigger, thicker knife makes a better hammer, prybar, and shovel. At some point, you may find use for such a tool, and while a hatchet makes a better hammer, the big knife still does better at digging a hole or prying an interesting rock out of the ground. :)

    Then there's the whole Freudian angle where bigger and better doesn't need explaining. :)
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  10. Trent

    Trent Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    For what it's worth, I shouldn't need to defend or justify my choice in the knife I carry daily, to anyone. But since the question was phrased politely... :)

    My Ozark Trail knife is 5 1/2" long, fixed blade, full tang. I used it exclusively to clean my first deer without any issues. I also use it for box opening, cutting peppers, pruning rosebushes, cleaning fish (it's good at cutting the spine on catfish, de-scaling, or making the long cuts before switching to the filet knife), and just about everything else around the home & garden, including planting seeds in the garden (Makes nice holes for the beans). I used it to fit some small parts when helping my son build a Trebuchet for his high school physics project. I've used it as a can opener once to punch through a case of 7N6 5.45x39mm surplus ammo. I've used it to trim pieces for fiberglass repair. I even used it on the side of the road once, to cut through a rusted/seized up emergency brake line that had my rear tire froze once, on the way back from Knob Creek kentucky.

    It also doubles as my steak knife at restaurants. "No thanks, mine is sharper." :)

    Carried it in the Rocky Mountains, and took it swimming in the Atlantic ocean.

    I used to carry a shorter folding knife but prefer the toughness of the full tang fixed blade.

    It was recently re-christened with a new hand crafted leather sheath, after I lost the original, and found myself wanting on a special hunting trip... that was documented elsewhere on here. :)

    Knives gain stories with time, and I hope one day when I pass mine along to my boys they'll appreciate some of the stories that come with it.
  11. rodwha

    rodwha Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Nice story Trent!
  12. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    I have big knives, I have medium knives, I have small knives.

    IME most people end up using big hunting knives for food prep at the campsite rather than skinning a deer. Food prep is a legit task, and they work well for that task.

    Also, some pierced guy wearing a big knife to let people know that yes, he has a big freakin' knife, that strikes me as a legit task too.;)
  13. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 10, 2006
    North Idaho
    Ron Hood

    The late Ron Hood, outdoorsman, hunter, and survivalist extraordinaire, designed the Hoodlum shortly before his death.

    A quick search of the relevant videos will turn up one of his demonstrations wherein he opines that "you can do a small job with a big knife, but you can't do a big job with a small knife."

    Personally, my favorite outdoor blades fall in the 3-5 inch category. That said, I have a broad selection, including a number of 6-inch, 7-inch, and larger knives. Because you just never know.

    For a glance at what the Laplanders use in the course of caribou and reindeer hunting, you might search up the combo knife sets with a 4-inch Puukko and a six or seven inch Leuku in a piggyback sheath. I have one of those, too.

    I also have a Buck 119, a classic six-inch hunter that's been in production for decades. And I have the five-inch Buck 105, which I find more generally useful.

    None of my skinners is over 4 inches. None of my machetes are shorter than ten.

    Horses for courses. However, I've spent enough hours with knives to be confident that I could get any of the hunting related jobs done with a blade anywhere in the 3-inch to 6-inch range.

  14. DM~

    DM~ Member

    Jan 6, 2011
    upper mid west
    WELL, I lived in the Alaskan bush for 25 years, I've killed at least 25 moose, more than a few brown bears etc. etc...

    Is that enough "Real world experience" for you???

    I butchered all of those (and many more) moose myself (along with many other big game animals) and I don't remember EVER needing a knife as big as the OP refered to...

  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    This is a very good point. For me, I have never processed meat in the field. But if the situation dictates that you must or should, then if you are bringing along one knife, you might just tend to choose a larger one because the primary job is processing not field dressing. My "hunting knife" has about a 3" blade but I don't do much meat processing, but I could probably muddle through it with the 3" pig sticker.

    Get the BK-7. It is a fun knife. Most of us have our knife needs satisfied. So most things now are just about fun. Have some fun and while you're at it get the BK-9. I still lust for a Rambo First Blood knife (aka Rambo 1). Why? I have no earthly idea.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  16. VVelox

    VVelox Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    I like something that is atleast 4.5" long. Shorter than that and it becomes awkward cutting the foam in a server shipping box for shipping a different brand/model/device. Also around that length is the minimum required for unjamming some badly designed Supermicro rails.
  17. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    There has always been those who want a big fighting knife and this goes way, way back. I find humorous the stories of Civil War Volunteer regiments being given huge Bowie knives from their home towns, and, I suspect, after the first battle and first 20 mile forced march, these knives were left on the side of the roads.

    Of course, if every camp trip you end up in a hand to hand fight with Sasquatch, or if you plan to completely butcher your deer, a big knife would be great.

    I think the current trend for two pound knives is based on the automobile culture. Americans don't walk, they drive everywhere. As a teenager I remember showing my Western Bowie to my Boss. He was an Army Veteran of WW2, was on the first troop ship (Jan 1942) to Australia. Except when they were being shipped to a location, he marched. It was hot , humid and mucky in many of the places he visited, and he carried between 60 and 100 pounds of gear on the sight seeing part of the tour. Boss saw my Bowie and said "imagine carrying that!". :uhoh:Now I realize what he meant was a big bowie knife was a huge hunk of useless metal to carry in a modern war.

    As for knife size, I have a Bud who always gets the maximum number of deer each year in his State. Or very close to it. Based on the maximum times the number of years he has been harvesting deer, his take is around 200. This Case canoe , a knife he has owned since 1964, the weekend prior to this picture, he used to field dress a deer.


    I gave him a couple of knives. The first was a Cold Steel copy of this Grohmann knife, the Canadian Belt knife. This knife is small enough to make a useable steak knife. The blade is too thick to pass through fork tongs, but it slices well.

    I also gave him a real carbon steel Grohmann survival knife, a much larger knife than the Canadian Belt knife.

    I asked him for his opinion after taking the next couple of deer. He much preferred the smaller Canadian belt knife, it was very handy and small enough that field dressing a deer was easy. The larger "Survival knife", not as useful.

    I field dressed deer with a Camillus Trapper, it was a bit small to split the pelvis, but it worked well. I prefer a fixed blade knife with a four inchish blade as that keeps my hands out of the guts and I don't have to wash out hair and blood out of springs. I really like my Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter , it has a very sharp 3.5 inch stainless blade, grippy handle, and the concave cross section easily slices through meat.

    I am not going to use that knife to chop trees or sugar cane, I have a chain saw for the trees and a machete in the garage for weed wacking.
  18. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    0 hours west of NC
    Nice post.

    I'm never going to be in a war as an infantry man again, at 41 years old. I don't give a crap about combat loads. I'll let guys in the ranks worry about that stuff.

    My one and only worry is about functionality when I'm doing something like backcountry hunting or backpacking.

    Your statement about rinsing hair and blood (and fluids sometimes) out of a folder rings true with me. I'd much prefer a smaller fixed blade for field work and butchery in the field, just so I know I can get it clean and nothing is hiding in there.

    It's hard enough to not get giardia these days without adding other pathogens into my system while in the field.
  19. CaliCoastie

    CaliCoastie Member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Remember everyone's different. I have big hands, I like bigger knives. For me I'll carry my 4-6in knife hunting with something smaller in my backpack if I need it..... I think I can do more with a 6in knife than a3in knife.
  20. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    I shoot big deer, I need a big sturdy knife to break and pry the pelvis and reach the parts I want to cut out. I field dress deer, I do not skin them. 200 plus lb deer are too big to drag without field dressing. I guess if you hunt rabbits or rabbit size deer it doesn't matter. Too much knife is better than not enough. I have used the same Buck knife for over forty years.
    I am not about to switch to some dainty knife that might break and doesn't have enough heft to hack through a bone. Another thing, my brother shot a deer and it jumped up as he was about to field dress it. He had to stab it and wrestle it to death. A girlie pocket knife would not be enough knife.
  21. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

    Feb 6, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    My favorite hunting knives 3" to 4" fixed blades, and grippy handles; I tend to carry two or three knives when hunting, so smaller is better. I like a few folders in terms of performance, but hate cleaning them up afterward. I just rediscovered my Wyoming Knife, and it's going in the pack if I ever draw another big-game tag.
  22. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    Everyone is different. I went for years using a slipjoint folder for field dressing chores and never had or even owned a fixed blade of any size.

    That all changed in the last 10 years or so. I still tend to carry a folder with me for a backup hunting and a small fixed blade. But I am likely to carry a larger knife with me when scouting as I may be doing some de-limbing and cleaning up "my spot" a bit. I often carry small pruners for small limbs as they are very efficient cutting tools and a folding saw. But I still have the knife.

    Many of my woods cutting relates to day hiking needs now and often relate to taking pictures, cutting a limb off that is in the way, cutting a dead limb off that makes a picture look "less good", or cutting small briars or seedlings that obscure a plant that I am trying to photograph on the ground.
  23. T.R.

    T.R. Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Manatee County, Florida
    I skinned out this doe with my large bowie knife made by Chipaway. Truthfully, I found the blade too long for this task but did it just to try out this bowie. Like most other hunters, I prefer a knife blade that does not exceed 4 inches. Big bowies are cool looking but practical use value is less than ideal in my opinion.

    I found this Pakistan built knife okay but not remarkable in its ability to hold an edge. Buck model 119 is a superior knife in this regard.



  24. torqem

    torqem member

    Jan 8, 2014
    I don't even have one in my BOB. I find my saws and multi-tool to be many times more efficient, and I won't get tossed in jail for ccwing them, either.
  25. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Earth, Currently
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
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