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My knife journey goes full circle.

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by MTMilitiaman, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I've been looking for a decent survival/woods knife for a while now. I quickly decided I wanted a clip point blade of about six inches, for overall utility. I wanted a bottom guard but preferred a guard be absent along the spine of the blade so I could put my thumb there, as this helps with some tasks. I like G10 and Micarta, but was willing to negotiate if the handle was functional and comfortable. I also prefer carbon steel to stainless and a full flat grind, but was flexible here as well.

    I started this journey with a Cold Steel SRK, which I liked, but gave to an uncle because that Lynn C Thompson guy is obnoxious, and I figured there was plenty of knife makers out there who didn't annoy me.

    I picked up a Benchmade Arvensis next. This knife was wonderfully well made, and perfectly balanced. It felt lively and nimble in the hand, was very well made, and kept a good edge. I could work around the dual guard, but the sheath was crap. It was the el cheapo plastic unit with zero retention. The knife rattled in the sheath and was completely dependent on this equally cheap faux leather strap that buttoned over the guard. It was the single most Mickey Mouse thing I have ever seen Benchmade put their name on. I hated it, and was in the process of looking for aftermarket kydex for it when Benchmade's questionable politics became an issue and I decided to just replace the knife completely.

    On to the Ontario Ranger RD-6. It was perfect. It had a blade of ideal length and profile, right down to the full flat grind. It had my favorite blade steel (5160). I love this knife. If it had come with the same nylon sheath as my OKC Spearpoint Bowie, which is nylon, but functional, the RD-6 would have been the end of my quest. Alas, OKC changed the sheath from that which was in the videos I watched on Youtube to some useless POS nylon rig. What a disappointment. Knife makers ruining great knives was quickly becoming a reoccurring theme and a pet peeve of mine.

    Frustrated, I tried Cleveland Kydex for a custom sheath, but they decided they didn't want my money. So I checked other manufactures: CRKT, Gerber, SOG, KaBar..pretty much anyone I could think of that wasn't a custom knife maker, and thus could keep this on a working man's budget.

    Finally ended up just buying another SRK. Lynn Thompson is still obnoxious, but at least he cares enough to send his knives in functional sheaths. The Secure Ex is about as good of a sheath as you're going to find on a knife from the factory, and being able to carry and use your knife is important. Nothing is so annoying to me as having a knife show up wrapped in some half-ass Mickey Mouse contraption obviously made by a 12 year old paid a dime an hour in a sweat shop in Bangladesh. And I am fed up with it, personally.

    I am done buying knives until someone other than Cold Steel wants to step up and send their knives to me in something functional. It's 2019. There is no excuse for the dysfunctional crap knife manufactures are sending their knives with these days.

    QNzZz98.jpg
    (top to bottom) classic Kabar, Benchmade Arvensis, Gerber Strongarm, OKC RAT3, OKC Spearpoint Bowie, OKC Ranger RD-6.
     
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  2. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    I actually like Cold Steel. Ive met Lynn Thompson several times and he is a very down to earth guy. When I buy a knife the sheath is not something that bothers me I almost always get a custom sheath suited to my needs that will work better for me. Sounds like you need to get in touch with leather/kydex workers.
     
  3. zanders

    zanders Member

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    20190306_140049.jpg
    I like the ESEE-6-CP a lot personally. The micarta scales it comes with by default are in no way bad, but I replaced them with the ones in the picture because I prefer G10.

    The plastic sheath however I'm not a big fan of but if you have money to splurge (I have a hard time justifying it myself) hedgehog leatherworks has a really nice leather scout style sheath.
     
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  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Next time paragraphs would make it a LOT easier to read.

    Of your choices I won't argue against the Cold Steel knife. And like you a decent sheath is important. I shouldn't have to spend another $50 on a decent sheath after buying the knife.
     
  5. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    You bought a 50 dollar knife to begin with. Some makers give decent sheaths at that pricepoint but mostly it's plastic/kydex/cordura and it's most times it's not good. I think you almost have to expect to buy a better sheath (for the cheaper knives anyway) for an upper tier knife I agree a good sheath should come with it
     
  6. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Other than a pocket knife I only get german or Damascus. I did just as an oddity buy picked up a, wait for it, a Rambo III at a flea market. But, to my surprise it is well made, will hold a razor edge. The steel is so clean and dense that even perma blue will not stain it. As an oddity purchase I put it up there as a very good knife.
     
  7. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Save your pennies, I hear there's another Rambo movie to be released in Sept.

    Maybe this time he battles the evil owner of the old age home he's in and saves the other residents from harm.

    But I'm sure there will be another new knife...
     
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  8. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    Look at the offerings from Bark River Knife and Tool.

    I don't like leather sheaths, but I like everything else about the "Barkies.'
     
  9. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Other than this knife those movies are about as worthless as the rocky movies.
     
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  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Rambo-5-knife.jpg

    Here's the new knife from "Rambo: Last Blood".
     
  11. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    Sheaths depend on the climate. In the desert I love leather. In the tropics I go for nylon/cordura. I like kydex IF it doesn't dull my knife. Sheathes from Mexico, El Salvador and even Pakistan seem pretty good, often matched with a knife made in the US.

    What I don't like are sheathes that are mixed like leather and nylon. The leather rots or molds.
     
  12. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    I hate leather sheaths. For my money, Kydex all the way.
     
  13. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Leather from Mexico and El Salvador normally works out pretty well for me they make good stuff. Pakistan I will reserve judgement on they make some interesting knives but the quality of said blades is lacking.
     
  14. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm the last 10 hrs I have gone from leather to kydex for both guns and knives
     
  15. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    IMG_20190906_191655894.jpg

    Fallkniven A1 (top) and S1 (bottom). I take either into the woods. I have no idea if these, or the SRK came first, but they seems very similar.
     
  16. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    The Terävä Jääkäripuukkos come with a pretty decent sheath (I think)

     
  17. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    I like Kydex for semi autos and even for some knives, but a good bowie and revolver need leather.
     
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  18. HPJeep

    HPJeep Member

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    Yeah most sheaths are cheap. Paid $60 for a leathermaker to make this for my Ruana knife. Original sheath was MIA when I got this and the "sheath" it came with was awful.
     

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  19. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Lynn is a successful entrepreneur. These guys have sharp elbows and tend to upset those wanting a hug. Most, and I mean 99.9999% of CEO are absolutely invisible to the customers out there. You don’t know who they are and you never will. And I think that is good policy. Old money has found that the public loves spokesmen who are busty blondes or clowns. Everyone loves clowns and busty blondes, right?, and when their public image becomes old, you can always find a more fashionable busty blond or silly clown to be the public face of the company. When a founder becomes the face of the business, it becomes hard to separate the founder from the business image.

    Lynn is a knife fan boy and that shows in Cold Steel knife designs. He is also someone who understands that a vast number of buyers want huge weapons. So there is this wacko vintage weapon collection, which is all fun. Cold Steel better products are good, well thought out.

    I don’t care for the drama in the boardroom, I want a knife that is affordable, takes an edge, cuts well, and feels well.

    EFVpcfg.jpg


    This was the first Cold Steel model I purchased.

    X6xaUbS.jpg

    Not all Cold Steel knives are big. This is a good design, about 3.5” blade

    vdQO1FL.jpg
     
  20. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I've watched a good deal of Youtube videos with Lynn and have sort of warmed up to him. With the brother I had growing up, obnoxious becomes easier to deal with. And a lot of people who know him personally swear he is good people. Since I have never met the guy, I am in no position to say otherwise.

    As for the SRK, it is a decent knife for the money. SK-5 is nothing fancy, but it is functional, and Cold Steel seems to do a decent job with it. I haven't used it a lot, but I definitely think I will be holding on to this SRK. And the sheath is truly head and shoulders above pretty much anything else being sent with knives from the factory. That alone makes the knife worth the investment.

    Knife to knife, I still prefer the Ontario Knife Company RD-6. And in the future, I will make another attempt at getting an aftermarket kydex sheath for it.

    I can see leather still being useful on certain knives. If I ever find the money to spring for that Zombie Tools Felon (Bowie) that I have been eyeing for a couple years now, I will pay the extra money for the leather, because it is just classy. I carry my Glock in leather as well. The leather takes a little care, and will eventually stretch, but it just has a certain feel to it that can't be replaced by synthetics.

    At any rate, I gotta keep telling myself I have enough knives for a while. My collection, while meager by some standards, has already gotten hard to justify on the budget I am on right now. Now of them are especially high end, but I can only afford so many expensive hobbies.
     
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  21. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I believe the SRK was introduced in 1990. It has constantly evolved and has been made available in several different blade steels. The original was, I believe, Carbon V. The one I gave my uncle was VG1. The one I have now is SK-5. And I know it is available in San Mai as well as possibly a few other steels as well. One thing I have slowly grown to respect Cold Steel for is their willingness to listen to customers, and to make functional products available at poor man prices.
     
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  22. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I'm happy with my SRK that was issued to me several years ago. Are there more expensive knives of higher quality out there? Sure. I even own some of them. But for my purposes, the SRK did just fine. The fact is, when I was carrying it in the mil, I also was carrying a multi tool and a spyderco. The SRK was used the least.
     
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  23. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    As far as sheaths go, it's been my experience that most factory sheaths are pretty much junk. And this goes back a ways...
    I have a Gerber MK2 with the original sheath and it's just single stitched and light weight. I can't imagine how that was supposed to hold up in the jungle. And both my Sharpfinger sheaths are that thin stuff that almost always was poked through at the tip. The old Case skinner at least had a metal edge protector on the outside edge of the sheath. About the only factory sheath that I remember owning that was heavy duty was my 60's vintage Buck.
     
  24. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    If I don't like a knife sheath then I make another one.
    I always have.
    One of my earliest memories is sewing seed beads on a ceremonial knife sheath in front of old Push-Meh-Ta-Ha's trailer for my medicine knife.
    I was three years old.
     
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  25. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The search for "the one" likely never stops if you are interested in knives. I like the Kabar Becker BK-62 Kephart quite a lot for a modestly priced knife. It doesn't need a guard. Then I bought a handmade knife (custom) very similar to it, and then another, and latest was a Bark River Mini Kephart (3.8" blade). That was after I purchased what I thought was going to be my standard woods knife... the Bark River Wilderness Explorer which has a 5.75" blade in cruwear steel. It has the guard and the steel is thin enough to cut stuff with. Before that, there are about a half dozen Dozier blades, and a couple Blackjacks. Liked the 125 the best overall which has a 5.5" blade (and the bottom guard) done in A-2 steel. Tis how the knife buying goes for me..... I stopped even thinking that the newest addition is the last addition unless I get sick, bedridden, or die. Not a single Cold Steel blade in the bunch. Almost bought one of their bowies years ago at a gun show.

    Generally speaking, if a knife does not come with a fairly useful sheath, it doesn't get bought.
     
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