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"Soldier Knives"

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

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  1. Goblin

    Goblin Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    Most of them do in some capacity.

    The Bundeswher has issued SAKs for the last few decades.

    This is the current version TTBOMK:

    61MnXSvl-jL._SL1201_.jpg
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Sam,

    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

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

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  7. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    http://www.gerbergear.com/Military/Tools/MP600_07554

    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

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    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.

    John
     
  9. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Looks useful.

    (How's that Spyderco, btw?)

    John
     
  11. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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. Member

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

    waldenswblade001.jpg
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=685080

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

    [​IMG]

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  16. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     

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  18. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Member

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    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....
    Will
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  19. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Will,

    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...

    John
     
  20. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    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.
     
  21. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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  22. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I bought my dad one of the older Bundeswehr folders ages ago, that newer SWK version looks like it might be something I would want.

    In the '70's and 80's the BW issued their Infantry at least a single edged fixed blade.....which THR will not let me post here because I have already posted the picture I have..... that was carried in a metal sheath. The one piece plastic grip shape was something of the of the "Viking-esqe" style grips of the WWII era SS and SA dress daggers. The blade was stainless steel and they were made by folks like the Kissing crane folks, the twins, and that nutty squirrel. I carried one for most of 74-75 as an 11 Bush beater in the US Army myself.

    My unit wore our old fatigue shirts ( or jackets as they were called as opposed to the Field Jacket) with the tails out and cinched with a pistol belt when in garrison to make us look different than all the non Infantry in our area.....and sometimes blue ascots and sometimes helmet liners that many of us smoothed out the rough finish on, painted OD Green and polished......there were occasional fights when someone comment on our appearance and certain "adult" toys. Anyhow this odd dress, specifically the shirt tail out allowed me to simply wear the Kampf Messer BW Knife on my trouser web belt and stuff the sheath in my front right pocket for concealed carry when on other Kassernes or going to the movie or PX and such.

    I also wore it while going through Basic Artillery officers Course and halfway through the Cannon Battery Officers course when it was stolen ( along with the FS knife I used to carry on armed patrols) from my car in front of my off post housing. I have since replaced the BW knife with one like it but it is just not the same as one carried in tight places n the past.

    I have said it before, but a lockblade Buck 112 was the most common knife among Infantry in Germany in the early to mid 1970s, being carried in their little black snap closure pouches on the trouser belt. Airborne and Skeeter wing qualified folks often attached their wings to the leather flap, occasionally one would see the main portion of an expert marksmanship badge so attached and occasionally even driver "wheel" badges. One NCO I knew had an Army Diver badge on his.

    Generally one guy in each squad in my unit had a TL 59 kit like shared above as squad equipment. The Demo kit knives (please lets not get into the pocket knife vs Demo knife thing, that is what we called them and they were issue in the platoon level demo kits and I got mine at Demo school at Velsek where it was called a demo knife) were prized but not near as common as the Buck 112. Quality switchblades were not uncommon under some commanders and absolutely forbidden by others.

    Then there were the common non locking folders near every young man carried in those days as a handy tool.

    But all that was ancient history.

    -kBob
     
  23. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Speed66,

    Our then obligatory ( or so it seemed) platoon Neo-Nazi in the early to mid 1970's in Germany carried one of those Falling Hunter knives most of the time. It got everyone's attention when he would snap his wrist and snap that blade out as it made quite a fuss. He also practiced letting it out very quietly against his thigh. They were neat but that marlin spike could get you if you did not look out and could get caught on gear and stuff on occasion. The one handed opening made it useful, but most of us practiced flicking our Buck 112s or pinch opening them.

    There was another FJ knife that some said was post war and others completely fake, and one German vet I knew claimed had been offered to his unit in late 1944. It was flatter and had black scales pinned on and a small door over the opening for the blade. It also made a pleasing racket when whipped open. I carried one for a bit when a new Company commander announced sheath knives in garrison where a big, as in Article 15, No-no. Mine had the grips cracked and so was wrapped in old style cloth electricians tape. The blade was no where near the quality I expected and I carried it for novelty as much as anything else. Of course it got "willed" to a buddy (no bad connotations for that title then)when it came time to go stateside and I understand he did the same when he left a year later.

    -kBob
     
  24. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    Holy cow, I'd forgotten that detail. :eek: Brings back memories of dog chains helping blouse your boots, painting your ear plug cases and other assorted silliness from back in the day. :D

    W.E.G., we ordered "pocket knives" for issuing to our guys and got those orange switchblades. This was in a mech Infantry battalion about 1985 or so. So they were in the system.

    IIRC, Jumpmasters were required to have a knife in case of a hung jumper. Only one I recall seeing was an AF Survival knife strapped to a Jumpmaster's calf.
     
  25. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Ha! We used to wrap tape around our ear plug cases, the cylinder types with a screwed on cap on one end and the cap connected to the bottom via a black dogtag like chain. We wore them on an epilat of the Field jacket or either the top button hole of the Blouse in summer or one of the pocket flap holes depending on the whims of the CO. Our unit had a distinctive epilat slide and no unit crest. The cloth slide featured equal width strips of red green and red and the electrical tap in the motor pool worked perfectly to tape the earplug cases.

    One guy I knew carried a single edged razor in his ear plug case as it "beat not having a knife for chores" if he lost his regular blade. See on topic.

    -kBob
     
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