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Author Topic: Survival knives revisited  (Read 1955 times)

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Survival knives revisited
« on: September 06, 2010, 02:52:40 PM »
I had a thread on the old forum, but links don't seem to work any more, so I am starting a new one.

Thee are many knives touted as survival knives, but some are just gimmicks and will not hold up to hard use.
Hollowed handled knives that can be used to store small items in, are not in my opinion a true survival knife, because it will not take the abuse that you will find in survival situations.
Folding survival knives have their place in survival, but only for limited uses like cutting rope or maybe skinning animals.
Serrated blades are great for cutting rope, but a plain blade will do the job very nicely, and not as hard to sharpen.

For me, there are two classes of survival knives. One for everyday camp chores, survival and hunting, and one for heavy duty use.
A survival knife needs to be able to chop down a small tree for making a shelter, cutting firewood, opening a can of beans, taking care of camp business, and defense.
It needs to have a full tang, at least a 7 inch blade and made of good metal.
This will include knives like the Kabar and Ontario USMC combat knife. There are different versions of this knife made by these companies, but the standard 7 inch,  plain non-serrated blade will  handle most any job, even small trees up to a couple inches.
Other blades like the Rat-7,  SP42 and SP49 (also made by Ontario) are just as good, I personally care for the way the Rat handle feels.

Now for the big blades. These are choppers, made for small trees, firewood, hunting, cutting, just not great for making small and delicate items. They need to be at least 9 inches and 1/4 inch thick blade material.
The Becker BK-9 (made by Kabar now), Ontario SP52 and SP53 are good examples.
The SP50 and SP51 fall somewhere in the middle as the blade is a bit shorter than the SP52, but are great knives.

There are a lot of great survival knives that do a fantastic job, I only mention these to give an idea of what to look for, and these two brands give good quality at less cost than some of the knives costing a few hundred dollars.

http://www.ontarioknife.com/catalog
https://www.kabar.com/product.jsp
This dealer has a decent selection of knives if you want to look at them in one place.
http://www.chestnutridgeknifeshop.com

Small fixed blades have a place also, but for tasks such as making delicate cuts for traps. These are knives that are about the same as your kitchen paring knives, but made for hunting, some are called bird and trout knives.
A folding  pocket knife will do this job very well, but their not really made for survival use.

Ebay is a good place to shop, and don't be afraid of a used one. Just make sure it is not made in China or counties that have really poor quality and metal. I also try to stay away from metal such as 420 and 440 stainless steel.
Thoughts, comments and other suggestions are always welcome....


« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 03:00:35 PM by Icon »

Frisky Robert

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Re: Survival knives revisited
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 09:49:09 AM »
Thank you Icon. For knife sharpening in survival situations can we use marble or limestone?
Start where we are
Use what we have
Do what we can

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Re: Survival knives revisited
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 10:54:28 AM »
I've used marble(semi polished) for a finer edge, unpolished may work for a dull knife, will have to try that,,,Have never used limestone as I have considered it a bit to soft, but since I have never used it, can't say for sure.
Either way it needs to be flat for a good edge, but I have ran regular field type rocks up the edge just to get it sharp enough to finish whatever I was doing.
Also a lot depends on the blade material. Stainless Steel is harder, and needs something with a bit more grinding power. I personally don't care for stainless.
Flint can be used, but I have never found a really good flat piece that will allow me to do a good job, but as with any survival emergency, you make do with what you have.
I will say that in my opinion, a survival knife will be used for game, cutting rope, brush and even some trees,, and I don't think they need a edge that will shave the hair on your arm.

noproblemo2

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Re: Survival knives revisited
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 11:05:39 AM »
Sandpaper works in a pinch also.

 

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