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  1. #1
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    Survival/general purpose fixed-blade knives

    I know pretty much nothing about knives besides how to use them as a defensive tool against wood, vegetables, steak, and people.

    What do you guys use for a fixed-blade knife when you're out in the woods or overseas? Carbon steel or stainless steel? What length? What brand? How important is a full tang? What type of material makes the best handle? Does the handle need to have a guard? Does it need a lanyard hole?
    Last edited by Koshinn; 03-27-17 at 04:41.
    "I never learned from a man who agreed with me." Robert A. Heinlein

  2. #2
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    Survival/general purpose fixed-blade knives

    I think you'll find that knife preference is about as varied as favorite AR triggers. My outdoors/bush knife is an ESEE-6PB. ESEE being the brand, "6" being the length, and "PB" the designation for plain blade. They also have serrated blades, which I do own, but my primary knife will be un-serrated. My ESEE is made of 1095 HC and it's a solid of a knife as I have ever owned. Many of the criteria for my bush knife are the same as my fighting/tactical knife, like full tang. That's is a requirement for either knife. But they can be different because the tasks performed could call for a different criteria. Steel quality is also an important factor . Not only quality steel that you can perform those tasks with, but how well the steel will take and hold an edge, and also how easy it is to sharpen it.
    My bush knives will typically be thicker than my fighting knife. I want the ability to baton, while having a fine enough edge to "feather" a stick. I want a good handle that will hold up to the elements both natural and man made. Some guys may want the base of the tang to have a shape that can be used to hammer, or have a compartment to store supplies in, but those have never been on my list. Usually knives like that are more about show than actual functionality. So my bush knives are pretty simple. No fancy serrations, (although some want serrations to cut wood or bone, I use a different tool for those tasks) no super fancy handle. I just want one that is durable and can handle the elements. I do want a thick spline because I will want to baton wood and chop a little.
    I did quite a bit of research into good bush knives and decided on the ESEE 6. The knife is still sharp enough to shave with shave with and I've had it years and it gets used when I'm out in the field, showing the boys how tondo different things with it. The knife also has fantastic balance and comes with a kydex sheath that I can wear on a belt via a sturdy metal clip or I can attach it to a chest rig if I want.
    Here's a link to one. Not saying this is the best price but mainly so you can check out the knife.
    I have a write up on it somewhere by can't remember what website. I would buy this knife again, 100 times over. I do use a different knife on my chest rigs, which are a little smaller, more "fighting" style, but for bush/survival I wouldn't even consider owning another knife.
    https://www.theknifeconnection.net/e...ath-clip-plate


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    Last edited by RobertTheTexan; 03-27-17 at 07:08.
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    How much do you want to spend? Handle material is a personal preference, but many like G10, Micarta, Kraton/Thermeron (rubber), or some type of composite.

    I have, or have had knives from, Bark River, Fallkniven, ESEE, Becker Knife and Tool, Swamp Rat, Buck, Ontario, and they ALL work. I just ordered my first Cold Steel, a Master Hunter, which also gets good reviews, and won't break the bank at around $75 - $80. I have mostly carbon steel knives, but also some stainless fixed blades.

    Look at the Bark River Bravo series
    ESEE 4, 6 etc
    Fallkniven F1, S1
    Becker (BRKT) BK16
    Cold Steel Master Hunter
    Buck 102, 119, etc

    And the others mentioned above. They vary WIDELY in price, so all depends on what you want to spend.
    Last edited by Pilot1; 03-27-17 at 07:17.

  4. #4
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    MORA Knives are also excellent for outdoors...and very economicaly priced. Many many different models.
    " Be NOT ye afraid of them..
    Remember the Lord, for He is GREAT & TERRIBLE!
    FIGHT for your bretheren..for your sons & for your daughters,
    for your wives & for your households"!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight Shooter View Post
    MORA Knives are also excellent for outdoors...and very economicaly priced. Many many different models.
    Agreed. The Condor line from El Salvador is a very good buy for the money. They are NOT affiliated with the cheap Chinese ripoff company.

    I have one of their 14" parangs, and it's excellent.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    Another Mora user here. Here's one with a ferrocerium rod in the handle for $20:

    http://www.sierratradingpost.com/lig...-rec-prod6461N

    I have a half-dozen of the bright orange ones scattered through my gear.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    Yes, bright orange is my first choice on gear like that for several reasons.

    It's highly visible. When you are dehydrated, have not eaten food for two days, and fuzzy-headed, you need stuff that does not get easily lost. Or if lost, is easily spotted. My days of wandering the landscape avoiding angry people are long past. Camo I honestly do not need.

    It does not scream tactical. I have a GHB in my vehicle, as well as one locked up at work. If they are searched, they are going to look a lot more like emergency preparations than an active shooter gear stash. And yes, I have had that conversation with authorities.
    Amazon had Moras on steal about Christmas time. Another bright orange user stocking up here, too.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    I have one of their 14" parangs, and it's excellent.
    I haven't heard the word 'parang' for years! At least not since I lived in south east asia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by militarymoron View Post
    I haven't heard the word 'parang' for years! At least not since I lived in south east asia.
    I was living in south east Asia when I was using it. I had a really nice golok as well.

    Both were handmade from a truck leaf spring, heat treated and had the appropriate grinds. I loved the golok, it had polished water buffalo horn handles. The parang's handles were made from teak. That was nice, because they would not rot off the blade in the humidity.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    Agreed. The Condor line from El Salvador is a very good buy for the money. They are NOT affiliated with the cheap Chinese ripoff company.

    I have one of their 14" parangs, and it's excellent.
    Oh yes, love the big ole Condor choppers! I have a Condor Golok, 14" blade and about 1.75 pounds, that thing will easily out-chop small hatchets and axes, plus you can still use it as a regular machete to sweep limbs off of branches, clear brush, and I've even choked up on the rear part of my blade back near the handle and chopped vegetables with it. With a good convex grind on one of the big Condor choppers, you have an awesome tool. I used to carry mine strapped to my pack. The reason I don't carry it much anymore--mostly just use at home as a machete and wood chopper--is the overall length is 21". I've found that my ESEE Junglas 1, at 16" plus a bit more for the sheath, is "good enough" compared to the larger Golok, and MUCH easier to carry.
    Last edited by maximus83; 08-28-17 at 10:26.

  10. #10
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    After years of carrying bigger blades outdoors, I now lean towards a 4" blade with full tang and no serrations.

    I'm less focused on defense and more on surviving comfortably in the wild.

    And a variant of the first rule of gunfighting applies... A usable knife you have on you trumps the big knife you did not bring. One reason I carry a Benchmade full sized gryptoillian folder.

    ESEE 4, Grohman Canadian Boat/paratrooper knife, and a Helle Norwegian laminated blade are my go-to knives.

    I'd get a Mora 4" and use it some. Once you know what length and blade shape you like then spend a bit more.

    That said, one of the Mora's or a Cold Steel Canadian (grohman) copy are pretty handy and affordable.

    If you want to cut straight to the chase, ESEE 4 is just over $100 with a couple of sheath options. You can spend much more and get prettier knives, but for a factory made knife it's hard to beat.

    There is a certain amount of fashion in knives lately. Styles come and go. It's become a thing to spend $400-600 on blades. Kindof like the idea that 1911s require $2k worth of custom work to be useful.

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