Outdoor/EDC/Survival blades

Discussion in 'Outdoor World' started by fraggler, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I have never really needed more than a good ol Victorinox pocket knife in the past, but have been thinking about more serious blades for camping/skipping out on civilization as it burns.

    I am looking for recommendations on a smallish knife for general duties and a small hatchet. I anticipate needing to chop branches for firewood and maybe cut up food or protect myself from banjo players deep in the woods. Nothing hardcore, but don't want to buy crap. Like, what are some options that are rough equivalents to a small Schiit stack - something I can grow from, but could be all I need.
     
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  2. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Benchmade has a solid reputation (especially in the folder space), and are priced "ok", usually. A benchmade is often in my EDC rotation.

    For an all around camp/hunting/survival all purpose, take a look at Bark Rivers 'Bravo' line.
     
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  3. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    A common hatchet of choice is one from Gränsfors Bruk, though at about $150 you'll pay for it (relatively speaking) over other options. I use mine for cutting camping firewood, both while car camping and on the motorcycle. Can usually be found at outdoors stores, I got mine at JAX back in Iowa.
     
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  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'm not an aichmomaniac, but for camping I find an 8" dive knife to be great since most have a hook for cutting cordage. for bigger jobs something like a sabercut hand saw is about 84.7% safer than a hatchet. Careful work can use the dive knife or a KABAR for splitting small logs for fire pit duty. For folders I prefer 50/50 blade CRKT M16.
     
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  5. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    If you are willing to spend a little more for knife that will last numerous generations, I can recommend anything from Rick Hinderer. Not cheap but I doubt I will ever buy another pocket knife. The flipper is smooth as glass and it locks up like a bank vault.

    Here is my EDC:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I like the idea of the sabercut vs a hatchet. Didn't really know they existed, though makes sense now that I see them.
     
  7. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    LT. Wright is the Schiit of Knives
    Silky Saws are the Schiit of Saws
    Axes are a good way to leave body parts in the woods, provided you were not raised up with them.
    You local area and activities should be considered when choosing steel and pattern. Beach = Stainless for example.
    Most of the Bushcraft guys buy sub 4 inch blades with a neutral handle and no jimping.
     
  8. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    smallish EDC/Camping/Survival knife... that's a pretty broad order. EDC is typically slicier (not sure if that's a word), smaller (as in blade thickness/girth of knife) and wants to be inconspicuous both in your pocket and in-use (ie., you don't want someone at the office to complain you're carrying a weapon). Also, depending on your area, you'll want to be under a 3" blade length.

    Camping/Survival generally want to be stouter blades/handles, blade length isn't as much a concern. As opposed to slicing (ie., apples, tape on boxes, etc), it's typically more important for the knife to be tougher/hold up to abuse.

    If you're truly thinking EDC, then some great options:

    Doug Ritter Mini RSK Mk1-G2 Great action, wonderful slicer, feels good in the hand. This is very similar to the Benchmade Mini-griptillian, just much less expensive with better steel for the blade. It's a great all around steel (20CV), really holds a sharpen, but for whatever reason, I have chipped the blade on this particular knife a couple times since I've had it. Not a big deal to repair, and maybe just my knife, but it's happened.

    TRM Neutron Great action... you just think about opening it and it's open. It is very thin in the pocket, great slicer. Downside is that it is hard to get (they are only available every couple of months) and you have to be online immediately when the sale opens. They're typically gone in about 3 minutes. The only real "problem" with this knife is that the g-10 scales are a little "grippy" on your pants pocket, making it hard to retrieve the knife. Solution is to either wet-sand the g-10 under the clip, get carbon fiber scales (stock option) or get 3rd party scales. This is also 20CV steel and has been an incredible blade for me... seems to hold a sharpen forever.

    Both of the above could be light camping/outdoorsman type knives... but they're not something you're going to want to use on a firestarter, or chopping/prying stuff. For that you definitely want a thicker blade that is meant for abuse (a blade in CPM3V steel can take all sorts of abuse).

    Civivi McKenna - this was my EDC when I was at the office. Very inconspicuous knife, no one would ever be threatened or think you have a weapon (maybe not the best banjo player protection knife). It is a front flipper, which took me about a day to get used to, but I just love the action. It's really a fidget knife... I would find myself sitting on conference calls just flipping it open, shutting it, flipping it, etc. It's a great slicer, and very easy to sharpen with D2 steel. It rides deep in the pocket but easy to retrieve, and if lost it is cheap, readily available/easy to replace.

    I know none of these are really "outdoors" knives, but I'm a few years removed from my heavy backpacking/camping/outdoor days and I just don't know what's out there in that market. Here's a decent (albeit a little old) read on things to think about when making a decision on what is most important to you.

    ----------Edit---------
    I agree on leaving the hatchet at home - saw is much better option
     
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  9. SineDave

    SineDave Friend

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  10. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Friend

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    Might not be outdoor survival worthy but the Case Mini Trapper has been my trusty edc for a while now. The best edc of anything is the one you actually carry and I always have this one in my pocket (stupid statement but you know what I am getting at).
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  11. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Spyderco Waterway might be worth checking out. Haven’t handled one, but LC200N holds a very keen edge for a moderately long time, will never rust, and is pretty tough for stainless.

    The Mora bushcraft black is solid and pretty affordable (as are most other moras).

    Bark River Bravo 1 LT in 3V might be worth a shot if you want max toughness and don’t mind keeping it clean and oiled.
     
  12. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  13. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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  14. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I've been carrying a Benchmade 585-2 mini barrage every day for a few years and I absolutely love it. Still razor sharp, and I love the axis lock.
     
  15. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    Another vote for Mora. Their Companion is $15: at that price, one for the car, one in the garage, etc. Kansbol is a little thicker blade, 2.5mm vs 2.0mm. There's a version with a molle sheath, so lots of options to strap to self or something else. Bushcraft thicker yet, 3.2mm. Garberg same thickness but full tang and molle sheath. I think that's their top of the line for $90.
     
  16. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    EDC is Spyderco Stretch 2 ZDP-189,Lightweight with custom contoured G10 scales.
    SD EDC is Williams Blade Design OZF 002, clip removed for back pocket carry.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Siembida Kestrel, 01 steel
    Busse Basic 3 M INFI steel (handle carved by me to perfection for my hand)
    EDIT: fixed pics
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  17. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    I am a Spyderco guy. I've carried Kershaw and SOG in the past, but I picked up a Spyderco Delica in 2016 and never looked back. Size, weight, and blade length are perfect for my edc needs. Locking mechanism is super reliable, no play. Functional clip, I carry tip up. Love the big hole for easy opening. Not my pic, but this is pretty much the one I carry (the handle on mine is darker).

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    Spyderco Super Steel Sprint models are worth seeking out. The last ZDP-189 Endura I had stayed sharp for a year as a maintenance technician.
    PS: I had carried many versions of Endura for a decade and the Stretch 2 G-10 knocked the Endura out of my pocket permanently and it was the Titanium and Damascus model...
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  19. Bobcat

    Bobcat Friend

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    For their price, Spyderco cannot be beat. Para 2 is a great recommendation. But if you want a heavier build you could look at the ZT 0350. I have that one and carry it often. It you want a bigger one, the 0301 is the bigger brother, but it's heavy and I think maybe out of production.

    But for all around fixed blade and folder, try Spartan blades. Run by ex-military guys. Not cheap but they'll last for life. You can pass on the obviously fighting knives but they have a lot of knives suitable for the woods. I have a Ronin fixed blade which is a weight forward knife you can use for light chopping (kindling, etc). I have a Spartan-Harsey folder which is a "flipper" that just WANTs to open up for you. It's a bit big (4.25"). Good for the woods, maybe too much for the street (depends on your street, of course). I have another Spartan folder that's smaller and lighter (3.25" blade) that's my EDC knife. I love it dearly but they don't have it on their web site because it's an automatic knife. It may be legal in your state, but probably best to avoid.

    Rob
     
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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  20. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Thanks alot, everyone. Looks like a one knife to rule them all idea was a bit uninformed of me. Since EDC is a bit different for me since I normally work from home (even prior to the pandemic), something a bit more robust for outdoor use seems to be what I need to focus on. I still have a couple old Victorinox SAKs that are fine if I need something with me going to meetings. Have to admit, though, some of these knives look so nice, I just want to have one.
     

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