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Thread: Survival knives?

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    Junior Member mwalmer89's Avatar
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    Default Survival knives?

    Hi
    When hunting, who prodives a dedicated survival knife? Not just any knife, but a dedicated full size survival knife like an shieldon knife or Benchmade Bushcraft that is not intended for skinning or game, but rather for chores or survival.
    And then who here uses a full size hunting knife for game and not a Havalon?
    Thinking about reracking my knife situation for weight and space.
    Last edited by mwalmer89; 07-03-2022 at 11:16 AM.


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Shieldon and Havalon are brand names and offer a lot of different types of knives. I see no reason a Bushcraft can't be used for skinning or game. Use whatever is right for you.
    Tracks Across the High Plains...Death on the Bombay Line...Both On Amazon Books.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwalmer89 View Post
    Hi
    When hunting, who prodives a dedicated survival knife? Not just any knife, but a dedicated full size survival knife like an shieldon knife or Benchmade Bushcraft that is not intended for skinning or game, but rather for chores or survival.
    And then who here uses a full size hunting knife for game and not a Havalon?
    Thinking about reracking my knife situation for weight and space.
    To answer your question directly......I do.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Are there rules? Good Lord, the knife police will be knocking on the door!

    I have been known to spend considerable time in the woods with only a well honed butcher knife, and skin game with the same.

    Or occasionally a three blade stockman.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Rules? Rules? We don need no stinkin' rules

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    I have some rules about knives.

    #1. Every day, wherever I go, whatever I am doing, I have at the very least, a knife... usually four devices with a blade on them, but always at least one.
    #2. They are sharpened to the degree of their expected duty.
    #3. See rule #1...

    I cannot understand why any man would think of walking out of the house without a pocket knife. I have left my wallet at home, but never my knife.

    I suppose a bushcraft knife (whatever that really is) is great for planned bushcrafting, but most survival or emergency situations occur while not crafting in the bush...

    It is important to know how to use your pocket knife, for what purposes and for what purposes NOT to use it... you don't want to break it and not have any knife...

    Alan

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I always have a knife with me....usually several.Any of them will do whatever task I deem needed at the time. Labeling them as to what somebody thinks is their intended use is bull****. The knife you have will be the knife you use. Call it what you want, but it is just a knife.
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    Senior Member Michael aka Mac's Avatar
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    The term Bushcraft knife became popular in the 1980s from a Canadian named Mors Kochanski. This is ironic as the term "Survival Knife" (as we refer to it today) became a household phrase as well in the 1980's , is viewed as the type of knife that was in the Movie Rambo First Blood.

    There are specialty knives, like when working with wood, that are designed to do certain tasks for wood working such as whittling. Just like kitchen cutlery knives, each designed for a type of food, or food preparation, so is the same for wood working knives.

    A Bushcraft knife, survival knife, & combat knife are completely different animals. Different grinds & tips & thickness. You are not going to see a blood groove for instance on a Bushcraft knife. They tend to be a drop point, Scandi or flat grind, relatively thicker blades (1/4") having the ability to cut down trees, split logs, chop wood, and assist in daily Bushcraft chores/duties.

    A survival knife in all honesty IMO is pretty much any knife that you have available, like I mean your gonna try to survive with what you got so its a 'survival knife' in your hands. Sure, longer thicker fixed blade would be ideal. You may want some characteristics of a Bushcraft knife, while a blood groove may be present for hunting game and a more pronounced tip for piercing the animals skin.

    Sure any knife could be used to skin and break down an animal, but then again having a skinning/fielding knife set, would make this process easier and faster.

    It is kind of why people like us have so many different knives in our inventory, as some knives just do certain tasks easier. A serrated blade for example excels in cutting cordage.

    My edc bag has 2 knives a Victorinox Swiss Champ and a 2.75" Schrade fixed blade, and that doesn't include what i bring when i go into the wilderness.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    My God Mac but you are off the rails on this one!

    I could type for half the day but it would do no good. You have swallowed the internet/marketing hype completely.

    Your history is so far off the chart it's like reading a script from the Twilight Zone.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Senior Member Michael aka Mac's Avatar
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    kyratshooter, I did not say that the bushcraft knife came into existence in 1980s but rather that the term became popular.(something i read vs made up) I should also point out that my generation and years later (and not years prior like yours) when we think of 'Survival knife' we think of the knives Rambo used with that hollow handle piece of crap knife he had. We are from a different generation then you. With regard to my history, under the above context, what is there to disagree?

    & by all means, especially since you are a former History professor, write about the history of knives, I am sure others would be interested to read it, including myself.

    Personally I do not mind your toxicity, but others seem to stop posting after your comments to their posts.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I can only speak for myself. I have a lot of respect for Kyrat. I know some of his history so that respect has been earned, well earned. He talks through experience.
    Tracks Across the High Plains...Death on the Bombay Line...Both On Amazon Books.

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    Senior Member Michael aka Mac's Avatar
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    I was raised old school Rick, Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear. Furthermore, for me Respect is earned, not freely given. If one has some factual information that they want to give me, heck by all means. If there is an easier way of doing something , again 'do tell'. If I am wrong about something, plz God tell me so I don't make a fool of myself.


    but

    So no one is going to come looking for you when you don't come home?

    Not very popular, are you?

    BTW, did you fall out of the canoe into a Yankee river or a southern river? Your chances of surviving till you get to the bank vary with the geography. When you go south there can be dragons, water mocs, and rattlers waiting on the bank.
    I have seen him write countless statements like that to newly joining members over the past 12 years and just as such, I noticed several of those same new members stop posting, I have no respect for Bullies.

    Again no shirt off my back, lol I don't have to live with him...

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    My dog liked kyrat immediately. That's all i need to know. Well, he has steered me well many times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael aka Mac View Post
    .... but others seem to stop posting after your comments to their posts.
    Well, the reason for that is mostly because of the clear, concise, factual, well presented answers he gives....

    I have personally invited him to visit another forum I belong to and share his expertise with us as well.

    and,

    I tend to agree with his post #9 in this thread also...

    Alan

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    When an internet forum member is confronted with actual facts, they often stop posting and seek their fame elsewhere. I have never (NEVER) seen a post where Kyrat has provided incorrect information. While those with sensibilities that offend them when their declarative statements are challenged............well, that is on them.
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    And back to knives...

    I hesitate to guess how many knives of all shapes and sizes I own. Not counting the everyday stuff... When I go deer or hog hunting, I have my obligatory pocket knife and Micra and original Leatherman... but for the actual knife I carry, it's going to be a Western 66 or an LB7 Schrade.

    If at all possible I don't even field dress. If I can get the animal back to camp in 30 min (provided its not all shot up inside, which I learned many years ago NOT to do) I do everything at camp, and the Western or Schrade never clears leather. My choice then is a Schrade Sharpfinger. For the cutup I like to use an Old Hickory Skinner. The total amount of money I've spent on all the above is less than $50... Garage Sales are your friend...

    Now, call them what you wish, they get the job done and some of them are used for purposes that do not comply with their "name"... Ok, If somebody has the time to stand around talking about knife names while I'm working, then I'm going to find something for them to do... and it likely won't be with a tool named after or possibly even suited for the job. There's always wood that needs to be gathered in camp and they can talk all they want building a stack of dry wood.

    Mankind managed to muddle by for untold millennia by doing everything that need done with flint flakes. Think about boning out a mammoth with a sharp rock, or a whole bunch of sharp rocks... A guy with a three blade Case Stockman would have been King!

    There is one more disclaimer (or possibly confession) I would like to add....

    I have not bloodied a knife on anything but a fish in the past 8 - 10 years, I really can't remember.... The boys are grown and filling their own freezers and #1 wife and I can barely eat a chicken in a week along with the crappie, catfish and bass I manage to coax into the boat. And, to tell the truth, I really don't like venison all that much. I prefer pork and in the form of prepared chops and steaks in neat little styrofoam trays and plastic wrap... I will eat a steak about once a month, maybe.

    But, there was a time (decades) when killing, cleaning, butchering, processing, smoking and curing was a way of life because it provided a commodity which I did not have to buy with a very limited income to feed three boys that ate an awful lot.

    I try very hard these days to stay out of situations that might turn into some sort of "survival" thing... But if they do, and I need a knife, it be on my belt or in my pocket.

    Alan

  17. #17
    Senior Member Michael aka Mac's Avatar
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    OMG Allan, when I saw a photo of the LB7 Schrade, I thought I accidently looked up the Buck 110, I forgot how many manufacturers made variations that looked like that Buck. Your Schrade Sharpfinger is a nice looking knife. I personally like Schrade's products, they are a great knife manufacture IMO.

    I tend to spend more money on Kitchen Knives then I do for outdoor knives. I have spent over $400 for a kitchen knife, Like the Miyabi Birchwood 9 inch chef knife that I posted in this forum, while as the most expensive outdoor knife that I bought was around $150 for a Tops knife.

    My greatest find on the other hand was at a NY gun show where I picked up a Damascus knife with brass pommels and a stag and ivory segmented handle separated by brass rings with a leather sheath. It was in a pile of miscellaneous items from gun parts to nick knacks. Spent only $10 on it and throughout the day was offered by every booth money for it, most being a $100 offer for it. (No I did not sell it) That was almost 30 years ago.

    Good idea Allan about garage sales.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Mac, the term "bushcraft" was not popular in the '80s. Not here anyway.

    It might have been popular in Britain, but it did not originate there either. The British like the term because they do not have a woods, they have one bush, and they have to share it.

    Bushcraft was a term first used in Australia. It seemed their bad guys would run hide out in the "bush" of the outback. They would hide out there for years. They were called "bush rangers", which had no connection to the army or boy scouts. The term was first used in the 1880s and was brought into contact with the other colonial nations during WW1, and especially WW2. It spread to GB and and Canada from that use.

    That is where Mors picked up the term, being a Canadian and only a boy back then. BTW, Mors used the terms "bushcraft knife" and "survival knife" interchangeably. Check out some of the "survival knives" he has made over the years for use by students. They are made from chiseled down saw blades with broomstick handles and copper wire rivets!

    The actual term used in GB before that was "fieldcraft" and in the U.S. it was "Woodcraft".

    If you go back past the internet you will discover that there were three primary books promoting the outdoor experience and the use of knives in the outdoors. One book was Woodcraft and Camping by Nesmuck and the other was Camping and Woodcraft by Kepart. Yea, strange coincidence. Both men had their own preferences in gear and promoted specific combinations of tools for life in the woods. And they were promoting long term life in the woods, off grid life we would call it, not weekend trips. Their belt knives are now famously, and generally badly copied, and sold by the thousands. Nesmuck called his a hunting knife, Kepart usually referred to his as a utility knife. They both preferred good pocket knives for most jobs. Most people on the internet can not tell you which type pocket knife either man carried.

    The Boy Scout Handbook was number three and it also had specific advice on knives, their appropriate sizes and uses. You could get a merit badge from them.

    Your vision of combat, survival and "bushcraft" blades did not appear or become popular in the '80s either. That was the work of warfare over the millennia. The first people to manufacture uniform and standardized combat knives were the Romans. They took the design of the Spanish personal protection dagger and modified it, then produced them in mass and issued them to the legions. It was called the pugio.

    But strangely, one of the most found items in the digs of the Legion camps are the cheap bone handled friction folders carried by every man, woman and child of antiquity.

    Combat knives have been made, modified and improvised since men have been in conflict and the American frontiersman fought his way from sea to sea using a variety of edged tools, mostly commercial butcher knives.

    The other mass produced "combat knife" best known to the world is the K-Bar. Like the Romans, the U.S. forces wanted a uniform, mass produced knife built to specs and cheap enough to issue to troops.

    What you think of as a "combat knife" was primarily the creation of a man named Bo Randal. He made custom knives for men that were returning to combat during WW2. I say returning due to the fact that he took his design from the troops that had already been in combat, had been home on convalescent leave, and were heading back to Europe and the Pacific.

    He found that they preferred one of two styles; the #1 combat and the #2 combat. They are both still in the Randal line up and you can google them. I have seen many of them carried in some very dangerous places, but mostly they were used as status symbols, because the average GI in combat could not afford a custom made combat knife.

    You will also find in that catalogue shows an offering called the Astronaut survival knife. It has a big blade and a hollow handle and it was offered in the 1960s. Yea, the Rambo knife was first made for NASA.

    But that was not the origin of the survival knife as named specifically. That was the work of the U.S. Army while looking for tools for their pilots. They came up with a blade called the Air Force Pilot Survival knife during WW2. It looked nothing like what Rambo carried.

    The U.S. Airforce Survival Knife is the most widely used survival blade in the world. How do I know? Because for more then 50 years the Air Force placed one under the seat, in the survival kit stashed there, in every combat aircraft in the AF. It was also issued and one of the two knives used by the Air Force survival training school up in the Rockies. That knife had been used by around 2,000,000 air force troops in their survival school over the years.

    As a strange turn of notice, that AF survival knife uses a blade first used by the Marble company in their "Woodcraft" series. They parkerized the blade and added a serrated back edge useful for ripping open the aluminum skins of aircraft. Oh yes, it has a blood groove too. That blade was designed in the 1930s, as a big game knife, and is still available.

    Funny there, how the largest military in the world REPURPOSED a hunting and woodcraft knife for use as the worlds most popular survival knife. The repurpose worked well enough to last around 60 years before they made the drastic change of making the handle of soft nylon. Last I saw you could buy one at Walmart.

    Yes there are different knives for different purposes, but most sportsmen do not use the purpose built knife as it was intended. Most game is not skinned in the field. That is done after the trip home and often after the game has hung properly for two weeks. That is also when the game is laid on a table and broken down and processed using a series of saws and butcher blades, not your name brand skinner or hunting knife.

    It is only on the internet where people of the "more recent generation" have to put everything is a box, and leave it there. Our nation was founded by men and women that carried a butcher knife on their belt and used it to make shelter, process game and fight off enemies. The modifications came as the knives where resharpened with files and flat stones as the handles wore and the blades snapped and were reground on the nearest rock.

    Strangely enough, you can still buy those blades, made from the same steel used to make the K-bar. They are nearly identical to the blades that have been dug up at Jamestown, from 1607, and at Tellico trade factory from the 1760s. Jim Bowie used one at the "sandbar fight" and hundreds of mountain men used them to set traps, fight and survive in the Rockies. They went west on the Oregon trail and no where in the list of required supplies was there mention of a survival knife, combat knife or hunting knife. You simply had to know how to use the knife you had.

    So in your EDC (another term for what we used to find in most women's handbags) you have what you think are "good knives", unoffensive knives. Who told you that? Why would you care?

    Why does everything have to have a box to be in? The knife, the tent, the vehicle, the gun, even the generation. Separate everything, put it in the proper box, decide which is good and which is bad, then eliminate what you decided was bad even if you have no real knowledge to work with other than Instagram posts and a YouTube video!

    Works for "cop killer" ammo, assault rifles, weapons of war, zombie knives (for the British), people called "survivalists" or "preppers", or possibly just "that generation".
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-10-2022 at 12:59 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Back in the day most of my hunting/camping gear came from the Army/Navy surplus store. The classy stuff came from Sear and Roebuck or Herters...

    But, There's no way we could leave a deer hanging for more than two or three days much less some weeks... and then only if you happened to kill it of the first cold day. We get them back to camp, quartered and on ice ASAP. A 32 degree morning can be an 85 degree day by noon. They just won't keep.

    My first "real" hunting knife was a Queen Steel fixed blade. I just about sharpened that blade away. All the years my dad hunted deer he used his only knife other than pocket knives, his K-Bar that came out of the US Army with him. He had one small Case pen knife and a Case Muskrat that he found. He didn't start buying other knives until he wasn't really using them anymore.

    I managed to get by with relatively few knives as well, until I had boys of knife carrying age. Then I started picking them up at garage sales and distributing them to the crew. It kinda turned into an obsession for a while, and I still fall off the wagon every now and then. I have knives that will never feel a stone or flesh. But that's okay too... they are just for looking at... But, if the time ever came they could certainly do the job...

    Oh, and there's a reason they call butcher knives "Butcher Knives". They work well for a lot of purposes but excel at butchering..

    Alan

  20. #20
    Senior Member Michael aka Mac's Avatar
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    kyratshooter

    First let me begin by saying sorry I was an A$$, had a bad day and developed foot-in-mouth syndrome.

    I digress, tyvm for taking the time in writing that very enjoyable, historical piece. I read it from beginning to end twice, and found it informative and entertaining (as I enjoy reading about writings about knives such as yours)

    At first when you mentioned AF survival knife, I thought you were referring to a paratrooper knife (the ones that look like a car jack the way it opens) until I googled it and realized that it was the knife my Step father had. He never spoke once of his tour, other then some comical songs he learned. Ironically, I own a paratrooper knife, and no its not a favorite.

    If I were to have taken a guess I would have thought the most popular knife would have been the Marines Ka-Bar combat knife, and it would have never dawned upon me it was actually the Airforce. yes the guess would have been wrong, but it was a guess. ( I also realize that even google can yield incorrect information as it states the same thing as my guess: the Ka-Bar, at the same time Google has confused a Pickaxe with a Mattock Hoe in google search)

    With regard to combat knives, or my generations vision of "Survival knives", I gave them away or sold them in garage sales many many years ago. I started my 'knives quest' prior to being 13 years old. Started with an Victorinox basic gentlemen's knife, then upgraded to larger folders until the Movie Rambo First Blood, then yes, I owned that crappy Rambo knife. It would be a decade later that I stopped buying/carrying folders and went to fix blades. Since then, I tend to only buy scandi/flat grind, drop points or tanto, thick (1/4") blades & non serrated and not one has a blood groove.

    Only other knives I have (other then my folders that I rarely use now) are machete and Gurkha Kukri knives and the Victorinox SwissChamp & the WorkChamp XL that I bought in Switzerland.

    kyratshooter, I am curious what you think is the best of all time

    1) Combat knife
    2) Bushcraft
    3) Folder
    4) manchette
    5) multi tool knife

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