seamusSU

Survival/hiking knife recommendations?

27 posts in this topic

Start with the size and profile you want for the blade. Right now I could suggest anything from machete to paring knife :)

I normally have my multitool with a 3.5" blade so I'm looking for something larger than that but small enough to carry on me and keep hidden, so probably in the 7" blade range.

 

Ideally I'd like a sheath that I can carry horizontally on my belt to keep it out of sight (NJ laws being what they are).

 

As for profile I'm not really sure. I like a Tanto just because it seems less likely to snap off the tip than a drop point, but that may be misguided. I also lean toward straight edge rather than serrated since I have the multitool that's half serrated and has a saw blade.

 

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7" you are not going to easily keep hidden, nor should you. Keep in mind that 7" blade with about 5" of grip is a FOOT of stuff.  Who are you hiding it from?  If you really want to do that, put it in you pack, but no one has ever asked my why I had a knife in the woods. 

 

In my experience 7" is a heck of a lot of knife that mostly gets in the way, and doesn't really do a lot more then a 4.5-5" knife can do (and it certainly scares people less, if that is a concern). If you think you will need to build a shelter odds are your knife isn't what you should be using anyway, but even if you wanted to cut stuff down a small hatchet is better. If you try to do anything requiring some finesse, 7" is just too damn big.  Basically, I think those big knives look cool, but are not useful. 

 

If I were you, I would look at something like one of the thicker Mora knives, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Light-Fire-FireKnife-Stainless-FireSteel/dp/B007BO9G1W/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1421771590&sr=1-4&keywords=mora+knife

 

Its cheap, you won't be afraid to use the crap out of it, it doesn't look scary, and you can get it non-aggressive pink or lime green, etc. 

 

If your heart is set on a bigger beefier knife, take a look at the Becker BK-2, 5.5" but strong enough to chop your way through a steam locomotive http://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-Becker-BK2-Campanion-Fixed/dp/B001N1DPDE/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1421771772&sr=1-2

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7" you are not going to easily keep hidden, nor should you. Keep in mind that 7" blade with about 5" of grip is a FOOT of stuff. Who are you hiding it from? If you really want to do that, put it in you pack, but no one has ever asked my why I had a knife in the woods.

 

In my experience 7" is a heck of a lot of knife that mostly gets in the way, and doesn't really do a lot more then a 4.5-5" knife can do (and it certainly scares people less, if that is a concern). If you think you will need to build a shelter odds are your knife isn't what you should be using anyway, but even if you wanted to cut stuff down a small hatchet is better. If you try to do anything requiring some finesse, 7" is just too damn big. Basically, I think those big knives look cool, but are not useful.

 

If I were you, I would look at something like one of the thicker Mora knives, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Light-Fire-FireKnife-Stainless-FireSteel/dp/B007BO9G1W/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1421771590&sr=1-4&keywords=mora+knife

 

Its cheap, you won't be afraid to use the crap out of it, it doesn't look scary, and you can get it non-aggressive pink or lime green, etc.

 

If your heart is set on a bigger beefier knife, take a look at the Becker BK-2, 5.5" but strong enough to chop your way through a steam locomotive http://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-Becker-BK2-Campanion-Fixed/dp/B001N1DPDE/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1421771772&sr=1-2

Fair point on the 7", probably more than I need for just a day hike/light backpacking.

 

I like that Mora one and lime green might not be a bad idea to keep track of it. I don't think I'll need chop through any locomotives.

Thanks!

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There are many options.  On a budget, these are pretty good and you can check out the Schrade SCHF10 or the similar SCHF26, but there are ones with better steel. 

 

But, if it was me, I would spend a little more and for better value.  Check out the KaBar Becker knives such as the BK-10 or maybe the BK-16 or BK-17 with 1095 Cro-Van Steel.  Other options would be the Ontario series RAT-3 or RAT-5 or the Kabar Navy Mark 1.  For about $140 you can get the Tops Brothers of Bushcraft, which is awesome, or you can get the Kabar Becker BK-2 for about $85.  The Becker BK-10 is similar to the BK-2 but a little more versatile with a lighter and thinner blade.  Both the BK-2 and Tops BOB are traditional bushcraft knives.   

And, you cannot forget about the versatile Mora Knife.  Everyone should have a Mora Knife regardless of what else you get.  These are awesome, light and a work horse.   I prefer the carbon steel ones over the stainless, and in particular  I like the pricier carbon steel thicker Mora Mora Bushcraft Black .   

 

Here are my recommendations at current prices:  Ontario RAT 5, or if you really are on a budget, the Kabar Navy Mark 1.  The Ontario RAT 3 is also on sale right now and is about 3-4 inches shorter and might be more concealable.  These can be had at great prices right now.   And, get whatever Mora you like as well.  Really, for more concealable get a folder such as the Ontario RAT 1 or RAT 2.   Or, you could get an awesome necker knife such as the Becker BK-24 Neck Knife.   You might want to buy the additional grips for it. 

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I love my Schrade SCHF 9. It's widely known as an awesome knife "for the money."

 

If the SCHF10 had the quality steel that the 9 has, I would buy one.  Although, the blade looks like it would be hard to sharpen.

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This would be out of budget.

Yeah, that one's a bit above the price point I'm aiming for. I do really like the Mora Bushcraft, especially the ones with the attached fire starter. I think that is a good starting point and maybe I'll add another down the road.

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Yeah, that one's a bit above the price point I'm aiming for. I do really like the Mora Bushcraft, especially the ones with the attached fire starter. I think that is a good starting point and maybe I'll add another down the road.

 

Mora is a great knife, but for a primary survival knife, I would get something better, as well.  Seriously consider the Becker BK-2 or RAT 5 (especially at the price on Amazon), or the more expensive Esee 5.   Both of these knives are quite thick and heavy.  I like the Micarta handle that comes with the Esee and RAT, but the Becker has better ergonomics and is a better chopper with that hump at the back end of the grip.   You can do things with a larger knife that you cannot with a smaller knife, and a small knife is great for fine work.  The Mora or maybe the Becker BK14 or BK24 would make a good choice.  Yes, if you really want a small, fixed blade knife, I would suggest the Kabar Becker BK24 that is a collaboration with Esee.  You may want to purchase the optional grips. 

 

And, if you want a larger one, I would really look at the Becker knives and pick the one you like best.   The BK-9 is quite large.  I would rather carry a hatchet.  The BK2 (or BK22 (different sheath)) is a fabulous bushcraft knife and holds up to its reputation.  The BK7 is a brute, but I feel it is more tactical than survival and bushcraft.  The BK10 is a compromise and probably the best jack-of-all trades in the line.  Not too big.  Not too small, modified drop point, etc.   A BK10 Crewman and a BK24 (or Mora) would just about handle all your knife needs.     Just remember that you need to coatl carbon-steel with mineral oil, as it will rust. 

 

If you are going to do Bushcraft, and  you aren't into tactical fighting knives, then consider the BK16 or even the Ontario RAT 3.  The Esee 3 is more than your budget, but might be worth it. The Esee and RAT knives are very similar, but the Esee is better made and more flexible and durable than the Ontario and comes with better sheaths.  Out of the box, they are more complete.   Again, for a survival knife, a 4-5" blade still would be my choice, such as the BK10, Esee 5 or RAT 5.  The Kydex Essee 5 sheath is nicer than the nylon sheath for the RAT.  The RAT is thinner and lighter.  For fine work, the RAT would be nicer.  The Esee would be good to baton and chop, etc..  Both have good warranties.  For everyday carry, I would go with the cheaper, lighter RAT, though, than the Esee.  For an all-out survival knife, look at the Esee.  I would assume that the RAT3 and Esee 3 are similarly stacked.  

 

For just hiking, etc. the lighter weight, yet quite durable RAT 3 would still be a very nice knife to carry with a 3" blade, or get whatever Mora you like, such as that Bushcraft Black.  Get the Mora with the closed loop sheath for added retention.  However, in NJ, with New Jersey's excessive rules, you would probably be safer carrying a folding knife, or a multi-tool.    For a folding knife, look at the RAT 1 or maybe a Kershaw Blur.  As far as multi-tools go, look at a Gerber or a Leatherman.

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I have a DPx HEAT Lefty. When I first got it I was not at all thrilled with it. But I held onto it and now it's really grown on me. Solid lockup. D2 steel really holds an edge well. Glass punch and bottle opener ...plus they went out of their way to make a lefty edition. I really love it now. I buy all my knives from USA made blades. The owner gives away a free knife every Thursday on Facebook - he's an awesome guy. Big supporter of the 2nd amendment too.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Resurrecting this from the dead... looking to get more into hiking (nothing too serious, like mountaineering or multi-day through-hikes, but potentially some several mile loops that will take the better part of a day). 

Are there any new products or new developments that I should be considering when looking at a basic hiking/survival knife to bring with me? As I stated above in this thread, I do have a Schrade SCHF9, but I think that may be a bit large. Thinking something around a 4"-5" blade is probably more manageable. 

I don't follow/keep up with knives, so any new info. would be great. Looks like there's plenty of options in the $50-$100 range...

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Checked the Schrade inventory on KnifeCenter, just because that's the manufacturer that I already have, and came across these two at pretty attractive sale prices:

https://www.knifecenter.com/item/SCHF42D/schrade-schf42d-frontier-fixed-512-black-1095-plain-blade-brown-grivory-handles-leather-sheath (1095 Carbon Steel blade)

https://www.knifecenter.com/item/SCHF40D/schrade-schf40d-fixed-510-black-blade-glass-filled-nylon-handles-with-tpe-overmold-glass-filled-nylon-sheath (420J2 Stainless blade)

Both are just over 5" blade, which is a slight, but fairly noticeable difference from the 6.4" on the SCHF9 that I own. But I get lost once you get into types of steel and steel quality. 

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I have this for wood/tree destruction on my families property.  It is a monster.  Also, the sheath has been updated and is miles above the older one in this video.

https://www.topsknives.com/knives/hunting/overlander-2

This is perfect for EDC in the woods.  

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