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Thread: Knife "batoning" for camp/survival fire making

  1. #61
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    hahah yeah the folding saw not the geeky Scandinavian dude...though it would be funny to see that guy try and chop rounds in half with his bare hands!
    http://www.svensaw.com/

    " some folks favour rambo sawback knives..."

    lol, i hope that part isn't true... j/k who am i to tell someone something doesn't work for them...i just have a hard time taking the rambo saw back guys a bit seriously..well at least teh ones i've met.
    Last edited by theizzardking; 02-05-2013 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    Batoning is something that is very very easy to do very very wrong. At its worst you have 8-ton gorillas using a claw hammer to bash some helpless little knife with a thin grind and hard heat treatment through a whole dang knot-filled hardwood and then they complain when it breaks. On the other hand you have plenty of folks who know the limits of their tools, read the wood, and don't bite off more than they can chew using appropriate force on an appropriate blade in an appropriate manner. I baton all the time, but it's for kindling purposes or for rapid rough shaping of wood when crafting stuff. I don't go for anything thicker than my shin unless I'm doing it for laughs. Split a 8' long 10" diameter maple trunk with a CS barong machete once just to see if I could.
    +1 on this. Not knowing when to stop is what can get people into trouble. If I'm using more and more force to get the split I'll stop and find another piece of wood. Knotted and twisted grain wood I don't even bother to split. Just grab another piece not so messed up. I also have no desire or need to split anything but kindling with a knife.

  3. #63
    It's nice learning what people do and what works for them, as well as the rationale behind their choices. When I'm packing light I generally take my Wyoming Saw, Fiskars hatchet, a medium sized fixed-blade, and a small fixed-blade. I've never really had the need, or felt the desire to pound on my knives for anything but processing kindling. I also bought a Condor Golok a couple of months ago, but haven't used it yet...it seems like it might make for a good chopper, and multi-use outdoor tool.

    I started this thread because I wanted some perspective from all you knife people. I've been seeing a lot of videos on Youtube with people batoning, but the Youtube community is a difficult place, at times, to find logic and reason.




  4. #64
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    Fixed blade?
    Sure
    Folder?
    Hell no.

  5. #65
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    It also depends on the wood.
    Last time I was out I was splitting some wood, and everything was going swimmingly well, until I came across some unidentified ultra-hard wood. It just was not working: your wedges wouldn't have done crap either. It was a job for a splitting maul...so I stopped (blade was barely in at all), and got the fire going with other wood, saving the mystery wood to chuck on the fire once it was going really well.
    Last edited by stabman; 02-05-2013 at 10:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by stabman View Post
    It also depends on the wood.
    Last time I was out I was splitting some wood, and everything was going swimmingly well, until I came across some unidentified ultra-hard wood. It just was not working: your wedges wouldn't have done crap either. It was a job for a splitting maul...so I stopped (blade was barely in at all), and got the fire going with other wood, saving the mystery wood to chuck on the fire once it was going really well.
    That's very true. Hard wood is hard on tools and muscles alike. You'll have a more difficult time cutting / splitting hard, close-grained woods, knotty woods, etc. no matter what method you're using (wedges, axe, maul, batonning).

    On that note, I thought this was pretty neat: This dude with painted fingernails does battle with a pretty tough tree using wooden wedges and prevails in the end, but sweet jebus does he ever have to put some effort into it:



    That did make me think of another consideration, though. I'd suggest that you're not likely at all to annihilate your axe/maul/wooden wedge if you run into a piece of wood with a knot in it. You are, however, more likely to chip the edge of most knives (even heavy duty style knives) if you run into the same knots during batoning.

    See: That video of the RTAK II above. "...an epic failure, the blade could not handle another knot in wood and two large chucks come out of the blade!" (From the video description), or this video of the exact same thing happening to a CS Leatherneck.



    Now, I recognize that both of these guys were dumb in that they should have realized they didn't have a chance in hell of slamming right directly through those knots with their knives (especially that second guy, sweet jebus..."if at first you don't succeed, hit it with a bigger stick" ), and that their dimness shouldn't be turned into an argument against batoning in general. You mentioned a similar situation where you just stopped batoning a difficult piece of wood - that's what these folks in the videos should have clued in and done. It is worth saying, though, that if they had they been using, say, a wooden wedge or something, a) the end result would have been the same (ie: They would have tried and failed to plough right through the middle of those knots), but b) They would not have destroyed their knives in the effort.

  7. #67
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    if you need a knife to baton with may i suggest the ESEE 5.

  8. #68
    Learned how to use a hatchet back in the Scouts.

    Own a few overbuilt Busse knives.

    Have access to this great forum with all it's information and youtube vids.

    We live in good times.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorito Monk View Post
    That's very true. Hard wood is hard on tools and muscles alike. You'll have a more difficult time cutting / splitting hard, close-grained woods, knotty woods, etc. no matter what method you're using (wedges, axe, maul, batonning).

    On that note, I thought this was pretty neat: This dude with painted fingernails does battle with a pretty tough tree using wooden wedges and prevails in the end, but sweet jebus does he ever have to put some effort into it:

    That did make me think of another consideration, though. I'd suggest that you're not likely at all to annihilate your axe/maul/wooden wedge if you run into a piece of wood with a knot in it. You are, however, more likely to chip the edge of most knives (even heavy duty style knives) if you run into the same knots during batoning.

    See: That video of the RTAK II above. "...an epic failure, the blade could not handle another knot in wood and two large chucks come out of the blade!" (From the video description), or this video of the exact same thing happening to a CS Leatherneck.

    Now, I recognize that both of these guys were dumb in that they should have realized they didn't have a chance in hell of slamming right directly through those knots with their knives (especially that second guy, sweet jebus..."if at first you don't succeed, hit it with a bigger stick" ), and that their dimness shouldn't be turned into an argument against batoning in general. You mentioned a similar situation where you just stopped batoning a difficult piece of wood - that's what these folks in the videos should have clued in and done. It is worth saying, though, that if they had they been using, say, a wooden wedge or something, a) the end result would have been the same (ie: They would have tried and failed to plough right through the middle of those knots), but b) They would not have destroyed their knives in the effort.
    In the video with the guy using wedges and a 4" knife, he certainly uses good technique!

    The failures of the RTAK and CS leatherneck has a lot to do with thin edges.
    If You compare the cross sectional edge geometrys with a hatchet, You will find that the convex ground hatchet has a lot more metal to support the edge.
    A knife used in heavy duty work like batoning also benefits from a thick edge,just like a hatchet.
    If it's convex or ground with bevels has less to do with it, here the knifeblade needs metal behind the edge.

    It has not to do with size, as my experience with thin Mora's has been most succesful.
    The thickness of the grind and of course the heat-treatment has a lot to do with it.
    The before shown Mora has a "Triflex" blade, wich means it has a differrential heat-treatment with soft sides.
    It's the same thing in a laminated blade.

    I have also been succesful with the above shown old Solingen Bowie.
    It has a soft temper and even softer tang and both spine and edge are very thick, not to say overbuilt.
    Perfect for a teen (and others..,) out in the forrest bashing any piece of wood.

    Regards
    Mikael
    Last edited by Mikael W; 02-06-2013 at 02:47 AM.

  10. #70
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    If a knife is sold as a 'bushcraft' or 'survival' knife, then it should be able to baton wood without breaking. If it breaks when you baton with it, it's not a true multi purpose knife i.e bushcraft/survival etc.

    I wouldn't baton with my opinel as it's not desinged for that, but I would (and do) my mora, because I can, it's quick and it's easier than carrying an axe.


    The reason knives like esee areknwon for being tough is because they are made from simple, tough 1095 carbon steel and aren't overly hardened. Thus being able to take a tonne of abuse before giving up the ghost.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samon View Post
    If a knife is sold as a 'bushcraft' or 'survival' knife, then it should be able to baton wood without breaking. If it breaks when you baton with it, it's not a true multi purpose knife i.e bushcraft/survival etc.

    I wouldn't baton with my opinel as it's not desinged for that, but I would (and do) my mora, because I can, it's quick and it's easier than carrying an axe.


    The reason knives like esee areknwon for being tough is because they are made from simple, tough 1095 carbon steel and aren't overly hardened. Thus being able to take a tonne of abuse before giving up the ghost.
    Agreed!
    I did baton my Opinel, but this has to be called abuse and the knife isn't made for batoning.
    Mora's cope with this after given a microbevel and You are right that Esee's seems to be relatively soft.
    This should work well for mistakes in technique and/or some abuse.
    I have very limited personal experiences with Esee's and Solingen knives has filled the same role in my inventory.

    Today I prefer the heavy duty models from Fällkniven, Bark River and Mora.
    There are other good brands also, but I think it's good to focus on a few brands and learn how they work.

    Regards
    Mikael
    Last edited by Mikael W; 02-06-2013 at 03:27 AM.

  12. #72
    Speaking about knife fail:
    This is what happened after the owner beat on the handle/pommel while using the Natchez to baton wood.
    Strange construction (supposedly to alleviate vibrations), but even more strange that he beat on the handle part of the Bowie.




    Im not out to bash CS BTW. I have some CS knives and quite like them.
    Not going to buy a Natchez though, as I prefer a different handle/tang construction..
    Last edited by BladeScout; 02-06-2013 at 05:37 AM.

  13. #73
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    Interesting pic's!

    That handle should be fairly easy to repair with a threaded rod instead of a wire and a new block of wood.
    I experiment with such technique's and so far it works very well, also on an 8,5" bladelenght Bowie.

    IMGP4752.jpgIMGP4753.jpg

    Regards
    Mikael

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorito Monk View Post
    On that note, I thought this was pretty neat: This dude with painted fingernails does battle with a pretty tough tree using wooden wedges and prevails in the end, but sweet jebus does he ever have to put some effort into it:


    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael W View Post
    In the video with the guy using wedges and a 4" knife, he certainly uses good technique!
    Painted fingernails? Must be Siguy who's a member here only not that active anymore. Do a search for fuzz sticks with his name. You'll find out he's not a newbie to the bushcraft thing. Think volleyball sized fuzzies.

  15. #75
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    I used to be somewhat anti-batoning then i purchased a bk9 a while ago. Golly, i go to town on that sucker and process firewood like it's my job. stick to BK&T and you'll be fine.

  16. #76
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    I've never had any problem batoning with my 911 even on knotted up green wood, it just takes the beating and asks for more. I also know that if anything ever happens to it scrapyard will send me a new knife but I don't see that happening.

  17. #77
    If I had only ONE knife, you can bet your butt I would not be batoning with it. If I NEEDED to baton, it would be thumb size pieces for kindling. I've started more fires with out a knife, using a bic lighter as a kid/teen in all weather the northern Great Lakes region could throw at me and I never NEEDED to chop or baton. Im glad I learned like this for so many years. People often ask "Im new to bushcraft/hiking. What knife should I get"? I always say, go without a knife for at least a year. That will determine what kind of tools you need. As kids we wandered far from roads and houses, playing in the woods. Never had a fear of getting into a "survival" situation. This attitude screams city slicker IMHO. It shows your uncomfortable in the woods and you don't trust yourself to be able to avoid bad situations. Go out and have fun, be safe, respect nature and learn to be in the woods without a bag full of sharp tools. "Need" and "want" are two completely different things. Its fun to chop with knives and baton wood but not always necessary. I am in no way trying to bash people who practice wilderness survival.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorito Monk View Post
    That's very true. Hard wood is hard on tools and muscles alike. You'll have a more difficult time cutting / splitting hard, close-grained woods, knotty woods, etc. no matter what method you're using (wedges, axe, maul, batonning).

    On that note, I thought this was pretty neat: This dude with painted fingernails does battle with a pretty tough tree using wooden wedges and prevails in the end, but sweet jebus does he ever have to put some effort into it:



    That did make me think of another consideration, though. I'd suggest that you're not likely at all to annihilate your axe/maul/wooden wedge if you run into a piece of wood with a knot in it. You are, however, more likely to chip the edge of most knives (even heavy duty style knives) if you run into the same knots during batoning.
    Thread popped up again so I looked at this vid again. I think the issue he's having is that his wedges are too thick and too short. I've had much better luck with thin and long wedges. A good techinque is to split off a small side piece and then carve a thin wedge in one end. Then you have a wedge that's long enough to be pounded the entire length of the wood you're splitting. Works great IME.

  19. #79
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    I was looking at this thread and started to wonder, wouldn't a premade wedge
    of good quality, wear and impact resistant plastic be great? Light, cheap, etc.
    After looking around, they are out there. Not trying to hi-jack the thread,
    but it seems relevant. Would have been great to have in a few of those
    vids. Anyone have any experience/ advice on this idea?

  20. #80
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    I'm trying to get away from battoning knives, but I'd use a BK-2 without a moments hesitation.

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