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Thread: One Knife Survival Knife

  1. #21

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    I like the looks of that, but are you planning to distal taper the tip? I do a fair bit of tip work and for softer material or slicing cuts a thin tip is what you want, but curious about yours and other's thoughts about tip strength in a survival knife. I'm interested to see what grind maintains tip strength and is still allows great cutting performance from the rest of the edge. The type of thinner edge but thicker tip grind on a Spyderco Lum tanto or the Medford Arktika (as examples) ?

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by hauntedchild View Post
    At this point and time I'm in different places . I've read and tried all popular thoughts , my latest trend know is the Kukri blade . I'm sorting out what or whatnot I think would better serve my needs in the event of a survival scenario . My first was a AOEF which was purchased solely based on price because I didn't know if I would appreciate the Kukri style of blades . It was less than was impressive to say the least . Thick edge that just bounced of most targets and terrible handle IMHO .
    My second is a Panawal Angkhola Farmer , great out the box other than removing the burr it was ready for hard work and confidence inspiring and proved it's worth quickly with my limited experience with the Kukri . But I am working with the AOEF again , I've had the edge thinned a great deal and reshaped the handle dramatically to my preference and am finding that I must have prefer the less dramatic curve of this blade along with slightly thinner 3/8 thick spine . Which is in my opinion more than I'll ever need for large knife task in a woodland scenario . Now in an urban environment I still put my money on my BK2 . And this I can say with extensive experience I have pryed open doors , stabbed through them and used the pommel to slowly but surely break through masonry walls . Was it easy ? Nope but it did it with no damage that would make the tool unserviceable . But if it was easy I wouldn't be a survival scenario would it .
    In the less curved near Kukri style, there is the Ontario SP-52 or 53, which are called "bolo" style I think...

    I don't quite get how all the sub 9" blades are supposed to be "Survival Knives" either, since the main and fastest threat is hardly starving at all, but exposure... Exposure can be fatal in minutes, while starvation takes 2-3 weeks...

    I guess the minimal assumption, with all of those small knives, is that a folding saw or hatchet is brought along, but then I don't understand how the knife deserve the "survival" label at all, as it then becomes only a complementary component of a "Survival Kit"...

    With a competent thin-edged hollow grind (0.020 to 0.030" at the edge shoulders, the lower end being marginal in toughness but good enough, and typical of what you find on the hollow ground Randall Model 12 for instance), a big blade can still do some fine tasks, and be somewhat more than a weirdly shaped ax... The biggest problem I have found when chopping wood with a fine knife edge (say 15 dps on 0.025" shoulders) is the involuntary sideway motion when pulling the blade out: This can twist and damage a fine edge that survives perfectly intact the initial chop, but not the involuntary twisting of the pulling out motion...

    Deep hollow grinds with low sabre grinds tend to protect the edge, because any side movements is resisted by the rapidly expanding blade thickness (unlike with a Full Flat Grind), and when deeply buried, any side movement also makes the hollow grind "pull" the edge out its initial vulnerable wood-pinched position, avoiding apex damage even at fine edge angles: Full flat Grinds with fine edges tend to be more vulnerable, as the edge is more "exposed" to the involuntary "twisting" of pulling-out motion, which in this case does not "unstick" the edge but instead bends the vulnerable edge apex: Full Flat Grinds do perform slightly better as choppers, and especially are much lighter than a comparable low sabre hollow grind, so it is a bit of a quandary: In a similar 10" chopping blade, do you prefer a feather-light 17 ounces (but more twist-vulnerable) Full Flat Grind, or a less efficient but more burly 21-25 ounces low sabre hollow grind, both with similarly fine edges?

    My high-sabre hollow ground Randall Model 12 has a very slight "swell" just above the V-edge bevel, which seems to make the edge invulnerable to chopping/"twisting out" damage, despite the edge being still thin at under 0.025" at the shoulders. The knife is only slightly over 20 ounces (once the hugely oversized "Commando" handle was severely ground down into something useable), and overall it seems close to the best possible compromise. I feel the 8.9" blade is on the short side however, but this knife is certainly a good try at something I consider close to ideal; combining chopping with fine edge cutting ability.

    Gaston

  3. #23
    That sketch looks a lot like a cross between a chef knife and a Hiker.
    It seems very capable.

  4. #24
    I am wondering what kinds of survival situations are being addressed when designing a "survival knife"? To me, a survival knife is also an escape tool that would pry a door open, a potential spearhead and even a climbing piton.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaston444 View Post
    In the less curved near Kukri style, there is the Ontario SP-52 or 53, which are called "bolo" style I think...

    I don't quite get how all the sub 9" blades are supposed to be "Survival Knives" either, since the main and fastest threat is hardly starving at all, but exposure... Exposure can be fatal in minutes, while starvation takes 2-3 weeks...

    I guess the minimal assumption, with all of those small knives, is that a folding saw or hatchet is brought along, but then I don't understand how the knife deserve the "survival" label at all, as it then becomes only a complementary component of a "Survival Kit"...

    Gaston
    Quote Originally Posted by ma tumba View Post
    I am wondering what kinds of survival situations are being addressed when designing a "survival knife"? To me, a survival knife is also an escape tool that would pry a door open, a potential spearhead and even a climbing piton.

    The knife is intended to be a part of a "kit".
    The design was provoked from my recent interest in watching the old seasons of Alone.
    I may have eluded from it in the original post, but I am assuming that you would possibly have an axe on hand as well.
    However, aside from downing or bucking large trees I am of the opinion that a single 6" blade would be the most versatile.
    In combination with a baton and wedges splitting and chopping can easily be accomplished.
    This knife is not supposed to be heavy or cumbersome, it is intended to be on ones person at all times.
    I am not saying that you couldn't clean a rabbit or squirrel with a heavy 9" blade, but it would be much easier with one shorter and lighter.

    This is what makes our community so great though, we all have varying ideas as to what we consider the "BEST" option/tool.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogrunner View Post
    I like the looks of that, but are you planning to distal taper the tip? I do a fair bit of tip work and for softer material or slicing cuts a thin tip is what you want, but curious about yours and other's thoughts about tip strength in a survival knife. I'm interested to see what grind maintains tip strength and is still allows great cutting performance from the rest of the edge. The type of thinner edge but thicker tip grind on a Spyderco Lum tanto or the Medford Arktika (as examples) ?
    I plan for the knife to have a skeletonized and tapered tang for weight reduction and balance.
    For the tip and edge I actually want it slightly more robust that what I generally make.
    This is a knife that I actually plan to use hard and abuse.
    I don't plan any distal tapering to thin the tip because I want the edge and tip to remain heavy enough for chopping, drilling, and batoning.
    The high grind into a .025" to .030" edge should still be acute enough for piercing and cutting on it's own.

    I am choosing O1 not only because I have it on hand, but because I want the knife to be easily maintained in the field.
    With a 59-60 Rc heat treat it will be easily cut by any abrasive whether natural or man made.

  7. #27
    Sign me up for one :-D
    ~formerly known as tbhride~

    David C. Andersen • Nordsmith Knives

    Associate Editor • http://thetruthaboutknives.com

  8. #28
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    Im real curious about this one. Funny thing is I was doing a Google search about this exact same topic and found this here. This is a good read as well as informative. Curious to see where this goes and what the final results will be. Thanks for reading my mind and posting this information even before I thought it lol.
    You smell that? Do you smell that?... grinder dust, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of grinder dust in the morning. ...the smell, you know that dusty smell, the whole shop. Smelled like... victory.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Chris View Post
    I sat down today and sketched out what I have had in my mind for this "One Knife".
    Now remember that I plan to have an axe as my main heavy duty chopping tool.



    This knife is 11" OAL with a 6" Blade.
    I plan to start on a couple very soon.
    They will be made from some 3/16" O1 that I have on hand.
    I like the thickness you choose, especially with the high grind. Should provide plenty of strength, and ought to still slice like a knife, rather than slicing like a sharpened pry bar.
    ~formerly known as tbhride~

    David C. Andersen • Nordsmith Knives

    Associate Editor • http://thetruthaboutknives.com

  10. #30
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    Big Chris,
    As a comparison it would be interesting to hear your preferred one knife survival knife design for situations without an Axe.
    Last edited by MR HAPPY; 01-02-2017 at 10:46 PM.

  11. #31
    Just to clarify, I think Mr. Happy wants options for how to survive outdoors without an axe and presumably without a saw.
    I'll chime in and ask a related question: Just how big can a knife get and still be useful for detail wood work and cleaning fish and game?

  12. #32
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    Thanks for the kind words Fancier. With a thread title called ONE KNIFE SURVIVAL KNIFE I Thought it was a reasonable question to ask and not off topic as most "survival" situations that could occur may not necessarily involve having an axe on hand.
    Last edited by MR HAPPY; 01-02-2017 at 08:47 PM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR HAPPY View Post
    Big Chris,
    As a comparison it would be interesting to hear your preferred one knife survival knife design for situations without an Axe.
    I have been thinking on this subject a lot recently, and even had Mrs.Big Chris pose this exact question to me the other night while I was working on a few of these.
    Most any instructor or practitioner will tell you that a survival knife is the one that you have on you.
    No one plans to get in a survival situation, otherwise one would be completely prepared with gear as well as mentally and physically.
    Although while designing this knife I had the companionship of an axe in mind, I fully believe it could still serve admirably as the "One Knife".

    Here's my thinking:
    It's going to be ground like a knife so that it will still cut with efficiency.
    Thick enough to withstand chopping and batoning.
    Will be light enough to not be a burden while being active outdoors.
    Made from a steel that is not difficult to sharpen and maintain in the field.
    I want the knife robust enough to baton but also to provide the confidence that it will not fail on you.
    Large enough to get work done but small enough to not be a hindrance detail carving trap parts or processing small game.

    As soon as you find yourself in a situation you can use your knife to chop a 1.5" to 2" tree, branch, or dead fall.
    This is now your baton and increases the amount of work you can do with a smaller knife.
    You can them make several wedges to use to split larger wood to find the dry center or to make kindling and fuel.
    Get a fire and shelter made then move on to finding water and procuring food.

    The key to all this though is that it has to be done with the knife that you have on you.

    I do think it would be nice to have a large eight or nine inch blade to make quick work of the chopping and splitting, but who wants that weight in their pack or on their belt.
    I also would not care to have that bigger knife slapping me on the leg as I am walking or climbing.
    I am really hoping that after tapering the tang these knives will finish out at around 10-11 ounces.

  14. #34
    I like your reasoning Chris, but it should also be a steel that does not dull too easily. Needs to cut efficiently for a while without a lot of downtime constantly sharpening.
    I like the size you are talking about too. When I have to carry my gear for extended periods, in a pack, on foot, in rugged terrain, no matter how cool it is or how much I admire it in my vehicle or around the property, it is not going with me even on day-long excursions (not twice anyway) without a good reason. I am enough of an old boy scout to always want to be prepared, but if you can get by without it, you do. I tend to go with a 4-5" fixed blade and a spyderco military (so light but you get a very versatile and great cutting blade). A somewhat larger fixed blade can definitely increase the range of tasks, but my heavy "choppers" live in my truck! For the extra weight, I'll bring a GB wildlife hatchet if I think I'll be processing a lot of firewood.

  15. #35
    Interesting reading, Chris. I would also like to know how you compare your kit with the Nessmuk kit in general and the use of this knife to that of the Nessmuk knife, in particular. What is missing in the Nessmuk that you are bringing in to this knife?

    I'd like to note here also that 3V steel in your Nessmuk is extremely easy to maintain. I'd say unbelievably easy

  16. #36
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    In a survival situation ease of sharpening should be relative to ease of sharpening on material other than the dedicated sharpener, like for instance the base of a ceramic cup, edge of car glass window, rock, brick etc etc.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by MR HAPPY View Post
    In a survival situation ease of sharpening should be relative to ease of sharpening on material other than the dedicated sharpener, like for instance the base of a ceramic cup, edge of car glass window, rock, brick etc etc.
    Well, I know that sharpening on a stone, etc, is a popular point, but since this is a kit anyway, I'd include a portable sharpener. I always have one, BTW.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Chris View Post
    As soon as you find yourself in a situation you can use your knife to chop a 1.5" to 2" tree, branch, or dead fall.
    This is now your baton and increases the amount of work you can do with a smaller knife.
    You can them make several wedges to use to split larger wood to find the dry center or to make kindling and fuel.
    Get a fire and shelter made then move on to finding water and procuring food.
    This. By batoning "across the grain" you can definitely get by without an axe or hatchet, and 6-inches is plenty of length for the diameter of anything you would be harvesting in a survival scenario. Even with a larger knife, cross-grain batoning is often more calorie efficient than chopping, and you want to conserve energy wherever possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogrunner View Post
    I like your reasoning Chris, but it should also be a steel that does not dull too easily. Needs to cut efficiently for a while without a lot of downtime constantly sharpening.
    I think O1 is a good candidate in this case. I've liked the performance of it even from outfits that have a more general heat treat for the steel, and knowing how exacting Chris is with his heat treat, he may even be able to wring a little more performance out of it. Another that ought to be a good pick is A2.
    ~formerly known as tbhride~

    David C. Andersen • Nordsmith Knives

    Associate Editor • http://thetruthaboutknives.com

  19. #39
    It's funny. I grew up in the 80's, so when someone uses the term "Survival knife" I automatically picture the hollow handle Bowie type. A lot of the knives pictured here, to me, are what I'd consider "bushcraft" knives. Its cool to see different opinions and styles.

  20. #40
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    So true. Same for me. I recall getting more than one over the years as Christmas presents. The one with the cheap camouflage sheath and compass that does not really work at all as well as that crappy sharpening stone it came with. I am sure there are still one or more stowed in a junk box somewhere. I have had the blade snap off just doing some basic items with it. Back to topic, I think survival knife and bushcraft knife would go hand in hand though. In my mind, "Bushcraft" is "Survival" and "Survival" in many aspects is "Bushcraft". Now we see our bushcraft you tubers in a controlled environment typically, but you got to teach somehow. I can see the advantage of having the hollow handle filled with needed objects, i.e. fishing line and hooks, alum foil, an aspirin, etc. But the trade off for having the hollow handle is the loss of strength on the blade itself. I have seen many videos and had many conversations about the blade breaking off the hollow handle designs. A full tang design with an Altoids tin strapped to the sheath would be ideal. Then you got your items as well as the strength of the full tang. You could boil water in the tin if needed too, so multiple uses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck3117 View Post
    It's funny. I grew up in the 80's, so when someone uses the term "Survival knife" I automatically picture the hollow handle Bowie type. A lot of the knives pictured here, to me, are what I'd consider "bushcraft" knives. Its cool to see different opinions and styles.
    You smell that? Do you smell that?... grinder dust, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of grinder dust in the morning. ...the smell, you know that dusty smell, the whole shop. Smelled like... victory.

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