I'm new here.I have a background with axes but in recent years,I find that I get winded rather easily when swinging one.I like to camp in fall and winter sometimes and I find that a saw and large knife serves the purpose without getting too out of breath.
I have a well worn Cold Steel Trail Master (carbon V) that is satisfactory but I desire to get another knife as a possible replacement/backup or maybe even an improvement.
I don't need advice on a general purpose knife as I use a much smaller knife for that.The knife I'm looking for will be used 98% for heavy duty use such as batoning.
Hopefully,it would cost less than 200.00.Is there a general consensus here on the best knife for batoning?As I said,it will be used for heavy duty more than anything.
Any opinions based on field experience?
I did a search and couldn't find anything so hope what has probably been covered a great deal is not too redundant and repetitious.
Appreciate any feedback.
Last edited by tenbore; 04-28-2010 at 07:09 PM.
You are still going to have to swing a heavy knife as a chopper or swing a heavy baton to get the same chopping force as an axe.
You will get lots of opinions on what is the best knife for batoning, all, or most of which, will be valid.
I won't claim these to be the best, because there are too many personal factors involved in determining what is best for each individual.
However, two that I own and use for batoning with great success are the Fallkniven A2 and the Bark River Bravo 2.
Both are good size (approx. 8" blade) and robust sturdy knives.
I have no hesitation recommending either of these knives.
Good luck with finding the right knife for your needs.
Fallkniven A2 and Bark River Bravo2 shown with Rat RC4
Fallkniven A2 side by side Bark River Bravo 2
Anything that starts with ESEE will work just fine for you. perhaps an rc-5?
Listen to Kevin, he knows knives.
I have a fallkniven F1. While I can say first hand, that with the F1, batoning takes a lot more work than using an axe or a hatchet, I can vouch for the fact that my fallkniven withstood batoning, only suffering some micro chipping as a result, which I hope will be refreshed by stropping, or sharpening.
Axe...get an axe.
I think you can still get a pretty good deal on the Ontario Rtak II which is a great knife for baton work. It has a full flat grind, 1095 steel, plenty of blade to work with, and can take a beating. You may still be able to pick them up for under $100. I have personally thrashed on mine and it takes all I can dish out. I would also look at the ESEE line, but that will be more expensive, as well as the Becker line.
Ranger Knives RD9 would be another good choice.
I've had the best luck with knives from the Busse line, Swamp Rat Knife Works, or Scrapyard. They all have excellent steels that will easily withstand batoning, I ordered them from most to least expensive.
The Trailmaster you have will work great for batonning.
If however you are set on replacing it look in the Busse/Swamprat/Scrapyard knives for sale section and find a Swamprat M9 or the M9 LE either will baton very well. The SR101 steel (52100) takes a fantastic edge. Tough as hell too.
Judging from some of the responses,I think a few have not fully understood,which may very well be my fault.
I'm not a tenderfoot and the general use I describe is not theory.I'm quite experienced with an axe.
In recent years I've developed COPD which causes breathing difficulty.Swinging an axe causes me problems.Sawing and splitting small saplings,etc with a knife does not cause me as much.
The vast majority of cutting will be done with the saw.Although there are exceptions,I generally don't chop with a knife.I think of "batoning" as splitting rather than cutting across the grain.I don't think I clarifled that.For most knife use,I use a much smaller blade.The larger knife will be used the vast majority of the time for splitting sticks which will average from 3 to 5 inches in diameter (occasionally,just a bit more).Once the fire is going well and there's a good bed of coals,the bigger pieces burn quite well.
I'm not new at this.My question is simply which knife in the general opinion is seen to be superior for splitting.My trailmaster has served but I desire to have another large and heavy bladed knife for a spare or possibly a replacement if one will be better.
I thank everyone for their responses.I've considered the Ontario RD-9 but I'm certainly open to suggestions.
Without pointing to specific knife brands or models (I already offered a suggestion above) for splitting you want a blade with a thick spine. But you probably already realize that.
So any knife with:
1. Suitable length to leave enough tip extened to get good contact with the baton. (length is really dependant on how large a slice you want to take off)
2. Good enough steel (heat treat etc, etc) to withstand the abuse.
3. A good thick spine to provide the "splitting wedge" effect.
Just curious, have you tried batoning with your axe? That is another option worthy of consideration.
There's plenty of good (and even affordable) knives that meet these criteria. I will leave it to others to name brands. If there's a millie in there, ignore it.
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To answer a question that was posed.......Yes,I've done a LOT of splitting with an axe.Using a knife as such is just using the knife like one would use a froe.
I don't find that there is a tremendous amount of splitting necessary.To repeat what I've said,the larger pieces burn just fine once a good bed of coals are attained.Once again "cutting is done with a saw","splitting with the knife."
I actually find that the knife works better.Then again,I'm not splitting huge pieces.Since the overall amount of splitting is not that great,I find the axe(with my situation)to generally be excess baggage.Sawing and splitting with a knife doesn't tax my lungs nearly as much.
Perhaps I'll just stick with the Trail Master.Once the blade takes a proper bite,it's driven down with minimal effort.The wood in my hand doesn't need to be that big and the strikes don't need to be that hard.My lungs tell me that it's easier.
Last edited by tenbore; 04-29-2010 at 09:35 AM.
Hard to beat a bk2 for batoning. 1/4" thick 1095. If you dont like the grivory grips spend the money on the micarta. Half of your required spend (w/ the grips) and you have a hellacious knife. I traded one off for a BK7 (another superb knife!) but i missed my BK2....so....i got another. The only knife ive ever had that i bought again...ive had plenty!
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