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A big fixed blade?


Oct 3, 1998
For years I have gone into the woods looking for bear,beer,deer, ducks.geese, turkey, and small game. I always take a folder, smaller fb, and my big survival knife.
Over the years I have found that I do not use my big fixed blade at all. This is the first year I have not taken my survival knife with me, and I do not notice it gone at all.
My question is what are these camp/survival knives really good for? What do you use them for?
Don't get me wrong I really did like my big knife. I think I just moved on from it.
This reminds me of a time I read an article about what different "experts" would bring for survival purposes. The answers ranged anywhere from large FBs to axes to sharpened shovels. I guess the point is, it doesn't matter what conventional wisdom thinks, so long as it works for you.
I had the same problem that you guys did.............I bought a 22 inch machete, then my new REALLY big fb gets used a bunch.
If I could tkae one knife with me it would be a big fixed blade, but I can take more than one so sometimes it stays at home.

I guess I look at it like I do my first aid kit and my other "survival" gear. If you don't end up needing it, great, if you do end up needing it, you'll be glad you carried it.
My notion of the perfect hard use cutting tool is a 4-5 inch fixed-blade. Big fixed-blades, combat knives etc. are for when you can't take a shovel and a small axe with you, like in combat or long-term survival situations. If you got lost in the woods with only one tool on you, you might like to be able to dig and chop and still have a sharp enough edge left to cut with. But how often does that happen unless you do it intentionally? In the event of Armaggedon, we are all going to want to have more tools than a single knife.

I have practiced making emergency shelters with only the use of a 6" knife, and I succeded reaonably well. I think my new 4.5" hard use utility will probably work better for that if anything. Since I am not in an army, and I don't intentionally place myself in long-term, single tool survival situations for fun, I have no use for large knives except as weapons. Anything I own over 6" is a pure fighter.

db, I get the most use out of my small (4") fixed-blade with great edge geometry. I also don't see much use in the bigger fixed blades, and the fact that all the guys who bring big military knives end up borrowing my smaller fixed-blade tells me that this covers many if not most outdoors chores.

For bigger jobs in the outback, I've gone to a machete. Inexpensive, eminently abuseable, I can leave it in camp and won't cry if it gets stolen. Plus, it'll clear brush better than a 9" blade military knife, and will chop with the best of 'em.