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Cold Steel Bush Master Vs. SRK

Jan 29, 2000
I am a big fan of CS and I am looking at my first premium quality fixed blade. I am leaning toward the Bush Master, because it seems to do everyting pretty well: slash, pierce, chop, skin, etc...
Two things: I have noticed that the SRK gets a lot of good reviews, so would it be a better general purpose knife? This bring up point two. The SRK and Recon Tanto (which I plan to get for my dad) both come with concealex sheaths. Is one available for the Bush Master, and if not, Where could I have one made?

Thanks a lot from a new guy.
Having both the SRK and bushmaster, I can tell you that the bushmaster gets lots more use than the SRK. It (bm) is one of my favourite camping knives. It slices much better than the srk and the balance is just where I like it. It has a handle that has a nice palm swell that helps ( to me anyway) give a secure grip. More belly than the srk and certainly a lower angle at the edge. I do like the srk when doing branch trimming and stuff like that but the bushmaster IMO is the more useful utility knife.
Now I have a couple of follow up questions.
A)-Is the Bush Master as durable (it has a thinner edge, but same overall thickness).
B)-If I get the Bush Master, which I am even more inclined to do, where can i get a good Concealex/Kydex sheath?
Cold Steel doesn't make a "Bushmaster", as far as I know. They make a Master Hunter, but I don't think you're talking about that. They make a Bushman, which is a much lower-cost "survival" knife. And they make a Bush Ranger. Is that the one you're talking about?

As far as Bush Ranger vs. SRK, it depends as usual on what you're doing with it. The SRK is incredibly strong, but the Bush Ranger will cut rings around it. If you're primarily interested in cutting performance, you want the Bush Ranger for sure. If for some reason you're going to be prying and digging and doing other nasties, you might want to think about the SRK.

My thoughts here are that most people *think* they need the SRK, because they think they'll be cutting themselves out of helicopters or something. But in real use, they would actually be much better served by the better-performing but slightly-weaker Bush Ranger.


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 02-01-2000).]

The Bushmaster is a rifle I want.

Any thoughts on grip design between the two?

And does the Recon Tanto make a decent survival knife or should it be reserveed for fighting?
Stiletto, in regard to your last comment, to me the tanto is good only for piercing and not much else. If you want a strong point, there you go, but otherwise get someting with a little belly for greater utility. Id go for a bush ranger or better yet a master hunter (great knife for the money). I dont think id want a blade that big (bush ranger) for a survival situation, plus the master hunter has a kydex sheath. But, thats just my opinion.
Bushmaster bushranger indeed oops.
I have found that the master hunter is a good choice for hunting. Great performance and a good blade shape. Regarding the weaker perception of the bush ranger it has never been a problem for my camping trips. I do like the coating on the bush ranger that is not present on the hunter. It will help prevent rusting that can occur if water gets trapped between the handle and the stick tang.
yeah, "weaker" is a relative thing. The Bush Ranger is plenty strong for camp activities, it's just not the sharpened prybar that the SRK is.


I'm not a big fan of mid-sized knives except for knife fighting or camp stuff. I tend to towards two things: a big knife for chopping, drawknife work, tilling, and a small multiuse blade for everything else (Swiss Army Rucksack with knife, awl, and saw). The mid-sized knives will work as choppers in a pinch, but not as good as the big ones. Of the two, the Bush Ranger is the more effective all around knife: it is light and yet still chops quite well due to the blade profile, yet because of its lightness, it's easy to manuever for in close food prep and camp work. The SRK can do a lot for its size, too, like pry and split wood -- it is very tough.

The Recon Tanto would be my choice if deciding only between the SRK and Recon Tanto, and I even like it a little better than the Bush Ranger for personal reasons. But the Bush Ranger, objectively speaking, might be the best of the bunch for your purposes. BTW, I own all three blades. However, when I go into the woods, it the Busse Basic 9 or Trailmaster, depending on how likely I am to lose something, and of course my Swiss Army Rucksack.

Yes, I'm a student of the Ron Hood school of wilderness thinking...

Hope this helps,


Brian Jones
Wilderness & Survival Skills Forum
For a general purpose blade, you can't go wrong with the Bushranger. It is a "jack of all, master of none" type blade. It slices real well and is a good light duty chopper. The best part is that it does all of this at a mere eight and a half ounces. I have a friend who has the SRK. He is an EMT and bought it in case he needs to hack someone out of a car. For that purpose it fits the bill. He told me that it is just too thick to be an all around blade. I have been very satisfied with the Bushranger's performance and would recommend it to anyone. The sheath is adequate. You should have no problem finding someone to make you a kydex sheath. Do a search and you will find lots of quality people here who will do it for a reasonable price.
Renfield, I have to disagree with your opinion on not wanting a larger knife in a survival situation. For a camp knife I would agree. But try building a shelter or splitting wood in a downpour with a 4" blade and you will see what I mean. You can make a larger knife do yeoman's duty on smaller stuff but the reverse isn't always true. Spend some time in the Wilderness Survival forum and you will see what I am talking about. Wow! It only took you a week and a half to get to a hundred posts. You must have a lot to say.

Take care, (AND a big knife)
I've heard it said that "a big knife can do what a little knife can do, but a little knife can't do what a big knife can do".
In my experience this is a true statement.
In a survival situation, I would rather have something a little larger than a Master Hunter.
BTW, I love the Master Hunter. As a matter of fact, I have two of them. Outstanding knife!

I believe your right about your comparison of the SRK and the Bush Ranger. Two different animals with two different missions.
Most folks, myself included, would be better suited with the Bush Ranger. I do more cutting than prying or digging and other nasties.

BTW, I also have two SRK's. You know, just in case I have to cut myself out of a helicopter!

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid!