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Cold steel sk5 Natchez Bowie as a survival knife?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Stockfish, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Stockfish


    Apr 3, 2013
    Has anybody used the Natchez Bowie to chop or split wood? I just recently bought it and I'm going camping tomorrow and wanted to know how it would hold up if I dubed it as a hatchet?
  2. mjolnir74


    Aug 21, 2005
    You might not want to do that. It's got a cable tang. It might work fine, but I don't think it was designed as a chopper.
  3. meanwhile


    Nov 20, 2005
    Don't! It's a cable tang - i.e. the blade stops at the guard and the handle is held on by a piece of tensioned wire that runs through it. The Natchez is designed as a historically accurate (in terms of weight and handling if not materials) fighter and nothing else.

    This is what a Natchez used for splitting and chopping usually looks like:


    Instead buy an MTech 151: they're about $20 and a very close copy of CS's general purpose bowie, the Trailmaster. Possibly a bit better unless you're a carbon steel bigot. Save your Natchez for what is meant for - duelling anyone who questions the superiority of the mint julep over all other mixed drinks. Damn yankees!

    (Or ebay it abnd a buy a knife you can actually use for stuff.)
  4. OrdnanceBubbaUSMC


    May 23, 2004
    Did somebody actually break one from chopping or batoning?

    I would use a $30 Estwing axe for the hatchet stuff personally.
  5. fielder


    Jan 25, 2011
    A much cheaper Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie will handle the chopping etc. The Svord Von Tempsky Bowie also has a fantastic reputation if its a Bowie you want.
  6. Stockfish


    Apr 3, 2013
    Why does it have a cable tang? Is it somehow better than full tang?
  7. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    Cold Steel says it's for shock-absorption.
  8. Stockfish


    Apr 3, 2013
    But do you know if its better than full tang? I have a huge problem paying almost $200 for a knife that's not full tang
  9. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    Debatable, apparently it costs more to make so there must be a good reason for it. There are plenty of threads about it on the Cold Steel forums.


  10. meanwhile


    Nov 20, 2005
    The part above that matters is

    CS considers batoning to be abuse of any knife, and not what knives are generally designed to do,

    ..Just don't buy a knife from CS is you want a knife you can baton with. But the Laredo and Natchez, least of all.
  11. meanwhile


    Nov 20, 2005
    The part above that matters is

    CS considers batoning to be abuse of any knife, and not what knives are generally designed to do,

    ..Just don't buy a knife from CS is you want a knife you can baton with. But the Laredo and Natchez, least of all.
  12. shecky


    May 3, 2006
    If a Bowie that size can't be used as a chopper, it's virtually useless. Claiming it's a fighting knife doesn't provide any cover. What kind of clown designs a knife specifically for fighting, that can't be trusted to chop? If you can't rely on it for the latter, heaven forbid you ever get yourself in a position to use it for the former. As far as I'm concerned, that Natchez Bowie is nothing more than an overpriced man bauble to be admired in a case or part of a costume.
  13. OrdnanceBubbaUSMC


    May 23, 2004
    I'm sure you could use it fine to chop and baton, most fighting knives and swords are just not designed for it. If people want a kukri or hatchet they should get a kukri or hatchet. You could alternatively get the 12" bowie or barong machete and beat the hell out of them.
  14. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    to baton, or to not baton. The big question that drives so many knife discussions. :rolleyes:

    I carry a knife, a saw, and an ax. Guess which one I chop wood with?
  15. Waldamir


    Jun 30, 2012
    The mylar blanket you keep in your altiods tin? :D
  16. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    It should be able to chop, but pounding and hammering it through logs is another thing... someone should do a study of how the cable tang affects performance. I read somewhere similar tangs were used on some swords.
  17. DPris


    Nov 27, 2003
    Having read a bit on Jim Bowie & his uses of the large blade type that bears his name, I'd say that batonning was NOT a requirement anywhere along the line.
    The knife was used as a fighter.

    I think today too many people have gotten themselves sold on the idea that a big blade exists primarily for chopping or batonning, and if it can't baton it ain't a "real" knife.
    Which I think is horse pucky.

    I have the Laredo, I had a Natchez, and I have an Ontario Bagwell Gambler bowie.
    They strike me as fighters, and very proficient as such in the right hands. I wouldn't use any of the three for chopping or batonning, and I don't fault them for being fighters (OK- people killers) instead of tree killers.

    In their intended role, they're quite adequate to the purpose behind their design & construction.

    I also have three Trailmasters, and while I wouldn't expect them to hold up to the abuse I'd feel confident in giving my Blind Horse Toothpick, I'd feel more comfortable using them for general woods chores than either the Laredo or the Natchez.

    Saying a Bowie that size that can't be used as a chopper is "useless" is poorly thought out.
    Different designs for different purposes.

    A Mora can baton, but it may take some work in reaching vital organs or disabling an arm during a fight, whereas a good long Bowie that may not hold up to longterm batonning or chopping can easily reach vitals and deliver some serious disabling hurt to a wrist or hand with all that weight behind its cutting edge.

    Some judge a big blade for its ability to take down a tree, others judge it by its ability to take down a man.
    If it can do both, great. If it's better suited to one or the other, what's the problem?

    Choose the right tool for the job, like you do with any other task.
  18. firecog

    firecog Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    I have a Laredo blade that I rehandled witha piece of stag. i the process i broke the cable so it only has the solid part of the tang secured witha 1/4" pin and epoxy. I have beat the snot out of it, chopping, batoning, etc with no ill effect.
  19. et2cetera


    Nov 20, 2012
    Yes, you can baton with it if you:

    1) Hit the spine above the guard. Hitting it below, on the handle, is asking for trouble since it is not full tang;
    2) Choose a log less than 6", in order for you to have enough space to hit the spine and the tip (suggest about 3.5"~4" spacing at the spine). (You could take a bigger log if you are more precise)
  20. rugercat45


    Aug 8, 2010
    No! Of course it isn't better than a full tang- a full tang wouldn't break like that cable tang! I was going to get one to mess around with, I thought it had a "through tang" a long round piece with threads at the end to screw on the pommel. Well, after seeing the picture above, I am going to contact Cold Steel and ask them what in blazes are they doing putting a "cable tang" on a knife in the first place, when a through tang would be cheaper and probably FAR stronger. There isn't anything stronger or better than a full tang, in my opinion. I hate that the Natchez has a cable tang, and it just cost Cold Steel a sale. I will save my $200, and get another older Carbon V Trailmaster off ebay, or wherever! I have a SK-5 Laredo, and HOPE it has a through tang, (as it seems to) C'mon Cold Steel, surely you had to know people are going to TRY to chop wood with the SK-5 Natchez?!

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