hello - mr. hood, i just finished reading that article in TK magazine. it is very entertaining and also extremely informative. the pictures were also impressive. these are the types of articles i would like to see more of in the knife mags.
Jeff Randall & others,
I am sure you're aware that many people making so-called survival knives incorporate "teeth" along the spine. Some even claim if you're in a plane crash, and trapped inside, you can "saw" your way out. This is a joke, IMHO, because you can't saw sheet metal that is likely flopping around between spars or ribs, especially with giant teeth such as used in these knives. I used one of Chris Reeve's knives to slice through galvanized metal, quickly and easily, but didn't try the teeth at all. Plus, the teeth in his knives, and in all others, face the wrong direction. You have to plunge the knife through the metal, then pull up or out on the handle to attempt to cut the metal. Chris informed me he uses the teeth on his knives because the customers want, or like, them. What is your opinion on teeth on the backs of knives?
In defense of "wasteful" Industrialized Western societies, we generate so much garbage keeping it all on hand for other uses would get real gross real quick.
And you can't even really blame us for producing garbage. It's a neccesary product of our advanced technology and achievements. In order to have all the cool stuff we do, we need money to fund the research and developement, be it private enterprise or government funded. Private enterprise needs to make money to fund research, governments need to tax people who make money.
Industrialization is the best way for a company to turn a profit, and it also makes more jobs, people who make money for their government to tax.
Now, to be fair, we probably could streamline and refine our socio-economic structure, but the fact remains, if you want the benefits our way of life can provide, you're gonna have waste, and other trade-offs.
Don't get me wrong. I respect those who wish to live a tribal life in the tradition of their ancestors. I myself am a primitive hunter, and can survive in any of the ecosystems in my native Florida for any length of time. Be it the swamp, scrub, estuarine, or open ocean. (Yes, a human can survive on the ocean without the benefit of modern society. Not the most secure way of life, but possible. If you're wondering how you keep from getting gobbled by sharks, you gather a lot of seaweed into a giant mat and make your own little island. Trouble is, they require much maintainence, as currents and storms try to tear them apart. Like I said, it ain't easy. But it IS possible.)
The only blades I have spent time with that have a 'saw back' are the Ontario 18" saw back machete, the Ontario SP8 'survival' machete and a tanto 'wilderness' blade from TOPS - (I'm still confused on this one). None of these had a saw that was worth the time to mill into the blade. However, if I had to rate them: The TOPS had the best saw, with the 18" machete coming in second and the SP8 last. Now this is not a reflection on the whole piece since I consider an 18" Ontario one of the cheapest, best survival pieces in the book.
Usually I carry a Leatherman, so if I need a saw for doing any type of trap trigger or other wilderness chore, it's the piece that gets the use. If it's not available, then I just use a regular blade. I can score bone or other material using a blade with about the same efficiency as a 'saw back.'
Many people don't realize it but a small Swiss Army knife will generally see more woods work than most blades labeled 'survival' - of course this is dependent on the environment.
Who started this saw back 'survival knife' thing anyway? Rambo?