Fixed Blade Reccomendation

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Dec 26, 2015
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Hey y'all. So as you may know, i'm a college student that runs a little small engine repair shop for some extra cash on the side. I've decided that I want to take a little break from mechanics, and I was offered a job running cattle this summer. I'll be out there, on horseback, quite a few hours a day. I've never done it before, but I grew up on a ranch and I am used to running cattle through the pens for shots, castrations, and the like. I think I am going to take that offer, and spend my summer driving and working across the great state of Texas. The question I want to pose to you today is simple.
What is a fixed blade you would recommend?
It needs to be able to be worked hard and beat on, but manageable and easy to carry. I would also like it to be close to but under 5.5 inches so that I do not have to take it off every time I go into town in order to not have an illegal weapon. I have some ideas of what i would like or not like, but none of the knives suggested have to meet the criteria. I would also lie the knife to be fairly inexpensive. Remember, I'm a college student.

I do not like:
Nylon Sheaths
Non removable handles (I want to be able to take the knife apart and clean it up all nice)
Wooden Handles (want something that wears a little better)
Steel that rusts easy

I do like:
Kydex that is not "scary looking"
leather sheaths
removable handles
Inexpensive quality
Steel that won't rust when you look away for a day
Edge Retention
A durable coating or none at all.
 
There's a ton of options for you. Id start by checking the knife makers section. If you can't find the right knife there, here's some brands to look at.

TOPS, Shadowtech, ESEE, Bark river.

The TOPS ranger, and Shadowtech wolf bowie are both blades I have experience with and would suit your needs. Incredibly durable coatings, comes with sheath (kydex) american made, awesome prices. Goodluck!

Edit: Also look at the spyderco perrin bowie. Incredible slicer, durable ciating, kydex sheath, and an awesome nonslip grip.
 
Thanks to everyone for the replies and advice. My max budget is probably around 150, but the less I spend, the Better.
 
Bravo 1,, bark river.. Non removable scales but would never be an issue as far as cleaning.
Esee for sure
Blackjack model 4 or 5
 
I'd get some sort of Mora/Hultafors kind of utility knife. They work, are cheap and are light if you are carrying it all day. Their light plastic construction is more comfortable if you fall on it. Most are around 4" blades.

But really, anything works for general use. Buy something you like the looks of that comes from a quality company and you'll likely be pleased with your purchase.
 
I'd get some sort of Mora/Hultafors kind of utility knife. They work, are cheap and are light if you are carrying it all day. Their light plastic construction is more comfortable if you fall on it. Most are around 4" blades.

But really, anything works for general use. Buy something you like the looks of that comes from a quality company and you'll likely be pleased with your purchase.
That's really what I've been thinking. Most any knife will work, I'm just needlessly picky about what it looks and feels like.
 
From what you've listed, Tops would be a good fit. Maybe the Tops Tex Creek? Whatever knife you pick, just a bit of advice about carrying a knife into town. Take it off, unless you're absolutely sure of that particular town's knife regulations. Know your state laws, but also realize that most towns have much more restrictive rules that can land you in jail and your knife confiscated by the local Gestapo.
 
Sounds like a Mora Companion is right up your alley! You may not be able to remove the handles, however...
 
From what you've listed, Tops would be a good fit. Maybe the Tops Tex Creek? Whatever knife you pick, just a bit of advice about carrying a knife into town. Take it off, unless you're absolutely sure of that particular town's knife regulations. Know your state laws, but also realize that most towns have much more restrictive rules that can land you in jail and your knife confiscated by the local Gestapo.
I honestly hadn't even thought about that. I guess that kind of throws the whole 5.5 thing out the window, but it still seems to be a good length for me.

So towns can have more restrictive rules? I never knew that.. Huh.
 
Thanks to everyone for the replies and advice. My max budget is probably around 150, but the less I spend, the Better.

www.knifecenter.com/item/SPFB04PBB/Spyderco-FB04PBB-Fred-Perrin-Street-Bowie

Could also get the skeletonized perrin bowie in 14c sandvik.

here's some tops you may like

www.bladehq.com/item--TOPS-Knives-Idaho-Field-Knife-3--26407

www.bladehq.com/item--TOPS-Knives-Viper-Scout-Red-Fixed--22840

www.bladehq.com/item--TOPS-Knives-Cuma-Evolution-Knife-4--9124
 
Benchmade something or other. Leather sheaths, premium stainless steels, under $150, some traditional "non threatening" looking.

Otherwise would look in the custom makers section for your specifications.

I will never buy another TOPS knife. I believe they are the "quartermaster" of the fixed blade world. Both of the ones I had very much suspect to have either bad heat treat, or they are not using the steels they claim too.

Fallkniven I find neither good or bad. I really don't like their grinds or sheaths (plus they are cloned,would watch out for that). Thats imo though.

Bark River is excellent. I'm not sure about their warranty, but very good quality from some smaller models I've had. Stainless, in your budget, good sheaths.
 
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I honestly hadn't even thought about that. I guess that kind of throws the whole 5.5 thing out the window, but it still seems to be a good length for me.

So towns can have more restrictive rules? I never knew that.. Huh.

Counties, towns/localities, can all have their own regulations that supersede the state laws. These laws and rules are usually poorly written and can get very complicated and be a pain in the neck to read and understand. So be knowledgeable and be very careful. As they always say "ignorance of the law is not an excuse".
 
Benchmade something or other. Leather sheaths, premium stainless steels, under $150, some traditional "non threatening" looking.

Otherwise would look in the custom makers section for your specifications.

I will never buy another TOPS knife. I believe they are the "quartermaster" of the fixed blade world. Both of the ones I had very much suspect to have either bad heat treat, or they are not using the steels they claim too.

Fallkniven I find neither good or bad. I really don't like their grinds or sheaths (plus they are cloned,would watch out for that). Thats imo though.

Bark River is excellent. I'm not sure about their warranty, but very good quality from some smaller models I've had. Stainless, in your budget, good sheaths.

Pretty sure bos does tops heat treats. and comparing them to quartermaster is rather insulting. They're 100% made in the usa, and they're honest veterans. Not to mention they're using primarily 1095 I doubt they'd lie about that. I've had a lot of their blades, and they're phenominal.

You're entitled to your opinion but atleast present it better
 
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In all honesty you may consider getting some custom scales and a kydex sheath for the Izula 2. You could also strip it if you wanted, you know as well as I do that in the summer most of Texas is dry as a bone so I don't think rust would be awful. If you do want a bigger blade, look at Ontario, look for some older Marbles knives, or look into the custom area. Do you have any preferred blade shapes or grinds?
 
Pretty sure bos does tops heat treats. and comparing them to quartermaster is rather insulting. They're 100% made in the usa, and they're honest veterans. Not to mention they're using primarily 1095 I doubt they'd lie about that. I've had a lot of their blades, and they're phenominal.

You're entitled to your opinion but atleast present it better

I am pretty sure Rowen does at least some of their 1095 heat treating and I know BOS did a few of their 154CM blades (I had one, a smaller neck type model). I have been through a few with no lemons or issues what so ever...the Pasayten Lite Traveler may be a good option since it is 154CM (stainless) with a fairly friendly 5.25" blade (I wish I kept that one).

http://www.bladehq.com/item--TOPS-Knives-Pasayten-Light-Traveler--16936
 
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