Friend leaving for Iraq...which knives to buy??

Mar 11, 2002
Hello all,

Have a friend who is an officer in the air guard and looking to deploy in a few months. He is not a knife guy so I thought I would outfit him with a good knife, maybe two. Looking for a good strong folder and possibly a good fixed blade. My thoughts were a spydeco endura and maybe a becker BK-7 in tan? What do you guys think?? Anyone know anything about the new Ka-bar desert fighting knife that brigade sells? Looks like a basic Ka-bar with tan plastic handles and scabbard. Anyway, any advice and links would be appreciated.

Also, anyone know of any good articles listing advice for those about to deploy?? Seems like a read a post a while back but I cant find it with the search function.

Thanks in advance for your help.
May 17, 2002
robert33usa said:
My thoughts were a spydeco endura and maybe a becker BK-7 in tan?

Great combination. You have already answered your own question. :D

The Ka-Bar would serve him better as a fighting knife, but for heavy duty utility use the Becker is preferable - so it depends on his priorities.

If you still want other options to consider: a Camillus CUDA CQB-3 and a Benchmade Griptilian would be a good alternative.
IMO the Terzuola-designed CQB-3 is the best compromise in terms of suitability for both fighting and utility applications as far as production knives are concerned. I just wish it had a slightly more substantial guard.
Jan 7, 2006
My personal picks for multi tool, fixed blade and folder are:

1. Leatherman Wave (tried and true, you can count on it)
2. Trident, Oberland 01 by: Maciej Szczerbiak
3. Blade-Tech, Wegner Professional Hunters Knife Extreme

I have trained in knife fighting and JuJitsu (among other martial arts) for over 15 years, currently active duty, have enjoyed camping and hiking most of my life, and as part of my training and as a hobby practice survival skills. The above have served me well. My personal preferences are for no frills/gadgets, blades made for cutting (not chopping or prying), solid construction, good workmanship and excellent steel. I think most would agree that the above fit the criteria.

Good luck, stay sharp and come home.

Here are some links to the knives:

PS Trident offers a 20% discount for us active duty types...

Off topic...

Do yourself a favor and pick up a Gerber infinity ultra, LED Flashlight. I bought the red LED so it would not blow my night vision. I cannot count the number of times that I have used it... very handy! It uses a simple AA battery, it doesn't put out the most light but enough to allow you to find your way or find your gear without drawing any undue attention and the battery lasts forever!

Esav Benyamin

Apr 6, 2000
robert33usa said:
Also, anyone know of any good articles listing advice for those about to deploy?? Seems like a read a post a while back but I cant find it with the search function.
You've already got good knife advice. Multitool, definitely, although he may already have one. He may want a smaller fixed blade, maybe a Becker BK-10, aptly named the Crewman, or an Ontario RAT-3.

Here's Austin Bay's blog entry for Army deploying to different locations in Iraq: Advice For A Troop Deploying To Iraq.


Apr 6, 2003
Best knife is one that he will have on him at all times! Something with a long lasting edge and good steel. I suggest the Benchmade 910 Stryker in M2.
It will do everything an officer needs to do everyday.


May 3, 2005
It depends on what he is doing. Many outfits don't allow soldiers to carry a variety of weapons since they want everyone to have the same thing and know how to use it. The army issued a knife-bayonet called an M9 that is used. It is more knife than bayonet only not hardened to the RC level that most knives are.

I sent two automatic opening (you can open it with your nose or just about any other part) Microtech's MSE-SC's to two of my relatives who were stationed in Iraq and they carried them for 18 months through all kinds of weather without any problems. They aren't cheap but considering the purpose well worth the cost in my mind. With a 3.5 inch blade they are hardly "mini".
Sep 30, 2004
Quiet Storm said:
Great combination. You have already answered your own question. :D

I agree. Those two knives are excellent. They're completely reliable, well-made, and extremely useful. Especially considering the prices, you couldn't ask for better equipment.

Good luck.
Apr 9, 2002
I'm looking across the room at my kit right now. I have a Buck 110 with a one armed bandit and a Fallkniven H1 on the trouser belt. On my chest rig there is a Swisstool and a bayonet (Marine M10 I am not an M9 fan). In my sundries pouch there is a SAK huntsman. Theres lots of decent stuff listed above. This is just what I'm using now.
Nov 19, 2005
I was in Iraq very far forward during the early stages of the war in 2003. Carried a Victorinox multitool, a Victorinox Soldier regular Swiss Army Knife and a Spyderco Fred Perrin fixed blade knife. I had brought a Becker 7" fixed blade, but as the temperature increased it became too heavy to carry.

One thing I always carried was a tomahawk or small hatchet. The tomahawk was a really effective close quarter battle weapon. Better than a just knife alone. Opens all kinds of containers, too. Someone stold my Ontario SPAX hatchet and I picked up a Fiskars hatchet at the Ace Hardware in Kuwait City when I got back from a mission.

I also brought the Becker on other trips to the Middle East and had the same experience: too big and heavy. Makes a heck of a present to the locals, though. Friend for life.

I picked up a Leatherman Juice small multitool in the PX at Camp Dhoha, Kuwait after returning from one mission into Iraq. On the next mission across the DMZ into Iraq, I used it to cut the pants off of a Marine I dug out from under an overturned Humvee. He had a crushed pelvis. The Leatherman really zipped through cloth, boot laces and web belt material.

I recommend:
* a Swiss Army pocket knife,
* a Leatherman or Victorinox multitool,
* a good 4-5" fixed blade utility knife like the SOG Northwest Ranger, Spyderco Temperance or Spyderco Fred Perrin model;
* a 4-6" fixed blade double edge knife for scufflin' (SOG Mini Pentagon is handy, Camillus boot knife is inexpensive and has a great sheath),

The pocket knife will see the most use.

- Leopard
Apr 20, 2001
From a buddy who has already down 2 tours, his consistent advice to me is:

Good quality 3-4 inch bladed folder and a good quality multi-tool.

Big heavy bladed "Rambo" knives are just extra weight.