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Knife Noobie needs a bit of help. Full-tang?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Drame22, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. tknife

    tknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 18, 1999
    I think some of the above noted tasks are a tall order for any knife. In all seriousness, get a Mora and a P38 can opener and you will be good to go. Granted they aren't "cool" looking but especially with this being your first knife, you can't go wrong. They are inexpensive and easy to sharpen and will serve you well in all of your outdoors activities. Just grab the nearest rock if you need to hammer something.
  2. FTR-14c

    FTR-14c Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I would look at a Becker BK9 for chopping and heavy use and pair it up with a Mora Companion or Robust for fine detailed work. You will have all your bases covered for just about $100. If you want to upgrade your BK9 down the road to improve grip and make it look cooler you can get Micarta handles for it.
  3. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    Clip point. It's a very popular profile, but also comes in a pretty wide variety. The one you linked looks to be mostly ripped from Bill Bagwell's design. He is generally considered to be the authority on making a fighting bowie. The problem with a fighting bowie is that it is balanced for fighting, and not for chopping. So that is not a camp design. You will want an ergonomic grip.

    full tang is the strongest tang, but that doesn't have anything to do with the blade. A full tang isn't much good if there are other stress risers, and most knives break at the blade when abused, not at the handle. But there are a lot of full tang knives, you will have no problem finding one that suits you.

    it is generally accepted that there is no single best blade material, it depends on your needs, your budget, your environment, your use, and your proficiency. I would suggest a stainless for a couple of reasons. One, you aren't well versed in knife handling or care. Two, neither is anyone else in your pending group. Three, a tough and easy to sharpen stainless is 12C27/12C27M, and it also happens to be the steel used in Moras. There's a reason you will see them mentioned a lot.

    Removable scales are usually advertised as a benefit. It isn't necessarily a bad thing that the scales aren't epoxied on, I'm just trying to take into account your relative inexperience and what issues you might face. A note here, whatever knife you get, don't put it in the dishwasher when you get back from your trip.

    There are plenty of crossovers in 'combat' knives. But it is just that a 'fighting' knife is not to often recommended. Fighting is different from self defense as far as defining knives goes, and neither has to have a whole lot with general utility. A knife fight is two or more guys fighting with knives. You wouldn't call it a knife fight if one guy had a pair of brass knuckles, or a pistol. So fighting knives are designed with cutting vs defending against cuts, reach advantages in blade length, getting past a defending blade, that kind of thing. That;s why you don't see quillions on choppers.

    yeah, length is good if you're fighting. It isn't as good if you're removing a splinter from your finger or whittling a spoon.

    Serrations aren't so good for wood, they aren't saw teeth. See if your leatherman has a saw. Or, learn to baton, cut wedges to baton with, pick up smaller wood, pick up dried wood that can be broken without needing to be sawn or chopped, or get something that can chop. Serrations aren't bad for rope.

    A bunch of inexperienced and unequipped people head into the woods to party. Sounds like the premise to a slasher flick, lol. I'd really ask them to pack something, in case stuff is lost or broken. Share the load and the responsibility.
  4. elkins45


    Jun 17, 2006
    LOL. "dress" is the polite way of saying "open it up and take all the guts out". Typically the full term used is "field dress".

    About the flashlight: proceed with extreme care beyond this point, lest you become a flashlight junkie. Flashlight junkies are just like knife junkies---they start out dipping their toes in the water with a $20 starter level model from Wal-Mart and before they know it they are seriously considering dropping >$150 on a flashlight. Now that the disclaimer is over here's the advice: go to Amazon and type 'Fenix flashlight' into the search box. You can get a GREAT waterproof aluminum LED flashlight for <$30. For serious camping use let me recommend an LED headlamp as well. It's a really handy thing to have both hands free when working on something in the dark.
  5. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
    A good general utility knife does not have the same characteristics as a good fighting blade. I would further submit that knife fights are a VERY bad idea. You might ask your marine buddies how many knife fights they have been in, I'd wager it is 0. The dagger is the quintessential fighting knife. These days soldiers prefer their rifles so they have adopted more utilitarian blades. The Kabar is actually a compromise for the sake of utility.

    You do not need serrations on outdoors blades. You can cut rope just fine with a plain edge, it might take a second longer but the serrations will not be in the way the rest of the time (the other 99%). The back of the knife should not have any kind of funky patterns on it or be sharpened. That makes the blade less useful for batoning.

    Your leatherman will actually get most jobs done. If you already carry a hatchet you do not need a larger fixed blade. A saw and hatchet combo, or saw and large blade combo is more use than a hatchet and large blade combo. With the first 2 you have a tool for crosscuts and a tool for splitting. With the second you have two tools for splitting.

    Any large knife you pack with you will suck for most camp chores. Go grab your biggest kitchen knife and peel an apple with it. Now imagine that knife weighs many times more and slices worse because it is thicker. That is your large survival knife. The main thing they are good for is batoning through logs.

    If you still decide on a large fixed blade a Buck Hoodlum would get the job done and be pretty close to your budget. For a smaller tool the Mora knives really are very hard to beat. Still if you are already carrying the weight of a leatherman...

    For outdoors use headlamps beat hand held ones. A Fenix HL30 would probably do the trick.
  6. Styg


    Oct 3, 2012
  7. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    With that updated price range ($100 saved plus possible for more), you are right in a nice place.

    Many quality knives are going to be in your wheel house.

    In the size range you are looking for

    Esse Jungelas. The steel is 1095, high carbon. Solid knife, and even better warranty! Very useful thickness, and comes with a sheath. (I would put their warrant at the top of the business).

    Scrapyard is in that price range, though the models will be a bit smaller at that price, and you will have to also pick up a sheath.
    Stellar warranty, and really great steels and heat treat. Probably the toughest knives in the world in that price range!

    Becker is another right there, with quality steel. Handles don't appeal to my eye, but they sell micarta scales too. This would be a great option (something like the Ka-bar BK 9) would be pretty tough to beat. They are thick enough, made with 1095 steel, and the versions I have handled have had a great looking grind. Thin enough at the edge to be useful!

    Many other good suggestions here. Advice that can save you wasted money!
  8. Styg


    Oct 3, 2012
    One thing to add, get a headlight with a red light only setting. You look at people when you talk to them and shining a bright white light in someones eyes gets annoying. A red light is not as offensive and most people won't be bothered at all.
  9. goodeyesniper


    Aug 31, 2009
    yeah, sounds like he might as well just go for a modern ka bar.
    Listen, any $50 knife from a respected manufacturer will do you well as a camp knife. I would generally avoid any knife that people say makes a good chopper until you know l
    knives a little better. get a hatchet and/or a folding saw first, that will save you a lot of trouble when building a shelter.

    if you are also going to be building a shelter for a group of people I recommend you read up on simple shelter types, them go out and build three successful shelters on your own before this trip. it might look simple, but it often takes a practiced hand. I'd hate for this group to get pissed at you for them freezing on the first night.

    cliff notes: get a $50 kabar or Becker type general camp knife in the 4 to 5 inch blade range for cutting.
    get a hatchet and/or folding saw for chopping/cutting thick wood.
    practice making shelters before the trip
  10. Drame22


    Mar 15, 2013
    Well let's assume for the purposes of this discussion that I'll be getting two knives. My budget is $150. I need a fighting knife(bowie sounds excellent) and then a regular knife for smaller work. The RD4 looks perfect, anyone know how much they are?

    Also, I've found literally dozens of sites selling knives. Are some better than others? Does anyone know which would give you the most savings? I have about $350 from my tax returns still, and I'd like to fill out the rest of my essential camping gear, as well as get these two knives.

    I prefer to have my equipment match if at all possible. For instance, a large part of my camping gear is my MOLLE pack and the assorted belts and suspenders that come with it. Does anyone know of a fighting knife that might match up with a smaller camp knife? If I'm getting two knives, then my friend has a custom made double sheath for his. It was around 30, made of nylon(I think, rough fabric, very hard to tear).

    Do any knife companies make knives with little or no markings on them? I personally don't really like logos stamped over everything I own. I'd rather it all look generic and...well, military, I suppose :)

    So an LED flashlight with red-light option. Is there such thing as a better flashlight than others? I don't intend to become a collector, but again, I'm willing to pay for quality if it means it will last my lifetime. A good example is my wallet. Saddleback leather co, lifetime warranty, made of super thick leather and held together by what I can only assume is magic string, since I can't seem to do anything to damage it.

    I asked. 0 knife-fights they all said, although one had a story of his lieutenant ordering them to fix bayonets, but it turned out to be a joke. The last words a soldier wants to hear are "Fix bayonets!"

    besides full and half tang, are there other styles of construction that might make it more durable?

    With the new distinction between the two knives, are there any 'tacticool' knives that would fall into the fighting category?

    also with the blade material, I have several knife owners near enough to my house that I can go ask for help if I need it. Is there a better material than stainless? Your post made it seem like there was, but stainless was better for a newbie.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  11. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    This would be good for fighting :D

  12. Daft Slice 1986

    Daft Slice 1986

    Jun 3, 2012
    +1 for scrapyard:thumbup:
  13. Drame22


    Mar 15, 2013
    LOL at Goosey. I actually already own a gladius. Do you have anything with a finger guard? :)

    What's the scrapyard?

    I still like that clip point, but I didn't find much on fighting bowies. At least, the ones I found look exactly like regular bowies.

    So for my own information and experience, what do the numbers mean for blades? like 1095? And are there any companies to avoid outright when buying a knife?

    Is it better to go to a sporting goods store, or do it via online?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  14. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
  15. TomcatPC


    Dec 30, 2005
    When I lived in Alaska and did a bit of backpacking, camping, etc., I owed one sheath knife. That knife was the common GI Issue (some people call them Air Force knives, but other branches of the Service use them as well) Air Crew Survival Knife that I got in the Service. 99.99% of the time I used my Swiss Army Knife to do the bulk of my knife uses. But I was glad to have the Air Crew Knife with me, that would be one of my choices. My knife was made by Camillus, but I think that Ontario is also a contractor that makes them as well?

    Other knives that I'd consider have already been brought up here as well. Those being the USN Mk.I and the USN/USMC Mk.II (aka "Ka-Bar"). I have a Colonial made USN Mk.I that I love, I think it was under $40 on Amazon.com when I bought it last year? I think that Ka-Bar and Boker also make a version of the USN Mk.I knife as well? I don't have a Ka-Bar Mk.II yet, but intend to change that soon. That knife has had a good reputation for a long time and I don't think that is by accident?

    As for knives that look "cool"...can't help you out there. I tend to stray away from anything that is uber-"tactial" LOL. More and more I like the older inexpensive but decent made hunting knives from the 1940s-1970s that were made by companies such as Imperial, Utica, etc. Most of the time when I buy a "new" knife, I find it at an antique shop and it is older than I am LOL.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  16. TomcatPC


    Dec 30, 2005
    Looks like I posted the same thing twice?
  17. TomcatPC


    Dec 30, 2005
    sorry for triple post.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  18. magnumb


    Jun 26, 2011
    "..fighting off a particularly aggressive grizzly bear...". If so, your intended knife needs to be big enough for you to either hide behind or just long enough to reach your own heart.....quickly.

    I know you were essentially jokin', but while huntin' in the Bob Marshall Wilderness a few years back, the large bodied Whitetail buck that was shot by another hunter the day before and tracked the day following and was found just after the griz located it.........was picked up whole in it's massive jaws with only the occassional trace of a hoof drag mark in the dirt as he took his prize whole (meaning not 'dressed out') up and over the top of a hill and was gone.

    There is no such knife that can even get close to evening those odds. Soooooo....with that out of the equation, your choices become somewhat smaller, just as lethal for all things that might possibly succumb to a knife, but much more useful. A 4-5 inch partially serrated Esee or the like.

    Enjoy your trip and think of it as a hands on learning experience, 'cuz it will be. Ending up with the perfect 'whatever' the first time around rarely resembles reality. Ask the 99% of us how we know..........

    Good luck.
  19. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    I only have an SK-5 Leatherneck but I think it would be decent for sticking someone.

    It's kind of hard to find a low-cost "fighting knife" of decent quality. This one would be decent IMO:


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