• Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you! Thanks for your continued support and I hope that your holiday season is a blessed one.

Knife of choice if you were stranded in the wilderness?

SRK or Master Hunter... but if I had only one cutting tool it would be an ax, preferably a 3/4 size single bit.
Hmmmm.....just ONE knife....LOL. Out of the ones I own, I would say GH WW Khukuri - HANDS DOWN: no contest
. Durable, do ANYTHING kind of knife. Great for chopping down some trees for a shelter, digging, and where ever you can dream up. Until you have used a good quality Khukuri, you won't understand

Ray 'md2020'

[This message has been edited by maddog2020 (edited 20 August 1999).]
Swiss army Knife Rucksack model as per Ron Hoods advice.
Always carryed a Swiss army Knife.
Really like Rucksack because of longer blade and saw
and it locks.better size than large thick ones that have everything on them and feel uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.
wish it had something other than a corksrew on it because I havent found a use for the corkscrew in a survival situation.
I love big blades also.have trailmaster and getting a RTAK anyday now but still could do everything with a Swiss army knives.

Well, I'm of two minds on this one. I'd like to say "a BIG knife", but really. it would be more useful to have either a 5" Talonite drop point or a Swisstool (ok, or the multitool of your choice) with the tool/knife edging in front due to the utility factor. Let's face it, there are not that many places that are TRUELY wilderness anymore, so a multi-tool thing would be more practical in more possible scenarios. But I'd still want a good all purpose fixed blade AND a gun.
My 18" Ang Khola from H.I.
with the longer thinner karda made from Carbon V and a bigger sharpened chakma.


The civilized man sleeps behind locked doors in the city while the naked savage sleeps (with a knife) in a open hut in the jungle.

Based on my currently available choices, I'd pick my HI 18" WWII khukri without hesitation. It could be relied upon to do anything I might ask of it -- cut, chop, pry, dig, etc.



The choice for me depends on some conditions, but I would choose one of the following three knives.

I'd take H.I.20inch AK there if I had one, but in these half year the Japanese customs has getting points by 2-0.

A CS Bushman seems to fit by its unique handle design, with which you can make a lance of it very easily. adaptability will act an important role in a survival situation. But I wish it only a little harder, and heftier.

The last one was chosen not by serious reason. A Benchmade 5" custom balisong that I favor most among my knives. It will most effectively sooth the pain of withdrawal from my addiction to "buyaknifeeverymonth" syndrome, which is sometimes fatal for those who read this thread this far to my post.

\(^o^)/ Mizutani Satoshi \(^o^)/
I'd probably take my Dozier Yukon Pro Skinner. Very, very sharp... very, very well made... very, very tough! Hard to be for all around use!

Joe :

[heavy chopping]

neither shelter or fire needs demand this type of chopping where I go

I think this was probably the most important point mentioned here. There are lots of different kinds of vegetation and the blade you pick should be well suited to it.

Now if a magical genie appeared and said I was going to be sent to a random location I would probably pick a blade made to handle the heaviest use I could think of as the worse case senario would then be that I was getting more fatigued than necessary. Going the other way could easily mean I could not do what was necessary as it would grossly damage the blade.

Speaking of smaller blades, has anyone used the large/small combos Rob Simonich makes which fit together?

Cliff ---

Thanks for pointing out that statement. I slip it into nearly every discussion about wilderness knives. And after I say that, people still keep advocating bigger heavy choppers over the light-chopper/brush-knife I'm advocating. Which is absolutely fine, but I'd love hear *more* about where these guys who need heavy choppers are going, and why they need to do heavy chopping. I'm dying to be educated here! I know Jeff Randall uses the same kind of knife I do for his jungle uses.

You guys who love the heavy choppers and don't feel the need for a knife that excels at bushwhacking through brush and smaller limbs, can you tell me where you typically go, and during what season? Have you been there and seen that there's no available wood on the ground for fire/shelter, and also that brush clearing isn't all that necessary?

Let me add one last thing, this is a sincere request, not a "challenge" of any kind! I think this is a great opportunity for us to learn about the requirements for different environments. I'd love to hear about someone who is worried about desert survival!


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 20 August 1999).]
I agree with Cliff,
All we know about this scenario is that we will be stranded, we dont know where or why. In a situation like this it is better to be over prepared than underprepared. You would deffinately need a Good machette or kukri. Chopping, digging, smashing, hammering etc. is going to be priority one, precision work and light cutting can still be accomplished with a heavy blade(poorly, but accomplished none the less.) There should be no other choice in this thread; unless you brought your pocket shovel, canteen, GPS, 3 naked girls and a case of beer, emergency hellicopter knife


Louis Buccellato

I must say that if I were going into an area that requires heavy chopping...I would forget about typical long blades and take a hand ax. Many of these could be utilized for skinning chores and would definitely *in my opinion* out-do heavy long blades. Matter of fact, most of the 'bush' I've seen in the US could easily be tackled with nothing more than a hand ax and a Swiss Army knife.

Of course, this is just my opinion, but the way I look at it is I always have a folder on me at all times...if I have my pants on that is. So half of the wilderness battle is won. The next logical choice is to pack a small ax that probably weighs no more than many of the big blades discussed.

Am I being too logical? - Jeff

Randall's Adventure & Training

I would have to say 'Excalibur' because then, wherever you are, you can say "I'm king", and make people/ animals/ plants bow down to you.
Forget survival. Be royalty!

Hi Jeff -- I certainly respect your point of view on this one, but I have to say that my HI khukuris have all far surpassed the chopping performance of any hatchet I have ever owned. I have wanted to try one of Estwing's 26" (I think) axes, to see how they compare.

chizpuf -- LOL. Too funny.

I think I would take my 18" WWII (if Kodiak PA hadn't stolen it
). I also subscribe to Joe's "2 Knife Theory" -- in taking a smaller knife as well, such as my Mad Dog Lab Rat, or even better though not in my possession yet, Rinaldi Talonite Chimera. I also think that one of Mad Dog's ceramics would be good in this role.

The great think about a khukuri is that if you have one with you, you also have a small knife and a sharpening tool as well (typically).


Clay Fleischer
AKTI Member A000847

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." --Douglas Adams
I have limited experience with hatchets, but so far I'd say the big kukris should outchop them easily. 'course, a hatchet is heavy, a big kukri is REALLY heavy.

PJ's Uluchet would be a really interesting option. I'll have to look through Cliff's chopping tests again. Jeff, have you seen Cliff's tests?

CD :


I have wanted to try one of Estwing's 26" (I think) axes, to see how they compare.

They don't. The face is ok but needs to be thinned out, once that is done it chops decently well but the geometry is off for general purpose chopping and the neck is fragile. The steel is also soft and impacts readily and holds and edge not at all. I could have just gotton hold of a bad one which would explain some things but not the geometry.

I was going to do a comparison between one of these recently and one of my larger khukuris but I got aggravated with it chopping on a decent sized large tree because of the poor performance of the steel and ended up bending the neck when I yanked on it too hard to break the wood out from a deep cut.

Joe :

I have limited experience with hatchets, but so far I'd say the big kukris should outchop them easily.

Even the lighter ones like the WWII should do that. They are only about a pound or so. If I was just interested in chopping and not high lateral strength I would probably go that way. A BAS would be a good choice for something a bit lighter still.

'course, a hatchet is heavy, a big kukri is REALLY heavy.

About 4 pounds for the regular ultra heavy utility types and 8-9 lbs for the weapon class ones. But the latter are more like swords and I doubt see much regular use outside of religious activities.

The Uluchet chops fairly well and because it can fold the need for a smaller knife it reduced significantly compared to a regular hatchet. This ability impressed the hell out of all I showed it two because it allows you to handle large game easily without ever wanting another tool.

A good friend of mine figures his SAK saved his life -- he used the little saw to cut firewood for four days when stranded on the upper Skeena River in northern British Columbia after his raft flipped. Good tool, and you never know when you'll need a corkscrew to fend off an aggressive vintage. Interesting comments on the Eastwing ax -- I prefer Iltis brand, made in West Germany. The steel rings like a bell, takes a shaving edge and holds it. Good geometry, too; you don't have to file them back to get the right profile.

[This message has been edited by Alberta Ed (edited 20 August 1999).]
I would opt for a Chris Reeve fixed blade over probably anything else if I was going to be stranded. Project 1 will do just fine. Remember, there aren't any sharpeners in the wilderness you can depend on as you would your Sharpmaker or Lansky; I would like to have something with some serrations on it. Of course, I could be sneaky and demand to take along something with a hollow handle full of survival gear, but full tang would most likely serve you better then anything else.

Robert Joseph Ansbro

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed. -Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999


I am the moderator on the forum "The Balcony" located at Cinematopia, please come support this brand new site