Recommendation? Large SS knives

scdub

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Joined
May 29, 2004
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589
Hello!

As you are a self-proclaimed “newbie”, let me suggest a strategy rather than a knife/knives.

I’ve been using/buying knives for almost 40 years (I’m almost 50), and I can confidently say that if you enjoy knives you will eventually want different kinds for different tasks/roles/situations.

Instead of starting with a small collection of combat/field knives, consider picking your favorite from your avchoices and using it awhile before deciding on your next purchase.

You can certainly buy a lightweight/low-cost Mora/Marttiini, etc. wood carver to hand off to friends, but otherwise I’d recommend getting one at a time to better understand what you want from your knives.

I’m happy to see you considering guards, and would certainly suggest a large/stout guard on a defensive knife.

Lastly - don’t be biased towards non-stainless steels. There are reasons why they’re still widely in use for blades...
 
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comis

Gold Member
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May 17, 2013
Messages
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Personally, I would recommend Carothers Performance Knives FK2, their 3V is known to 'perform' extremely well, and for own personal use, I think they have great value(YMMV).

 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
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I’m happy to see you considering guards, and would certainly suggest a large/stout guard on a defensive knife.
Would you consider the bolster on the CRK Pacific to be enough? I've never holded a micarta handle before.

Lastly - don’t be biased towards non-stainless steels. There are reasons why they’re still widely in use for blades...
From what I saw it's mostly to reduce the cost or to have better performance for the price. I guess I should have done research before, I just don't know how to maintain it.

Should I consider something like the first 2 in stainless and the rest without restraining myself to stainless? Or would you say that it's doesn't matter much?

If it's just something like stroking and oiling and you're done for a couple of month, I can live with that. I also plan on maybe putting one in a GHB.

I’ve been using/buying knives for almost 40 years (I’m almost 50), and I can confidently say that if you enjoy knives you will eventually want different kinds for different tasks/roles/situations.

Instead of starting with a small collection of combat/field knives, consider picking your favorite from your avchoices and using it awhile before deciding on your next purchase.

You can certainly buy a lightweight/low-cost Mora/Marttiini, etc. wood carver to hand off to friends, but otherwise I’d recommend getting one at a time to better understand what you want from your knives.
I did bought a cheap Olympia knife for that specific purpose. I've realised I got a lot to learn.

I'm more of a Jack of all trades type of guy, so I though a bowie with a 6,75" sawback blade was what I wanted, turn out I hated it. Now I also know that I will mostly use it for batonning and fire purpose, maybe self-defense and a bit of digging/prying.

I say Jack of all trades, but that's not quite it. I think each job need a specific tool and that versatility has it's limits. I'm looking for a big blade that does "all" what would require a big blade. No real chopping, sawing or fine job, that's what axe, saw and fine blade are for.

That's where I am in my though processing, am I going in the good way? And do you have any advise or thing I should experiment?
 
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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
36
Personally, I would recommend Carothers Performance Knives FK2, their 3V is known to 'perform' extremely well, and for own personal use, I think they have great value(YMMV).

While I find the FK2 a bit on the short side, their 6" utility fighter seem to fit more what I'd like. Pretty impressive quality of heat treatment too. Added to my list, thank you.
 

scdub

Basic Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
589
Would you consider the bolster on the CRK Pacific to be enough? I've never holded a micarta handle before.
I would. I want a guard to come to at least a 90 degree angle to the edge (like the Pacific). Micarta is great for handles - lighter, grippier and better feeling than G-10.
From what I saw it's mostly to reduce the cost or to have better performance for the price. I guess I should have done research before, I just don't know how to maintain it.

Should I consider something like the first 2 in stainless and the rest without restraining myself to stainless? Or would you say that it's doesn't matter much?
Reduced cost for performance is a huge reason - also you can arguably get a finer edge with carbon steels if handled correctly (although this may no longer be true when compared to the super-super steels (Magnacut, etc.). Also once you learn to free-hand sharpen (and you should), you’ll find that you can sharpen a carbon steel blade with rocks you find outside - survival bonus. If you’re legitimately a rich dude, you could probably do a lot worse than getting a batch of Carothers knives, I’d just get an assortment of sizes...
I'm more of a Jack of all trades type of guy, so I though a bowie with a 6,75" sawback blade was what I wanted, turn out I hated it. Now I also know that I will mostly use it for batonning and fire purpose, maybe self-defense and a bit of digging/prying.

I say Jack of all trades, but that's not quite it. I think each job need a specific tool and that versatility has it's limits. I'm looking for a big blade that does "all" what would require a big blade. No real chopping, sawing or fine job, that's what axe, saw and fine blade are for.
That Bowie illustrates my point. Good thing you didn’t buy 5 of them and hand them out to your buddies. ;)

You seem to be mostly interested in what I’d consider field/combat/survival knives. (Me too FYI). Even here though you’ll find that a separate between sizes/weights is nice and allows you to pack differently for different environments/types of trips. My lightest knife in this category is a Japanese kogatana that weighs 2.5 oz, and my heaviest is a Swamp Rat Sawmandu at just over 1 pound. That knife could certainly replace an axe in certain environments. I’m often carrying more than one fixed blade outside, and if I’m with friends/family I want them to have a range of sizes and weights as well so we can cover more chores efficiently/quickly.
That's where I am in my though processing, am I going in the good way? And do you have any advise or thing I should experiment?
You’re on the path to glory man! I’d say get something in carbon steel to try out (I can recommend Swamp Rat/Scrap Yard/Busse which are sold in this forum).
 
Joined
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Since I plan on sharing them I want variety. I may lend it to someone I don't know quite well and some of my friend are careless while I know other will use it wisely, so really any kind will do, I mostly want it to be rustproof.
Never lend your knife, especially to people who are careless.
 
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Never lend your knife, especially to people who are careless.
If I may clarify, careless is more like "handle it like a newbie, thinking steel is indestructible". Also, why never? If the guy want to do some damage, he will, knife or not.
 
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That Bowie illustrates my point. Good thing you didn’t buy 5 of them and hand them out to your buddies. ;)
Hehe, you know you're a pain? I just had my "perfect" little plan and BOOM, you shattered it into piece. (I don't mind at all, kinda expected/hoped that would happen). I think I will start with the CRK Pacific and reevaluate from that point.

I already wanted combo knife, I will start another tread for a kinda short and slim knife.

In fact, I've already selected most of my blade, that is an hatchet, machette, hand saw and multitool. I was unsure about the knife, I wanted a really big and a small one, ended up adding the machette and going with a smaller large blade.

I'm not rich either, just have the "buy once, cry once" ideologie, and I know the people I will go with won't invest as much, if not at all, in those kind of blade. We like share thing together and since I know they won't have it, I though I would make this collection.
 
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Chronovore

Basic Member
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Aug 29, 2019
Messages
974
Would you consider it safe for stabbing something "soft", aka an animal? I was already unsure with the CS SRK

I see that a gun will be primary for defense and that's good. In the unlikely but tragic event that you have to defend yourself against a wild animal with a knife, remember that they aren't all "soft". They have hard bones and will be skull-forward while biting you. This factors into the "caliber wars" in outdoor gun discussions. Honestly, a Mora Companion is probably as good in this respect as most other contenders so far.

I actually keep a few stainless Mora Companions on hand as loaners. They are reasonably well made. While not full-tang, they are strong enough for most things. I don't baton with them but in reality, I almost never baton with a knife anyway. The handles are very comfortable. The 12C27 is decently stainless and holds a decent edge. The sheaths aren't great but you can get a great Kydex sheath for them from RK Custom Kydex. You could actually get a bunch of these, a bunch of Kydex sheaths for them, and both a Tek-Lok and set of soft loops for each so people can choose; all for a lot less than one single Chris Reeves Pacific.

That also lowers the risk of loaning them out. If somebody loses one, even with an upgraded sheath and mounting system, you might be out fifty bucks. Meanwhile, the Companion is a decent knife. I have more expensive knives but still choose it on occasion, especially when that's also what I'm loaning out.
 
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I actually keep a few stainless Mora Companions on hand as loaners. They are reasonably well made. While not full-tang, they are strong enough for most things. I don't baton with them but in reality, I almost never baton with a knife anyway. The handles are very comfortable. The 12C27 is decently stainless and holds a decent edge. The sheaths aren't great but you can get a great Kydex sheath for them from RK Custom Kydex. You could actually get a bunch of these, a bunch of Kydex sheaths for them, and both a Tek-Lok and set of soft loops for each so people can choose; all for a lot less than one single Chris Reeves Pacific.
That's... actually it's pretty spot-on. Well, not quite. I will still buy a Pacific and probably a couple other blade to cover my need overall. Until then, a couple blade like this to share would do the trick, I won't spend 1500$ on a collection that i'm now not even sure that would fit my need and if something happen to one, well it's not a great lost. They will always be usefull, either as a spare blade or to share, whatever my collection look like.

Thanks you, that's added to my list.
 
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Do you own this knife? Because if yes I would have a couple question;

1. Is a straight handle comfortable?

2. When and where did you buy it? because I see both 0,14 in and 4,8mm thickness

3. Do you mean a bolster instead of a guard?
Hi WeekSecret,

I do own this knife.

1. I find straight handles in general very comfortable, for me very curved handles are always limiting the variety of grips I can use.
But this could be highly personal, some people like curved handles better.
The Kormoran's handle is great. It locks into your hand if you grip it strongly but can be also gripped loosely.
It is great for shaping wood, food prep and would have some self defense value too, although it is not a fighting knife.
It is not a dedicated chopper, but you can chop smaller stuff with it.
If you want a dedicated chopper knife, go big and get a kukri with a 16-18+ inch blade.

2. I bought it this year from SMKW. I just measured it and I have to correct myself.
It is "only" 0.14 inch = 3.55 mm. For me this is plenty thick, but it is less than the 3/16 inch you specified, although you said this is a flexible spec.
Remember, the thicker the knife, the less efficiently will it slice and carve, especially if it has a Scandi grind.

3. No, the knife does not have bolsters. The guard is formed by a protrusion of the metal core and the handle scales, you can clearly see that in the pics:


Overall I think it is a very nice knife. It has a larger and somewhat thicker blade than the Garberg and it has the same steel as the stainless version of the Garberg.
I haven't used it enough to comment on prolonged edge holding. So far it seems OK, but I did not baton with it. I prefer to use hatchets for that.
If you plan to baton a lot, I would get a carbon steel knife for that: ESEE-5, ESEE-6, Becker 7, Becker 9, many choices from Condor (I would recommend the Condor Bushcraft Parang), or a kukri (e.g. Himalayan Import).
Others have already suggested Buck, Fallkniven, Cold Steel, Swamp Rat, Carothers, all great knives.
You may also consider a hatchet.
 
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If you plan to baton a lot, I would get a carbon steel knife for that: ESEE-5, ESEE-6, Becker 7, Becker 9, many choices from Condor (I would recommend the Condor Bushcraft Parang), or a kukri (e.g. Himalayan Import).
Others have already suggested Buck, Fallkniven, Cold Steel, Swamp Rat, Carothers, all great knives.
You may also consider a hatchet.
Well, I did plan on the extreme. In fact, I've planned a couple of blade to carry beside it;

-Condor Golok machete for camp clearing and branch trimming

-Silky bigboy 360mm large teeth as a safe and fast way to remove tree in the way and trim fallen tree for fire

-Estwing 14" sportman's axe for splitting wood, acting as a hammer for shelter and to keep as my main secondary survival blade.

-Leatherman surge for the overall light duty back-up, additional tool and mecanical add-on

So, I'm not looking for a big chopper or for a good cutter. I want a large knife for small wood process, like feather stick, battonning 1-2" stick and shelter building, for self defense and for a bit of prying digging.

Later I will start to look for a short and slim blade for fish and general food processing.

If I may ask, would you consider longer blade than what I'm currently looking for? I was reluctant because longer blade are generally thinner or heavier and because I've already planned stuff for big wood purpose.

Ps; I did consider the eickhorn solingen b2005can
 
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Joined
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Others who have more experience will share their advice, I would add my opinion here.
I think your plan is very good, it is better to have multiple alternatives than only a single option.

So, I'm not looking for a big chopper or for a good cutter. I want a large knife for small wood process, like feather stick, battonning 1-2" stick and shelter building, for self defense and for a bit of prying digging.

Later I will start to look for a short and slim blade for fish and general food processing.

If I may ask, would you consider longer blade than what I'm currently looking for? I was reluctant because longer blade are generally thinner or heavier and because I've already planned stuff for big wood purpose.

For the tasks above a 4-7" knife is perfect. The longer and thicker it is, the less nimble it s for food processing and fine carving.

I think the Boker Plus Bushcraft Kormoran will excel in most of these tasks, like small wood processing, feather stick, batoning 1-2" sticks and general food prep and handle the rest, like self defense and a bit of prying digging.
The golok will be better for the heavy chopping and fast shaping required for shelter building, digging and maybe even for self defense.
It is a longer and heavier blade, so I think to get another longer than 6-7" inch blade is too much redundance.
That said I think, besides the Kormoran you should also try out a slightly larger carbon steel blade. My two suggestions would be the Becker BK-9 or the ESEE-6 with the new contoured G10 handles. Tey will be more of a mostly chopping blades which are also great for self defense and prying digging, but can do slicing carving, food prep, and can be great survival knives for a single knife scenario. Phenomenal warranty too.

The 4.75" bushcraft style pointy, sturdy yet not too thick blade of the Boker is such a sweet spot, that you might not even need a smaller knife, and having the saw, the hatchet and the golok you are more than well covered for the big stuff. It might not excel at filleting fish, but will gut and clean it without any problems. The straight handle shape will allow you to work for a long time without fatigue and gripping it at various lengths and positions. There is a reason that most bushcraft knives and puukkos sport a straight handle (the slight swell or contour does not change much). Kephart chose this handle shape based on his decades long experience with various handle shapes. I think that the carved G10 handles are a plus too. Micarta is slightly more grippy but will get dirty and smelly easily. True, it is easy to clean too, but it is a task. ThThe Kormoran's G10 is more textured and has the carved notches, which increase grippiness. The 14C28N steel is easy to sharpen, will hold a good edge and is more than stainless enough for the outdoors, maybe except for saltwater fishing.
It is also not very expensive, but for a knife to be loaned to friends it has impressive monetary and user value and not "cheap" in any sense. That means that if you want to try other knives too, you can still buy them and will be using the Kormoran too.

Good luck and please report back when you made your final choice.
 

bikerector

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Nov 16, 2016
Messages
5,432
Check out some of the fixed blades from Viper. These aren't that common but I ordered one out of curiosity and there's a ton of value here and it's really a good knife. The sheath... not as great.


I have the setter, 5" of n690 steel and I think it hits a lot of your spec desires. The price is pretty solid. I planned to try the gianghi at some point as the blade is just good looking but I never pulled the trigger as other interests came up. The setter was a bit of an impulse buy, though I had looked at it a few times on their website before. I was surprised how much I actually liked the knife once I got it and used it some. The tapered tang helps give it a more solid feel and moves the weight forward so it can do some light chopping decently, like shaping bigger tarp/tent stakes.

The lionsteel T5 is also a pretty viable option. I had one of those before the setter that I acquired in a trade and eventually traded it away as I prefer thinner knives, in general. The micarta handle covering the bottom of the handle was a great feature, IMO, for helping control shock and cold hands in winter.

If you've never shopped with collectorknives, Mike is a great guy to work with and my go-to for traditional stuff as long as he has it in stock.

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
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Thank you all for your advise.

I will start by buying a CRK Pacific. It's just too spot-on my spec to choose another starter knife. The Spartan Horkos is too, but I've got the feeling that it's made for small to medium hand.

The biggest advantage of a collection is the variety you can get from it in the first place. I wouldn't buy a "dropped" blade, a modern tanto or even carbon steel knife as a first knife, but as part of a collection, yes.

On the side I will also buy a couple of Morakniv Companion (s). The're crazy cheap and seem to have one of the best price/quality ratio. Good starter knife for inexperienced people and teenagers.

I'll see what I need/prefer in the futur and I will certainly come back to this site for that.
 

d762nato

Gold Member
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Dec 16, 2009
Messages
8,051
I see you mentioned the Condor Golock. I have one and the handle is very round so it rolls in the hand some what when chopping. The blade grind is very thick also. It's some thing to think about.
 
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