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Looking for a small fixed blade...

Aug 5, 2000
Hey Ya'll...
I'm interested in finding a small fixed blade knife to be used backpacking, camping, etc. Here are the specs I had in mind: about 3.5" or smaller blade, horizontal sheath to be worn on belt, a good steel, flat or "appleseed" grind, durable handle material, "sheeple friendly", production knife (fairly inexpensive, so I wont shy away from using it hard)...

Does this knife exist? Can anyone give me some recommendations?

Check out Marble's knives (i.e., Fieldcraft), then get hold of Normark to make you a sheath for horizontal carry. There are also plenty of custom makers around who could provide what you want for not a lot more money.

I'm getting one of these
, skeleton style, with a horizontal clip-on kydex sheath to replace my knives that have pocket clips.

Robert is a really nice guy and will do rush orders if really necessary.

Dale C. Tipert aka 'wyrm'
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I wanted the same thing and I looked into the TOPS WSI knife, I just got it and am very happy!
Look up the TOPS WSI RANGER? post a few pages back for details. This knife has amazing capability for it's size. It has a divot for use with a fire starting bow drill, has range finder holes, has a spine strike to use in splitting wood, ect..,ect..,ect.. Light, small, big capabilities, it's the perfect smaller back pack survival knife! Let me know-take care!

Give them a look. Have two of their knives alread and two more on the way. Good knives at great prices. Check the for sale to see what is ready to ship. A hand made or even custom for the price of a factory or less.
Matt- have you ever checked out the links to Custom Makers available here? It's amazing what you can find for the price of a good quality production knife.
A price range might be helpful. 'Fairly inexpensive' can mean very different things to different people. If we have some idea of your price range, we can make better suggestions...


Spyderco Moran. The only place where this could potentially fall short is in terms of handle durability, but I doubt it would be a serious problem unless you intend to pound nails with it.
Check out Bob Dozier's knives. http://www.dozierknives.com. He's got several made out of D2 that are 3 to 3 1/2 or so. They come with a horizontal Kydex sheath standard. Only 135 bucks or so. Micarta handles, I don't think you could ruin one in daily use.
Indeed. The last name in top quality no frills hard using small fix blades at a working mans price (to quote from Bobs brochure). Sounds like any of Bobs small utility/ hunters fit your description quite well.

i would also suggest Michael at runningdog knives. he is the best when it comes to service and meeting your exact knife needs. we talked for a good long while and he is making a custom Lil Pup for me. he is quite attentive to your needs and makes sure to keep you aprised of his schedule and what is happening with your custom order. very very nice place to work with.
The specs you gave make you a very lucky guy. IMHO, the best bargains in all of knifedom are custom straight knives of the kind you are looking for. The possibilities are absolutely huge and there for sure are at least 3 or 4 knives out there that will suit your needs and tickle your fancy at a really good price.
May I suggest that you start by looking at the Canadian Knifemakers Guild website, members page. The Canadian makers are superb and the exchange on the dollar make most of them a bargain for you. Check them all but you might want to start with Tichbourne [hefty, super 440c, really great using knives], Freeman, Frigault[before he becomes rich and famous and gets a huge waiting list], and Haslinger [very stylish but also very functional]. Also check out Lightfoot's hunters, [BG 42 and immense popularity make his work somewhat more expensive].
If you like them on the heavy side, Busse's NO is great. That's one of my favorites. If you don't plan on chopping much and want very low maintenance, talonite or stellite are superb, if you don't mind paying the premium. Dr. Lathe [Neil Blackwood] does beautiful work that I think is worth every penny. Rob Simonich is Mr. Talonite and Les Robertson is probably the best source for his work. If you have any interest in the investment aspect of your knife, talk to Les. He knows functionality too, obviously.
There is a cornucopia of excellent, well priced small fixed blades out there. I'd go custom, or I'd go Busse.
I would also suggest that you not buy the knife based on the sheath alone. A custom maker usually can make you the sheath you want, and some will supply two. I often take two, one for carries and one to strap to my pack or kayak. Aftermarket sheaths are readily availible and are surprisingly inexpensive. Normark has a great reputation for Concealex[On Scene Tactical], Kenny Rowe does great leather backcarry[Andy Prisco has some on hand for Busses] or multicarry options. Here too, there are many good choices at a good price.

[This message has been edited by HJK (edited 02-21-2001).]
Thanks HJK!

I greatly appreciate the mention. Sounds like one of my Small Tac/Utilities might fit the bill.


Hand Made Knives..High Tech Materials
Wow!!! You all have given me a lot of great suggestions. The problem is that I've seen too many other that I love along the way. Thanks a lot for all of the info...

Another vote for one any one of Bob Dozier's knives. Rugged users with exceptional sheaths. Awesome values that will keep on cutting, and cutting, and cutting, and...

Grohmann Knives..Carbon or SS. Swinging sheath. 3.5-4.25 " blades, less than $55.00. and tough as nails...
Ravenn in Ky

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