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Looking for "best" hard- use knife;Carothers/Survive! or

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by waveone, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. waveone


    Jan 12, 2014
    First this is not an invitation to thrash Survive! and their supply- line issues. I own several and like them in just about every way except what has become the persisting and obvious situation.

    While I do not abuse my knives,I require knives and knife steel to yield high performance, high impact resistance and the ability to hold a sharp edge for an extended period of time.

    CPM3v and Delta3V seems to do just those things according to my experience. Certainly there area few others such as Infi , but I've not tried them yet. Not to mention Busse is quite expensive. I'd rather pay $250-$400 than $600-$800 on a similar knife. That's just my position

    My question is , aside from Survive and Carothers, what other knives are similar in form finish and cost?

    Suggestions on steel alternatives are appreciated too

    Your input is very appreciated.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    argyle1812 likes this.
  2. argyle1812

    argyle1812 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    Maybe the General Discussion area is a better place to post this?
  3. waveone


    Jan 12, 2014
    Perhaps. However if anyone or several individuals has tested these two manufacturers as well as equivalents for hard use bush craft, it seems this would be the place instead of General where it becomes a free for all without practical experience.

    What exactly is your problem with the thread?
  4. argyle1812

    argyle1812 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    No problem at all. Im curious to see other recommendations as well. Just thought it might get more views in General Discussion is all.
  5. waveone


    Jan 12, 2014
    My thoughts Exactly.

    However, in this case my sense is discretion necessary because of the current issues of one of these manufacturer's. So the ad hominem's would be off the charts and the information would be more akin to opinion as opposed to true experience and knowledge of the steels and other like-kind manufacturers.

    Otherwise I would have done just that. Still might.

    We will see
    argyle1812 likes this.
  6. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    I consider Fiddleback Forge production models to be in that company comparing well to my Survive and Carothers knives I own. Where Fiddleback production models standout is the breath of the offering from small pocket fixed blades up to a 6" Camp with a Machete being the largest. The pro Duke is my personal favorite being 5" of s35vn steel, although I carry the pro Kephart for smaller chores while camping as well. The other plus is Fiddleback production models are readily available directly from Fiddleback or numerous online retailers, some of them being BF Sponsors.
    palonej and Sonnydaze like this.
  7. mr2blue

    mr2blue Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    ZT 0180 Vanax 4 and great egos IMO
    ScooterG and Organic556 like this.
  8. shaving sharp

    shaving sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Microtech Currahee or Crosshair.
  9. emjay4248

    emjay4248 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    Steel will Gekko series, M390 made in Italy Folding comes in 3.5" or 4" and the fixed blade is around 5". Great knives and flawless action. These are not customs or midtech but are fantastic knives. The fit and finish is perfect.
  10. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I agree. I've owned Survive, Carothers, and Fiddleback knives and all three are excellent. Any preference will likely be on a personal basis.
    argyle1812 likes this.
  11. 007 Agent ZZero

    007 Agent ZZero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    I think there are a significant amount of knives out there that would "line up" with your needs. Delta 3V is supposed to be serious stuff. I have owned plenty of 3V from Barkies to Fehrman to customs. I have found many to be tough but few are tough and hold an edge

    My picks are:
    Swamp Rat Ratweiler or M6
    Scrap Yard Scrapper 4/5
    Busse COMBAT Grade Tankbuster or BATAC. (Not INFI, important distinction)
    Microtech Currahee D2
    Siegle Solo or Merc
    B.Goode Camp
    B.Buxton 52100 EDC

    Each of these will perform under stress. Of note, now that Busse is remaking all thier knives in SR101 ("special" 52100) I have bought the patterns I liked and never looked back. INFI is tough as hell, it does not stay sharp. SR101 does, and it's 95% as tough. Each one of these knives should be had for $350 or less. Good luck though, I think your going to have to just settle on a pattern and let the steel teach you what it's capable of.
    d762nato likes this.
  12. hexenjager

    hexenjager Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    @007 Agent ZZero, I think you meant Busse battle grade. Combat grade Busses are INFI, battle grade are SR101. They're making some of the older models in battle grade, but not necessarily all of them. They'll probably get around to the majority of the most highly thought of models though.

    @waveone, I'm not sure that anyone can tell you the "best" steel for a survival type blade because we all value different attributes of steel differently so we view the tradeoffs between those attributes differently. One person may value extreme toughness over edge holding while another is willing to Give up some toughness to not need to sharpen as often for example. Neither is wrong, they just value the attributes differently.

    My advice would be to pick the designs that suits your needs and tastes best from the manufacturers with the best reputations for excellent heat treatment and research those particular knives.

    As for knives to check out in your search, I'd add the Swamp Rat Jackmandu or Ratmandu in SR101 and whichever number Busse SAR fits your size preferences to the excellent choices already mentioned.
  13. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007

    Haven't seen much written about Steel Will. Guess they aren't Kewl Enough.

    Been lusting after a Gekko. Nice to see someone out there is going against the curve.
    Teppojutsu likes this.
  14. emjay4248

    emjay4248 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    Their new budget knife won a few awards. It's called the Cutjack and it is also available in M390. It's a small American company That manufacture in both China and Italy. The stuff that they do in China is amazing and the stuff from Italy is the quality of Lionsteel and Fox. It is hard to explain the smoothness of Italian knives but it seems only they can do it. I have 4 Steel Wills 2 from China and 2 from Italy & there is not 1 negative thing I can say about them. The ones that I have are not for people that don't like knives with some weight to them.
    Check out their website and many YouTube reviews about their stuff.
  15. Teppojutsu


    Jan 18, 2015
    Apples and oranges between the 2 companys. I do like carothers ethos a little more.
    Supply sucks with survive atm.

    And the friday sale is Fun ,but ultimately turned me off. The whole whoever has time and a better internet connection wins didnt do it for me because i was really hooked on them for a min.
    I HAD money in hand about 3 or 4 times then meh i lost interest. (Especially after you get one of their knives and realize its not the end all be all ) they are in "vogue" atm. for good reason both makers make high quality gear.

    Edit to add. Think CRK evereone wants to try a chris reeve. Only to sell it later (i like to buy them :) )

    Which in their defense is an excellent marketing strategy in which you keep the product scarce by doing a friday sale to encourage the frenzy .
    Then when peeps get hungry you release the preorders. Lol. unless the demand levels off then you generate new demand with a new model

    then when demands for fixed knives go you unveil a ...folder.. on and on

    .Personally the latest knife i have wanted is somthing made from infi steel just to see what that koolaid tastes like.
    And bluntcut has done some pretty incredible things with his heat treat hes also on my list of interests.

    And for what its worth there are a frew carothers blades that i wouldnt mind haveing but...
    Hope i didnt take too much time it was only worth 2 cents :)
  16. dogrunner


    Dec 26, 2003
    That was a pretty good summary, actually.
    Lots of flavors of kool-aid out there, some of it is actually good stuff and even good value, including all the makers just mentioned, so no wrong choices on that list. But availability, etc can be a major part of what leads you into one or other decision.
    mattmanyam and Teppojutsu like this.
  17. Teppojutsu


    Jan 18, 2015
    Im still waiting for the flames lol:thumbsup:
  18. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    Carothers has his HT down pat. That is what matters. Others that I know of besides Busse that are incredibly tough are Scott Gossmans knives and Keffeler. Cold Steels San Mai is very tough as well. Not sure how CS's 3V is. CS's 1055 knives are extremely tough. I think many custom makers know how to make tough knives.
  19. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I like the Bark River Bravo series. They are offered in different lengths, and different steels from A2, 3V, Cru-wear, M4, S35vn, Elmax, CPM154. I also like the LionSteel M5, and the other M series lengths, all in Sleipner steel.
  20. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    There are a huge amount of high quality and capable hard use blades out there from a variety of makers and manufacturers. Its just going to come down to personal preference and blade style. Carothers is probably making the best hard use knives out there right now from a performance and quality standpoint. Busse and swamp rat are great and more readily available. Fiddleback forge makes beautiful blades that can handle hard use with ease.

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