Looking to pick up my first Fiddleback Forge for my main EDC (Monarch, Esquire, EDC II?).

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I've been reading over this forum for a little while now, and love all the information being shared here, and the insightful posts. The Fiddleback Forge users here are a great crowd with a fantastic passion for these knives! Thanks for all the great participation, useful information, and knowledge regarding these beautiful knives.

I primarily carry and use My GEC Northfield Easy Open bullet end #85 in my watch pocket (pictured in my profile image). I use it daily for EDC tasks like cutting open and tearing down cardboard boxes at work, tearing down pallets stacked with boxes wrapped in saran wrap and plastic, minor food prep duties, basic utility chores, etc. I'll always carry my Northfield Easy Open in my watch pocket, and I'll always keep a victorinox nearby, but for the most part I'm not as into folding knives as much as I once was. I just prefer the secure feeling of a fixed blade with a nice handle. I was about to pull the trigger on a Bradford Guardian 3 (which I'd still like to try out), but then I found this sub forum, and have been admiring the beautiful knives posted here. I see myself having multiple fixed blades and just a few folders in my future rotation. I've been enjoying EDCing an old Helle fixed blade knife with a sub 3 inch blade, but I'd prefer something with a different grind and nicer steel, and better feel.

I would like my first Fiddleback to be one that I'll always keep and use. I want it to be a knife that I'm happy with having as my only FBF for a while because I won't be able to buy multiples too frequently (possibly one or two a year..maybe three lol). I want to use it as an EDC, and I'd like the blade to be less than 4 inches. I don't really plan to do any bushcrafting with this one, but if the blade I choose is capable of some light duty bushcrafting, that would be fine with me. If eventually I get into serious bushcrafting, start camping more, or even get into hunting, I will look into getting a knife more suitable for those duties. I'm open to my first FBF having a blade length anywhere from 2 1/2" to 3 3/4". If I can comfortably carry it and keep it concealed, I'd be open to an even larger blade as my edc. I'm basically open to a wide variety of blade lengths for my first Fiddleback which doesn't make my decision any easier. Normally I would go for a full height grind, but lately I've felt a strong pull towards a lot of the false edge/swedge type grinds. There is just something I find attractive about the swedge grind, and seeing as the blade will be for EDC and I live near and frequently visit urban areas (some of which are not the safest of places), I kind of like the self defense aspect of the swedge. I'd like it to be one that I can comfortably carry horizontally on my belt, in my right front pocket, or my back pocket. I want this to be a blade I carry with me every day, enjoy handling, using, and admiring. This would be a big purchase for me, so I want to make sure that I make the right choice.

The following models are the ones I am most focused on right now starting with the ones that I am most interested in:

Monarch
Esquire
Bushboot
ASP *(might be too large for my first)
EDC II

The three Fiddlebacks that I'm really focused on right now are The Monarch, Esquire, and Bushboot. I'm wondering if the Monarch would be too much knife for my EDC blade or not, or if I should be considering the larger ASP or even a Sneaky Pete! I'm eyeballing a beautiful Monarch with a swedge right now, but it has a 5/32" thick blade. I don't know if that would be too thick and if I should look for one with a 1/8" blade instead. The esquire looks like a great knife for my needs, but considering I have large to extra large hands, I'm not sure if I will be happy with the handle size or not (I don't have big meaty hands but I have a longish fingers). For carrying everyday I think the size of the esquire would be perfect). The Bushboot looks great, but I'm not sure about the blade angle coming off the handle. Tapered Tang or SFT aren't the biggest concern, but I'm leaning towards knives with the Tapered Tang which I find aesthetically pleasing. I also don't know if the blade thickness will make a difference for my needs or not. I like all the different handle options and I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever handle material I end up going with.

Most of all the 2.5"-4" bladed Fiddlebacks hold my interest. The Hiking Buddy, Handy Man, Bushcraft Jr., EDKarda, Sylverfalcin, Sgian Dubh, Shaman, Shank, or even a W.A. Surls like the Minuteman all look like viable users to me as well. There are so many choices and options that it is making my head spin!

I'm having the hardest time trying to decide which would suit my needs the most, and make me happiest using, handling, and admiring. Pulling the trigger on one of these is not any easy task for me! I was hoping to get some insights on my first Fiddleback purchase here. I've read a lot of similar threads, and looked up each of these knives, and in the end, those threads just make me want to own all of them! Presently the Monarch, Esquire, and Bushboot are at the top of my list right now, but I'm open to any other suggestions as well.

Any advice, suggestions, photos, comparisons, and opinions that anyone would like to share would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Welcome!

Have you read through this thread yet? I was going through a similar thought process as you and had the amazing opportunity to check out a bunch of the EDC models!

https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/the-3-1-2-edc-share.1477680/

None of the navigation links that Warrior108 Warrior108 did on the first post work since they were from before the software update, so you'll have to navigate the old fashioned way.


I would add that now the Lil Lady and Baby Boot exist, I think both of those would really compete well in the mix also. The Lil Lady may even take the number one spot for me, but I haven't had the chance to handle one yet...

Of your 5 listed above, I would probably go with the Esquire. There was one left from last Friday's sale as well as a Lil Lady and ED Karda.
 

Oyster

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My initial reaction is that a 3.5” blade is probably the max blade length for pocket carry once you factor in the length of the handle and the bottom of the sheath (of course depending on the type of pants you typically wear).

I don’t have any experience with the blades you’re looking at (though both the esquire and the monarch are very appealing). I believe Andy (founder of FF) carried his personal monarch as an edc for a while - maybe still does.

ETA: I agree with Odaon Odaon re the Lil’ Lady (OAL 7”, blade 3”) as a perfect pocket carry. But also understand liking a swedge. With long fingers I might focus on patterns with taller handles (like the monarch or maybe the pocket kephart if you can do without a full 4-finger grip. I believe the esquire is a favorite for edc - esp if you like a swedge.
On the larger end I would also consider the Bushnub.

@Choppaman Warrior108 Warrior108 what say you?
 
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Bmurray

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The Monach is a pretty good size blade and might be a bit big for what you’re initially looking for.
 

wildmanh

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Out of the 4 that you mentioned, the Bushboot gets my vote. One of the Karda's would be nice too. I frequently carry an EDKarda on a day to day basis. Bushraptor, Bushboot, Hiking Buddy, EDKarda are blades that I have experience with and would have no problem carrying.
 

Warrior108

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The handles can vary in thickness and a bit in contour but they mostly vary in thickness if anything. After all, they are custom and hand made. I've got about 5 Esquires and they each have a bit different feel to them.

Personally I find the Asp more comfy in the hand and more carryable than a Monarch. It could just be my hands though.

Of your top list, I'd suggest the Esquire or the EDC II, but I've never held or owned an EDC II. However, it does get my vote because it's close to a Lonestar EDC, which I'm pretty sure has bubbled to be my favorite model, which says a lot. The Lonestar is comfy, concealable, has a nice useful tip to it, and a nice belly to the blade. And it's sexy.

I also like the original style Bushnub and Handyman for guardless options, if you don't want a guard getting in the way of using the entire blade.

Hope that helps and doesn't confuse things. :)
 
Joined
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Welcome!

Have you read through this thread yet? I was going through a similar thought process as you and had the amazing opportunity to check out a bunch of the EDC models!

https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/the-3-1-2-edc-share.1477680/

None of the navigation links that Warrior108 Warrior108 did on the first post work since they were from before the software update, so you'll have to navigate the old fashioned way.


I would add that now the Lil Lady and Baby Boot exist, I think both of those would really compete well in the mix also. The Lil Lady may even take the number one spot for me, but I haven't had the chance to handle one yet...

Of your 5 listed above, I would probably go with the Esquire. There was one left from last Friday's sale as well as a Lil Lady and ED Karda.

Thanks for the link! I briefly looked over that thread when I first found this forum, but I will give it a more thorough reading now.

Both the Babyboot and Lil' Lady look like viable options to me as well! I am definitely interested in the Esquire from Friday's drop, but I noticed it has a 5/32" blade, and I don't know if that would be too thick or not for such a short blade length. There is another esquire I've been eyeballing with a swedge, tapered tang, either backwood or rosewood handle, and 1/8" blade and it comes with a sheath.
 
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The Monach is a pretty good size blade and might be a bit big for what you’re initially looking for.

I don't mind it having a larger blade as long as I can comfortably conceal and carry it. I'm interested in Horizontal carry, and pocket carry, and I don't mind dedicating my right front pocket to the one knife.

The handles can vary in thickness and a bit in contour but they mostly vary in thickness if anything. After all, they are custom and hand made. I've got about 5 Esquires and they each have a bit different feel to them.

Personally I find the Asp more comfy in the hand and more carryable than a Monarch. It could just be my hands though.

Of your top list, I'd suggest the Esquire or the EDC II, but I've never held or owned an EDC II. However, it does get my vote because it's close to a Lonestar EDC, which I'm pretty sure has bubbled to be my favorite model, which says a lot. The Lonestar is comfy, concealable, has a nice useful tip to it, and a nice belly to the blade. And it's sexy.

I also like the original style Bushnub and Handyman for guardless options, if you don't want a guard getting in the way of using the entire blade.

Hope that helps and doesn't confuse things. :)

The Esquire in Fridays drop is very attractive to me, but I was wondering if the 5/32" blade would be too thick or not. There is another Esquire I've been eyeing with a 1/8" blade. pretty much the same specs otherwise as the one dropped on Friday. Aesthetically, I like the Esquire over the EDC II. Although the EDC II looks like it would be a great utility knife for EDC, and a sweet slicer. That Lonestar looks fantastic, and is also another I am considering. The choices are mind boggling! I just want the one I pick to be the right choice. I guess I can't really go wrong with whatever FBF I chose unless it just doesn't feel good in my hand.

The Asp is definitely one I am considering. I see a few similarities between the ASP and the Monarch. My main concern with these larger blades would be how comfortably they would carry in a horizontal sheath or a pocket sheath. Why do you feel like the ASP is more carryable than the Monarch? Isn't it a larger knife?
 

Oyster

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35E78EC5-4A31-43E6-BFC5-A14A01E14077.jpeg

Just adding this for perspective. On the left is a Cohutta with a 3 3/8” blade. On the right is a FF Bush Hermit with a 4” blade. The difference in overall size is a lot bigger than one might expect. (Admittedly, the BH has a fairly large profile for this size range). Still, I thought it might be helpful to see how much difference even half an inch (well, 5/8”) more blade can make (obviously the handle is a bit longer, too) because esp the sales threads group knives in the same size range.
 
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Warrior108

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the asp or monarch wouldn't carry well in a pocket sheath.
I concur with Bill on this point. That said, the Monarch handle has a pretty decent and consistent girth front to backand tends to have a handle that is rectangular in shape (if you did a cross section) whereas the Asp has smoother curves and narrows more at a couple places. It's just about feel really. For a pocket carry I'd go Esquire and up to the Lonestar in size.

20180422_155057.jpg
 
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Wow, those are such fine looking examples Warrior108! I really like the look of all three knives. How do you think the Asp or Monarch would carry in a horizontal sheath as an edc? They are looking like they're pushing the limits of an acceptable edc sized fixed blade. I really love the handle shapes on both. The ASP looks like it would be very comfortable in hand! The Lonestar is a very nice looking blade. I think that one is now in my top four choices. How does it in feel in hand?

So right now the Esquire is at the top of my list, but I'm a little worried the handle might not provide the best grip. I've owned a few Chris Reeve Small Sebenzas, and they fit my hand perfectly for how short the handles are.

If I rule out the Monarch and ASP, my list is as follows..

Esquire
Bushboot
Lonestar
EDC II?

The Shaman, Sgian Dubh, EDKarda, Hiking Buddy, and Handyman have all piqued my interest as well.
 

NOLA

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First off, I inside pocket carry everything.

I find the Lonstar too pointy for edc. It's a very nice knife but just not for me.

I have carried a sylverfacen probably 90% of the time for 2 years. Once it got dull I carried a bushboot. Both are very good knives for edc.

I've also carried a bushnub II but find it a little too thick for edc.

I would also recommend a pocket karda (PK). It's a nice size for edc.

I have also carried a bear cub but always find myself going back to the sylverfalcen or bushboot.

I've never carried the others.
 
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I carry inside my front pocket. My top choices are
#1 Hiking Buddy
#2 Hiking Buddy
#3 Sylverfalcen
#4 Bushboot

There's a Bushboot at Old Towne that's just plain beautiful! And I'd like to add... GET A HIKING BUDDY
 

Lady1911

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I carry a Babyboot, Esquire, or OS Karda every day in an ISP sheath or in a crossdraw sheath (semi-horizontal). Occasionally a Pocket Kephart or Runt in a nice belt sheath as well. Of these, the most comfortably pocketable knife (for me) is the Babyboot. Keep in mind that my opinions and experience are based on what fits my hand best with a blade shape that works for general utility purposes, mostly at work and doing basic day to day things.

My hands are small to average size, and my pockets are typically on the shallow side, since women’s jeans are usually designed with enough room for two dimes and a chapstick. o_O

Based on your description, the handle girth of a Babyboot might be a bit small for your hand, but it gives a good 3-finger grip with a dangling pinky. Some folks aren’t fond of The Curve, but it works great for me, as does the Bushboot.

The Esquire? Well, you can’t go wrong with that one. Pocketable, comfy handle, and well-designed blade.

I can and do carry a Lil Lady on occasion, when I’m not concerned with having a knife on the belt that is visible in public. I personally can’t fit it inside a pocket, but guys with deeper pockets can probably do it. I also think it would work well in a horizontal carry position.
 

Fiddleback

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The Monarch is edc-able, has a swedge, and is a capable bushcrafting design. I have carried this model extensively, and I love it. But its blade is longer than necessary for edc tasks. Its a big knife that carries small, or a small knife that seems big. The EDCII is a fine knife for your purposes if you can do without the swedge. Also look at the Lonestar EDC, as it is swedged as well. I'd go 1/8" because I believe on a small knife everything thicker than 1/8 is superfluous.
 
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