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Question-models that didn't work for you

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by drewway, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. drewway


    Oct 30, 2015
    I've had 3 Fiddleback models which were not comfortable in hand-bushnub, esquire, and OS karda. No big deal I just move on to other models. Except I love the EDK & BCK, and want to feel the same about the OSK. My question-when you find a model which does not work for you is it possible a different knife of the same model could feel significantly better in hand?
    Fiddleback and B Griffin like this.
  2. Oyster

    Oyster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    I’ve only had very few of the same model but, yes, they can feel very different, mostly because of differences in girth. (I suppose scale material could make a difference, too).

    Now, if it’s a matter of overall handle length or a swell or groove in the design that just doesn’t match your hand or how you typically hold a knife, it might still not make enough of a difference.

    I’m sure others with vastly more experience - and many, many more knives - will chime in soon.
    B Griffin and drewway like this.
  3. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    It's no secrete that I absolutely can not stand the Runt. I think it's a useless model. Too short of blade and the handle length, well...… The Babyboot is too small to be useful as well. It's not that I don't like small fixed blade knives, just need to be easier to use than a small folder, and these are not. Now the Fleming Pocket Pal fills this void for me. It's a small knife with a narrow blade that I can get four finger grip on.

    This is a great thread to vent for me.:D
    Fiddleback, schmittie and drewway like this.
  4. Oyster

    Oyster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Nice venting session :D

    You’ve had a lot of knives pass through your hands. Can you add something in response to the OP’s question? ;)
    B Griffin, drewway and Bmurray like this.
  5. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Street Samurai Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2012
    If a model really feels terrible it's unlikely another example of the same model is going to be great for you. However I have had adequately fitting knife models become a perfect glove fit based on slight variation. Andy is consistent enough that you know what you are getting. The best fiddleback handle for me is the Sneaky Pete.
  6. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    The Bushcrafters that I have are very similar in the handle but feel completely different because one is TT and wood and the other is SFT and micarta. Since Fiddlebacks are customs, each profile will feel a bit different and sometimes a subtle difference can make you love it or not. You really have to get out and use the knife to determine your actual likes. If you just collect and fondle them on occasion, you may not really ever figure it out.
    RobbieB, Oyster and drewway like this.
  7. drewway


    Oct 30, 2015
    Thanks for the responses. So, if I buy another OSK it's likely it would be for collecting purposes only, and not because I would enjoy using?
    Lady1911 and Bmurray like this.
  8. Lady1911

    Lady1911 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    I think you’re on the right track here ^^. The OSK handle shape is obviously a lot different than the EDK, so it might be a design that just doesn’t work for you. Between the OSK’s that I have (and love), the small differences in girth and handle material are similar enough that the knife feels (and fits me) the same overall, if that makes sense. I like the shape and ergonomics of it, regardless of the small nuances between two of the same model.

    However, I have the same problem with the Bushfinger. I really want to like it, love to look at it, but it just doesn’t fit my hand well at all. Same goes for other Bushfingers I’ve handled....the design just isn’t for me, and no amount of subtle differences in the handle or material will change that.
  9. drewway


    Oct 30, 2015
    Thanks, this is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I'd also say thanks for saving me some money, but we both know I will just use it to purchase a different model.
    Oyster and Lady1911 like this.
  10. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I think you may be dealing with a size, or more specifically a handle size/ length, issue more than just a model issue. All of the ones you listed as you not liking have 3-finger handles and then the two you mention liking were Andy's responses to folks liking the Karda blade shape and size and wanting a handle that was more comfortable in long term uses. In life, just because you like a couple of people doesn't mean you're always going to like all their siblings. My advice is you should probably stop trying to like the OS Karda, and either not have one or just have one to complete the set. I have never really warmed up to the Runt, to me it's just too bulky to be so short. with a two-tall-not-pointy-enough blade, but that's just my opinion. As for the Babyboot, it has become one of my favorite knives to EDC and I have been daily for a few months now.

    Geez, I really wish you'd be a little more careful throwing around words like "useless" with no qualifiers, Andy seems to take them to heart a bit too easily. I love the Babyboot, and have put a lot of miles on this one the last few months both urban and woodland. I love it for EDC uses and making snacks and stuff. A half dozen or so other people I know seem to like them too, so clearly it's not useless to all of us...


    When Andy released Protagonist models in 3/16 tapered, I was there to see and handle them before they sold, and I fell in love with it there and then. I knew which Fiddleback model I wanted more than any other. After all these years Andy had finally made a knife that really suited me at my personality, and also suited my needs. So I wanted it for the images I am collecting for the project I am working on now for multiple reasons, which will be used in my slide show for the lectures I am doing this spring and autumn, in a couple of articles I have planned, maybe in a re-worked version of a book I collaborated on several years and hopefully in a calendar. So, I did without a few things that winter and spring, and I made Alayna do without a few things as well, and I scraped up the money to buy one that year at Blade. Then when I got there, it seemed to me that Andy had decided that he needed to make every single knife model he makes as thin as it could be made, and the only ones there were all just 1/8" thick A2. I almost just skipped it, and later wished I had. But I was stubborn just because I reeeeeally love the profile. I carried it in the field once and checked it out, and I just couldn't muster the confidence in it that I need to have in my belt knife when I am working as far away from human habitation as I can get and never know what I may be dealing with. Anything from rabid wild dogs to rabid wild meth and heroine makers. And so I learned that in that steel thinness that model is useless to me personally. I'm sure others may like it that thin, it does make one bad ass butcher knife, but to me the thinness just doesn't suit the design at all and I was really disappointed in it and in myself for spending the money on it. Maybe if it glowed blue I would have liked it more.... Anyway I sold it as quickly as I could, before it could develop any patina, and went back to using the knife I had started the project with in the first place the year before, a Bushfighter made by another long time friend Ed Martin, before all of the delays to the project that were caused by the divorce and a broken leg. I may still be wishing it was a Protagonist just for some personal reasons when I do the lecture in April and point at the screen with a laser pointer, but I'll have Alayna or another friend shoot a few photos of it, and I sure Ed will be proud to see his logo up on the big screen anyway. So I still get to help a friend.


    Yeah, I figured if you were going to call this a good thread to vent in, then I would join you :)

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
    varga49, Oyster, Bmurray and 2 others like this.
  11. Lady1911

    Lady1911 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    Even with the small differences in my OSKs, they feel great for me overall. The blade shape is a winner here, and the handle ergonomics are a perfect fit. The combination of the two is fantastic. Maybe you’ll find a model that suits you better, and possibly come back to the OSK some time in the future.
    B Griffin, varga49, Oyster and 5 others like this.
  12. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Would it be too expensive to get the OSK blade with a different handle from another model? I think so. Therefore, i,would explore what little things could make to the handle more comfortable, like a TT, liners, and a four finger grip, that is almost a must for me for comfort and blade control. If not the OSK, is there a model with the same blade shape, bigger maybe, and different handle configuration? Good food for thought. I like the blade shape of the OSK, what other models have that but maybe a little bit bigger knife? I feel the same way about my Battlehorse Frontier Valley, like the blade but the handle is still not quite there. Please keep the thoughts coming.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    drewway and Bmurray like this.
  13. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    @B Griffin useless is only to me. I have no use for a short knife with a fat blade. The bushboot is exceptional but the babyboot is just too damn small for me. As far as Kardas go, I think the Bushcraft Karda has a longer handle and is one I’d love to try out. This one is on my radar if the right one pops up on the Friday sale and I have some spare cash in my PayPal.
    varga49 and cbach8tw like this.
  14. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Odd. I carry a Runt daily and find it perfect for real daily chores of opening up packages, boxes etc. Can all control the blade with a high pinch grip, easier and safer to use than a box cutter or pair of scissors. Hides in plain sight in small pocket sheath.
  15. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Like the Gnome better than the Runt.
    Fiddleback, B Griffin and drewway like this.
  16. jaz322

    jaz322 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2015
  17. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    by the time you carry a runt and a pocket sheath you could've carried a nice folder that's slimmer in the pocket. Just my opinion however.
  18. lmalterna

    lmalterna Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    IMO- Hands are no different than feet- subtle differences from person to person affect fit comfort. I have wide short hands and fingers, this affects not only where the butt of the knife falls but also where my finger joints bend around the handle. Add to that a messed up ring finger and my comfort range shrinks again.

    The Runt did not work for me- neither did the Bushboot- the curve of the handle closes in on my fingers. The Esquire is a sweet one for me.

    I had an Arete in 1/8 TT- normally my favorite combination, then I tried another Arete in 1/8 SFT and that one was perfect and the TT a bit thin.

    The variation is NOT a bad thing. If every one was a cookie cutter and you loved the Arete but the grip was not quite right= Out of luck. If yuo love the Arete but the one you tried was too thin for example, measure the width and then ask about the ones you see for sale. Robert at the Outpost took measurements of the one he had and I found it a bit larger than the one I had. I bought it and could not be happier.

    drewway, Nbrackett and Lady1911 like this.
  19. CAD


    Jan 11, 2006
    @Bmurray why would you “vent” over a knife model you don’t like? Especially in this forum. Not cool......
  20. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006

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