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Recommend me a combat/survival knife for use in the tropics.

Nov 20, 2006
I have several characteristics in mind.

It should be comfortable to grip.
It should be under 15" in total length.
It should be able to withstand moderately heavy chopping without breaking or requiring frequent resharpening. (Around here it is very important to be able to cut bamboo, since it provides for a lot of survival needs. Water, tinder, sparks, cookware, hunting/fishing spears, traps, etc.)

High humidity makes stainless steel a plus.

That's all. I really need help on this. I'm stumped.
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I'd look into the Ontario's Randalls Adventure & Training line (RAT.) They offer good ergonomic designs the originators have tested and used in their own field training courses. You may not find some of your criteria represented - stainless or serrated, but that is probably due to their experience in proving the actual necessity. Apparently the ability of stainless in shock resistance and resharpening is far less than the expense and eventual rust.

They have their own web site which can give a lot more specific information.
Check out the one piece knives by CRK. Real user knives designed for hard use and have storage inside handle.

What is your price range? Chris Reeve offers some options (the Project series) that seem to fit your criteria, with the exception of stainless steel (though the blade has a protective Gun-Kote coating). At the other end of the price scale is the Benchmade Offsider, which also seems to fit. You might also consider a full-size Ka-Bar with a coated blade.
Consider the (CRK) Chris Reeve Knives Greeen Beret knife. It is made from S30V and has a 7" blade and micarta handles and the blade has partial serrations and of course it has the CRK Guarantee and custome service.

I have both the 7" blade and the 5.5" blade and they carry very well in their standard military style sheaths.

Go for it!

In addition to the BM Offsider (which I don't despise but don't particularly like because it's made foreign [why am I so hung up on this>]), I would suggest the BM Presidio with aluminum scales - 3/4 of a pound, 154CM steel - coated, and serrations top and bottom if you want them.
What do the locals in the area use? IMO that's usually a pretty good starting point.

Got to agree with that. I live in the equator, and most people here use golok, or something similar. Often that is the only knife they have when they go out to the jungle, they use it for everything from cutting bamboo, wood, even to prepare food. It's amazing how they can do delicate cutting with such a big blade.

I still prefer to have a golok plus a smaller folder though.

Stainless is a plus, but don't worry to much about rust. Golok here typicaly made from truck spring steel (5160?), and it's work great.

Check the Valiant golok, I have read many good things about their golok. I have no personal experience with theirs though.
What do the locals in the area use? IMO that's usually a pretty good starting point.

Locals use machetes of the barong or pinuti style. I'm looking for something more compact, preferably $200 or cheaper.

I've heard of a gun store over here that carries Masters of Defense knives, but I haven't had the time to drop by and check it out. Do they have anything that might fit the bill? MOD is probably out of the budget, though.
I checked out the Rat 7 and it looks good, except maybe I'd like it better with a clip/spear point and swedge.

The CRK Green Beret is too expensive for me.

The BM Presidio looks very good. How does it hold up to the chopping? Does it stick after biting in?
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leftover Cold Steel Trailmaster in Carbon V, anyone?
Sounds like a tall order which is could turn out to be some form of ugly combat golok/machete with serrations. Or maybe, a genuine Nepalese Sirupati Khukri is what's recommended.

The thing about the RAT-7 is the handle. Now, it's a nice linen Micarta but the weave is fine... it feels slick in my hand. I have heard, however, that when Micarta is wet (or damp from sweat maybe), it provides a firmer grip. I can't verify that - just heard or read it.

If you like the RAT-7, then consider the Ontario TAK1. The belly is not as deep on the blade but I think you can also get it in D2 steel. In any event, the TAK1 Micarta weave feels much more textured and grippy in the hand.

The BM Presidio's chopping stats are unknown to me. I handle it everytime I go into Sportsmans Warehouse, so much so that they know what I'm going to ask for when they see me, but they have yet to let me take it out and whack away at a nearby mesquite. But listen, if you sink a big, dull blade into a branch, it won;t stick because it plowed its way in. Now if that big blade is sharp, chances are it's gonna take some wiggle to break the edge free from the last mm of the slice. I want some stickage. I like that Presidio......
And why a sabre grind? Those are ok unless you want to actually cut something:D Go with full convex or flat with convex edge. As for sharpening, I think that the ease of sharpening may be more imprtant in your situation. That is one of the reasons I recommened a good tough non-stainless knife. The major steel parts on most of your firearms are carbon steel, so just take care of your knife like you do them.
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I'm not sure i agree with that.

But I'm sure you're a spammer.

there're people who say
they can see visions
with psychic reading

I, myself, had a psychic vision tonight: that there was a SPAMMER on the forum. Whatdayaknow? I as right.

Let's just say that Mr. willyf1's banning was...ah... "in the cards."