1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Recommentions for a hiking/general outdoors fixed blade.

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by nuckingfuts, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. nuckingfuts


    Dec 20, 2011
    Hey guys im looking for a nice fixed blade knife for backpacking and general outdoor use. This will be my first fixed blade. I might be willing to spend up to $150 if the knife really floats my boat but really want to spend around $125 or so.

    Im not as educated on fixed blades as I am on folding knives. Mainly what im going to use the knife for is batoning and wood prep, and killing zombies possibly.

    Ive looked at getting something along the lines of a Ontario RAT 5, ESEE 4/5, or even the new ESEE Laser Strike. Ive also considered getting a Becker.

    I know you cant go wrong with any of the ESEE options but Im more wondering about some of the smaller companies that I dont know of. I see so many nice fixed blades on here and I have no clue who makes them or anything.

    Id REALLY appreciate the help guys! Im really excited to finally get my first fixed blade!
    Im gonna be ordering tomorrow and Im also going to be getting a Spyderco Para 2, a new 4sevens light and a new pack! Im so excited!

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  2. stinkyspice

    stinkyspice Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    fallkniven F1 awesome blade!! strong (maybe even stronger) like an esee but doesnt rust like an esee.

    also check out some bark rivers a little bit more expensive but real nice!!
  3. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    Look into the Becker BK15/16/17 that are available now in limited edition form and will hopefully soon be available in cheaper production form.

    There are also cheaper KaBar's available now.
  4. nuckingfuts


    Dec 20, 2011
    Thanks man, im looking at some Bark Rivers knives now. They look very nice, those are the type of knives I was looking for, I more bushcrafterish looking knife.
  5. nuckingfuts


    Dec 20, 2011
    Thanks man, I like the Beckers but Im willing to spend up to $150 so im thinking i can get a better knife than that.

    How would a Becker Campanion compare too a ESEE 4 or something similar?

    Would the extra $50 or $60 for the ESEE be that much worth it? Or would the Becker be better for the money than a ESEE?
  6. jbass

    jbass Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    I have both and they are quite different from each other. The Campanion is a brute. 1/4" thick blade, large round scales, longer blade, etc. The Esee 4 is lighter, has a shorter and thinner blade, and shorter flat scales. Both are good for all around camp chores but the Becker is a little more of a chopper than the Esee 4. Both have good warranties backed by good companies. (The Esee warranty is a little more generous since they don't question how you broke your knife.)

    They are both great knives. It just depends on what you are looking for. They will both do pretty much the same thing - One in a slightly bigger package then the other.
  7. mrn8


    Jun 8, 2007
    Becker Campanion (BK2) is very similar to the ESEE 5. The Becker BK16 is more along the lines of an ESEE 4. A Becker BK2 and micarta grips will run you about $90 and it's a fantastic setup. Of course, a BRKT Bravo 1 would be a great choice, as well.
  8. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    It seems that the Becker BK2 is more comparable to the ESEE 5.

    The ESEE knives cost more because they come with micarta scales and slightly better sheaths. If you buy a Becker then buy new scales for it and a new sheath, you will spend as much as the ESEE.

    I don't know if ESEE makes anything comparable to the Becker BK15/16/17 models.
  9. nuckingfuts


    Dec 20, 2011
    Wow, thanks everyone for answering so quickly.

    So the quality of steels they use for the Beckers and ESEE knives are similar, the price different has more to do with the scales and the shealth?

    What would be the best way to sharpen a bigger knife like that? ive been using a OLD Lanksy clamping system and I am planning on getting a new system. I was thinking either a spyderco sharpmaker or a new clamping system with diamond stones.

    Does it really matter besides just preference?
  10. Bigfatts


    Mar 12, 2012
    Check out the Tops Brothers of Bushcraft knife and the Esee Laser Strike. Both good knives from good companies, I prefer the look and feel of the Tops myself. Both companies offer several more good offerings in your price range.
  11. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Probably does if you're going to be spending time in the field using your knife enough to want to resharpen or touch it up in the field. You may not want to try to take a larger system that depends on a flat surface with you. I'd suggest learning to freehand with a small portable stone or strop setup.

    If you're talking about a knife that isn't usually far from home, then you can use a guided system like the Lansky or Edge Pro or Sharpmaker and get excellent results with it.

    Since you're new to FBs, I'd suggest starting with either a Becker or an ESSEE. Both will work very well for you, neither one will break the bank, and they'll give you a good starting place to begin forming your own likes/dislikes with FBs. Then you can begin looking for more expensive knives that fit your tastes. Bark River and Blind Horse are both excellent FB companies with a variety of sizes & styles.

    Another option, once you have an idea of what you like, is to have some made for you by the custom makers on the boards here.
  12. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    There are a lot of sharpening systems on the market. Check the "maintenance" forum and you'll find lots of discussion there.

    My experience is that the Sharpmaker is good for fine sharpening, but not so good for hard use knives because it takes material off very slowly. It is reasonably compact but you wouldn't want to carry it while hiking or backpacking. For that I would think a small DMT diamond stone would be what you would want.
  13. ozgooner


    Sep 24, 2011
    Here's the ESEE 4 and Becker BK-2 side by side to give you an idea of the size comparison:


    If you shop around you could probably squeeze both into your $150 budget. Both are great knives.

    However, personally I'd second the suggestion of the Fallkniven F1. Just an absolutely fantastic blade. Mine has the Bark River handles and is the most comfortable knife to use that I own.
  14. nuckingfuts


    Dec 20, 2011
  15. nuckingfuts


    Dec 20, 2011
  16. G.Moll


    Mar 20, 2012
    I love my Ontario Rat 5. Rat knives is now Esee knives so check out the Esee 5. The Esee 5 comes with a great sheath, but there is something i like about the Rat 5. It may be the ffg on the Rat apposed to the Esee's saber grind. Both are great knives but the Esee 5 might be a better choice due to its sheath.
  17. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    Look into the Ratmandu by Swamp Rat. Falls right into your price range and it's an awesome blade. It doesn't come with a sheath but you can get a cheapo like the ones that come with the beckers pretty easily. If you want to go bigger then you can go with the Scrapyard 711 but that's pushing your budget a bit.
  18. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    Google the youtube vid of Ray Mears doing his sharpening. It's a pretty good walk through for using a small stone. That being said I don't even bother taking a stone out with me. If you're going to be out for a week or more it would come in handy but for a weekend camping trip you probably won't need to sharpen your knife at all. And if you did you could always strop it on your belt or jeans to touch up the edge. If it's do or die you can always sharpen it on a rock you pick up off the ground.
  19. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Good start for learning. Practice on smaller knives at home, get a slightly large stone for the field.
    If all you have is a small stone, hold the knife still and move the stone over the edge.
  20. ocnLogan


    Jul 31, 2011
    Yep, Becker and ESEE both use 1095 carbon steel, and both have their HT process down pat. You're basically paying for micarta handles and a kydex sheath that come with the ESEE over the price of a Becker.

    If I were you, I'd be looking at the ESEE 6, or the BK16, depending on how large of a knife you're really looking for. Pair either of those with a folding saw and/or a SAK and you'll do just fine outdoors :).

    Also, I sucked at sharpening as well, but I've been using sandpaper for right now, and have been getting lots better. I've even been able to whittle a few hairs :).

    Good luck.

Share This Page