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SAK bash!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by ThriftyJoe, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. ThriftyJoe


    Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  2. medcommander


    Apr 21, 2010
    I understand your point completely! Don't get me wrong I love my SAK and multitools, but most of the time I only use three functions on the knife.

    Brilliant Idea: Someone should create a custom building SAK business. Instead of buying models you instead pay a certain price for certain items on the knife. That way we could all have what we needed, and hopefully create a brand new market for SAK.
  3. Starlight1967


    Jun 12, 2002
    I think we can agree to disagree here. Looking at your list of useless implements, I find that the awl is handy as a scraper that saves my blade from blunting. The file is often used to smooth off small repairs to soft metal. As yet, I rarely use the corkscrew, but it's a handy spot for the tiny glasses screwdriver to fit. I often use the scissors, and although the pliers are tiny, they're often useful. In fact, whilst I was a medic, I found a digger who'd gotten covered in kangaroo ticks. Due to the shape, the SAK tweezers did a better job of removing them than the surgical tweezers I carried in my kit.
    I do agree that there may be room for a custom SAK manufacturer, although I think it might make it very expensive.
  4. defaultuser


    May 3, 2006
    I understand your points; the tools I like to have on the trail is the saw, the scissors, a blade (backup blade of my main fixed blade knife), tweezers, awl, but nothing else ideally. Here's what I had with me on the West Highland Way in Scotland last year:



  5. ThriftyJoe


    Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  6. defaultuser


    May 3, 2006
    Yeah, it's similar except it's only three layers and a Pioneer Harvester with scissors would be 4 layers (plus it would have that pretty much useless bottle opener...well, useless on the trail I mean)

    This was a Mod from victorinox parts; vintage Fisherman for scissors layer (sans the "parcel hook"), Camper for the rest of the tools, and custom G10 scales.
  7. baldtaco-II


    Feb 28, 2006
    I think there's a great deal of difference in styles of backpacking / hiking for starters. For many it's simple a head down arse up Brecon shuffle kind of affair with a good portion of the time spent walking a track staring at their feet. I doubt those folks need much of anything, hence my SAK suggestions in your AT thread. Quite apart from that is what I'll be doing next week. Sure I'll be hiking and I'll have a big ole pack, and some parts will be on established trails, but there the similarity ends................Whilst it's folly to be absolute there are some SAK blades I think are crap. I don't consider the magnifying glass as anything more than a toy. And that fish scaler / disgorger thing is the most useless SAK blade I've seen for example, but others have uses that might not be immediately apparent. Take that hook thing; if we overcome functional fixedness and get creative that's a toggle to drag a faggot in bondage, or a means to twist wire or mess with cordage .etc. Similarly, I've used that flat head screwdriver / bottle opener a bunch of times to pry off mussels. My point here is not only are there a bunch of tools with specific jobs in mind but also tools that may be used for other jobs supposing it occurs to the user..........It's that omnivorous potential that makes them great. I know I spend quite a bit of time taking the piss out of the neo-bushcraft silliness but genuine bushcraft is something I have a lot of patience for. X knows how to get his 442 apart and drop in a new tube, fix a binding, perform a bunch of agricultural type skills, and can still peel a rabbit and macrame a makeshift dog lead from stinging nettles. SAKs are fantastic for that if you pick a suitable one. And therein is the puzzle what is suitable. The ones that are probably be for climbing are trumped by my Outrider for my purposes. A bunch of people on this forum seem to like the Farmer but I've never been motivated to own one. The Champ will always hold a sort of goofy boy scout leader bespectacled-virgin type stigma in my mind but I'm sure somebody much smarter than I could get a huge amount of mileage from it............I'm not especially sold on EKA steel being great either. I'd have to be running some very careful testing before I could tell 12C27, a SAK, 425m and Rough Rider's 440A apart. It would be great if an Outrider existed with an addition Wharnie blade in something very wear resistant though. That would be an excellent tool for my next backpacking trip.
  8. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007

    For Trail hiking

    I carry a three spring Huntsman, and it weights very little
    A Champ is over the top

    I have done enough long distance backpacking to know about resupply on the trail
    You hit a supermarket or 7/11
    A can and bottle openers for the beer, luncheon meat, tuna and all sorts of good stuff to break the monotomy of trail food
    That is heavy luxury food for the next two days before you go back to trail rations
    Unless you are sure you will NEVER need a can or bottle opener.....

    A saw for cutting wood into smaller pieces, not the whole way just a half cut then snap the wood
    Easy firewood, no heavy chopper or folding saw

    Sissors for First Aid for cutting moleskin or gauze for blisters, getting that round cutout for those hot spots
    Also the tweezer and toothpick for First Aid

    An awl of any repair

    A pot lifter, keeps your banadana clean from the grime of the pot

    Two blades, one longer one for food and one shorter one for whittling

    And the corkscrew
    Life cannot go on without carrying a corkscrew
    What would happen if you had a bottle of wine and no corkscrew
    It does not bear thinking about.......

    And I carry a small 3 1/2" Mora scout knife in a leather sheath for my fixed blade
    The SAK Huntsman and the Mora Scout are just ounces
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  9. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    There are three models I typically will add to my kit. The venerable Rucksack, the Outrider (same as the Rucksack, but with scissors) and the Farmer. The main thin blade is great for a lot of cutting needs; the saw is excellent for notching or making a hiking stick flush; I personally like the awl and have used it from minor drilling in wood to actually putting an extra hole in the belt for my son. Scissors are just plain handy and I often prefer them. I'm thinking about replacing the can opener and screwdriver can opener on the Farmer with scissors

    I must admit that defaultuser's SAK is probably the best of all trail-SAKs I've seen...that should become a standard model!

  10. OwenM


    Oct 26, 2000
    Everybody does things their own way, and some carry things others wouldn't, so I can't say what someone else needs. Personally, I agree with the OP, though. For backpacking, nowadays, I usually just carry my EDC stuff-a Delica and Vnox Classic.
    Agree, that's probably the best combo of tools I've seen.
    I really like this one that HikingMano posted recently, too:
  11. ThriftyJoe


    Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  12. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    Give me a Farmer with scissors!
  13. broe


    May 8, 2011
    The use of the awl is specific but it does come in handy as a drill for bow drills and making snares as well as its normal job of poking holes. I made a leather button to fix a shirt using this and I have a report of a guy getting himself across sheet ice after breaking his leg by using it as an ice pick in his fist. We never really know what we will need, we just hope what we carry is enough for what we need.
  14. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    My solution is the Huntsman
  15. 6shooter


    Sep 12, 2009
    I love my huntsman. Ive never used the hook or the awl. The corkscrew is handy in town for obvious reasons, and useful on the trail for loosening tight knots. I've used the can opener once, the bottle opener never for a bottle, but often as a screwdriver. The second mini blade doesn't see much use, but I like having it for no particular reason. I use the scissors probably as much as the main blade, and the saw is great in the woods. I use the tweezers a lot, and the toothpick never. The saw is obvious for the woods. Being a 3.5" midsize model it carries easy in a pocket.

    What's key for me though, is being a 4 layer model, it's pretty thick, and so it's comfy in my hand for any extended use.

    I think as far as the perfect minimalist SAK for me, it would be the bushcrafter model above(main blade, saw, awl), but with scissors, and possibly the second small blade if it could be fit. Also, the red plastic scales rather than the alox, so it would have tweezers.
  16. RatDrall


    Feb 7, 2009
    1H Trekker... It has freaking locks to hold the blade and saw open! I wouldn't want to be without the screwdrivers, there are things in my pack that use them. I'd hate to break a teklok or something and not be able to remove it :

  17. pilgrimuk


    Apr 18, 2006
    Here you go! Posted this before so apologies in advance.


    For me, this is the best selection. The awl is very useful for all sorts of tasks and the can opener and bottle cap/screwdriver are very versatile. As mentioned above, you don't have to use the tools exactly as described, they can be used for scraping, gentle prying etc...

    The scissors are useful in the camp kitchen as well as for first aid and minor repairs.

    The saw is very capable.

    This one recently went to the Amazon on the Esee Jungle survival course and performed flawlessly, got some attention from some of the other guys and someone has already made his own one. The farmer with scissors is one of the most customised SAK designs, so it might be doing something right.

    atvb, John
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  18. ThriftyJoe


    Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  19. umberto00


    Jun 25, 2004
    Um, yeah. MacGyver would hike with a SAK. Good enough for him, good enough for me.
  20. baldtaco-II


    Feb 28, 2006
    It's a SwissBianco job called the "Silver Alox Bushcrafter ".

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