Suggestions for fieldwork knife ?

Jul 14, 1999
Finally stopped lurking and posting my first question.

A friend of mine is a Geologist and is looking for a small fixed blade (4" +) to carry with her in the field. Its primary use will be light digging but may also be needed for self-defense as the field work is often in remote positions. Strength and durability are important as is price as she is a student on a tight budget.

Suggestions please.

James Deane
I say the Cold Steel SRK would fit the bill nicely. The blade is around 5", comfy handle, costs around $50.
I just got through looking at the Spec-Plus line at abc-direct and plan to buy the Fighting Knife ($34.95) for my father. I'll let you know what I think as they have disigns with smaller blades.

I would second the suggestion of the SRK. But I would also like to point out that knives do not make good shovels. I would suggest she also pick up a Cold Steel Special Forces shovel. It is very compact and will dig much better than a knife. If she needs something even smaller, check out the lttle folding trowel that REI and Campmor sell. It comes with a codura belt pouch.


who dares, wins

I would vote for the Cold Steel model mentioned as well as some of the smaller Ontario Spec Plus blades (Quartermaster, etc). Knives don't make for good shovels, so like the other, assume you'll need a small foldable shovel, too. One last thing, Ontario's knives are nice, but they almost always need some sharpening and bevel angle clean up before use.

My Custom Kydex Sheath page
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels
The right kind of knife is better for the kind of digging geologists and archeologists do than a garden trowel, but there's a third option -- drop in any place they sell metal detectors and look at their digging tools. Treasure hunters use a thing with a narrower blade than a garden trowel, and it comes with a sheath and has sharp edges (well, somewhat sharp ... you can't keep an edge razor sharp when you dig with it). It's more like a dagger than a trowel except that the blade is curved a little. It'll serve as a thrusting weapon in an emergency -- nothing you dig with will keep an edge good enough to do much cutting, but it'll thrust. They don't cost much.

-Cougar Allen :{)