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Survival Knife: Saw or no Saw?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by FerFAL, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    934
    May 17, 2013
    No saw.

    Given the 'survival' knife is using a thicker stock, I could at least do some batoning to process fire wood or shelter, but with the sawback on top, it introduces weakness to the spine while batoning. Not saying an outdoor survival knife must be able to baton, but at least having that option is definitely an upside for me.
     
    eveled likes this.
  2. topomart

    topomart Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    35
    Nov 3, 2020
    With Saw , multi-function is important for a survival knife
     
  3. DangerZone98

    DangerZone98

    Dec 7, 2019
    I’d rather have a separate, portable saw. Those things are usually light, compact, and inexpensive anyway.
     
    ATJ999 and eveled like this.
  4. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Why are the knife/saw hybrids always thick blades? Seems a thin saw would cut better, and knife side would slice better.

    Taken to the extreme you could have a fillet knife that cut wood like a laser.
     
  5. FerFAL

    FerFAL

    163
    Aug 15, 2007
    I think we can all agree having a knife AND a sepparate saw is best. But a survival knife is not a unique task tool, its often a compromise jack of all trades master of none, and the question isnt can/should I have both tools (yes you should if you can), but rather do I want a back saw in my survival knife or not, because in a bad situation thats ALL I may have at hand.
    It is clearly somewhat of a can of worms topic becuase even Glock has chosen to go with BOTH rather than take sides, and the saw in the Glock is rather poor at that, I think in their case its better without a saw. Putting a saw in a 5mm stock knife isnt easy, but the double teeth row seems like an acceptable compromise.
    I keep looking at some of the better known survival/utility knives and you see many of them with saws.
    M9 bayonet, saw
    [​IMG]

    Aitor Jungle King I and II, saw
    [​IMG]

    Randall Survival knife, saw
    [​IMG]

    Case M1, saw
    [​IMG]
    SOG Team leader, saw
    [​IMG]
     
    GIRLYmann, DangerZone98 and eveled like this.
  6. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Definitely , no saw.
    Even with really well done teeth, the length of a knife blade is just too short.
    I imagine the saw-back machetes like the Gerber Gator or the Albainox Desert Storm could be more convincing.
    [​IMG]

    However, compared to the amazing sawing power of a Silky Zubat, everything else pales into insignificant, of course. Plus, it's so light and compact, I just leave it in the daypack, wether planning on cutting wood or not.
    On the topic of saw-back knives : they didn't start with the Rambo knife. As mentioned, the pioneer bayonet is a 19th century design.
    In the sixties, the German scout knives often had a saw spine. These were 4 to 5" blades... I had one of those and loved it ! Hey, the stag handle and the "bowie" blade were the matter of such adventurous dreams ! But it was a very, very poor saw.
    [​IMG]
    The fact is, and I think it applies to all saw-back knives (not talking about the machetes), they are not meant to saw through but to cut notches and grooves (e.g. : better cross fastening of stakes) in the woodworking chores typical of boyscout activities. And there, they do quite well : you don't need much depth and the width of the cut is exactly what you need for seating the cord.
     
  7. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    The idea is interesting and I see it working really fine (imagine a Zubat with a razor sharp spine. Would be a hell of a saw-back !). But forget chopping and even more, batoning. Can't have it all.
     
    eveled likes this.
  8. FerFAL

    FerFAL

    163
    Aug 15, 2007
    correct. And not only that, forget about PRYING too, which is something a survival knife most deffinitely should be capable of doing if called upon. Opening crates, boxes, bending metal from a crash, disloding bricks or rocks. It has to be a stiff enough blade. Sure a thin machete style blade will cut very well and would be ideal for a saw back, but there's little stiffness in it and will bend rather easily.
     
  9. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Reading that, I would almost suggest you a British M.O.D. knife (1/4" at the spine, from the top of my head, could be 1/5").
    [​IMG]
    Now, have an efficient saw pattern machined into the spine (that could be tricky if you have no machinists friends) and here you go ! The almighty survival tool. Don't know about the sawing efficiency but you sure will be able to chop, baton, split, pry, dig, break, lever and bend things. In the end, it's a matter of knowing what you need in what circumstances. One knife will never give you control over any situation, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    sabre cat likes this.
  10. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I would grant you that, but that comes at a real cost:
    1) the teeth hamper the performance of the edge. They snag on what you are cutting.
    2) The teeth snag on the sheath as well creating additional wear.
    3). The teeth are potential stress risers. They significantly increase the chances that your one survival tool breaks.
    4) The teeth tend to quickly clog with wood residue.
    5) The teeth impair your ability to baton
    6) The teeth limit your ability to use the spine of the knife as a ferro rod striker.

    What is so hard about notching a stake or trap with the knife edge? Isn’t that what whittling is all about?

    If it made sense we would be sharpening our picatinny rails and saw with the top of our guns as well. ;)

    n2s
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    Crag the Brewer likes this.
  11. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    [​IMG]
     
    marcinek, sabre cat and The Zieg like this.
  12. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    All valid points. As I said : no saw-back, ever. Not for me. I prefer a hatchet, a knife and a Silky saw... if we have to go out in nature , surviving for days, yadda, yadda... I should be all nice and dandy, from whatever I know.
     
    000Robert likes this.
  13. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    #skyhorse, you are just taking the fun out of this.:rolleyes:

    They are certainly interesting to look at: (Swiss model 1875 pioneer short sword)

    From a military perspective it might make more sense to lay prone and gnaw at a fence post then to stand and whack at it with an axe...especially when your neighbors tend to shoot at you when you wake them in the middle of the night.

    [​IMG]

    n2s
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    The Zieg likes this.
  14. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Russian model 1823 pioneer sword.

    [​IMG]

    n2s
     
    The Zieg likes this.
  15. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    English 1856 pioneer sidearm

    [​IMG]

    n2s
     
  16. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    the soviets had figured everything with this monster :)


     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  17. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    OK. If you still insist on a sawback, then check this one out: (Buck Talon model 808 in 5160) It is a solid knife and the saw back is positioned out of the way of the cutting edge.

    [​IMG]
    n2s
     
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  18. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    All those forward gnawing saw teeth get me wondering. Really. What was the idea ? Because any woodworker knows that a saw cuts best and with less effort on drawing, not pushing (try one of those Silky Zubat pruning saws. Honestly, I cut my share of wood, green and dry, but these got me amazed). So, there's that.
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  19. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Probably easier to pull when you are upright and can use your back muscles; but, easier to push when you are prone and have to push off of your boots.

    n2s
     
  20. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    I’m surprised nobody is worried about cutting stress risers into the spine of their survival knife.

    Sowing the seeds of its own destruction.
     
    DangerZone98 likes this.

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