Bruce, before you decide to go with anything, you should check out the Fallkniven (www.fallkniven.com) A1 or even the F1. These
(especially the A1) are some of the toughest knives around. If you don't mind spending just a bit more, you should definitely check out Busse's Basic Combat knives. The #7 and #9 are heavy duty, powerful knives that can really take a beating. If you don't mind spending quite a bit more money, go with the Busse Battle Mistress! Now that's power. But, the Fallknivens and Busse Basics are very good also, and should be PLENTY strong enough for nearly anything you would/could throw at them. Good luck and have fun deciding!
I plan on taking a Benchmade 140 (Nimravus) with me this summer. Part of something being a good survival knife is it fitting your hand extremely well. No matter what knife someone else recommends, if it doesn't fit you, walk away. To me the Nimravus feels like an extension of my hand, but to someone else, it would not be comfortable, and that is a problem when your life depends on your blade.
e_utopia summed it up quite nicely. First and foremost for a hard working type knife is comfort. Then look for safety features, blade toughness, edge retention, edge geometry, the carry system and does all this match the intended mission or jobs the knife is going to perform? In your post, Bruce, you didn't mention what the knife was going to be used for. When asking for recommendations, this is useful info we can use to help base our recommendations on.
BTW, If your looking for a full blown Bowie, try Cld Steel's Trailmaster or Marble's Trailmaker.
The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
All, the knives everyone discussed are good knives, including the one you had a question on. I have all the knives mentioned and then some and I consider the Intrepid II at the higher end of the manufacturing market. Definitelly one of the toughest knives for the money. I bought two when they first came out, one for keeping the other for beating. I beat the crap out of it and gave it to all my friends to do the same. I'm not even sure which friend has it now, but I know that if they had broken it, I would have heard of it. Some of my friends dive and have used it for prying whatever stuff you pry under water, clams, and other ugly things. The knife works well and is very tough.
Is it better than the others mentioned, no, but it is suited for other things, like ocean work, easy cleaning, better handles than any cold steel knife, and very thick knife to the point.
The question with a million answers.I think before recommending a knife a couple of questions should be answered.What type of activities should this knife be able to perform?Is this knife going to be just an all around survival knife or is the primary use chopping?Should this knife be highly rust resistant re
lanning on using it often around salt water?The last question I have which makes the biggest difference on what to recommend is cost.How much are you willing to spend?Most of my recommendations are going to fall in the $200.00 to $400.00 dollar category.When you are in this price range you'll also be able to consider customs as well as handemade and production knives.A Battle Mistress probably is an excellent chopper and pry bar,excellent for digging but how will it perform if needed for say, skinning and butchering game?If your primary need is for chopping wood,digging ie.- building a shelter the Battle Mistress from what I understand is one of the best.How is it around salt water?Corrosion resistance?That would need to be answered by someone who has tested one.My preferences are knives made by Kurt Meerdink,Randall Made Knives.What I like best about Randall knives is the years of time tested designs,quality,etc.Almost any knife type,design,size,material-ie-handle materials etc. are available already in they're large line up of fixed blades.These are some things to think about before you purchase.Good Luck,Ralph
Posts seeking out the tasks the knife will be called upon are right on point. In a "survival" (wilderness) situation cutting may be the thing done the least with the knife. A wilderness survival knife is more often used for chopping and digging, then as a prybar and general tool and lastly, in many cases as a cutting/slicing device. With all of that said, might a respectfully suggest a quality folder of adequate size for cutting and one of the knives mentioned for survival tasks. For what it's worth: I am a big fan of Buck and especiallt the Intrepids, but they seem better suited for marine type uses. I like the Fallkniven A1 but especially like the Chris Reeve Project 1 or Shadow IV depending on what size/weight you want. Their handles may not be as comfortable for repeated long term operations but they are great field tools for rough use.