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The 3 1/2" EDC Share

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by Warrior108, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Alright! That's pretty much all of the knives sent to me! Whew... most of them are already on their back to their respective owners, but I still have a handful more things to do in this thread.

    I said "pretty much all" because Kris saw my comments about comparing a 3/32 Hiking Buddy to and 3/32 Patch and was kind enough to send out his 3/32 Patch for me to compare. Next, because Marney so quickly decided on the model she would like to EDC I presented a handful of the larger models as "woods knives" and asked her to assess them as a knife she would have with her while we were camping and such. I will be posting her thoughts on that at some point. Finally, I'm going to whittle my "finalists" down a bit and give some thought on those models.

    Thanks again to everyone who was kind enough to send me knives to check out and to anyone who has read through this thread! I hope I was successful at providing some useful information.
     
  2. schmittie

    schmittie Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Good stuff Orion! Looking forward to what's left after it's all whittled down. :)
     
  3. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Since part of this whole experience was to include my GF, Marney, I had to come up with a way for her to look at some of the other models after she chose the Runt as the one she thought she would EDC. My approach was to ask her which model she though would make a nice 'woods knife'. Something that she would take camping or into the woods with her. We take a handful of camping trips a year, so this made sense to me and she seemed alright with playing along!

    Instead of including all 45 to 50 some odd models that I had in my possession, I chipped it down to 10 models that I thought she would like based on some of her previous comments. This group also includes models that I would consider as great all around, do-it-all knives.

    From upper left working down both columns... Bushnub 5/32 TT, Bushnub II 3/32, Handyman 1/8 TT, Hiking Buddy production regrind 1/8, Hiking Buddy 3/32, Warthog 3/32 TT, Kanati 3/32, Minuteman 3/32 TT, Bushboot 3/32, Bushcrafter Jr. 1/8. I included steel thickness and taper just for reference.

    I told her to imagine that she would use the knife for various 'woods tasks'; getting wood ready to make a fire, cleaning a fish, cutting cordage, etc. After the first run through she eliminated 4 models, the Bushnub, Handyman, Kanati, and BC Jr. She said that her lack of experience made her a bit uncomfortable with guard-less models so out go the Bushnub and Handyman. She didn't like the blades or the feel of the other two models. I want to add that I had no input on anything, I just laid out the knives and gave her the woods usage idea.

    [​IMG]


    She then went back through the remaining models and gave some more thoughts on them. The production regrind Hiking Buddy won out over the custom HB because of the increased grip and security of the textured canvas handle, she liked that a lot. The Bushboot handle felt good to her, also secure because of the curved handle, but she felt like the other models would be better. So out go those two.

    [​IMG]



    Then I asked her to rank the remaining four models. Initially it seemed like the Bushnub II was going to be the winner, she said she liked how her index finger sat in behind the guard and the handle was comfortable for her. However, after more handling, the other three models ended up getting ranked before the Bushnub II. The Minute Man was the overall winner for her, the handle's deep curves and the guarded blade gave her plenty of security and comfort. Also it's slightly smaller than the other knives and I think she liked that as well. Next up was the production Hiking Buddy, the texture grip was the real winner for that knife. She said she liked that handle the most. The Warthog's strength was the deep finger notch and guard; extra secure! As I said above, the Bushnub II ended up ranking 4th because it felt like it was the least secure for her. She still really liked that model though.

    [​IMG]




    So, my thoughts on her thoughts... I already plan on getting a production Hiking Buddy (hopefully a regrind!) as well as a Warthog from Chris. I'll let her use either one of those, or any of my other models as she likes, and reassess once she gets a little more comfortable with her knife skills. I was impressed that she came to the, personal inexperience = possible need more security, conclusion without any input from me and then used that conclusion to decide which knives would work best for her in that role.

    This was a cool experience for me because I got to share one of my hobbies with her and she actually seemed genuinely interested in it! Thank you Jerry, and everyone else, for giving me that opportunity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  4. adequacy

    adequacy Gold Member Gold Member

    623
    Mar 19, 2014
    double post
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  5. adequacy

    adequacy Gold Member Gold Member

    623
    Mar 19, 2014
    Orion! Thanks so much for putting all the work into evaluating such an immense set of knives. I'm up to speed and have read through all your thoughts and commentaries thus far. As I mentioned in a previous post, we must have a similar size hand because so many of your in-hand shots look how mine would when I've handled some of those similar models. I'm going to reach out to you on IG and ask you a few more questions about some of the models you handled, but overall, I really enjoyed this thread and the awesome analysis.

    Also thanks to Jerry for once again showing his generosity. This is such a great way for all of us to interact and get more data from the knives
     
  6. TxSportsman

    TxSportsman Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. It makes for a great point of reference.
     
  7. Mish_Mike

    Mish_Mike Gold Member Gold Member

    227
    Mar 7, 2017
    I've enjoyed following this whole thread. Big thanks!
     
  8. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Thanks for following along and the nice comments! Still a couple more things to post yet! I'm glad you've found it useful, I'll look out for your message on IG. :thumbup:


    Definitely! I'm pretty thankful that I had the opportunity to do this!


    Thanks man, hopefully you were able to get some insight from all of it. It can be challenging to get out exactly what or why I like a certain model.
     
  9. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Alright! I'm back to finish this thread up. I've had a couple crazy weeks of work and then with the forum migration I haven't been able to get my final thoughts up here.

    I've got a 3/32 Patch vs 3/32 Hiking Buddy comparison to post and my final, final thoughts!
     
  10. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    After my comment about wanting to compare a 3/32 Hiking Buddy to a 3/32 Patch Kris said he would be happy to send his Jade Patch for me to check out. I gladly accepted the generous offer!

    First up is just a handful of comparison pictures...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    From my previous posts you should know that the Hiking Buddy was a high ranking contender so the Patch had some work to do. I did own a 1/8 O1 Patch previously so I already sort of knew hat I liked the model, but 1/8 was too thick for me on that knife. From the above pictures you can see that the Patch has slightly shallower handle curves, and overall a 'more straightened' appearance.

    Visually, I slightly prefer the looks of the Patch, but not by much. The rounded butt of the Hiking Buddy turns out to be a bit more comfortable in various grips, especially underhand grips, really a minor annoyance.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    In most of the grips I found the HB and Patch equally comfortable. This particular Patch, because of it's Jade handle, was about half an ounce heavier at 3.59oz and I found that noticeable during handling. I preferred the lightness of the HB, but that just comes down to handle materials. Overall, between these two knives in the exact same handles I would have a hard time choosing, it comes down to blade shape. I think that for all of the various tasks that I may put my EDC knife through the Hiking Buddy's blade shape is slightly better suited. Really, either one would be fine, but the slight additional comfort and my opinion on the blade shape (even though I prefer the aesthetics of the Patch), lead to me choosing the Hiking Buddy over the Patch in 3/32. The Patch still definitely makes it to the 'Finalists'.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Finally, the end of this batch of comparisons... for now. Here is the link to my post for the 'initial finalists'. http://www.bladeforums.com/index.php?threads/the-3-1-2-edc-share.1477680/page-4#post-17035314


    Before we get into this further, I just want to make sure that I say that these models aren't the best EDC models, they're just the ones that suit me and my personal projected uses the best. You may completely disagree with my final picks or you may fall right in line with what I'm getting at, but either way, as long as this thread had been some what helpful to you then I'll feel like I did a good job. This experience has been super awesome, and I'm grateful for the graciousness shown by everyone who sent knives for me to check out. Thanks again everyone.


    Here we go... from all of the knives that I got to handle during this experience these are the ones that I've narrowed it down to, these are the models that I think I would be very happy with in an EDC role for me. The stipulations being 3/32, synthetic handle, non-scandi grind. I also want to add that I obviously didn't get to handle every EDC model so this 'Final 5' is just from the knives I did get to handle. If these new Lil' Ladies turn out like I expect I could very easily see myself smitten by that model. We'll see...

    The Final 5 EDC models are:

    Fiddleback Hiking Buddy
    W.A. Surls Minuteman
    Fiddleback Esquire
    Fiddleback Old School Karda
    W.A. Surls Patch

    [​IMG]


    I would rank them in the following order... though I would happy to put any one of these models into my pocket.

    Surls Patch
    Minuteman
    Hiking Buddy
    OS Karda
    Esquire

    As you can see, the two Surl's models are the leaders! Allen's Patch was the model that had the biggest "lightning strike" for me. The knife just dang fits in my hand; feels like it was made for it. It's small enough that I think I would carry it everyday, but still allows me to get 4 fingers on the handle is I need to do a little heavier cutting job. The Minuteman just barely beats out the Hiking Buddy for the number 2 spot. That specific Minuteman is ultra light because it's 3/32 TT and hollow ground, but the model also slightly smaller than the Hiking Buddy while still providing a very comfortable and secure 4-finger grip. I quite like the blade on the Minuteman and I'd love to see what a guard-less one looks and feels like. The Minuteman was also the crowd favorite, it got picked as a favorite by our roommate Steve, my Dad, one of our good friends, and it ranked first in Marney's list of 'woods knives' also.

    The Hiking Buddy takes the 3rd spot because of it's size. I really like everything about that model and I've spoke at lengths about that already, but I think some days I would find myself wanting to carry a smaller knife, hence why the above two are above. The OS Karda was probably the second strongest "lightning strike" for me, this model wasn't really even on my radar, but I'm glad I got one in hand. That handle shape is deceptively comfortable and hand-fitting; It's nice and light, yet still secure. Finally the Esquire, a model that I thought would be one of the top ones from the get go. It's just a darn good looking knife and it's got all the right stuff! I think the previous 4 models do a handful of various things better for me, but I could definitely see myself going about my day with an Esquire in pocket.


    Thanks for following along on this adventure! I don't have any of these knives in my possession any more so any future pictures or comparisons will have to come from their owners. Let me know if I can answer any questions about the various models though! I will update this once I finally acquire my EDC knife!

    Orion
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    Mish_Mike likes this.
  12. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    i would say that's an understatement.
     
  13. Mish_Mike

    Mish_Mike Gold Member Gold Member

    227
    Mar 7, 2017
    Excellent conclusion, Orion. Albeit, possibly a tentative one, as newer models are introduced in the future, ie. that Lil' Lady that many are anticipating, you might get struck with lightning again. :p

    I only have 2 EDC models myself: a HB and a BC Karda, which I'm completely gaga over. I'd very much like to try a Minuteman; everything about that knife appeals to my eyes. Perhaps Allen will offer one up soon.

    Thanks!
     
  14. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Haha, thanks Phillip! I appreciate it!


    I think you're right about that. I love my OS Ladyfinger, it's the model that attracted to Andy's work back in 2010. I'm really excited to see these little ones!

    The Minuteman is a cool knife! I'm pretty sure he had a lemon drop jade one that went unsold a few weeks ago. I'd sure love to see Allen churn out some more Patches and Minutemen!
     
  15. TxSportsman

    TxSportsman Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Obviously I'm excited about the upcoming Ladytoe's but I completely agree... I would LOVE to see Allen throw some more Patch knives out so I can get my hands on one. We have both posted on his "want" list so maybe one day!
     
  16. Mish_Mike

    Mish_Mike Gold Member Gold Member

    227
    Mar 7, 2017
    I just made a move on one of Allen's RMNs. My bank account is utterly shocked at all of the recent activity. The Minuteman will have to wait.... maybe.
     
  17. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Heck yeah! It was a great suggestion for a model. I'm planning on pestering Allen a little bit when I see him at the Hiawassee event in a few weeks. Haha! :D

    I saw that! Congrats, that's a cool model, you'll definitely like it.
     

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