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The ONE Knife

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by thesteelpanther, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. thesteelpanther


    Jun 12, 2018
    Ok, so maybe no single knife can do it all, but I've been on the hunt for the best all around performer for backpacking, bushcraft, and survival applications. I didn't want to have to carry several implements since I've already got a large pack, so I wanted one knife that could chop, cut, and break things as necessary.

    I went back and forth, but ultimately decided to go with the Medford Bonfire. This is a beastly knife at 0.3" thickness of CPM-3V steel. The blade is 7.5" and the overall is 13". This thing will outperform the Gransfors Small Forest Axe at chopping and the edge retention from the 3V and double hollow grind is ridiculous.

    Curious to know what ONE knife you would take with you if you had to go into the backcountry alone and why.
  2. jux t

    jux t

    Jan 10, 2018
    Long trip/heavy backpack: Becker BK5
    Because I've used it and it works for any heavy cutting I've needed and has a nice tip.

    Short Trip/light backpack: Cold Steel Master Hunter 3V
    Because I've used it and it's light and plenty capable for medium cutting and has a nice tip.

    If I didn't have to rely on it for survival, I think I'd prefer my Leatherman PST II because it does most things I've needed and is light.
  3. Dan of Bazz Clazz

    Dan of Bazz Clazz Gold Member Gold Member

    May 10, 2017
    I would be completely happy, and self-sufficient with virtually any of my 3-4" fixed blade hunting knives. I've never needed a knife to act like an axe and chop wood. If I don't have an axe, there are ways to get wood prepped for a fire without it. And I have never needed to baton or fuzz stick anything to get a fire going. I have needed my Buck 102 to get a yucca tip that had broken off and stuck, out of my leg. Can't think of any big knife I would have wanted or been able to do that with.
    Lapedog and buckfynn like this.
  4. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    That's just not true.

    I'd chose my hdfk from cpk.
  5. shortwinger

    shortwinger Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    The Buck 110 isn't glamorous but has probably accompanied more outdoorsman in the field than any other knife. It's still ticking and is as popular today as it was 10 or 20 or 30 years ago.

    If you are into larger fixed blades the SRK and Recon Scout are great moderately priced blades with many years of dependable verifiable field use. The USMC KaBar, BK2, Case Hunter, Buck 102/105/119 are all great options with a long history.

    I have never owned one but the ESEE family of knives have a great reputation. Habilis knives are popular with the survival/bushcraft community although again, I have never owned one.

    Good luck on your search.
    StrayRound likes this.
  6. sodak


    Mar 26, 2004
    I would take my Victorinox Huntsman or Farmer. Either one will cover 99% of any task that I need. I love some of my larger fixed blades and always carry one, but gotta be real here.
  7. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Bare minimum for me would be a big knife / machete for chopping etc and something small , even a very lightweight / compact folder for the precise and fussy work .

    Trying to do everything with ONE , you just end up with one that's not very good at anything !
    ShannonSteelLabs likes this.
  8. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    I would likely use this model.
    Camp Kaiju. (Made by myself)
    Has for forward finger finger choil for fine work. And has a nice even convex grind.
    This one has a 7.3 inch blade and 0.220 Zfinit @ 60HRC.

    For survival/ the ONE, i would use this model
    With a 7.5 inch blade and a slightly thinner convex grind. If i needed a stainless i would use the Zfinit, if i wasnt concerned with rust CPM 3V @ 61HRC with low temper.
    It does pretty much everything pretty well.
    Screenshot_20180713-102224_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20180713-102253_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20180713-102247_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20180713-102240_Gallery.jpg
  9. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    The one I have taken into the "way out there" for around 25 years, Cold Steel Trailmaster bowie (carbon V).:cool: It has never failed me in any way and, if limited to one knife, I'm of the "a big knife can do what a small one can (though not as well in some cases) but a small one generally cannot do many of the things a large one can" school of thought. My .02 ;)
    DocJD likes this.
  10. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    The Trailmaster is very versatile and I've even chopped down trees with it . Just to see if I could . An axe and saw works a lot better .

    Trailmaster type length and weight would be the minimum I would consider if much chopping is needed .
  11. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    My choice would be something 3-4" blade length and light... famed Antarctic explorer Roald Amundsen carried a smallish pukko (OK, he probably didn't need to cut down any trees...:D).
    DocJD likes this.
  12. rodriguez7

    rodriguez7 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 1, 2009
    I like that. But I wouldn’t be concerned with rust on your 3v. I’ve tested it pretty well as a river backpacking steel, swimming with it. I never got any rust. That’s a nice design.
    ShannonSteelLabs likes this.
  13. scottc3

    scottc3 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2014
    Unprepared with outdoor fixed blade, so I would take my Adamas and my small Rapala filet knife. I have always liked GSO knives, but they are over my pay grade.
  14. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I also have never actually needed to baton or make fuzz sticks to get a fire going. However if the wood is all wet then it might become necessary to do so in order to get at drier wood or with the fuzz stick to make a stick that is more likely to catch.

    I am usually of the mind that a smaller fixed blade and a saw will get most jobs done pretty well. However if I HAD to be only using one knife for everything there are many competent larger blades on the market. Although I have never really had a need to chop a tree down.

    Now in a hypothetical situation where I was stuck lost somewhere and had to build a shelter in order to survive like getting stranded somewhere I could see why a big knife like the Junglas could help. I’ve just never had the need though.
    katanas and Dan of Bazz Clazz like this.
  15. Dan of Bazz Clazz

    Dan of Bazz Clazz Gold Member Gold Member

    May 10, 2017
    Man after my own heart! I always figure the rookies will be grabbing their bushcraft bowied machete wanna-be and start making fuzzy sticks, tinder, kindling, and if they are really proud of the steel girder hanging off their hip, they might fell some poor defenseless tree to lay in a fuel supply for the week. Someone with more experience will usually know where to look to find dry tinder & kindling close by, ready and waiting for him to collect it up and light. It is often quite easy to get even in a rain storm.
    Riz! likes this.
  16. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Know what i think works better for making sure you can reliably get a fire started? A bic lighter and a spare.

    Lvl. 100 Elites even bring some zippo lighter fluid. Weighs way less.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  17. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
  18. Dan of Bazz Clazz

    Dan of Bazz Clazz Gold Member Gold Member

    May 10, 2017
    A little vial of lighter fluid or gasoline can do wonders. :)
    rodriguez7 and Lapedog like this.
  19. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Usually I use my Ogre warsword to just dig an oil well when I want to get a fire started.
    Dan of Bazz Clazz likes this.
  20. rodriguez7

    rodriguez7 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 1, 2009
    Depends on the area and weather. I changed to a bigger knife myself. We were out on horseback once, in the middle of nowhere. A big snowstorm rolled in, mixed with rain, it lasted several hours, and got cold enough where we had to stop and make a fire, my buddy was freezing! Well everything was soaked! We tried a lot of different things, and couldn’t get anything going. Finally I was able to find some pitch wood, but I had hell prying it out! I was able to get enough to finally get the fire going. But having a decent size knife with the ability to pry and chop would have helped a lot. I’m no rookie, but I was soaked and cold!
    What does a 6 inch blade weigh? The ones I make weigh around 18 ounces or less! I think that’s pretty light for the capability.
    DocJD likes this.

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