Top 5 cheapest & BEST for the $ SURVIVAL blades

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by psy-ops, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. psy-ops


    Sep 27, 1999
    1. Tramontina machete $6-9
    2. Dexter russel 6" carbon boning $6-7
    3. SAK recruit or spartan $12
    4. Cold steel Bushman $20
    5. Spec plus SP1 marine combat knife $34
  2. longbow50


    Jul 12, 2002
    The following prices are what I've seen the listed items sell at from different sources.

    Mora. $6.00-10.00
    Sm. CS bushman $15.00-20.00
    German issue field utility knife w/saw $10.00-20.00
    Camillus Marine fighting knife $10.00-20.00
    Khukuri house Khukuri $20.00 and up
    Pilots survival knife $15.00-30.00
    Becker BK-7 $35.00-50.00
  3. numberthree


    Dec 14, 2000
    Mora #1 8$
    CS Bushman 15$
    Mora 2000 30$
    CS Mini Bushman 15$
    SAK (pick your poison) 10-50$
  4. tknife


    Mar 18, 1999
    GB Wildlife hatchet-$60. (Worth it's weight in gold)
    Any Mora-About $10
    Becker BK 7-$50
    SAK Rucksack-$20
    CS SRK-$50
  5. marsupial


    Apr 25, 2001
    Every Ontario spec plus knife.
  6. fishbulb


    Sep 18, 2001
    I would think that John Greco's flat ground fixed blades would have to qualify for this position, especially seeing as how they could recently be had for fofty dollars.
  7. volvi


    Jan 2, 2000
    Good post.

    1. Any Mora from Sweden
    2. CS Bushman and Mini Bushman
    3. Martindale or Tramontina Machete
    4. Any Okapi folder or any small Opinel folder
    5. Any Old Hickory Knife
  8. frank k

    frank k

    May 8, 2001
    1. Swiss Army knife (about $20 for a Hiker model).

    2. Frosts Mora Swedish Army knife (about $8).

    3. Barteaux Economy machete (you can get them for under $4!).

    4. Folding Japanese pruning saw (about $15-25 depending on model).

    5. Swisstool (about $50).
  9. thebladerunr

    thebladerunr Banned BANNED

    Feb 13, 2000
    British issue Golok $20.00-28.00 , comes with nice heavy duty nylon sheath.
  10. Tightwad


    Jul 22, 2001
    Very good post. Writing about blades that are not
    the latest wonder steel or cost an arm & a leg
    is something we should do more often.

    Interestingly enough most of rest of the world
    does fine with what we call ordinary cutlery.
    If it's one thing I've learn both here and on
    my own is that the simplest knife is often the
    best one to carry to use. ;)
  11. Rifter


    Dec 15, 2001
    I dont agree with going cheap on SURVIVAL BLADES. This is for a few reasons, if its a survival blade this means you may be using it to SURVIVE, maybe for a long time. Your life depends on this blade not breaking or getting dull. Think like this, if you had to jump out of a plane would you do it with the $5 parachute you picked up at bob's flea market or would you do it with a $500 Professional skydiving chute? You may be away from you sharpener. Then the added edge holding of the new super steels is much more useful and your life may depend on it. I mean what do you do when your knife gets dull and you have no sharpener? You can sharpen on rocks but you are not going to get anything even close to a sharp edge. Also most super steels will take much more abuse and still cut, if its a survival blade you will probably be using it for everything, prying, digging, and doing alot of chopping for fire's, hell maybe even chipping rocks for arrowheads, all are situations where a steel with better edgeholding/Toghness comes in real handy. That said all of the above mentiond blades will PROBABLY do the job, they wont do it as well but look at the price. Like i said, probably, im not willing to take the chance when my life may be riding on my knife being able to function and keep on going for prolonged periods of time. Im still going to take my Custom S30V Bowie any day of the week :D
  12. psy-ops


    Sep 27, 1999
    as I read your post I am watching a cable show which is showing native amazon indian using a martindale machete (panga style with grove lines et al) to cut vines.
    it is probably the only knife he will ever own
  13. numberthree


    Dec 14, 2000
    just try and sharpen that S30V on a river stone....
  14. Hoodoo


    Aug 18, 1999
    Just try stashing your $500 knife in a BOB, one in the car trunk, one in the back of the truck, one in the boat, one in your day pack or briefcase, one at work, one in your hunting vest, etc. etc. As the saying goes, the survival knife is the one you have in your hand.

    And cheap does not mean crap and big dollar does not mean the best tool of the job (in fact, often just the opposite occurs). For example, Chris Nyerges wrote an article on how to make a bow and extolled the virtues of the thin bladed CS Bushman being the perfect blade for splitting out a stave. And of course there's all those stories about jungle adventurers letting the natives borrow their fancy cutlery only to find that they've laid it aside to use their trusty parang--because it just works better. And why is it that the high dollar survival knife always looks more like something Rambo would carry than what survival experts like Mors Kochanski and Ray Mears carry? Enquiring mind wants to know. This is surely the greatest knife mystery of all time. I think the answer is deeply hidden in the secret files of the elite Chairborne Commandos.

    Good, "cheap" survival blades:

    Helle Harding
    Gerber Yari
    Grohmann Boat Knife--flat ground
    Frosts Swedish Army Knife
    Marbles Woodcraft

    While not really cheap, they are all under $100. I also think the Becker BK7 is great--maybe the perfect all rounder--but I think someone already mentioned it.
  15. Tightwad


    Jul 22, 2001
    Fella's, I got kind of a chuckle from this thread
    this morning when I read it. :p

    To think that the real truth about cutlery as a
    human tool would finally stick it head out is...
    well.....amazing. :eek:

    Ya' mean I don't need to spend a bunch of money on
    latest wonder knife that the Magazines are going
    crazy about to have a good knife:confused:

    Some of the least mentioned, most common , lowest
    cost knives are really the best after all?? ;)

    NOOOOOO! Say it isn't so.!! :D :D
  16. Charlie Fox

    Charlie Fox

    Oct 3, 2000
    I don't know that I could come up with 5, but here are my choices:

    Brigade Quartermaster's 12" Machete - $17
    SAK Recruit - $15
    Cold Steel Bushman - $20

    Used together these blades should get one through just about any situation.;)
  17. Rifter


    Dec 15, 2001
    Ok, most of us would agree that a Bowie/clip design is the best all around survival blade correct? it can do it all, slice/chop/stab etc. So design laid aside then the knife with the best steel would then be the best would it not? Everyone has a differnt opinion on the best steel i know, its like anything else, i personally think the best steel for a survival blade has to be stainless, you are not always going to have oil around to oil the blade, and if you dont keep carbon steel oiled it will rust. Most of those cheap blades in this thread are cheap carbon steel, i have nothing against cheap carbon steel except it will rust, other than that it is tough steel easy to sharpen and has ok edge holding. In a survival blade i want stainless, i live on the westcoast and it is very possible it will see use around or in salt water, if you work around saltwater you NEED a stainless blade or it will rust probably within a few hours to a day, depending on the steel, and the rust will eat away the edge pretty quick, i know, i have seen it happen. If you are not around saltwater you may be able to get by with carbon steel, I however need stainless. And i dont think anyone will argue that right now S30V is probably the best all around stainless, either that or BG-42 or S90V. D2 would also be ok but i prefer something that wont chip as easy as BG42 or D2.


    Try to sharpen ANY steel on a river rock, i have tried, with a L6 blade and with a BG42 blade as well as with a 1095 Ka-bar, its not going to happen, first off you would have to use a S30V blade for maybe 2 or 3 YEARS to get it dull enough that sharpening it on a river rock would help any, and unless you are able to find a much flatter rock than the one i was using you are not going to get a sharp edge. Besides it does not matter, if i have my knife i have the 6X2 DMT stone thats ATTACHED to the knife sheath so i wont need any rocks to sharpen the knife. If you are going to bring a knife you are probably going to bring a sharpener, dont you all have sharpeners in your BOB's?


    The knife was $300, its a custom 11" Blade bowie in S30v, 3/16" Flat ground, Checkered G10 scales and SS guard. I dont need more than one, the one i have is always on my person or in my backpack, i dont have a car so i dont need a knife for one. And if im going hunting i will take it, it is always close so when i need it i have it.

    This is due to the fact that they have been using there Parang's for years and are VERY used to using them and know how to use it to its most. You cant give someone a totaly unfamiler knife and expect them to instantly become just as good at using it as the knife they have grown up using, think about it. That would be like giveing someone trained to use a sniper rifle/Match rifle a M1-garand and expecting him to keep shooting 1 MOA at 400 yards. If you gave them the knife the same time they started using the parang then maybe they woundnt be using the parang any more. Training and experiance with the tool/knife are much more important than the tool/knife itself.

    Like i stated in my first post, im sure the cheap blade would work and have worked in the past, there is no doubt about it, the US marine combat knife is cheap carbon steel and has served well, however given the choice i will still take the knife that best suits my needs, which is not cheap carbon steel. I mean 40 years ago everyone was using cheap carbon steel because thats all there was widly available, now we have more choices.
  18. Rex G

    Rex G

    Aug 26, 2002
    Glock makes a wonderful knife with an excellent polymer sheath which often sell for under 40 dollars. One of the SEAL teams found it met their needs better than anything in the world, and this information did not come from advertising hype. The miltitary-spec "kabars" are also wonderful knives. Custom knives are great to have, but probably are no better than a well-made tool steel knife in the real world. Professional users must consider a knife to be somewhat expendable, for a variety of reasons. Of course, pride of ownership is always a factor, and I own both a Glock knife on the low end, and a Randall and Sebenza on the high end.
  19. frank k

    frank k

    May 8, 2001

    Not me. When I think of a survival knife the first thing that comes to mind is a SAK or a multitool with a wood saw. Those SAK blades can really cut and the saws provide performance out of all proportion to their size. Things like can openers, awls, screw drivers, tweezers, files, wire cutters, and pliers may come in mighty handy in survival situation as well.

    With a big Bowie you usually end up with an indifferent cutter and chopper. Big Bowies are generally too blade heavy, thick and unwieldy for precision cutting and too blade light and short too make a very good chopper. I would much prefer a smaller knife optimized for fine cutting teamed up with a more efficient wood cutter such as an axe, hatchet or a good folding saw. For clearing light vegetation a cheap machete will greatly outperform a Bowie.

    The reason that things like machetes, axes and big chopping knives are traditionally made of carbon steels is for much increased toughness such steels provide over stainless steels. Stainless has a tendency to snap or suffer large chip outs when used for prying or chopping that most nonstainless blades would take in stride. It's true that such blades can be dulled by rust on their edges if not oiled in a humid envoirment, but this rust can be removed with the sharpener you carry.

    - Frank.
  20. numberthree


    Dec 14, 2000
    Of course if I was spending $300 for survival knives, I wouldn't have to worry about sharpening for years either, since I could buy 25 Mora #1s and a dozen SAKs with a saw. And for the weight of a large bowie, I could carry a half a dozen of each... ;)

    just kidding around with you Rifter. It's the Vancouver - Victoria rivalry or something... :D

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