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What's your "Ideal" set of knives?

Feb 17, 1999
I've been trying to assemble an "ideal" set of knives..., one that's tough and versatile enough to help me "survive" through the rest of my life... come what may. I don't think any *one* knife can do it all.

I figure I need maybe an "extra large" (> 10") knife, a large (8-12") knife, a medium large (6-8") knife, a medium knife (4-6"), and a small (< 4") knife.

Ideal "extra large".., I'd lean toward an Ontario machete.., or Rick Fowler's machete (www.fowlerknives.com Camp Knives section), or the "Lopper" I've seen displayed in a couple of Blade magazines (can't remember who the maker is).

I'm supposed to get my Busse Battle Mistress in the next three weeks. I think that qualifies as an "ideal" large knife, for me.

Medium large..., I've got a Mad Dog ATAK, and a Rick Fowler "Indian belt knife" (picked it up at the Knifemakers Guild show last weekend..., it feels surprisingly good in the hand, and, I think, can handle most jobs you'd expect from a knife that size (7") blade, O1 steel). Either, or both, of those knives would be my ideal "medium large" pick.

"Medium" is where things get muddy. I'm having a 4.5-5" "utility" hunting knife made by Keith Kilby. L2 and 1095 forged damascus steel. Won't see it 'til November.., but it's a likely candidate. I also like the Lile #5, in D2, the Dozier Pro Guide or Yukon Pro Skinner (also D2), my old 4 1/2" Custom Gerber Fish and Bird knife, in M2 steel... and I have a 3/16" stock pATAK on order.

Maybe I ought'a include *all* of them

And for "small"..., I'd lean toward a Cetan, or maybe a Dozier Slim Outdoorsman (both in D2).

Of course.. a lot of folding knives would qualify for the "small" range. But I really prefer fixed blades.

But whatever your preferences..., I'd be interested in seeing what others might lean toward. Maybe there's a flaw in my logic
I think the ideal set of knives could be grouped into three categories (all of which I carry with me every day, which precludes giant fixed blades):

1. Defense: either my EDI Genesis in a superb Gary Graley custom horizontal leather sheath, or an old-model Bucklite (with a one-armed bandit affixed to its blade near the base) in the fifth pocket of my jeans.

2. Utility: An original stainless-steel Leatherman tool (carried in a utility pouch with a maglite, a sharpening rod, and various other odds and ends).

3. Handy Pocket Chores: a Leatherman Micra on my keychain or a Spyderco Ladybug in the aforementioned utility pouch.

I suppose you could go one category more and add a general-purpose fixed blade (I like the Next Generation Ka-Bar, for example) and an Ontario machete (in a leather scabbard, not that flimsy canvas) for all your big-blade needs.


AKTI #A000845
And tomorrow when you wake up it will be worse.
Spyderco Moran for the Small to Medium Stuff

Normark Skinning Axe for meat operations and it also feels like a great combat piece.

12 and 18 inch Barteaux machetes.

Gransfors Bruks Axe, haven't figured which.

I am still looking for a 7-8inch peice.

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com

I wrote a review of the Kasper AFCK variant, an interview of Bob Kasper, and some thoughts and brainstorms of the AFCK in general. It can be found at http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000568.html . Check it out and tell me what you think.

"I'm just an advertisement for a version of myself." David Byrne

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao Tsu

I own three Chris Reeve folders:
large Sebenza, small Sebenza, and Umfaan.
All are finished alike with the plain finish, and all of them have my name engraved on them in identical fashion.
These are my lifetime (no sell/no trade) knives, and a good "set" indeed.
I'm very proud of them.
Ontario Machete for clearing bush

Busse Basic's #9 and 5 or 7 for general utility in the field. Maybe a 7 and a 3 if you need a small knife.

Emerson Commander / REKAT Carnivore for daily defense

BF Native or other small knife for opening letters and boxes and general utility.

Pretty simple, pretty straightforward.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
Wood/Irie swing-lock folder with MOP inserts and banknote engraving for the pocket of the tux. Darrel Ralph large Apogee for serious application around town. Mad Dog 3/16" AZ Hunter on the hip for hunting and camping. Black Cloud Short Sword I in a shoulder sling for the end of the world.

Have a Mad Dog Panther or a Black Cloud Fighting Bowie around for flexibility, and substitute a Mad Dog Saxon short sword for the Black Cloud in months with no r.

My ideal set of knives would be:
1) 20-22" Himalayan Imports Sirupati khukuri
2) 15" HI Dhankuta or Ang Khola khukuri
3) 7" blade D-2 custom made Madpoet <a href = "http://www.geocities.com/Collegepark/Lab/1298/tanto2.html">"tanto"</a>
4) 4" Madpoet Custom Knives drop point hunter
5) Large Calypso
6-7) One pplain and one serrated Endura.

My Custom Kydex Sheath pagehttp://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Lab/1298/knifehome.html
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels
1.) Ontario Blackwind Katana-large implement
2.) Cold Steel LTC Kukri-excellent chopper
3.) Busse Basics #9-excellent overall knife. could replace #2&4.
4.) Junglee Pacific Hunter-good mid sized clip point.
5.) BM Nimravus-good small sized fixed blade.
6.) BM AFCK or Axis-folder
7.) Something with a very thin edge for precision stuff like food preparation... still looking.

I really just need two knives. A good sized fixed blade, and a 4"-bladed locking folder.

Right now, I'd be perfectly comfortable sticking with a Chris Reeve Project 1 and a Buck XlTi.

I am considering swapping the fixed blade for a hatchet or machete when I wear it out/lose it.

The basic requirements for the fixed blade is a blade of at least 7, 8 or 9 is better, inches in length, made entirely of synthetic materials, carbon steel blade, suitable as a weapon, lanyard hole, and I have a preference for drop points at present.

The folder should have a four inch blade, clip or drop pointed, have a handle that incorporates a finger gaurd, and a strong lock, but no liner locks. I also have a burning hatred of pocket clips and bladeholes. I am indifferent towards thumbstuds.