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Which is the better water knife? Buck Intrepid or Sog Seal 2000?

Apr 7, 1999
I know that you don't need a fixed blade when diving, and that only amatures strap knives to their legs, but the ocean is the only place that I go to where people won't stare if a large knife is at my side. So which knife is better for poking at stuff, resisting rust in salt water, and holding its edge against sea weeds and dirt? I see it like this: the seal has a coated blade which is made out of very rust resistant steel, and people claim that SOG heat treats it well. It has a very pointy tip, so the Intrepid's tanto point will be a bit stronger. The Intrepid also has removable scales, but the steel is questionable for a knife in that price range. My main concearn is that water will penetrate the zytel handle of the Seal and rust the tang from within. But I have never handled either knife, so your suggestions are needed.
General, Sir
, Neither steel is a great edge holder and both are extremely rust resistant. I, however, do like the fact that the handles are removable on the intrepid. If I were going for a swim in the ocean, that is the one I would take. I would probably remove the handles and wipe it down with marine tuff cloth and put them back on. You probably won't see any rust develope, but if you do it's not hard to remove. I have taken ATS-34 knives in the water and did get surface rust, which came right off. There was no pitting in the blade even though I didn't remove the rust for almost 5 days. I also didn't put tuff cloth on the blades.
Why not checkout the Next Generation KaBars?
I own one and although I've nevr taken it diving it is a great field knife and would probably do very well under water. Based on my personal experience the Sandvick 127cm steel of the KaBar is superior to SOG's 440A and Buck's 420 or whatever they use. It seems to hold a better edge and be tougher and is just as stain resistant. The only downside to the KaBar is that the blade is only 1/6" thick so it would not pry as well.
I have never handled any of the above knives, so I don't know which is best. But I am concerned about water rusting the tang if it seeps into the Kabar or Seal. The Seal has a zytel handle injection molded to the tang, so some petrolium gelly on the junction should keep water out, but if the Kabar is designed like the orriginal there are multiple places for water to get under the handle. I don't really like tantos much so that is why I hesitate to get the intrepid.
You might check on it but I think that the Next Gen. KaBar was designed to be used as a dive knife, if so I would assume that they would have taken that into consideration.
I wouldn't worry about a 440A tang rusting. If you take off the handle after years of use expect to see a little surface rust, but not enough to weaken it significantly.

Strider knives are made of a steel that's much more susceptible to rust and the cordwrap allows much more oxygen to get at the tang, and even so when the wrap is removed after years of use in salt water there's only superficial rust on the tang.

-Cougar :{)
I have a SEAL Pup that I have used for diving here in California for 2 years. Hasn't shown any rust anywhere so far. As far as the tang rusting under the handle, no need to worry - the high speed epoxy on it lasts over 500 hours in the salt water test if I remember right (by comparison, stainless steel rusts after 60 hours). Since the expoxy under the handle cannot get scratched off, it means that you have 560 hours of salt water resistance (500 + 60). This is the equivalent of over 23 days.
I received the Seal 2000 yesterday, and it was quite a knife. I wasn't expecting it to be so heavy, it was really a massive blade. The grind lines are perfectly done, so there is no bend or wobble effect down the spine of the blade. No one ever talks much about the different types of zytel out there, so when I ordered the knife I expected some cheap plastic injected onto the handle to make a grip. But this is not the same cheap zytel I am used to. This stuff is very hard-- actually super hard. When I tap the handle with a butter knife it rings like ceramic. I was worried about rust on the tang, but I examined it closely and the handle seems to be well bonded at the junction. There is no crack like on cold steel knives. I am pretty sure after taking appart my mini pentagon that the handle of the seal is secured in the same fashion. http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=138168&a=1012456&p=19486718&Sequence=0
One or two holes are drilled through the tang and then the zytel is injected to form a handle and thus fills the hole forming a one-piece handle/pin assembly. The bond between the handle and tang seems tight enough so that little water, if any, should seep into the crack. There are a few down sides to this knife which I have not heard mentioned before. The knife is very solid, in fact is its a bit too solid, for the handle offeres absolutely no shock absorbance. I cut down a few branches, and my hand was numbed from the high frequency vibrations passing staight from the blade through the handle. The grip is quite abrasive because of the checkering pattern, but overall I like this handle much more than any kraton or rubber-like handle I have ever touched. This handle will not get cut by sharp rocks, and and it doesn't squish around or flex when twisted. I don't think removing the handle to look at the tang or replace the material is even possible without high speed power tools. A knife would only cut mm into this material.
Other things I did not like were the sheath and the thickness of the grind. I think the sheath sucked. It was made from very thin kydex which wasn't even fitted to the knife; it was formed to a mold. The retention was extreamly loose, and the strap had the button riveted too far over so that there was lots of room between the handle and the closed strap. In fact I placed the knife in the inverted sheath and closed the retention strap and let the knife drop two feet before stopping it at the end of a taut lanyard. The knife came flying out onto the carpet, and the blade didn't even cut the cordura on the closed retention strap despite all 12 inches of knife passing completely through handle first--the strap was that loose! It is the equivalant of the Ka-bar flying out of it's sheath when held upside down and not even grazing the secured leather retention strap--something I didn't expect from a water jumping, diving, air commando type knife. I heated the sheath with a hair dryer and squeezed it too hard, and now I need King Arthur to relinquish the knife from the sheath's death grip. Anyway I needed to do that because when I took the knife for an hour and a half dog paddle in the pacific, it never came out despite the somersaults the waves through me into. The two kydex sheets composing the sheath also have cracks (spaces) between the rivets where sunlight can get through. There seems to be kydex saw dust sandwiched between the two halves producing the spaces. Jumping back and forth, I will now point out another good thing. Cougar and the post above were right about the steel not rusting fast. I didn't treat it with anything and nothing orange appeared on the edge or the coated sides. It took my broken mini pentagon more than 9 days in a cup of fresh water to show any sign of darkening on the exposed blade, so I wasn't suprised to see the seal perform well in the salt water today. Something bad about the sheath again--the rivet holding the messed up retention strap begain to rust away. Soon that strap will fall off and then I will not be bothered by it's useless addition to my sheath. Sand also got into the sheath and scratched lines of coating off the blade when I pulled it out to clean it off in the end. I don't care; it will be scratched eventually, but it would have been nice if it was done naturally by a rock perhapse, or even a coffee can--just not that beasty evil sheath that has continued to disapoint me so. Edge retention is quite good, and I know of no better steel that could do the branch cutting and salt water exposure while not loosing any shaving ability. In general the knife is very well made, it has good fit and finish on the blade and handle. The steel is perfect for the job, and my sheath sucked. Would I have been better of with the intrepid or the kabar next gen? Maybe, but probably not. The Seal offeres a lot of blade -- 12.something oz. Nice grind lines and a handle that will never move or need maintanance or replacement. It is a nice pointy knife too, and maybe a little too pointy for the prying ablity that the .25in thick spine suggests. But I like it's look and I plan to keep this and use it as my only large fixed blade until it dies sometime in the far distant future. By then my favorite named knife will be out and I will have to buy it: THE RECONDOOOOOOO! Look for that review and better grammer/spelling in twenty years time.
The Fallkniven A1, Black Coated Blade with the Kydex Sheath is an excellent Dive Knife..
General Lobster, I had the same problem with sand scratching the blade coating off my SEAL Pup. The cure for it is use a hose and run water into the small drain hole. This will rinse all the sand out.
About the Fallkniven A-1, I tried one without the blade coating and ended up with orange spots on the blade despite rinsing it off right away. This could be because the Nylon sheath retained some salt water.
I had the same rusting problem while boating with a Cold Steel AUS-8A Bush Ranger. The Nylon sheath is probably to blame there, too.
I can second the fact of the excellent handle on the Seal 2000. I myself have never had any problems with excessive vibrations while chopping. The knife is excellent and as General Lobster has discovered, SOG makes some really horrible sheaths...I never liked any of their sheaths and I will simply have to have Matt Draper make me a decent sheath.
After having severely scratched the coating on my Seal knife, I had it glass bead-blasted and I have been very pleased with the result. A smooth, nonreflective finish, that doesn't seem to rust too fast. It is also readily reapplied. Enjoy your knife, General. I am sure it will last a long time.

Joshua "Kage" Calvert

"Move like Water, strike like Thunder..."
Fallkniven A-1 (Black w/Kydex sheath) and the Buck Intrepid (flat pry-bar tip) would have you prepared for anything.

Seal 2000 and others are great knives but the A-1 and the Flat tipped Intrepid would be my choices.

For maximum corrosion resistance, Titanium is the only thing I know of that beats well maintained and cared for quality stainless.
Originally posted by Nimrod:
For maximum corrosion resistance, Titanium is the only thing I know of that beats well maintained and cared for quality stainless.[/B]

Indeed, titanium alloys will never rust since they contain no iron in the titanium alloy.

Same for Stellite and trendy derivatives like David Boye's Cobalt based blades and Talonite (if you can swing the $$).

Stellite has zero or very small amounts of iron, it's not steel, but a very corrosion resistant alloy, way past the 440 series steels corrosion-wise, but holds an edge far better than titanium. Stellite and its flavors are the ultimate in salt water resistant blades.

[This message has been edited by rdangerer (edited 05-31-2000).]