What's THE best survival knife?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Shmerel, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. marchyman

    marchyman barely informed Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,970
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Or a mini-grip. He said 3" blade. The mini grip specs at 2.91", the standard griptilian 3.5". I use the Doug Ritter version of the mini grip as my EDC.
  2. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Viking Berserker

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    13,344
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    You are correct: mini-Griptilliian (sp?). It was a fantastic knife. I wish I'd never lost it.
  3. erda

    erda Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Great White North, EH!
    Thanks. I'll check them out..
  4. Gunslinger1

    Gunslinger1 GIVE'R

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Rolla, MO

    What do the knife Gods do with all the knives they collect?
  5. ScottDill

    ScottDill TANSTAAFL Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,383
    Location:
    Paris, ON

    I lost a beauty just like this in the Okefenokee swamp years ago. Stag scaled Buck 110. At the time it was my prized folder. :cry

    [​IMG]
  6. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Viking Berserker

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    13,344
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I used to manage a sporting goods store for a while, and sold lots of knives for all sorts of uses, so I learned more than I'll probably ever need to know about knives. But Benchmade makes very good knives.
  7. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Viking Berserker

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    13,344
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I'm sure they have a warehouse full of knives hidden in some parallel dimension. They probably have, at least, a dozen of mine.
  8. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,562
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I love my Benchmade folder!

    [​IMG]
  9. mykdee

    mykdee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    W. Phoenix, Az
    To many choices, like them all.
    [​IMG]
  10. engineman

    engineman Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    714
    Location:
    Eastern Iowa
    +1 on the mini griptillian. Probably the best pocket knife I've ever had. Until I lost it. :cry
  11. WRW9751

    WRW9751 7th Day Adventurist

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    Ankeny Iowa
    Survival Knife means different things to each of us. A good pocket knife is a life saver if you don't have any other. As far a truly leaning on a knife for fire food perpetration ect. a pocket knife may fall short. It you are going to batton a knife for fire making or shelter building a folder just won't cover the program. A full tang and substantial length are required. We all make trade offs and on a motorcycle weight isn't your friend. So choose a full tang fixed blade, with around a 4"-5" cutting surface. I like to carry a Mora 810, on my motorcycle they are cheap to buy 12-14$ and tough as nails.
  12. notrivia

    notrivia Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    258
    Location:
    Banned
    Big is always better than small for the great majority of circumstances. It may be difficult to whittle or do delicate things with a big knife, but you can't chop worth a darn with a small one. And chopping is essential to survival, either to cut wood, bushwack, or defend yourself. I always carry a cheap Kukri with me. Cheap because I could lose it to authorities or my forgetfulness, and then not suffer self-recrimination. And if you have to defend yourself or hunt, a whack with a Kukri makes a .45 look like a bb.
    I have always found it more efficient than anything other than a too long to carry axe for chopping too. A good carbon blade can be crudely sharpened with a file, and you can usually get a sharp edge on the tip for skinning also.
    I also carry a U.S. Air Force survival knife for light work, but in a pinch, I would not hesitate to grab the Kukri.
  13. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,059
    Location:
    .
    In a survival situation, no knife made beats a sleeping bag and a bivvy overbag.

    If you have to defend yourself it is most likely going to be against a firearm. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

    Chopping with a knife is a joke. And 'knife' including things like a kukri (used to have one). Chopping with my light Estwing axe is a joke. Chopping with a Granfors forest axe (a small limbing axe) is no joke. Given material, you actually could build a shelter. You can also go through sizable trees. You're better off getting in the sleeping bag. In a real (not imagined) survival situation conserving energy is crucial. I've done OK on an unplanned bivouac with no shelter at 11,000 feet in the Colorado rockies with a downed dead tree and a big rock...and sitting around a fire shivering all night. A small and very sharp folding pocket knife is a given. Something with tweezers. Past that it's time to get real with cutting tools if you are going to carry something.



    Might want to read The Long Walk sometime, True story, and all they had was an axe head (no handle) and a teapot to carry water. 2 out of 3 survived. Also Gene Fears books on survival. Some of the best.
  14. notrivia

    notrivia Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    258
    Location:
    Banned
    not the best "situation". But sage advice all the same. There is nothing like a good axe. I can't understand why people carp that hammers were the first tool when an axe-head will obviously do both.

    Slavomir Rawisck-if I got the spelling right- was eventually embarrassed by his book. "The Long Walk" was partly ghost-written do to Rawisck's being primarily a polish speaker at the time. It's real value is in the description of his interrogation by the Soviets and the concentration camp. Anyone familiar with "One Day in tne Life of Ivan Densisovitch" immediately feels the truth of it. But the "walk" while true in it's emotional resonance was unfactual in it's geographical description. They did not cross the Gobi, the Tibetan plateau, see the Abominable Snowman dancing, and then vault the Himalaya's. They apparently did walk through Kazakhstan where the young girl perished of dehydration and made it to Persia. Poles were directed to go there by the Soviets after the German attack to be re-organized by the British. They later fought at Monte Cassino. The truth came out in a Fortean Times article some years ago. But you do recall that the one "survival item" they made and took was a big knife that made all the difference...
  15. Ceemack

    Ceemack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    81
    This is an old thread, and the OP probably hasn't paid attention in a long time. But since it keeps coming up, I'll play.

    There's a difference between a utility/daily carry knife and a survival knife. A survival knife can certainly be used as a camp knife, but most of the utility/daily carry knives proposed here don't remotely stack up as a survival knife. The knife that's adequate for a weekend sitting around the campfire drinking beer isn't necessarily what you want when you're lying next to your bike with a broken leg, a hundred miles from the nearest cell tower.

    The difference between a survival knife and a utility can be summed up by the difference between camping out for a week and being trapped in the wilderness for a week. If you're camping, you've got all the stuff you'll need--not just to stay alive, but be reasonably comfortable. If you're trapped, you don't have what you need to survive. And a lot of it will have to be provided by what you DO have--like your knife.

    Your primary needs will be water and warmth. If you're injured, you'll also need some pretty extreme first aid.

    A big knife can cut saplings to make a splint for a broken limb, or to make a shelter. If it's strong enough, it can split wood for a fire. If the nearest lake or river is frozen over, a big, strong knife can chop through the ice to the water underneath.

    Your Leatherman or your Swiss army knife can't do any of that.

    So what should it be? First of all, folders need not apply. Only a big, heavy fixed blade can fill the bill. The absolute minimum blade length would be seven inches, but 8-9 would be better. The blade needs to be fairly thick, both so it's got enough swing weight to chop and so it's strong enough to stand up to batoning a thick log or chopping through ice. 3/16" would be the minimum, and 1/4" is better. It absolutely has to have a full-length tang--no cheap knives with a stub tang epoxied into the handle. A pommel suitable for hammering with isn't a bad idea.

    Stainless steel or carbon? Carbon steel, hands down. You'll probably have to sharpen the knife at least once while you're stuck, and carbon steel takes a LOT less effort to sharpen. It's also less prone to breakage. A coating on the blade, like powder coating or Parkerizing, is a good idea to control rust. Without a coating, you'll want to apply a little oil as a general maintenance step.

    If the model you want doesn't come in straight carbon steel, make sure you opt for high-carbon stainless.

    These days there are quite a few good choices available, and they're relatively cheap. The Cold Steel Trailmaster is a good one. Ontario Knife makes several, including the SP51 and RDS-9. The Marine Corps Kabar (not the small one) is better than most of the options that have been listed so far, but a marginal choice in terms of blade length, blade weight and strength.

    This isn't to say that a Leatherman or Swiss Army isn't a good thing to have. Personally, I'd take a 9" Bowie knife, a Leatherman, and a pocket sharpener.
  16. bomber60015

    bomber60015 tikkun olam Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    66,997
    Location:
    Chicago-ish

    A great deal of information above . . . .. most opinion, of course, as most things are . . . . perhaps informed opnion, but opinion nonetheless.

    However, there are stainless alloys these days that are more easily sharpened, and non-stainless (carbon) steel that is very difficult to sharpen . . . old knoweldge dies hard . . . . . .
  17. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6,503
    Location:
    44ยบ W
    When it comes right down to it...it's the knife that's in your pocket instead of sitting on your desk at home.