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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey yall. I just bought another Kabar "shorty", which has a 5 1/4" blade. My first short Kabar was all black with the Kraton G handle, and is an extremely well-made knife. I gave it to my father for Christmas this year, and he thought it was WAY too big. But then again, he is used to carrying a 4" stockman in his pocket. Maybe its just me second guessing myself, but do yall think that a 5 1/4" blade is big enough for general purpose use? I'll probably get the regular size Kabar later just because I like Kabar's so much. The reason I went with the short Kabar is because I have NEVER had an actual need for a large knife, and had never had one larger than my short kabar. The largest knife I owned besides it was a Gerber Gator, which is a beast. Either way, I was just looking for some opinions.
 

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When I'm camping/bushcrafting/etc., I carry two knives. Always. One is a 3 7/8" Swedish Mora and the other is a 9 1/4" Finnish leuku. I use the smaller one for carving, fish filleting, whittling, making wood shavings, small cutting tasks etc. The larger one is used for chopping, batoning, limbing, larger cutting tasks etc. This just happens to be how I like to do it. I myself would not carry a 5 1/4" blade for everything, because it would be too small for chopping, yet too big for finer work.

BUT... If you've never had a need for a large knife, and a 5 1/4-incher does what you need it to do, then don't bother with a bigger one. You could always carry an axe/hatchet together with the knife if you need to do chopping, splitting etc.
 

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Got any beer money?
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The topic of which knife has been beaten to death on this forum, but it is a very important decision, none the less.

As far as size goes, I have found through trial and error that a small knife for food/game processing (3-4 inches), and a large knife for wood processing (i.e. splitting, de-limbing, chopping) works best. (9-10" for the large blade)

A mid-size knife is like an enduro motorcycle, it does everything, but it does nothing very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
See, I have a problem with "chopping" stuff with knives. A knife is not made to chop, but to cut and puncture. I understand that people want multi-purpose tools, and some knives will chop better than others. But IMHO, a knife was not designed as a chopping tool, and should not be used as such, unless you are prepared to damage it. I also noticed that the US Gov. Issue survival knife, issued to pilots, only has a 5" blade. I believe I'll pick one of those up also, as they seem to be well made and inexpensive.
 

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Got any beer money?
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See, I have a problem with "chopping" stuff with knives. A knife is not made to chop, but to cut and puncture. I understand that people want multi-purpose tools, and some knives will chop better than others. But IMHO, a knife was not designed as a chopping tool, and should not be used as such, unless you are prepared to damage it. I also noticed that the US Gov. Issue survival knife, issued to pilots, only has a 5" blade. I believe I'll pick one of those up also, as they seem to be well made and inexpensive.
If that's the size you want, I suggest instead the RC6 by Rat Cutlery or the RAT-7 by Ontario (designed by the guys of Rat Cutlery). I have an RC4 and a RAT-7 and both are excellent.
 

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Junior Oldie
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+1 on the USAF knife - very good, especially for the price. Just remember to treat the handle and sheath.

As far as size goes, I have all types. The fixed blade I generally carry the most is a Blackjack AWAC with a 6-inch blade, which is suited well to what I need it for. I have carried larger and smaller fixed blades and, generally seem to be most satisfied with 5-6 inch blades. If I know I need something bigger, then I'll grab something else. I do chop with knives, but nothing bigger than about two inches, which my Blackjack will go through in a few chops and my Cold Steel Bushman in less. If a job calls for something finer than a 6 inch blade, then I rely on a good folder in the 3-4 inch range.
 

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See, I have a problem with "chopping" stuff with knives. A knife is not made to chop, but to cut and puncture.
Sigh...:rolleyes: Have you heard of a leuku, parang, golok, machete, kukri, Ontario SP5, Marine Raider Bowie, RTAK II, the list goes on and on. These knives were designed for chopping, among other things. If you choose not to chop with knives, hey, that's cool, but it doesn't mean knives are "not made to chop".
 

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i would go with cold steel myself. i guess it all depends on what you are going to do with it. its like any other tool.
 

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Here's my safety Sir
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SURVIVAL KNIVES, CAN YOU SPELL: RANDALL :)

"For me it started very simply as a hobby. In the summer of 1937 I was taking a stroll near Walloon Lake in Michigan when I saw a fellow scraping paint from a boat with a distinctive looking knife.

I wasn't much impressed with the man who was using such a fine tool recklessly, But I sure liked his knife, which was standing up to some really tough use.

So I bought it.

As it turned out, the knife was hand-crafted--the first hand-made knife I'd ever seen--by W. C. Scagel. Today, Bill Scagel is justly recognized as a pioneer in hand-made knives.

Back then, his name wasn't widely known. But I was truly impressed with what he'd created at a time when virtually all knives were being mass produced.

I challenged myself to make a knife that was just as good, or at least make the best knife I could make.

My first knife was a simple blade ground from a file. But before long I had a shop with a small forge and I put a lot of time into crafting knives that I could be proud to make and use myself.

An before long, I began selling them at my father-in-law's clothing store in Orlando.

As an outdoorsman, I took a lot of personal satisfaction in creating knives that were simple in design but very functional. And a growing business evolved among friends, fellow sportsmen and sales to a few large sporting goods stores.

Through it all, I managed our family's citrus groves and I continued to think of my hand-made knives as an avocation.

Then, World War II began. A young sailor asked me to make him a knife for use in man-to-man combat. When his friends saw it, they placed orders, and their friends placed orders, and my knives were used in combat, and a reporter wrote a story and...

All hell broke loose.

Suddenly unexpectedly we were in the knife business as envelopes addressed simply to "Knife Man. Orlando. Florida" arrived on the doorstep.

I built a full-scale shop and for the first time began using apprentices. With demand so strong, it was tempting to develop mass production methods.

But now, more than ever, I wanted Randall Made to stand for quality and dependability, because servicemen were telling me how much they relied on my knives.

One wrote, "It was a terrible thing at close range. (Your knife) would cut a man's head nearly off with a quick swing.. I also used that knife to open cans, cut wood, dress water buffalo... and it stayed sharp. I was offered all kinds of trades, but I wouldn't part with it."

Since that time, Randall Made knives have been used extensively by soldiers and Marines, flyers and sailors, generals and infantrymen.

Our customers have also included astronauts, government agents, celebrities, statesmen and royalty.

Most importantly to me, there are thousands upon thousands of individuals who choose Randall Made knives because they need a superbly crafted knife they can count on in the home and in the field. Or, as is often the case today, they've wanted to have a Randall Made knife in their collection.

For some years now, my son, Gary, has been instrumental in the business. He is honored, as I am, that Randall Made knives are on display in museums, as well as in many private collections of fine weapons and armor.

That's one of the reasons we decided to issue a limited edition Collector's Knife to commemorate our 50th anniversary. And we were most gratified when all 300 knives were ordered so quickly.

But frankly, our favorite models are those specifically designed to be carried and used day in and day out, year after year. The reason is because, like many of you, Gary and I are both sportsmen, so we make knives we want to use.

Over the years, I've had the good fortune to talk to many of our customers personally. Many, many more have written to compliment the design, craftsmanship and durability of their Randall Made knife, and I cherish every one of those letters.

But I'm most grateful to those who have made suggestions on ways to improve our knives. Even though some have said "they're perfect," we know there is always room for refinement.

In short, for me and every man who crafts a Randall Made knife, the challenge today is exactly the same as it was 50 years ago: to fashion the best knife we can make.

W. D. "Bo" Randall passed away December 25, 1989 at his home after visiting with all his family earlier in the day.

Bo and his son Gary have managed the business side by side for over twenty-five years. Gary continues the tradition of hand crafting knives that bear the Randall Made trademark along with his sons of the next Randall generation. "

http://www.randallknives.com/history.php
 

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I am a fan of multiple blades I carry a folder all the time 3-4 inch depending which one I have a the moment. on my hiking belt I carry a USAF pilot knife and on my pack I have a Cold Steel Bushman or Craftsman camp axe depending which pack I grab. Each blade serves a purpose and has it's strong area and limitations. I am considering getting a Kukri or other heavy machete to replace the Bushman or to keep in my truck and a Finn Bear, Mora or similar small fixed blade as a neck knife to broaden my possibilities.
 

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This will always be a big area of debate with a lot of experience and opinions in the mix. I remember seeing an article in Tactical Knives a long time ago where the author of an article did his whole survival outing with a folding knife (Benchmade AFCK to be exact), which included building a large debris shelter. If you're familiar with Ron Hood, you'll know he's a big proponent of the larger knives (9-10" blades). Skill has everything to do with it, but you need to define your "survival requirements" and include your experience. I expect a "survival knife" (always hated that term) to cut, chop, skin/scale, pierce, drill, split (via baton), dig (you heard me right), pry (just light prying) and serve as an all round camp knife and basic bushcraft crafts (notching, peeling bark, fuzz sticks, etc.). Now, I think most can be accomplished by a quality fixed bladed-knife with a blade of at least 4 inches. With that said, "survival" is all about a balance of efficiency and effectiveness...doing you task "good enough" will work, but you want to be as efficient about it as possible to decrease the amount of time and energy you'll expend. Big knives will more often make shelter and cut wood for fire than a small knife...but those with a smaller knife and some skill can use different techniques to work around that. Same with a using a big knife to do small-knife chores such as skinning a small squirrel or notching sticks for a figure four trap...it can be done with practiced skill. Any way you look at it, it will be a compromise. The only way to have the most "optimum" survival knife, is to have a few different knives:D:

Now, me personally, I always carry a few, but if I was to just carry one, it would most likely be in that 4-5.5" range. Why? Well, I can do most knife chores with this sized fixed blade and the most important factor for me is "carry-ability". If you can't comfortably carry your primary fixed blade (aka "survival knife") at all times, than it most likely won't be with you when you really need it. Large blades may be more efficient, but they are often too cumbersome to lug around, especially if you're scouting around, climbing or in some thick bush (just my experience). The 5" blade range is about as big as I can carry without it getting in the way around camp or on the trail. I do carry a larger blade or axe, but they are kept in the pack.

Whatever you decide on for yourself; just make sure you practice as many "survival" tasks as you can...big, small and messy. Make sure you figure out what techniques work best for you. The art of bushcrafting is an eye-opener on how you can manipulate a blade (there are specifics on that design however, but many of the principle holds are universal). I know it always sounds stupid, but it's true; your survival knife is the one on you when you need it...that may be a small SAK or a belt knife, but it won't matter what your survival knife is if you don't carry or have it close by at all times.

Not much I can't do without this load out, although if I had to pick just one blade...my Fehrman would be it. I always have a folder and/or a multitool or SAK (Outrider model or the Farmer), but if my pants are on with a belt, I'll have a belt knife with me.



ROCK6
 

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I carry a 4" fixed blade,a hatchet and a case moose folder,i also keep a folding saw in my pack,these take care of all my cuttie choppy needs.
 

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Slayer of Sacred Cows
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Sigh...:rolleyes: Have you heard of a leuku, parang, golok, machete, kukri, Ontario SP5, Marine Raider Bowie, RTAK II, the list goes on and on. These knives were designed for chopping, among other things. If you choose not to chop with knives, hey, that's cool, but it doesn't mean knives are "not made to chop".
Yes I agree and "the right tool for the right job" applies to knives.

My most effective chopping knife is probably this one:
 

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bushmaster
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From what I have seen, so many answers look at the knife in a vacuum. May as well ask what type of clothes are best in a survival situation but never consider where you are trying to survive. A full seal skin suit in the jungle? I think not, but pretty indispensable in the polar regions. The same is true for knives, but in addition to environment you also need to consider the users skill, discipline, experience and a host of other things as well. No knife will be a does everything answer for all questions. Large knives have their place as well as small and intermediate ones.

As has been often said before the best survival knife is the one you have with you. If you keep your wits about you any knife will do. Some tasks will be easier, some will be harder but all will be doable. Personally, I'm a three knife guy and when I plan on going out, I usually have a tomahawk, hatchet, axe or saw along as well.
 

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Limiting to one knife is kinda hard to do. My Buck 119 is must come with me. Along with me my Ontario machete. Then my small Gerber paraframe. I think I covered all aspects with those 3.
 

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See, I have a problem with "chopping" stuff with knives. A knife is not made to chop, but to cut and puncture. I understand that people want multi-purpose tools, and some knives will chop better than others. But IMHO, a knife was not designed as a chopping tool, and should not be used as such, unless you are prepared to damage it. I also noticed that the US Gov. Issue survival knife, issued to pilots, only has a 5" blade. I believe I'll pick one of those up also, as they seem to be well made and inexpensive.
yes i agree there is a tool for every job and a job for every tool.:thumb:
 
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