As per the post title really...

What knife do you use out in the Bush?? I've had a few TBH and currently I use a Fallkniven F1.



So let us know what you use....

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I use this knife - a Gerber Crucial. I've had Gerber knives before and without exception they've always been well balanced and well-made.

Hi Bill,

I've got one of these as well, and I love it. So many other multi-tools weigh a lot more and offer little difference.

I also have an older Gerber multi-tool that is quite heavy & I don't see the point in having all that weight for a small blade. I'll never chop firewood with it but I still use it.

My main "Bush knife" is a Gerber LMF ii. I rate it highly.

I've got a few blades, at the mo my main blade for bushcraft is a Svord 370BB, cuts like a demon and holds one hell of an edge, but the blade is quite thin so I try not to baton with it too much. Next week I'm going to have a go at making another knife more suited to what I want, similar design to a Nessmuk I suppose you could call it. Here's the Svord (next to my Levergun):

Cheers,
Sean.

P.S. -Hi! =D
Im new to bushcraft and i brought a hunters element classic drop point. I wasnt that impressed with it as it was very blunt and i cant seem to get it to take an edge. I have been considering some new ones including the helle fjellkniven, the fallkniven f1 or maybe the spyderco bill moran drop point. What do you guys reckon?

Hi Jacob

 

Without seeing the knife and maybe running a file across it, it is hard to properly analyze the problem.   However my experience is that most knives, whatever the quality, can be made sharp enough to create a 'shaving' edge.  Some steels seem to 'hold' that edge longer than others, although all knives do lose an edge over time when being used.   I have never seen a Hunter's Element Classic, but it sounds good.

 

The other brand names you mentioned are popular and should be fine if you think the shape and size will suit you.

 

Best wishes... Coote.

I've been thinking some more about this.   I don't know why this particular Hunter's Element knife doesn't seem to get sharp, but perhaps it isn't a particularly wonderful slicer because it has a relatively thick blade and a fairly short grind.   I could be wrong because I haven't seen it.

 

For many years in the back of my mind I've had the idea that a good knife should not only cut well, but it should be able to withstand all sorts of abuse and be a good crowbar if necessary.

 

I have owned some 'crowbar' blades.   One good knife, which I've lost, was made from a car leaf spring and then tempered as a spring.   I've had four khukuris... and still own two of them.   They are great choppers and seem to be pretty darn tough.   I have a nice Bark River Gameskeeper which has a thick blade and a tough handle.

 

I guess if I had to pick just one good knife to live by, then I could adapt to it.   I'd probably pick one with a thicker blade and a softer temper because a softer knife with less edge-holding ability is better than a broken knife.

 

But most of the time I don't need to chop or pry or fight bears.   The main things I've used a knife for are skinning and butchering, filleting fish, and things like making traps, bows, arrows and fire drills.   And for the great majority of all this work I find a thin blade to be best.

 

A thin blade should, in theory, be easier to sharpen because there is less metal to be removed compared to a thicker blade.   A thin blade slices better because there is less width to force through whatever you are cutting.   And when a thin blade is sharpened at a fine angle, when you are whittling wood you can hold the knife at a much better angle to the job compared to a thick blade with 'strong' grind geometry.

 

Big fancy knives are great.   I still like to look at them, and I like the ones I have owned.   But unless you have to break out of a building, or chop big trees etc then generally I think the best choice for serious common knife work is something like a Mora Clipper or even one of the older carbon steel Mora Classics.   These have a long, sharp tapered grind and they probably cut as well or better than anything else I've owned.   The Moras I've seen generally have fairly crappy sheaths, but they are mostly very sharp straight out of the packaging.   Mora Clippers are sold in Nelson by Quality Equipment, but I've seen knives for sale at Mitre 10 Mega which I believe are probably Moras but they have different colored handles and are being sold as another brand (Bahco or Sandvik perhaps?  Can't recall).

 

When I was a teenager the knife I liked was the NZ made Green River 'Bushman'.  These had a fairly long blade with a clip point, but they were excellent.   I think these were made by a company called E. Goddard.  I understand that the company has changed hands now, but they still seem to be making knives.   One common brand applied to them is 'Victory'.  These aren't the knives that appear in outdoor magazines in glossy pictures involving autumn leaves, camouflage and nice leather sheaths, but they are excellent knives used by people who make a living with them.  Here's the link to the Victory Knives site:

http://www.victoryknives.co.nz/

 

When I was purchasing officer at Sealord... a big fishing company in Nelson, we used to buy a lot of Victory knives - especially for filleting.

 

The thickness of the blade of the Victory knives I am familiar with would be maybe 2.5mm.   The thickness of the Mora Clipper blade is around 2mm.   On the other hand the blade of my lovely Bark River Gameskeeper is around 5.5mm thick.... and I find that my cheap Clipper out-performs it at most common tasks.

 

One very useful knife I have is a simple Swedish 'Eka' slip-joint folder with a 60mm long blade that is under 2mm thick.  Straight out of the box it was sharp, but the edge was a bit steep.   Once I honed away the shoulder of this thick edge it was much better.   An excellent wee tool.

 

The Svord knives seem to be very good, and I would like to own some of them.   But they do cost a bit, and in practical terms they aren't going to be hugely more useful than a less expensive Victory knife with a tough plastic handle even if they do look better to some folks.

 

If I had to pick one blade I guess I'd want to know what circumstances I would mostly be in when I needed it.   But for my current circumstances I guess I'd pick something like a simple Mora Clipper.   Fortunately I don't have to pick just one blade, so I can have a nice thin, light, sharply-ground knife like a Clipper.... and I can have an axe or machete.   Along with a good pocketknife of course.

 

As far as blade shape goes, I like to have a knife with a fairly sharp point.   This is good for digging out splinters or making holes in leather or wood.   It is also good if fine whittling is necessary.   A sharp point ( clip point if you like) isn't as strong as a drop point, but it sure is handy.

 

One knife I use a lot nowadays is my cheap Cold Steel Finn Bear.  I generally have it tied to my waist constantly when I am in the sounds hunting, fishing or doing general work.  

 

Here is a pic showing my Finn Bear and a 10" Tramontina machete.  I used these tools to butcher nine sheep in the last year or so:

Here's a photo showing one of my khukuris, my Gameskeeper, and the old faithful Mora Clipper.  These tools were used for an earlier butchering job:

And here is one of my handy wee Eka folders.  I have several of these.

 

Thanks heaps for your input. I brought the knife and expected it to do all tasks well and after reading what you said I realized that it is not suited to fine, slicing jobs but to chopping, hacking etc. Also when i asked another friend why i could not get it sharp he said it was probably because i have been using a very fine diamond stick made to hone already sharp knives. I have decided to invest in a decent sharpening system and definitely one of those mora clippers or something similar for those finer jobs! 

 

Thanks heaps for your help. I really do appreciate it :D

Also here is a pic of the classic drop point.

That's quite a nice-looking blade.   It has a sharper point than I imagined.  I pictured the drop point to be more rounded, but what you've got looks excellent.

 

The wide grind on the knife should help to make it a fairly good whittler.

 

Those diamond hones are good... I use one quite a bit.   But I agree that they are more for 'touching up' a well-ground edge.

 

If I had to pick just one sharpener it would be a long sharpening stone of medium grit, preferably a nice Arkansas stone.  I just like the looks and the durability of the Arkansas stone compared to a common carborundum model.   An ordinary black/grey carborundum stone is just fine though, and I've used them many many times.

 

When I sharpen a knife I might start with an electric grinder, and sometimes I've even used a small disk grinder.   When using power grinders you have to be careful not to overheat the blade.   So the blade has to be dipped into water frequently to cool it.... or you have to make a small pass on the grinder then let the blade cool in the air.

 

Next I'd use a coarse to medium stone.   I could stop after using this for many purposes.   I think that sometimes the slightly toothed edge created by the coarse grit is actually helpful for some cutting jobs.   Getting an edge that will shave arm hairs is not easy with a medium stone, but the edge can still be deadly sharp.

 

By honing the blade on a good steel at this stage, a practical hair-popping edge can be created.   However before I use the steel I might often use a fine stone to smooth off the edge a bit.  I generally use water, or a water/dishwashing detergent mix as a lubricant on the stone.

 

Once the knife has been sharpened in the way just described, I will only need to use the steel or diamond hone to restore the edge occasionally when  using the knife for many jobs.

 

Best wishes.... Coote.

The Bahco knives you can buy in most stores like RD1 or PGG etc, are a Mora Clipper. Although stainless, will hold good edges and at only about $15 does not matter much if you damage or lose it, hard to lose due to the bright orange colour though. I found a place in Christchurch a while ago selling Mora Carbon Clippers, but as they have stopped making them may not be available any more. Completely agree with Stephen about stones for sharpening, much better in my experience than diamond hones. They only thing I do different is I then use an old leather belt with some metal polish compound to polish up my edges to scary sharp, this seems to work on all blades I own, carbon or stainless. The Bushmans knife he talked about is still available as Green river or a Victory blade, and is in carbon. They only issue I have with them is the nasty plastic handle, I own one of these knives I use when hunting, the black handled one I had got very slippery if wet, so I sold it and got the same blade with a white freezing works type handle that has raised dots on it for better grip. You would not batton with these knives as are to thin. The other thing about mora clippers is that they are a Scandi Grind so much easier to sharpen as you only have one bevel right the way to the knifes edge.

The Victory knives are brilliant, I have a boning knife modified to a very gentle drop point.

 

I also have a Mora which is a mainstay of my boating kit, it is useful for any purpose and can fillet small fish if needed.

 

A great way to get the edge you want is with a kit like this:

Lansky Kit review
Are those moras with the hard plastic Handle any good they go at hunting and fishing for $20. They have blue handle for stainless and red for carbon!

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