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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralWhat survival/bush knife do you carryWhat survival/bush knife do you carry
New Post
9/6/2013 6:14 PM

Looking to buy a bush/survival knife. Fixed blade with no serrations and was looking for some feedback. Budget is tight 100 or less. Thank you ahead of time.

New Post
9/6/2013 6:51 PM

 Ontario Ranger RD-4 (Bush version) or Essee RAT-3 for under $100.00.  If you can go about $20 over....I really love the TOPS Brothers Of Bushcraft (BOB) knife.

Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
New Post
9/6/2013 7:26 PM

Thank you. Any thoughts on the Kabar BK2?

New Post
9/6/2013 7:38 PM

 They have a lot of fans, but I think they are too thick and I find the grip uncomfortable.  I would take a traditional  kabar over one. 

What kind of knife you are looking for and we can probably help better.  Survival/bush knife is a bit nebulas.. Heavy chopper, machete, light mora/scandia, something in between?

My most used survival bush knife is an Emerson Super Commandet for instance.  There have also been some great threads on here about knives and knife selection that might help you narrow your search.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
New Post
9/6/2013 10:36 PM

Thanks for replying Scott. Im looking for something more in the middle. A knife that can handle abuse,chopping, strong pommel,but easy to handle. perferable non serrated for ease of sharpening. Ive never held a BK2 and it does seem excessive. Was looking at the gerber  LMF2, its cheap but serrated. I like the Blackbird Sk-5 also. Ive had cheapy Moras and like them for thier weight would like something more rugged. Thanks

New Post
9/6/2013 11:21 PM

 I roll with an ESEE-4 or ESEE-6.  It depends on what i'm doing and where i'm going.  The benefit of an ESEE (it's right at your price limit) is the no questions asked transferable warranty against breakage of any kind.  If it breaks, they'll send you a new one.  forever.

New Post
9/7/2013 10:34 AM

The first thing I look at when I am thinking about a knife is how it interfaces with my hand. Is it comfortable, do I have control, does it provide me a variety of grips, and is the handle sturdy.  If I can't get a good grip or use it comfortably then I am not interested no matter how nice the knife or how good a deal. I passed on a smoking deal on a smaller custom dozier not long ago simply because I couldn't get a good grip. 

After that I look at the blade itself. For a general purpose knife I want between a 4 and 5" blade. I prefer tougher stainless steels that hold an edge well. I really dislike coatings as I find they can make the blade drag in the cut. I like a blade that has a strong sturdy point, and generally prefer a full flat grind since it allows you to run a thicker spine, but still cut weight. I also find they glide through the cut well. I do have a couple of knives were the final edge is a chisel grind and I have to admit they are very easy to touch up, and cut well.  I like gimping on the spine and on the but and where the small finger falls.  Finally, I want a nice full belly.  There are lots of arguments for and against these preferences, but those are mine. Plenty of bush wise guys like Rod G, who KNOWS the riddle of steel like on of Krom's own, likes the Scandia style and makes phenomenal ones, but my tastes just lie elsewhere. It doesn't mean that they are wrong and I am right, but rather if the knife cuts and works for you then it cuts and works for you.

I dislike blades that are 1/4" thick especially if they don't have a full flat grind.  They are heavy and in my experience only really good at chopping unless proper attention has been given to blade profile. 

As far as particular knives, it is really hard to beat the esee line, but I would definitely opt for uncoated. If you can find them used the Cold Steel SRK and Master Hunter are worth a look, but they are a bit thick. Tops has some outstanding blade designs, and a lot of gimmicky crap to be fair, but I find their edge profile to be poor so expect to reshape the edge, and there sheaths vary from poor to great. In general CRKT makes great knives, and I think they might have some sheath knifes that fit your price range. I really like the looks of the new Boker Exodus, but don't have any hands on  time with them. A couple of the other Beckers that Kabar has look like decent knives, but I haven't handled them. I was also serious about just a good old fashioned Kabar, but they are a bit long. Some of Blind Horses' knives are close to you price range and they have a great reputation. I have handled a couple but don't have any hands on time. After looking around most of what I like in knifes put them in the hunting knife category not the bush craft survival category.

Finally, the Blackjack 125 is a pretty faithful copy of my Randall Trapper, which is the do it all knife I keep coming back to after dalliances with other blades.

My current go to knives:

choppers/brush knives - Spyderco Hossom Woodlander and Kershaw Outcast

Medium knives - Randall Trappers Model (really my only complaint with this knife is it is a bit heavy)

Smaller/lighter knives - Surefire Echo, Halloran 360

Folders - Emerson Super Commander and Utecom

I also have a Spyderco Hossom Dayhiker that I picked up cheap without a sheath that I have put a lot of work into reshaping the edge, and I am using as a kitchen knife right now to see how I like it. Then I will have to source a sheath for it, or make one. That would fall in the Medium Category.

The reality is that my pocket knife gets 99% of my knife use especially if I am going to be wearing a pack belt. It is just to handy a way to carry a blade.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
New Post
9/7/2013 9:48 PM

Thoughts on these two?

New Post
9/9/2013 9:01 AM

 no personal experience, but either should work well.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
New Post
9/9/2013 2:03 PM

I have switched over to a Fallkniven F1 in the last couple of years.  Heavy blade, full tang with a kydex (zytel they call it) or leather sheath.  I replaced both a Gerber LMF 2 and a SOG Seal Pup with the F1.  There are also the S1 and A1, both considerably longer.

This thing will split wood up to 2" quite easily, fits in the hand nicely and stays razor sharp with normal care/sharpening.    Its about  $140, so a little over the price range but you will not be disappointed.

New Post
9/9/2013 10:33 PM

 Keep in mind that the ESEE-4 is a 1095 carbon steel, not stainless. It won't matter if you're using it, but if it just sits and you don't use it you'll want to put mineral oil or some rust inhibitor on it.  That being said, I love mine.  Depending on what you're doing, you might even want to try the ESEE-3.  People always seem torn between those two.

Almost any production knife today will suit your needs, really.  BHK really does have amazing handle ergonomics.  Super comfortable.  You should check out the BHK Woodcrafter, it's a knife that they designed and BHK makes.  I think it's $165, but definitely worth it.  I regret selling mine.

New Post
9/10/2013 12:33 PM


Thank you eveyone for replying. I ended up going with the Esee-4.

Thanks again.

New Post
9/11/2013 9:46 PM
Henry, I realize you've already purchased the Esee 4, and I hope you love it. I find mine a little less comfortable than I'd hoped for. The is a little small, and not much thought given to ergonomics IMO. Still a very serviceable, practical, well constructed knife however. I've got a BK2 because of all the hype surrounding it (I'm sure you've read it too). It's a very impressive chuck of steel, but way too heavy and thick for my needs. I also have the BK7 which is longer, thinner, and lighter. I LOVE that knife and think it's a steal on today's market. The handle feels wonderful in my hands, and I've at least subconsciously made it the comfort benchmark for knife handles. It's got the potential to be a little slick if wet, but its smoothness also keeps hotspots or blisters from forming. It's not a small knife, but like I said, it's lighter than the BK2 and very much deserving of more praise than the BK2 IMO. It would make a nice partner to your Esee 4, or even better with a small Mora. Or just a blade to throw into the rotation for T&E.
New Post
9/12/2013 12:54 PM

If the stock ESEE 4 handles are a little short, the-knife-connection makes bolt on replacements that are longer and better contoured.  I don't own them myself, but when I was contemplating getting the ESEE-4 I was able to handle both a stock one and one with the T-K-C handles and they did make a difference.

Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
New Post
11/21/2013 5:55 PM

My pick is the Esee Laser Strike and if I'm in a traditional mood I will roll with a custom Kephart from ML Knives.

New Post
12/2/2013 6:30 PM

The ESEE line is amazing and will do everything you need, plus some. Good prices too.

My favourites are my Busse DSF and Swamp Rat Hawk. I pair one of them with a small folder and together prep fire, food and game.

New Post
12/2/2013 6:31 PM

Double tap. 

HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralWhat survival/bush knife do you carryWhat survival/bush knife do you carry