Author Topic: A few questions from a guy new to knives  (Read 2388 times)

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Offline eejbm

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A few questions from a guy new to knives
« on: November 14, 2012, 12:14:27 AM »
Hi
I am very new to knives and survival. I am 36 years old and sorta always been into camping and the outdoors and stuff but am only now taking it seriously.

I have been lurking around the place for a while, but would like to ask a couple of questions to you guys.

Firstly: can any of you recommend  a comprehensive and simple 'how to' which covers care for a knife edge? At the stage where I currently am I need to know how to do this well, and I need to learn from the bottom up. In simple, unjargonistic language.

Second: I am putting together a Go Bag for emergencies, should they arise. I want to put (at least) two edged tools in it. Their purpose would be hunting and survival (to put it generally) and would have to be quite robust (should a 72 hour emergency extend indefinitely). Through the research I have done I am currently looking at a Ka-Bar BK2 as my primary knife and some sort of Mora Knife as my secondary.
Is there anything that you guys would recommend I look at, specifically?
(I also have an entrenching tool,  tomahawk, hand chain saw  and EOD breacher bar on my list, as well as various Leatherman tools as part of my EDC)

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Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 07:00:11 AM »
Hey, glad to see you posting!

I'd first like to say prepare yourself for lots of opinions and methods. I do believe that on this forum you will find a general agreement or consensus on many things... but knife recommendations are so personal and subjective.

I can tell you that for me, I use one of those three sided buck systems for my knives. I recently acquired it. For the field, as far as bags and kit on the go, I have a small cheap diamond stone. It's the only way to go, as far as I'm concerned. I do have a few diamond 'steels' too.  I sharpen my knives well at home, give them a stropping on an old leather belt glued to a wee piece of board, and then touch them up in the field as needed. IMHO, a properly used good quality knife will need only touching up in the field. I do carry a piece of leather with me in the field as a strop. Usually impregnated with fine buffing compound.

As far as how to sharpen a knife, well that's an entire tutorial, and there is likely stuff on here about that.

Your second question is interesting, to me, in that your chosen knives are exactly what anyone's Internet search would come up with. At least, if you searched in the typical "bushcraft" venues etc. The two knives you mentioned are so typical to be all almost a given. My answer to you, though, comes in the form of a question: Do you like those knives?

Let me explain: the Mora. Great knife. EVERYONE raves about it for good reason. But do YOU like it? There are many knives of similar price and value (well, almost!) that will fill that knife's place in your bag. For example, my favourite is the Hultafors, with a more comfortable handle (for me). Or perhaps one of the cheaper Cold Steel designs - they are cheap and affordable. Plus there's lots of used knives can fill the Moras shoes perhaps even better. Just saying, why not buy what looks and feels good to you? Why follow the herd? (NOT to imply you are... just putting it out there! ;) ) Of course, you cannot go wrong with a Mora, and I think you should end up with one regardless, at some point.

The second knife - the BK2 - is a very thick bladed knife most people seem to use as a chopper. If I were going to choose between a BK2 and an axe (or hatchet) there'd be no contest. For chopping, I reccomend an axe of preferred proportions. I'm Canadian though, and we love our axes.

If however, I was looking for a large knife, I would choose something, personally, better at cutting and slicing than chopping. I don't own a BK2, but the people I've heard talk about them all describe them as wood processing monsters. Well, the axe eats wood processing monsters for breakfast, IMHO.

For a larger knife, I would recommend a Knife that can still slice, carve and if need be, be pressed into some batoning if you've lost the axe you need to buy. ;) Something like, say, oh, I dunno, a Grohmann#4 perhaps? Or a full tang, sturdy bladed Nessmuk style blade.

Again, I don't own a BK2, so my opinion against them should weigh light with you, but there's a reason I haven't rushed out and bought one. And it's likely the same reason I was recently able to trade my GB SFA to a buddy...

Sounds like you're on the right track. I just wanted to play devils advocate and suggest that there is no need at all to feel you have to follow the trends. And the reason I say this is because I have fallen into that trap. Bought an axe I couldn't bring myself to use or even appreciate over other axes I already had. Bought knives that now sit in a box, or that I've given away... Be true to what works for you, and what you like.

For what it's worth, one mans opinion.

KK
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 07:21:59 AM by kanukkarhu »
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 08:23:54 AM »
+1 on what KK said.

I will add:  I own both a BK2 and a few Moras.  They were my first choices for my Go Bag.  I like them but since my knife gathering began, I have found other knives that I like better.  For example, I like my RSK MK2 Perseverance (a collaboration knife by Doug Ritter and BK) Perseverance Knife <=click better than the BK2.  It has some of the same features as the BK2 but has some better features such as longer blade (IMHO better for batoning wood) and it does not have the super thick blade like the BK2 but is still ample.  I like Moras and for the money they are great but the knife sickness took hold of me and I keep spending more and more money on fine blades that I like better than the Moras.  Like KK said, find a knife or knives that YOU like.
And don't forget about custom knives, you will pay more but they are worth it because the maker can add features to the knife that YOU like.  Just for your knowledge there are some fine knife makers on this site.   ;)

As far as Go Bags are concerned:  Don't forget that the bag is for YOU and it should have what ever YOU need to be safe and survive for a few days.  For example, if you take meds it should have meds for a few days, if you wear glasses it should have a spare pair of glasses etc.

Good luck!
 :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 09:47:44 PM by MATT CHAOS »
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Offline Dano

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 09:12:18 AM »
KK and Matt have given some great advice    !

A Mora is like a Bic lighter-you're gonna have one some day, they don't break the bank and can be good users within their limitations.  Is it the best- no, is it the worst-no.   Too many personal influence factors, that you'll have to see what you are the most comfortable using.

Go Bags can be similar-what works for me may not work for you.  Mine changes throughout the year because the seasons vary greatly in my area.  Research the "5 C's of Survival" and you will get some really good advice.  I'm not endorsing Dave, nor am I saying anything bad about him (too much politics).  What I am saying is that there is some great advice that can be learned in the "5 C's".  You can remain as neutral as you want in the political arena, but still get some really good ideas to help shape your individual kit/bag/plan/mindset/thought process.

Take everything you get off the internet with a grain of salt (including me!) - do your research, then do a little more.  No piece of equipment can replace knowledge or skills- and those come from practice- be it in your garage, backyard, campground or out in the wilds.

One last thing...I am not a huge fan of the tomahawk.  For MY area, it's not the best choice-a heavier hatchet or small axe is a better choice.   You're going to find a fan club AND a hate club for every piece of equipment out there.  Again, do your research- ask around amongst friends, family and co workers- see what you can borrow, see what they've tried, see what works in your area...

Best wishes!

Oh, and  :welcome: , duh!

Edit- Sorry, you also mentioned edge maintenance...searc h out grind types/styles, because each has it's own peculiarities in maintenance.  Become familiar enough to recognize their shapes as you look at knives so you'll know what each require.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 09:45:39 AM by Dano »

Offline Highlife

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 09:33:23 AM »
KK and Matt have given some great advice +++!

A Mora is like a Bic lighter-you're gonna have one some day, they don't break the bank and can be good users within their limitations.  Is it the best- no, is it the worst-no.   Too many personal influence factors, that you'll have to see what you are the most comfortable using.

Go Bags can be similar-what works for me may not work for you.  Mine changes throughout the year because the seasons vary greatly in my area.  Research the "5 C's of Survival" and you will get some really good advice.  I'm not endorsing Dave, nor am I saying anything bad about him (too much politics).  What I am saying is that there is some great advice that can be learned in the "5 C's".  You can remain as neutral as you want in the political arena, but still get some really good ideas to help shape your individual kit/bag/plan/mindset/thought process.

Take everything you get off the internet with a grain of salt (including me!) - do your research, then do a little more.  No piece of equipment can replace knowledge or skills- and those come from practice- be it in your garage, backyard, campground or out in the wilds.

One last thing...I am not a huge fan of the tomahawk.  For MY area, it's not the best choice-a heavier hatchet or small axe is a better choice.   You're going to find a fan club AND a hate club for every piece of equipment out there.  Again, do your research- ask around amongst friends, family and co workers- see what you can borrow, see what they've tried, see what works in your area...

Best wishes!

Oh, and  :welcome: , duh!

Echo that. Start with a Mora and try stuff out as you get a chance. See who in your family/friends has what, and see if you can try it out for what you do. You'll never know if it'll work for YOU until you try it. I recommend something with a decent steel that YOU can sharpen (with a whatever sharpening system YOU like: lansky rod, DMT sharpeners, wicked edge, edgepro, spyderco sharpmaker, DC3/4, water stones, whet stones, etc).

Everything after that is subjective to your needs, preferences, and personal taste.
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Offline Binalith

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 11:15:37 AM »
I would skip the breacher bar and the tomahawk and add boy's/hunter's axe. What climate are you buggin out in?

Offline eejbm

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 08:47:57 PM »
Brilliant advice thus far. And a few really great suggestions! Thanks very much.

And for a little more background I'll add this:

I live in a regional area in Central Queensland in Australia. The climate ranges from very hot in the summer months to mild in the winter. Sub tropical to arid.. Any bug out would almost certainly revolve around our mighty river, which brings food and plenty of fresh potable water. To reflect this I have included in my Go Bag fish snares, hand reel and a sling shot and ammo. Guns aren't such a big thing here, especially hand guns so they are not an option for me.

I am currently at work and as such am unable to research the advice at the moment. Once I get home I will spend some time reading your posts more thoroughly.

Thanks again! You guys are a wonderful resource.


Brad

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Offline eejbm

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 03:03:25 AM »
I just I would add that the most important thing for me is "bang for buck" - I won't be buying the top of the range or the cheapest on the shelf.

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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 06:22:28 AM »
Then, the BK2 is a pretty good deal.  Last I checked, it was $65.00 (USD) to $75.00 (USD) or so.  But I urge you to check the MK2 Perseverance again before you do get a BK2.  It is a little more expensive but it is a better knife IMHO and comes with a nylon sheath that is better than the glass filled plastic sheath the BK2 comes with.  If you decide to the the MK2, I will give you a Azwelke Kydex that I have sitting around here for free.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 10:54:30 AM »
I would take a look at an ESEE 4 as well. Like others have said the BK2 is a bit on the thick side. By stepping down to 3/16" thick (and a full flat grind instead of saber grind) you get a more nimble knife that will be a better all-around user. It will be lighter to pack around, and has a nicer sheath with more mounting options. Plus you get the cool little survival tips card. :D

As for caring for the knife, there are a LOT of different opinions there. Regardless of whether you have a stainless or carbon steel blade the care is the same. Too many stainless knives get neglected. Anyhow, store the knife outside of it's sheath. wash any salt water, blood, plant juices, food, etc. off with fresh water as soon as possible, and keep the blade dry. A light coating of a non toxic oil like mineral oil will help protect against rust. Some folks use cooking oil but that can go rancid so mineral oil is better.

There are a thousand different gadgets for sharpening knives. The one constant for hundreds of years and across many cultures has been a good flat sharpening stone. If you learn proper technique with a stone first you will be better able to maintain your edge using other methods. It might be hard to find a specialty sharpening gadget if you are caught without one, but you can find a flat stone in almost every hardware store in the world. Even sandpaper can be used. Best way is to use a spray adhesive and glue the sandpaper to a piece of flat glass. It will be easy to clean the old adhesive off the glass (as opposed to wood, for example) when you need to replace the sandpaper.

Offline eejbm

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Re: A few questions from a guy new to knives
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 11:43:52 PM »
OK, so I am certainly not one for quick purchases. I am definitely leaning towards the Perseverance. And a a midrange price Mora as a backup.

Rethinking the Breacher and also the tomahawk...

Still sleeping on it and doing more research. I just wanted you to know I hadn't cut and run.

Actually we went camping on the weekend and I tried a home made crawchy pot, made out of some pine needles and bark..... I didn't get it right though and will have to try next time.

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