Author Topic: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank  (Read 7325 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449

  Seems like to most of us who enjoy this lifestyle you just can't have too many knives,  but some of us could go broke trying to keep up with all the new custom or semi-production blades that are coming out,  so I thought I share some of my thoughts on a few inexpensive mass produced knives that I've played with lately that have turned out to be very useful tools,  and worth the money.

  In no particular order,  the Gerber Profile costs about $20.00 at Walmart,  the knife is quite comfortable to use,  is easy to sharpen and keeps a good edge,  it's tough enough to baton through 2" thick fire wood,  yet nimble enough
for food prep,  cleaning and skinning small game and fish,  and good at carving fire sets or tent stakes,  the sheath sucks, but it works.

  Another Gerber that's gotten a bad rap over the last couple of years is the Bear Gryll's Ultimate Survival Knife,  like a few others who have actually put the knife through some tough testing I've found it to be a very good all around entry level plus Survival/bushcraft knife,  while I don't care for the serrations on the blade,  they don't stop the knife from being functional,  the sheath is a good design,  I don't care for the belt loop and have modified mine with a leather belt loop that solved the problem,  the sheath has good retention,  comes with a good field sharpening steel and a built in Ferro-rod for fire making,  and a marginal emergency whistle.
 The blade seems to be made of the same steel as the Profile model,  holds a good edge and is easy to sharpen,  it's not too small for wood prep,  nor too big for fine carving tasks,  and the knifes pommel can be used as a light duty hammer,  the handle is comfortable and grippy,  for about $45.00 dollars in most stores it's a pretty good deal.

  For those who are looking for a smaller and lighter knife,  Buck is marketing what they called their Pac-lite knife,  it comes in two sizes,  they are skeleton styled knives somewhat in the style of the Becker BK-14,  I have the bigger of the two (model 314),  it has a good sized skinning styled blade for the size of the knife,  comes out of the box sharp,  holds a good edge and sharpen easily,  the handle begs to be wrapped with para-cord,  I did mine and it really helps the grip,  like most inexpensive knives of that type the sheath in marginal at best,  I made a leather sheath for mine,  It's a great little knife for a neckker or for a minimalist type bushcrafter.

  Last but most used lately is my Becker BK-2,  not exactly in the cheap knives list,  but a lot of knife for the $55.00 dollars that many places are selling it for,  it's about as close as one can get to a one knife option in a small     
fairly short package,  for it's size it's a real beast and takes a real beating and keeps on giving.

  More later.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline rogumpogum

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 2482
  • I like pickles.
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 09:33:19 AM »
Mora, Hultafors, and if you aren't the type who loves driving his knife into a log to split it... a Buck 110 will do a great many tasks many small fixed blades will do. I might even go so far as to say a Spyderco Tenacious would do the same. That is, if you aren't doing more than carving and cutting.
"My common sense is tingling..."

Offline PetrifiedWood

  • Friction Fire Fellowship
  • Administrator
  • Belt Grinder
  • ******
  • Posts: 11382
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 09:55:42 AM »
For affordable folders, Kershaw aren't the cheapest, but they are pretty tough. I've had a Kershaw clipped to my pocket for a good 5 years now and it is still going strong with only minimal finish wear on the handle. I still think when compared to a custom folder, or even some of the more expensive brands like Spyderco and Benchmade they are a great value for the price.

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 11:05:00 AM »
Mora, Hultafors, and if you aren't the type who loves driving his knife into a log to split it... a Buck 110 will do a great many tasks many small fixed blades will do. I might even go so far as to say a Spyderco Tenacious would do the same. That is, if you aren't doing more than carving and cutting.

  You are right of course,  the Mora's and their peers are probably the cream of inexpensive user knives,  I didn't mention them because just about every one knows their reputation.
  My goal it writing the OP was to share information about knives that are either not well known or have been vilified because of the name brand,  or the celebrity status of the name emblazoned on the knife.

  For me to write about the virtues of Mora knives or of buck's 110 or 119 would likely cause more yawning than interest in the read.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline MATT CHAOS

  • Friction Fire Fellowship
  • Friction Fire Fellowship
  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 3856
  • M.E.S.H. Knives
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 11:15:59 AM »
I think that many people over look the positive qualities of the Mora as being a good production knife.  Especially by me.  However, I own a few and think they are they are great.  Why do I over look them?  Probably because they are inexpensive and there are "cooler" knives out there.  I know I could get the job done with a Mora if the situation presented itself. 
Jontok Bushy Approved    Member#28   
1st Aid/CPR/AED Wilderness 1st Aid Instructor

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 11:21:00 AM »
For affordable folders, Kershaw aren't the cheapest, but they are pretty tough. I've had a Kershaw clipped to my pocket for a good 5 years now and it is still going strong with only minimal finish wear on the handle. I still think when compared to a custom folder, or even some of the more expensive brands like Spyderco and Benchmade they are a great value for the price.

  Great knives,  I especially like the Ken Onion designs,  funny that you bring up folders,  I wouldn't be caught dead without a folding knife in my pocket,  I'm a traditionalist so I lean more toward the old fashioned slip joint and lock back hunter pocket knives than the newer tactical's.
  As such,  I'm pretty partial to USA made knives,  i've been given a few Frost Cutlery knives and they've been a big disappointment,  on the flip side, I got a Brown Bone handled Rough Rider stockman in a knife swap last fall and surprisingly it's turned out to be a pretty darned good knife for the ten or twelve bucks that it likely retailed for.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline rogumpogum

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 2482
  • I like pickles.
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 11:24:06 AM »
For affordable folders, Kershaw aren't the cheapest, but they are pretty tough. I've had a Kershaw clipped to my pocket for a good 5 years now and it is still going strong with only minimal finish wear on the handle. I still think when compared to a custom folder, or even some of the more expensive brands like Spyderco and Benchmade they are a great value for the price.

Yep! I have a Kershaw Crown... I think I paid a whole $9 for it on sale at Wally. Solid, solid knife. I use if for cutting cardboard and whatnot in my shipping room.
"My common sense is tingling..."

Offline rogumpogum

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 2482
  • I like pickles.
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 11:40:43 AM »
  Great knives,  I especially like the Ken Onion designs,  funny that you bring up folders,  I wouldn't be caught dead without a folding knife in my pocket,  I'm a traditionalist so I lean more toward the old fashioned slip joint and lock back hunter pocket knives than the newer tactical's.
  As such,  I'm pretty partial to USA made knives,  i've been given a few Frost Cutlery knives and they've been a big disappointment,  on the flip side, I got a Brown Bone handled Rough Rider stockman in a knife swap last fall and surprisingly it's turned out to be a pretty darned good knife for the ten or twelve bucks that it likely retailed for.

I should put this in some other thread, but I have to say "yes, sir!" to the Rough Riders... Now, I also prefer to carry American made, but the price point of these (as well as the quality) make it hard to NOT carry one for someone who doesn't want to invest a ton of money into their gear.

I mean, look at these things!







I think all three cost me $25 or so... I have a few more. It's a GREAT way to play with a pattern to see if you want to shell out for the Case, Queen, GEC, or Bear version. If you want to stick with American and inexpensive, I suggest Buck's US made folders. Even I have my the Cadet, while my other eye is on a Queen or GEC liner lock.
"My common sense is tingling..."

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 11:45:53 AM »
I think that many people over look the positive qualities of the Mora as being a good production knife.  Especially by me.  However, I own a few and think they are they are great.  Why do I over look them?  Probably because they are inexpensive and there are "cooler" knives out there.  I know I could get the job done with a Mora if the situation presented itself.

 What main fixed blade I carry on any trip into the woods usually depends more on my mood than the use I might need it for,  most of my belt knives are pretty well up to fixing food or prepping wood for the fire,  the one non variable about my secondary knife is that it's a neck knife,  and that it will be either a #2 Mora Carbon Classic or my old Fiskar's Mora styled knife made in Finland,  they both fit the same home made leather sheath,  and get used more often for small cutting chores around camp than any other knives I own.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 11:59:10 AM »
  Great knives,  I especially like the Ken Onion designs,  funny that you bring up folders,  I wouldn't be caught dead without a folding knife in my pocket,  I'm a traditionalist so I lean more toward the old fashioned slip joint and lock back hunter pocket knives than the newer tactical's.
  As such,  I'm pretty partial to USA made knives,  i've been given a few Frost Cutlery knives and they've been a big disappointment,  on the flip side, I got a Brown Bone handled Rough Rider stockman in a knife swap last fall and surprisingly it's turned out to be a pretty darned good knife for the ten or twelve bucks that it likely retailed for.

I should put this in some other thread, but I have to say "yes, sir!" to the Rough Riders... Now, I also prefer to carry American made, but the price point of these (as well as the quality) make it hard to NOT carry one for someone who doesn't want to invest a ton of money into their gear.

I mean, look at these things!







I think all three cost me $25 or so... I have a few more. It's a GREAT way to play with a pattern to see if you want to shell out for the Case, Queen, GEC, or Bear version. If you want to stick with American and inexpensive, I suggest Buck's US made folders. Even I have my the Cadet, while my other eye is on a Queen or GEC liner lock.

  Not at all,  I think your post fits right in on this thread,  as for the Rough Riders,  if the rest of their knives are  anything like the stockman that I have I'd say that they are every bit as well made as most Case offerings,  I've got a half dozen new Case assorted folders left from the dozen or so that I bought at Lowe's in a close out special they were running (gave the rest away as gifts),  and I don't think they are any better looking or better quality than my Rough Rider. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline rogumpogum

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 2482
  • I like pickles.
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 12:06:21 PM »
Yeah, and I think that says a lot about Case these days. I was holding on to a Queen the other day. The postmaster in my town has a Trapper and the quality is on a whole other level than Case or Buck (and Rough Rider). D2 steel, even.
"My common sense is tingling..."

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 04:19:19 PM »

  IMHO case today is geared more to the collectors market than the common man user market.

  Maybe I'm just old and living in the past,  but most of the old pocket knives that are bringing the big bucks today got there by being top quality users that made a reputation for themselves because of their rugged user quality rather than their pretty looks,  but then again,  what do I know,  I'm just an old grey beard with only experience and little formal education.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 16459
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 07:32:29 PM »
For affordable folders, Kershaw aren't the cheapest, but they are pretty tough. I've had a Kershaw clipped to my pocket for a good 5 years now and it is still going strong with only minimal finish wear on the handle. I still think when compared to a custom folder, or even some of the more expensive brands like Spyderco and Benchmade they are a great value for the price.
I've been using my Kershaw Blackout (Mod: 1550) on a daily basis for 10+ years now. My joints are looser than it is! I picked up the Blackout when I lost my Buck 110, and never looked back! On my budget, $65 is not exactly inexpensive, but I haven't regretted a dime.

My go-to sheath knife was a Buck Special for about 40 years. Then I got a "cheap" Winchester (made by Gerber)  knife with a gut hook for my son. Every time we got a deer down, I was borrowing his blade. He got so tired of it, he gifted me one of my own.  A $15 knife that out shines my $75 Buck.

The majority of my knife use nowadays is processing meat (gutting, skinning, and butchering), not carving. I wouldn't ask my hunting blades to carve wood like a Mora, nor would I expect a Mora to skin and cut up a deer.

In keeping within the budget, I also found that the $5.00 Schrade multi-tool I found at Lowe's was better quality, and lasted longer than my $50 Leatherman.
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline PetrifiedWood

  • Friction Fire Fellowship
  • Administrator
  • Belt Grinder
  • ******
  • Posts: 11382
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 07:50:23 PM »
For affordable folders, Kershaw aren't the cheapest, but they are pretty tough. I've had a Kershaw clipped to my pocket for a good 5 years now and it is still going strong with only minimal finish wear on the handle. I still think when compared to a custom folder, or even some of the more expensive brands like Spyderco and Benchmade they are a great value for the price.
I've been using my Kershaw Blackout (Mod: 1550) on a daily basis for 10+ years now. My joints are looser than it is! I picked up the Blackout when I lost my Buck 110, and never looked back! On my budget, $65 is not exactly inexpensive, but I haven't regretted a dime.

My go-to sheath knife was a Buck Special for about 40 years. Then I got a "cheap" Winchester (made by Gerber)  knife with a gut hook for my son. Every time we got a deer down, I was borrowing his blade. He got so tired of it, he gifted me one of my own.  A $15 knife that out shines my $75 Buck.

The majority of my knife use nowadays is processing meat (gutting, skinning, and butchering), not carving. I wouldn't ask my hunting blades to carve wood like a Mora, nor would I expect a Mora to skin and cut up a deer.

In keeping within the budget, I also found that the $5.00 Schrade multi-tool I found at Lowe's was better quality, and lasted longer than my $50 Leatherman.

Yeah I think the Kershaws are a good value. I had a Buck folder that I lost back in the 90's that I'd carried for only a few months before losing it, but it saw daily use and showed no signs of weakening.

Offline easy_rider75

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 1656
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2012, 07:57:33 PM »
My money after usig them is on Moras or Opinel if you want a  folder killer  good knives and  damn cheap could buy a pair for that price
?I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life.... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.?~Frank Sinatra~

Offline Fire Steel 703

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 606
  • Member #46
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2012, 07:25:15 AM »
I was eyeing this one for a long time and bought it and think it is well worth the money (around $24).  It holds an edge well, and sharpens easily.  It is stainless however, not carbon, so for many that takes it off the table.  It has an integrated fire steel in the handle.  It appears to be full tang, probably just an interrupted one to allow the fire steel to go in.

http://search.coleman.com/cgi-bin/MsmGo.exe?grab_id=0&page_id=7459&query=Knife&hiword=KNIFES%20Knife%20#.T0pg69R5mSM


I also like the svord peasant that I bought.  It is carbon.  I wasn't sure If id like the design, and at first I wasn't crazy about cause I closed it once without meaning to and almost cut myself.  But after adding a ranger band to it to keep the tang down, I really like it now.  You can also get a pretty good shower of sparks off of a firesteel by using the tang as a striker.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 09:34:15 AM by fire steel 703 »
The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Offline Toddler

  • Mill File+
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2012, 04:57:22 PM »
Moe. M  I would up the ante on the Gerber BGUK,  I think think the knife is beyond just an entry level knife.  The knive "system" is becoming more and more popular these days and the BGUK is still less expensive than 90% of them out there. I love MOras but there bushcraft survival knife system is still like $20.00 higher than the BGUK and isn't as comfortable to hold in the hand.  The new fine edge BGUK is only $43.00 on line at Walmart.com, can't beat that price with a baton!
I don't need a bigger knife, I need smaller wood!

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8449
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 08:55:28 AM »
Moe. M  I would up the ante on the Gerber BGUK,  I think think the knife is beyond just an entry level knife.  The knive "system" is becoming more and more popular these days and the BGUK is still less expensive than 90% of them out there. I love MOras but there bushcraft survival knife system is still like $20.00 higher than the BGUK and isn't as comfortable to hold in the hand.  The new fine edge BGUK is only $43.00 on line at Walmart.com, can't beat that price with a baton!

  You wont get any argument from me on that score, if you do a search on BCUSA on the BGUSK you should find a couple of threads by myself and another member by the user name of Johnathan,  in both we defend the virtues of the knife and the complete system.
  My reference to entry level was strictly price driven and wasn't discribing the user quality of the product, we both beat the crap out of the knife and it held up very well.
  My only gripe with the knife was the belt loop which if fixed by replacing it with one made of leather,  and the serrations on the blade,  I thought of grinding them off and reprofiling the blade but didn't because Gerber decided that they would offer a plain blade version.
  Since that time and in giving it more use I've changed my opinion and rather like the serrations for some tasks,  while not my daily driver,  I keep it in my BOB in my van as a survival knife, it serves that purpose well and I don't have to worry about the rusting issue. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline RobertE2E

  • Mill File
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Good production knives that won't force you to rob the piggy bank
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 10:05:38 AM »
Im not a fan of the BGUK, after using two of them. I think Gerbers choice in steel was a bit lacking. The 7Cr17MOV is pretty much 440a, and a poor choice considering the other options available. A 440c or AUS8 would have given them the stainless properties they need, kept the price point about the same, but in my opinion, given a much better knife to the user.