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SGT Rock
2006-11-09, 16:45
Hey, figured we have some people on here that know knives.

I was looking around for a new knife, something that I can put through serious paces and it last and perform. Something I can use to do camp chores as well as clean/dress animals that also is not to dang big so I have to go to a smaller knife when doing camp chores - so about a 3" to 3.5" blade. I also don't want to spend over $100 US for it. I got a tip from a friend to check out the RAT-3. http://www.knivesplus.com/ontario-knife-rat3-qn-rat3d2od.html

Anyone have experience with this knife or have any other good suggestions?

toddhiker
2006-11-09, 17:42
Looks strong, durable, and easy to hold. Should work out to your liking, Sarge!

Let us know how it works out.

---toddhiker

Buggyman
2006-11-09, 18:17
Hey Sarge, try www.kellamknives.com

They have a whole mess of Finnish style Puukka knives including a prehistoric replica flint knife with a deer jaw bone handle with the teeth still attached. I kid you not! Check it out!

TeeDee
2006-11-09, 18:29
Check out Tops knives

http://www.topsknives.com

They make very good knives. You can find very expensive knives there or quite a few under $100.00.

In the 4" to 6" blade catagory they list 94 different knives and in the 1" to 3" blades they list 34 different knives.

The Tom Brown Tracker is way over the price range you specified, but for an overall camp knife, it has a good rep:

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=155

You might also want to check out the following knife:

http://www.equipped.com/rsk_mk3.htm

No personal use with it, but have heard some good things about it.

n2o2diver
2006-11-09, 21:05
This site carries just about everything: http://www.knifecenter.com/
I have purchased from them a few times and they are usually the cheapest around. I think the RAT-3 you mentioned is $64.

I have a few CRKT folders that are great and inexpensive. Are you looking for a folder or fixed blade?

I was also going to suggest the Equiped to Survive website as well. His knives seem like quality, functional, no frills options. I was looking at the fixed blade version myself but haven't taken the plung yet.

Looking forward to others suggestions.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-09, 21:15
That is the cheapest price I've ever seen on a D2 steel knife, that is some hard steel to work with so most production knives don't get made from D2, they are usually a custom high-dollar proposition. You'll need a DMT diamond sharpener to sharpen the D2, I get the best results from the blue one, followed by a steel. I've used the tiniest DMT folding sharpener and used the back of my micra for a steel and gotten a shaving edge. If you want a folder, I like the Benchmade Griptillian but the production models have crappy 440 steel. Aeromedix has a special run of Griptillians in S30V done up to support the equippedtosurvive website. The Griptillian has Benchmade's Axis lock which is ambidextrous and can be operated (close or open) without getting your fingers near the edge.

Iceman
2006-11-09, 21:49
Sarge, here is a boring, simple, and inexpensive knife. ($43) Been around for a long time, and made only of 420 carbon steel. Nothing fancy.

http://www.thebladeshop.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=450

A great knife. I have carried for years. Perfect size. Sharpens easy in the field. Cleaned and skinned many dead things with this one. My recommendation.

n2o2diver
2006-11-09, 21:54
Actually I just went back an looked at Kifecenter website again. Some RAT-3 are listed for $64 and then some for $74. Only the $74 ones say they are D2 steel.

I also like the Benchmade Fixed Blade Griptillian (BM151P). It list the Blade material is 154CM, any idea what that is like??? Its selling for $72. Isn't this very similar to the Equipped MK3? Which list the blade material as CPM S30V, On his site it says its modeled after the benchmade model 152? I have searched and can find no such knife.


Im not sure what all of the different metals are. There are just so many choices. I find I spend hours looking and comparing and then never order one because I can't make up my mind.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-09, 22:23
N202, 154CM is a high-carbon stainless steel, it is the american equivalent of the japanese ATS-34, they both take and hold a keen edge really well. I can sharpen a swiss army knife like a scalpel, but it is a light duty edge, it won't last a long time, the former steels will keep an edge much longer, and they are rust resistant, notice I didn't say rustproof, 'cause they still have carbon in them. The S30V is new to me, and mine seems to keep a servicable edge for a good while, but not as long as ATS 34 knives I have, it is however, easy to sharpen with the DMT hone.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-09, 22:26
Iceman, that is a really good skinner, and the buck 420 is usually very good steel. My only complaint about the Bucks are the handles get really slick when they are bloody.

dixicritter
2006-11-09, 22:26
Iceman wins today's brownie points! :wink:

Way to keep it under budget!! And by that I mean che... umm inexpensive. :D



By the way, just who spends $300 on a knife?? :gob_eek:

dback
2006-11-09, 23:00
Sarge,

I carry a Benchmade model 210TK Activator (Snody), the blade is only 2.10 inches and total weight is 2.5 oz. It has s30v steel which is only slightly under the HRC value (58-60) of the D2 (59-61). I boned out an entire Bull Elk last year with it and only sharpened it once during the entire process. You can find them on E-bay for under $100.00 most any day. I recommend the hard sheath if you decide on one (much lighter) than the leather. Great knife!

Kea
2006-11-10, 01:01
I bought a Spyderco Native at WalMart for around $40. It was sharp enough to shave with out of the box and I am completely happy with it. It's other virtue is that it is completely convertable to left hand clip and open.

dropkick
2006-11-10, 02:10
I like the looks of this knife. Probably because I was a cook and this knife shape would be good for rocking on a cutting board or butchering (though it's a little thick for butchering). $69.95
canadian skinner (www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/hunting/d_h_russell_canadian_skinner.html)

This is another nice knife by the same people with a little different shape. $69.95
canadian boat knife (www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/hunting/d_h_russell_canadian_boat_knife.html)

A little less expensive and a good all around camp knife $49.95
buck vanguard with rubberized handle (www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/hunting/buck_vanguard_with_rubberized_handle.html)

Or my choice for an good, inexpensive, light small knife $9.95 to $24.95 (depends on sheath)
woodswalker (www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/camping/a_g_russell_woodswalker_in_leather_hip_pocket_shea th.html)

SGT Rock
2006-11-10, 08:42
Check out Tops knives

http://www.topsknives.com

They make very good knives. You can find very expensive knives there or quite a few under $100.00.

In the 4" to 6" blade catagory they list 94 different knives and in the 1" to 3" blades they list 34 different knives.

The Tom Brown Tracker is way over the price range you specified, but for an overall camp knife, it has a good rep:

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=155

You might also want to check out the following knife:

http://www.equipped.com/rsk_mk3.htm

No personal use with it, but have heard some good things about it.

Actually I was also considering the Tom Brown Scout as a possible knife: http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?products_id=157&osCsid=2c4c12cd5a106b9274dd1f1d7a2bb509

Here it is more than the limit I set, but seems like I saw one somewhere for less than $100.

That other Knife looks sweet, but it is way more than I want to pay and it is a little bigger than I was looking for.


Hey Sarge, try www.kellamknives.com (http://www.kellamknives.com)

They have a whole mess of Finnish style Puukka knives including a prehistoric replica flint knife with a deer jaw bone handle with the teeth still attached. I kid you not! Check it out!

Those are some pretty knives. I saw one that was over $800! But man it looked nice.


Sarge, here is a boring, simple, and inexpensive knife. ($43) Been around for a long time, and made only of 420 carbon steel. Nothing fancy.

http://www.thebladeshop.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=450

A great knife. I have carried for years. Perfect size. Sharpens easy in the field. Cleaned and skinned many dead things with this one. My recommendation.

Didn't like the tip design, and I have had a Buck before - also don't like those handels when they get messy.


N202, 154CM is a high-carbon stainless steel, it is the american equivalent of the japanese ATS-34, they both take and hold a keen edge really well. I can sharpen a swiss army knife like a scalpel, but it is a light duty edge, it won't last a long time, the former steels will keep an edge much longer, and they are rust resistant, notice I didn't say rustproof, 'cause they still have carbon in them. The S30V is new to me, and mine seems to keep a servicable edge for a good while, but not as long as ATS 34 knives I have, it is however, easy to sharpen with the DMT hone.

Reading some stuff on these two metals...

Acording to one site the D2 is very hard, but takes forever to sharpen and can hold a bad edge for a long time (whatever the writer ment by that) and the 154CM was a good metal, but according to that same site - recent batches have not been up to the same quality as it was in the past. I really don't know if that means it isn't any good, or just not "as good". Any advice between picking between a RAT-3 in D3 or 154CM?



I like the looks of this knife. Probably because I was a cook and this knife shape would be good for rocking on a cutting board or butchering (though it's a little thick for butchering). $69.95
canadian skinner (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/hunting/d_h_russell_canadian_skinner.html)

This is another nice knife by the same people with a little different shape. $69.95
canadian boat knife (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/hunting/d_h_russell_canadian_boat_knife.html)

A little less expensive and a good all around camp knife $49.95
buck vanguard with rubberized handle (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/hunting/buck_vanguard_with_rubberized_handle.html)

Or my choice for an good, inexpensive, light small knife $9.95 to $24.95 (depends on sheath)
woodswalker (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_purpose/camping/a_g_russell_woodswalker_in_leather_hip_pocket_shea th.html)

Those Canadian Knives look very nice. But having a wood handel knife with leather sheath already - I didn't like what having those two materials out in the weather all the time did to them. I had a wood handle actually fall off once, and the leather got pretty beat up.

The Bucks on that site might be a possibility.

Still looking though. Keep throwing advice at me.

Streamweaver
2006-11-10, 11:25
http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level2c.tam?cart=06K10qak.nnn&lpg=%2Fagcatalog%2Findex%2Etam&lpt=1163172071&xax=8747&pagenumber%2Eptx=1&M1%5FDESC%2Ectx=%22Knives%2C%20Pocket%20Tools%2C%2 0Camp%20Tools%22&BC2%2Ectx=Knives%2C%20Pocket%20Tools%2C%20Camp%20T ools&backto=%2Fagcatalog%2Findex%2Etam&gotohttp=http Brigade Quartermasters has alot of good strong knives for decent prices.

SGT Rock
2006-11-10, 18:18
Well after farting around with it I went ahead and ordered a RAT-3 in D2 with a green sheath and one of those diamond sharpeners like Take a Knee uses. I got it all from Brigade QM (www.actiongear.com) with a 10% discount on top of that.

Not too bad.

Turk
2006-11-10, 18:29
Rock....

If you are looking for fixed blade camp knife. Gotta agree with the
Ontario Rat choice. High end knives, very comparable to swamp rats and
busses, and way way cheaper. The Rat-3 looks like a nice choice if you
want to stay real small, but allow me to suggest the TAK. It is slightly
bigger and really really capable. Check it out here. On sale right now
$66.99. Oh and 14oz with sheath.
http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam?xax=27528&M5COPY%2Ectx=26213&M5%2Ectx=3214&M2%5FDESC%2Ectx=Knives%20%2D%20Ontario%20Knives&level3%2Ectx=level3c%2Etam&BC3%2Ectx=Knives%2C%20Pocket%20Tools%2C%20Camp%20T ools&BC4%2Ectx=Knives%20%2D%20Ontario%20Knives&backto=%2Fagcatalog%2Flevel3c%2Etam

On a second path. Might I suggest an ultralight high quality hatchet?
Gransfors bruks mini, gives you an ultra high end, thin kerf hatchet capable
of doing anything a good camp knife can. Faster and more efficient for many
tasks, and at a carry weight that can compete with the best of the
'big name camp knives'. 13oz. and under $100 in the states. Worth
consideration.

SGT Rock
2006-11-11, 02:03
Actually Turk, you sort of read my mind on that. I don't know that you could do EVERYTHING a knife can do with a hatchet (seems like skinning a rabbit with a hatchet could be fun to watch but not very precise) but there are some chores people try to do with a knife that are better done with a hatchet. When I was building some trail and doing some land nav course work in Kentucky, I took a cheap hatchet to work one day and realized how much easier it is to do a great many things with a hatchet than a knife or machete. SO, one of the things I want to do later is find me a good hatchet for primitive camp and trail work.

So, anyone out there have a good reccomendation for something like that? I am looking for a work tool - hatchet, light ax, or tomahawk. I don't plan on fighting bears with it, throwing it at trees, or using it for combat in my real job. What I do plan on doing with it is trail maintenance, brush clearing, cutting stobs, chopping some small tress, pounding in stakes, skinning bark for trail blazing, etc.

I don't want it to weigh too much - but I also don't need anything so light it bounces off wood when chopping. Durability and weather resistant metal and handles are preferred. And on the handle, having a good grip is a must - had an accident with a machete once from loosing grip on it that was pretty bloody in the middle of nowhere.

I'm thinking the Fiskar 14" http://www.fiskars.com/US/Garden/Product+Detail?contentId=85474 or the Fiskar 17" http://www.fiskars.com/US/Garden/Product+Detail?contentId=85479

SGT Rock
2006-11-11, 11:11
OK, another hatchet option: Grandfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet: http://www.shopatron.com/product/product_id=GFB415/235.0.19659.9368.0.0.0

Take-a-knee
2006-11-11, 13:18
Gerber also makes (or made) a hatchet with a plastic handle, my team SGT had one and loved it, it may be the same as the Fiskars. I'll bet the Grandfors has better steel but the wooden handle is a liability, I think. Either go with a hatchet or a full sized ax, hudson's bay or 3/4 length axes will gouge you right in the shin (ouch) if you miss.

SGT Rock
2006-11-11, 14:05
Gerber also makes (or made) a hatchet with a plastic handle, my team SGT had one and loved it, it may be the same as the Fiskars. I'll bet the Grandfors has better steel but the wooden handle is a liability, I think. Either go with a hatchet or a full sized ax, hudson's bay or 3/4 length axes will gouge you right in the shin (ouch) if you miss.

Fiskar's owns Gerber, and from what I can tell the only basic difference between them is the type of sheath they come with. I have a long Fiskars axe for chopping wood at home and some trail maintenance. Not sure I like the head design and I don't know if you can ever replace the handel if it breaks.

I read a review of the Grandfors Bruks and it sounds pretty dang impressive: http://www.physics.mun.ca/~sstamp/knives/gb_hatchet.html

And the handle could be replaced if needed I suppose.

blink-1
2006-11-11, 18:52
How 'bout making your own...

http://home.comcast.net/~bradjarvis3/

http://www.northcoastknives.com/

or

http://www.texasknife.com/

Turk
2006-11-11, 19:34
Rock,
Hatchet, or knife?!? Not trying to sway you one way or the other. It is pretty well common knowledge that Ontario knives are great knives. What is perhaps in question is, could a small hatchet really perform the tasks required
of a knife? Decide for yourself. But allow me to make a few arguments
in support of the Hatchet.

What I would like to demonstrate if possible, is just how versatile the GB mini can be.
For straight up reviews. Bladeforums has pant loads on GB's full line. Also bladeforums has a great review that compares the wildlife Gransfors vs the Mini. Sorry I could not find the link to that review immediately.

Allow me to summarize. Simple physics. The wildlife hatchet has a 1lb head,
but not a significant increase in handle length. at 23+oz including sheath, you are getting very little power/performance increase at the cost of nearly doubling the weight penalty. The author of the review gives strong matter of fact reasons and pictoral demonstration of why the Mini is the more economical choice between the two. neither hatchet can replace a full size axe, but when doubling as a knife... the mini wins hands down, and is still a devastating chopper for its size.

here goes....
First here is a picture of the GB mini beside a 1L platy bottle
for scale. Very comparable with bigger camp knives.
http://www.ehko.info/HQ_gb_1.JPG
The size of the hatchet head, fits easily in the hand and is quite comfortable
http://www.ehko.info/HQ_gb_2.JPG
and easy to manipulate when performing many knife chores. So to answer your
question Rock, yes you could probablly skin a rabbit... but with about the same problems
as you have with camp knifes not specifically designed for skinning.
http://www.ehko.info/HQ_gb_3.JPG
Note just how thin the kerf of the blade is. Easily compares with fat, beefy, survival type knives.
When using the GB mini for more delicate knife tasks, this is my preferred
hand position.
http://www.ehko.info/HQ_gb_4.JPG
It is quite comfortable, and gives a very reasonable
amount of fine cutting control. Not perfect by any means. But if definately gets the job done.
Total carry weight, after mods and including my homemade
0.3oz sheath = 12.3oz Compare that to a knife with sheath
http://www.ehko.info/HQ_gb_5_wt.JPG

I wont even get into all the standard needs and requirements of a good hatchet.
But I will offer one further comment for thought. Recently been living out of my new
Fritz Handel wood stove. Love the thing. My GB mini makes light work of chopping up
4" pieces of wood to fuel my fire for hrs on end.


Again, not trying to sway anyones decision making when it comes to
knife vs hatchet. Merely wanted to point out some not so obvious
arguments in favor of a good hatchet. What I will definately agree
with though... is that between a GB Mini and a Wildlife, buy the Mini!
spend the extra $$$. Its well spent. For anything more heavy duty
the Scandi or the SFA are big favourites to GB owners.

People can be very passionate about their knives. Until I owned one... I didnt really understand.
But a Gransfors Mini was an instant love affair. For me personally.... I can't justify carrying a full
size camp knife anymore. Not because I dont own great knives. But because my knives can't
do the work of a hatchet, like hammer, carve a paddle, split fire wood 'quickly' and they are heavier.

dropkick
2006-11-12, 00:14
I have the Fiskars 14" and really like it.
I bought it at Lowes for $20.
It's light (just under 23 ounces) but does a good job.
I've been carrying it in my daypack while hiking.
It can handle fairly large jobs too.

I was driving through a burnt out area and had a tree fall down across the road behind me.
It was a fire hardened pine tree and about 20 inches diameter where it crossed the road.
I tried moving it and couldn't budge it.
The only cutting tool I had with me was the hatchet.
It made short work of the tree.
I actually think it was easier than if I had been carrying my bowsaw.

deadeye
2006-11-12, 00:33
How about a Gerber paraframe with 3 1/2" serrated blade? Found it on the trail a few years ago (people drop all sorts of nice stuff on the trail, and it's real tough to find 'em to give it back). It's in my bag of stuff that's going to the exchange store next week.

Price is right at $0:birthday:

SGT Rock
2006-11-12, 01:57
How about a Gerber paraframe with 3 1/2" serrated blade? Found it on the trail a few years ago (people drop all sorts of nice stuff on the trail, and it's real tough to find 'em to give it back). It's in my bag of stuff that's going to the exchange store next week.

Price is right at $0:birthday:

Well for a folding knife I already have one of these: http://www.copsplus.com/prodnum4398.php

I've touched the edge up a little to where I can shave with it - at least arm hairs any way - I'm not about to test my face with it. I carry it as a concealed back up on me. Easy one handed opening and closing - and I have added some TW25B grease on it so it opens up with a flick of the wrist. It already met most of what I want out of a knife, but I prefer for camp work a knife with a fixed blade over a folder - seems the hinge joint always eventually gets a little loose. So for me, this is a nice, lightweight back up to a fix blade (3.4 ounces/95grams)


I have the Fiskars 14" and really like it.
I bought it at Lowes for $20.
It's light (just under 23 ounces) but does a good job.
I've been carrying it in my daypack while hiking.
It can handle fairly large jobs too.

I was driving through a burnt out area and had a tree fall down across the road behind me.
It was a fire hardened pine tree and about 20 inches diameter where it crossed the road.
I tried moving it and couldn't budge it.
The only cutting tool I had with me was the hatchet.
It made short work of the tree.
I actually think it was easier than if I had been carrying my bowsaw.

The 14" fiskars is still on the list of possibles. The only thing though - I would probably go with the Gerber version since it comes with a nylon sheath for the head. If I do get on, I plan to re-do the head blade angle.


Rock,
Hatchet, or knife?!? Not trying to sway you one way or the other. It is pretty well common knowledge that Ontario knives are great knives. What is perhaps in question is, could a small hatchet really perform the tasks required of a knife? Decide for yourself. But allow me to make a few arguments in support of the Hatchet...

Again, not trying to sway anyones decision making when it comes to
knife vs hatchet. Merely wanted to point out some not so obvious
arguments in favor of a good hatchet. What I will definately agree
with though... is that between a GB Mini and a Wildlife, buy the Mini!
spend the extra $$$. Its well spent. For anything more heavy duty
the Scandi or the SFA are big favourites to GB owners.

People can be very passionate about their knives. Until I owned one... I didnt really understand. But a Gransfors Mini was an instant love affair. For me personally.... I can't justify carrying a full size camp knife anymore. Not because I dont own great knives. But because my knives can't do the work of a hatchet, like hammer, carve a paddle, split fire wood 'quickly' and they are heavier.

Hey Turk, thanks for the education on the GB mini. I never thought about totally replacing a knife with a hatchet - and didn't realize the mini's blade was that thin. After reading about the GB hatchets and axes I am very impressed by their performance.


How 'bout making your own...

http://home.comcast.net/~bradjarvis3/

http://www.northcoastknives.com/

or

http://www.texasknife.com/

I am a person that likes to do it myself, maybe someday I will when it comes to a knife. It sounds like a fun project to work on. Thanks for those links.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-12, 13:21
Turk, that Gransfors Mini is just the ticket, not what an AT thru hiker needs but it dovetails nicely with my fantasy of living a Nessmuck/Townsend Whelan live-off-the land lifestyle. It also serves quite nicely as a camp weapon. I've heard the steel in those things was without peer, figures since they are hand forged, a skilled blacksmith can do things with steel that can't be done with laser cutters and ovens.

SGT Rock
2006-11-12, 14:09
Is that Townsend TN?

Take-a-knee
2006-11-12, 18:09
Townsend Whelan was the first shooting editor for Outdoor Life. He was also an infantry officer, retiring as a full colonel. He did many forays into the north country by pack and canoe, carrying a winchester 94 or an 03 Springfield. He used reduced loads to bag his daily protein when it presented itself. He is famous for the quote, "Only accurate rifles are interesting".

stevetexas
2006-11-13, 02:16
Sgt,

It seems that you have already done most of the research about the Fiskars/Gerber and GB hatchets. Between the two, I recommend the Gerber.

1) The plastic handle is nearly bulletproof. You would have to work HARD to make it fail.

2) The GB's wooden handle is tough, but any wooden handle will eventually take some handle hits and break. How many broken handles, just below the head, have we all seen?

3) For the cost and trouble of ordering and replacing the GB handle you can probably buy another Gerber.

4) The Fiskars costs about $20, the Gerber costs about $30. The cover for the Fiskars is no good. The Gerber has a suitable cover. However, it is easy to make a nice safe cover for the Fiskars by using some heavy plastic tubing and some bungee cord. Split the tubing and slip it over the blade and use the bungee to keep it on. A deluxe cover can be made using <$10 worth of kydex and rivets. Kydex is easy to work using a home oven.

5) A drawback is, that to get peak performance, the Gerber/Fiskars needs to be reprofiled to a more acute angle. Raising the top grind line up to about .5" will have the tool chopping very well.

6) The GB is twice as expensive.

Anyway, either the GB or the Fiskars/Gerber should give above average service and be light enough to carry.

Steve

Iceman
2006-11-13, 10:01
Weight being what it is around here...(a bad thing)... How about "termiting" the axe head with a drill press. Drill a honeycomb pattern out of the mallet side of the fiskars/gerber axe. I am sure that you could get rid of alot of the weight, and still retain a ton of strenth in the blade. Remember, this isn't going to be used for daily use, so I would imagine that under light use the axe would not fail.

SGT Rock
2006-11-13, 10:29
5) A drawback is, that to get peak performance, the Gerber/Fiskars needs to be reprofiled to a more acute angle. Raising the top grind line up to about .5" will have the tool chopping very well.

I've never tried to re-profile a blade. How hard is this and how would I go about it? I have a bench grinder, files, and sharpeners.

stevetexas
2006-11-13, 11:42
I've never tried to re-profile a blade. How hard is this and how would I go about it? I have a bench grinder, files, and sharpeners.

I used a small bench belt sander I got at Harbor Freight for about $20. I made light passes with plenty of time between, to keep it cool. I use a worn out belt for occasional sharpening if it needs it. Usually I just touch it up using the sandpaper on mousepad method that people use to sharpen convex knife edges. You really COULD shave with it after that.

The head is advertized as being hardened to Rockwell 40-45, with the edge area at RC 50-56. A nice sharp file would do the job. I would make the blade very slightly convex and polish it with an array of coarse to fine stones and then "wet or dry" sandpaper like they sell for bodyshop work. Paper glued to wooden paint stirring sticks or whatever is handy makes it easier. A smooth transition up the blade is good.

Steve

Take-a-knee
2006-11-13, 19:52
I have quite enough projects to complete, I think I'll just buy the Mini, wrap the upper part of the handle with stainless steel wire and a little epoxy and I figure it'll outlast me. If anyone plans to drill something with a rockwell hardness of 45 you'd better have a he-man drill press with one of those drill doctors to sharpen the bit after every hole.

dropkick
2006-11-13, 20:48
I made a small cover for my Fiskars out of some scrap leather I had hanging around. It only covers the cutting edge and about 1 inch in. I was going to tie it on or use a rubber band but it stays on by itself.

I have planned to make a better sheath, but this one works well enough, so there's no rush.

Still, I probably will replace it soon, because I made it without much planning, no real measuring, and the sewing was sloppy. It looks bad. -I made it in a few minutes on my sewing machine when I was in a rush to get out the door and on the trail.

Iceman
2006-11-14, 00:04
I have quite enough projects to complete, I think I'll just buy the Mini, wrap the upper part of the handle with stainless steel wire and a little epoxy and I figure it'll outlast me. If anyone plans to drill something with a rockwell hardness of 45 you'd better have a he-man drill press with one of those drill doctors to sharpen the bit after every hole.

Ya' you are probably right about the drill bits. May go thru a few..... I have the drill doctor, does a fine job resharpening. OK, how about a plasma cutter... O crud, just lost the temper, I can't win...

dropkick
2006-11-14, 01:16
Sgt,
5) A drawback is, that to get peak performance, the Gerber/Fiskars needs to be reprofiled to a more acute angle. Raising the top grind line up to about .5" will have the tool chopping very well.
Steve
Why do they need to be reprofiled?
I read where someone else had done this before buying my hatchet.
But I used my Fiskars as it came from the store and had excellant performance.
You don't want too acute an angle on a hatchet or ax, as it will make them stick more often, and dull quickly.

Is it just a personel preference?

I know of many people who sharpen all their knives to a 10 to 15 degree angle, which makes a razor sharp edge, but it dulls quickly, and can chip easily as the edge is very thin. I like most my knives sharpened at 20 to 30 degrees, The angle depending on their use (i.e. fillet/boning knives 20 degrees, bone/general use knives 30 degrees).
An axe should be at least 35 degrees. (In my estimation)

Take-a-knee
2006-11-14, 01:31
Iceman, the plasma cutter would work, only they cost about 2 grand, I think. That drill doctor is the ticket, ain't it? The only thing better than having a drill doctor is having someone as gullible as I am who'll sharpen all his friends' bits for them.

dropkick
2006-11-14, 02:02
I just read the message I just posted and thought I better tell a little more about how I sharpen.

This is how I'd do a general purpose/camp/chefs knife. - 28 degrees (as I do the angles by eye and use my thumb as a guide I can't be exact).

First you need to look at the blade and see if it's getting too blunt (every time you sharpen a knife if you use only one angle you'll end up with a blunt edge). If it is, you'll need to make a relief first.

A relief is easy to do, just sharpen on a rough stone at around 20 degrees.

Then sharpen for your final edge 28 degrees.

This sounds goofy, but what you want to do is to grind a broader angle onto the end of a sharper angle. This gives you a strong sharp edge.
-You don't need or want, to do the relief every time, just occasionally when edge is getting to wide.

I use a steel after this to get the burr off the edge of the blade (there is always a burr left after using a stone.

Iceman
2006-11-14, 09:59
[QUOTE=Take-a-knee;15662]Iceman, the plasma cutter would work, only they cost about 2 grand, I think. That drill doctor is the ticket, ain't it? The only thing better than having a drill doctor is having someone as gullible as I am who'll sharpen all his friends' bits for them.[/QUOTE

Take-a-knee, Ive played with the plasma cutter once...very cool! The drill doctor has saved me a ton of cash.... I have stood there sharpening bit after bit after bit as we dulled them drilling manifold bolts out of my 460cu in block. What a lifesaver...

Dropkick, for axe sharpening, I use a dual action orbital sander with 400 grit alum oxide paper. It can reformat an axe edge very quickly. Too quick, gotta watch out for the heat... You can shave with my axes. My buddies drop theirs off here once a year for beautification. Resharpen and shoot a coat of poly over the whole axehead and handle (if wood), better than new. I use elec tape wrapped over the edge to protect people from the sharp edge....

I even sharpen up all our shovels, machettes, etc...(for our back country travels) with the sander trick. For back country vehicle use, I carry a good dual head limbing axe. Two blades are better than one...

stevetexas
2006-11-14, 11:32
Why do they need to be reprofiled?
I read where someone else had done this before buying my hatchet.
But I used my Fiskars as it came from the store and had excellant performance.
You don't want too acute an angle on a hatchet or ax, as it will make them stick more often, and dull quickly.

Is it just a personel preference?

I know of many people who sharpen all their knives to a 10 to 15 degree angle, which makes a razor sharp edge, but it dulls quickly, and can chip easily as the edge is very thin. I like most my knives sharpened at 20 to 30 degrees, The angle depending on their use (i.e. fillet/boning knives 20 degrees, bone/general use knives 30 degrees).
An axe should be at least 35 degrees. (In my estimation)

Hi dropkick,

The reprofiling I am talking about removes very little metal, and none at all at the cutting edge. All it does is smooth out the ridge at the top of the factory grind line. That lets the blade slip into the material a little better.

The bevel on the cutting edge can still be at any angle you like.

I'm sure that the vast majority of owners never reprofile the hatchet and are still happy. I did mine after reading an article by Mike Stewart of Bark River Knife and Tool.

Steve

SGT Rock
2006-11-14, 14:42
Much to consider. I love the idea of having a GB Wildife Axe - sounds like a great hatchet. But the durability of the handle and lower cost of the Gerber is a winning combination.

What I will probably do is go get a Gerber when I get home and play with it. If it doesn't satisfy me I can always move up to the GB. Hell, I may even eventually just get me a mini like Turk and stop carrying a knife all together.

Thanks y'all.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-14, 16:27
Rock, you can't go wrong with the Gerber, it is worth having just to leave in a vehicle. I do plan to get a Gransfors Mini, but it will be a treasured piece of kit, not something I would leave in my truck.

Turk
2006-11-14, 19:27
grinding, reprofiling..... an all too common association with the
gerber line of hatchets. I am somewhat inspired to post up a short
article on exactly why the gerber is poorly designed.

In a nutshell .... the head design is shaped and weighted for an axe
three times its actual overall length. The physics of it is just all wrong. The
end result, Poor performance to weight ratio. (carrying more than you
need, for a task it cant really perform)

Not that you shouldnt own one. Heck the price is right. And as many have
mentioned, some grinding work can do wonders. Simplest solution.
Get the 20" handle model. It is the exact same head as the backpaxe with
miniscule weight gain for major performance.

Heck I have one too. Used it as part of my paddling rig. I would love to see this idea of drilling out some weight in action. This could be a cheap and effective way to squeeze some performance and weight reduction out of this relatively cheap little hatchet.
http://www.ehko.info/HQ_ifejacketmod.JPG

I made the mistake of getting the tiny 9" backpaxe. I will watch this thread and see if anyone can offer up exactly
how to drill the head out, and offer up my own as a guinea pig test subject for thoughts and ideas on how to cut
the weight in half.

SGT Rock
2006-11-15, 10:24
Hmmm. Now I am far from an expert. And I have been known to cut the handles off toothbrushes and labels off stuff to save a few grams. BUT...

Isn't part of the advantage with a hatchet the kinetic energy from the head in a swing? Wouldn't lightening the head sort of take some of that advantage away? Just wondering? Seems like if you make the head too light it will loose some of the penetration power.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-15, 12:47
A 762 round is more effective than 556 but a 556 in the cranial vault beats a 762 round in the foot everytime. I've been a carpenter off and on for three decades now. You almost never see one my age carrying one of those 28oz long handled, elbow destroying framing hammers. He usually carries a 16oz straight claw hammer, sort of what people have been using to pound nails for a couple hundred years. I have yet to hold a Gransfors Mini and I know a few more chops will be required to do some tasks but they will be more precise, accurate and SAFE.

SGT Rock
2006-11-16, 13:49
Good point Take -a-knee about using a hammer instead of a framing hammer. I have a drill press at home, but I doubt I could drill a hole throug that head with it.

Iceman
2006-11-17, 01:11
Seems like lightening the head would take away a bit of the advantage of the axe, but how hard are you really going to muster on a tiny little axe anyway? If the concern is to split some really big stuff, wrong tool.

As for drilling the head, I may take a shot at my fiskar axe head this weekend with a drill... Would be nice to know if you could termite a bunch of weight out of it for you light weight freaks. :bike:

Question for anyone...; Is the metal on an axe head case hardened, or simply raw, no quencing/hardening...? I have been drilling axe heads and pinning them to their wood handles for years. Seems that they drill ok, not too much difficulty. But these are traditional type back yard axes, not new fangled fiskar type heads. :hmmmm:

Take-a-knee
2006-11-17, 08:45
Case hardening is done with a carburizing paste and a torch, like gun parts of old. It is a manual effort, hence it isn't done much anymore. That Fiskars axe head is probably hardened in an oven. Modern metallurgy enables this, they have figured out how to alloy rare elements in the steel and heat treat to come close to what was borderline alchemy performed by a skilled blacksmith a century ago.

TeeDee
2006-11-17, 15:04
You almost never see one my age carrying one of those 28oz long handled, elbow destroying framing hammers. He usually carries a 16oz straight claw hammer, sort of what people have been using to pound nails for a couple hundred years. I have yet to hold a Gransfors Mini and I know a few more chops will be required to do some tasks but they will be more precise, accurate and SAFE.

TAK - you are entirely correct in what you wrote. But I think you are also missing something here.

Use your 16 oz hammer to drive a common framing nail, say a 16d. Drive it flush. Takes 2 maybe 3 or 4 swings, depending on whether you are driving into good kiln dried wood or green wood.

Now pick up a 10 oz hammer and attempt to drive an another 16d nail flush. It is going to take you a LOT more than 3 or 4 swings. Also, your wrist and forearm is going to be absorbing a lot of shock from that small hammer rebounding from the nail.

One of my summer jobs many, many decades back was working on the county bridge crew. This was back when they had wood bridges, before they were replaced with steel culverts. We fastened the planks (rough cut, straight from the sawyer, no kiln drying) with 6" or 8" spikes (it's been too long to remember exactly, but I think probably 8" spikes). We used 4 lb sledges. Tap to set 1/2" to 1" into the plank, step back and 2 swings and you drove the spike flush. I have actually seen one of my co-workers who had been doing the job for a loooong time, drive the spike flush with one swing. It takes a lot of practice and total confidence in your hand-eye coordination to do that. As an aside, when starting I thought that the size of the person had a lot of bearing on the use of that 4 lb sledge. Boy was I wrong. One of the crew was the type that built muscle just sleeping. He was about 5' 9" and had biceps as big as my calves. Another guy was 5' 6", wiry and jumped around with a lot of nervous energy. The two of them could pace each other down the bridge. The big guy used more brute force. The smaller guy just went with the sledge instead of forcing it. They could go down a 40' span on parallel joists, 2 spikes per plank and neither was even breathing hard.

Attempt driving that spike into really green wood with your 16 oz (or 23 oz) hammer and I'll take my lunch and dinner break and come back tomorrow and you might have managed to get the spike started in that really green rough plank.

My point: hammers will scale down on the size of the object being hammered, but not up. I could use that 4 lb sledge to drive a finishing nail. Not accurately and with damage to the wood. But I could never drive that 8" spike with a 10 oz hammer - not without a LOT of damage to my wrist and arm.

Having wrote that, I would not desire to use the wrong hammer for the size of the nail. That I totally agree with.

In my mind, it comes down to how often one is doing the hammering. A carpenter is going to use a 16 oz hammer for framing and probably something lighter for installing 1/4" molding and a sledge for spikes.

But when you are packing into the woods, you will probably be packing a single ax/hatchet. Also, you most likely will not be spending hours a day using the tool. In that case, I would opt for the Gerber field axe. I can take down a 2' or 3' tree with the field axe. I can cut small twigs and kindling also. I would attempt to take down a 2' or 3' foot tree with the gransfor hatchet only under the most dire of circumstances.

Like a hammer, the ax scales down on the object being cut, but not up.

Now a word in defense of the Gerber Back Pax. Turk, you are correct in that the head is the same as for the field ax and is probably designed for a larger handle. However, the handle on that back pax is hollow and, as someone else mentioned, that fiber filled plastic will take a hell of a beating before failing. Since the handle is hollow, I can easily convert the back pax to a field ax. Simply scrounge a 3' stick bigger in diameter than the inside of the back pax handle. Use the back pax to carve the handle down and jam/wedge the stick inside the handle. I can even use a wood peg through the handle lanyard hole to further secure the stick. I have now converted the back pax to a field ax. Which would I rather carry? The back pax. The smaller size carries the decision in it's favor over the field ax. Of course, if I know for totally sure beforehand that I would need an ax, I would take my double bit ax, no contest.

For me the 11 oz weight of the gransfor mini hatchet means I can use it for kindling and small twigs and maybe small branches. I would be hard pressed to recommend it for a green branch much over 2" in diameter. It just will not comfortably scale up to larger objects.

Head weight does make a difference in the job attempted.

TeeDee
2006-11-17, 15:19
Also, I would think long and hard before drilling out an ax head.

If you need a lighter head, buy a lighter head.

But trying to convert a heavier head to a lighter head, just means that you now have an ax that can only handle those jobs for which the lighter head was designed. Why not just buy the proper head to start?

Take-a-knee
2006-11-17, 22:02
TeeDee, what you said is all well and good about pounding nails straight down, like planking or platform framing a wall. It is when you have to drive nails sideways (tee posts, trimmers etc) or overhead (bracing a roof) that you set yourself up for medial or lateral epicondylitis(golfer's and tennis elbow resp.)_ Why would anyone on foot have need to cut anything larger than 2in in dia? Maybe to build a raft, I can't think of anything else. If you had to do some light logging carry the mini with a small saw like the Sven or a collapsilble bow saw. Any of the old canoe country northwoods guys like Calvin Rutstrum cautioned against the casual use of a short handled, two handed axe, the so-called Hudson's Bay pattern. If you miss it will give you a nasty gash in the shin.

Hollowdweller
2006-11-17, 22:22
Sarge,

I carry a Benchmade model 210TK Activator (Snody), the blade is only 2.10 inches and total weight is 2.5 oz. It has s30v steel which is only slightly under the HRC value (58-60) of the D2 (59-61). I boned out an entire Bull Elk last year with it and only sharpened it once during the entire process. You can find them on E-bay for under $100.00 most any day. I recommend the hard sheath if you decide on one (much lighter) than the leather. Great knife!

I've always wanted one of those. They look totally sweet!

Hollowdweller
2006-11-17, 23:18
Turk, that Gransfors Mini is just the ticket, not what an AT thru hiker needs but it dovetails nicely with my fantasy of living a Nessmuck/Townsend Whelan live-off-the land lifestyle. It also serves quite nicely as a camp weapon. I've heard the steel in those things was without peer, figures since they are hand forged, a skilled blacksmith can do things with steel that can't be done with laser cutters and ovens.

I love my mini.

I did break the beard off of one once chopping some very hardened chestnut oak and GB promptly sent a replacement.

I have a Wildlife, but for me unless I'm packing and it was REAL cold I'd choose something lighter.

I have been told that the reason for the higher price on the mini vs the wildlife is due to the small size they do replace more of them. Don't know if that's true but makes sense.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/hollowdweller_gbsnap.jpg

I think the deal with the mini is even though it's super light it's sharper so it cuts like a slightly heavier hatchet. Also I use sort of a whipping action when i use mine. Also although it doesn't have the leverage of a bigger hatchet I find I have very few wasted cuts because the shorter size allows me to be a bit more precise.

You mentioned Nessmuk. My favorite combo is my thin 3/32" bladed Nessmuk knife and my Lee Reeves Nessmuk Hatchet. The Hatchet is a little over a pound and one bit is super fine and one is thick, good for splitting.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/nsmkhtcht.jpg

Sgt,

Those Ontarios gotta be one of the better deals in the knife world.

Another slightly more expensive but certainly great knife is the Bark River Northstar. Any of y'all have one? Carbon Steel. Convex edge.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/northstar.jpg

I've always been fascinated by the little Gerber but never played with one yet. I like that it looks like it has a fairly wide bit?

Sorry y'all serious steel addiction here:embarasse

Quite a few axes, khukuri and various other choppers here too:

http://ramanon.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=123

So when y'all take a hatchet do you take a stove? Sometimes I do sometimes not.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-18, 00:17
Thinking about the mini again...anybody remember Ty Cobb and how he choked up on the bat? He had the amazing ability to hit his intended target. HollowD, is the cutting edge on the mini markedly thinner than the larger hatchet?

dropkick
2006-11-18, 00:36
So when y'all take a hatchet do you take a stove? Sometimes I do sometimes not.

Ever since I got my light weight Fiskars hatchet I've been carrying it on all my hikes. I also carry an entrenching tool (small shovel) and a foldable bucket.
-- I have a bit of a phobia, as I got caught in a grass fire once, and I've fought forest fires.

When the season and my surroundings allow it I like a campfire (another reason I carry those tools).

I do carry my Sierra stove occasionally but it doesn't require a hatchet to get fuel as it will run on twigs.

I usually just use my alcohol stove for cooking though.

SGT Rock
2006-11-18, 01:07
I still carry an Ion stove since it is so dang small and light. The stove weighs about an ounce and add to that a small bottle of alcohol for fuel - say about 5 ounces in weight for a short trip. That way you can still have the option to sit under your hammock tarp and cook when it is raining.

And I am still playing with wood stoves. I got a test stove sent over here to play with that works OUTSTANDING so far and is very light - it would make a good one man solo burner for most hikers - but you shouldn't need a hatchet or anything since it takes very small sticks for this puppy.

But no pics yet and no reports yet until I give the maker the chance to see everything first. But GOD it is good to have that wood smoke smell around here instead of burning plastic trash fumes. If you have been to Iraq you know what I mean.

Hollowdweller
2006-11-18, 01:16
The Sierra is great if you are actually cooking stuff. Yeah pine cones burn great but a lot of times I cut thick limbs about as long as my thumb for it if I am gonna burn it for a long time.

Is the edge on the mini thinner than the one on the Nessmuk? About the same on the thin bit side of the double bit. I have a picture somewhere of them compared but I'll have to remembre where I posted it:ahhhhh:

Hollowdweller
2006-11-18, 01:20
Can you guys get me up to speed on this Ion stove? I like the idea if I was just bringing a hatchet and cooking over the fire still having something light I could fall back on for morning coffee if a gulleywasher comes up.

stevetexas
2006-11-18, 02:13
Hollowdweller,

I am an old vet. I find what a lot of these "backpackers" say to be silly.

It is if they have NEVER seen real life in action. Guess what y'all????

Meat does not grow in plastic wrappers. Don't faint!!!!!!! The hamburger you ate was made of MEAT. A live animal died to give you a hamburger.

(counts for shoes and belts too)

steve

bird dog
2006-11-18, 03:03
Hollowdweller,

I am an old vet. I find what a lot of these "backpackers" say to be silly.

It is if they have NEVER seen real life in action.

steve

Steve, The vast majority of us "Backpackers" on this site are "old vet's" as well. I, like most of the other "old vets" on this site have seen "real life in action". BD

Take-a-knee
2006-11-18, 12:23
Steve Texas, one year ago yesterday I put a bodybag with a friends' corpse in the back of our F350(what was left of him) and finished the patrol. Many who post here did a year or more in the infantry in Vietnam and handled lots of body bags, and carried their own each day on patrol. Most of the rest of the posters here didn't do any of these things only because there wasn't a war when they served. Most of the guys here who were never GI's are cops who do a job everyday I do not envy. Some are vets and cops. The guy who maintains and pays for this site is currently living in the most dangerous real estate on the planet. A lot of us here eat meat that we killed and processed. Maybe you can find somewhere else to bluster.

SGT Rock
2006-11-18, 13:34
Can you guys get me up to speed on this Ion stove? I like the idea if I was just bringing a hatchet and cooking over the fire still having something light I could fall back on for morning coffee if a gulleywasher comes up.

www.ionstove.com (http://www.ionstove.com) - yours truly makes 'em. Since you are being nice enough to loan me a blade when I get back, just PM me your address and you can have one. I'll get my wife to mail you one off next week.

Hollowdweller
2006-11-18, 21:54
Hollowdweller,

I am an old vet. I find what a lot of these "backpackers" say to be silly.

It is if they have NEVER seen real life in action. Guess what y'all????

Meat does not grow in plastic wrappers. Don't faint!!!!!!! The hamburger you ate was made of MEAT. A live animal died to give you a hamburger.

(counts for shoes and belts too)

steve

I must have missed the reference to meat eating you are referring to.

Speaking of that I'm off all next week for hunting. I can't wait.

Hollowdweller
2006-11-18, 22:02
www.ionstove.com (http://www.ionstove.com) - yours truly makes 'em. Since you are being nice enough to loan me a blade when I get back, just PM me your address and you can have one. I'll get my wife to mail you one off next week.

Sgt Rock,

PM Sent, you rock!

dropkick
2006-11-18, 22:55
Hollowdweller,
I am an old vet. I find what a lot of these "backpackers" say to be silly.
It is if they have NEVER seen real life in action. Guess what y'all????
Meat does not grow in plastic wrappers. Don't faint!!!!!!! The hamburger you ate was made of MEAT. A live animal died to give you a hamburger.
(counts for shoes and belts too)
steve
Huh?????
Where did that come from?
As far as I'm aware no PETA people here.
Doubt that it was aimed at me, but I am also a vet, and I've been hiking and camping since I was in diapers.

SGT Rock
2006-11-20, 14:17
Yes, well I have had some issues with some of the backpackers in the past. They think because they walk the trail and hug a few trees they are somehow protecting the critters.

I have broke the news that deer hunters actually aren't liquored up rednecks blasting Bambi with high powered assault rifles. That because of hunters, there are a lot of funds that go into preserving natural spaces through actual donations (Ducks Unlimited, White Tail Unlimited, etc) and then through fees for hunting and money spent by knobbiest that are paid for by gun and ammo sales. That of the people that are actually putting the MONEY where their mouth is, hunters are a hell of a lot more into conservation of the wilderness than the average VW driving, Birkenstock wearing, falafel eating, long hair hippie types. Of course many do not believe me, but that is just because it doesn't fit into their world view of "kill = bad". Anyway, I don't think stevetexas was referring to people on this web board. I think he realizes guys that talk about killing bears with knives and register saying what guns they have and where they served are a down to earth sort of group.

Hollowdweller
2006-11-20, 22:20
I think you see that sort of attitude more with citified people.

At risk of going OT too bad one of my best friends is a back to the land hippie went to Woodstock and has been heavily involved in the environmental movement. But he shoots deer, owns a sawmill, and has slaughtered and ate goats. Now his place is all solar and hydro powered because he doesn't want to be part of the reason coal is strip mined, but I can respect that.

Most if not all of the tree huggers I know hunt and build their houses out of wood. They are just against unsustainable timber harvesting. But like I say these people are country folks who understand there is a line there.

On the other hand I have a city friend who is always talking about the environment and she drives a big SUV, and buys all this packaged stuff and she thinks she's a big environmentalist because she recycles:ahhhhh:

SGT Rock
2006-11-30, 04:30
I was at the PO on FOB Union yesterday and my knife wasn't in yet. But I had about 140 boxes to download because a group from Tennessee sent our teams a bunck of care packages for Christmas. For the record - there are only 11 guys on my team.

Anyhow, as we were loading the trailer to take all that stuff out of there, the Air Force mail guys were downloading some more trucks. About 10 minutes before we were about to leave, they threw one more box in our mail slot - guess what it was...
http://hikinghq.net/images/blades/PICT0013a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/blades/PICT0013.JPG)

Here it is on my belt:

http://hikinghq.net/images/blades/PICT0018a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/blades/PICT0018.JPG)

The sharpener is not here yet, so I am going to hold off on doing a bunch of tests with the thing until I have the ability to touch up the blade. So far I am happy with it.

And for the dog lovers, Barney:

http://hikinghq.net/images/blades/PICT0008a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/blades/PICT0008.JPG)

bird dog
2006-12-01, 20:18
Looks like a good blade Rock, I think I will have to ammend my Christmas list now!

Nice pics, but I have to say Im a little uncomfortable with one of them: :bootyshak

Where did the dog come from? Is it a new team mascot yall found?

BD

Hollowdweller
2006-12-01, 21:34
Those are great! My buddy Joezilla has one and it's a near perfect size and feels great in the hand.

Hey Sarge,

By the way I got a package in the mail. This stove you sent me is the cutest little package going. I'm totally impressed with the size and design. Totally simple but not sacrificing utility. I can't wait to play with it. Thanks a lot. Let me know when you get in the US of A:adore:

SGT Rock
2006-12-01, 22:35
Looks like a good blade Rock, I think I will have to ammend my Christmas list now!

Nice pics, but I have to say Im a little uncomfortable with one of them: :bootyshak

Where did the dog come from? Is it a new team mascot yall found?

BD

My wife likes the one pic LOL. More to show the carry position than anything else though.

And Barney - I was cleaning out the memory on my camera and found that one. Barney is the camp dog, he was about a year old when we got here (the old team had puppy pics of him). He welcomes the patrols back in, guards the mess hall entrance, and barks when he hears mortars coming in before we know they are coming - pretty good early warning system. He also has a thing for giving some of our terps hell. Animal control comes around and gets rid of all the ferrell dogs on a regular basis, but ol' Barney never has any problems - I think they intentionally "miss" him.


Those are great! My buddy Joezilla has one and it's a near perfect size and feels great in the hand.

Hey Sarge,

By the way I got a package in the mail. This stove you sent me is the cutest little package going. I'm totally impressed with the size and design. Totally simple but not sacrificing utility. I can't wait to play with it. Thanks a lot. Let me know when you get in the US of A:adore:

That was a fast delivery, seems like my wife just mailed it off a couple of days ago. Glad it got there quick. If you have problems getting it to cook fast enough for you, then add some more air holes to the windscreen.

As I said, if you use it as a back up stove - it can let you cook or just make coffee from the dry safety of your own tarp while the rain is coming down if you normally are a campfire user. I find myself more and more being a small campfire user for cooking with my alky stove serving on back up. Get yourself a small alcohol bottle and carry 4-8 ounces of fuel and it can last your for about 8-16 meals.

Hollowdweller
2006-12-01, 23:23
I love cooking over a fire, but yeah the scenario you mention is exactly what I was thinking of. Or a lot of times I'm the first person up and I could get some coffee into my system early with that while I was firing up the fire.

Somewhere upstairs I have one of the bottles for the big heavy Swedish Army? alcohol stove I could probably use.

Yeah the P.O is quick. They rock!

SGT Rock
2006-12-13, 09:00
OK, I thought this hear thread was a done deal, but something interesting happened today - something I never expected.

As you may or may not know, this was started back in November about getting a new knife. Back then TeeDee recommended the Tom Brown knives. Now those are some nice knives, but I didn't have $200+ to spend on one. I also wanted a smaller knife for camp chores, but anyway...

I finally got that RAT3 and have really liked it. About the only complaint was the handle is a little smaller than I wanted. I showed it to a buddy here that likes knives and he fell in love with it. He even was thinking about ordering one of his own.

So today I walk into the team training room and he asks me if I would be interested in trading a knife for that. I asked him what he wanted to trade? Guess what he pulls out - a Tom Brown Tracker. So I traded a $78 knife for a $230 knife.

Now I have a very nice but I am back to the same problem again - I don't have a small camp utility knife LOL.

Iceman
2006-12-13, 10:16
Top, really this is no problem.

The way I see it, you just saved $152 ($230-78= $152) which you can now apply towards the purchase of a small camp utility knife. (Sorry Dixiecritter)

SGT Rock
2006-12-13, 10:18
You just lost your brownie points Iceman LOL.

dixicritter
2006-12-13, 11:34
Yes he did. LOL

oops56
2006-12-13, 12:37
Sgt with the money you saved get two then you be ok one for Dixie

bird dog
2006-12-13, 17:37
Can I have this guys name Rock? Ive got a Gerber Juice that I would like to trade for a Tom Brown if he has another! :biggrin:

BD

TeeDee
2006-12-13, 18:28
Sgt - the tracker looks even better with you holding it than is does on the web site photo.

Enjoy!

dropkick
2006-12-14, 00:32
Cool knife Sarge.
How come no one ever wants to do a trade like that with me?
Just in case though...


Hey Bird Dog! I have a nice vinyl tarp I'd be willing to trade straight across for your MacCat!

SGT Rock
2006-12-14, 15:49
Hell, this guy sufferes from knife envy really anyway. See here is the rest of the story...

He is one of those guys that has extra handguns and assault rifles in the home for some reason. He also carries a Gerber, some sort of combat knife on his ankle (a nice one but I could really care less what it is - but I think it is some sort of Tanto), a Cold Steel folding knife (one of those spring out models), and who knows what else in his pockets or boots. Now add to that he already has his M4, 9mm and he is the .50 cal gunner on one of our trucks. So he has more weapons than he has hands, and if it came down to wanting to hurt someone I would expect he would not start with one of his knives. It would probably go more in the order of .50, M4, 9mm and by the time he even got around to needing a knife it would probably have been way over. So that said, he probably needs to carry another knife like I need another wife.

So I get my new RAT 3 in, figure he may be interested in seeing a nice knife. But I figured since the RAT3 is more a good camp work knife and not for killing or cutting ears off he wouldn't really appriciate it. I was wrong. He started wanting to get one that day - I ended up giving him a catalog where I found mine for the deal I got it at.

Now you figure a guy like that would love a Tom Brown Tracker, but turns out he never even heard of Tom Brown. He just remembered me discussing knives once when I mentioned the Tom Brown Scout.

So being into guns too, this is the sort of guy that has his own EXTRA hologram sight for an M4. He runs into another guy who has the Tom Brown and wants the sight. He remebers me mention a Tom Brown, so he trades the sight for the knife. Then he looks me up to trade knives.

So now I am watching him with my old RAT3. He has moved it around his tie down pistol rig about 5 times today trying to get it just right and doesn't seem satisfied with it. Who knows, maybe I will end up just buying it back in a month or so for $30 or $40 because he wants to get some other knife.

TeeDee
2006-12-14, 21:48
Sgt - I cannot decide if that really, really funny :biggrin: or just plain sad :afraid: .

bird dog
2006-12-14, 22:20
Rock, if he has an extra holographic sight laying around, I sure could use one for my M4.....Been looking at the EOTECHs, but just spent $400 on my JRB Three season set and cant see spending it on an EOTECH. But, if he has any more Tom Browns, EOTECHs, or the like lying around and looking for a trade, send him my way......HEHEHEHEHEHE

DK - No chance. I love my MacCat! But I will put in a good word for you with Brian. He and I are on a first name basis.

BD

Take-a-knee
2006-12-14, 23:54
BD, don't buy an Eotech until you look hard at an Aimpoint, they have a better dot, accept scope caps, are more durable (ask Pat Rogers, he see's eotechs break in his rifle classes all the time), and the clincher, you can turn it on in an instant by slapping the knob with your right thumb. With an Eotech, you have to find the little button and scroll, scroll, scroll. Their only downside is you have to buy a mount in addition to the Aimpoint. Battery life used to be an issue, but not with the ML2. I also like the old trijicon reflex but they don't work with a light indoors, kinda makes them useless as a house gun.

SGT Rock
2006-12-15, 05:42
I got one of these for my M4 after trying the M68 and the EoTech.

http://www.trijicon-inc.com/user/parts/parts_new.cfm?categoryID=3

Of all three I like this one the best becaue the one I have does not need batteries at all. In low light it has enough glow to work and also has enough briteness even in heavy sunlight to see to aim with - a problem I had with the M68. Add to that it is dim enough that when I use my PVS-14 I don't get wash out either. That could be because I go left eye on my PVS14 and right eye for aiming.

Add to that it works well for quick shooting with both eyes open, but if you need a little optical enhancement it gives you a 4X site for shooting with just one eye.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-15, 10:07
Rock, you can't go wrong with an ACOG. The ultimate is an ACOG with a Docter Optic on top, but that is way too much money for most folks. I think the average guy or cop who wants a defensive carbine is better served with an Aimpoint. I never had a problem with the ML2 not being bright enough in Iraq and I was in moonland (Speicher) up north for a while in the summer, I did have to turn it all the way up though, something I'd never done with the M68. They make a kit that doubles the batteries and boosts the brightness. Triple Canopy is now issuing the ACOG mini in 1.5X I've been told, that may be the best all-around. That Tri Power thing may be good but I've never seen or used one. I've taught enough people to shoot to know that people's brains/eyes work differently to some degree. One guy's perfect sight doesn't work for someone else, eye dominance is a big factor but there are other more subtle factors that are over my head but exist nonetheless.

bird dog
2006-12-15, 13:30
All great points. I'll do more research before I buy one. I had several other things on my "list" that I wanted to get first (MacCat, JRB Three season set, etc.). Since I have all of that now, I will start looking after Christmas for a new knife, and some things to upgrade my M4 with. BD

Turk
2006-12-15, 17:01
All I want for christmas is more time in 07 for hiking and paddling.
Do some scouting on the Voyageur in spring.
Play with new gear all summer
Get the family to become full hammock converts.
And get down into the States to paddle the Nolichucky
and see a piece of the AT in the fall.

SGT Rock
2006-12-15, 18:25
Rock, you can't go wrong with an ACOG. The ultimate is an ACOG with a Docter Optic on top, but that is way too much money for most folks. I think the average guy or cop who wants a defensive carbine is better served with an Aimpoint. I never had a problem with the ML2 not being bright enough in Iraq and I was in moonland (Speicher) up north for a while in the summer, I did have to turn it all the way up though, something I'd never done with the M68. They make a kit that doubles the batteries and boosts the brightness. Triple Canopy is now issuing the ACOG mini in 1.5X I've been told, that may be the best all-around. That Tri Power thing may be good but I've never seen or used one. I've taught enough people to shoot to know that people's brains/eyes work differently to some degree. One guy's perfect sight doesn't work for someone else, eye dominance is a big factor but there are other more subtle factors that are over my head but exist nonetheless.

Never tried the Aimpoint - but I assumed the M68 was basically the same thing from looking at the website.

But I know what you mean about sights. I love my ACOG and so do the other two gunners on my team. But the IPLO who is a Chicago SWAT guy prefers the EoTech holo and most guys on our team like the M68 best.

Here is what I have been thinking - if I can get one at a reasonable price, I think the EoTech could make an good shotgun sight for hunting. I figure if I get a rail put on my Remington 870 I could have 2 to 3 positions for it, follow this:

Position one would be for slugs - basically a 100 yard center-point zero.

Position two would have to take some playing with, but it would be for scatter shot like buck shot. Shoot the shotgun at the desired range (for sake of this I would say 100 yards) and the blast pattern would be inside the ring.

Position three would be even harder to figure, but it would be for bird hunting like dove. This could let you use the ring for lead induction and the center-point for aim point. So if you aim and the bird is at the ring, then the right lead is induced for the average range you shoot at.

On the other hand, the ACOG could be a cool site for deer hunting. With the site fired as in CQB - you could shoot your brush type shots with both eyes open. But when you need a slightly longer shot, then the 4X multiplier would be good because you can get down and shoot with your dominant eye at magnification. Plus it works in low light for those dawn and dusk shots. Zero at 200 yards for a .308 would mean a good, fairly flat trajectory for all ranges up to about 300 yards.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-15, 23:26
The Eotech might be a little tall for an 870 unless you put one of those straight M4 stocks designed for an optic, but I'm sure it would work. That Docter Optic or the JP site would work and they are cheaper. The M68 is an Aimpoint, just an older version of it. The newer versions have a slightly brighter dot and vastly improved battery life. From what I've seen you have to beat the hell out of them for a long time to get them to break.

stray1
2006-12-16, 01:06
On my M-4, I used an ACOG tri-power. I have used the Eotechs and AImPoints but when it came to push or shove I carried the ACOG. It works in all light conditions and integrates with your NODs/NVGs. I was very happy with mine. Also, if you can, buy the HK-16 upper for your M-4. You wont have any problems with jamming.

Oh, for a good, reasonable knife, I like the Cold Steel Recon Tanto. :)

SGT Rock
2006-12-16, 09:05
You mean one of these: http://hkpro.com/hk416.htm

stray1
2006-12-16, 10:12
Yes! The HK-416(typo in my original message) is the best upper on market. With the shorter barrel of the M-4, the amount of gas needed to cycle the bolt is decreased. This can cause problems with jamming. Read the HK site. I abused the heck out of mine and it perform well. If I only had one choice of up grades to my weapon it would be the HK-416. Just my 2 cents. Be safe and come home soon. AIRBORNE!

Take-a-knee
2006-12-16, 11:01
I'm sure that H&K upper is the ticket, I'm not sure a civilian needs one however. Larry Vickers, who helped design that thing, will be the first to tell you the M-4 is quite reliable on semi, sustained full auto is another matter however. I was the range medic for four cycles of SFAUC. That is well over one-half million rounds of 556, every malfunction I saw was traceable to a worn out magazine. A lot of guys purposefully left their guns dirty for several days in a row to induce malfunctions, most never had one. The M16A2s that were replaced by the M4 were never reliable, some guys would have trouble shootinq a qualifiying table due to malfunctions. I ain't dissing Mr. Vickers, I have the utmost respect for the man, for those who may not know, he very well may be the greatest 1911 pistolsmith alive. Having spent most of his adult life in a unit that issues 1911's and buys ammo by the conex load certainly helped his education along.

stray1
2006-12-16, 11:21
Try one. This is not meant for civilians, but for people who need them. Our Team transitioned all of our M-4s to the HK-416. The M-4 is a good weapon but doesnt compare to the HK. Again, this is my opinion to the one option I would and did add to my weapon.

SGT Rock
2006-12-16, 11:31
I'm sure that H&K upper is the ticket, I'm not sure a civilian needs one however. Larry Vickers, who helped design that thing, will be the first to tell you the M-4 is quite reliable on semi, sustained full auto is another matter however. I was the range medic for four cycles of SFAUC. That is well over one-half million rounds of 556, every malfunction I saw was traceable to a worn out magazine. A lot of guys purposefully left their guns dirty for several days in a row to induce malfunctions, most never had one.

This is something I will have to totally agree with, normally when on a range and a soldier experiences multiple malfunctions - the top of the mag is slightly bent and/or the spring is worn out - the rifle has little to do with the malfunction in my experience.


The M16A2s that were replaced by the M4 were never reliable, some guys would have trouble shootinq a qualifiying table due to malfunctions. I ain't dissing Mr. Vickers, I have the utmost respect for the man, for those who may not know, he very well may be the greatest 1911 pistolsmith alive. Having spent most of his adult life in a unit that issues 1911's and buys ammo by the conex load certainly helped his education along.
Well I do sort of take issue there. I had a few old M16A1s back in the day. When we went to M16A2s they shot great. Nailing targets at 500 meters, rarely ever had a malfunction. I think as they were in the system longer, the gaging of weapons and some poor maintenance took their toll. Plus the way many army units have you clean a weapon for arms room standards - scraping mechanical pieces on a regular basis with metal picks and green pads messes up the tolerances those parts were made to. I foresee the M4 fleet getting screwed up with use as long as stupid practices like that are encouraged.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-16, 13:24
Rock, I too was raised on GM Hydramatic A1's and never had a problem with them. My guard unit was issued A2's made by FN in S. Carolina. We had several problem guns in the company. When an M16 malfunctions unrelated to the magazine, in my experience something is wrong with the gas system, IE gas port too small, bent gas tube, or some manner of obstruction. We had bushmasters in Iraq, some of the roll pins that secured the gas tubes in the front sight assemblies were undersized and backed out, turning the guns into manual cockers, this happened to one guy in an ambush. I can't deny that a piston upper would emliminate these maladies. It is kind of hard to deny the reliability of piston driven FNFAL's.

SGT Rock
2006-12-16, 14:52
Rock, I too was raised on GM Hydramatic A1's and never had a problem with them. My guard unit was issued A2's made by FN in S. Carolina. We had several problem guns in the company. When an M16 malfunctions unrelated to the magazine, in my experience something is wrong with the gas system, IE gas port too small, bent gas tube, or some manner of obstruction. We had bushmasters in Iraq, some of the roll pins that secured the gas tubes in the front sight assemblies were undersized and backed out, turning the guns into manual cockers, this happened to one guy in an ambush. I can't deny that a piston upper would emliminate these maladies. It is kind of hard to deny the reliability of piston driven FNFAL's.

Substandard weapon parts are nothing to be taken lightly. I think the biggest issue I ever had like you describe with the roll pins were third shops taking short cuts. The used what pin they had and not always the right one - which lead to problems that were not always easy to figure out with immediate action. What I saw with that sort of thing on the maintenance side was generally laziness and a command that was more worried about closing out jobs than actually servicing the customers. One thing I really enjoyed was early in OIF 1 we had a Marine unit in our AO and no Army third shop, so the Marines would do our maintenance for us - and those Marines that did it seemed to like working on weapons and didn't get hung up on paperwork drills. When our own Regimental maintenance showed up (in a combat zone) they played the same games they did back in garrison.

You are right about the piston drive. It works very well on various weapon systems besides the FNFALs. I can't help but think it would be a great mod for the Army to replace upper receivers as units rotate in and out of the combat zone with the new HK 416. As I understand it, the Army is really looking at doing that instead of switching over to the M8.

bird dog
2006-12-17, 02:38
Sorry Rock, I didnt mean to hijack your knife thread with my EOTECH comment about a page back. But, Ive gotten some really good information about different vendors. I mentioned EOTECH because thats what I have experience with from work. I will look into the Aimpoints though.

In the meantime, if your buddy has another Tom Brown he wants to trade, Im willing to pay you a brokers fee! :biggrin:

BD

SGT Rock
2006-12-17, 10:51
Naw, I can alway split this stuff later if it takes off into it's own thread.

I'll ask about the EoTech though, you never know around here.

JAK
2006-12-17, 13:20
Gear.
If you love it, hold onto it.
If you don't misplace or trade it away, it's yours.
If you do, it never was.

dgrav
2006-12-17, 18:54
Nice looking knife! Sarge, have you had a chance to check and see how much the Tracker weighs?

The design looks real good but the over 1lb advertised weight is a bit more than I want to carry.

I have been trying to find out the weight of the Tracker 2 but have had no luck.

SGT Rock
2006-12-18, 07:28
Yes I checked it. 1 pound 9.3 ounces with a lanyard and plastic clip added to the knife and sheath. That is actually under the advertised weight I had seen of 1 pound 12 ounces. So this isn't going to end up being my trail knife or anything like that, I have a 21 ounce Vitronox that does everything I need when trail hiking on the AT and I have been keeping the edge on that sharp enough to shave with.

This knife is for when I go out and do trail maintenance and such. After reading the owners manual that comes with it, I guess you could also use it for dressing out large game too.

TeeDee
2006-12-24, 21:30
Just found this knife

http://www.stircraz.cnc.net/paratraxx.html

Looks to me like a close copy of the Tracker:

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=155

The Paratraxx uses 420 stainless, is slightly longer than the Tracker and has a smaller knife in the handle.

How does the 420 work in a knife for this purpose? I see that the tracker uses 1095 High Carbon steel.

There was an auction for the Paratraxx on ebay - last I saw there was 1 bid for $30.00

Maybe one will show up again on ebay.

SGT Rock
2006-12-27, 14:27
For that price - take a chance and get one.

Number7
2007-01-24, 12:04
Another slightly more expensive but certainly great knife is the Bark River Northstar. Any of y'all have one? Carbon Steel. Convex edge.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/northstar.jpg


Bark River knives are brilliant, and comparitively inexpensive. IMO one shouldn't be cheap when buying your outdoor knife. Maybe it's because I'm from the sticks, but my attitude about an outdoor knife is that you want it last longer than you do, something that will still be on your belt when you're 80. It should be as good looking as it is functional. It should be robust enough for every day cutting and bushcraft and sharp enough for woodwork and skinning. A fixed non serrated blade with a comfortable handle, thick long lasting steel, full tang, wide flat or convex grind.

I'm thinking of selling my Barky, but only so that I can replace it with the same model but with a wood burl handle, the one I have is mircata.

JAK
2007-01-24, 17:05
Number7 & Hollowdweller. Pleased to meet you both.

I like that sheath. Is that a firestarter or a sharpener?
Also, this is probably a dumb question, but might it be both?

dropkick
2007-01-25, 01:40
Number7. Pleased to meet you. I like that sheath.
Is that a firestarter or a sharpener?

Also, and this is probably a dumb question, but could it be both?
You could use a flint (the firestarter) to sharpen your knife.
It's harder than the steel.
When you hit the flint on the striker (knife) the sparks created are really small pieces of steel you broke loose.
This is why a high carbon steel blade works best if you plan to use it as a striker.

JAK
2007-01-25, 09:27
Thanks for that dropkick. I was curious. Would a flat flint or a round flint be better for sharpening. I remember we used to have this big long round sharpener. My grandfather used to go through this amazing ritual of sharpening before carving the turkey or roast beast.

So for lightweight hiking, if you were to carry a small hatchet or hawk in winter say, for the odd bit of bushcraft now and then, how high of a carbon would you suggest, and what sort of a sharpener? Would it make sense to use the hawk and flint as your backup firestarter also? I would still carry matches and a lighter, but I would like to get into the habit of using my backup firestarter and tinder kit. I also carry a few nails rather than tent pegs, as I consider them to be more versatile where I hike. I think they can be used to strike also, though they are lower in carbon.

I would love to find the right piece of flint in the woods. We have plenty of rock here you wouldn't think it would be so hard. I need to try a bit harder. I suppose I should just keep looking until I find something that sparks. Any ideas what sort of rock formations I should be looking around? Apparently we have them all here. Love the Appalachians.

Number7
2007-01-25, 09:57
Dunno JAK. That's a pic of hollowdweller's knife not mine. I have a diferent model with an all together different sheath and it didn't come with that accessory.

JAK
2007-01-25, 10:01
Yeah sorry about that 7. I figured that out.

Hollowdweller
2007-01-25, 12:49
Sorry. It's the larger Swedish Firesteel.

Both the sheaths for the Bark River Northstar and the Aurora both have the firesteel loop.

I like the firesteel. I usually bring along a cotton ball or some wicking with vaseline rubbed in for tinder. They will last way longer than a lighter but if you want to start a fire using natural tinder you have to really pick and choose and work at it. Since the wood I use usually backpacking is damp I usually bring a bit of dry tinder anyway so the firesteel is a cool thing to have.

Hollowdweller
2007-01-25, 12:53
PS the sheath comes with the loop, but not the firesteel.

Also, not to spam, but my friend Andy can make a nice pouch sheath for any knife with a firesteel loop.

Here's some he did for the Fallkniven F1's we did as a group buy(on the fallknivens) a while back

http://ramanon.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40465&highlight=firesteel+loop

rbd
2007-01-25, 15:05
Still need a knife?
I received a really good camp knife for Christmas from relations in Finland.
Can't wait to see how it does shaving firesticks & should be good for field dressing deer too. There's a couple of good Finnish knifemakers and I have several. This one is by Jarvenpaa. Here's an American website and the sellers description. http://www.ragweedforge.com/FinnishKnifeCatalog.html
Aito Puukko #1244;The handle is built up from stacked leather with solid brass ends. The leather is not varnisihed, which improves the feel and grip. blade is unpolished carbon steel of a useful size and shape. The sheath has a plastic insert and a brass reinforcing band at the top. The blade is about 3 3/8” long, and the knife is about 7 ˝” overall. The price is $85.

Interesting website. It's one reason I switched to hammock camping last summer. This is my first post here. Hope it's not out of line with the thread as I'm still learning the rules of the sandbox.

Hollowdweller
2007-01-25, 15:28
Still need a knife?
I received a really good camp knife for Christmas from relations in Finland.
Can't wait to see how it does shaving firesticks & should be good for field dressing deer too. There's a couple of good Finnish knifemakers and I have several. This one is by Jarvenpaa. Here's an American website and the sellers description. http://www.ragweedforge.com/FinnishKnifeCatalog.html
Aito Puukko #1244;The handle is built up from stacked leather with solid brass ends. The leather is not varnisihed, which improves the feel and grip. blade is unpolished carbon steel of a useful size and shape. The sheath has a plastic insert and a brass reinforcing band at the top. The blade is about 3 3/8” long, and the knife is about 7 ˝” overall. The price is $85.

Interesting website. It's one reason I switched to hammock camping last summer. This is my first post here. Hope it's not out of line with the thread as I'm still learning the rules of the sandbox.

I have been wanting to pick one of those up! I love Scandi Grind blades!

rbd
2007-01-25, 16:16
Right. There's a lot of really good knives, however, I think this one will be a good woodsman's field knife that meets the origional specifications in the first post: "I was looking around for a new knife, something that I can put through serious paces and it last and perform. Something I can use to do camp chores as well as clean/dress animals that also is not to dang big so I have to go to a smaller knife when doing camp chores - so about a 3" to 3.5" blade."
I just noticed that STG Rock hasn't posted anything for weeks - hope he's OK.

Take-a-knee
2007-01-25, 16:54
RBD, yeah I've been thinking about Rock a lot myself. From the news it looks like they are finally starting to kick ass around Bagdhad, which is good, except for the fact that it is our friends and loved ones doing the ass kicking. All HQ posters who believe in the power of prayer should pray for our guys, especially the ones we know, of course, God knows all of them.

JAK
2007-01-25, 17:37
Speaking of knives, has anyone ever used a crooked knife for any reason?

Here is an old guy talking about crooked knives. Missing picture though.
It is a short but very interesting read, where he talks about temper.
http://www.themdays.com/unclewallace.html

"The crooked knife I got is an old one that I got from an old Indian feller a long time ago. I made one myself about five years ago. A lot of people, when they makes a crooked knife, got to have a certain kind of wood to make their fire burn. Some says it got to be birch. Some says it got to be balsam. Me, I don't care what it is. You take a set of knives or a bunch of axes, they all look alike, but you get some good ones and some bad ones. 'Tis the same with crooked knives. My one, I made out of an old trap spring, which is the best steel you can get. You might make one that will turn out number one, and you might make a dozen and not get a good one among them. First you got to take the temper out of the steel. What I do is this. I red hot the steel and cut it to shape with a file. Once you burn the temper out it becomes easy to cut, so then you files it down to the shape you wants. When 'tis finished you heat it up again. Now you dip it in salt water, weak pickle. When you take it out of the pickle, you run your file over it. If the file won't take hold, well, 'tis too hard, and if the file digs in, then 'tis too soft. If 'tis too hard you heat it up on the stove until the file will take hold to your likin'. If 'tis too soft you heat it again and put it back in the pickle. You file a crooked knife on one side. A crooked knife, a plane and a draw-knife is only bevelled on one side. What I can't do with a crooked knife I can't do at all. The crooked knife is the most tool I ever used in my life. There's lots of people who don't know how to use a crooked knife. I've seen people use them upside down. You can't use it like that. If I was goin' to make a shavin' with a pocket knife. I'd cut away from me. If I was makin' a shavin' with a crooked knife, I'd cut towards me. That's how 'tis done."
- Wallace McLean, Labrador

I have seen several different variations and interpretations of a crooked knife. Here is an article that describes it fairly practically without getting curvy the way some modern interpretations or european variations appear. This articles contends that the crooked knife was european in origin and originally curved, but I happen to think it was native in origin and preceeded the introduction of trade steel, and that it was originally straight but inclined on both planes relative to the handle, and used by drawing towards the user. This might have allowed the user to apply more force necessary for a blade other than steel, while still being able to observe and adapt his work safely. When steel became available the steel was adopted, but the form and method of use remained.
http://members.aol.com/mocotagan/freeholder.html

Here is a picture of a simple traditional crooked knife of the form I am familiar with from what I have read on canoe building and other native crafts here in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Interestingly, this one was used to make hockey sticks, so it was a very adaptable knife:
http://www.birthplaceofhockey.com/origin/piccrookedknife.html#top
http://www.birthplaceofhockey.com/origin/picmmsticksdet1.html#top
http://www.birthplaceofhockey.com/origin/pic-mm-stx-team.html#top

Interesting take on the origin of hockey.
http://www.birthplaceofhockey.com/hockeyists/mikmaq/mikmaq-stories.html
There are many small lakes in Dartmouth Nova Scotia, where it seems hockey might have been originally played.

A close up photo of a traditional crooked knife of the micmac or penobscot type, rather fancy.
http://www.ida.net/users/hestamm/htm-files/edcrooked.htm

JAK
2007-01-25, 18:50
Regarding Spring Steel and Knives
The short article by Wallace McLean in Labrador describes spring steel from a trap as the best steel for a crooked knife, presumably to a large degree because it would be both highly suitable and readily available. Here is an article that I think closely describes the spring steel he was refering to:

http://www.engnetglobal.com/tips/glossary.aspx?word=Black+Oil+Tempered+Spring+Steel +Strip+(Scaleless+Blue)
Black Oil Tempered Spring Steel Strip (Scaleless Blue)
A flat cold rolled usually .70/.80 medium high carbon steel strip, blue-black in color, which has been quenched in oil and drawn to desired hardness. While it looks and acts much like blue tempered spring steel and carries a Rockwell hardness of C44/47, it has not been polished and is lower in carbon content. Used for less exacting requirements than clock spring steel, such as snaps, lock springs, hold down springs, trap springs, etc. It will take a more severe bend before fracture than will clock spring, but it does not have the same degree of spring-back.

The above article says .70/.80 "medium high carbon", but 0.70% to 0.80% carbon might also be refered to as a "plain high carbon steel". However, without adding manganese it might not be so easy to use high carbon steel in a hardened state, so I am not sure what the carbon content was in the spring steel used in the old traps that he was refering to, before modern metalurgy got into the percentage of manganese and so forth. I suspect it might have been a bit lower, but perhaps with some case hardening rather than a uniform compostion throughout. Might also depend on whether the trap was made by a blacksmith or mass produced. Perhaps an investigation into the history of steel trap making might be in order.

http://www.key-to-steel.com/Articles/Art62.htm
"Medium-carbon steels are similar to low-carbon steels except that the carbon ranges from 0.30 to 0.60% and the manganese from 0.60 to 1.65%. Increasing the carbon content to approximately 0.5% with an accompanying increase in manganese allows medium carbon steels to be used in the quenched and tempered condition. The uses of medium carbon-manganese steels include shafts, axles, gears, crankshafts, couplings and forgings. Steels in the 0.40 to 0.60% C range are also used for rails, railway wheels and rail axles.
High-carbon steels contain from 0.60 to 1.00% C with manganese contents ranging from 0.30 to 0.90%. High-carbon steels are used for spring materials and high-strength wires."

Here is an article with a reference to steel trap making in Onieda, New York State, circa 1855:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nymadiso/1872-10.htm
"Of the manufactures, steel trap making is the leading business, giving employment to about one hundred persons. It was first introduced by Mr. Sewall Newhouse, who became a member in 1849. He had long been known in this section as a successful trapper, and maker of a superior kind of steel trap. In 1855, Mr. Noyes turned his attention to the manufacture of this commodity, and with the aid of the inventive genius of members of the Community, machinery was applied to the manufacture, and a superior article was soon produced. Six sizes of traps are manufactured and find market all over the country, and in large quantities throughout the west and northwest."

I presume steel trap making goes back further than that, but that was most likely the sort of trap that Wallace Maclean was refering to, and so the carbon content and manganese content might have been close to the current levels for a high carbon spring steel of the Black Oil Tempered Spring Steel Strip type, also called Scaleless Blue Tempered Spring Steel.

Hollowdweller
2007-01-25, 19:01
Khukuris are made from spring steel and they rock. I've got about 15.

Speaking of khukuris I am supposed to send our man Sargent Rock one when he makes his return in Feb. to try out as a trail clearing device I hope he's ok!

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/bigtree.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/bigtreecut.jpg

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/ff1a.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/ff.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/ff3.jpg

Hollowdweller
2007-01-25, 19:03
a few more

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/number2.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/loghalf.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/log5.jpg

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/hollowdweller/khuks.jpg

Take-a-knee
2007-01-25, 19:38
HD, fifteen Kukhris!? I was once verbaly dressed down by my young bride for having thirteen knives...total. I gotta tell her about you man, you are over the top!

Seriously, what do you think of the Cold Steel Kukhri, the lighter one, from a utility/quality standpoint?

n2o2diver
2007-01-25, 21:45
I've got one of those Cold steel Kukris.
It was less than 20 bucks from Knife Center of the Internet and its not bad.
The handle was a bit uncomfortable bare handed but in a glove it felt good.
I wrapped my handle in 550 cord and it feels better.
I holds an edge fairly well and is easy to sharpen. Chops great. I love it.
It is less than a pound, if I'm doing more camping than hiking I take it with me.

Hollowdweller
2007-01-25, 23:02
HD, fifteen Kukhris!? I was once verbaly dressed down by my young bride for having thirteen knives...total. I gotta tell her about you man, you are over the top!



Yeah I'll post a full collection shot and then the next time you want to buy another blade show her the pic and she will let you:biggrin: Glad to be an enabler any time:aetsch:

Iceman
2007-01-25, 23:53
RBD-Welcome.

dropkick
2007-01-26, 08:12
JAK,
The type of rock you want for a flint is a hard rock that breaks to a fairly sharp edge - chert, obsidian, quartz, flint(duh), some granites, jasper, etc.
Lots of rocks will work. -I've even heard of people using the thick glass from the bottom of a pop bottle.
Quartz is the most common and easiest to find around here.


You might try just bringing rocks home and then hitting them with a hammer (sledge) and see if you get good pieces. Wear eye protection - I almost lost one of mine breaking rocks when I was a kid - still have a small scar from it.

The sharper the edge the better the sparks. On the other hand the sharper the edge the less time the flint lasts. -You usually break a bit off when you use it.

Never used a crooked knife.
Though have thought of making one to hollow out some bowls.

dropkick
2007-01-26, 08:21
Hollowdweller,
How do you sharpen the khukuris?
Doesn't look like you could use a large stone like I use on most my knives.
Just curious.

Hollowdweller
2007-01-26, 14:33
Hollowdweller,
How do you sharpen the khukuris?
Doesn't look like you could use a large stone like I use on most my knives.
Just curious.

I have an adjustable strop and I lay peices of sandpaper on them, like 600 grit and then strop the blade.

I also have a thin, non adjustable strop with a strip of mousepad glued on that you can tack a small strip of sandpaper on. The mousepad kind of wraps along the convex edge better. With most once you get a decent edge on them you just have to strop them.(with the leather)

The previously mentioned Bark River knives are convex and only after a LOT of cutting have I had to do anything other than strop them.

Hope this helps.

Iceman
2007-02-01, 22:08
How about this one, only $425, or did I miss it...

http://www.knifeart.com/surefiredelta.html

sailingsoul
2007-02-01, 23:30
Wow! Look at the box you get with it. I wonder if they sell skivies. Can't over pay for underwear. SS :captain:

Iceman
2007-02-02, 00:20
It is actually a very cool knife. I just have a problem buying a knife that costs more than a few of the cars I have owned.

JAK
2007-02-02, 08:58
hehe
We must have the same taste in cars.

Mutinousdoug
2007-02-06, 19:33
Hey,
I’ve been thinking about camp knives ever since Sgt Rock posted his: “Thinking about a new knife” thread. What do you folks really use a knife for when you are out camping?
If I’m going to be out for a week or so (rare, these days) I will probably bring along something like an un-sliced salami or hard sausage that requires a sharp knife of at least 1.5x the diameter of the meat. When I’m hunting I carry at least 3 sheath knives (to camp, anyway) but do most of my slaughtering using a German lock-back with a gutting blade or a D.H. Russell “Canadian Belt Knife”. I’ve slaughtered two elk using only a Western large Stockman and it lacked only for skinning where a sort of blunt point and a tall (from edge to spine) blade would have been a big improvement. I just modified an Old Hickory skinner into a Nessmuk for doing that. My hides have always been a useless mess by the time I get them off the carcass anyway.
I’m usually fishing when I camp so a gutting knife like my Gerber Pixie goes along and that one works for rabbit, grouse and squirrel too but I have a PAL knife with the leather disk handle and aluminum pommel (it looks like a traditional, old, straight blade camp knife only it’s got just a 3.5” blade) that’s better for jointing small game. Either works for gathering mushrooms or the few other wild veggies I can recognize as edible. The Pixie and the PAL knife are the only ones I use that have a guard except for my 14” machete that is used for digging holes and clearing brush.
I don’t build shelters (although I carry enough cordage and knowledge to cobble one together if I needed to). Only build a fire if the fishing is good, or take a plunge and get wet.
What other “camp chores” that require a sharp edge are there?

TeeDee
2007-02-06, 21:39
How about this one, only $425, or did I miss it...

http://www.knifeart.com/surefiredelta.html

Iceman - take a look at this view of the knife features, in particular the wire cutter feature.

http://www.knifeart.com/additionalview602.html

Am I missing something?? It looks to me like the wire cutter is used as the blade opens. That would mean in order to exert force to cut the wire you would have to push against the blade, i.e., the sharpened side of the blade.

Ahh - in looking at this view:

http://www.knifeart.com/additionalview597.html

I can see that the wire is feed into the cutter with the blade open and then the blade closed to cut the wire. so you are exerting force against the back of the blade. Makes more sense.

Doesn't make any sense to me. I must be looking at it wrong.

Also, to use the wrench, the blade needs to be open with the sharp blade just inviting a slip - ouch.

A lot of nice features, just not too sure that I would like to be using them with an opened blade.

Iceman
2007-02-07, 02:09
To me it looks as if you were to attempt to cut by opening the blade, the wire would be forced out of the slot.... must be on the close...

And I agree on the wrench issue, but if that is all you had, probably worth watching the fingers for the occasional emergency use....

When it gets right down to it, a blade is a blade. I remember one of my old shop teachers telling us to use the right tool for the job... I try to avoid using my knife for other tasks. When hunting, river fishing or hiking, I carry a small anvil pruner on my hip behind my handgun. Pruners are awesome for a myriad of tasks I do not want to expose my knife to. From cutting my way thru sticker vines, to opening a shooting lane, pruners are the bomb. Quick cleaning of birds, snip off the head, wings, legs, and trim out the back with the pruners and you have a clean bird in minutes. Snip a huge pile of tinder into manageable pieces in minutes. I open trails up as I hike, see an intruding branch approaching, the pruners are up, snip, and then back in the leather holster, never stop moving. Better trail for the next guy.

Chores that require a sharp edge for me are; food prep, game cleaning and skinning, opening those damned chip bags.....

Hollowdweller
2007-02-07, 13:52
Hey,
I’ve been thinking about camp knives ever since Sgt Rock posted his: “Thinking about a new knife” thread. What do you folks really use a knife for when you are out camping?


For me it's mostly just cutting bread and fruit. So I don't need a massive blade or a thick one. I usually bring my Nessmuk because it's thin, plus you can use the blade to stir stuff because it has a spoonlike shape. I usually carry a folder and small hatchet too but usually don't use the folder unless I need it's smallest blade.

By the way I'm with you on the German folder with the gut blade. I have a Hubertus Lockback like that

TeeDee
2007-02-07, 21:14
From cutting my way thru sticker vines, to opening a shooting lane, pruners are the bomb. Quick cleaning of birds, snip off the head, wings, legs, and trim out the back with the pruners and you have a clean bird in minutes. Snip a huge pile of tinder into manageable pieces in minutes. I open trails up as I hike, see an intruding branch approaching, the pruners are up, snip, and then back in the leather holster, never stop moving. Better trail for the next guy.

Iceman - don't let any of the really fanatic LNT people follow you around - they'd really go crazy :biggrin:

JAK
2007-02-07, 21:26
:biggrin: Yeah, at least over something like a machete they have something they think they can go ballistic over, but a small set of pruners, I think they'd just blow a gasket and end up in a straight jacket for sure. Neat idea for really thick brush.

sailingsoul
2007-02-07, 21:54
Right on with the pruners Iceman. I have brought them camping for cutting bush and small wood but never thought of cutt'in foul / food. As for using a small hatchet or khukri for chopping through larger wood ( as shown in posted pic's) I use a "sven folding camp saw". It's far lighter to carry, cuts through a log in a fraction of the time and with much less effort . Because you don't have to turn a chunk of the log into a big pile of chips. Just a small part of the log into saw dust. Very effective clearing "trail toll gates".
SS:captain:

Mutinousdoug
2007-02-07, 22:58
Iceman, I like your pruner idea. Especially on a small game hunt (except if I dismantle a joint with a pocket knife, it is not so apt to poke a hole in my ziplock bag as a cut joint)
Except for digging sanitary holes, and chopping slightly larger branches, the pruner looks really practical compared to my machete. I hike in pine forest, though so the pruners are going to get sticky. Momma here has a bunch of criapy ones though, that she got from Kmart or somewhere that won't hardly cut me without bending and I don't think they're much lighter than my machete. Is there a model or brand you can recommend: Rostfrei, lightweight,rugged?

LNT? The forest service goes through most of the trails I hike on and clears deadfall every spring. dodgammed abbomination, I tells ya.

JAK
2007-02-07, 23:37
I was wondering the same thing. I haven't seen any true anvil type pruners here. Only the scissor type that always seem to eventually break now matter how much you keep tightening them.

Iceman
2007-02-08, 01:36
I carried bypass pruners as part of my hunting gear for 15 years. Decided anvil pruners were better. Home Depot. $14.

Link to version I carry; http://www.orchardsedge.com/order1.jsp?code=AP-3110

TeeDee, no lightweight fanatic would want to follow me for sure. A path of destruction and horror for sure.

Mutinousdoug, no kidding. My grouse baggies are always leaking from the sharp bone pieces. I have learned to double bag so my cooler ice doesn't taste too bad in my drinks. :beer: