Feb 23, 2010 at 1:37 am #1255624
Another knife thread!
Actually I am just looking for the best knife, minimal weight maximum efficiency, to use with bushbuddy. Basically cut twigs and branch as well as food.
I don't have much experience with the stove yet so I am not sure about quantity of wood I might need to cook a meal.
I guess one important factor would be how the blade remains sharp as trip will be for an extended period of time.
Let's say I use the stove twice a day, how many continuous days could I technically use the knife efficiently?
If anyone did some research or has experience on subject, feel free to express.
If there is another thread on same subject that has been posted recently please point me to it.
HugoFeb 23, 2010 at 2:14 am #1577386
What, no razor blade? ;)
I'd recommend a mora, easy to sharpen, cheap ($10 US) and light (3oz). The wooden handled versions have a tang that runs all the way to the end of the handle, adding strength, they're my favourite.
Look up Mora #1, though you can't go wrong with any of them.Feb 23, 2010 at 2:25 am #1577387
You'll get plenty of different opinions on this one.
I have a BushBuddy Ultra, Ti-Tri + Inferno and a Bushcooker, and there is only one knife I carry when going out with a wood burning stove: A Puukko.
88 g of knife. Here my thoughts on it.Feb 23, 2010 at 2:29 am #1577388
@swearingenLocale: Portland, Oregon
The Mora Clipper is also a good choice. With any luck you won't need it though. The Bushbuddy will boil two cups of water with just a couple handfuls of small twigs. The twigs neeedn't be bone dry either. The knife might come in handy during very wet weather though when dry fuel is difficult to find. In that scenario you could baton the knife into larger chunks of wood to access the dry material within.
GFeb 23, 2010 at 3:18 am #1577389
Thanks Aris and Gordon for posting.
As for the Mora which one would you recommend, I couldn't find the weight on each of their product, do you just email customer services usually. There are many different one under clipper indeed.
Also for the Puuko which company would you recommend. The page you gave was all in finnish!Feb 23, 2010 at 5:15 am #1577399
I recommend the one I have, obviously =) Its a work knife so lacks any decoration, but here are some other ones. If you fancy any of them, then I can go buy you one (you only pay for the Puukko + shipping, no extra charges, and I don't earn any money with it either) as they're in the store next door.
The knife I have is 36€, FYI.Feb 23, 2010 at 8:09 am #1577449
Grohmann Boat Knife, 3.5oz. (1.5 oz for sheath, IIRC) Great size for camp chores and building small fires, holds an edge well. 4" blade, lots of nice details, solid grip.Feb 23, 2010 at 8:47 am #1577477
@johnbrown2005Locale: Portland, OR
Check out the Mora 510. Super light, cheap, scandi grind is easy to keep sharp.Feb 23, 2010 at 9:23 am #1577488
When I can't cook/purify water using a ground fire, I use a DIY tin can Bushbuddy clone I made. I can generally fuel it well with hand-broken twigs and pencil-diameter sticks. If I have the time, slightly larger diameter wood cooks faster and requires less feeding, so I use a carbon steel Mora to chop or split larger diameter wood by batoning it. Peeling or splitting wood can sometimes be necessary if it's very wet. I like the Erickson #1 wood-handled and the red plastic-handled Erickson models, and prefer a carbon steel blade because the edge stays sharp longer than stainless steel blades on other Moras. A laminated blade would also hold an edge well.
I don't use my woodstove enough to tell you how long the knife holds an edge when preparing wood for it. Plus, I do other cutting/carving with it. I do know that I started with a shaving-sharp blade, prepared enough wood to boil two cups of water for five minutes (while cooking rice), and afterwards there was no noticeable change in the sharpness of the blade after using it to baton-chop much of the thumb-diameter wood. Still, part of carrying a knife is carrying the means to keep it sharp. I carry a pen-sized diamond sharpener, but there are sharpening cards which are lighter, and I'll probably switch to one of those soon.Feb 23, 2010 at 10:17 am #1577512
If you're interested in a knife you can use for several consecutive days, then field sharpening has to be a consideration, and I would then submit that you consider a convex ground blade, for which you can buy or make a small, light leather strop to bring with you. Depending on how dexterous you are, you might find it easier to touch up the blade this way rather than having to take a real sharpening pass with a stone and risk messing up your angles.
There was a lovely Gossman for sale on this site, but it sold; check it out anyway to get a sense of what a small, convex ground "Personal Survival Kit" knife is like. Personally, I have two Bark River Knives and I love them. They are truly splendid tools; so much so that I'm going to sell my RAT Izula PSK. It's a great knife too, but I'm really sold on convex grinds now that I've started using them.Feb 23, 2010 at 8:31 pm #1577815
^ I'd have to agree w/ that assessment (I was the one that previously owned the Gossman PSK)
that knife you could baton all day and not have any worries, the convex edge really held up and touchups were a breeze- it weighed all of 2 oz's (a little over that w/ a paracord wrap)
small BRKT's would also be a good choice, full tang, good steel, full convex edge- and several small, light models to choose from
there is a whole cadre of custom knife makers out there that produce really nice knives, to your specs, for a lot less money than you'd guessFeb 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm #1577818
@brooklynkayakLocale: Atlantic North East
I vote for the Mora stainless standard military model, I don't remember what that is. Light, cheap, finger guard, safe…
Great for splitting wood….Feb 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm #1577832
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
Another vote for the Mora. I have been called a knife nut at one point. the Mora is amazing. Cheap and strong. light too.Feb 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm #1577839
I am all new to this knife science so my question might be naive, is it possible to sharpen any kind of knife, carbon, convex ground, laminated, stainless steel?
Also what would be the best tools available? Maintaining assumptions that it needs to be carried.
Posters mentionned light leather strop, sharpening cards, pen-sized diamond sharpener as sharpening tool. Would you recommend buying the sharpening stone with the knife at the same time from the same company or it doesn't really matter? Any link for good sharpening tools.
I am not very dexterous usually however I can see the benefit of reshaping while on the trail. Might as well learn something.
So puukoo, mora and gossman, thanks for your opinions.Feb 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm #1577856
@vertigoLocale: WashingtonFeb 24, 2010 at 7:18 am #1577938
Here is a series of videos (quite good I think) on how to sharpen a convex blade. The tools required are minimal and inexpensive. The last video is about maintaining the edge while out in the backcountry.
I would add that a knife with a Scandinavian grind (a true scandi with no secondary bevel) is probably slightly easier to keep sharp given that the knife acts as its own angle guide. I usually carry a scandi knife with a small DMT diamond hone.
This Ray Mears video is best for the sharpening that he demonstrates in camp (this is how I sharpen my knives at home), but the in-field demo is okay too, I guess:
This is what I do if I have to sharpen my knife while backpacking (but this guy's technique is pretty iffy… With my scandi, I don't need to guess abot angles and I go slower with better precision).
Here's Scott Gossman himself demonstrating a slightly different technique for scandi and convex field sharpening:Feb 24, 2010 at 7:46 am #1577949
You really won't need a knife for your bushbuddy most days, and really the only need is to make shavings to start the fire, if other stuff is damp. And you should be able to get shavings from a knife for months or years without sharpening it. My son carves and whittles sticks in great quantities and I rarely sharpen his knife.
I can't see how batoning is ever necessary for a bushbuddy. For cutting up pieces of wood, the saw on a swiss army knife is much more useful, since that can rip through 1-2" pieces of wood to thick to break in seconds, and that can be helpful for running a bushbuddy, particularly if burning for longer, say for melting snow or boiling water to drink.
I use the one handed trekker since it has a locking blade. I like the newer version with the smooth blade better than my half serrated blade, but really any SAK with a saw would work.Feb 24, 2010 at 9:24 am #1577991
There could be differences in the wood we're using and its moisture content or degree of decay, but I find that batoning is even faster than seconds. With a baton of adequate weight, it's like using an ax. One blow chops through the wood. I often carry a sliding 6" saw for other reasons, but prefer to baton chop the wood.Feb 24, 2010 at 9:42 am #1577997
I was thinking of batoning as spliting wood lengthwise along the grain. I don't think that is almost ever necessary for a bushbuddy. It can be great for a campfire. To split wood along the grain it would also need to be cut to log length, which for a bushbuddy is about 3-4" max.
If you are batoning through a stick and across the grain, creating 3" long pieces, then yes, that could be useful for a bushbuddy and much the same as what I would do by notching with a saw and breaking it. I should experiment more with hitting it harder sometime.Feb 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm #1578182
Batoning is useful to get to the heart of deadwood when it's very, very wet. Sticks can also be split with a saw by sawing halfway through the stick, then hitting it in the center against a rock, half of the wood flies off (lengthwise), exposing the dry inner
And I would ALWAYS recommend using a sharp knife. A blunt knife is a dangerous knife, as you need to exert more force to make the cut and could possibly slip.
You cannot make decent feather sticks with a blunt knife. A good featherstick, one that has 3 to 4 curls per feather will light from the sparks of a firesteel. This eliminates the need to use tinder.
I guess you could call that carrying less by knowing more!Feb 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm #1578346
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Mora knives are a great buy. A recent offering is the Craftline model which has a 3mm blade, much like the Mora 2010. Either will server you well.
But I consider batoning to be a makeshift technique when you don't have better wood cutting tools. Axes are too heavy, but there are many options for saws. Saws are very efficient and much safer than axes.
There are many Swiss Army models with saws. The Trekker model would be an excellent choice for an all purpose knife and you would get a decent saw too. Other favorites are the Victorinox Farmer, Hiker, and Fieldmaster models. I wrote about the Wenger Evo S18 at http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/29169/ .
For an actual saw, the Gerber Sportsman's Saw is just a bit over 3 ounces and will cut more than enough wood for your little stove. The Bahco Laplander is a bit bigger, much more robust and about 6 ounces. The same model has been marketed in the US by Kershaw Knives. From there things jump to larger, heavier bow saws like the Sven Saw at about a pound, and you could build a cabin with!
If I were going to pick one knife to use with your stove, I would go for the Victorinox One Handed Trekker with a plain edge. It will cut small branches quickly with the saw and then spread peanut butter or slice an apple as well as anything in your kitchen at home.
If you want to split wood by batoning on a regular basis, I would go for something like a Fallkniven F1 (or larger) or a Benchmade Rant Drop Point — thick fixed blades with a flat spine and full tang construction.Feb 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm #1578591
@red_foxLocale: South Florida
The lightest effective fixed blade I was able to find is the Buck Mayo Kaala. This knife weighs 2.4 oz with its kydex sheath. It weighs only 2 oz without the kydex sheath. It is more expensive than a knife like the Mora, but you also get a much higher quality steel and the BOS heat treatment. S30V steel holds an edge for a very long time. You can find the Kaala online for around $60. This is probably my favorite fixed blade of all time.Feb 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm #1578711
Lot of great options on japaneseknifedirect.com and they have a great rep amongst alot of blade nuts.
This one is a ~1.5oz VG-10 cored, damascus clad blade, like so many of the newer customs these days that aren't made by western "rugged survival" type shops, but even though it's pretty doesn't mean it's any less functional.
Just one example, there's alot of great blades on that site.Feb 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm #1578715
BTW if any of you checkout that site, you have to scroll through Kikuo's section.
The 50g single side KM-655 is badass.Feb 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm #1578718
@red_foxLocale: South Florida
"The 50g single side KM-655 is badass." -Javan Dempsey
That's a pretty nice knife with an impressive weight. My beloved Kaala reduces the blade's weight by having holes in the handle, but the KM-655 takes that concept to the extreme! If it wasn't so pricey, I would definitely try it out. I can't imagine buying a $200 knife for the backcountry.
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