Ultralight Knives and Other Sharp Things
Jun 2, 2007 at 11:19 am #1391016tkkn cBPL Member
@tkkncLocale: Desert Rat in the Southwest
What does the awl look like on the toollogic?
Is it metal or plastic?
thxJun 4, 2007 at 6:41 pm #1391165Dan MitchellMember
"A knifeless man is a lifeless man" -Old Nordic proverb
Hey guys and gals. I'm new to the sight and this is my first forum post. Love the articles and discussions. Also, I'm a big fan of your books, Mike.
I'm in outdoor education, and I just can't tell my students to go without a knife. I always carry one and like Mike, which knife depends on the nature and length of a particular trip. I don't carry a silly Rambo sized sticker and I'm secure with the size of my manhood, But I will carry something. My dad was an expert woodsman, and I was taught to always carry something, so I will. Besides, when hiking in Europe, you need a tool with a corkscrew in it!
I do like the idea of the swiss scissors. In fact, I have a classic with a damaged case, so I'm going to extract the tiny scissors for my blister kit. Thanks for the tip!
For those of you who go without, more power to you. You have my respect.
Keep up the good work. I've learned much from this wonderful website.
DanJun 4, 2007 at 7:58 pm #1391177George MatthewsBPL Member
After reading this thought provoking article, I decided to take a razor blade and skip the knife on my last trip. I forgot the razor. Did not realize until after I returned and saw it just setting on the table looking rather sad.
But I did still take a small pair of sewing scissors that I got at Targets for real cheap last year. They fold up. Weight is about 1/2 oz.
I also had tweezers that were hiding with my bandaids. They are about .5 oz.
For one oz, scissors and tweezers seem reasonable to me. And I will add the razor blade with paper case next time.
Will add a knife back when I take my Bushbuddy. Otherwise, it will stay home.
Thanks for the good article that made my mind expand a bit.
Jun 4, 2007 at 9:13 pm #1391187W I S N E R !BPL Member
I kind of agree with Daniel on this one. I loved Mike's story- I think every point is completely valid…but I still carry a decent sized knife (currently a Benchmade Pika at almost 3oz).
I'm not sure I even used it much on my last extended trip, but that's neither here nor there to me- it's one piece of gear that I see as tradition and simply like to have. As a huge fan of early (like ~50,000 BCE) human culture and knowing how much time was spent in the development of specialized cutting tools, I kind of figure I owe it to my ancestors to carry something decent :) There's ample evidence that many of those poor chaps developed arthritic conditions in the jaw and wore their teeth down to stumps without blades. I don't want stump teeth. Maybe it is some trace Neantdertal/cross-species/ancient DNA in me, but I can't resist sharp shiny metal…even though I know it's not all that necessary anymore.
Now if I could only lighten my flint hand axe….Jun 4, 2007 at 9:27 pm #1391191kevin davidsonMember
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
…. in the footsteps of our ancestors, the last great flowering of paleolithic tools created a host of bladed artifacts that only got smaller.
One of the chief characteristics of the late "stone age" toolkit was the microlith or microblade. Microblades are small stone (obsidian, quartz, etc.) flakes less than 1 1/4 inches long, with a sharp edge and a "backed" or blunted edge that could be guided with the index finger to sever meat from a carcass.
Well, what do you know—-ancient SUL razorblades!Jun 4, 2007 at 10:06 pm #1391200W I S N E R !BPL Member
Right on Kevin…What I'd give to get my hands on some early tools.
And from what I understand, it wasn't just to make the actual tool smaller, but to make the whole process more efficient…Upper Paleolithic tool makers focused on the blade, gravitating away from the general-purpose (and much larger) hand ax favored by the Neandertal:
"…from a pound of flint, the Upper Paleolithic blade technique could produce 305-1219 centimeters of cutting edge whereas the early Mousterian technique could produce only 102 centimeters." (F. Bordes- "The Old Stone Age")
I suppose Mike's graph of experience vs. blade size holds true for over a hundred thousand years!
I love being human…Jun 5, 2007 at 11:17 am #1391257Caleab SpencerMember
@caleabLocale: New Hampshire
the k.i.s.s. is niceJun 5, 2007 at 11:19 am #1391258Cornelius AustinMember
Victor Swiss Army Bantam weighs only 35 grams. Opens bottles, cans, pouches, blisters, cavities, The tweezers are the best tick removal tool that I know of bar none. Cuts food well too. The main blade is also good for piercing eggs prior to hard boiling (gull,chicken,goose etc.)
NealJun 6, 2007 at 6:57 pm #1391445George MatthewsBPL Member
Look what I found tonight. Really old and had been forgotten. Having read this thread…
I performed an extraction with extreme prejudice…
My scale is in ounce units. It did not move when I put the scissors and tweezers on it. I guess they're weightless : )
Thanks for the inspiring this madness (the article and responses).Jun 10, 2007 at 7:14 am #1391810Neil BenderMember
My everyday utility knife is a small pocket clip knife that weighs 1.8 oz. Usually a spyderco delica (serated)or a benchmade axis 530 (half serated). Both have about 3" blades and can be opened one handed and are quite sturdy. I say usually, because as a gear freak I collect shiny things, and knives score very high on the trinket index.
Since I have one with me on the drive to the trail head, usually there is the last minute, what the hey, an extra 2 ounces won't kill me and I hate reaching for something habitually and finding it missing (That explains the beer holster on my mall ninja utility belt as well).
Thus it gets taken along most times. I've never 'needed' the bigger blade, but for the first night's meal of frozen tenderloins and for prepping fresh veggies it's nice to have a real knife for a real meal.
Hi, I'm Neil and I'm a reformed trad backpacker. Last week I backslid three times, and had to call my sponsor for support.Jun 11, 2007 at 12:03 pm #1391942
Small multi tools
Utilikey 12 grams
Larger with more tools 1.5 oz.Jun 14, 2007 at 2:53 pm #1392317Mike ClellandMember
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Hey – I have that Utili-KEY thing (0.4369 oz) and it's nice. I got it from a website called Key Chain Tools.
here's the cool website (for nerds like the crew posting on this forum):
http://www.keychain-tools.com/Jun 14, 2007 at 3:09 pm #1392319cary bertonciniSpectator
@cbertLocale: N. California
been a handy little $9 gadget for me
even brought it on the plane with me (forgot it was on the key ring)Jul 11, 2007 at 11:41 am #1395089Edward SilvaSpectator
Here are two other additional UL knives/scissors that weren't on the list.
1. Coghlan's foldable scissors [1.0 oz]
2. Olfa Touch-Knife (retractable) [0.2 oz]
Both are stainless steel.
PCMJul 11, 2007 at 3:33 pm #1395108John HaleyMember
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
I just decided to not carry my Spyderco Delica, and am now just using a Leatherman Squirt S4 alone.Aug 18, 2007 at 3:52 am #1399101Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> You know, the one thing that hasn't been brought up for UL use is a disposable surgical scalpel —previously unused, of course :-)>.
Tut tut: you should read the article more carefully. I listed a scalpel blade in my kit. Mind you, I suspect some of the other BPL staff probably have scalpels in their first aid kits too, and just didn't mention them.
> A #10 scalpel w/ plastic handle will handle most chores and is far easier to use for precision work than a single bladed razor,
Easier to use? Well, yes, but where do you get the plastic handle? Could be useful.
Without some sort of handle a scalpel is more tricky. The blade starts out *very* sharp. So? Well, if the tip get a little blunt after some use, there is a temptation to grip the short metal handle end more solidly and to use a little more force. But that can so easily bring your finger into contact with the still very sharp edge at the handle end of the blade, leading to a rather deep cut in your finger before you have realised it. The edge is so sharp you don't feel it cutting in for a while…
I must say I rather like the prep blades as an idea.Oct 1, 2007 at 7:24 pm #1404253
cutting blade from a broadhead. .019 ounces!! 1/5 of the razor
blade.Oct 2, 2007 at 9:36 am #1404303Oct 2, 2007 at 7:35 pm #1404363Jeremy CleavelandBPL Member
@jeremy11Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
so, does the arrowhead actually stay in place on the pencil? Do you cut a groove in first to stabilize it? how do you protect the cutting edge? Where does one get an arrowhead like that and how much?
Looks really sweet though, and multi-useNov 17, 2007 at 3:39 pm #1409379Forrest G McCarthyBPL Member
@forrestmccarthyLocale: Planet Earth
Carbon Fiber can be used to make very strong, sharp, and ultra-light blades. They are harder to find in our post 9-11 world. If you like a rugged long blade carbon fiber knives are an ultra-light option. The best one that was ever manufactured was the Mad Dog Frequent Flyer.Nov 17, 2007 at 5:14 pm #1409384Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Pacific Northwest
Cool. And $325 seems reasonable…
But still- REALLY cool.Jan 23, 2008 at 10:53 pm #1417457Jeremy CleavelandBPL Member
@jeremy11Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
Wenger Esquire, with the nail file ground down into a nice striker for the firesteel rod (from a magnesium firestarter). I'm considering just bringing a razor blade, as I very rarely use a knife, but then I'll need to get another striker. are razor blades effective and user friendly for using a firesteel?Mar 23, 2008 at 11:02 am #1425297Holubar DMember
First things first, my pack weighs 34lbs, so I'm no ultralighter. I pack in Alaska so I can’t safely spend nights under tarps with little to no safety equipment. The mosquitoes, bears and even some moose are a real threat.
For a knife, I carry a real knife. The risk of cutting myself with a non locking folding blade, or some micro contraption made with a razor blade, far outweighs the extra ounces of a fixed blade knife.
I now carry a Fallkniven WM1. It has a 2.8 inch blade and weighs 2.5ounces. The sheath adds 1.5 ounces. When I need to cut, whittle or even puncture a can, this knife can handle it.
Another option would be a Kershaw Chive. It's a small locking folder that weighs around an ounce, and, it's a real knife that you can safely use without the risk of slicing your hand or fingers open due to accidental closure.
When it comes to 'stupid light', knives are at the top of the list for an accident waiting to happen.
Just a thought.Jul 7, 2008 at 12:35 pm #1441868greg deglerMember
Dear Mr. Mark Denton,
You don't sound at all like an UltraLight guy, which just makes me wonder how you arrived in and continue to tolerate this club.
I have been using folding knives for about 45 years, and the ONLY times I've cut myself was when using a FIXED blade at the age of about 10, and when my little 3 year old brother sliced me with the breadknife at dinner when I was about 5 (my first and only stitches).
I've spent 5 summers in Alaska enjoying many trips into the backcountry and usually alone: never had a problem with bears, moose or mosquitos .. I mention this just to let BPL members know that there is more than one side to The Great State of Alaska.
Thank You and Safe Travels Ahead,
theThriftstoreMountaineerJul 20, 2008 at 5:25 pm #1443693Christopher WilliamsMember
@clwillaLocale: The Bluegrass
I'm very interested in getting the Spyderco Ladybug as my pack knife. I will soon be getting a BushBuddy Ultra, and I'm wondering whether a straight or serrated edge is most appropriate for wood shaving purposes.
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