Ultralight Knives and Other Sharp Things
Aug 13, 2008 at 9:05 pm #1447033johannes EichstaedtBPL Member
Jeremy, that conception is brilliant. Does it work well?
I was starring at that little firesteel firestriker and somewhere inside I was feeling that it should really serve more than one purpose. Now it does – now it also makes my nails look pretty (and round so they don't shred the UL merino).
Very much appreciated.
johannesAug 15, 2008 at 10:09 am #1447218Doris deLespinasseMember
One of the most important emergency uses for a knife is hardly mentioned here: shaving off dry timber if you have an emergency in cold weather. With a sharp enough knife, even a tiny one, and a little time, you can shave down to dry stuff on a wet stick. Pretty darned important if you hike/snowshoe in the Northwest in winter and don't care for hypothermia . . .
So – any suggestions for the lightest knife that would do this job? (I'm lucky – my friends tend to carry this stuff!)
DorisAug 15, 2008 at 10:24 am #1447222Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
I've taken to carrying one or more of the following depending on the nature of my trip.
A Derma-safe Folding utility razor, a Frosts Mora Craftsman and a Swiss Army Knife Classic.Aug 15, 2008 at 11:49 am #1447235Paul WozniakMember
Sam mentions a couple of nice knives. I own and use both the Mora and the Swiss Army Classic under different circumstances. Noting that you only want this to make wood shavings in "emergency" situations I would suggest the Swiss Army Classic.
At one ounce the Classic can whittle down to dry wood. It will be a bit of a chore because blade is small, lacks heft does not take or keep a fine edge very well. But it will do in a pinch. It will also cut your toenails, pull a tick, strike a match and file a nail. Just keep it as sharp as you can.
The Mora may be the finest blade available for under $20. (In fact, I think I bought mine from Sam). I would put it at somewhere around 5 oz, not particularly small or light. Mine is used on longer or wetter outings when I can expect to need to split branches to get to the the dry stuff. I need to feed a BushBuddy. It readily takes and holds a good edge. Great for frequent use, overkill for emergency use.
I don't like razor blades when put to wood. They snap easily when twisted and for anything more strenuous than cutting paper, foil or tape I think they can be a little hazardous. For some fraction of an ounces you're better off with the more versatile Classic, imho.
Hope this helps. I have loved knives ever since I was 7 and won one at a local fair. Parents made me exchange it. If I could justify any reason for carrying one or paying for one I would own a Busse Battle Mistress:
But then I'd have to disappear into the Canadian interior before missus skinned me with it.
PaulAug 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm #1447240
The best (in my opinion ) all-around Mora knife is this one:
I used to use the "craftsman" model until The instructor at a class was selling this style and I grabbed it up -much better for my uses. It dosent have that unnecessary finger guard that adds weight and bulk. Its also just a tad smaller and thinner. 3.5 ounces w/shealth
Though it possible I wouldnt want to use a small stainless steel folder to carve wood. Lets not forget that in a real "survival" situation you will likely loose all the fine dexterity and motor skills you had when at home using it.Aug 15, 2008 at 1:26 pm #1447245Paul WozniakMember
Brian, Brian, Brian,
You sir are an enabler. Your posting sent me off to this site:
to find your knife. Also saw something called a Shoemaker's Knife. 1.75 oz. Hmmm.
PaulAug 16, 2008 at 6:50 am #1447301
If you get one of the Shoemakers let me know what you think of it.
I have been curious about that one myself.Oct 19, 2008 at 11:32 am #1455135Matthew RobinsonSpectator
@mcjhrobinsonLocale: Waaay West
i think moras are the way to go. ive read lots of these posts saying how you usually never need a knife. im interested to know what your plan is when you really DO need a knife? also with these tiny blades you cant field sharpen your blade, moras are cut convexed for easier re-sharpening (have fun sharpening a serrated blade). i can think of plenty of times i used my knife: all the things you razor owners do (food, bandages, etc), cut firewood (kindling maker), if im out a stake i make one, my girlfriend also likes to have one with her for personal safety, etc. also i take less of other things to make up for that extra 2ozs.
I wonder what this thread would be like if it were "If you only had 3 pieces of gear to survive with for a summer what would they be…?"
Brian M – I got a shoemaker. Id rather go with a standard mora. It doesnt have enough blade for me and its awkward in my gorilla hands.Oct 19, 2008 at 11:58 am #1455139
When on a well traveled trail and in a NP I only carry a Derma-safe blade or scissors. I carried a pair of small folding scissors from the sewing box when I did the JMT. I never needed any thing more than those scissors and I could carry them on the plane.
That said, when Im on a day hike Im not carrying a shelter and little to no insulation. In that case I carry my Mora knife as part of my "survival gear" because with it I can build a shelter and make fire even with the loss of fine motor skills- such as when Im cold and/or dehydrated.
My guess is that most people stay on well traveled trails and in NPs so dont feel the need to carry much of anything.
Add to that the fact that a lot of people never learned traditional bush skills and so cant see how a larger fixed blade could possibly help them.Feb 17, 2018 at 3:02 am #3518823Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
The Gerber LST at 0.6 oz. is “sorta heavy”?? I own two and they are great little pocket knives.
But my fav backpacking knife is a Gerber US1 at 1 oz. (Get it? US1 -> 1 oz.)
2.6″ blade, 3.5″ closed, 6.1″ opened, rubberized panels on handle, 420HC steel
This is the smallest knife I want to use B/C is still large enough to easily hold and work with when actually doing camp chores.Feb 17, 2018 at 4:07 am #3518829ArthurBPL Member
i carry a Leatherman Squirt in the desert. I need a stout pliers to pull agave thorns out of my shoes and occasionally my thighs. I have yet to use the screwdriver! So, does anyone have a nice, small, but fairly strong tweezer/pliers so i could leave this at home? ThanksFeb 18, 2018 at 6:29 am #3519019Bob KBPL Member
…a nice, small, but fairly strong tweezer/pliers
I carry a 4″ hemostat, 15 grams.
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