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Thread: Field Knife Suggestion(s)

  1. #1
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Field Knife Suggestion(s)

    Long story short: For a very long time I used a Buck Strider 889 folder as my field knife of choice. Worked great, big blade handled all cutting chores and even worked as an impromptu scat hole digger. Unfortunately, I lost it in a cave two years ago, but haven't been back out in the field since. Going to have a field season coming up way out off the grid in northwestern Kenya. I need to start squaring my gear away now.

    I want suggestions for two knives. One folder one fixed.

    Folder:

    The Buck-Strider is now long discontinued and with Strider Knives more or less split up and Mick is only occasionally making folders, I'm going to have to opt for something in a different direction. Here are my basic criteria:

    Framelock or sturdy ("overbuilt") liner lock.
    Blade Steel - whatever as long as I can get it sharp with a diamond stone.
    Blade Length - 2.5-4" I can do most of what I need with a shorter blade, but length is nice to have sometimes.
    Blade shape - Spear point or drop point is my preference.
    NO assisted opener, NO wave (don't want to run afoul of any weird law interpretations overseas). Would def prefer a hole over a stud, so I can make and use an impromptu zip-tie wave, but it is what it is.
    Price: Jeez this is the tough one let's say preferably <$200, because I'd prefer to not lose a super expensive blade to customs or in the field some place.

    Example of what I am thinking about: ZT 0566 - Has speedsafe assisted, but I know that's fairly easy to remove.
    __

    Fixed:

    Let's cut to the chase. This knife needs to be small enough to conceal when I'm traveling to and from the field in various cities and big enough to be useful in an emergency field situation.

    Blade Shape: Neutral shapes preferred (spearpoint/drop point again).
    Blade length: 2.5-4"
    Blade steel and thickness: Thick enough to baton in an emergency, strong enough to withstand batoning, otherwise don't care as long as it can get sharp with a diamond stone.
    Sheath: Kydex
    Overall size: Would love the blade to be concealable on the belt line in "default" position (i.e., like a clinch pick). That's where the vast majority of my reps have been and I'm very comfortable snagging a blade from here and concealing one here. Problem is the bigger the blade, the harder it is for me to conceal. About 7" OAL is the max I can hide in this area.
    Budget: Eh whatever, let's call it <$200 as well.

    Example of what I'm thinking about: ESEE Izula - but would prefer more blade length (but not handle length, which makes this a hard thing to find).

    ____
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  2. #2
    New Member GuanoLoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    Long story short: For a very long time I used a Buck Strider 889 folder as my field knife of choice. Worked great, big blade handled all cutting chores and even worked as an impromptu scat hole digger. Unfortunately, I lost it in a cave two years ago, but haven't been back out in the field since. Going to have a field season coming up way out off the grid in northwestern Kenya. I need to start squaring my gear away now.

    I want suggestions for two knives. One folder one fixed.

    Folder:

    The Buck-Strider is now long discontinued and with Strider Knives more or less split up and Mick is only occasionally making folders, I'm going to have to opt for something in a different direction. Here are my basic criteria:

    Framelock or sturdy ("overbuilt") liner lock.
    Blade Steel - whatever as long as I can get it sharp with a diamond stone.
    Blade Length - 2.5-4" I can do most of what I need with a shorter blade, but length is nice to have sometimes.
    Blade shape - Spear point or drop point is my preference.
    NO assisted opener, NO wave (don't want to run afoul of any weird law interpretations overseas). Would def prefer a hole over a stud, so I can make and use an impromptu zip-tie wave, but it is what it is.
    Price: Jeez this is the tough one let's say preferably <$200, because I'd prefer to not lose a super expensive blade to customs or in the field some place.

    Example of what I am thinking about: ZT 0566 - Has speedsafe assisted, but I know that's fairly easy to remove.
    __

    Fixed:

    Let's cut to the chase. This knife needs to be small enough to conceal when I'm traveling to and from the field in various cities and big enough to be useful in an emergency field situation.

    Blade Shape: Neutral shapes preferred (spearpoint/drop point again).
    Blade length: 2.5-4"
    Blade steel and thickness: Thick enough to baton in an emergency, strong enough to withstand batoning, otherwise don't care as long as it can get sharp with a diamond stone.
    Sheath: Kydex
    Overall size: Would love the blade to be concealable on the belt line in "default" position (i.e., like a clinch pick). That's where the vast majority of my reps have been and I'm very comfortable snagging a blade from here and concealing one here. Problem is the bigger the blade, the harder it is for me to conceal. About 7" OAL is the max I can hide in this area.
    Budget: Eh whatever, let's call it <$200 as well.

    Example of what I'm thinking about: ESEE Izula - but would prefer more blade length (but not handle length, which makes this a hard thing to find).

    ____
    You left off the Cold Steel shovel. I get a ton of mileage out of those things.
    Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Doodie Project?

  3. #3
    Site Supporter gringop's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if the ZT 0566 is different but on the 350 and 301, if the assisted opening torsion spring is broken or removed, the blade won't stay shut. I've broken a number of them and had to stop carrying them until I replaced the spring. They stay locked open just great but closed they flop around and will open in your pocket. I keep spare springs. ZT will send you ones for free.

    For a fixed blade, maybe get a EESE-3 and cut down the handle?


    Gringop
    Last edited by gringop; 01-29-2019 at 01:33 AM.
    "The All-Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer. Your fate is fixed. Fear profits a man nothing."

  4. #4
    Morakniv.

    Get two or three as spares/gifts/baksheesh.
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  5. #5
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuanoLoco View Post
    You left off the Cold Steel shovel. I get a ton of mileage out of those things.
    Digging tools, I never worry about. We have shovels, picks, rock hammers, and trowels. We’ll get shit dug out.

    Quote Originally Posted by gringop View Post
    I'm not sure if the ZT 0566 is different but on the 350 and 301, if the assisted opening torsion spring is broken or removed, the blade won't stay shut. I've broken a number of them and had to stop carrying them until I replaced the spring. They stay locked open just great but closed they flop around and will open in your pocket. I keep spare springs. ZT will send you ones for free.

    For a fixed blade, maybe get a EESE-3 and cut down the handle?


    Gringop
    That’s a bummer, but right after I started this thread I discovered the DPx Gear HEST/F 2.0 https://dpxgear.com/collections/fold...st-f-2-0-od-rh - which basically seems perfect for my requirements. Enough so, I might forego a field-oriented fixed blade and just carry a Defensive oriented fixed blade instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drang View Post
    Morakniv.

    Get two or three as spares/gifts/baksheesh.
    Oh, yes I have a budget set aside for about a dozen or so to go with us for this purpose. But the Mora sheaths leave something to be desired as concealed sheaths and I’m focused primarily on those functions for my blades.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  6. #6
    Site Supporter
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    I am a bit out of my lane on the subject of field knives, but why frame lock or liner lock? I do not have a high degree of confidence in either.

    Wouldn’t a rocket bar lock, axis lock, or ball bearing lock be more dependable?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Site Supporter
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    I spend a lot of time in the woods hiking, biking, camping, and hunting.

    Folders:
    My "field" folder is a SAK. If I'm carrying a fixed blade, I'm not going to be using my folder for "hard work", so a simple SAK suffices. The Boker slipjoints at CountyComm would be a good choice as well. I have one in PF Orange and it's a nice slipjoint. The pocket clip is nice if you're going to use it, but is easy to remove if you don't need it (I bought it for overseas travel and find it better to let it ride in the bottom of my pocket). This looks good. The saw is a nice addition. My SAK has a saw and I use it a lot for clearing small branches.

    That said, I recently (6 months ago?) bought an Ontario RAT-1 in D2 "just because". It seems quite solid and would make a good field folder in my opinion. Also, if you lose it (a real concern in the field), you're not out a lot of money. I got my orange-scaled D2 version online for less than $50, the AUS-8 version is available at Wal-Mart for $28.

    Fixed Blade:
    If you like the Izula but want more blade, check out the Kabar/Becker BK14 aka Eskabar. It's a joint design between Becker and Esee. It has the handle of the Izula, but a slightly larger blade (BK11's blade I think). The sheath is crap, but you can get aftermarket sheaths that let you carry it in the manner you describe. I have a kydex taco sheath with a clip that lets me carry it IWB. With the handles cordwrapped, it's quite low profile. The 1095 steel gets wicked sharp, yet the coating keeps rust at bay (hasn't really been an issue for me, but some folks are overly concerned about carbon steel blades rusting). The only weakness of this knife is the blade has too much belly and not enough point. I think it would not work well for cleaning small game and would struggle with deer. Therefore, my "hunting" knife is a Buck Vanguard S30v with rubber grips and a cordura sheath.

    I have other knives, but the two above (SAK and BK14) are as good as any pairing. I've owned a few customs and haven't found them to be materially better in the field, though they're certainly more expensive.

    Chris
    Last edited by mtnbkr; 01-29-2019 at 07:34 AM.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter JodyH's Avatar
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    My field knives are a Spyderco Pacific Salt, yellow handle, plain blade.
    Plenty of rust proof blade and high visibility so I might not lose it.

    ESEE 3, again plenty of blade, tough and sharp. A wide variety of aftermarket handles to personalize the size and feel.
    Last edited by JodyH; 01-29-2019 at 07:35 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JodyH View Post
    ESEE 3, again plenty of blade, tough and sharp. A wide variety of aftermarket handles to personalize the size and feel.
    It should be at the top of anyone's field knife list. I conveniently forgot about it when I was momentarily distracted by the shiny Buck Vanguard and it's seductive sale price. That's not to say the Buck was a bad knife for its intended purpose, but I think the Esee 3 would be a better hard use tool. The only drawback in terms of this discussion is RR's intended carry method. I think it's a bit big and heavy for that.

    Chris

  10. #10
    Site Supporter JodyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr View Post
    It should be at the top of anyone's field knife list. I conveniently forgot about it when I was momentarily distracted by the shiny Buck Vanguard and it's seductive sale price. That's not to say the Buck was a bad knife for its intended purpose, but I think the Esee 3 would be a better hard use tool. The only drawback in terms of this discussion is RR's intended carry method. I think it's a bit big and heavy for that.

    Chris
    There's a lot of sheath options out there for the ESEE that would make AIWB or horizontal belt carry a breeze.
    The aftermarket for ESEE is better than any other fixed blade.
    "For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night."
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