The Ultimate Knife...

Cruentus

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I thought I would start this thread so that we could discuss ultimate knives for people of various professions. Whether your a soldier, LE, EMS, a business person, a construction worker, or whatever, people are going to have different needs for a knife.

So I figured that we could discuss "the ultimate knife" for people of various professions. We could do this by establishing criteria according to the given profession we are discussing, and then providing examples of knives that fit the criteria. I am sure we won't narrow it down to "one" "ultimate" knife per profession, but we'll at least have some examples and a little fun anyway! :)

So, lets start with a Military Feild Knife, or something that a soldier would carry in combat or on the feild. Here are some criteria that I have so far:

- Size: Needs to be large enough for tool and fighting, but small enough to be easily carried with other gear. I would say that this puts the size range between 5.5" and 8"(inches).
- Accessability: Needs to double as a fighting tool if caught in a H2H situation. Therefore, it needs to be easily carryable and accessable. This means fixed blade rather then folder, and in a good tactical sheath.
- Retention: Back to the tactical sheath; it has to be able to be carried in the feild with minimal risk of falling off or droping or getting lost. This means a good retention sheath, probably with a snap.
- Durability: Needs to be incredably durable for survival use, MOUT, and utility in rough conditions, as well as for fighting use. It needs to be able to take a licken and keep on tickin.
- low-maintenence: Needs to be able to retain an edge, resist rust, and require low maintence. Unlike a civilian carry, a soldier on the feild may not have the luxary of sharpening, honing, or oiling the blade every day.
- Cost: Needs to be relatively low in cost. Knives are generally not issued, they are bought as part of the soldiers personal gear. Despite all precautions one might take, in the feild the knife could still be lost or destroyed. There is more risk of this occuring then in other professions. So the knife needs to be replacable without it costing the soldier a weeks pay.
- Form and fit: The knife needs to be well balanced and comfortable for both utility and combat use. It needs to fit well in the hand in both foward and reverse grips, and needs to be ergonomic.

So, what knives do you think fit the criteria? Any criteria you would add?

:)
 
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Cruentus

Cruentus

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One knife that I think makes the "ultimate" combat knife for a soldier is the cold steel recon tanto:

http://www.coldsteel.com/13rtk.html

THis is a great knife that fits the above criteria in the following ways:

Size: 7" blade, 9oz. Perfect size for field carry and use.
Accessability and Retention: The sheath is a good tactical sheath designed for feild carry and retention. It can be strapped about anywhere on the body, is very durable, and the blade both "snaps in" and is held by a thumb break snap.
Durability and low maintence: Cold steel knives are known as durable tools that can withstand punishment. The old Carbon V on mine can withstand a lot of use without the need to be sharpened; I assume the AUS8 is about the same, as it is that way with other AUS8 knives that I own. The tanto tip is the strongest tip that you could have on a knife. The epoxy coating prevents rust or a need for oil.
Form/Fit: It feels great in the hand with the Kraton handle. Fits well in both forward and revers grips.
Cost: at $114 or less, it is hard to beat this knife on cost. I have seen it on sale for under $100 in some places as well.

All and all, a very well rounded knife for the profession!

:)
 

tellner

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I dunno. I guess it would depend on the particular needs of the soldier to complete his or her mission. Or as the engineer in me asks "What problem are you trying to solve?"

For the a member of the Signal Corps who has to clear brush it would probably be something like, well the Woodsman's Pal they've been issuing for decades.

A sniper once told me that the most important characteristic of his field knife was its ability to spread the peanut butter from an MRE without breaking the crackers.

An acquaintance who ended up in the 75th Rangers and another in the Marines were told to get some sort of good-quality multi-tool. More useful than duct tape.

Working in the jungle? A bolo or golok of some sort would seem to be just what the doctor ordered.

If you mean "What is the best knife that you can hang off your webbing with the other 80 odd pounds of junk that you need to cart around for use as a field-expedient weapon at close quarters when you are out of ammunition and don't have a bayonet to keep the unfriendlies at arm's length?" there are many answers to that question. Most of them depend on personal ergonomic factors and training. Your Recon Tanto is probably great. The Ka-Bar worked just fine as "the world's best $5 knife." The Gurkhas have gotten centuries of good mileage out of the Kukri. The Fairbairn-Sykes dagger and the Applegate-Fairbairn evolution were excellent for the particular needs of the Commandos, mostly assassination and sentry removal. Same for Mr. Dennehey's Slip Tip.
 
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Cruentus

Cruentus

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Well, this is not as fun as I thought it would be. No one else has anything to add?

How about the Ultimate LE knife (not including swat and specialized positions)?

Here is my criteria:

Size: Small, blade 4 inches or less; needs to fit with rest of gear.
Deployability for emergancy, yet retention friendly: A knife for LE is not really a tool of force, but can come in handy in rescue/emergancy situations. Retention is an issue because in a struggle, you don't want a perp to have easy access to your blade. So, fixed blades are out, and auto's are questionable. Standard folders are the way to go, with a 1handed opening mechanism (like a thumb hole) for rescue.
Edge type: Full or at least partial serrations for cutting cloth, bandages, seat belts.
Steel: Needs to hold an edge well.
Durability: Needs to be relatively durable to survive use in a pinch, but not nessicarily a 'workhorse.' Not as suseptible to taking the severe beating that a soldiers or outdoorsmans knife might take.
Design: Needs to fit well in hand with good retention grips; not going to slip out in emergancies. This means no "all steel" handles.
Cost: These knives need to be low cost. During a chase or struggle, there is a higher risk of losing gear. Knives are not "issued" items, and therefore need to be replaceable w/o costing the officer a weeks pay.
Maintence: Will depend on the user. Officers go home every day, and can afford the time to oil or hone an edge. But many won't, so this will depend on the users interest and committment.
Uses: Mainly, the knife needs to be usable for many tasks rather then something task specific. Fighting, however, would not a primary use with this tool. So it needs to be a good multi-use, well rounded blade.

I elect the Emerson Hardware Series as the ultimate in LE knives:

http://www.emersonknives.com/HardWear_index.html

Any of the three models would fit depending on the users preference.

The blade type and size is adequete, AUS 8 holds an edge well enough, is durable enough, and comes in partial or full serrated. The handle is perfect for retention and ergonomic for the hand. Will fit well on belt with proper sheath (I recommend a Custom Kydex from Mike Sastre's River City Sheaths so it will fit folded on belt) or in pocket. Isn't easily accessable to perps, being that it a standard folder, but is accessable with a thumbhole for a 1handed opening during rescue. It is a good all around blade for all around use. It is low cost and easily replaceable, yet Emerson makes a very reliable and dependable knife.

Anyone thoughts, or am I the only one who thinks this is fun?

:)
 

wade

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OK, this is old like me so bear with me. When I was in Nam I carried a K-Bar just like all the other Marines. It was great for chopping things down or also filleting and enemy soldier. Yeah, I actually did that to one OK, so let it go. After I got out of the Corps I went into Army Special Forces, 6th and then 5th Group and the knife of choice then was the Gerber Mark 2, a very nice combat knife with a very nice balance to it. Now I carry a folding pocket knife with a 1 1/2" blade. Things, missions and life change. You have to change with them to survive, eh?
 
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Cruentus

Cruentus

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Things, missions and life change. You have to change with them to survive, eh?

Hoah. That's why I started this thread. It is good to get input regarding different carry choices for various needs.

It is tough to beat the ol' marine Kabar; that is definatily an ultimate combat knife that has quite a track record. I was going to let someone else say so, because that one is an obvious choice! :)

https://www.kabar.com/product_search.jsp?categoryId=1&mode=category

Gerber mark 2 also fits the bill, IMHO...

http://props.steinschneider.com/pulser/gerber.htm

That was one badass knife; one I would choose over the Kabar, personally. Too bad that they don't make them anymore. The good comparison that they still make now would probably would be the Boker Applegate Combat versions; although a 110-$150 may seem a little pricey for dinging up in the feild to some, but it is not too outragous really:

http://www.cutleryscience.com/reviews/applegate_boker.html
 

wade

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They do still make the K-Bar. On one hand I have my dad's, European Theater, My father in laws, South Pacific, and mine. I also have some commemorative ones celebrating various events in military history. Korean War, Viet Nam War, and others. Trust me, they are still out there. The military just doesn't carry them into combat anymore. It's so sad........
 

exile

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Have any of you folks taken a look at the Wagner/B繹ker Reality-Based tactical folder?

http://www.jimwagnertraining.com/

(scroll down to near the bottom of the page; there's a good thumbnail of it).
 
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Cruentus

Cruentus

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They do still make the K-Bar. On one hand I have my dad's, European Theater, My father in laws, South Pacific, and mine. I also have some commemorative ones celebrating various events in military history. Korean War, Viet Nam War, and others. Trust me, they are still out there. The military just doesn't carry them into combat anymore. It's so sad........

Yes, the Kabar they still make and a lot of people still use them; Sorry for the confusion, I was saying that it was the Gerber Mark II that they stopped making in 2000... :)
 
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Cruentus

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Have any of you folks taken a look at the Wagner/B繹ker Reality-Based tactical folder?

http://www.jimwagnertraining.com/

(scroll down to near the bottom of the page; there's a good thumbnail of it).

I love that knife. It is affordable, and a good all around working tool. Wagner promotes it as a SD knife, but the reality is that a knife like that could really be used for anything because it is so well designed. I have seen it for sale at shows and shops. Both times I was too busy buying gun stuff to put it in my hand to get a better feel for it.

My concern for LE or rescue use is how easy it is to open with one hand. Ironically, for SD use, you can open it with two hands no problem, and that is actually the method I would recommend. However, in 1st aid or rescue situations (far different then someone struggling with you in a fight) you may need a 1handed open. I am confident with thumb holes, but thumb disks can be hit or miss. So it would depend for me how comfortable that would be. I am also assuming that it is a nice and strong blade because Boker makes good blades.

I would also be concerned for civi carry, because it is marketed as a self-defense knife. It even says "reality based" on the handle. THis could be very bad if a civi were to have to use it in a fight.

But other then those concerns, I do really like the design of this blade...
 

exile

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I love that knife. It is affordable, and a good all around working tool. Wagner promotes it as a SD knife, but the reality is that a knife like that could really be used for anything because it is so well designed. I have seen it for sale at shows and shops. Both times I was too busy buying gun stuff to put it in my hand to get a better feel for it.

Good to hear you like it, Cruentus! I figured it was a good design, but you always want to get some confirmation. The one I ordered just arrived and I've been experimenting with itto my (slight) cost: I opened it up, let the curved serrated inner part rest lightly on the back of my forearmjust to get a better feel for the sharpness than the thumbnail testand realized that just the weight of the knife on that edge had opened up the skin very slightly and drawn a very, very tiny bit of blood. It was, um, sobering. There are some very wicked features on that knife.

My concern for LE or rescue use is how easy it is to open with one hand. Ironically, for SD use, you can open it with two hands no problem, and that is actually the method I would recommend. However, in 1st aid or rescue situations (far different then someone struggling with you in a fight) you may need a 1handed open. I am confident with thumb holes, but thumb disks can be hit or miss. So it would depend for me how comfortable that would be. I am also assuming that it is a nice and strong blade because Boker makes good blades.

It feels very strong. I've been training the thumb disk open; it's a little stiff, but if you can get the blad to about a 12繙-20繙 angle, a good brisk wrist snap will drive it into locked-open position.

I would also be concerned for civi carry, because it is marketed as a self-defense knife. It even says "reality based" on the handle. THis could be bad in a civi were to have to use it in a fight.

I'm hoping, of course, that it doesn't come to that. I agree, it just looks too wicked to pass of as a utility or general purpose blade. It has identifiable blood grooves on it which would make it look really bad in court, for sure...

But other then those concerns, I do really like the design of this blade...

Yeah, it does have some sweet features... maybe that's the wrong word. I've had a lot of much cheaper knifes that just didn't last long enough and I figure this one will stay around for a while.
 

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Cruentus

Cruentus

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Nice choices also for field knives (I am assuming military use).

SRK is sweet, and fits all the criteria really like the CS recon tanto that I mentioned before, just with a drop point and an inch shorter rather then the tanto. But still pretty sweet. I think they did a good job with the retention sheath on those series of tactical knives.

How about that SOG? I have seen that before, and thought about using that as a second knife for feild use. It is between that and the Boker Applegate. I like the double edge dagger design for the feild, and the 3 edge types. How does that tip hold up to punishment, however? Also how would you compare it to the Applegate (if you have had the chance to compare them). The SOG seems the perfect size and ergonomics for a double edge dagger, and I know SOG is known for making workhorses...
 

exile

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I really like the look of that Recon Tanto, for sure. Somehow, though, I don't think I will be Allowed to purchase one... :(
 

tellner

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And of course there are always Randalls. Trout and Bird, Pathfinder and the good old Model 1.
 
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Cruentus

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And of course there are always Randalls. Trout and Bird, Pathfinder and the good old Model 1.

Randalls are the Mercedes Benz of knives, but I am not so sure that many people would feel comfortable taking a 600-1000 dollar knife into the field! Maybe a wealth hunter type, or really eccentric individual!

I look at these more as collector knives that should be kept in a locked case most of the time! :)
 
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Cruentus

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Did you call? ;)

Good discussion so far in my opinion. :)

lol... I think so too. I like these discussions because it gets me (and others I am sure) thinking of different carry options for different jobs, and gets me thinking of different products that are out there. People will sometimes mention a product I haven't yet seen, or haven't thought about in a while. It's a lot of fun! :)
 
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