What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

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What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:30 pm

The title is an eye grabber but a good point is made. The right tool for the job is a good mantra but in a survival situation you may not have the perfect tool with you. I've tried to collect the videos that address the different sides of the argument.

My feelings are that I want to be skilled at batoning, that I want a knife that can handle it and that I still carry an axe with my gear whenever needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8dDGY-Z09w&t=481s

Not sure why the YouTube link won't work for direct display of the video.
[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8dDGY-Z09w&t=485s[/YouTube]
Last edited by teotwaki on Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:34 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:35 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:37 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:41 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:43 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:45 pm



crummy audio ensues.....
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:48 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:50 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:10 pm

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by the_alias » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:17 pm

Live in a wet climate and you'll understand that batoning is probably going to be part of your skill set if you don't have an axe.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:00 pm

the_alias wrote:Live in a wet climate and you'll understand that batoning is probably going to be part of your skill set if you don't have an axe.
I wanted to learn about batoning for the situations where I would not have an axe. Therefore having a knife capable of batoning and learning how to use the knife for wood processing makes sense to me.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by ineffableone » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:53 pm

the_alias wrote:Live in a wet climate and you'll understand that batoning is probably going to be part of your skill set if you don't have an axe.
I live in the PNW, and rarely need to split wood to get baton sized fire wood. I tend to collect small sized sticks instead of batoning or splitting with my axe. I have been in the woods after weeks of nonstop rain and still been able to find dry wood to burn as long as I am not in a car camping camp grounds that has all firewood picked clean (I tend to avoid these places anyways though as you tend to get annoying neighbors).
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by The Twizzler » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:07 pm

What if you are only able to use 1 arm due to injury? A hatchet, or axe, or even a crowbar is going to be better than a knife.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by Doryman » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:33 pm

ineffableone wrote:
the_alias wrote:Live in a wet climate and you'll understand that batoning is probably going to be part of your skill set if you don't have an axe.
I live in the PNW, and rarely need to split wood to get baton sized fire wood. I tend to collect small sized sticks instead of batoning or splitting with my axe. I have been in the woods after weeks of nonstop rain and still been able to find dry wood to burn as long as I am not in a car camping camp grounds that has all firewood picked clean (I tend to avoid these places anyways though as you tend to get annoying neighbors).
Yeah, I live in what is likely the stormiest, rainiest part of Eastern North America, and spent my whole life lighting campfires whenever camping, hunting, etc. Just gathering different size of sticks and tinder has always worked for me, and everyone I know. I never heard
of batoning until getting involved in the online survival/prep communities.

Personally, I think the batoning and knife 'torture tests' are ways for people to justify their huge collection of overpriced knives.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by yossarian » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:45 pm

This one was fun, but it's locked now.


viewtopic.php?f=14&t=111486&hilit=batoning
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by the_alias » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:29 pm

Doryman wrote:
ineffableone wrote:
the_alias wrote:Live in a wet climate and you'll understand that batoning is probably going to be part of your skill set if you don't have an axe.
I live in the PNW, and rarely need to split wood to get baton sized fire wood. I tend to collect small sized sticks instead of batoning or splitting with my axe. I have been in the woods after weeks of nonstop rain and still been able to find dry wood to burn as long as I am not in a car camping camp grounds that has all firewood picked clean (I tend to avoid these places anyways though as you tend to get annoying neighbors).
Yeah, I live in what is likely the stormiest, rainiest part of Eastern North America, and spent my whole life lighting campfires whenever camping, hunting, etc. Just gathering different size of sticks and tinder has always worked for me, and everyone I know. I never heard
of batoning until getting involved in the online survival/prep communities.

Personally, I think the batoning and knife 'torture tests' are ways for people to justify their huge collection of overpriced knives.
In a big rainstorm I'd rather sit under my tarp and baton up stuff close to hand than wander around looking for dry kindling. But that's just me.

Batoning is just a technique of treating wood as is splitting it with and axe or creating feather sticks. On my wet trips in Europe (Scotland), German,etc forests batoning has featured in helping start a fire - I don't know how you go about proving necessity about it.

It seems to me a bit like arguing over using a match or a lighter or a firesteel. If it floats your boat do it but sure it isn't 100%.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by ineffableone » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:04 pm

the_alias wrote:
Doryman wrote:
ineffableone wrote:
the_alias wrote:Live in a wet climate and you'll understand that batoning is probably going to be part of your skill set if you don't have an axe.
I live in the PNW, and rarely need to split wood to get baton sized fire wood. I tend to collect small sized sticks instead of batoning or splitting with my axe. I have been in the woods after weeks of nonstop rain and still been able to find dry wood to burn as long as I am not in a car camping camp grounds that has all firewood picked clean (I tend to avoid these places anyways though as you tend to get annoying neighbors).
Yeah, I live in what is likely the stormiest, rainiest part of Eastern North America, and spent my whole life lighting campfires whenever camping, hunting, etc. Just gathering different size of sticks and tinder has always worked for me, and everyone I know. I never heard
of batoning until getting involved in the online survival/prep communities.

Personally, I think the batoning and knife 'torture tests' are ways for people to justify their huge collection of overpriced knives.
In a big rainstorm I'd rather sit under my tarp and baton up stuff close to hand than wander around looking for dry kindling. But that's just me.

Batoning is just a technique of treating wood as is splitting it with and axe or creating feather sticks. On my wet trips in Europe (Scotland), German,etc forests batoning has featured in helping start a fire - I don't know how you go about proving necessity about it.

It seems to me a bit like arguing over using a match or a lighter or a firesteel. If it floats your boat do it but sure it isn't 100%.
I am in no way saying batoning is wrong. I personally practice the skill to make sure I am able to do so if needed. There are times where it can be the only option for sure.

As for sitting under a tarp, well I am already getting wet collecting bigger wood for the fire, so not a big deal for me. And being from the PNW and used to it raining for the entire trip, at some point you just have to acknowledge your going to need to get wet if you don't want to just sit in a tent or under a tarp your entire trip. I have had a lot of fun playing in the rain while out camping. I just channel my inner child and forget about the adult mind for a bit and enjoy stomping in mud puddles etc.

That is not to say your wrong for wanting to sit under a tarp and baton either. Your way and mine are just different. If it gets you to where you want to be, no problem at all.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by the_alias » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:20 pm

Yes guys I know it rains in the PNW I've been :lol: I'm a huge believer in no poor weather just poor clothing and have never let rain affect my adventuring around the world. We're on the same page.

However it's worth pointing out camping vs survival are two different things and they affect your behavior, strategy, and mindset. It's a bit like solo adventuring vs in a group with friends. With one you have a support network and this can cause you to take risks you would not have alone.

YMMV in how much exposure you want to subject yourself to in either situation.

*edited to add* I have done way way more fire wood processing using my feet,rocks, and hands than battoning and chopping for camp fires....
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by ineffableone » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:04 pm

the_alias wrote: I have done way way more fire wood processing using my feet,rocks, and hands than battoning and chopping for camp fires....

That is a great point, and so often forgotten. That there are often very low tech wood processing methods that can save your gear wear and tear as well as sometimes use less effort.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:11 pm

yossarian wrote:This one was fun, but it's locked now.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=111486&hilit=batoning

Great thread even if 12 pages long! On the first page Mikeyboy summed it up well:

The problem is everyone batons way wrong thanks to following wackos on youtube.

A knife, no matter how good you think it is , what steel its made out of is not an axe. People go on stupid mode driving a 7" knife down the center of a 6.5" hardwood log and wonder why the knife breaks. You do need to take it easy, and use your brain as well as your brawn while batoning .

1) Always go with the grain.

2) The log or section you are batoning thru should not be more than half as wide as the blade is long. The picture above also show a log that is bigger then the blade. If you have a good knife with a 6" blade, you can baton 3" wide pieces of wood all day long without issue. If you have a big log, just plank off the outer layers taking 3" bites of wood off and work your way towards the center. The majority of broken batoning knife pics you see are NOT following this rule.

3) DON'T baton long sections of wood, especially if you have a saw. The log shouldn't be longer than your forearm, is an old pioneer saying that goes back to chopping wood with a axe for your fireplace/stove. Having short logs also helps with #4 & #5. Also you put less stress on your knife, and with a decent saw you will probably end up doing the same amount work sawing down a 3ft long log into 3 section then batoning it down then trying to baton thru the entire 3ft log.

4) Always hit the top of the blade, avoid hitting the tip of the blade, and NEVER, EVER hit the handle or guard of your knife. If you were already following #2 and #3 you will not need to hit the tip of the blade or the handle of your knife. If you have some drift or get stuck you can LIGHTLY tap the butt cap/bottom of the blade handle like you were tapping in a nail to move it forward.
Image

5) I might start a war with the following statement. The best knife to baton with is a full tang knife that does NOT have a full flat ground blade. FFG blades, especially ones with textured coating are more likely to get stuck in a log when batoning. FFG blades have more surface area to create more friction, and is more narrow while other grind create a wider wedge effect to force the wood apart with less surface area friction to trap the blade. Now if you follow the above rules, using a FFG blade is fine. Actually the fallacy that FFG blade are the best for batoning, is because when you first start batoning a FFG blade its slips right in the wood. However once buried its more likely to get stuck. Some "survival knife" users on youtube and TV use ample lubricant like WD40 on the blade before batonting to make it less likely to get stuck and to make batoning easier. I think this is a cheat and disservice because most likely in a survival situation you will not have WD40 with you.

6) Know your wood. Wet green wood is hard to split and actually will not burn well. Also know the difference between hard dense wood and moderate hard and soft woods. Be real careful trying to baton real hard wood. If Hardwood is your only option, just go down to 1/3 the blade length. Otherwise simply avoid splitting the hardwood and just use the logs whole if other softer wood for splitting is available. A rule of thumb is to heft the wood in one hand and compare it to your memory or other pieces of wood around you. I can tell you that a bone dry seasoned piece of Black Walnut, Black Locust, Hickory or Oak that is a foot long and only as thick as a can of soda, will feel unusually heavy, like a dumbbell compared to other wood. It will weigh more than a piece of birch, ash and maple. Try to drive a 6" blade down a 5" piece of black locust or Oak and you can break even the best of knives.

6) If you are unsure of your knife or your batoning skills there are OTHER WAYS to split a log other than batoning. In a survival situation I rather "notch and whack"



The right tool is always essential. If you don't have matches you learn other ways to start a fire. If you don't have an axe then wedges and batoning can be employed. There have been lots of illustrations of times that a knife and batoning are the correct choice.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:16 pm

A post by jnathan from the other thread

"Reid from Sharpshooter Sheath Systems put some effort into this PDF on batoning"

http://www.brkca.com/docs/batoning.pdf

EDIT: I just finished all 12 pages of that thread and it is well worth reading.
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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by Neville » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:21 pm

teotwaki wrote:The title is an eye grabber but a good point is made. The right tool for the job is a good mantra but in a survival situation you may not have the perfect tool with you. I've tried to collect the videos that address the different sides of the argument.

My feelings are that I want to be skilled at batoning, that I want a knife that can handle it and that I still carry an axe with my gear whenever needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8dDGY-Z09w&t=481s

Not sure why the YouTube link won't work for direct display of the video.
[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8dDGY-Z09w&t=485s[/YouTube]

I have been in an actual survival scenario where we drove in on a trail, forded a stream and set up camp - next morning we awoke to rain and a flooded stream now deep beyond fording. The only other trail out was blocked by a fallen tree. We did have a hatchet but the cutting surface had become dull to the point of just bouncing off/mashing wood fibers. I had a Bark River hunting knife with a keen edge on it. We really abused the heck out of that knife "batoning" it through the tree, enough that we could break it off and drag it out of the way with some rope. To Bark River's credit, the knife held up although it was a bit cosmetically impacted by the process. I sent it back to Bark River with an explanation, and the knife came back sharpened and looking like new, no questions asked. Good blades for the (not incosiderable!) money.

Ideally, the hatchet/axe would have been sharp. Or we would have had a chain saw. But "ideally" the stream wouldn't have flooded and ideally the tree wouldn't have blocked our only exit.

Survival thinking isn't about living in an ideal world under ideal circumstances... it's about giving yourself options, backups, alternatives. It's about one-upping Murphy at his own game. It's about thinking outside the box when necessary. Every option you provide yourself is one more card to play against whatever hand Murphy has decided to lay down.

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Re: What Kind of Idiot Would Baton a Knife?

Post by Towanda » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:07 am

Make wood wedges and use them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM9YR20 ... e=youtu.be

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