Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

For those who live in areas where firearms are not an option and those that are smart enough to have a back up.

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Blade thickness

Even Thinner then below
1
3%
1/8" , 0.1250" , 3.1750mm
5
13%
5/32" , 0.1563" , 3.9688mm
2
5%
3/16" , 0.1875" , 4.7625mm
11
29%
7/32" , 0.2188" , 5.5563mm
0
No votes
1/4" 0.2500", 6.3500mm
18
47%
Even Thicker than above
1
3%
 
Total votes: 38

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Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Mikeyboy » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:52 am

Just want to get a consensus on what is the best blade thickness for an overall knife in your BOB. I have heard some blades are too thin for woodwork, Batoning, prying yet I hear there are blades too thick for woodworking, food prep, slicing and detail work.

Given that the steel is good, is there a happy medium with blade thickness that gives you the best of both worlds?

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by emclean » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:14 pm

Given that the steel is good, is there a happy medium with blade thickness that gives you the best of both worlds?
2 knives. most all the things that I need a thin knife for a pocket knife is good for, and the heaver work, a thick one for. [plus i don't want a knife that has been in a zombies eye socket used for food prep]

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by woodsghost » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:55 pm

A Mora has about a .08 - .1 inch thick blade. Depending on model. Those stand up to all sorts of abuse. They do break from time to time, but millions of Mora users, with all sorts of usage patterns, typically fail to break their knives.

I think my main Mora is about .09, and I feel that is just fine. I have beat it through knotty Juniper and Pine, through seasoned Elm, Iron Wood, and Oak. All my Moras just keep coming back for more. They also field dress animals and cut things better than my 1/8th inch blades.

Now, cutting ability really has more to do with blade and edge geometry. You can set up a 1/4 inch blade to cut well. Mostly you do that by thinning the blade and edge and just leaving the spine 1/4 inch.

At this point in my life, I greatly prefer my .09 inch blades for survival and utility to my .125 inch blades. I realize a 1/8th inch blade is stronger, but so far I have failed to break any of my thinner blades, so I"m plenty comfortable carrying a thinner blade.

Also, a thinner blade is lighter. Just gonna say, I prefer a light knife that does what I need to a heavy knife that does what I need. Especially if I have to walk for miles and miles.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by FOG3 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:28 pm

You really shouldn't be prying with a knife.

Everything else you've listed can be done effectively with a properly used Mora. The scandi grind tends to mean it just cuts better in most of those tasks, and they're inexpensive enough you are more likely to push it, while that knife you paid 100USD+ for is going to have psychological barriers with damaging it.

For actual knife jobs the Moras are quite solid and tend to be around 0.1" spine thickness. I seem to recall some people going so far as to embed one in a tree, and use it as a step, which didn't hurt it. In order to damage a Mora you're doing something you really shouldn't be doing with a knife.

If you want to thwack wood you want a hatchet. If you want to thwack brush you want a machete. While some big knives can kind of approximate these, they aren't a hatchet or a machete.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by ineffableone » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:16 pm

Personally I think a lot of knife makers are making their knives too thick. 1/4 inch and up in general is just way too much steel and over kill typically. While I do like some thicker knives like Beckers and others, I think in general thinner bladed knives are more functional for general use than thick knives. I think a big part of the thick knife craze is all the people who baton with knives. Knife makers started catering to this by pumping out thick knives. But I see a lot of folks baton with a Mora and not have problems with the blade thickness of those. Me I am not a baton fan, I have done enough and practice with it on occasion so I can if I have no other choice, but for me I prefer an axe to a knife for most wood processing.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Mister Dark » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:58 pm

I had an absolutely incredible Scrapyard knife - 1/4" thick blade, scary sharp, super strong SR77 steel. Totally LOVED that knife. Sold it because I realized I never carried the damn thing with me anywhere! Every time I was packing up, I looked at that 1 pound monster, and then at any of my other, more puny knives, and always decided on one of them. My current (as in, the last few years) fav is the Fallkniven F1. .18 thickness on the blade, knife is long enough for batoning, but short enough to do detailed carving work... IMO it is the perfect bugout knife.


...but then again, I have been carrying an ultra thin David Farmer blade right now in my GHB, so whadda I know?

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by maine1 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:08 am

First of all, if i am down to ONE knife it IS a real emergency!

Thickness is but ONE factor in knife design.
A blade can have a 1/4" thick spine but cut like a straight razor IF the other geometric factors are right. It can also be weak as hell and downright delicate if the HT is not done right.

My vote is for over 1/4" at the spine. YET, i am a fan of distal tapering and full height grinds. This makes a 'thick' knife handle and cut well as the mass is where it needs to be but is not where it will get in the way.

Its common to see knives made from flat bar with no tapers, thick grinds, full tangs with no taper, and massive weight. Cumbersome to use, uncomfortable to carry.....so people don't, and think they need to get by with the 1/8" thick knives they will actually carry ( more on that later).

Give me a .30-.35"or so thickness at the spine. Taper it to .20 or so say 5" from the point, with a thickness at about 1/2" from the point of .125+" and a good full convex grind, with say a 1.4" blade width, with good tang design and heat treatment....and you'll likley have a knife that will outlive you. AND if one makes it right, it will be easy to carry, handy in the hand, and capable of some tough chores, as well as some pretty fine work. Maybe an 19 oz weight, and a 10" or so blade.

That said, an 1/8" thick blade on a smaller knife can be pretty damn tough when heat treated correctly. I did a destruct test on one i made several years ago... i did STUPID things to this knife: once i got the easy stuff like the batonning through trees, whitling, splitting wood say 4" in dia. I cut a peice of 3/4" copper pipe with a batton, beat it through a tree, used it as a spear head and threw it HARD into trees, expecting to break/bend the knife. I tried to break this knife, or at least tweek it soem by the spear head method.

NO DICE.
I was unable to break the knife with any realistic task, even stabbing it into a tree and snapping the point out was fine.
I put it in a vice and then donned gloves to flex it. I was able to break about 1/2" off the tip once i got it bent and then lunged my weigh into it and changed angles.

I don't post this because i want to toot my horn, or impress(?) you guys, but just to show that good heat treatment on basic steel (1075 in this case) can give you a far better knife than you might be led to believe.


ONE Of EACH: a well designed large knife with a thick spine, and a thinner, smaller knife, both with good steel, design, and HT, and you will be well prepared.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:31 am

I prefer thinner knives but will use whatever. I guess 1/8th is a good comprise between slicing and durability so voted that option. Still if the knife was thicker or even thinner so be it.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by procyon » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:12 am

Most of the knives I make for myself or my family are 1/8 or less in thickness.
If it gets any thicker than that, I start to look at them as chopping tools and not as 'knives'.
I make plenty of 'corn knives' and froes that would run closer to 1/4", but I use them to clear fence/brush or split wood.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by FOG3 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:48 am

Using current Amazon pricing as a basis with automatic round up to full dollar.:

General use light tools
Mora Companion: 4oz/15USD
Stanley Prybar: 3.8oz/5USD
Gerber sliding saw: 5 oz/12USD

Total weight: 12.8oz
Total cost: 32USD

Thwacky things
Fiskar's X7 Hatchet: 20oz/25USD
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete: 18.2oz/24USD

Total weight: 38.2oz
Total cost: 49USD

In short if you're not looking for a thwacky thing then you can have a set of dedicated tools, which weigh less combined, are all perfectly suited to their jobs, and cost so much less full triple redundancy is possible within the same budget.

If you want a thwacky thing, then the question becomes what you need to thwack, and what the most efficient tool to do that is. Mind that a set of dedicated thwacky tools, combined with a set of general purpose light tools will tend to cost less then a good big knife. Also mind that dedicated tools will tend to reliably due the jobs they're designed for, while improvising with a big knife could lead to inefficient or bad results.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Sworbeyegib » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:58 pm

A big part of a blade thickness performance also revolves around the width of the knife itself, and the grinds used to shape it.

My Glock field knife has a blade thickness of a bit under a 1/4". The width of the blade is only about an inch, and the primary grind doesn't start until about 1/4-1/3 of the way down from the spine. This makes it a very poor slicer and carver because of the thick edge. But it makes it excellent for prying, digging and batoning.

My Kabar Heavy bowie on the other hand, has a full 1/4" blade, if not a hair over. The width of the blade is tad over two inches, and it has a full flat grind that starts at the spine. Even though it is a thicker blade, it has a much keener edge and is much better cutting. The overall size of it still means it is a good chopper and wood splitter as well.

In my experience, I've found that if I want a full flat ground blade then I prefer a thickness between 3/16"-1/4". If I want to go with a scandi or saber ground blade, then I like to go a bit thinner, anything from 3/16" of an inch down to the Mora thickness of a only .09. I think my Mora Robust clocks in at about 1/8" and is an absolute wonder.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by drop bear » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:52 am

FOG3 wrote:Using current Amazon pricing as a basis with automatic round up to full dollar.:

General use light tools
Mora Companion: 4oz/15USD
Stanley Prybar: 3.8oz/5USD
Gerber sliding saw: 5 oz/12USD

Total weight: 12.8oz
Total cost: 32USD

Thwacky things
Fiskar's X7 Hatchet: 20oz/25USD
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete: 18.2oz/24USD

Total weight: 38.2oz
Total cost: 49USD

In short if you're not looking for a thwacky thing then you can have a set of dedicated tools, which weigh less combined, are all perfectly suited to their jobs, and cost so much less full triple redundancy is possible within the same budget.

If you want a thwacky thing, then the question becomes what you need to thwack, and what the most efficient tool to do that is. Mind that a set of dedicated thwacky tools, combined with a set of general purpose light tools will tend to cost less then a good big knife. Also mind that dedicated tools will tend to reliably due the jobs they're designed for, while improvising with a big knife could lead to inefficient or bad results.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by maine1 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:30 pm

another thing to keep in mind is that thinner knives tend to be lower priced consumables, where as thicker stock is for a more long term durable tool.

This may or may not be an issue for you. machetes can be pretty tough, yet they are universal tool because they offer a good price to utility ratio, and are not a heartbreaker if they get damaged.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Sworbeyegib » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:56 pm

Personally, I always have more than one knife in my pack. Mora knives, or even the Cold Steel Finn Bear that I sometimes carry only weigh a few ounces. I don't see any reason not to have on in your pack for fine work, or as a back up for your main blade. Options and redundancies are great.

I even EDC two blades. A usually carry a SAK in my pocket for all the small stuff I need to get done, it is a very "people friendly" blade that I can use anywhere or everywhere without raising an eyebrow. I also carry a larger 3-4" blade for heavier duty tasks. The SAK is great for when I'm doing something like trimming a thread, cutting a piece of tape or rope, sharpening a pencil. The larger blade is more useful if I'm breaking down large amount cardboard, cutting straps and general heavier duty things.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by maine1 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:31 am

Honestly, i find " one knife" focus a bit odd.

anyone have ONE screwdriver? ONE wrench? I bet not. Either you have NO wrenches, or a set, or a few sets, metric sets, SAE sets, sockets, ratchets breaker bars...ect.

yet we want ONE knife to do all. We can get pretty close, depending on environment.
Knives are just tools, and while they are a very broad range tool, some specialization is apropriate.
My vote is for a large, well proportioned fixed blade- bowie- and a smaller fixed blade, of whatever style one prefers.
let me count...5 blades, EDC. 3 are pretty small single blade knives i keep as scalpels, and to use around cheesy people. since i am not often around cheesey people, they see only ocasional use. the 4 1/2" fixed blade i carry is the one most used., as its faster than any folder, stronger, and more convenient for me.

In many cultures, someone with ONE knife was unprepared, as they are one knife away from NO knife. Sure, i can make an improvised knife......but i prefer to just carry one..or a few. Not that hard.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Son of Jord » Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:19 pm

I think the "one knife" phenomenon has a couple of roots.
First, is because people want to know what to take when all they can make it out with is what is on their back. For surviving a disaster, of whatever cause, requires a variety of gear, and taking up space with 3 things that do the job perfectly, versus one that can do all of the jobs well doesn't make as much sense.

The other point I can see, is this being the internet, people tend to refuse to answer the question asked. If someone asks what knife in the X" to Y" range would someone recommend, they almost always want to tell them to buy a mora and an axe or machete. Well, the guy wants to get an answer to meet his specs, not why he should do something else. Thing is, they don't even answer the question and then make a different suggestion, they just give the other suggestion. So, while the person may well ask about an axe or machete later, they want to know what knife to get now, and try to limit the answers.

Having said that, I would also put out there for consideration that a purpose-bought survival knife is going to need to have some capability beyond what someone uses on a hike to whittle and open their freeze-dry pouches with.

From the OP:
Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife
Just want to get a consensus on what is the best blade thickness for an overall knife in your BOB. I have heard some blades are too thin for woodwork, Batoning, prying yet I hear there are blades too thick for woodworking, food prep, slicing and detail work.
IMO none of that is specific to survival or SHTF, and you can do any of that with a blade from the size of a small jackknife/Mora through the big battleship knives. The detail work will be easier to make pretty with the small knives, and the big knives will make things functional more quickly.

[/quote]Given that the steel is good, is there a happy medium with blade thickness that gives you the best of both worlds?[/quote]
I'll answer this in light of the subject heading, which is in th context of a SHTF/Survival -- meaning a situation beyind the norm, and your life may well be in danger.

I have to give two answers.
1.) for blades up to 5" in length, and 1" or under in width, then 1/8" is a good thickness. .140" if the blade includes distal taper.
I don't think that added thickness really increases the capability in this size range.

2.) for blades over 5", I prefer 3/16". In the SHTF/Survival context, you may well have to do things like pry with the blade, especially if it has to be a one-tool solution, and in any event, if you only have one, it makes sense to have it a bit overbuilt for your intended purposes. Having that additional safety margin is worth it, IMO.

Personally, for the application a 3/6" thick knife, 10" long would be my choice. Good examples would be the ESEE Junglas or Ontario RTAK. Knives of this type are flat ground, wide blades that can handle slicing very well, are long enough to use as a draw knife, and have enough length and thickness to handle decent abuse. In the case of the ESEE, you get a kick-ass sheath to go with it as well.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by FOG3 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:33 pm

Son of Jord:
Both the knives you specifically call out for play the role of the big knife are what Bowie style in their profile. A basic Amazon search indicates that the Ontario RTAK II going for 88USD with a MSRP of 175USD, and the RAT Junglas goes for 180USD with an MSRP of 302USD.

Now, I own big knives and have no problem with other people owning or using big knives if they want to, but let's be practical here. The only thing you've really mentioned using these big bowie style knives for is as a prybar.

The Vaughan 15-inch Superbar is by many standards the classic one handed prybar, with which to wreck and demolish things. Now you should note that this prybar is:
-Only 11USD
And thus you can easily stock duplicates if you have any concerns about breakage.

-Uses spring tempered steel bar stock that's a good quarter of an inch thick
Note that knives tend to not be spring tempered, and designed to flex. They tend to be steel simply hardened to the extent that's practical, and thus not designed to flex, which when imitating a prybar is going to be a problem.

-Is specifically shaped and tapered to actually work itself in and pry
From what I've seen of big knives, they really aren't designed to do this.

Now if we're talking about a BOV or Bug-in scenario, why would you risk screwing up that big knife that's worth a lot of money, to do a very poor job at pretending to be a SuperBar? Why not just buy a SuperBar, cram it somewhere given they don't really take up much space and use that, which will dominate all your prying needs and is cheap enough you can easily make sure you have a spare? Why would you instead risk that very expensive knife, you probably didn't have the spare money to have duplicates for, instead?

And that for me that is part of the issue with this obsession with the big knives. A list of what they can do, that a Mora Companion can't do just as well if not better is going to tend to be rather short. The list of what they can do _well_ that a Mora Companion can't will be shorter.

If you're talking a BOB scenario, and thus backpacking rules apply, what does the big knife do that justifies over a pound of weight, which a small set of lighter tools wouldn't tend to do just as well at? A Vaughan 5.5" mini-pry bar is a mere 1.6 ounces which should be suited for many of the light prying tasks it wouldn't be an ill-advised idea to use a hundred dollar big knife for. A small hacksaw and a small sheath of blades don't exactly take up a lot of space or weight either, while being rather inexpensive. Qualities that also contribute towards the you'll actually have it with you and actually use it aspect of a good survival kit.

So I must ask. Given you're advocating big knives that cost as much as a set of dedicated tools to handle the presumed tasks would, what does the big Bowie style knife bring to the table that justifies the resources dedicated to it in a Bug-in, BOV, or BOB scenario?

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Son of Jord » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:10 am

1.) The OP said it was for a BOB, and did not specify vehicular or not,so let's take this at it's most common form:
BOB = smaller bag than INCH bag, space is at a premium, you take multi-purpose items whenever possible.
Most likely an on-foot bugout is planned for this bag, even if the OP starts in a vehicle, likely this will be the bag, and possibly the only bag they grab if they have to ditch the vehicle in a hurry, so the one-purpose tools stay behind.

2.) I listed the ones I did because they are moderate in price (yes, they really are), and make the grade for good steel and heat treat. There are other choices with good steel and heat treat, but at that size, the RTAK is pretty much the bottom of the price range.

3.) I mentioned use as a draw knife, not just prying. Your Mora and prybar are going to suck at that.

4.) I don't ascribe to the one-tool philosophy, so I didn't indicate what I use, so arguments about what I use have no basis. Hint: I won't use a big choppa nor a throw-away Mora for survival, for reasons I already outlined.

But, I did not superimpose my preferences in survival tools on the thread (see back to my previous post about people refusing to answer the question that was actually asked).

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by ineffableone » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:34 am

Son of Jord wrote:4.) I don't ascribe to the one-tool philosophy, so I didn't indicate what I use, so arguments about what I use have no basis. Hint: I won't use a big choppa nor a throw-away Mora for survival, for reasons I already outlined.
While I am not a mora fan and don't use one myself, I have plenty of respect for that brand and give it the props it is due for being a low cost highly functional knife. I don't know where you get the idea it is a "throw away" knife. And that you call it that tells a lot about your perception of it. I know plenty of Mora users who have had their knives for a long time and put them through a ton of use. Not just little whittling projects but batoning with them and really using them hard. So I really don't see the "throw away" concept in them. Other than they are low enough price that you wont cry if one does get lost or damaged.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Nightmare Machine » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:40 pm

He probably gets that from the fact that Moras are seen as exactly that in Sweden. They use them and then throw them away when they get dull and buy a new one because they are as cheap as dirt. They kind of laugh about how people outside of Sweden (especially Americans) go on about how great Moras are

But back on topic:

Thickness really depends on what exactly you want to do with the knife. Pretty much any knife can cut vegetables or whittle fuzz sticks just fine. Pretty much no knife really makes it into the top five list of breaching tools.

Like others have said, width of the knife plays a big role. For instance a standard Busse Battle Mistress has a 1/4" spine, bu the blade is very wide, and for the most part, a flat grind. The at the distance from the edge to the spine where a puukko like a Mora is ground, the thickness of the Battle Mistress is not much thicker (and in the case of some puukkos is thinner than the puukko). The Battle Mistree can be made into a real razor by convexing the edge. All this with a thick, heavy knife.

On the other hand, the ESEE 5 is 1/4" thick, saber ground and not nearly as wide. The edge bevel is rather obtuse, and not all that great of a design, IMO, but that's what the customer wanted and ESEE made it.

On the other hand, you have huge blade with spines 1/8" or less -- they are called machetes.

Bottom line is, in "survival", bugging out, even post-apocalyptic living, I don't see a big need for a "special" knife. Pretty much anything can be made to work, so my advise is to buy a blade that is from a reputable manufacturer, and is to your liking and learn how to use YOUR blade to do what YOU want to do with it.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by ineffableone » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:49 pm

Nightmare Machine wrote:He probably gets that from the fact that Moras are seen as exactly that in Sweden. They use them and then throw them away when they get dull and buy a new one because they are as cheap as dirt. They kind of laugh about how people outside of Sweden (especially Americans) go on about how great Moras are
While I can believe Swedish folks getting a chuckle at Americans praising the Mora, I find the claim of throwing away a knife that is dull rather than sharpening it rather hard to swallow. Maybe someone can provide some proof to this claim? Otherwise I really can't accept it to be true. I did do a little search, but all the results I found were Americans making the claim for folks in Sweden. I didn't see any that backed up this claim either.
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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by Nightmare Machine » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:46 pm

Well, I don't record conversations, so you're out of luck.

Take it for what it's worth, which is exactly as much as anything else on the internet.
This city is afraid of me. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!", and I'll whisper "no."

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by maine1 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:49 pm

Big knives have proved useful to me since i was a kid.
The advantage i have is that i make knives, so if i want a specific design, i make it.

Jobs?
- a small bench that sits outside of my shop was made primarily with a 10 1/2" bowie i made, and a spade bit. It split the log, split out the legs, and drawknifed the legs roughly round, and smoothed the seat, its rough but functional

- when using a chainsaw for firewood, clearing land, ect, i always have one of my knives ( OK, I always have one anyway..) its WAY handier than my husky for the sub 3" stuff.

- i have cut cedar fence posts out of the woods, squared the and, and pointed the other with the bowie

- made lots of primitive traps in the feild
- made lots of shelters
-whittled spoons, trenchers, and various other useful items on the trail and in camp.
- cleaning/trimming trails

- weapon use. Not "real" for some, but i have been actively traing with bowies and larger knives since quite young. When used with the right methods, and with regular practice, is damn formidable. Nuff said.

- Pry bar? no, not so much.

- chopping, lots of chopping. Some will argue that an axe is superior...and sometimes it may be. BUT...few have used a really well made convexed edge bowie knife. I have a VERY good knife( one could say its the best on the planet!) that weighs a mere 16 OZ, yet will out chop MANY hatchets, its nearly freaky. and the funny thing is, its not reallyn intended as a woods knife. with my knives, I'll tackle 10-12" logs, mostly for testing, but this test evolved from an actual incident in the past- had to cut a log out of the road. While others were hemming and hawing about how to do move it sans cables, chains or straps, i got it done. An axe wil cut larger wood with less effoert, yet i can carry my bowie IWB, and conceal it in town, sleep and live with it easier than an axe. The bowie lives with me, and the axe gets left in the truck.

Bear in mind that some people do not find a large knife useful. Thats fine, to each his own. I don't give anyone shit for their tool choice if its based on real abilities and results.

BOT- i think when people think "SHTF knives" their is an implied extreme use possibility that encourages a railroad engineering aproach. I am fine with this, but don't think it serves a rael purpose to use thinner knives on a daily basis, yet plan on relying on a thicker tool that is used less seldom come an emergency. I'd make a choice to carry my SHTF blade EDC, and thus HAVE it when TSHTF, or have a spare, thinner knife in your SHTF gear if that it how you roll. Use what works for you, and undserstand the limitations, as all tools have them. Don't expect to do anything post SHTF, skills wise, that you cannot do now.

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Re: Blade thickness for a survival/SHTF knife

Post by FOG3 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:00 pm

Son of Jord wrote:3.) I mentioned use as a draw knife, not just prying.
I'll just snip your miss-representation of my position here. The first set of options included a retracting Gerber Saw, the post you're quoting brought up the possibility of using hacksaws blades with a compact hacksaw frame, which can get down to 1.6 ounces for the frame.

This is a draw knife:
Image

It has nothing in common with your big knives. So, first of all I reject your premise. Now, I could see an argument for a large knife being used for smoothing being nicer due having a large bevel, but that's not a draw knife. I can also however make the counter argument that a blade around 4" gives you a lot more control then a large blade. Also, given perfectly made and smoothed door frames aren't Zombie Kryptonite I have to question why you consider this is a major design feature that a BOB must have.
Son of Jord wrote:4.) I don't ascribe to the one-tool philosophy, so I didn't indicate what I use, so arguments about what I use have no basis. Hint: I won't use a big choppa nor a throw-away Mora for survival, for reasons I already outlined.
The Mora was popularized by Cody Lundin in the book 98.6 The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive. As you can see in the Dual Survivor TV show, or his survival school if you care to attend it, he practices what he preaches. There's nothing disposable about a Mora, and it has a well established track record. I suggest you read Cody's book, as you appear to have missed it, and it's a very solid read with a lot of important concepts.

Heavily used tools however are subject to breakage. Yes, that includes the big alloy steel knives. For instance given you appear to be opposed to a small prybar with which to do things like remove nails, you might find you've chipped out the edge doing something very ill advised to a piece of wood with nails in it. If you consider something a critical tool/capability for survival, there's a lot to be said for not having a single point of failure. Redundancy and back up plans that keep Murphy away are a good thing, as are actually using and being comfortable with abusing the kind of tools you'd actually use.

And I note you've not really said anything on why you think others should invest in big bowie style knives, although maine has came in while I was writing this and spoke to such. Ironically mirroring quite a few of my points though in the process.
Son of Jord wrote:But, I did not superimpose my preferences in survival tools on the thread (see back to my previous post about people refusing to answer the question that was actually asked).
Which is why you're pushing that people should have a RTAK or better for ill defined reasons, right? I mention options that are less expensive, lighter, smaller, and collectively more capable to help broaden horizons while trying to lay out the playing field of options and the associated trade-offs, but clearly I'm an evil thread jacker forcing people to not spend oodles of money on a RTAK or better that serves ill defined purposes.

You should drop at least a hundred dollars on a RTAK or better now. :awesome:

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