Fixed blade, length question

This is a discussion on Fixed blade, length question within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi guys. I am working on putting together a camping / SHTF bag. I've found a model that I like and it is available in ...

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Thread: Fixed blade, length question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    Fixed blade, length question

    Hi guys.
    I am working on putting together a camping / SHTF bag.

    I've found a model that I like and it is available in 5" and 6.75" blades, everything else identical.

    Any advice on selecting a blade length? Everything else is identical.

    Will longer be awkward ? Will shorter be too short ? I think I like the shorter one, but would appreciate anyone who knows why one would be superior.

    And another factor - I am leaning toward a half serrated blade. Will I regret that over a regular blade ?

    Thanks!


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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    I personally prefer the balance of the 5" blades, but that's a subjective thing. Serrations are subjectives too, but a plain blade's easier to sharpen. It depends on what you're going to do with it.

    What knife are you looking at? Sounds like the Ultima, maybe?
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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I too like 5" blades as a general utility blade. Serrations depend on what the intended use is. For rope cutting in a sailors world they are unmatched. As a general knife out in the woods I prefer a plain edge.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    New Member Array subcompact9mm's Avatar
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    my vote is for 5" 1/2 serration (more practical, harder to sharpen)
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    Member Array frankborelli's Avatar
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    The only time a longer blade is of use is if you plan to use the knife for chopping OR for combat. Other than that, the 5" does everything you need in the field. Just my $0.02 worth (and maybe not worth that).
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    Member Array citizen510's Avatar
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    For camping/SHTF, I would want a knife that is the most versatile and would work in the most commonly encountered applications. That is why I always have at least 3 knives in my "earthquake" kit. I have a Cold Steel Trail Master for heavier work (chops firewood, great fighter, sturdy construction, holds an edge), a Cold Steel 4" neck knife for constant carry and my Cold Steel Mighty Might (Tanto style) on my key ring that stays in my pocket all the time. All of these knives are plain blades, no serations, because I can quickly dress an edge with the sharpener that stays in my kit. Serated works good for some applications, but is less versatile and is more of a pain to sharpen.

    http://www.coldsteel.com/ I have 25 of their knives. All of them are top notch and most were a steal because they were factory seconds with only small cosmetic blemishes. Great knives at a great price...and I just got the newest catalog yesterday.

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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. I was leaning toward the shorter and wanted to be sure I wasn't kicking myself later.

    cockedlocked - yes, it's the ultima !

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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    If you ever need to cut polypropylene rope, you absolutely must have serrations, or a lot of free time.
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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Both myself and Cockedlocked01 have just got new 5" CRKT Ultimas, he has the Vexx serrations and I got the plain.
    They are about $40 on eBay currently.
    Mine is great, plenty of knife for the money, a good versatile tactical sheath for BOB duty, the handle lever is more than useful, the grip is great whichever way I hold it and stays firmly in the hand.
    I haven't tested it on materials yet but as it's a modified tanto I don't expect to break the tip except in heavier use.

    I recommend it at that price, not at retail.

    Five inches is plenty, as Cockedlocked said it has good balance and plenty of blade.

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    SHTF Knives for True Rough Out Camping & Survival

    My opinion is that while you CAN perform smaller knife/blade functions with a larger blade you just cannot perform "larger blade functions" with a knife that is too small - that is....without MUCH wasted time, effort, and energy.
    All three of which (time, effort, & energy) may be in extremely short supply when your life hangs in the balance.

    For survival and SHTF - always opt for the larger blade.

    It is far better to have more blade than you need than not enough.
    Concerning cutting natural & synthetic rope without blade serrations just use the large blade to chop it and don't bother cutting it at all.

    If you want to self~limit yourself to only ONE fixed blade for SHTF and true survival camping...then the blade length should be around 11 or 12" and (in my opinion) even your large blade "possible choice" is way too short.

    A large 11 or 12 fixed blade plus a smaller high quality folder would be ideal to pack.


    Oh...& BTW - I would NIX the serrations on the blade idea.
    I would also NIX any large knives where the guard was too large, protruding or intrusive making it difficult to hold the knife in various assorted fashions (such as "choking up" on the blade for more delicate cutting tasks) - and also NIX on any knife handles with deep finger grooves that auto~relegate you (by way of their design) to gripping the knife in only one comfortable way.

    Just my highly educated opinion on what works in the real world and what does not.
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  12. #11
    Member Array broknindarkagain's Avatar
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    I like the shorter blades. They are much easier to handle then longer blades. I carry a 5inch blade everywhere I go.
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    Member Array dustoff451's Avatar
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    I also use the 3 knife rule. Your personal choice may change over time with experience. Cold Steel has always been my first choice.My life support tech let me take off the HORRIBLE Air Force 'survival' knife and sewed on a 'Bianchi' sheath for a Carbon V Cold Steel SRK. I could go on & on-funny thing, I used the same Swiss Army knife on two different deployments and I used that knife for almost every cutting chore. Did I say I like hatchets over Large knives?

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    If you are also packing a hatchet or a hand ax then you can downsize the blade length a bit.

    Try building yourself a good workable emergency shelter with a 5 or 6 inch blade in your backyard first before you decide that is the only knife/blade length that you'll carry into Mommy Nature's wild wilderness.
    Nature can be a merciless and very cruel teacher.
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    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    a kukri is another option to look at. it can act as a knife, hachet or prybar. they look unwieldy, but are actually quite agile in a steady hand. i own 3 of them, my favorite is cold steel's gurkha kukri.

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    For the Price and durability, you cant go wrong on the Marine Corp/Navy Mark 2 of any manufacture ( about $50.00) it has a 7inch blade. If the guard gets in the way it is easily cut off and shaped for how you like it. I would recomend that you get a straight edge one , no serations. A cheap machete with a blade 14-16 inch and a #8 Opinal make good suplimental blades to go with it.

    I have found that knives for emergency packs work best when they are very basic with no frills and capable of fullfilling multiple task, quality knives at low replacement cost. All 3 of the knives can be purchased for less then 1 high dollar 'super' knife.

    I buy used Mark 2 knives for about $45, 16 inch Tratamonte Machetes for $5.00 and #8 Opinals for about $10. If lost or broken they are easily replaced. Note: I have never broken any of them and have owned various ones for over 40 years . My current use machete I have had for 20 yrs, my current use opinal about 10 yrs, my current use mark 2 is from WW 2. I own new models of each that work just as well but am holding them in reserve in an emergency pack.

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