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I'd like to know the current, best IYO (in your opinion) survival knife/tool. I'd like to keep this under $100, and less is good! To me, I'm thinking the Rambo knife is still the best option for everything. I'd like to see any options, pros and cons, best deals, and tell me what you'd depend on for outback living in the wild. Your best finds and prices for the "Rambo" knife are greatly appreciated.
 

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One of the things I look for is (obviously) a strong, thick blade, a handle that has a good grip, and the ability to pound on the spine or the handle if I need to drive it into something. The compass on the handle of this example would make that not possible.

One of my favorite knives is the Ghurka/Kukri. It's big and it's tough. It's heavy enough to chop wood and strong enough to survive it. The sheath needs replacing, though.

ETA: you can find the old ones for under $40. Cold Steel makes one that goes for (I think) $80.
 

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The main problem with a knife of that design is that the compartment in the handle negates any of the strength that would be had from a full tang. A survival knife needs to be three things - strong, sharp, and with you when you need it. I would advise you carry your navigation and firestarting tools in their own pouch, case, or pocket, and don't compromise on the knife. I myself use a small compass that slips over my watch band - there are many ways to carry what you need but still have the best tool for the job. I have chosen a CRKT Ultima. It is full tang, with a good grip, decent steel and sheath, and was cheap (about $40 on e-Bay).
 

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Not sure if it's "the best" but I keep a Gerber LMF II in my bag. It has proven to be a very dependable knife.
 
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I use either a Kabar or a Cold Steel Bushman knife when I practice my survival camping.
 

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The main problem with a knife of that design is that the compartment in the handle negates any of the strength that would be had from a full tang. A survival knife needs to be three things - strong, sharp, and with you when you need it. I would advise you carry your navigation and firestarting tools in their own pouch, case, or pocket, and don't compromise on the knife.
All true, but having redundancy in all of those things by having an extra in your knife handle is also a good idea. One positive feature of a hollow handle is that it is easy to ram a good pole into the handle to create a spear. Everything in this world is a tradeoff I guess.

I think the Buckmaster was the pinnacle of the Rambo style survival knives. Not sure if they still make them.
 

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One of the things I look for is (obviously) a strong, thick blade, a handle that has a good grip, and the ability to pound on the spine or the handle if I need to drive it into something. The compass on the handle of this example would make that not possible.

One of my favorite knives is the Ghurka/Kukri. It's big and it's tough. It's heavy enough to chop wood and strong enough to survive it. The sheath needs replacing, though.

ETA: you can find the old ones for under $40. Cold Steel makes one that goes for (I think) $80.



For $100.00 or less,yes on the Cold Steel Kukri.Carry a pocket compass and pocket wire saw.
 

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Ram Rod - I would run away from that particular knife for survival. Now the Original "tool kit in handle" knife by Chris Reeve is a whole different story.
That One was fully machined from one solid billet of tool steel...in other words the blade - the guard and the compartment were all one piece of A2 hardened tool steel.
That knife was Very Strong but, you'll not touch one for anywhere near $100.00 -

$360.00

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look at the larger knives by Fallkniven.
 

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THere are only two hollow handles I would consider (in order): the Reeves and one of the old hand-made Vaughn Neeley Timberlines. Others are garbage.

What do you want/need to do? Saw teeth are useless, unless you plan on making lots of notched sticks for deadfalls, or cutting 1" or smaller limbs. Otherwise, they get in the way of using the spine as a handle (draw-knife) or mallet surface (splitting kindling). Obviously, a vehicle evac/survival knife, or water-borne are different was well.

Generally, I like blades of 6" +/- 2" either way, recurve or full-bellied clip points, or tanto. Traditional clips tend to be fairly fragile. Grips of canvas micarta(!!!!) or a stabilized wood, rough finished. I prefer high-carbon to stainless, unless you're in a really humid area. Even then, a coated carbon blade would be my preference.

Sending you a PM.

Edit to add: anything you stick a "rambo" knife into, it ain't coming out of, without serious wrenching. Not good when your primay usage is making other tools. If you use your knife as a spear (vs. a fire-hardened, knife-sharpened wooden stake) you're throwing away your best survival implement.

Rambo didn't show Stallone running 15 miles to retrieve his knife and pig, after he pissed the pig off by dropping on it and sticking it. (Probably the absolute dumbest "survival" thing in any of the Rambos.)

The Buckmaster is crap. Bought one when I was 15. Heavy as a bar of lead. Saw is almost too short to (even)be effective notching sticks. Easy to sharpen, but it has to be since the edge is about as durable as an Etch-A-Sketch pic.

Don't get me started on using the knife as a grappling hook; and no, they are not "finger-guards" as Buck later tried to say.
 

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Thanks Rob! I'm going to post a link to the knife maker's site. Nice. Really nice IMO.
snowflakeknives
 

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Well, Rob72's post covered a lot of the issues to consider that I was going to mention.

Realistically, a swiss army knife (Victorinox or Wenger, avoid the Chinese versions) with a locking blade and saw blade option should realistically handle most tasks. The saw is actually useful (unlike the vast majority of those added on the spine of many supposed 'survival' knives), they're easy to resharpen, and can perform a variety of tasks. No, you won't be batoning it through a log or using it as a spear (I'd suggest whittling down the tip and fire hardening before risking losing your knife making it into a spear), but it really can perform most of the necessary tasks for survival and is lightweight enough to not bog you down.

All that said, I also carry a 7" Ranger Rapid Detachment with nice orange handles (helps if it gets dropped) along with my one-handed Victorinox Trailmaster...and Kabar Dozier folder :smile:
 

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Rob72's post covered a lot of the issues
I don't generally like agreeing with ANYbody, but this post is spot-on. If you're really talking about actual Wilderness Survival then a Rambo-style knife is about as useful as a blow-dryer. Research what the pros suggest, maybe what an Alaskan Bush Pilot or a Wilderness Rescue Team would keep in their Grab Pack. We're talking usefullness & versality...per pound. Good quality; Swiss Army, 5-6" fixed blade, 2-3" skinning knife, almost anything (along with a small camp axe) is gonna' give you more options. If you've ever been "way past the powerlines" (IMHO) the last thing you want to be packing is a big, honkin' semi-sword. With a $100 budget; buy a Victorinox SAK ($40-45), a Gerber Pack Axe ($20-25) & a Cold Steel Bushman ($20-30). You've got a much better chance of keeping yourself dry, warm & fed until self-extraction or rescue. :hand10:
 

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I have said it befor in other threads. For outback survival and living the best tool would be a small Machete which can be bought for well under $20, and a small utility knife with blade from 3 to 5 inches such as a Mora scandinavian knife, most sell around $20. I also like "kabar" type knives. Once you learn how to use it the Machete is the handiest blade out there.
 

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The main problem with a knife of that design is that the compartment in the handle negates any of the strength that would be had from a full tang. A survival knife needs to be three things - strong, sharp, and with you when you need it. I would advise you carry your navigation and firestarting tools in their own pouch, case, or pocket, and don't compromise on the knife. I myself use a small compass that slips over my watch band - there are many ways to carry what you need but still have the best tool for the job. I have chosen a CRKT Ultima. It is full tang, with a good grip, decent steel and sheath, and was cheap (about $40 on e-Bay).
You and CopperKnight are both right in my opinion. The knife that Ramrod is looking at isn't built for real survival, it wouldn't last long. This is what I carry.
 

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Well, the original thread question is asking for the best "all purpose" knife.

I think that it IS possible to find a nicely constructed large format knife that will handle/accomplish machete and camp ax chopping and brush clearing chores decently well.

As is usually the case some compromise is to be expected.

Given a choice of only having either a high quality large blade or a high quality smaller knife...I personally will alway opt for the larger knife.
Minus having an Ax or Machete there are tasks that can be accomplished with a larger knife that just cannot be easily accomplished with a smaller blade - without much expended extra time and energy - both which may be in short supply.

Whereas "small knife delicate tasks" can be accomplished with a larger knife with only a slight increase of the PITA factor of having to choke up on the blade.

Ideally one would carry a larger knife plus a small multi-purpose utility & a hand Ax and a machete.

If I was in a situation where I had to be "out in it" with only one cutting implement available - I would opt for the large high quality knife of about a 14" overall length.

And yes, I do trek out alone into the deep woods (or at least I did up until two years ago) and so I am not talking out of my poop-chute.
 

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The one I relied on in Iraq is the Cold Steel SRK, along with a leatherman Wave, and a VSAK Huntsman. All three worked, never failed. Thats good enough in my book!!













 

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Well, the original thread question is asking for the best "all purpose" knife.

I think that it IS possible to find a nicely constructed large format knife that will handle/accomplish machete and camp ax chopping and brush clearing chores decently well.

As is usually the case some compromise is to be expected.

Given a choice of only having either a high quality large blade or a high quality smaller knife...I personally will alway opt for the larger knife.
Minus having an Ax or Machete there are tasks that can be accomplished with a larger knife that just cannot be easily accomplished with a smaller blade - without much expended extra time and energy - both which may be in short supply.

Whereas "small knife delicate tasks" can be accomplished with a larger knife with only a slight increase of the PITA factor of having to choke up on the blade.

Ideally one would carry a larger knife plus a small multi-purpose utility & a hand Ax and a machete.

If I was in a situation where I had to be "out in it" with only one cutting implement available - I would opt for the large high quality knife of about a 14" overall length.

And yes, I do trek out alone into the deep woods (or at least I did up until two years ago) and so I am not talking out of my poop-chute.

This is exactly why I recommended the current offer from from Scrap Yard. A very tough thick blade of superb steel and the right length and size. I believe the current offering is a 7 1/2 inch long blade with a 1/4 thick spine. And a point tip that is not so thin as to be subject to break but yet big enough to baton with. Very similar to the one posted above too by the way. I would be argued that no one blade is perfect for every job but if you had to chose one... this would be the way to go.
 

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Makes good sense to me. :yup:

"This is exactly why I recommended the current offer from from Scrap Yard. A very tough thick blade of superb steel and the right length and size. I believe the current offering is a 7 1/2 inch long blade with a 1/4 thick spine. And a point tip that is not so thin as to be subject to break but yet big enough to baton with. Very similar to the one posted above too by the way. I would be argued that no one blade is perfect for every job but if you had to chose one... this would be the way to go."
 
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