The anatomy of the best bushcraft knife

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by itsmedave, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. itsmedave

    itsmedave Monkey

    What are your requirements when searching for a capable bushcraft knife?
    Mine are the followings:
    • A good bushcraft knife is made with quality materials and is reasonably priced
    • Fixed blade knife, full tang - I find folding blades too delicate for tasks such as wood carving or chopping.
    • A medium size blade ( 3.5 to 5 inches) - a bigger blade won't be that effective and it won't provide comfort
    • Carbon blade - I know about its rust vulnerability, but if you properly maintain the blade, it's not a big deal.
    • A Scandinavian Grind - definitely the best choice when it comes to bushcraft knives and it's easy to sharpen too
    Regarding some knives, my favorites are the Morakniv Companion and the Spyderco Bushcraft G-10.

    More information and knife recommendations can be found here
    arleigh and Seepalaces like this.
  2. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I like a blade that works in my environment, for what tasks I am putting it through. I have found, that for all my theories about what I want, end of the day, I have had to just take individual knives out to see what worked.
    That said, this is what I usually look for:
    Quality: don't care about the price, other than what I can afford at the time. Don't believe in crap blades, don;t carry them, and don't sell them.
    Task Driven: I normally like a blade that will carve wood, butcher game, do small chopping, and be usable as a fighting blade. Pretty tall order for a lot of the crap on the market.
    Blade Length: With those criteria, I normally break down into 3 blade zones: Pocket/Legal Concealed Carry (4" down), Work Blade (8"-14"), and Duty Blade (10" up). Pockets put minimal emphasis on fighting, Duty puts a minimal emphasis on fine carving, and Work blades fit neatly into all categories.

    I learned how to bushcraft on a 11 1/2" custom bowie and a old timer Stockman...I really don;t understand all of the fuss against big blades, but each his own. I could fill a long list, but I'll drop a link if they'll let me. Haha. blackcrow
    Oltymer likes this.
  3. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    Agreed on all the points about the best quality materials, you can, afford, plus some. The best design, IYO, is next. I absolutely agree that one tool for all purposes is a pipe dream! That's why I carry two!


    3M-TA3 likes this.
  4. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Knives are one of the most personal pieces of gear around, possibly second only to boots. There is no "best bushcraft" or "best fighting knife" or "best nose hair picking knife" there is on the "best" of each of these for ME or for you or for the next guy that needs to pick up a blade for a tool or weapon. I can tell you what I think is best for me, it shares some things in common with options raised here, but some significant differences as well, but that is why I wont tell you your choice is wrong, as it may only be wrong for me and "best" for you :D

    One and one only, for me it is a Busse ASH1 in INFI. But that is just me ;)
  5. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    For instance, in my AO, that Outcast is not worth a damn. Like the knife, like the design, love the feel, but it does not cut the local woods as well as several other knives I already owned. Bout the only use I have for it is as a loaner knife.

    @Sgt-you want a backup, I'll cut you a killer deal on one. Haha.
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I agree with you except on the carbon steel point. I've heard the arguments which support high carbon steel, but there's not a single one of them which can convince me to give up a quality stainless variety or any tougher steels. Bottom line: high carbon steel is not a necessity.

    My choice- The full-tang Morakniv Garberg
    (here's mine)
    Zen Savage likes this.
  7. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Been looking a picking some of those up. Advantages over regular Mora, say a Companion? Lot of money to shell out.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Well, the obvious is that it's full tang and much thicker stock than Companion. It is sturdy and has a full belly. Compared to a Mora Bushcraft "black" side-by-side for your consideration.
    DSC00045.JPG DSC00046.JPG DSC00047.JPG DSC00048.JPG

    The price is very reasonable considering the fact it's Mora and full tang. I suspect the price will settle and remain between $70-$90 for quite a long time, as in years --unless they come out with another full tang model, which isn't likely.

    Compared to many custom or production runs of similar make, it can't be beaten.
  9. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I think we can get them in around $85...appreciate the feedback.
    Brokor likes this.
  10. Zen Savage

    Zen Savage Knowledge and experience weigh less...

    Completely agree on stainless! I often use my Mora in a marine/ocean environment, and carbon just takes more time n care for me. Never seen the model you have pictured. Any benefits over companion or others?
  11. itsmedave

    itsmedave Monkey

    Brokor likes this.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The Mora Bushcraft Black is a very thick version of the Companion, with a nicely molded (and longer) rubber handle. It also has a slightly longer blade than the Companion. I customized mine a little by removing some of the finger choil area so it will fit inside my custom sheath.

    Here's a side-by-side comparison of a Bushcraft Black and a Companion:
    DSC00056.JPG DSC00057.JPG DSC00058.JPG

    DSC00059.JPG The Mora Companion measures 0.080" blade thickness
    DSC00060.JPG The Mora Bushcraft Black measures 0.130" blade thickness (same as Garberg)
  13. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I have not found any really advantage in the heavy versus the normal companion. Any performance differences for you?
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Same. The only advantage is feeling better about having a thicker blade. They are both rat-tail design, not full tang. I also do not feel as free when I carve with it like I do with the Companion. But, the Bushcraft is very comfortable to hold with zero hot spots.

    The Garberg, though is full tang, and can take a beating. But, I've beat (batoned) on Companions before with no problems.
  15. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I've got video shot batoning mine threw saplings. Biggest complaint for my is that the Heavy does not cut meat as well, and thus is not as good a butcher by a noticeable margin.

    Brokor likes this.
  16. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I have a Light My Fire Mora that I absolutely love, and use it just for such tasks. Well, small game.
    It has a thin blade, and is perfect for light duty.
  17. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Just got in some Condor Kephart blades...probly gonna try and put some spruced up handles on them to draw some attention. Picked up a Hivernant to give a youtube vid with. Haven't made up my mind exactly what all I want to put it through, but it seems like a nice skinned by design.
  18. medicineman

    medicineman Survival Guru

    The best knife you can have, is the knife you have with you..... AND.... that you have experience with & know how to use.
    I see too many pictures of knives that are obviously never used and MIGHT have cut a finger once.
    "WE" ALL need to get out and use our gear, or do it more often.

    Second thought is about this "scandie grind" fad....

    I see that is not all the rage on almost every forum and video.
    I see it is a GOOD grind/edge.

    However.... I do NOT agree that it is the "best knife you can choose".
    Before this fad, there were HUNDREDS of years of knife wielding outdoorsmen who did just fine with all manner of grinds and blade shapes.
    The knife is only as good as the maker and the USER.
    So maybe we should remember that.
    Trouble likes this.
  19. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman Draw Varmint!

    For a utility knife that's able to do double-duty I like my 5", Randall-Made, 'Saltwater Fisherman '. It's got a good working blade with plenty of 'belly'; and it just so happens to make an excellent 'sleeve knife' too.

  20. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Be careful. If you're going to make insinuations, you ought to know that you're lacking the humor part in your attempt. Some folks have multiple knives and take good care of them, and I for example have an assorted bin full of Mora knives. I have knives I have had for years that I've used extensively and they still mostly appear new. Just because you see a picture of a knife that has been well taken care of or isn't beat to hell, doesn't mean the one taking the picture is a talentless buffoon. It would serve you better to carefully consider what you type so you do not anger the member base.
    Arguing opinions never yields positive results. And the history of the edge design in question is much more than a "fad".
    Again, it's an opinion as to whether or not people "do fine" with any particular bladed instrument, and quite a different matter to excel at a certain task with specialized tools specifically designed to make any required task easier. Less effort does not always equal laziness; in the outdoors it is wise to expend less energy and to reduce the chance of exertion which may cause injury. Just as an example: The Scandinavian grind excels at biting into wood and carving, the convex edge can bite even deeper and can serve multiple roles very well. The traditional utility beveled edge is more durable and is better suited for harsh treatment. The capabilities of the steel will limit the user no matter their skill level --it's simple physics.

    Explained: STEEL And KNIVES (A Comparison and Explanation) | Survival Monkey Forums
    arleigh and Capt. Tyree like this.
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