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Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! #1006911 07/14/14 10:36 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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This post contains the results of my evaluation of a variety of knives for consideration as a "bushcrafter". It was my objective to evaluate the largest number of knives available to me in hopes of identifying the best knife (in the test group) or at least identify features that were desirable in a bushcraft knife.

In all, this test included:

3.5 Hours of pretest evaluation
9.5 Hours of testing
4.0 Hours of post evaluation and testing data compilation

First, I'd like to extend my gratitude to all who loaned one or more knives for this evaluation. Without your participation this couldn't have been nearly as comprehensive. Thank you for the trust and investment! I've elected to not identify who loaned the knives (to protect your anonymity), but you're more than welcome to claim ownership of your knife(s) in this thread! I've scrubbed your knives three times, dried them thoroughly, lubricated the metal and already shipped them back to you. I'll forward the tracking code via a private message later today.

MY DEFINITION OF A BUSHCRAFT KNIFE

Knife selection is as subjective as art appreciation. I like Ford vehicles, and you might prefer something made by Honda. However, an evaluation is worthless without a clearly defined set of parameters by which to judge the product. As such, I define a "bushcraft knife" (BCK hereafter) as:

1) A knife devoted mostly to wilderness and outdoor use, but capable of being used for kitchen type duties as well.

Typical BCK knife chores include activities like: cutting notches in figure-four snares; filleting through wet wood to produce fuzzy or feather sticks for firemarking; skinning game; cutting up snared animal meat for use in the campsite stew pot; camp site detail work like trimming small branches and cutting paracord; general small tasks like opening freeze-dried food pouches; etc. Essentially, the BCK is a smallish detail knife.

2) A small and lightweight companion knife.

The BCK is likely to accompany a larger and more sturdy knife. The larger knife would handle more strenuous tasks such as cutting through the pelvic bone of a whitetail deer, chopping through a limb to make a lean to shelter, etc. This isn't to say the BCK would not be required to perform larger tasks. As with all things wilderness, we often have to improvise.

3) Before the test my definition of the BCK yielded the following general specifications:

DESIGN TYPE: Fixed Blade
BLADE LENGTH: 5" or Less
BLADE THICKNESS: 3/16" or Less
WEIGHT: As Light As Possible

KNIVES AVAILABLE FOR EVALUATION
This is far from a conclusive list of knives worthy of consideration for "bushcrafting", however it is the largest sampling of knives I could assemble in short notice.

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Bark River Gunny
ESEE ESEE-5
ESEE ESEE-4
ESEE ESEE-3
Fallkniven S-1
Survive! GSO 4.1
Ontario TAK-1
Busse Combat SAR-5
Busse Combat Boss Street
Swamp Rat RMD
Swamp Rat Vex
Swamp Rat Warden
Scrap Yard Mud Mutt
Scrap Yard S5
Scrap Yard 511 MO (FFG)
Scrap Yard 411
Scrap Yard 311

On to the evaluation!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The purpose of the "first impression" component of this evaluation was to develop initial and somewhat subjective opinions about each knife. I spent a minimum of five minutes with each knife, and every knife was weighed using the same equipment (Taylor electronic scale) within a ten minute span of time. I intentionally selected knives randomly as to not form opinions about similar (or exactly the same) features such as handle types.

BUSSE COMBAT SAR-5
Weight = 10.6 oz
Edge = Factory / New

This knife is TOO HEAVY! It also has poor balance due to the unusually large / thick handle. The big and bulky handle makes the balance non-conducive to detail BC work. No matter how I hold it I cannot figure out a way to effectively control the blade.

BUSSE COMBAT BOSS STREET
Weight = 8.8 oz
Edge = Factory / New

This knife is too heavy for the size of the blade. The handle feels a little cramped due to the talon hole. The handle isn't too small, but the shape makes me want to choke up / crowd the blade. I've tried squeezing my hand up toward the blade, but the talon hole guard makes it uncomfortable. Its too handle heavy to be useful for detail work requiring balance. The lack of choil compounds these issues.

SWAMP RAT VEX
]Weight = 7.4 oz
Edge = Factory / New

The handle is TOO SMALL! You have no choice but to use the choil, and the cutting edge cut my finger while just handling the knife. This is also unusually heavy for its size.

ONTARIO TAK
Weight = 10.2 oz
Edge = Unknown

This is HEAVY and has the ergonomics of a 2x4. The choil is just big enough for the tip of my finger. Feels surprisingly controllable considering my initial impressions. The handle is too big for the blade.

SCRAP YARD MUD MUTT
Weight = 5.9 oz
Edge = Factory/New

The "mudder" handle style feels too small for the blade length, and weight. The choil is useless. Overall feels surprisingly light for its blade length. My hand feels cramped on the grip.

ESEE-4 with G10 Grips
Weight 8.0 oz
Edge = Factory / New

The handle feels a little too small, but its 100% functional. The balance is handle heavy, but not exceedingly so. Overall the knife is too heavy for its size. The gimping is nice. I like this knife.

SCRAP YARD 311
Weight = 5.0 oz
Edge = Unknown

The blade is basically uselessly short. The proportion of handle to blade is ridiculous. The choil is useless. The "basic" handle style is not conducive to detail work. I have low expectations for this knife.

FALLKNIVEN S1
Weight = 6.8 oz
Edge = Factory / New

The handle diameter feels too small. This lacks a choil, and I think with a 5" blade it needs one. The handle guard combined with lack of choil makes me think this is going to be hard to use for detail work since choking up will be impossible. Overall feels like it'll lack finesse.

BARK RIVER GUNNY
Weight = 5.8 oz
Edge = Unknown

NICE! No choil, but the design allows closeness to the blade. The gimped thumb ramp is awesome. This is a very comfortable knife! I wish the blade was 3/4" longer.

SCRAP YARD 411
Weight = 6.1 oz
Edge = Factory/New

The popsicle tang makes the balance blade heavy. The choil is cut in a manner that can allow the cutting edge to nick fingers. I like the handle design, and overall design.

SWAMP RAT RMD
Weight = 10.0 oz
Edge = Factory / New

Nice design. This is a comfortable knife that allows multiple holds. Good handle to blade proportions. It does feel heavy compared to some of the other knives.

SCRAP YARD SCRAPPER 5
Weight = 6.8 oz
Edge = Unknown

This feels cramped compared to the RMD. It feels great in the "choked forward / choil detail hold", but not as much in a standard hold. Good balance, and blade design. I like the thumb ramp.

SWAMP RAT WARDEN
Weight = 2.3 oz
Edge = Sharpened by me.

This is basically a useless knife. The handle is a terrible design, and the blade is too short.

SURVIVE! GSO 4.1
Weight = 6.5 oz
Edge = Unknown

I want to choke up on this one. Good handle design, but its a little too thick. This knife needs a choil, and thumb ramp. It has great balance.

SCRAP YARD 511 MO (FFG)
Weight = 6.4 oz
Edge = Unknown

The handle is too small for the blade length. This needs a choil! The balance is weird, and feels "off". This is an unusual knife.

ESEE-5
Weight = 15.4 oz
Edge = Factory / New

THIS IS TOO BIG AND HEAVY!!! This is just too overbuilt. The blade is too thick, and the weight is insane. It has good balance, but would be absolutely worthless as a BC knife. I think this would make a great aircrew survival knife.

ESEE-3
Weight = 5.1 oz
Edge = Factory / New

The blade is too thin. I'm afraid I'm going to break this while sitting in Fort Living Room! This seems like it'd make a good necker with the handle scales removed. I think this would be a good companion knife.

FIRST ROUND (NO USE) ELIMINATIONS
The "first round eliminations" included knives that had readily apparent design flaws and therefore didn't warrant testing. Each eliminated knife's reason for expulsion from the evaluation is listed below.

BUSSE SAR-5
This knife has terrible ergonomics, and is just too heavy for use as a bushcrafter.

BUSSE Boss Street
This knife's weight doesn't justify its 4.25" blade. Weight to blade ratio is a critical factor for me.

SWAMP RAT VEX
I've already cut my fingers with this one so I'm concerned about my safety when I get out into the heat and use it with sweaty hands. It is also way to heavy for a knife with such a small handle.

ESEE-5
BRUISER! This is just too big, heavy, and unwieldy for detail work. She'd probably make a great pry bar.

Last edited by SkunkHunter; 07/16/14 06:27 AM.

JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006912 07/14/14 10:36 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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TESTING PROCEEDURE EXPLAINED
Each knife that made it past the "first round elimination" phase was subjected to the following standardized testing procedure (the order knives were tested in was completely random for each test):

1) Paper Cut - each knife was tasked with slicing, curling, and directional change detail cuts on a single piece of 20# copy paper. This is to establish a base line edge for comparison to the end of testing edge retention.

2) Fuzzy stick - each knife was tasked with skinning equally seasoned wood to produce feather or fuzzy sticks.

3) Firebow divot drill - each knife was tasked with stabbing equally seasoned hardwood, and drilling a divot for use as a firebow divot.

4) Notch cut - each knife was tasked with cutting an equal sized "figure 4 notch" in equally seasoned wood.

5) Mild chopping - each knife was tasked with chopping a small branch of equally seasoned wood.

6) Cable cut - each knife was tasked with cutting an equal number of sections of 0.95 triangular trimmer line. The belly and upswept edge was used for this test.

7) Green trim - each knife was tasked with trimming a sections of green foliage for use as outer debris hut material. One large single branch was used for the evaluation.

8) Wet use test - each knife was soaked in water and then I evaluated the handle's safety while being used with equally wet hands.

9) Peel apple - each knife was tasked with thin peeling an apple. I had a request to fillet fish, but do to cost I was unable to answer this request. I used Gala apples which have a surprisingly similar consistency so this could be construed (LOOSELY) as a "fillet" test.

10) Potato & carrot cut - each knife was tasked with slicing a potato and cold carrots.

11) Squash slice - each knife was tasked with slicing as thinly as possible fresh picked squash.

12) Paper cut - each knife was tasked with slicing, curling, and directional change detail cuts on a single piece of 20# copy paper. This was to serve as a basis of comparison for edge retention.

Last edited by Architect; 07/14/14 10:50 AM.

JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006913 07/14/14 10:39 AM
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TESTING RESULTS
Each knife's performance in each test is listed below.

Paper Cut

[Linked Image from i61.tinypic.com]

Scrapper 5 = Struggled at first to cut paper. It has a toothy edge, and isn't as sharp as I'd like.

311 = Good edge and better than expected. The short blade is already showing its limitations. Handle style offers a lot more control than mudder style.

411 = Good edge, and design lends itself well to working detail. The blade weight helps balance tasks.

TAK = Good toothy edge. Design allows detail direction change cutting easy. Surprised how much I like this knife. Blade seems to be dulling already.

ESEE-4 = Blade edge seems thick and somewhat inconsistent. Not as sharp as I was hoping. Good control and change of direction ability.

Warden = Blade is too small for be useful. Not enough to actually test effectively. Edge is okay, but seems thick for size of knife.

Fallkniven S1 = Wow! Best knife so far! Great edge - super impressed with knife. In spite of size this knife allows for great control and cuts paper like butter. Direction change is simple. Not the most comfortable handle.

Mud Mutt = Very sharp, but inconsistent. Thin blade is an asset for this exercise. I'm finding inconsistent edges on all SY knives. The balance of the Mud Mutt is weird.

Gunny = Impressive! Only knife that allowed push cutting limp paper. Good size blade for exercise, and it is SHARP! Direction change was easy. This is handle heavy, but still allowed finesse.

511 MO = This is the second best knife so far. Its tied with the S1. Super consistent sharpness. Cuts paper with ease. Blade length and design (FFG) allow detail work and direction change easily. I like it, but it is decidedly blade heavy. This is growing on me.

GSO 4.1 = Sharp! More difficult to control than I had hoped. Sharp edge, but must work slow and deliberately with this knife due to the handle/blade design. I'm disappointed in this one.

RMD = Edge typical of BKG (except the 511MO). Toothy leaving a raspy cut edge. Heavy knife but weight not noticeable while cutting paper. Hard to get cut started, but good control and detail once moving. Preference for 5" blade is being revealed in this test.

ESEE-3 = Toothy - needs a strop. Very handy blade shape and thickness. Seems useful and can change direction easily.

NOTE: Scrap Yard's knives made "directional change" cuts very difficult.

Fuzzy Stick

[Linked Image from i62.tinypic.com]

Winners: ESEE-4 and S1

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Pass: ESEE-3, TAK, Gunny, Warden

[Linked Image from i57.tinypic.com]

Almost Fail (was able to perform task, but with great difficulty): Scrapper 5, RMD

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Fail: GSO 4.1, 511MO, 411, 311, Mud Mutt

Fire Bow Divot

[Linked Image from i61.tinypic.com]

Winners: 511MO, TAK, RMD, ESEE-4, Gunny, S1, Warden, ESEE-3

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Pass: Scrapper 5, GSO 4.1

[Linked Image from i57.tinypic.com]

Fail: 411, Mud Mutt, 311

Last edited by Architect; 07/14/14 10:51 AM.

JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006914 07/14/14 10:39 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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Figure 4 Notch Cut

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Winners: S1, Gunny

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Pass: ESEE-3, Warden, 511MO, TAK, RMD, ESEE-4

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Fail: GSO 4.1, Scrapper 5, 411, 311, Mud Mutt


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006915 07/14/14 10:40 AM
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Mild Chopping

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Winners: RMD, TAK, 511MO

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Pass: S1, ESEE-4, Scrapper 5

[Linked Image from i57.tinypic.com]

Fail: GSO 4.1, Warden, 411, ESEE-3, Gunny, Mud Mutt, 311

Cable Cut

[Linked Image from i57.tinypic.com]

Winners: ESEE-3, RMD, GSO 4.1, Mud Mutt, S1

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Pass: 411, 311, Warden, Scrapper 5, TAK, ESEE-4, 511 MO, Gunny

Fail: None.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006916 07/14/14 10:41 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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Green Trim

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Winners: ESEE-4, 511 MO, S1

[Linked Image from i59.tinypic.com]

Pass: Scrapper 5, Warden, TAK, 311, Gunny, Mud Mutt

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Fail: 411, RMD, GSO 4.1, ESEE-3

Wet Use Test

[Linked Image from i59.tinypic.com]

Winners: 411, TAK, Scrapper 5, S1, 311, Mud Mutt, 511 MO

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Pass: RMD, GSO 4.1, ESEE-4, ESEE-3, Gunny

[Linked Image from i59.tinypic.com]

Fail: Warden


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006917 07/14/14 10:42 AM
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Apple Peel

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Pass: TAK, RMD, Warden, Gunny, ESEE-3

[Linked Image from i59.tinypic.com]

Fail: ESEE-4, S1, Scrapper 5, 511 MO, 311, 411, Mud Mutt, GSO 4.1

Carrot Cut

[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

Winners: S1, TAK

[Linked Image from i57.tinypic.com]

Pass: 511 MO, RMD, Gunny, ESEE-4, ESEE-3, GSO 4.1, Warden

[Linked Image from i62.tinypic.com]

Fail: 411, Scrapper 5, 311, Mud Mutt


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006918 07/14/14 10:42 AM
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Potato Slice

[Linked Image from i61.tinypic.com]

Winners: S1, TAK, Gunny

Fail: All others failed to slice thinly!

Squash Slice

[Linked Image from i60.tinypic.com]

Winners: Gunny, TAK, S1, ESEE-3

[Linked Image from i59.tinypic.com]

Pass: Mud Mutt, RMD, GSO 4.1, Warden, Scrapper 5, 311, 411, ESEE-4, 511 MO



JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006919 07/14/14 10:43 AM
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Final Edge Retention Paper Cut

[Linked Image from i59.tinypic.com]

Winners: S1, Scrapper 5, 311, 511 MO

[Linked Image from i61.tinypic.com]

Fail: All others failed in some capacity. Some were dull enough to tear paper without cutting it.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006920 07/14/14 10:44 AM
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FINAL VERDICT & LESSONS LEARNED
This test yielded some very surprising results, but before I mention those I'd like to make some general comments about the features I determined make for a good bushcraft knife.

General Comments

I found that a 5" full flat ground blade is about ideal. I also found that convex edges are excellent. Both of these findings are consistent with previous testing I've conducted. I also found that blades shorter than 4" severely hamper the usefulness of the knife.

Blade Steel

SR101 was the best overall steel for edge retention. However, the typical Busse Combat Group thick edge / blade design severely hampers their knife's ability to handle detail type work. BKG would be well served by thinning the edges of their excellent steel.

A2 performed very well with a convex edge, but couldn't retain nearly as well as SR101.

Laminated VG10 is an outstanding steel on par with SR101, but there was only one Lam VG10 in this test.

Handle Material

Res-C is remarkable when wet. It actually works BETTER wet than dry in terms of safety retention. Micarta is very good while wet, but outstanding when slightly wet. Micarta benefits from aggressive texture when dry.

Knife Specific Comments

Regarding Bark River - I think the Gunny would be my "runner up" knife in this test. Had the blade been 3/4" longer it would be in the winner circle.

Regarding the Ontario TAK - I was surprised by this knife. My expectations were exceedingly low. However, it outperformed many higher priced knives, and would have scored as a "best buy" had it been able to retain an edge. Unfortunately, this one failed miserably at edge retention.

WINNERS & LOSERS

The biggest disappointment in this evaluation was the GSO 4.1. I had the highest hopes for this knife, and it absolutely performed abysmally overall. At one point I almost stopped using it for fear of injury. I was soaked with sweat, and during the bow divot test I had my hand slip up on the cutting edge as a stabbed the knife into seasoned hardwood. I literally cannot stress how disappointing this knife was.

The two "winners" surprised me beyond belief. Ironically these are the only two knives I almost excluded from the entire evaluation based upon the commentary to follow....

The Scrap Yard 511MO looks like a weird and awkward design. When the offer to borrow it came in I, at first, rejected it, but after some consideration accepted the offer. I cannot be happier that I did. This knife had OUTSTANDING edge retention, and capability. It is without a doubt the far-and-away best Scrap Yard knife I've ever used.

The Fallkniven S1 was almost excluded because I had several people tell me the VG10 edge would be too fragile for this evaluation. I've had VG10 chip on Spyderco knives, but I elected to test this one anyway. I AM SO GLAD I DID. The S1 is a remarkable knife with incredibly useful capabilities. Its edge retention was only bested by the 511MO's. Overall, I declare Fallkniven Laminated VG10 more than up to the challenge of bushcrafting.

Both the 511MO and S1 were treated to a "his and hers" fillet mignon meal at the conclusion of 9.5 hours of field use. Without any touch up the knives sliced through the steak like it was warm butter....

[Linked Image from i57.tinypic.com]
[Linked Image from i58.tinypic.com]

I'm keeping the RMD (and thinning the edge considerably) and S1. All of the other knives I provided for this test are being sold.

Last edited by Architect; 07/14/14 10:53 AM.

JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006921 07/14/14 10:45 AM
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This concludes the evaluation. You're free to comment and/or ask questions.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006923 07/14/14 11:07 AM
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What a great evaluation. You covered everything!

I appreciate the time and effort (and money!) you have invested in this thing. I also appreciate you taking the time to share your findings so that we may benefit.

The Ontario TAK is also a big surprise to me. What a sleeper!

Looks like I need to shop around for an S1. I've never tried out a Fallkniven knife. Maybe a BRKT Gunny too!

Oh....way to go Scrap Yard!



USMC 1997-2002. 6173 CH-53D Sea Stallion Helicopter Crew Chief and Flightline Mechanic. Semper Fi!

"Be still, Taggart!"
Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006924 07/14/14 11:08 AM
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Oh man. Lot of surprises there for me, both good AND bad. I think this was a very good evaluation of the capabilities and SAFETY issues for the knives.

Overall I would rate your testing WINNER!

And with that we're off to Mingo.


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not that you have to come out.
JYD#105
Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006927 07/14/14 11:57 AM
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I have a Bravo 1 in A2 steel and I love the handle ergonomics and it is one of my go too hunting knives
The steel does rust if you glance at it with even a hint of a tear in your eyes

My favorite yard hunting knife is my Yardkeeper, but like all yard knives I find the handle too small


BTW I generally don't like choils on a knife


The stripes of a tiger don't wash away. Be a man of steel not clay JYD #102
Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006928 07/14/14 12:20 PM
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[censored] those Swedes! wink

My poor, beloved GSO...kicked to the curb!

On a more serious note- is the handle on the 511 the same size as the 311?

I wonder if the ESEE's would have fared better with those bigger handles from The Knife Connection.

Also, I too love me some sr101. Gary knows I've been enjoying the Survive! knife, but when I had my Howling Rat out for a sharpening last week, I was reminded why I chose it as my go-to smaller blade.

Thanks for putting in all the time Gary.

edit- I've been censored? I knew a fix was in!!! lol!!

Last edited by RN; 07/14/14 12:21 PM.

JYD #109
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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006929 07/14/14 12:26 PM
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Rich, the handles are the same. I think the birds beak by the lanyard hole could be shaved down some so it won't feel so cramped.


USMC 1997-2002. 6173 CH-53D Sea Stallion Helicopter Crew Chief and Flightline Mechanic. Semper Fi!

"Be still, Taggart!"
Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006930 07/14/14 12:28 PM
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Nice review. Thanks for doing this.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006931 07/14/14 12:51 PM
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Rich,
I DREADED having to post such a negative review of your GSO. I had incredibly high hopes for it, and as you know ... tried to trade you out of it before the evaluation. It LOOKS like what I thought a BC knife should be. I simply couldn't get it to perform as well as the other knives.

Everyone said they wanted me to be blatantly honest, and I was perhaps overly brutal with regards to the Survive. I think my review is harsh, because I expected so much more from her.

With regards to everyone who loaned me a knife: please don't be offended by my post. I feel it only benefits the Yard to see the blatant and honest truth (as I perceived them).


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I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: coyotebc] #1006932 07/14/14 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by coyotebc
I have a Bravo 1 in A2 steel and I love the handle ergonomics and it is one of my go too hunting knives
The steel does rust if you glance at it with even a hint of a tear in your eyes

My favorite yard hunting knife is my Yardkeeper, but like all yard knives I find the handle too small


BTW I generally don't like choils on a knife


I had a YK, and think it would have made an interesting addition to the evaluation. I couldn't locate one for this test though. It would have been nice to have included a SR77 blade.


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I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006938 07/14/14 01:25 PM
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I for one loved the brutal honesty of the review. Now let me go track down my son and get him to trade that 511 back to me.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Mastiff] #1006939 07/14/14 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mastiff
I for one loved the brutal honesty of the review. Now let me go track down my son and get him to trade that 511 back to me.


Thanks.

Make sure its a 511MO with FFG wink


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006942 07/14/14 01:43 PM
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Get the Swamps custom shop to make you a RMD drop point and full flat grind! It will be nice.

MM
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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Mastiff] #1006943 07/14/14 01:44 PM
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Also, whats the difference between the 511 MO and the one that's in the store?

Thanks
MM
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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006944 07/14/14 01:54 PM
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For myself the criteria is a little different
Most of my outdoor knives are hunting knives first then camp knives
The only true bushcraft knife that I own is a Rossarms Companion 2
I don't know if it would have made your initial cut as its blade is only 3 3/8 with an ol of 7 3/4
Originally Posted by Architect
Originally Posted by coyotebc
I have a Bravo 1 in A2 steel and I love the handle ergonomics and it is one of my go too hunting knives
The steel does rust if you glance at it with even a hint of a tear in your eyes

My favorite yard hunting knife is my Yardkeeper, but like all yard knives I find the handle too small


BTW I generally don't like choils on a knife


I had a YK, and think it would have made an interesting addition to the evaluation. I couldn't locate one for this test though. It would have been nice to have included a SR77 blade.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Massive Metal] #1006947 07/14/14 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Massive Metal

Also, whats the difference between the 511 MO and the one that's in the store?

Thanks
MM
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Besides the color combo difference, the 511MO has a ffg and a flat spot where the elf choil would be on the standard 511. The flat spot is more snag resistant and more comfortable than the elf choil, should you decide to place your finger there. The MO is more neutrally balanced than the standard, but still blade heavy.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Spider-Pig] #1006949 07/14/14 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Spider-Pig
Rich, the handles are the same. I think the birds beak by the lanyard hole could be shaved down some so it won't feel so cramped.


Thanks! Been thinking on what knife next for my nephew in the marines...had thought about the 411, but the 511 did so well here it had me wondering. The boy has big old mitts though, mudder would fit better I imagine...


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006957 07/14/14 07:41 PM
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Fantastic write up Arch thanks for taking the time to do it and I am glad to see one of my go to knifes (RMD) do so well I knew she was a keeper.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Spider-Pig] #1006960 07/14/14 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Spider-Pig
Originally Posted by Massive Metal

Also, whats the difference between the 511 MO and the one that's in the store?

Thanks
MM
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Besides the color combo difference, the 511MO has a ffg and a flat spot where the elf choil would be on the standard 511. The flat spot is more snag resistant and more comfortable than the elf choil, should you decide to place your finger there. The MO is more neutrally balanced than the standard, but still blade heavy.


Thanks SP!
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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006961 07/14/14 09:03 PM
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I KNEW I should have tried for a 511MO! I mean it makes sense, MO is the official abbreviation for Missouri! grin


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1006962 07/14/14 09:11 PM
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I was really surprised by Gary's evaluation of the Ontario TAK. That thing, as Gary said, feels like a brick! the handle is so heavy that it almost doesn't feel like there is a cutting edge in front of the handle ( At least to me) and this may be a good thing, at least in some cases.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007095 07/15/14 06:44 AM
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A couple that surprised me were the Sar and Vex...had figured on them doing well.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007129 07/15/14 11:46 AM
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Great review there!

I too am surprised by the Vex being discarded confused

To me, that one really excells at BC, and fells great.
But of course, each has his own criterias to go by...

And then the slaughering of the GSO also surprised me.
I don't own one, but have handled one, and I really liked it.



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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007130 07/15/14 11:57 AM
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I also love the Vex, one of my absolute favorites. I think Gary was using one of his and it bit him in a way that he felt he couldn't trust it anymore. I can't argue with not wanting to use it hard again.

I've owned a couple of SAR 5's and I WANTED to love them. I love the IDEA of the SAR 5. Perfect blade for my needs, and the whole design is just my style. But the thing just feels odd. The handle almost feels like it WANTS your fingers to run up onto the blade. I sent one of my old ones to have the handle scales thinned down some, and it was an improvement. I might one day, when I'm feeling wealthy, commission the custom shop to build me a knife with a SAR 5 blade and a thicker Muk handle.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007233 07/17/14 11:17 AM
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Great posts, like others posting here I really appreciate the time, effort & honesty you put into this. I did a test/evaluation of 14 bushcraft knives last year and also found that my Fallkniven was one of the best performers. I'd love to see Dan introduce a 4" convex ground knife - a variation on the 511 would be great.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007235 07/17/14 11:34 AM
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Nice review, Feldgrun!

The F1 is my favorite Fallkniven design, but I still don't own one. I just wish they would make a larger version of the same knife. Same overall design, grind, everything, just a bit bigger.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007243 07/17/14 03:44 PM
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For those folks that are interested, the 511MO isn't the only FFG 511 out there. I have seen some other FFG 511's, but they have the standard-style choil. The ones I have seen were muddy blade/tan handle combo, but there may be others. Just thought I should post this for those who might be searching.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Feldgrun] #1007290 07/18/14 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Feldgrun
Great posts, like others posting here I really appreciate the time, effort & honesty you put into this. I did a test/evaluation of 14 bushcraft knives last year and also found that my Fallkniven was one of the best performers. I'd love to see Dan introduce a 4" convex ground knife - a variation on the 511 would be great.


AWESOME Evaluation post (just read it). I could have saved a lot of time by just linking to yours! We clearly had the same concept of "bushcraft" in mind. I'm actually surprised how similar our tests were.

Thanks - the only meaningful contribution I can make to my hobby communities is honest evaluations and shared experience. Hopefully someone will benefit and not have to spend $$$ to find out what I've already learned.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007291 07/18/14 05:22 PM
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I've been thinking about the F1 lately. I've read, on Fallkniven's site, to be careful when purchasing one. The Chinese are making counterfeits. I was really surprised by the S1's performance. The reason I bought the S1 over the F1 was blade length. I prefer the profile of the F, but the length of the S. If they'd combine these attributes I think they'd have a remarkable knife.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007594 07/23/14 07:19 AM
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I was rereading the eval and thought you might like checking out Blind Horse Knives or the 2 companies that sprang from them.

I had a Brumby and it was a nice knife, good cutter.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007835 07/24/14 09:14 PM
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I first heard about BHK when Dave Canterbury started promoting them. I've always been interested, and ALWAYS look at a sale thread that mentions them. They're on my short list of "must try" knives. Winkler is on the list too, but he's really spendy.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007847 07/25/14 06:45 AM
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I love my Winkler, but it's a definite niche for me. Ever eyeball the Spyderco Phil Wilson? If you like trailing points and a cutter/slicer, there's a lot to like there too.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1007851 07/25/14 08:42 AM
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I will probably get a Winkler II Hunter at some point. I was able to get a hand forged knife of similar dimensions and materials for less than half the cost of the Winkler. It was a no-brainer for me. I guess if you're a Mastersmith you can charge whatever you want.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008174 07/31/14 08:14 PM
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Very good review and test. I've had the same issues with Survive Knives. Handles are not that great. Some people like them though.

The best knife Esee makes is the 6 in my opinion. The 3 is a good knife too as is the Junglas. The 6 rivals the RMD. Little blockier handle, but a excellent knife.

With that said the Mora has become the knife I most like for a smaller blade.

Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008178 08/01/14 07:09 AM
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Awesome! Thanks a lot for testing!
I do own several of the knifes - and was about to sell my 511. Feels strange in the hand, the handle too small. On the other hand I do EDC my ESEE3, I just love how it feels handling. The RMD is one of my favourite camp knifes but I guess Iīll give the 511 another shot...


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008569 08/05/14 03:47 PM
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Thanks.

The regular 511 is different than the MO I recommended.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008577 08/05/14 04:20 PM
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Did the 511 MO only come in that color?


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008578 08/05/14 04:26 PM
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Yes.

I have seen some other ffg 511's floating around, but the sharpening choil is identical to the one on the standard 511. The ones I saw were muddy/tan, but there may be some other colors out there.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008585 08/06/14 07:23 AM
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My MO 511 has a camo blade, tan handle and FFG if that helps.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008747 08/07/14 10:53 PM
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Interesting. I like what you did there. Only other considerations for me would be lateral strength and impact resistance. I tried to baton through some easy pine with a Bark River in A2 and the edge folded in several places.

I know I will probably never need to use my knife to pry open a car door, but it's nice to know I CAN if needed. For me, that's where the RMD really shines--especially once you thin and convex the edge a bit.

No clue how the F1 would hold up to prying and/or batoning, or the 511MO for that matter, but I do have confidence in the RMD.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1008892 08/10/14 10:44 AM
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There's a MO 511 for sale in the exchange right now, and a good price too! Somebody buy it!!!


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1040271 04/24/16 07:46 AM
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There is a Wealth of information here, so after reading it again for the umpteenth time I just went ahead and made it a sticky.


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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1040272 04/24/16 08:44 AM
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It it not only a test of specific knife types, but blade profiles, handles, balance and feel, what is now called ergonomics. This test and the one linked to in the thread will help all of us as we refine our search for the perfect knife for the task or tasks we want to accomplish.

Last edited by SkunkHunter; 04/24/16 08:46 AM.

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Re: Bushcraft Evaluation - 17 Knives Put To The Test! [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1040273 04/24/16 10:02 AM
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Good idea, Randy. This one definitely deserves to be a sticky.


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