what is a good reliable knife?

i am looking for a good, durable fixed blade knife that i could carry on hunting trips and camping i.e.survival knife. what are some of the best knife out on the market.

7 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well. This is a much tougher question than it sounds. First - what do YOU mean by a survival knife? Depending on the person this can mean anything from a large bowie style, or at least size, of knife - 9" or longer, to a sort of larger bird and trout knife with a 3 - 3 1/2" blade, and everything in between. Plus there is the question of hollow handle, vs. a normal design. Plus you have to figure out what you want to spend.

    So, I'm going to try and frame up some suggestions for you, as much as give you a way of helping sort out what you might like as give you specific suggestions. Oh, and to be honest about the only hollow handle knives I like are made by Chris Reeve, so that's all I'll say about that.

    Big Knives - 9" and larger.

    Custom: $500+, Just about everyone makes a good big knife. Just some of the better known names in this area - Larry Harley (www.lonesomepineknives.com) with his Hawg hunting bowie, Trace Rinaldi with his Armageddon (www.thrblades), David Broadwell (www.david.broadwell.com - although his stuff is art!), Kirk Rexroat (www.rexroatknives.com) are just the ones I could think of while sitting at the computer. Just about every customer maker starts out with a good big knife.

    Production: $100 - $500, Surprisingly few companies venture into this class because of the current popularity of "tactical" knives. The names I'd mention here? SOG Specialty knives with their "Tigershark", Becker Knife and Tool, who is/has been owned by Camillus, Ka-Bar and now I think Ontario knives has a couple of knives in this class and Cold Steel. (Lyn Thompson has ALWAYS loved really big knives.)

    Cheap: Less than $150. Buck Knives with their Buck General is a nice piece here - a little light compared to a classic Bowie design, but close enough to be in this class. Another here is the Ontario Knives RTAK II.

    Now, if you get into any of the smaller designs, and just to shorten this, I'll lump together from 3" - 7" then in addition to the guys you have above ... you have everyone else. Spyderco (www.spyderco.com), Benchmade, my own company Thinkingblade Knives (www.bronksknifeworks.com) all make really nice products in this class. Further EVERY custom knife maker's bread and butter is going to be some kind of knife in this class without question. If you are looking under $75, then throw in Gerber, Buck, Camilus, Ka-Bar and Ontario.

    Difference in price generally equates to only about 3 things:

    1) Materials - Cheaper knives are going to run softer or simpler steels. 1090, AUS6 and 425HC at the low end, 440A, AUS8 in the middle, 440C (or almost only with Randall knives 440B which is between A and C in performance) ATS34, CPM154, VG10 (possibly in a damascus form), BG42, S30V, or D2 at the higher end.

    2) Manufacturing location - Customs are all wherever the maker is - all the ones I listed are US. High end production is generally Japan or the US. Mid level is Taiwan or Japan, cheap is China or (blegh!) Pakistan or India.

    3) Fit and finish - High end knives Production or Custom will be near perfect for how they were designed. It may mean glass beading and roughened surfaces for grip, but it will be more or less exactly as intended by the design. Mid level you'll see cosmetic imperfections - grind lines that don't exactly match, grip panels that aren't exactly a perfect fit, that sort of thing. Cheap - well, they are getting better, but it's hard to say what you would see here. A Western Bowie - which is a classic pattern - is likely to be the best in this class, and will have some rough grind lines, some handle mis alignment, but is perfectly servicable within it's limitations.

    So, do some looking around. Everyone has a different price and usage model in their mind and unless you are in the business the real breadth of the industry is not that well known.

    Good luck,


  • 10 years ago

    Randall. Premium quality.

    Don't expect a fixed-blade knife to be a do-all tool. If you need a saw, carry a saw, don't get a knife with some half-assed sawtooth back. If you must ABSOLUTELY have a serrated blade, get a knife where only the rearmost portion of the blade, near the hilt, is serrated. Serrated blades are very difficult to maintain, so you want the serrated portion protected as much as possible. I'm fond of stacked leather handles and good strong hilts and bolsters.

    Other good brands, that would be more affordable: Case, Boker, Solingen, Schrade, Gerber. Make sure you stay with US, German, Swedish, or Japanese steel, in that order. China's metallurgy is improving, but still not up to the same quality as these. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T SEE THE WORD CHINA ON THE BLADE. I expect that situation to change in the next decade.

    Stay away from gimmicks like hollow handles, compasses, climbing points on the hilt, etc.

    Also, a blade longer than 5 inches is going to be unwieldy.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

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  • 10 years ago

    I trust 100% the brands Fallkniven and Cold Steel. They have never let me down. Some people like moras and other crap, but they are cheap. Go with a full tang for sure.

    Source(s): Woodsman
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  • 10 years ago

    Randall made Knives.

  • 4 years ago

    in accordance to me USMC leather-depending NECK often is the finest for you which of them comes with right here specs: Blade length: 5.00 inches Blade cloth: stainless-metal (8Cr13MoV) Sheath cloth: leather-depending Blade side: uncomplicated aspect: Clip aspect

  • 10 years ago

    You will have to decide what style you want.

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