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Author Topic: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)  (Read 2498 times)

Plebian

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Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2017, 08:25:50 PM »
So my theory of knives is that generally they are a catch all tool sometimes especially bigger knives. They can do all the tasks for the most part you'd do with a pocket knife, and an axe but neither as well as a dedicated tool. But they are lighter if you need both rather than all three. So if you're bringing them with you it's nice to carry less rather than more.
/snip/

Luke

The bigger bushcraft type knives are exactly like Luke states. They are a master-of-none sort of tool. They are much like a general use rifle. It is decent at everything, but not nearly as effective as any specialized tool.

I am in the field most every weekday. I carry a small fixed blade knife and a Gransfors small forest axe. There is no better solution to most problems presented in my area that these two cannot handle almost perfectly. If any self defense is needed the small axe will function just fine. 

The big knives are the most mediocre tool out there. They will work, but they will never excel. The big knives you buy cause they tickle your fancy not because they are the most effective tool for the job.   
Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

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    Kaso

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #26 on: February 25, 2017, 08:34:00 PM »
    The big knives are the most mediocre tool out there. They will work, but they will never excel. The big knives you buy cause they tickle your fancy not because they are the most effective tool for the job.   
    I don't get into knives (and I must be the only one on WTA) but I always wondered just how useful big knives were.  Your opinion aligns with my suspicions.
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    freeman1685

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #27 on: February 25, 2017, 09:42:31 PM »
    Grant, a little tip on sharpening: find an old knife, one that you aren't particularly fond of, and use it as a practice blade.  Drag that thing across the stone, over and over.  Put your favorite music on (TV is a distraction), get into the rhythm.  Lose yourself in the action.

    Honing a blade is my Zen meditation.  Some guys contemplate their belly button, I hone a knife.
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    MTK20

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #28 on: February 25, 2017, 09:51:32 PM »
    Grant, a little tip on sharpening: find an old knife, one that you aren't particularly fond of, and use it as a practice blade.  Drag that thing across the stone, over and over.  Put your favorite music on (TV is a distraction), get into the rhythm.  Lose yourself in the action.

    Honing a blade is my Zen meditation.  Some guys contemplate their belly button, I hone a knife.

    What equipment do you use?

    Any particular stone by brand? Do you use a normal whetstone or a puck?

    Just curious.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    freeman1685

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #29 on: February 25, 2017, 10:02:33 PM »
    What equipment do you use?

    Any particular stone by brand? Do you use a normal whetstone or a puck?

    Just curious.

    I use several different types of stones, from coarse, to very fine.  And most of them were given to me, by friends, or even by perfect strangers.  One gentleman gave me a combination stone, that was his grandfather's.  Another gave me three stones he picked up from that blem pile in front of a place in Arkansas.  I've got stones that I don't even remember where they came from.  I've been honing knives since I was about 12, when I traded a Hot Wheels car to a buddy for his Swiss Army Knife (with what collectors are giving for Hot Wheels these days, I think he got the better end of the deal  :rotfl ).
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    Plebian

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #30 on: February 26, 2017, 01:51:31 AM »
    I don't get into knives (and I must be the only one on WTA) but I always wondered just how useful big knives were.  Your opinion aligns with my suspicions.

    I like knives, but it is hard for me to spend big money on a large knife. Anytime a knife gets more expensive and big it starts wondering into the sword area, AND I will buy a new sword over a large knife every time. That is because I will use the sword, but I will never take the big knife out.

    So I like large sharp pieces of steel. I just want it sword sized instead of somewhere between a good knife size and a crappy sword size. 
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    ZeroTA

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #31 on: February 26, 2017, 02:30:51 PM »
    The bigger bushcraft type knives are exactly like Luke states. They are a master-of-none sort of tool. They are much like a general use rifle. It is decent at everything, but not nearly as effective as any specialized tool.

    I am in the field most every weekday. I carry a small fixed blade knife and a Gransfors small forest axe. There is no better solution to most problems presented in my area that these two cannot handle almost perfectly. If any self defense is needed the small axe will function just fine. 

    The big knives are the most mediocre tool out there. They will work, but they will never excel. The big knives you buy cause they tickle your fancy not because they are the most effective tool for the job.   

    I own a Kabar and a Cold Steel fixed blade Recon Tanto, but my Esee 4 sees more outdoor use. Actually I never use the other two. Anything bigger than the 4" blade and you're tempted to (and will try to) use it for things it's not really meant for. If you want to chop branches, get a hatchet. It works much better. And the bigger blades aren't really that great for the more mundane knife tasks, in fact they can be a little too big for finer operations.
    I'm not saying you should use an M1A for home defense, but I'm also not saying you shouldn't.

    cpaspr

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #32 on: February 26, 2017, 03:33:23 PM »
    From some of the latest comments I get the feeling that some of you feel big knife blades are pretty much just good for poking holes in things that leak (ala John Rambo).  [says the guy whose original hunting knife has a 4" blade and the newer one has a 6" blade.  And my only swords are a cheap Korean knockoff decorative one, and my gg-grandfather's Civil War dress sword, neither of which has an edge.]
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    MTK20

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #33 on: February 26, 2017, 04:39:16 PM »
    From some of the latest comments I get the feeling that some of you feel big knife blades are pretty much just good for poking holes in things that leak (ala John Rambo).  [says the guy whose original hunting knife has a 4" blade and the newer one has a 6" blade.  And my only swords are a cheap Korean knockoff decorative one, and my gg-grandfather's Civil War dress sword, neither of which has an edge.]

    I agree. I was going to keep my mouth shut, but I'm going to say that it has to do with terrain.

    If you're only able to take a couple tools with you and the woods are fairly soft in your area (such as backpacking up north), then one big knife is actually a pretty good tool.

    For Texas in my area, I typically can get away with a Cold steel machete and a smallish knife like my Mora, Roach belly, or even my Victorinox farmer.

    I also enjoy carrying my mini splitter, if I don't mind trail walking with something that's like 5+ pounds. It is definitely superior to splitting hard wood than my RTAK II or my CS machetes (although the cold steel machetes surprise the hell out of me in their ability).
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #34 on: February 26, 2017, 04:53:06 PM »
    Depends on what North is;) Up here its almost entirely hardwood maple etc with very little soft wood thrown in. While a large knife can work it's often a whole lot of work and very tough on a knife;)

    I'd say regional variations are so high that it's hard to say always best to look at the environment you're planning on using it in and adapting your tools to it.

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    MTK20

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #35 on: February 26, 2017, 06:04:22 PM »
    Depends on what North is;) Up here its almost entirely hardwood maple etc with very little soft wood thrown in. While a large knife can work it's often a whole lot of work and very tough on a knife;)

    I'd say regional variations are so high that it's hard to say always best to look at the environment you're planning on using it in and adapting your tools to it.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

    No one size fits all rule  :cool, but I understand that "north of Texas" they have softer woods like ash wood, in the snowy parts which is very manageable with a big blade and not much else.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Kaso

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #36 on: February 26, 2017, 06:25:17 PM »
    ...I understand that "north of Texas" they have softer woods like ash wood, in the snowy parts which is very manageable with a big blade and not much else.
      :scrutiny I understand that we may be thinking of different things, but the only 'Ash' wood I know of is very hard wood.  Not as bad as Hickory, but it is on par with Oak.
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    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #37 on: February 26, 2017, 06:26:07 PM »
    Well mostly if we're generalizing out north west you'll see more softwoods and pine and North East you'll see more hardwood and different terrain. And North West allot more elevation issues north east allot more great lakes weather related issues;)

    Take care

    Luke

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    MTK20

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #38 on: February 26, 2017, 06:34:54 PM »
      :scrutiny I understand that we may be thinking of different things, but the only 'Ash' wood I know of is very hard wood.  Not as bad as Hickory, but it is on par with Oak.

    I've heard it referred to as ash wood before? Remember that I live in Texas, so if it's not oak, pine, pecan, or elm, then I probably don't know what it is.

    You're our local expert on good wood, so I'll trust your judgement  ;).
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Plebian

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #39 on: February 26, 2017, 07:48:55 PM »
    I've heard it referred to as ash wood before? Remember that I live in Texas, so if it's not oak, pine, pecan, or elm, then I probably don't know what it is.

    You're our local expert on good wood, so I'll trust your judgement  ;).

    The 'Ash' of Texas and Oklahoma area is a cousin of the cottonwood. It has no relation to the real ash species.

    Just like some folks in that area call yellow pine, fir.

    The really screwed up common names for trees is not just an Texas/Oklahoma thing. Trees are just a tangled mess of names all around. The 'true pine' is really a cedar, and the 'true cedar' is really a pine.  :facepalm The worlds softest wood is a hardwood specie, and some of the hardest woods are softwoods. It just never ends really in the whole tree debacle.
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    coelacanth

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #40 on: February 26, 2017, 08:50:16 PM »
    Lots of good stuff here.  From all sides.  If I may be so bold, I would like to weigh in from the historical perspective.  Being an old fart I think it probably falls to me to add this to the discussion. 

    Any discussion of knives and their uses has to take into account the amount of time we have been using them in one form or another.  As a tool using species we have used sharp edges to alter the world around us for probably tens of thousands of years.  Everything from bone needles to hardened thorn awls to stone or obsidian knives or axes have been used by our ancestors to make life easier since long before the dawn of recorded history.  The fact that we recognized the utility of the sharp edge is a testament to our ability to adapt not only ourselves but things in our environment to our use. 

    The mechanics of a sharp edge and how it works have not changed one iota in all the long years since we first made use of it.  If you have ever used a razor sharp piece of obsidian or flint you will immediately recognize the similarity to the ulu knife still in use in most of the arctic regions by the native people there.  The fact that most ulu knives are now made of steel is simply a testament to the advances of materials science in the last century or so rather than a repudiation of the original design idea.  Once you understand how the sharp edge works, designing a tool is simply an exercise in adapting the basic idea to the task at hand.  Every edged tool in our entire repertoire is simply a variation on the basic theme our ancestors understood and made use of all those ages ago. 

    With that in mind, we need look no further than our history for nearly every conceivable variation on the edged tool.  Today we may have the advantage advanced materials that were not available in ages past but the mechanics of the sharp edge have not changed and neither have the ergonomics of how such tools must be designed to work effectively in human hands.  In the world of edged tools and weapons there is nothing new under the sun. 

    Everything from the microtome to the chef's knife to the felling axe to the chainsaw to router to the tunnel excavator operates on the same basic principles.  Hand held, human powered tools are a very specialized niche since we generate neither an excess of speed or power when using them.  The edges on these tools need to be precisely ground and very sharp to allow them to work effectively under these limitations.

    The interface between the human hand and the tool must be properly designed to allow both complete control and the ability to work comfortably and unhindered to accomplish the task at hand. 

    None of these principles are new.  They existed 50 years ago - 100 years ago - 200 years ago - 500 years ago.   Until we fundamentally alter the mechanics of the sharp edge they will not change for the foreseeable future. 

    Therefore, tool design - particularly hand tool design - is a matter of understanding how the best historical designs evolved and how to use those designs augmented by modern materials and manufacturing techniques.   You will be fascinated by the parallel yet subtly different designs of tools developed on opposite sides of the world for doing similar jobs.   You will be appalled by a "modern" design that is apparently ignorant of the historic precedents even though it boasts the most modern materials and manufacturing techniques.

    The very best designs have been developed over countless generations of people using the same type of tool for the same type of task until there are simply no excess or contradictory design elements left.   Nobody really knows how old the ulu is or the axe or the puuko or the spear or the sword or the adze or the kukri.  It doesn't matter.  They are each the penultimate design for the task at hand.  Variations on the theme will always exist depending on the end user but the design elements remain because the fundamental mechanics remain the same. 

    If you are a bit bewildered by all the choices available to you today you can separate the wheat from the chaff by selecting a design that has stood the test of time by people who use it daily and whose lives depend on how well those tools work. 
    Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                          Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

    Desert Rat

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #41 on: February 26, 2017, 11:02:44 PM »
    Lots of good stuff here.  From all sides.  If I may be so bold, I would like to weigh in from the historical perspective.  Being an old fart I think it probably falls to me to add this to the discussion. 

    Any discussion of knives and their uses has to take into account the amount of time we have been using them in one form or another.  As a tool using species we have used sharp edges to alter the world around us for probably tens of thousands of years.  Everything from bone needles to hardened thorn awls to stone or obsidian knives or axes have been used by our ancestors to make life easier since long before the dawn of recorded history.  The fact that we recognized the utility of the sharp edge is a testament to our ability to adapt not only ourselves but things in our environment to our use. 

    The mechanics of a sharp edge and how it works have not changed one iota in all the long years since we first made use of it.  If you have ever used a razor sharp piece of obsidian or flint you will immediately recognize the similarity to the ulu knife still in use in most of the arctic regions by the native people there.  The fact that most ulu knives are now made of steel is simply a testament to the advances of materials science in the last century or so rather than a repudiation of the original design idea.  Once you understand how the sharp edge works, designing a tool is simply an exercise in adapting the basic idea to the task at hand.  Every edged tool in our entire repertoire is simply a variation on the basic theme our ancestors understood and made use of all those ages ago. 

    With that in mind, we need look no further than our history for nearly every conceivable variation on the edged tool.  Today we may have the advantage advanced materials that were not available in ages past but the mechanics of the sharp edge have not changed and neither have the ergonomics of how such tools must be designed to work effectively in human hands.  In the world of edged tools and weapons there is nothing new under the sun. 

    Everything from the microtome to the chef's knife to the felling axe to the chainsaw to router to the tunnel excavator operates on the same basic principles.  Hand held, human powered tools are a very specialized niche since we generate neither an excess of speed or power when using them.  The edges on these tools need to be precisely ground and very sharp to allow them to work effectively under these limitations.

    The interface between the human hand and the tool must be properly designed to allow both complete control and the ability to work comfortably and unhindered to accomplish the task at hand. 

    None of these principles are new.  They existed 50 years ago - 100 years ago - 200 years ago - 500 years ago.   Until we fundamentally alter the mechanics of the sharp edge they will not change for the foreseeable future. 

    Therefore, tool design - particularly hand tool design - is a matter of understanding how the best historical designs evolved and how to use those designs augmented by modern materials and manufacturing techniques.   You will be fascinated by the parallel yet subtly different designs of tools developed on opposite sides of the world for doing similar jobs.   You will be appalled by a "modern" design that is apparently ignorant of the historic precedents even though it boasts the most modern materials and manufacturing techniques.

    The very best designs have been developed over countless generations of people using the same type of tool for the same type of task until there are simply no excess or contradictory design elements left.   Nobody really knows how old the ulu is or the axe or the puuko or the spear or the sword or the adze or the kukri.  It doesn't matter.  They are each the penultimate design for the task at hand.  Variations on the theme will always exist depending on the end user but the design elements remain because the fundamental mechanics remain the same. 

    If you are a bit bewildered by all the choices available to you today you can separate the wheat from the chaff by selecting a design that has stood the test of time by people who use it daily and whose lives depend on how well those tools work. 

     :thumbup1

    Grant

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #42 on: February 27, 2017, 06:50:57 PM »
         Good observation.

       Around here almost everything is softwood, cottonwood and pine and brush, we don't have much else.

        From everything I'm seeing I'm thinking I'll look into picking up a mid/largish schrade 1095 to practice with and learn a few skills.    But I'll probably end up using my pocket knife and hand axe  ;)   Kinda like having a .22 and a .30-06 for your north American hunting VS a .257 weatherby for everything.

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    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #43 on: February 27, 2017, 06:58:15 PM »
    For a mid sized Schrade I like the SCHF42D the 42 is recurve, the 42D is plain blade. Good knife, decent size and is thick enough and large enough for most stuff.

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

    coelacanth

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #44 on: February 28, 2017, 08:39:57 PM »
    The recurve helps for chopping if its large enough and the handle is oriented for it.  Other than that its just a PIA to sharpen for not much gain.
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    Desert Rat

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    Re: Myriad of knife ramblings (And a question at the end for real knife guys)
    « Reply #45 on: February 28, 2017, 09:02:01 PM »
    For a mid sized Schrade I like the SCHF42D the 42 is recurve, the 42D is plain blade. Good knife, decent size and is thick enough and large enough for most stuff.

    Luke

    The 42D is the only way to go. The recurve grind on the regular 42 is too thick and a huge pain to thin down because of the curving plunge line. I wish I'd waited to buy one until the 42D came out.

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    Some general thoughts on knives.
    None of us have a clue about the use of a knife, really, compared to our pre-electricity ancestors.
    Usually, historically, worldwide, the standard knife for everyday use was fixed blade roughly 6" to 9" long.
    Almost never will you see a hollow grind on a knife meant for real hard use. Also, they lead like a b____ when cutting-very hard to take deep slice and not have it go one way or the other. Try it on some corrugated cardboard to test this idea.)
    fixed blade knives are not seen to much for daily carry because first, they are illegal in a lot of places, and second, it is hard to sit in a car with a long sheath on the belt.
    Those crucible steels are good- I have a little kershaw with an S30V blade and it holds an edge well.
    It might be good to have an extra on the body. I was once trapped beneath a fallen stack of drywall with no one around and reluctantly realized the stack would have to be scored, broken, and tossed piece by piece to get free. That is when I found my knife, which I have carried since seven years of age,was on the workbench 50 feet away.  :o

    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    ...and second, it is hard to sit in a car with a long sheath on the belt.

    That's actually what drove my design that I use for large fixed blades most times my concealment sheath. Higher riding, and a bit weird compared to most modern sheaths but I equate it somewhat to carrying more like a shoulder holster or that's what it reminds me of. It's carried on the belt, but has two belt positions or loops in the rear. Basically a high position and a lower position, the lower is still higher than most stock sheaths. But the higher position is pretty much where I carry my knives or larger fixed blades. It requires a stout belt just like a high ride holster, but it puts more of the knife north of the belt and less under it. So you can sit in a car without any issues, and it conceals fairly well since it needs less shirt to cover it etc. Still it's not perfect, and probably not for everyone. If you've got more overhang on your belt line it's not likely the best option;) But if you're somewhat slim it works really well for me and allot of guys for normal carry. A dangler is another option but of course that's not going to really conceal at all;)

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

    Roper1911

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    • If all else fails- switch to slugs.

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    I lean towards large 3.5+ inch blade folders. I used to carry a Kershaw Shallot, but it got stolen.
    these days I'm testing a Camilius CUDA 9, Coast RX320, Ontario knife and tool RAT Model 1A (the assisted version) and an kershaw manufactured Emerson CQC-4KXL.
    I've had the CUDA for years. I'm wrapping up a week with the RX320 and moving to the RAT M1A next week. then on to the emerson, which so far seems to fit my hand the best. but it sits really high in the pocket compared to the RX320 and CUDA. the RAT M1A is still in the mail though, so we'll see...
    North Carolina"it has two fire modes, safe, and most decidedly unsafe"
    ~Chief Warrant Leon McMurdo. Shilo Mountain Rangers, sixth battalion. Mount Hector School of Military tactics. November 8th 3451.

    Yes. When the question is 1911, the answer is "yes". ~HVS

    GeorgeHill

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    • The Ogre
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    Let me put it this way...
    All my Tactical Knives first pull KP Duty.  If they can't hack that, then they can't hack anything else and they end up going away.    From there, they may get used for other things and if I really like them... They get carried.
    South CarolinaCo-Founder of WeTheArmed.com
    The Ogre from MadOgre.com.

    Vires et Honestas
    Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.
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