October 28, 2010

Awesome Video Review of the Cold Steel Trail Hawk

iawoodsman has a great video review and use video on youtube.com covering the Cold Steel Trail Hawk.

I have never used a Cold Steel tomahawk, but this video really fascinates me.  The potential uses that a tomahawk can fulfill are amazing - no wonder they have so many fans.  For a cheap price, these look really interesting!

October 25, 2010

Small Fixed Blades Overview

Small belt knives in the less than 4" range are a very useful and handy piece of equipment.  For many campers and backpackers, this is the only fixed blade knife carried in order to hold down weight.  If another tool, whether a larger fixed blade, axe, hatchet, tomahawk, machete, is carried for chopping or splitting, then a small fixed blade is all that is needed in the outdoors.  If only one knife is carried, my preference is for a slightly larger knife, but many experienced outdoorsmen carry only a small fixed blade with them.  It all comes down to personal preference and use. 

There are many excellent quality small fixed blades that would make great outdoors knives, although there is a bit of overlap between the small and mid-sized fixed blades.  The Fallkniven F1 is a very popular and very good quality model.  The price is around $100, but worth the cost if such a knife is desired.  Falkniven's H1 is another option, although not nearly as common.  Bark River Knife & Tool (BRKT) makes a number of models that fit this general range.  Many of their knives straddle the line between a small and mid-sized fixed blade.  The Gunny is a recent model that is similar in size to the Fallkniven, but slightly more expensive.  BRKT is not an inexpensive company, but they make excellent knives.  The ESEE RC-3 is a great choice for a small hard-use knife at a reasonable price.  ESEE makes some of the toughest knives in the business and have a warranty that is unsurpassed. The Rat-3 by Ontario is another option.  It was designed by the same people who make the RC-3, and is a good knife, but is made by a different company.  Most users prefer the RC-3. 

On the other end of the price range, the Frosts Mora Clipper is a great knife at a very cheap price.  They aren't really meant for heavy use, but they can take a great amount of punishment and keep on going.  All Moras actually would be good choices.  In the U.S., the plastic and rubber handled Moras are more popular than the wooden-handled models, but both are quality knives.  The Kershaw Antelope Hunter and the Echo are fairly inexpensive, but good quality knives that are not as well known, but have good reputations.  Buck makes a few models in this size range that are great choices, especially the Pathfinder.  Case and Ka-Bar both also make some small hunting knives that fit the category.  Almost every good knife manufacturer offers knives that fit here.

October 24, 2010

Wilderness Folding Knives Overview

Folders are the handiest knives around because they can always just sit in a pocket, waiting to be used.  Sheath knives are handier only if you carry a sheath knife on your person all the time, and most of us can not do that.  For some ludicrous reason, even some wilderness areas do not allow carry of a sheath knife, while folders are permissible almost everywhere.  Everyone should carry a pocket knife in or clipped to their pocket when in the wilderness (or actually, all the time). 

Good folders can range from a tiny Case Peanut to a Strider and everything in between.  Any size can be useful, but the smallest probably won't be quite adequate in the field for most people.  If a larger knife is carried as well, then any pocket knife should do.  Swiss Army knives are some of the most popular models for the outdoors and for good reason.  Victorinox and Wenger are the best known brands, but all the well-known models are made by Victorinox.  The alox-handled models and the larger models are the most popular among outdoorsmen.  The Pioneer Harvester and the Farmer are excellent choices in the smaller alox models.  Both have a good blade and a saw, which are the most important options for the woods.  Among the larger models, the Rucksack, the Trekker, and the Forester are great choices.   All have a larger blade and saw, making them more useful than the smaller models if used as the general use knife.  Pretty much all Victorinox models are great quality, but those named are some of the best for the outdoors.