Knives JMHOFeb 27, 2020
when the Dave Canterbury people at the Pathfinder School what I wanted to do today was to get back into one with our core series, but what I wanted to do is talk about
knivesand have a serious discussion about
knivestoday which I've been involved with quite a bit recently. discussions and visual things about knives and I want to put this in the basic series so people understand why I choose the nice types that I choose why I think some knives are more favorable than other knives and then I also want to talk to you about the things you see on the internet about different knives and one thing I want you to understand right away is that if you're looking at a review of any piece of equipment it doesn't matter if it's a knife or what it is if you're looking at a review from someone who says I'm going to check this equipment, first of all, look at what conditioning equipment is there if it is new, it is likely that they have never used it, how can they check it? number two look at that eg rson's overall skill level have you watched any of his other videos to see what his skill level is as a lumberjack, as a bushcrafter, as a survivor and would that lead you to believe this guy knows a little bit about what he is talking about or maybe not so much and that is what you should understand.
I see a lot of reviews on YouTube and I don't see many because a lot of times I would turn them off outright. I'll be honest with you if I take a video let's just take a review of a knife for example if I take a review of a knife on YouTube and the knife looks like new I usually turn the video off if it's on a table and not in the woods or the guy isn't using it to do anything with and he's just talking about the knife I usually turn it off the other thing is I look to see what the skill level of the guy is while he's using that knife if he's using it and I'll tell you now what if you take the most horrible outbreak knife on the planet and put a good sharp edge on it and take a good Mora that is going to cost 20 bucks and give it a good edge and take any knife that meets the criteria that we are going to talk about and use it you sharpen, it doesn't matter if it costs three or four hundred dollars if you put those three knives in the hands of more Skowronski, it will make each one of them look like a knife you would want to buy because of their skill level and experience in fine carving and things like that. they are so precise so good and so well sharpened that it makes it look natural no matter what you are using the deal with, on the other hand if you take that same set of knives and put them in the hands of someone of a lower skill level a much lower level of skill no matter how good the knife is they will make that knife look bad and it might look like something you don't want to buy even if it is a very good thing so i want you to think about those things when you watch review videos of knives and ngs so because some of what we're going to do today is going to be talking about knives right in front of you, some of what we're going to demonstrate is some things with knives, pros and cons of different knives. one thing you will never see me do with a knife and another thing i completely turn off as soon as i see it on video is you will never see me take a 5 or 6 inch blade and cut with it there is absolutely no reason to cut with a knife that's not designed for cutting if you want a chopping knife get a machete get a survival tool from Chris Kane get a target lock get a poor mal get a kakari get something that's made to cut and process wood or vines or bamboo or whatever the case may be but don't use a 5 6 inch knife to poke and try to cut and make excuses that the handle isn't long enough or you need to move it up and choke it and put a bead on it so it don't let go and get more leverage on the blade that's bunk that's ok you should never have to cut with a knife that's not made to cut with that knife it should be used to cut through mater ial or to push material using different types of cuts that don't swing like sort of an ax or a machete that's what you should want that's what you buy that's the next thing we have to talk about in this video is understand before you buy a knife what is that knife going to do for me vs what do i want that knife to do for me and i get a lot of questions from a lot of people about do you know what is the best survival knife out there well the proprietary answer is the one with in a survival scenario, but that brings you back to that's probably the knife you bought to begin with.
So did you buy the right knife? When I look at that, what I want to tell you is that I look at any knife that I am going to strap to my hip on a daily basis as a survival knife because that is most likely the knife that I am going to get stuck in an emergency because I put it on. on my hip every day and I'm not going to lose it so with that being said I need to make sure that whatever knife I select to carry every day is a knife that is multifunctional in an emergency scenario it doesn't necessarily have to be a chopper because a big chopper is not going to be good for fine carving it doesn't necessarily have to be great for fine carving because it's not going to be very good for batana processing it would necessarily have to be capable of many things it has to be able to process game you have to be able to process wood you have to be able to carve finely but you also have to be able to make bigger logs smaller pieces so you can create things like pencil size sticks from a 4 inch log if you must or just split things up when you absolutely have to so the knife has to do a lot of things for you and you have to cover a lot of bases if you come back to my video on frontier knives or you know the kind of history of knives that have been used over time, you'll see that really the most common denominator is a five to six inch blade, at least in the United States, a five inch blade to six inches and some type of meat cleaver design, either a European meat cleaver or an Americanized version of a meat cleaver or a French version of the meat cleaver and those types of blade designs lend themselves well to many different things for the lumberjack, that's why they use them, that's why they were about four to three hundred. years that's the reason some of them are still made today so understand what you want to do with that knife it's a backup knife you're buying it's going to put in your backpack so maybe it doesn't have to be so perfect razor that will do everything maybe you are buying a backup razor just because you know the cheat line that you are going to do your money cuts with and you are going to keep that thing sharp and it is going to be a perfect blade for and you have to make those precision cuts you have to do to avoid damaging an animal's coat or maybe it's going to be your brush knife that you're going to put in your backpack and keep.
There is nothing with you to do your fine carving and make feather sticks and do those fancy little things we do in bushcraft, but does that lend itself to a good survival knife? Maybe yes, maybe no, it depends on if it meets the criteria you decided it should meet. for me I have certain criteria that I see in a knife and we'll talk about that right now okay so let's kind of kick off our knife discussion here and talk about that I have a table or a knife bench here basically that's all the knives that I have personally used over and over and over and over again none of these knives are new all of these knives have been extensively tested in a wild environment for many different tasks so I can tell you feel confident that I can tell you what t pros and cons are of this type of knife.
Now the first thing to think about when selecting a knife is to go back to what that knife is going to do for me versus what I want it to do for me. for the sake of this discussion because we're talking about the basics let's talk about this is the knife that I'm going to tie to my tip and this is the knife that I'll probably end up with if it all goes wrong. If I lose all my gear, that knife is going to shoot me in the hip and it's going to be my only tool that I'll have to use to affect my survivability and there's a big difference between that and a bushcraft knife you carry around in your backpack. as a spare where you put it around your neck or where the case may be totally against putting knives around my neck but that's beside the point ok so blade thickness is your first key item for me , a knife to be used for a multitude of tasks should be at least 3/16-inch thick.
I carry kniv's personally they're only 1/8 inch thick this three dollar butcher knife from a garage sale is only a little over an eighth of an inch thick it's not exactly 3/16 so if i had to measure it you know it's right in between there but it doesn't meet my minimum standard though i've used this knife for everything under the sun so i'm pretty sure in its ability to hold me it needs to be this knife butcher knife is 3/16 this is the Pathfinder habilis cleaver knife is 3/16 so 3/16 is a good thickness to start with now let's talk about why not at 8:10 is fine because usually what you will find is that most knives will be 1/8 inch 3/16 and then a quarter inch knife 1/8 inch is going to have a lot of flexibility if the metal is properly tempered and can bend or break depending again on the temper of the knife I have never broken an old or hickory butcher knife and they are an eighth inch thick so an eighth inch knife can do the job for you but it doesn't work its going to be about as stiff or good for prying if you have to do stuff like that that's 3/16 so there's a little bit of trade off there I'd say my personal opinion is 3/16 for beginners knife though it's going to be the only night i buy to stay on the hip and here it is where are you going to lay all your eggs ok in my opinion again this is just my opinion your knife should be your most expensive item in your kit for the most part or you should have most of your budget set aside for your knife because that's really where life is going to be at stake with that knife you can't do everything else if you have to as long as you have the skill level now remember during this video i'm not badmouthing any manufacturer of knives.
I'm not talking about any person who reviews knives on TV on YouTube or uses knives on TV. All I'm telling you is that these are my standards. they are my knives of choice and that is why you can make your own decision what we are talking about once we get past the thickness of the blade then we need to talk about the tang, is a full tang an absolute must, in other words, is it a solid piece of metal that the scales are both on both sides? almost all of these knives all of these knives are full tang the knives i have here or not again i go back to if i am going to get stuck with this one and i dont have other tools i may have to do things like pry up by hitting hard on the back of the spine with a stick of some kind to process firewood all that kind of stuff lends itself to a weakness in a rat tail tang knife because it's smaller it's not like the rat tail is the same thickness on 9 and 3/4 of the way back generally speaking handling a rat tail tang knife is exactly that it shrinks down to a rat tail and then goes back into the knife so it's a weak point in the general structure of that knife that could compromise you in a real emergency situation so i choose again i choose to always carry a full tang knife on my hip and that is my personal opinion so all these cuc hilos are full tang now the backup knife could definitely be a non full tang knife and most of my backer knives are usually not full tang we'll talk about that in a few minutes next thing I want to know about this knife is and here again this is next some of these things don't work for me I can live with eight inches if I have to I'd rather have 3/16 but there are certain aspects of that night that I can't or won't live without to do without One of them is that that knife has a very sharp 90 degree spine so it will remove material effectively. of a ferrocerium rod and there's a big misconception about ferrocerium rods and knives most of the time if you're having trouble hitting your ferrocerium rod it's not the rod it's the knife so what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab a couple of random knives here for you I have several different wild rods from cheap Ferro rods from $5 rods up to $50 Ferro rods and we're going to hit them with a knife and you'll see that for the most part they're the same ok so what we have here is we have a variety of ferrocerium rods this rod is just a cheap rod probably from our website and the handle has been ripped off it has been wrapped in duct tape to give me a nice sturdy handle most wild rods that you are going to buy and I say that most, not all, most of thewild rods go buy the handles are going to fall off sooner or later anyway so i just take mine off on these cheaper ones and wrap them in duct tape so i have a fire element wrapped it an emergency plus i have this this duct tape has no use other than a handle or fire i carry duct tape my kit for other things on this side i got from the canton store communication rob simpson replacement rod I really like them.
They are good wild reeds. They are a little more expensive than the ones wrapped in the leather I think they come from deep craftsmanship I'm not sure about that and they make a really nice rod to stick inside the blade of your knife that's what you like to do , this is cheap, like a Coghlan model ferrocerium rod, this is the Bob. Spark of Fire Steels Calm this rod is just a long blank fire rod that was made by one of my instructors that has a copper end glued or epoxy Don and nailed that is lead filled on the back so that can be used for a Bopper to nap on, either for your flintlock or making arrowheads out of glass or flint, whichever the case, it also gives you a good handle to hold on to and a large striking surface to knock off the stuff in your tinder pack again the cost difference is a lot here you're talking about this one in this one it's probably five bucks or less this is around 2025 this is around 2025 I think these things are around 40 50 bucks so there's big difference there but the bigger the rod the longer it goes g to last lots of guys ask me about these magnesium blocks with a little rod running through them at the top those things are useless in my opinion you're going to wear that rod down long before you get rid of that magnesium and most of your ferrocerium rods are already high in magnesium which will burn if you can't remove the material with your blade that it's the important thing, usually it's not the Ferro rod that's giving you the problems, it's the blade, okay?
I'm going to use a couple different knives to do these things. The first one I'm going to use is the Pathfinder knife. It is made by blind people or snobs. It is called PLS k1. The Scandinavian grinds 3/16 of an inch a bit. about a five inch blade this one has curly maple handles it has a nice sharp 90 degree spine so lets try this one first with a cheap rod now it's just as cheap II $5 rod here's the cheap one from my site web you can see it's removing quite a few materials hangs it's on the back of the knife even here is the sticky spark ok the canteen shop communicator has to take the coating off it ok now i'll show you what it just happened here, the cap just came out of this, the leather rolled cap just came out of this.
I have never seen that happen to one of these fair rods before. Go back to what I was telling you. it's going to come out just wrap it with duct tape and go ahead and don't worry if you're looking for something fancy do yourself a favor make sure you have some duct tape when you're done here's the big barrel. bar again we have to de-skin it once we get the sheathing off it shouldn't take a lot of effort when you do this if your knife has a good 90 degree spine it won't take a lot of effort so you can see that all those barrel rods will work well with that knife ok this is the most black bushcraft we haven't talked about this knife yet it's not a full tang knife it's high carbon steel which means it will rust if you don't take care of it, but it will be easier to sharpen in the field than stainless steel. i prefer high carbon we'll talk about that a bit on Y in our next exercise but let's see what this will do and again you've got that nice 90 degree spine so let's start with our cheap e Ferro bar here pretty well the another cheap ferro bar pretty good gob sport very good the long sturdy one very good the canteen store pretty good ok so you can see as long as we have a good 90 degree spine it doesn't really matter if the knife is 30 or 40 bucks like this we're close to $300 like the Pathfinder knife they're going to do what you need them to do with the iron bar and that's the important feature to understand if this knife is going to be good at hitting an iron bar every time I see someone take their knife and hit their ferrocerium bar with their knife blade, I know that person doesn't know what they are doing because I will never sacrifice my knife blade to hit a Ferro bar.
I can always use the back of this or I can find something else if I can't do that, but I'm never going to sacrifice my blade. This area of your blade from here to here from this back curve will do two thirds of everything you do with this knife. It will take place right here. I'll talk about that a little bit, okay, that gives us a good idea of one of the things that we want us to not be able to do, which is to hit our ferrocerium rod. In my opinion, a ferrocerium rod is the most reliable way to start a fire. gadget you can possibly have in an emergency scenario matches are a one time deal lighters run out of fluid and get wet all that kind of stuff you need to focus your efforts on understanding how to use a Ferro rod with lots of aids different because a ferro rod there is a very very hot spark that will light you p very tender and it works even when wet get yourself as big a Ferro rod as you can find that you can afford in the long run and take it with you as your main rod of ferrocerio ok move on to the next thing we want look at is the steel this knife is made out of everything I do with this knife has to be a multifunctional deal obviously I can do a lot of things with this knife as far as doing other things and that makes it multifunctional but it also needs to be part of my kit as far as being useful for at least three I need to be able to set a fire with this thing as a d e those chores or duties of my knife and scraping that ferrocerium rod that takes care of that element but I would also like my knife to be able to throw sparks out of rock hard in case I lose my ferrocerium rod for some reason and whatever fits me is this knife if i can make a fire somehow because i made a bow bit set with my knife i dont want to have to go through t i have problems the second time so if i can make charcoal cloth on that first fire thinking at my next fire and i can find a nice hard rock i can use that to create an ember then put it in a bird nest and forego the whole bow exercise. action at the next fire so I want this knife to be made of high carbon steel so it throws backbone sparks with a hard oh one tool steel 1095 high carbon steel while Condor knives are made of a 10 65 1070 don't really have enough carbon to throw off a good spark you see there are no Condor knives on this table not because I've never used one but because it's not a knife I would carry all the time so if you're going to ask me about other knives and you don't see it on this table it's because either I didn't take it I didn't take it or I took it and I don't like it and I don't take it anymore these are the knives I trust okay, let's talk about making sparks fly with the back of our knife so again what we're trying to accomplish here is turn our knife into an ignition source and we can do that as long as we have that high carbon steel blade so what Let's pick up this butcher knife first.
What am I going to do with my knives when I've decided I'm going to buy one is I'm going to do this first that thing is shooting sparks I'm a happy camper now I know I have a good high carbon steel blade for sure even if I don't i have any idea what this flea market thing is made of three dollar butcher knife looks like carbon steel it's rusting has some patina on it lemme throw a rock at it ok now i'm in business has a nice 90 degree spine yeah now double business this is the right thickness it's pretty close as I have a good five to six inch blade yeah ok now I want that knife those are my factors now whatever knife you have be high content steel of carbon and indeed it will. what we will do is get another type of knife cheaper here.
We will see this more in bushcraft black. again, it throws sparks, yeah ok, does it throw them as good as the butcher knife? charred cloth because I've done it so if I have a high carbon steel blade I'll be able to affect cognition that way and I'm going to show you how to do it now a 10 charred here has some charred cloth right here so we'll pull out that charred piece of cloth and that's what we're going to use for this demonstration now if I'm trying to light sparks on my knife there's a couple of ways that you can do this you can hold the blade of the knife like this and slamming it against the rock exactly like you would with a puncher, but I don't really like that method because I have the razor blade towards my hand if something slips I could cut myself.
If I have to wrap something around the sheet, I may not have a good smile. p on it so I'd rather just hit the blade on the char so we're going to get a piece of this char out of here and put it to the side real quick like this and what I like to do is put that to get as much area out of surface area that I can to catch my sparks and then stick it with my knife like this now I'm going to angle my knife back just a little bit and throw sparks into the charred cloth like this okay now we're going to look at the three whoops butcher knife we'll do the yourself, get it out of here, grab it with the blade, hold the handle, push them down, okay, we're in a fire, okay?
Now let's take a look at the Pathfinder Scout larger than the Pathfinder. Please, a larger one in size and length of blade. This is a six inch blade. three sixteenths is just a little bigger more of a french trade or butcher knife design ok the sparks are going through here here we go ok we have a charred cloth on fire so you can see a $40 knife would it will do, a three dollar knife will do it, a $200 knife will do it, no matter how much the knife costs. It doesn't matter what the physical characteristics and capabilities of that knife are, okay, so what I want to do right now real quick is I want to go through some knives with you, one at a time, show you knives that I trust.
I'm not saying there are other knives on the market that aren't any good, but again, if you're going to ask me what I think of this, if you didn't see it in this video, it should give you an indication of what I think. about it means I don't get along well anything from blind horse knives is going to be bone anything from hapless bush tools is going to be a good knife anything from Moore is going to be a good knife but it's not going to deliver all the criteria we talked about some of them are not high carbon they are stainless and none of them are full tang ok so lets start with the morris bushcraft block the Mora is by far my favorite it has a nice blue blade, has a three quarter tang, nice comfortable rubber over plastic handle here, high carbon steel blade, nice 90 degree spine, blade in is almost a little over four inches long and for me, the minimum is five, but again, this is not going to be my main knife, so it doesn't have to be five inches, this is another one, this is Mora's sidekick, another good one. knife about half a little over the tang maybe 3/4 rubber over plastic handle you can see the blades a little less robust than the bushcraft block it's a little shorter not as wide and about the same thickness, not exactly the same.
This is a heavier knife than this one, but it doesn't cost more than this one. me by one of my instructors solid rubber handle molded tang three quarter inch has a 90 degree spine very nice is good and thick is over 8 inch could be close to 3/16 scandinavian large is a very short blade it's just a little I think it's a little under 4 inches so it won't be a main night for me but it's a great back up skinning, carving and crafting knife for my pack this is the habilis cleaver knife and this knife was designed directly after this knife this is a three dollar cleaver knife from a garage sale this is the habilis cleaver knife was designed and made directly to imitate this knife because we knew another one of these would never come so we wanted something that was very close to an 18th century Design with 18th century handle type materials and scales.
This one has one, two, three, four, five, six pins so it's more period correct for something along the lines of the 18th century. Solid wood handles, they are flat as many of them were. back then it had the Pathfinder logo and the Habilis Bush tool logo on it, it's also a niceScandi polish and scan effects, it has a bit of convex compound polish on the bottom of the Scandinavian polish, it has a nice 90-degree spine on it and is made from 1095 so it definitely meets all the criteria definitely a good sturdy knife ok now let's get 2 BHK blind horse knife a blind horse obviously i have had a very very long relationship with blind or knives them I am absolutely my favorite knife company Bar None in the world their knives have never failed me and all The ones I've talked to say that if they've ever had a problem with a knife, that blind horse has replaced it without hesitation, so any guarantee like that is the guarantee I want them to be in shape and finish perfect in their shops. they are very nice I've been in your shop so I know what it looks like I know the craftsmanship is good quality made in America but again you're going to pay for knives made in America In the United States, this is the Pathfinder Scout, the one I wear probably 95% of the time, not because I don't like the PLS k1, but because this one has a little more versatility for what I do every day.
If I had to choose a knife for an emergency it would be the PLS k1. That's what it was designed for. This knife is more of a hunting, skinner, and butcher knife. It has a big 6 H. butcher style blade on it European type French trade knife style blade 3/16 heavy spine heavy oh one tool steel curly maple handles it's just a very good heavy duty knife and I took it quite the pls k1 is the original pathfinder knife that was made with blind horse knives scandinavian blades about five and a quarter inches long has a little bit of a zipper on the top of the blade here curly maple handles on this one like i said oh one heavy duty tool steel 90 degree spine this knife will serve anything in the ld world you want it to do and if you have it, if it's in the right hands of the person with the right skill, it can do anything you want from carving Fine to firewood processing, this is the sludge, the Nemec with the Pathfinder logo. on it which is made by a blind horse Scandinavian ground Nemec style blade it's basically a short butcher knife and I think that's pretty much what Mehcad had in mind when he made this knife if you look at this knife compared to a larger meat cleaver which are pretty much the same it's just that it's shorter and stubby than a meat cleaver has the same hump on top so it goes high over the bone when you're cutting with it it's good for batani Me like this concave area here because that puts a lot of forces put a lot of pressure right here on the belly when you're trying to split wood and things like that, so it's a really, really good knife, but just remember with any knife you're going to use this much of your blade is where you're going to do 90% of your work, before you get to your belly up, that's where you're going to do 90% of your work when I see the guys whittling sticks and they're making points on the sticks here on the sheet.
Know those guys don't know what they're doing because that area of your knife should be the most pristine area because that's what we can use to process game that's what you'll use from very fine cuts and notches and finding carving tasks which you don't want to use to hog material to make points on the sticks, that's what this area of the knife is for, okay, just a little detail there, McKnight's nest is really, really cool. blind horse bushcrafter great design blade cat part style cat part style knife really designed for the most part it has this entry in the handle which makes it really comfortable for your finger it has a nice round grip like my jamie instructor chair burly always says it's like a broom handle no matter how you hold it it will always be comfortable in your hand and that's one of the advantages of this knife for bushcrafting and stuff like that it has a four inch blade like i said It has a cup design spearhead. blade on it, this one has a completely flat grind.
I think the ones they sell have a hollow grind. I'm not sure about that, don't quote me on that and this one has curly maple necks. The little knife that the blind horse makes is the professional lumberjack. Now I've carried this knife not as extensive as the others but it's a really nice woodsy style designer knife for hunting and trapping and stuff just not big enough for something to me that goes beyond a carving knife or a skinning knife for a single tool knife but it's a really good trap backup knife for hunting for skinning and stuff like that and this is called the trap buddy now this knife has got I have a four inch blade or n this was an accidental knife this is a knife that was made another knife went bad and this knife was ground by dan at knives for blind horses and when he showed it to me i fell in love with it the reason i fell in love i loved it and decided to adopt it as the TLC because it has a good hollow polish which means it will stay razor sharp.
It's got a nice little drop point right here for skinning and making money cuts on hides and skins and stuff. and it has that little paring knife feel to it which makes it great for fine carving tasks and things like that so for making feather sticks to make fine cuts and notches and all that kind of stuff this thing is like the Morra of the blind the horse world except this full tang and it's high carbon steel with a 90 degree spine so it does everything for me if it needs to be right. sticks how well the knife is doing well feather sticks again depends on how well you can handle the knife and what your skill level is.
A good sharp knife will make feather sticks. Obviously a thinner blade will make better feather sticks than a thicker blade so you have to understand the limitations of what it has but even a blade that is 3/16th or thick like the Pathfinder razor but has a great heavy Scandinavian grind which makes it really good for processing wood and things like that and a good heavy duty tool it's not going to be as good for fine carving tasks like let's say this TLC or even this martini or Mora because the blades are thinner they have a sharper Scandinavian bevel and they're going to make those fine cuts this one is hollow ground so it's definitely going to make fine cuts okay but let's look at these knives and when you're making feather sticks you're not trying to do it you don't want to to have this thing dangling from a stump between your legs and you're trying to push the knife with both hands, that's not the way to make feather sticks, feather sticks are a fine, fine carving task. stick that will burn very very fast and that's the advantage of a feather stick is that it has increased the surface area and made the material very thin so it heats up quickly and burns faster.
I wanted to go over my mindset with you or my train of thought when it comes to noise. I also wanted to talk to you a little bit about understanding what you're looking at when you're looking at other people who handle knives who use knives who review knives and things like, again, this is not a Bosch at any knife company, this is not a Bosch at a YouTube critic. I just want to educate people who are watching my videos on what to look for and make sure that when they see a rev. Think of any item, whether it's a knife or a steel pot, that person has used that item and you can't say they've used an item by taking it into the woods once or for five minutes or five hours or probably even five days you need to use and abusing that item before you can really tell what's worth having in someone's kit.
I'm Dave Camera at Fire School Five. I appreciate your opinions, your support, everything you do for me, for my school, for my family. I'll be back with another video as soon as I can, thanks to you.
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