xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' My choices of Fixed Blade Knives ~ The Prepared Guy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My choices of Fixed Blade Knives

Things change.  This includes my opinion on knives, guns, gear, and people.  Learning and experience inspires change.  Since initially writing this article in August of 2013 I have changed what knives I carry and why.  So, I felt this blog post deserved an update.  

There is no substitution for a good quality fixed blade knife.  If I were to own only one knife it would have to be a fixed blade knife.  The next questions would then be what size, style and type of steel would I choose?

Having to choose only one knife or only one gun is a ridiculous concept but I do comprehend the purpose behind the question.  Specific questions should get you seriously thinking about what features in a knife (or gun) are most important to you.  Fortunately, we live in a country, for now, that 'allows' us the freedom to own as many guns and knives as we want.  After asking yourself the right questions I bet that you will find there isn't any one single option that will work best in all situations.

When it comes down to having to carry everything you need with you, then your choices would truly be limited.  Let me be clear; there is no single gun or knife that will do everything you would need it to do whether in your everyday life or in a survival situation.

I have dedicated a lot of time, thought and research along with buying and trying out knives for me to come to my own conclusions about which knives are best for me, my situation and my environment.  I am sure that yours will differ.  That being said, here are four fixed blade knives that I have chosen for my needs and for the potential future situations I may encounter.

Starting with the biggest...

This is the ESEE-5.  It is a 1/4" thick full tang, 1095 steel coated blade with a canvas Micarta handle.  It also has a glass breaker at the butt and comes with a short lanyard.  The blade has a long flat section for chopping and cutting wood and the belly has a long gradual curve with a slight drop point that make it useful for defense as well a dressing a deer or another potential meal.  The blade measures 5 -1/4" long and with the kydex sheath it weighs over a pound.  This is one substantial knife!  This is meant to be my 'survival' knife.  As a 'survival' knife I wanted it to be able to take a lot of abuse from chopping branches to build a shelter, cut and split firewood and for it to be a good defensive weapon as well.  This knife also makes for a decent digging tool.  However, with the 1/4" thick blade it does not make for a good knife to clean a small fish such as a trout.  This knife was designed with urban survival in mind.  This is where I find myself most of the time thus it is the knife that I carry in my EDC bag.

A recent add to my layers of preparedness is the ESEE 3HM.  Unlike the standard ESEE 3 this was designed with bushcrafting in mind.  

The leather sheath, rounded Micarta handle and 3.5" flat grind blade are ideal for what I need it to do for me.  Just like most of the ESEE knives this is also 1095 steel.  1095 is high carbon steel so it is easy to put a razor sharp edge on it and is also very tough.  This blade is only .13" thick which is ideal for smaller work were larger blades have a hard time going.  

I spent a considerable amount of time shopping for just the right bushcraft knife for me and I once again came back around to ESEE, 1095 steel and Micarta.  

Another knife that I have added to my get-home bag is the Morakniv Pro S.  It is stainless steel with a scandi grind.  It is crazy sharp and at only $12 it's a no brainer to add to any bag.  It can be said that one is none and two is one.  That can get expensive.  Except with this knife.  This is a great basic primary or back up knife.    

An example that has stuck with me is one of a group of people that were stuck in an elevator in one of the World Trade center towers on 9/11.  One of these individuals had some tools with him including what I remember to be a masonry trowel.  They used that trowel to pry open the elevator doors and then cut through two layers of drywall for them to escape.  If I remember the account correctly they barely made it out of the building in time.

I have subsequently decided to use this example as a standard for why I carry knife.  Most any pocket knife would be able to cut through two layers of drywall if you were careful and took your time.  Like these individuals stuck in the elevator you, or I, may have the need to escape from a room or building in a similar manner and may also not have the time to delicately cut your way out.  There may be more than just drywall between you and freedom which a standard pocket knife may not get through.  A sturdy tool like any of these knives is what I choose to rely on for my survival in any situation whether urban or wilderness.    

I also chose to purchase an ESEE 6 with a clip point also as a "survival" knife but with a tactical use in mind.  Again, I went back to ESEE.   The comfort of the grip in my hand is a significant reason why I have chosen these knives.    

Just like in my last post on how to choose a folding knife, the length of a fixed blade knife is an important decision.  You may choose to carry a larger knife like a machete because of the density of the woods you frequent.  You may choose to carry a Bowie style knife because you like the look or you've seen Crocodile Dundee a few too many times.  I love Bowie knives too and the movie is a lot of fun but just because it's cool may not always be the right reason to carry it.  

Because I live in a dry climate I am not concerned much about corrosion and the 1095 steel is perfectly appropriate.  Survival knives also come in many of the different grades of stainless steel which may be more appropriate for your use.  As you may have noticed, I am a fan of drop point style knives.  They seem to be the most useful and practical for my needs.


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The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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