I see a lot of people spending a lot of money on features they either don’t need or that don’t make sense when it comes to survival knives. There are quite a few survival knife manufacturers out there. In the following video, take some time to touch on some of the survival knives that I have used or seen used in hard use environments for extended periods of time. As always, the video merely serves as a primer. Figure out what you need and what your price point is and go from there.
Knives & Tools
There are some serious benefits to ringed edged weapons; some are obvious while others are less so. I suppose the benefit that stands out to me first and foremost is the added retention. The ring gives the end-user the ability to retain the knife if their hand is open for whatever reason. This allows the user to grab things with the knife-wielding hand but also to strike. The first situation I can think of here is using the knife to create space during a close quarters encounter so that a pistol may be drawn while maintaining control of the knife until it can safely be re-sheathed.
The ring gives the end-user an excellent point of physical purchase when employing or drawing the weapon from concealment. With a simple slip of a finger, the user can securely pull the blade from its sheath. This also gives the user a consistent reference point on the grip; the hand more or less goes to the same place every time the knife is employed. This negates the risk of an improper grip which may cause the user to cut themselves or lose control of the knife. Being able to draw the knife through the ring alone, makes the knife cater to deep concealment exceptionally well given that only the rings needs to be exposed to achieve a positive extraction by the user.
The ring also often provides an excellent surface for use as an impact weapon. The ring can give the user’s strikes a much-needed boost during a violent confrontation. This also has the added benefit of a less than lethal option although I usually won’t advocate such a course of action unless you have no other choice due to it not being a sure-fire method of disabling the immediate threat.
The detriments of ringed knives are limited but also rather serious. While the ring offers incredible retention, this also makes it hard to drop in a hurry should the knife become seriously irrelevant to the situation. If the knife is employed incorrectly, the knife can be used against the user via the ring. Injuries such as a finger being broken or even worse, being degloved, are risks that are inherent to the design. If the blade gets immobilized by or in the threat during use, these kinds of injuries may potentially occur. The benefits far outweigh the detriments, in my opinion — but it is still extremely important to acknowledge them and compensate accordingly.
Ringed knives are pretty awesome, and I like them a lot. They have their drawbacks, as do all weapons. The big thing for me when selecting a ringed knife is being able to use it as intended, through the ring, or utilizing it more conventionally with a traditional forward/reverse grip; this is a size issue. There are smaller variants available, but I view those as tertiary blades rather than as a primary or secondary due to their limited use. Above all, select something that works for you and your lifestyle and train with it routinely; always seek to further your knowledge and skill at arms regardless of the tool. Knives are like firearms and to be good at using them you need to practice drawing and striking with them regularly. Competence is far more dangerous than a sharp edge.
Featured image courtesy of the author.
This article was written by Kurt T
Outdoor Edge is a small but growing knife manufacturer that offers a variety of knives suited for the outdoors and everyday carry (EDC). The Outdoor Edge Divide folding knife reviewed here is a fun knife that is currently available in two different sizes: a 3” blade or a 3.5” blade in either a plain or half-serrated edge. The Divide doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it takes pride in being a simple but practical folding knife. It is a worthy knife to have that is also a low-cost alternative in a market dominated by big name manufacturers.
- Blade: 3.0” / 7.6cm
- Overall: 6.9” / 17.5cm
- Weight: 3.0oz / 85g
- MSRP: $46.95
- Blade: 3.5” / 8.9cm
- Overall: 8.2” / 20.8cm
- Weight: 4.2oz / 119g
- MSRP: $49.95
- Steel: 8Cr13MoV Stainless with Blackstone™ coating
- 18 Ball-bearing pivot system
- Opener: Flipper plus double-sided thumb stud
- Handle: Black/Red G10 and titanium coated 420J2 stainless
- Pocket-Clip: 420 Stainless with Blackstone™ coating
- Lock: Integral Frame-Lock
Specifications courtesy of Outdoor Edge
As I mentioned in previous knife reviews, 8Cr13MoV is a budget-quality steel. It isn’t necessarily a bad steel since steel quality ultimately comes down to the heat treatment used (which is exclusive to the manufacturer and undisclosed), but it won’t hold an edge as well as more premium-grade steels. However, 8Cr13MoV is pretty easy to sharpen; this is often the type of tradeoff you can expect from inexpensive knives. It doesn’t mean it’s a cheap knife, it’s just a compromise for being offered at a low price.
The actual design of the knife itself is practical for everyday use. On one side of the handle you have G-10, which offers a little texture to the handle, and the other side is made of titanium-coated stainless steel. The decision to go with a half steel handle was to implement the frame lock system. The frame lock system functions the same way as the common liner lock but is much more reliable because the frame is often a much thicker steel without extra components. The only real issue with the frame lock, aside from personal preference, is that it is not ambidextrous. However, the deployment of the knife is ambidextrous, so this isn’t necessarily a con.
What I like most about the Divide is the ball-bearing pivot system. This makes deployment of the blade is as quick as is smooth and is comparable to the quality of Kershaw’s SpeedSafe® assisted opening. If you aren’t familiar with the technology or these terms, it means the blade is mechanically secured in place when closed and applying manual pressure on the flipper (see photo) will release the blade, which springs open and locks in the open position.
The Outdoor Edge Divide is a simple, no-frills EDC folder that I would recommend to someone who isn’t looking to spend very much or wants an extra knife as a backup. Aside from aesthetics and steel quality, there isn’t anything to really dislike about the Divide, especially since its available for about $30-$35 from online retailers.
*All photos courtesy of the author, Matt Jin
Someone asked me the other day what knife I brought with me to Ranger school. I completed Ranger school back in 2012 and with me, I had a Benchmade Griptilian. The criteria of a solid knife in school is pretty limited. First Is it light enough that you would be willing to carry it? This rules out any fixed blade or a folder with a heavy handle.
I picked the Benchmade Griptilian because it has a light plastic handle that will still provide some traction when wet or wearing gloves. Next, you need to be able to open a MRE. Besides slicing open your favorite brown bag meal, all you will be doing with your knife is cutting tie downs or stabbing trees as you walk by. Lastly, will it rust? In school you are going to be soaking your uniform in salty sweat and in Florida you will be chest high in swamps. The Benchmade Griptilian uses 154CM as its blade steel. I never experienced pitting or rust as long as I kept up with minimal cleaning. The last thing I appreciate is the hole for connecting a lanyard too. In school there is a reason you tie everything down; because stuff gets lost.
When you are the only guy with a sharp knife it seems everyone wants to borrow it, so attaching it to your belt along with a clip prevents it from walking away. I also recommend attaching a small sharpener to the lanyard to maintain your edge.
Author – William Hoyt is a former Army Ranger of 1/75. He is now pursuing his bachelors in psychology and coaching swimming.
Buck Knives have been around for generations, and to me, are the quintessential classic pocket knives that you would expect to find in any old man’s pocket to this day. The classic 110 was created in 1963 when Al Buck decided that outdoorsman needed a sturdy folding lockblade instead of carrying a longer fixed-blade. The 110 was born and has been a best seller ever since.
Out of the box I was quite surprised by the weight of the new 110 Auto Elite. The Nickel silver bolsters pack a ton of weight, but it’s this weight that makes the blade feel light as a feather during the opening. With an overall length of 8.5”, this is no dainty pocketknife. The blade is a good 3 ¾” allowing you plenty of space for cleaning a deer but still nimble enough to handle a rabbit. Now during this T&E, I was not cutting up any freshly harvested venison, but I did filet some Bluefin to see just how sharp this updated S30V steel is from the factory. I was incredibly impressed that it wasn’t butchering the flesh. It looked as good as my sushi knife which is no easy task for a pocketknife.
The new G10 scaled have a perfect texture to them, allowing for better retainability compared to the older versions. It also adds a modern look to what is typically a finely finished wood or bone scales. I can see the performance really shining with blood-soaked hands. I would be curious to see how the spring action performs over time under harsh backcountry environments. Will a mixture of blood, dirt and hair gum up the springs? Only time will tell I suppose.
If I have one critique with the 110 Auto Elite, it’s the fact that it doesn’t have a pocket clip, which would be a much-welcomed option. I know this will detract from the classic appearance and may be taboo to some, but you won’t find me putting this in my EDC collection just yet. The leather pouch is meant to have a belt woven through it for ideal carry. But outside of a camping/hiking environment, I don’t wear anything on my belt. I tried for a week to carry it in my pocket like the good ole’ days, but with the weight, the knife would fall down sideways inside my pocket. This caused me to look like Steven Tyler pitching a side pipe on stage. So I switched it out for fear of some mother catching me making eye contact. Overall I’m insanely happy with this knife and it will find its forever home in my camping kit that I hit the trail with. I’m glad to see Buck breathed some modern metallurgy and updates into this classic.
This just makes me cringe when I watch this video. It’s like a bad car accident; you can’t look away once you start watching. I’ve thrown my share of tomahawks and axes. Never once did I have this happen. Damn.
Best comment below wins this Kershaw Seguin folding knife
*Photo courtesy of Big Bear Axe Throwing