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David Poston
(dgposton) - F - M

Locale: Texas / Colorado
UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry? on 07/08/2008 11:43:43 MDT Print View

I know that a razorblade is about the lightest option (aside from your teeth), but is there a knife with a decent size blade weighing around 0.5 oz or less? My current blade is a cheap Gerber pocketknife weighing in at 1.44 oz. I'm looking to shave off another ounce from my kit.

Eric Cheong
(EricCheong) - F

Locale: Malaysia
Buck Hartsook on 07/08/2008 12:03:57 MDT Print View

Looks like the Buck Hartsook will fit your bill. Its 1/2oz, S30V and pretty cheap. There's been quite a few threads about ultralight knives already. Try to do a search for it.

Charles G.
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
"UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry?" on 07/08/2008 12:05:49 MDT Print View

I carry either a Victorinox Classic or Executive. The Classic seems to be the "standard" pocket knife for lightweight hikers. It only weighs 0.75 oz with a blade, scissors, file/screwdriver, tweezers and tooth pick. The Executive weighs 1.5 oz, has two blades, a file/fingernail cleaner, scissors, an orange peeler(?), tweezers and toothpick. I carry the Executive on longer trips because of the 2nd (backup) blade but mostly take the Classic to save the 3/4 oz.
I have tried tricks like using 1/2 of a double edge razor blade (<0.5 g) but find that the safety and convenience of a real knife is worth the trivial weight penalty.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
blade. on 07/08/2008 12:14:29 MDT Print View

i'd search the forums (though the search function doesn't work great!). it's been discussed some recently, such as in:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=12123&disable_pagination=1

cheers!

Scott White
(sdwhitey) - F

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry? on 07/08/2008 12:18:35 MDT Print View

If I want real knife I carry a Benchmade 530 Pardue Axis (1.8 oz)

If I really want to go light I just carry the scissors and tweezers from a Victorinox SwissCard Lite (0.2 oz). Add the blade and you are up to (0.4 oz)

Edited by sdwhitey on 07/08/2008 12:19:45 MDT.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: "UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry?" on 07/08/2008 12:22:43 MDT Print View

One vote for the Columbia River (CRKT) PECK knife. I believe I got the smallest one they make off steepandcheap for $17 and it weighs in at .4 oz.

I misplaced this knife recently and took the smallest multi-tool made on my last trip and did find the pliers incredible useful for quick removal of trebel hooks from the multitude of trout I snagged....

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry? on 07/08/2008 12:24:23 MDT Print View

check out this article that BPL did awhile ago
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ultralight_knives.html

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry? on 07/08/2008 14:07:45 MDT Print View

I like the spyderco jester, 0.6 oz.

Rick Sarabin
(RickyS) - F
Light weight not an option for me.... on 07/08/2008 16:52:20 MDT Print View

While I admire ultra lighters ..... I prefer to carry something that is meant for work. A teeny tiny .5 knife just won't do in emergency scenario's. I am a knife buff so I have a few. Almar is a good one. Spyderco's are great. The Lady bug is very light and useful. I usually take something that I know will stand up to all situations, from bear attacks to spreading peanut butter. Can't imagine what it's like to try a cut pack webbing in an emergency situation with a .5 ounce plain blade of whatever make. I guess it's the mine rescue emergency response team experience that has thinking this way.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
LW Knife... on 07/09/2008 07:52:26 MDT Print View

I use the Spyderco Ladybug, 0.6oz. I have rarely used it in the field though, just because I never really have a need to. I would be a little worried about being in a survival situation with it though - like the previous poster said, sometimes you want a knife that can actually do "work". I sometimes will carry the Gerber EVO Titanium. It gives me a little more comfort.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry? on 07/09/2008 11:51:14 MDT Print View

I carry a Benchmade 530, which isn't UL. At 1.8oz, I could get by with less knife, but, paraphrasing Roman Dial from another thread, 'we mainly pack our insecurities'. I like having a knife that is sturdy enough to split wood, can be lashed into a stick for use as a spear, and is sharp enough to shave hair before taping up wounds. None of these uses are essential, just personally comforting.

Mainly I use the knife to slice meats and cheeses for lunch and dinner. The knife see action almost every lunch, and twenty percent of dinners, so it's not a dead weight item that never gets used. I figure if I can safely eat lunch a minute or so faster with the bigger knife, I've freed up enough time to offset any distance lost from packing the extra weight.

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
SAK on 07/09/2008 11:58:46 MDT Print View

I use a Victorinox Classic with no scales - just a bare frame. Weighs next to nothing, and I find I use the scissors more than the blade.

I like nicer, heavier knives too - I have a Delica 4 in VG-10 and one in ZDP-189, and a Rosselli Grandfather, to name a few - but I just don't find them worth carrying for the vast majority of my trips.

Edited by slnsf on 07/09/2008 19:37:43 MDT.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F - M

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Benchmade 530 on 07/09/2008 16:24:54 MDT Print View

How much does the Benchmade 530 weigh with the carry clip removed? I like the spear-point blade.

(I think "lightening up" is really just another excuse for me to buy another knife).

Scott White
(sdwhitey) - F

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Benchmade 530 on 07/09/2008 16:31:05 MDT Print View

David:

I wish I knew. I want to remove the clip but the little screws require some sort of "star" shaped tool that I don't have. A standard flathead, phillips, or hex tool won't work.

Maybe I gave up too easily. I don't know.

Scott

Nick Chen
(fleetparadox) - F

Locale: Socal
Benchmade 530 on 07/09/2008 16:58:13 MDT Print View

I'll go home and measure the weight of my Benchmade Mini-Ritter clip. I'll let you guys know.

As for the special hex/allen "star" shape screw... you can request a tool from Kershaw for free. (They have amazing customer service).

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
gerber LST ultralight on 07/09/2008 17:19:32 MDT Print View

i use the gerber LST ultralight 2" locking blade. it weighs .5 ounce. and its cheap. they have a bigger version that is only a couple of ounces.

while i agree that it obviously would have limitations it still can perform the following duties: cutting wood, creating a spear head, cutting bandages, etc.-- all of which address issues that people advocating a heavier blade cite.

to cut wood you just have to have another piece of wood or rock to use as a hammer but it does work. as a spear head consider the obsidian spear tips native americans used... they arent much bigger than the LST. lash that onto your hiking pole and there you go.

someone above said they carry a bigger knife in the event they have to fight off a bear. good luck with that. you must like that last scene from legends of the fall or something! if your using your knife to eat food with, then youre keeping that on you at night for protection, your asking for a bear problem that probably would never have occurred but for the knife!

i think a knife would be useful if you were attacked by a mountain lion, as they dont have that thick of a hide, whereas bears obviously do. and a lion, once they get cut, will probably realize your not prey and let go. if were talking items to be used as weapons, i think a hiking pole a much better in the backcountry than a knife; it has a much longer reach, a sharp point, etc.

Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Re: Benchmade 530 on 07/09/2008 18:56:24 MDT Print View

I estimate the clip weighs 0.15 ounces based on a density for spring steel of 0.26 lbs/in^3 and approximate dimesions of 0.040" X 0.375" X 2.25". So let's say 0.2 ounces with the 3 tiny screws.

The utility of the clip to me is worth the weight.

The Benchmade 530 and Spyderco Delica are my favorite knives for everyday carry and tasks: cutting open boxes, slicing cheese, cutting rope, twiner, etc. The Benchmade is very well made and both are a nice practical size.

My packing list always shows a Victorinox classic, but at the trailhead I never seem to be able to leave the folder in the car. It really bothers me to reach for it out of habit and not have it there.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
UL pocketknife - what blade do you carry? on 07/09/2008 19:11:30 MDT Print View

That gerber LST ultralight 2" is a nice little blade that would meet every need I have for a knife. Wasn't even aware that it was on the market.

I wasn't thinking spear for self protection so much as I've used it to get at fish before.

While probably silly, my knife stays in my food bag or bear bucket at night. I don't think it has enough food on it to be a serious concern. As far as attracting bears, I'm more worried about my pants that sometimes get used as a napkin, or even my backpack itself that has food tucked in various pockets all day long.

The trekking pole is the best defensive thing I carry. Long reach, sure grip, and carbide tip. Should be enough to make it clear I am not prey to any animal. However, I really don't feel like I will be attacked by anything but another person, and they will probably be guarding a crop with more than a long stick.

Edited by redmonk on 07/09/2008 20:09:11 MDT.

Jason Griffin
(JGriffinRN) - F
knife/tool on 07/09/2008 20:21:11 MDT Print View

you guys are gonna flame the crap outta me, but I carry a skeletool and a sog trident. The fullsize pliers are way too useful for me especially when it's cold out for doing things your fingers would strain to do such as pulling stakes or dealing with small things. And like someone said we pack our insecurities, I take the trident because I've felt very bare without a slightly bigger blade; and that's a step down from the fixed blade I used to carry so I'm happy with it. Yeah it's some extra weight but I only count weight for what's in my pack or may be in my pack and those aren't ever in my pack, they are always on my body and I don't even feel them there.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Knife on 07/09/2008 21:28:51 MDT Print View

I carry a Gerber LST. It is cheap ($17), relatively light (1.3oz), and made in the USA.