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Wood cutting knife?
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Hugo Riendeau
(jeanbovin) - F
Wood cutting knife? on 02/23/2010 02:37:56 MST Print View

Another knife thread!

Actually I am just looking for the best knife, minimal weight maximum efficiency, to use with bushbuddy. Basically cut twigs and branch as well as food.

I don't have much experience with the stove yet so I am not sure about quantity of wood I might need to cook a meal.

I guess one important factor would be how the blade remains sharp as trip will be for an extended period of time.

Let's say I use the stove twice a day, how many continuous days could I technically use the knife efficiently?

If anyone did some research or has experience on subject, feel free to express.

If there is another thread on same subject that has been posted recently please point me to it.


(wentworth) - F
mora on 02/23/2010 03:14:38 MST Print View

What, no razor blade? ;)

I'd recommend a mora, easy to sharpen, cheap ($10 US) and light (3oz). The wooden handled versions have a tang that runs all the way to the end of the handle, adding strength, they're my favourite.

Look up Mora #1, though you can't go wrong with any of them.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Puukko on 02/23/2010 03:25:17 MST Print View

You'll get plenty of different opinions on this one.

I have a BushBuddy Ultra, Ti-Tri + Inferno and a Bushcooker, and there is only one knife I carry when going out with a wood burning stove: A Puukko.

88 g of knife. Here my thoughts on it.

Edited by skullmonkey on 02/23/2010 03:26:05 MST.

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Mora Clipper on 02/23/2010 03:29:45 MST Print View

The Mora Clipper is also a good choice. With any luck you won't need it though. The Bushbuddy will boil two cups of water with just a couple handfuls of small twigs. The twigs neeedn't be bone dry either. The knife might come in handy during very wet weather though when dry fuel is difficult to find. In that scenario you could baton the knife into larger chunks of wood to access the dry material within.


Hugo Riendeau
(jeanbovin) - F
Mora and Puuko on 02/23/2010 04:18:48 MST Print View

Thanks Aris and Gordon for posting.

As for the Mora which one would you recommend, I couldn't find the weight on each of their product, do you just email customer services usually. There are many different one under clipper indeed.

Also for the Puuko which company would you recommend. The page you gave was all in finnish!

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Puukko II on 02/23/2010 06:15:51 MST Print View

I recommend the one I have, obviously =) Its a work knife so lacks any decoration, but here are some other ones. If you fancy any of them, then I can go buy you one (you only pay for the Puukko + shipping, no extra charges, and I don't earn any money with it either) as they're in the store next door.

The knife I have is 36€, FYI.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Wood cutting knife? on 02/23/2010 09:09:49 MST Print View

Grohmann Boat Knife, 3.5oz. (1.5 oz for sheath, IIRC) Great size for camp chores and building small fires, holds an edge well. 4" blade, lots of nice details, solid grip.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Wood cutting knife on 02/23/2010 09:47:07 MST Print View

Check out the Mora 510. Super light, cheap, scandi grind is easy to keep sharp.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Wood cutting knife? on 02/23/2010 10:23:42 MST Print View

When I can't cook/purify water using a ground fire, I use a DIY tin can Bushbuddy clone I made. I can generally fuel it well with hand-broken twigs and pencil-diameter sticks. If I have the time, slightly larger diameter wood cooks faster and requires less feeding, so I use a carbon steel Mora to chop or split larger diameter wood by batoning it. Peeling or splitting wood can sometimes be necessary if it's very wet. I like the Erickson #1 wood-handled and the red plastic-handled Erickson models, and prefer a carbon steel blade because the edge stays sharp longer than stainless steel blades on other Moras. A laminated blade would also hold an edge well.

I don't use my woodstove enough to tell you how long the knife holds an edge when preparing wood for it. Plus, I do other cutting/carving with it. I do know that I started with a shaving-sharp blade, prepared enough wood to boil two cups of water for five minutes (while cooking rice), and afterwards there was no noticeable change in the sharpness of the blade after using it to baton-chop much of the thumb-diameter wood. Still, part of carrying a knife is carrying the means to keep it sharp. I carry a pen-sized diamond sharpener, but there are sharpening cards which are lighter, and I'll probably switch to one of those soon.

Edited by AndyF on 02/23/2010 10:24:44 MST.

Pieter Kaufman
(Pieter) - F
Re: Wood cutting knife? on 02/23/2010 11:17:07 MST Print View

If you're interested in a knife you can use for several consecutive days, then field sharpening has to be a consideration, and I would then submit that you consider a convex ground blade, for which you can buy or make a small, light leather strop to bring with you. Depending on how dexterous you are, you might find it easier to touch up the blade this way rather than having to take a real sharpening pass with a stone and risk messing up your angles.

There was a lovely Gossman for sale on this site, but it sold; check it out anyway to get a sense of what a small, convex ground "Personal Survival Kit" knife is like. Personally, I have two Bark River Knives and I love them. They are truly splendid tools; so much so that I'm going to sell my RAT Izula PSK. It's a great knife too, but I'm really sold on convex grinds now that I've started using them.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
convex on 02/23/2010 21:31:14 MST Print View

^ I'd have to agree w/ that assessment (I was the one that previously owned the Gossman PSK)

that knife you could baton all day and not have any worries, the convex edge really held up and touchups were a breeze- it weighed all of 2 oz's (a little over that w/ a paracord wrap)

small BRKT's would also be a good choice, full tang, good steel, full convex edge- and several small, light models to choose from

there is a whole cadre of custom knife makers out there that produce really nice knives, to your specs, for a lot less money than you'd guess

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Mora on 02/23/2010 21:47:33 MST Print View

I vote for the Mora stainless standard military model, I don't remember what that is. Light, cheap, finger guard, safe...
Great for splitting wood....

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Wood cutting knife?" Mora! on 02/23/2010 22:36:50 MST Print View

Another vote for the Mora. I have been called a knife nut at one point. the Mora is amazing. Cheap and strong. light too.

Hugo Riendeau
(jeanbovin) - F
sharpening tools? on 02/23/2010 22:49:03 MST Print View

I am all new to this knife science so my question might be naive, is it possible to sharpen any kind of knife, carbon, convex ground, laminated, stainless steel?

Also what would be the best tools available? Maintaining assumptions that it needs to be carried.

Posters mentionned light leather strop, sharpening cards, pen-sized diamond sharpener as sharpening tool. Would you recommend buying the sharpening stone with the knife at the same time from the same company or it doesn't really matter? Any link for good sharpening tools.

I am not very dexterous usually however I can see the benefit of reshaping while on the trail. Might as well learn something.

So puukoo, mora and gossman, thanks for your opinions.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Knife Porn on 02/23/2010 23:36:42 MST Print View


Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Sharpening Convex Blades on 02/24/2010 08:18:01 MST Print View

Here is a series of videos (quite good I think) on how to sharpen a convex blade. The tools required are minimal and inexpensive. The last video is about maintaining the edge while out in the backcountry.

I would add that a knife with a Scandinavian grind (a true scandi with no secondary bevel) is probably slightly easier to keep sharp given that the knife acts as its own angle guide. I usually carry a scandi knife with a small DMT diamond hone.

This Ray Mears video is best for the sharpening that he demonstrates in camp (this is how I sharpen my knives at home), but the in-field demo is okay too, I guess:

This is what I do if I have to sharpen my knife while backpacking (but this guy's technique is pretty iffy... With my scandi, I don't need to guess abot angles and I go slower with better precision).

Here's Scott Gossman himself demonstrating a slightly different technique for scandi and convex field sharpening:

Edited by Ramapo on 02/24/2010 08:19:44 MST.

Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
bushbuddy and knife on 02/24/2010 08:46:05 MST Print View

You really won't need a knife for your bushbuddy most days, and really the only need is to make shavings to start the fire, if other stuff is damp. And you should be able to get shavings from a knife for months or years without sharpening it. My son carves and whittles sticks in great quantities and I rarely sharpen his knife.

I can't see how batoning is ever necessary for a bushbuddy. For cutting up pieces of wood, the saw on a swiss army knife is much more useful, since that can rip through 1-2" pieces of wood to thick to break in seconds, and that can be helpful for running a bushbuddy, particularly if burning for longer, say for melting snow or boiling water to drink.

I use the one handed trekker since it has a locking blade. I like the newer version with the smooth blade better than my half serrated blade, but really any SAK with a saw would work.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: bushbuddy and knife on 02/24/2010 10:24:20 MST Print View

Michael B,

There could be differences in the wood we're using and its moisture content or degree of decay, but I find that batoning is even faster than seconds. With a baton of adequate weight, it's like using an ax. One blow chops through the wood. I often carry a sliding 6" saw for other reasons, but prefer to baton chop the wood.

Edited by AndyF on 02/24/2010 10:25:45 MST.

Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
batoning on 02/24/2010 10:42:45 MST Print View

I was thinking of batoning as spliting wood lengthwise along the grain. I don't think that is almost ever necessary for a bushbuddy. It can be great for a campfire. To split wood along the grain it would also need to be cut to log length, which for a bushbuddy is about 3-4" max.

If you are batoning through a stick and across the grain, creating 3" long pieces, then yes, that could be useful for a bushbuddy and much the same as what I would do by notching with a saw and breaking it. I should experiment more with hitting it harder sometime.

(wentworth) - F
batoning on 02/24/2010 17:22:27 MST Print View

Batoning is useful to get to the heart of deadwood when it's very, very wet. Sticks can also be split with a saw by sawing halfway through the stick, then hitting it in the center against a rock, half of the wood flies off (lengthwise), exposing the dry inner

And I would ALWAYS recommend using a sharp knife. A blunt knife is a dangerous knife, as you need to exert more force to make the cut and could possibly slip.

You cannot make decent feather sticks with a blunt knife. A good featherstick, one that has 3 to 4 curls per feather will light from the sparks of a firesteel. This eliminates the need to use tinder.

I guess you could call that carrying less by knowing more!

Edited by wentworth on 02/24/2010 17:23:19 MST.