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brandon hippler
(brandonhippler) - F
ultralite knife on 09/14/2012 03:39:24 MDT Print View

does anyone know of a cheap knife that weighs under an ounce that can get the job done when its needed?

Edited by brandonhippler on 09/14/2012 03:51:53 MDT.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Re: ultralite knife on 09/14/2012 05:39:25 MDT Print View

Depends on what you expect it to do. A single edged razor blade suffices for some. I kind of like the Gerber L.S.T.

Jim L
(bmafg) - M
knife on 09/14/2012 05:49:41 MDT Print View

+1 to the Gerber LST. Small enough to be light (34 g - there is also a lighter one) but big enough to handle like a real knife.

For lighter look at a DermaSafe (7.5 g). I have one in my car FAK. MUCH preferable to a bare razor blade.


Edited by bmafg on 09/14/2012 07:18:43 MDT.

Brandon Vidrine
Baledeo on 09/17/2012 16:44:35 MDT Print View

Baledeo makes a nice UL knife; mine weighs in at 15 gms. I also like the LST; both are very solid for UL use; a great multi tool is the Gerber Splice, weighs in at about 1.2 oz. and is safe for airport travel.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: ultralite knife on 09/17/2012 17:15:48 MDT Print View

"that can get the job done when its needed?"

Brandon, it depends on what the job is.

Serious cooking might require something. Just opening sealed packages might require something less. Cutting up wood is something else. Doing emergency surgery on the trail is another story, but that might require a SAK.


Brandon Vidrine
Re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/19/2012 17:15:16 MDT Print View

"it depends on what the job is"

That is obvious; I think a core philosophy of light and ultralight backpacking is measuring risk vs benefit or risk vs reward ratio when evaluating what not to carry (or what to carry); ie. if you will be in an area that there is great exposure, prepare accordingly.

But let's face it, you do not need a field machete on most hikes. You need a simple blade for common tasks. In most cases, a pair of scissors performs just as well as a small lightweight knife. If you are talking about chopping firewood or performing field surgery, then you are not an ultralight hiker.

Edited by bvidrine82 on 09/19/2012 17:15:56 MDT.

(livingontheroad) - M
knife on 09/19/2012 17:59:08 MDT Print View

I never used a knife on a hike.

In several hundred miles of carrying it, I have never even used my derma safe knife on a hike, but at 0.3 oz, I think Ill keep carrying it, just in case I ever need to cut moleskin or ductape or cord.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: knife on 09/19/2012 18:32:19 MDT Print View

I used my "22g" Baladeo (it's 23g) every single day of my most recent trek, and I'd say it's about as small as I can go for what I need to do. So, I sliced hunks of thick jerky, cut paracord, cut fishing line, cut fish, cleaned fingernails and slaughtered a fammily of rabid marmo...well, not the last one.

It wouldn't do for batoning much wood, but it's a pretty good size for most other work.

Edited by EBasil on 09/20/2012 00:06:33 MDT.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/19/2012 20:26:03 MDT Print View

I like my Ti Kestrel ultralighter. 12 grams of fixed blade blade glory. I love mine.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: ultralite knife on 09/19/2012 20:41:41 MDT Print View

What is the lightest knife that could be used to baton wood?

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/19/2012 22:17:52 MDT Print View

The lightest folding knife I've battoned wood with is a standard size SAK. Be careful of the joint, and use technique, not brute strength.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/19/2012 23:56:29 MDT Print View

I've used an Opinel #8 to baton, but there's not much wedge to that blade. It's the wedge profile that helps so much, when you have it. Strike outboard of the pivot on folders, of course.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: ultralite knife on 09/20/2012 09:55:08 MDT Print View

razor holdersewing nippersutilikeyutility knifebroadhead blade
1/2 a gram!arrow broadhead blade taped to groove in pencil

Edited by oware on 09/20/2012 12:09:03 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/20/2012 11:16:47 MDT Print View

The prison slash is the best one, of course: it's multi-use!!

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: ultralite knife SA Bantam on 09/20/2012 12:06:13 MDT Print View

I use a Swiss Army Bantam a lot. Full size blade plus a combination tool (can opener,
bottle opener, phillips and straight screw driver, wire stripper). 33 grams.Swiss army Bantam

Andrew Weldon
My knife on 09/20/2012 18:10:58 MDT Print View


Spyderco Bug, .35oz
Blade is nice and sturdy, holds a good edge and I find it's a little better overall than a dermasafe or a razor blade and a scraper holder. I can twist the blade and make holes in things, it's not going to snap like a razor blade can.

That said, I still never use it for more than cleanly cutting leukotape and gorillatape. I'm strongly considering switching to scissors, though the knife is handy for removing splinters. Plastic handled suture removal scissors are about .3-.4oz, Swisstool replacement scissors are about .2oz

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Ultralight Knife on 09/21/2012 06:22:53 MDT Print View

I've found the Swiss Army Clipper to be the most useful for me.

Wenger Swiss Clipper

It has a small (1.75") knife, scissors, a nail file/screwdriver, and a nail clipper.

It weighs 37 grams (1.3 ounces).

Edited by KBabione on 09/21/2012 06:23:49 MDT.

James W.

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Ultralight Knife on 09/21/2012 06:39:39 MDT Print View

I carry two. The tiny micro swiss with the scissors and the Ka-bar ZK Acheron neck knife- it's really light, I forget the weight but it's somewhere around 7 grams with the sheath.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Re: Ultralight Knife on 09/21/2012 08:48:09 MDT Print View

"Ka-bar ZK Acheron neck knife- it's really light, I forget the weight but it's somewhere around 7 grams with the sheath."

Seriously? Is that a typo? 7 grams is about 1/4 ounce and I have seen this knife listed as 0.8 ounces and 1 ounce in a couple other places.

James W.

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Ultra Light knife on 09/21/2012 09:36:50 MDT Print View

It is really light. I'm not at home where I could tell you for sure. That was a guess. It is one of lightest and still usable knives that I've seen that didn't cost a bunch. It's black stainless steel and it works for me.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Ultralight Knife on 09/21/2012 19:19:46 MDT Print View

knife is 1.2 oz and sheath is 0.3 oz

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/21/2012 19:48:32 MDT Print View

The smallest knife you could baton safely with would be a small neck knife like the esee izula or the blind horse knives tiger knapp. They are one solid piece of metal. Or the small red handled moras (not as strong, but longer blade).

If you really think that a decent sized knife has absolutely no place in ultralight backpacking except for emergency situations, then your knowledge of wilderness skills must be pretty shallow. I'm not saying that it's necessary, but just because you don't see any uses for it doesn't mean that uses don't exist for someone who carries different gear and camps in a different way than you.

Andrew Weldon
Re: Re: Re: ultralite knife on 09/21/2012 19:52:23 MDT Print View

Well, it's certainly odd to be talking about knives large enough to baton wood in the SUL/XUL subforum.

Though I suppose it would be very ultralight to carry an 8oz knife and just forego a shelter, bag and cook system and just huddle up next to a fire?

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
ultralite knife in XUL on 09/22/2012 08:05:34 MDT Print View

:) I think that's the interesting part to this thread: for the SUL/XUL packer, what knives are working? By definition (to me, at least) the SUL/XUL afficionado has things pared down to the bare minimums in terms of weight and utility -- the least necessary for the reduced list of tasks they've designed into their gear/personal capacity.

A full-tang, 50-gram-plus knife probably isn't on too many lists, even for those with deep insight to wilderness skills, if they're carrying backpacks made of fairy wings and perforated dental floss. The prison-quality slash blade above seems to me like a pretty darn XUL blade, and I would personally expect that practicioners of the dark art aren't planning to baton wood.

I did just pick up that AG Russell, 2" ti-framed folder, also noted above. Ha ha!! Now this is an XUL knife! I can see how it could be enough knife to open packages, cut fishing line/dental floss, clean nails, carve dead flesh and maybe even gut out a few potato bugs, but the string I'd have to put on it so it won't blow away in the wind will double its weight...

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Bear Grylls folder on 09/24/2012 15:02:59 MDT Print View

I have the smallest Gerber Bear Grylls (sp?) series folding lockblade knife.

> 3.25 inches (8.5 cm. ) long
> 2.5 inch (8 cm.) half serrated blade.
> 1 oz. (29 g.) with its short, braided Triptease lanyard. (The lanyard is necessary to keep from losing it.)

After going through many knives over the years this is THE lightest useable knife I can find. It is light because its plastic handle has no metal liners.

The Gerber LST is also nice if you want a slightly larger lockblade folder. Also no metal liners.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Kabar on 09/26/2012 10:01:51 MDT Print View

Checj out the Kabar 13 neck knife, wrap some para cord around the handle and you have a 1.2 ounce useable fixed blade knife for $10. I did research on an UL knife and this was the best quality and lightweight knife I could find per dollar.

Jack Richland
(BlackScoutSurvival) - F
Folding Razor Saw/Doug Ritter RSK MK5 on 09/26/2012 22:14:47 MDT Print View

Folding Razor Saw

I carry this knife daily on keychain. I sell this razor/saw combo on my site. Super light and tough, very similar to the Derma Knife.

The Doug Ritter RSK Mk 5 is a small fixed blade that weighs 0.9 ounces and is very rugged to be such a small knife. hope this helps

Jacob Smith
(Wrongturn) - MLife

Locale: The Soda
Spyderco on 12/22/2012 08:41:49 MST Print View

I know things on the east coast and more directly the AT are much different than the West, but for me the Spyderco Ladybug Salt is perfect. It weighs less than an ounce and can remove splinters, cut line, and open tuna pouches. It being rust proof has made life much easier in the hot humid summers here in VA.


Locale: Western Michigan
The biggest, baddest Swiss Army knife ever! on 12/24/2012 05:11:55 MST Print View


John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
I'm Such a Little Cut Up! ;-) on 12/24/2012 06:05:54 MST Print View

While cruising the aisles at my local K Mart I spotted these little gems hanging up in the sewing notions department. They are a miniature version of the multiple bladed, plastic bodied, disposable utility knives you find in hardware stores.

Blister pack of 4

The blade can be retracted to a safe position inside of the plastic body. It has a "felt detent" in that position but does not lock there. Something or someone needs to move the slider button for the blade to extend. Stow it away with this in mind.

Blade retracted

With the blade(s) fully extended the knife measures 2 7/16" or 62 millimeters. There are three blade sections that can be broken off one at a time and disposed of as they dull.

Length fully extended

The thickness of the body including the slider button works out to .250" or 6 millimeters.

Thickness of body with slider button

Best of all on my digital scale one of these little gems weighs 0.10 oz or 2.83495231 grams. ;-)

As you open the blade you feel something of a detent at two points along the slider button's travel. There is no locking mechanism as found on their larger cousins.

I paid $2.99 for a blister pack of four. In round numbers they cost $0.75 each.

No I won't be chopping firewood with one of these. Still, for those who carry single edge razor blades as their super ultra light cutting implement this may be a cheap and easily made safer alternative.

I'll admit that on past hikes I carried a CRKT M16-10KZ folding knife with a 3 inch blade. The most use that I have gotten out of my folding knife is cutting open those hard to open foil packages of my Micropur tablets. One of these little miniature utility knives could have well handled that duty and saved me some ounces.

For the really hard core XUL hiker you can remove all but the last section of cutting blade and there is room to drill lightening holes in the plastic body to get below the ridiculously heavy 2.84 gram weight. ;-)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Party On,


Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Leatherman Style on 01/23/2013 21:23:01 MST Print View

The Leatherman Style at 23g is what I carry.

1.6" blade, scissors, file, tweezers.

I've never used the file, but everything else has proved very handy, and often so.

Peter Evans
All or nothing at all... on 02/16/2013 18:07:04 MST Print View

I've vacillated over this a fair bit, I've come to the conclusion that if I need a knife at all, I need a real knife, with a full size handle and a very tough blade. The trails I take are sometimes not trails at all, a knife is one of the most fundamental tools you need in the backcountry, so it's worth taking a real one.
I carry a Swedish fireknife it has much more utility per gram carried than some silly thing like the Baladeo 22 gram. I haveone, I hate it. I have a Leatherman style, if I was going to go truly minimal I'd probably get by with that.

I think sometimes lighter is not always better.
My $0.02

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Spyderco Ladybug 3 on 02/17/2013 17:00:01 MST Print View

I've found a happy spot between weight and function with a 2" blade. I can easily make shavings/small kindling to start a fire and then do all the other random tasks that any smaller knife/razor could do. I had the Gerber LST but after using the Spyderco Ladybug 3 have found it to be a much more refined and enjoyable knife to use with some bigger knife features. 18g with lanyard.

Spyderco Ladybug 3

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Ladybug on 02/18/2013 07:32:01 MST Print View

I just got a ladybug salt, yellow. It weighs .6oz.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: ultralite knife on 02/21/2013 13:24:11 MST Print View

Does anyone by chance have the Buck Hartsook Ultralight....or Boker Grasshopper knife?

Hoping to get an accurate weight on either knife including sheath?

Re the Buck Hartsook Ultralight, I'm interested in the authentic version and not the Chinese made knock-off being sold on Ebay.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Cheap Cheap Cheap on 02/22/2013 12:18:55 MST Print View

Found at picnic site. Imperial Stainless paring knife. Took an edge well with an old farmer's stone. Won't fold up on you, easy
to clean, reaches to the bottom of the peanut butter jar, kinda retro. Probably dozens of these at the goodwill. Great for loaners.

21 grams, 3" fixed blade (long enough to be illegal to conceal in many cities).paring knife

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
RE: Singer Mini Cutters on 02/24/2013 09:23:41 MST Print View

Great affordable find! Thanks :-)

BTW - Thrift stores have good paring knife selections. Wood handles definitely have that cool retro vibe, but ones with the cheap black plastic handles have (so far) been the "lightest" YMMV

Edited by tr-browsing on 02/24/2013 09:28:05 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: ultralite knife on 02/24/2013 11:54:34 MST Print View

If you don't actually need a blade but would like to cut cord, moleskin etc.

2.5" sewing scissors.. 7.5g with a little carboard sheath so they don't stab a hole in anything.

stefan hoffman
(puckem) - F

Locale: between trees
Baladeo 15g on 04/16/2013 14:48:09 MDT Print View

I really like this knife. I think its the most attractive UL option and the lockout is rock solid. I got it because not only is it the lightest one they make, but it has a hole for a lanyard and a lethally sharp point for splinter picking or stabbing into a trout with ease. I have fairly large hands so i put a really hard knot around the end through the lanyard hole. A tight enough knot becomes an extension of the knife body and a good firm place to grip with pinky or ring finger.


I should note that the knife was incredibly dull when i bought it. I kept the chisel grind, lessened the angle, and worked on the tip a little bit.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Gerber on 06/11/2013 00:49:02 MDT Print View

BTW, Gerber has knives in virtually any size but they have many small lock blade knives.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/14/2013 11:24:51 MDT.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
UL Knives on 08/02/2013 07:31:18 MDT Print View

I have the 17.1g Gerber;


And the 14.1g key/credit card knife. Although not a 'lockout' knife it is fold up blade with a tiny swivel lock so the blade will not pop out;



For a usable steel blade of that size I am very happy with the 14.1g (.5 ounce)

Edited by mikmik on 08/03/2013 17:32:41 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: UL Knives on 08/02/2013 12:12:58 MDT Print View

Ruta Locura Ti knife

Edited by spelt on 08/02/2013 12:15:27 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: ultralite knife on 08/02/2013 18:05:25 MDT Print View

What job? I use a knife for food prep, basic repairs, trimming line and basic fire-building, like making fuzz sticks for tinder.

I recommend the Victorinox Little Vickie. They are cheap, light, and they come with a good sheath so you wont shred your pack. $10 is a gift in the knife world. I prefer a bit more knife, but I could get by with the Vickie. It will attack a block of cheese or an apple with no problems :)

Little Vickie utility knife

Little Vickie utility knife

Little Vickie utility knife

Sara Marchetti
(smarchet) - MLife
Re: UL Knives on 08/22/2013 15:38:07 MDT Print View

Like many I begrudgingly carry the Swiss Army Classic. I say begrudgingly because I don't want to have to carry any extra weight. Beyond the obvious simple cutting (the only steady use I get for mine while backpacking is cutting dental floss) most UL knives will easily break when trying to do anything beyond cutting open your food packages (sarcasm). If I had any desire to carry a knife, I'd go big or go home. Full tang. Something you can baton wood with. Like a Mora Craftsman or SOG Seal Pup. Two great knives for people who like knives! But alas, there will be no batoning for me.

Matthew Steiger
(txlur) - F
full tang on 08/26/2013 12:20:40 MDT Print View

Mora knives are not full tang. Even the "robust" models are only 3/4th tang. That being said, I'd bet they are plenty tough for batoning. I own a few, but have never reached for them for that purpose.

Matthew Steiger
(txlur) - F
woodswalker on 08/26/2013 12:32:10 MDT Print View

No one, I think, has mentioned the AG Russel 'woodswalker' option, a sort of kitchen/paring knife rework that seems like it would be suitable, at 1.2oz, aus8, not too big but with a real handle. I'd say more, but I don't have one yet. Weight is sans sheath.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: full tang on 08/27/2013 10:26:28 MDT Print View

Tang length really doesn't mean much in a knife with the weight and dimensions of a Mora. I have cut the plastic handle off a Mora blade and it wasn't at all easy. I'm confident that any abuse that might loosen a molded plastic handle would break the blade first. They are fantastic knives for the cost and weight.

I see batoning as a lesser attribute of a knife, with the primary functions being to cut and slice. What you can do and should do with a knife might be very different things. IMHO, batoning is a make-do survival technique and you could end up breaking your very useful tool in a bad situation. I've watched video of Bear Grylls bashing on his knife with a rock, which really made me wince. If you are going to be splitting firewood on a regular basis you should get a tool up to the job. But then, you shouldn't be hiking and splitting firewood anyway!

The bottom line is to get off the pioneer-mountain-man nipple and start living in the 21st Century, using brains rather than big chunks of iron and leather to live outdoors.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: woodswalker on 08/27/2013 10:37:51 MDT Print View

I had a Woodswalker and it is pretty much a paring knife with a nice wood handle. The sheath options are probably more of a selling point than the knife itself. You could walk into any kitchen store and come out with a dozen similar knives, but getting a light knife with a light sheath is the challenge and the AG Russel Wooodswalker with the Kydex sheath option is the way to go. If you aren't going to carry it on your person, the Little Vickie will do the same jobs for less weight and cost.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Re: UL Knives on 08/27/2013 13:44:02 MDT Print View

Spelt gave a link to the most expensive knife ever Ruta Locura Ti knife :-) I liked the design so I ebayed and got a deal on these 2 plus sheath:

ebay is good

Edited by zelph on 08/27/2013 13:45:40 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: UL Knives on 08/27/2013 14:17:13 MDT Print View

I wanted an ultralightweight knife to do just a few backpacker tasks, to open food packages, to cut some duct tape or athletic tape, and to cut an Esbit fuel tablet. So, I made one out of a tiny piece of thin sheet aluminum. The edge is sharp enough, and then I punched holes along the edge to make it serrated. Final weight: 2 grams.


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
SUL Knives on 08/27/2013 14:54:23 MDT Print View

>"So, I made one out of a tiny piece of thin sheet aluminum."

Then Bob bonded it to his front teeth like the Jaws character in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, so it doesn't even count as pack weight.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: SUL Knives on 08/27/2013 16:26:47 MDT Print View

You may not address me as Richard Kiel.


Graeme Esarey
(graemee) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: full tang on 08/28/2013 12:42:15 MDT Print View

Thought I would jump in. Full disclosure I work for Industrial Revolution, and we are the U.S. Distributor for Mora. Most folks don't actually buy directly through us as we are the importer, and sell to other distributors and retailers, but we get to see and use most every kind of Mora that comes into the country, so it's a fun job.

Back to Mora knives: even the small, lighter ones, like our fireknife (with Swedish Firesteel in the handle) are fine for batoning. Bigger knives like the Bushcraft and the Robust are more survival than anything. I have seen people cut down trees up to 8" in diameter with one.

These knives aren't what I would call ultralight (fireknife is 3.4oz incl. firesteel) but they are super functional. As far as an "ultralight" fixed blade from Mora, I like the Eric Frost 120. It is roughly 2 oz., full sized handle, laminated steel blade (wickedly sharp, designed for woodcarving) and a true pleasure to use. Again, not as light as something like the Baledeo, but I don't know of a better knife for the $/oz.

Just my 2 cents, sorry for jumping in!

Edited by graemee on 08/28/2013 12:59:17 MDT.

Matthew Steiger
(txlur) - F
Re: Re: full tang on 08/28/2013 16:46:54 MDT Print View

Ah, I wasn't saying there was anything wrong with Mora or their tang length or batonability, just that they aren't full.

Tell those Swedish magicians to bring back my 510. Gave my only one away :)

Graeme Esarey
(graemee) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: full tang on 08/28/2013 16:51:07 MDT Print View

The 511 and 546 are still around. You can always grind the finger guard off if you don't need it! (I'll tell them though.)

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
D&D Models on 12/11/2013 20:05:35 MST Print View

The homemade sharp thing made out of a pencil with a blade attached - I can't escape the suspicion that this thing was borrowed - that this was originally some kind of DIY pole weapon on one of your D&D figures. At least it looks the part. Just a totally Chaffish observation.

Edited by millonas on 12/11/2013 20:06:18 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
knifes on 12/11/2013 20:27:16 MST Print View

some people envision cutting cheese (not farting, children)
some people envision cutting wood.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: full tang on 12/11/2013 20:31:15 MST Print View

I think moras are fine for batoning as long as you resharpen it and give it a slight microbevel or convexity. Those super flat scandi grinds like to fold and chip on you easily.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
BG GERBER MININ FOLDER on 12/15/2013 16:16:26 MST Print View

Mik Matra's Gerber is only a wee bit smaller than my Bear Grylls Gerber folder.

I added a lanyard to keep from losing it.

Both Mik's and mine have no metal handle liner, just polymer, and that keeps the weight down a lot.

Edited by Danepacker on 12/15/2013 16:18:09 MST.

Patrick Baker
(f1prb22) - M
Daniel Fairley on 01/10/2014 14:27:20 MST Print View

I went with one from a custom knife maker:

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Something to replace my Letherman Style on 02/05/2014 14:53:57 MST Print View

Hi guys,

Well, after some time using my Letherman Style I realized that I only used its blade for cutting everything and tweezers (used 3 times to get those cactus prickles out of my hands). Scissors I don't really need because I cut nails at home before my trips.

However I do like those UL smallish tweezers and I want to keep them in my FAK (not sure what is the weight, probably 1-2 grams).

So now I see I have an allocation of ~25 gram (1 oz) for a knife, so I think it is better to have a bigger one with more comfortable handle. What would you suggest me? I think the bigger and stronger the knife - the better, no matter the task it is designed for. You never know what else you will use your knife for.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Something to replace my Letherman Style on 02/05/2014 15:17:10 MST Print View

Get some Uncle Bill's tweezers for your first aid kit. The ones from an SAK or Style are terrible. There are many suppliers, but here's the source:

I am a fan of the Victorinox paring knives. They are 3/4oz plus your choice of sheath. The Little Vickie version with a slip sheath is 1oz total. $6.93 at REI right now:

More on paring knives:

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Little Vicky or Buck Paklite on 02/05/2014 15:42:16 MST Print View

I'm big on scissors myself, having observed how many trips from the jobsite to the ER are made for knife and razor-knife injuries, but never because of scissors. e.g. open a Mountain House package? I use scissors. Cut moleskin? I use scissors.

But you're not a scissors guy, so I concur with Dale: For a blade only, but more than a razor blade, I like the Little Vicky a lot at 17 grams. Duct tape and two pieces from a HDPE gallon milk jug makes a sheath for free and 3 grams, or Victorinox's sheath is really nice for 6 grams - it is sturdy and stays on the blade. 23 grams total and you've got a lot more blade than a SAK Classic (which is what I carry if I don't need to butcher a caribou).

Buck Paklite Caper at 36 grams is an awful lot of knife for that weight. $18.85 Amazon Prime. With the factory sheath it is 68 grams total, but just MYOG a sheath for 5-7 grams.

One option towards the single razor blade but FAR more capable would be a replacement blade for those new never-sharpen-it, just-replace-it skinning knives:

$1 each, you can wrap it in some tape, use the belt sander to form some finger grips, and/or coat it with the Plasti-dip handle-making goo. I guessing here, but 3 grams or so?

PM me if you want me to toss one in the mail to you (they're pretty cheap in the bigger multi-packs).

"you" = any BPLers.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Razor knife on 03/06/2014 19:29:06 MST Print View

If all you're after is a razor blade type of cutter, might try one of these.

19 grams for the all SS Olfa, but cheap plastic ones are available anywhere for about a buck and would weigh much less. I've found the plastic tips like to break off though in hard use conditions. I've used these at work for over 20 years and love them.

Edit: The plastic ones usually have built in storage for a couple extra blades though, which is a bonus.

2.5" full razor blade when new, and always a sharp tip if you only slide out what you need and snap it off when it gets dull. By design, they do tend to snap easily with any side, bending pressure if you're not careful. The SS Olfa and 5 extra blades is still only an ounce though.

They make a large model with a more substantial blade, but it's much heavier.

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/20/2014 01:12:22 MDT.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
LST comparison pic on 03/07/2014 05:50:00 MST Print View

Seems the Gerber LST's always come up, so figured I'd throw a pic up of the 2 side by side. 1.2 oz for the regular and .6 for the mini. My beat up Evo Junior is there too, at 1.7 oz with the pocket clip removed. A bit heavy with the aluminum frame, but a bit more of a workhorse. The woodgrain is in 1 inch widths for scale.

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/20/2014 01:17:34 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: ultralite knife on 03/19/2014 10:03:28 MDT Print View

If all you need to do is trim things, open packages, first aid, and do gear repair, I've found scissors to be significantly more functional and safer to use. I use a pair of 3" Westcott Titanium Craft Scissors from Walmart(?) at 0.25oz. I have a needle in my repair kit for dealing with splinters.

Of course, it won't do anything woodworking-related, but if I wanted to do that, a sub-1oz or even sub-3oz blade wouldn't do the trick either, imo.

Chris Arnold
(ChristopherActual) - F

Locale: Oregon, USA
Get a good one on 03/19/2014 14:24:03 MDT Print View

Evidence suggests that the human species wouldn't even exist without the invention of the edged tool so I don't see how someone can think of them as obsolete when they're fundamental to our society and our very existance. To me, having a good cutting tool is just part of being human. I personally think that the small razor blades and or just carrying small scissors is going stupid light. A knife may not be something you use much or even ever on a hike but the utility a good knife can provide makes it an essential piece of emergency gear IMO. You don't need a big bowie knife but you do need something you can get a full/secure grip on. Like another poster eluded to, I think the reason why people can't recognize how usefual a good cutting tool can be is because most don't have any experience with knives outside the kitchen. They just don't have an idea of how a knife can be used to improve their situation. Even less people have experience with sharp knives. The last being the leading reason for knife injuries. A dull knife needs more force to cut, more force equals less control and that loss of control is what causes injuries.

I learned how to sharpen a knife properly and now scissors are absolutely useless to me on hikes. I frankly can't see how they're more useful than a good sharp knife but everyone's different I guess.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Get a good one on 03/19/2014 14:31:09 MDT Print View

You knife people are so quick to defend your religion, but always fail to bring good evidence to support the question WHY. That's fine you have your comfort item (mine is an iPod nano for books on tape), just don't sit here and say the following without backing it up:

> essential piece of emergency gear

What makes it an essential piece of emergency gear? I already am carrying food, a shelter and equipment to keep me warm for the lowest possible temperatures. I can understand for a dayhike maybe, but not a backpacking trip.

> the reason why people can't recognize how usefual a good
> cutting tool can be is because most don't have any
> experience with knives outside the kitchen

What is it useful for then?

> They just don't have an idea of how a knife can be used
> to improve their situation.

How have you used your knife to improve your situation?

I know the answer to these questions, but the WHY always results in something that is NOT necessary and NOT that useful, when considering the context of the other items carried on even a SUL backpacking trip.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/19/2014 14:34:25 MDT.

David Olsen
( - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
uses for a knife on 03/19/2014 17:51:32 MDT Print View

-blaze a tree, split firewood, cut stout tent pegs, kill and skin a pig, make stretcher poles, fell a tree to cross a deep chasm, fight off a griz, or peel a potato...

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Re: uses for a knife on 03/19/2014 18:15:04 MDT Print View

Interesting list, but I must say it is rather hypothetical. Im more than five decades of backpacking,climbing, SAR, and hiking, I have never had the occasion to use a knife for any of these tasks. Usually I have carried some type or variety of SAK - probably the most common task was cleaning my fingernails.

The often expressed "need" for a knife is wildly exaggerated.I do routinely carry one, but a multi-tool gets the job done. Do you honestly think you will really use a knife to fall a tree to cross a deep chasm? Find another route or use decent climbing gear - that will consume far less time and energy. Come to think of it, there have been far more occasions where a good rope was more critical than any cutting instument......and I have seen plenty of backwoods emergencies.

Edited by hikermor on 03/19/2014 18:24:47 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Get a good one on 03/19/2014 18:50:49 MDT Print View

Settle down guys. It's just a knife. No need to flame each other about it, hike your own hike ect. This topic is like the windshirt/wind pants/ rain pants threads.

I got into backpacking through bushcraft and part of that has always stuck with me. I have a tendency to improvise things with natural materials rather than carry things with me.

fwiw I've gone hiking with no knife before. I tend to use a small folding saw far more than a knife.

if you have never needed to use a knife, that's because you have planned out your kit in way where you would never need to do that. good for you then. It just depends what YOU want to do and how YOU accomplish certain tasks.

We have threads about hiking without a rain jacket and going into the mountains with a 5x7 tarp, why is using survival/bushcraft skills as a substitute for over preparedness considered foolish now?

Edited by justin_baker on 03/19/2014 18:53:32 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: uses for a knife on 03/19/2014 19:00:01 MDT Print View


I'm with you. I have never needed a knife. A small blade like a razor, dermasafe or SAK Classic is more than adequate. I did carry a Buck knife in the 70's to clean trout. Earlier this year I bought a Little Vickie for cookless trips. Cuts Shepherd's bread and cheese, spreads peanut butter and honey. Other than that, a razor blade works just fine on most trips.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Re: Re: Re: Get a good one on 03/19/2014 19:25:14 MDT Print View

I don't believe anyone is saying a knife is not useful, but it is putting the knife on the "essential" pedestal that is just a wee bit over the top. My experience has been primarily in the semi-arid west,both deserts and mountains, as well as the brushy chaparral in between. What has been essential is the ability to light a fire (especially in adverse conditions) and a canteen (preferably full or nearly so) or access to a water source. A good map ranks right up there too.

I own about thirty or so knives of various types, and I usually carry one. They are handy, versatile tools, but "essential"?- no way.

Seriously, have you ever cut down a tree to cross a deep chasm? Outside of a cheap Hollywood flick, could you ever contemplate such an action.

Thinking about it, I have always carried a knife when scuba diving, typically one of the "sharpened prybar" variety. Especially in an area where there is lots of fishing, you will need something to hack through the plentiful monofilament. On the water, a knife is probably more critical than any land environment

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
A.G. Russell on 03/25/2014 21:30:17 MDT Print View

I carry the A.G. Russell Ultimate Pen Knife in Titanium; 0.2oz, 1.5" blade, 2" folded. $20


David Olsen
( - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Re: Re: Re: Re: Get a good one on 03/25/2014 22:20:57 MDT Print View

"Seriously, have you ever cut down a tree to cross a deep chasm? Outside of a cheap Hollywood flick, could you ever contemplate such an action."

Tongue firmly in cheek I can.

I have peeled a potato tho.

David Olsen
( - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Case Blackhorn 059l on 03/26/2014 09:26:15 MDT Print View

"Its a Case Knife"

19 gramsCase Knife

Joe Medlin
CRKT Ritter RSK Mk5 on 03/27/2014 10:52:24 MDT Print View

Great little neck knife that weighs less then an ounce. Comfortable enough in hand for nearly all camp chores.


(livingontheroad) - M
Camp chores? on 03/29/2014 20:46:11 MDT Print View

I still have yet personally to use a knife while hiking for anything more than cutting open plastic food bag. And I could have used my teeth for that. (The tear-open perf line didnt work.)

Joe Medlin
Camp chores on 03/31/2014 08:52:46 MDT Print View

I've needed to cut rope or other materials (lose material off of a bag or shoes) and cut food. I've used it to poke holes in things too. I don't suppose that anything i have used it for was necessary but it's just a tool to do certain jobs and like having a blade of some kind on me most of the time (hiking or otherwise).

James T. Volk
(H2Oboy007) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Any thoughts on Vargo Wharn-Clip Knife? on 04/15/2014 12:09:15 MDT Print View

I just saw this on Vargo's site and I'm really thinking about picking it up.

Vargo Wharn Clip KnifeVargo Wharn Clip Knife w/ Sheath

2.7" Blade / 1 oz Total (with sheath)

Edited by H2Oboy007 on 04/15/2014 12:11:29 MDT.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
OG SUL on 04/16/2014 14:50:16 MDT Print View

If you paid attention back in the 80's, the original UL hiker was Crocodile Dundee. He took multiple walkabouts with very little. Though, he would make the weight sacrifice of packing a 'noif'.noif

David Olsen
( - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Knife for 20 cents and 9.5 grams on 10/09/2014 10:32:42 MDT Print View

Harbor Freight snap off blade. You can even sharpen them.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Knife for 80 cents and 2 grams on 10/09/2014 15:46:17 MDT Print View

Havalon Piranta-Edge knives have replaceable blades, which you can buy separately. The idea is, as you're skinning game, and you need to sharpen your blade, you simply replace it. The blades are quite sharp (the concept arose in medical scalpels and for taxidermists who do lots of trimming) and last quite a while. To use it without the handle, I'd dull the back 1/2 of the blade and wrap it in tape for a little better grip.

detachable blade

If anyone wants to try that, I have a large pack of the blades (blade part number 60XT), new, in the wrapper, which are 2 grams each. PM me your mailing address and I'll throw one in the mail to you. Yes, I'll extend that to overseas folks, too, but I might fake my return address, not knowing the legality of shipping sharps to different countries (I note STP won't ship knives overseas).

Edited by DavidinKenai on 10/09/2014 15:48:47 MDT.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Knife for 80 cents and 2 grams on 11/29/2014 04:26:45 MST Print View

I have this mini, mini box cutter that is 7cm and weighs 10grams including clip to attach to pocket.
It works with similar to what you describe there, but with standard (for here at least) small olfa box cutter replacement blades.

It is enough for most tasks, and I guess easier than a SAK or other knife for first aid tasks like cutting bandages or tape into precise shapes.

I do carry something more, still small and light - a Spyderco Dragonfly. Without clip weighs 33grams (1oz). Good grip, easy to open with numb fingers. I dislike the way they look but decide not to care.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
light knife on 12/23/2014 14:47:09 MST Print View

TrailDesigns makes a tiny knife that weighs 3 g. It would work for opening packages and cutting athletic tape.

I don't know what I am doing wrong, but I use a knife all the time when backpacking. For those times when you need a real knife, I take a Mora. I have reduced a chunk of firewood to kindling with it (batoning), cut sap wood out of a tree (by batoning), for use as a firestarting aid, cut tent stakes, tent poles, made fish stringers, cleaned fish, fashioned a die (singular of dice) for a game. Its pretty light weight, at about 3 oz.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: light knife on 12/23/2014 18:19:15 MST Print View

Easy Bob.. many of us don't need to do any of that. I know i don't build fires, fish, play dice, make stakes or poles. The only cutting i usually do is moleskin and my mini Ti sewing scissors do a better job than a knife.

i carry those and a 2oz Opinel #6 more out of tradition than actual use. sometimes not even that.

some people don't need shelters with bug netting.. in the northeast we'd get sucked dry without it. depends on what you do.

Monte Masterson
(Caesar) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Buck Nano Bantum on 12/23/2014 18:36:53 MST Print View

Ultralight at .6 oz, yet sturdy enough to do the job. Blade 1.875"

Edited by Caesar on 12/29/2014 23:00:00 MST.

Jack R. Abbit
(kuhlwind) - F

Locale: Just over the Edge
ultra light knife on 01/08/2015 12:04:19 MST Print View

Thanks Tim, I I just gotta get another knife! :)

Ti Kestrel ultralighter

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Buck Nano Bantum on 01/08/2015 13:10:22 MST Print View

Monte, several years ago I found one of those in an abandoned campsite. It seems like a good little knife.


Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
Monty - on 01/08/2015 14:26:49 MST Print View

Monty, what brand of knife is that. It looks functional and lightweight, and I like that its a lockback.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Monty - on 01/08/2015 14:34:06 MST Print View


Edited by greg23 on 01/08/2015 14:35:39 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Monty - on 01/08/2015 14:44:26 MST Print View

Bob, look at Monte's title for his comment.

Edited by annapurna on 01/09/2015 05:53:08 MST.

Monte Masterson
(Caesar) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Monty - on 01/08/2015 17:47:05 MST Print View

Bob Shaver, I'm sure you saw the Buck home link that Greg provided for the Nano Bantum, but Steve Green at also sells them.