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Fixed or folder what you use?
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Brian Kelly
Fixed or folder what you use? on 12/28/2012 18:39:49 MST Print View

I am personally trying to decide between a good fixed blade or a good folder. I realize that the folder is lighter and easier to carry but there is still that part of me that just says if something happens and i get stuck in the woods for a little a good fixed blade and handle more chores than a folder. So I, curious what do you all carry a fixed or folder.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Fixed or folder what you use? on 12/28/2012 18:48:40 MST Print View

Fold. I dont make fires so needing the extra strength doesnt win over space saving. Opinel no 6 is my newest one. <2oz

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Lockblade on 12/28/2012 18:52:44 MST Print View

Tiny Gerber folding lockblade.

Brian Kelly
Re: Re: Fixed or folder what you use? on 12/28/2012 19:01:06 MST Print View

yeah i dont make fires either other than my micro rocket stove i use or in summer time i use a cat can stove but there is just something in me that is having a hard time saying good bye to carrying a fixed blade. Maybe i should explain. My wife and i are rather new to backpacking light. I used to carry everything pack weights 40-50lbs. Recently ,with the help from you guys at these forums, got my weight down to 17lbs. That was very hard for me to do lol and now in my mind going with a fixed blade is way better than before when i carried a axe and a fixed blade lol. So even though i know 99% of time i should be ok with folder there is always that what if. This has been a hard transition for me lol.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Fixed or folder what you use? on 12/28/2012 19:09:02 MST Print View

Get a Mora 2. Fixed and light. If you dont mind the size

Alex Eriksson

Locale: Austin, TX
Re: Fixed or folder what you use? on 12/28/2012 19:16:39 MST Print View

I bring my everyday carry knife with me when I go backpacking, which was until two weeks ago a SOG Flash 2 folder, partially serrated. Problem is that somewhere along the way I lost it in a hotel and it's now likely to be used in the commission of a crime covered in my prints. Oh well. The good thing about that knife was that it lacked a metal liner so it was actually quite light.

My new knife was purchased to satisfy two main criteria: plain blade because serrations on the Flash made it annoying to use for everyday tasks, and be cheap enough that I don't feel like I can't add a decent partial serrated knife for outdoor things later. I ended up with a Kershaw Clash. Cheap. Sharp. Easy to open. However, it's a bit on the heavy side (haven't weighed it but it just feels...ample) and it rides pretty high in my pocket, visibly so, where the Flash was really low profile.

Every one of us who I backpack with carries a knife of some sort, but they aren't UL types. A friend of mine has a stubby little 2-3" fixed knife that is long enough to just barely hold onto, with paracord around the handle. Very nice little blade. No idea what brand, but it's a nice option if you're not being nitpicky.

Troll Goal
(trollgoal) - F
can't decide either on 12/28/2012 20:14:22 MST Print View

Spyderco Tenacious last year, going with a Victorinox 2008 Soldiers knife (w/locking blade) this year...I couldn't live with myself if I went out in the woods 20 miles from the car and something went horribly and unexpectedly wrong and I lost my wife as a result of it because I wanted to carry a 1oz. SAK Classic and not something substantial in an emergency.

I think I can justify cutting weight everywhere else but here. You are not home and surrounded by creatures comforts and security provisions such as doors and walls when out in the "wild".

If I was by myself then maybe something smaller but I rarely hike alone. I would never take a large Bowie knife or kabar but a small Gerber 1oz. I think is just not enough to say I have working blade if the need arises.

I took my Tenacious out a few times last year and hardly used it. My wife has SAK climber II and used it more than I did, but because I had it I felt more comfortable than not.

About 3 years ago my wife and I went out on the PCT and I wound up outside Tunnel falls in OR and we were pretty high up and hit snow, and we lost the trail and were still several miles from the campground and were w/o crampons (because it was late June). The sun was going down quick, we were wet and cold and really needed a fire. All I had was a Gerber bantam nano and a victorinox paring knife. Two very poor tools for making fire with wet wood in Oregon....I got the fire going because of my brain and quick thinking but it took a while and would have been facilitated more efficiently with a real knife. Won't make that mistake twice, not while I have another persons life in my care.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Sog on 12/28/2012 20:49:37 MST Print View

I agree on the sog flash 2 being a good knife. It's pretty lightweight it's about 2.2 or .9 I don't have my gear list handy. Only like $40-$50 too.

I like a folder because of the pack ability, and a decent one should not fail compared to a fixed blade indeed normal circumstances.

Tony Fleming
(TonyFleming) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Fixed on 12/28/2012 22:33:31 MST Print View

I went from a folder, the Blado at .9 oz to a straight edge razor blade at .1 oz. It has met all my trail needs so far.


Brian Kelly
Re: can't decide either on 12/28/2012 22:57:48 MST Print View

Im glad you both made it out of there and nothing bad happen. That is the exact reason i cant stop but to think, cut wait everywhere but a knife. I mean with a good knife you can build a shelter make fire baton etc etc. Now this is going to be a Christmas/valentines gift from my wife. Meaning I can spend more than i normally would.
:) I am looking at a hinder xm-18 3.5(since i am lucky enough to order direct and not pay the ridiculous price that they are selling for or a winkler ii utility knife.
that is the winkler and u can easily find hinder knifes he is probably most wanted folder right now. The 2 knives are not what is important though u could do same thing with cheaper knives to be honest but it is a gift she wants me to have that is special so those are it, point is i still have a hard time getting away from full fixed blade witch is 9oz and going with the lighter folder bc of reasons troll said. At same time i know i should be cutting wait where i can bc it really isnt needed

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Fixed or folder what you use? on 12/28/2012 23:25:23 MST Print View

Get a Mora Robust or Companion for the fixed blade and buy a good quality folder. IMHO, a folder needs better materials and machining to lock up tight and stay locked in use.

Many use the Gerber LST or similar. They are light because they have no metal liners in the handle, as well as a fairly thin blade. I have a Benchmade Mini Pika with similar construction, although it has a thicker blade and is 2oz. I carry the Pika daily, but my "serious" hiking knife is a Benchmade Griptilian. You could split the difference and get a Mini Griptilian. The Griptilians are strong and very ambidextrous and they have some of the best steel. You can open and close them with a flick by pulling back on the lock rather than using the thumb stud.

I like the 111mm Victorinox Trekker one-hand opening knives with a saw too. They aren't very expensive, although they do start to add ounces with the other tools. I would love to see them make one with the one-hand blade, saw, awl and *scissors*. I think that would make a perfect hiker's knife. In lieu of having scissors, I like to add a Victorinox Classic.

It has been said that the best survival knife is the one that you have with you, and a folder is always there, clipped in your pocket.

Moras are an excellent way to get into fixed blade knives. You can get a good one for $15 or so, or you can go for broke and get one of the new ones with a firesteel stowed in the handle for $28-$30. They are easy to keep sharp and will take all kinds of abuse.

If you want a fixed blade just for food prep, get one of the Victorinox Little Vickies. It weighs an ounce with the sheath and costs $10. It will cut cheese or apples with wild abandon and you can clean a trout with one and do a good job of it.

My $0.02 :)

Alex Eriksson

Locale: Austin, TX
Re: Re: can't decide either on 12/28/2012 23:36:49 MST Print View

Well that settles it; now I want a breaching axe [for no d@mn reason other than it's awesome].

That said I've been lusting after Benchmade, and recently Zero Tolerance, folders for years but have never been able to bring myself to pay $200 for a knife. Then again my cheap knives can't do crazy stuff like cut some hanging ropes like that Winkler Knives video. Hell I'd be happy if I could just sharpen mine half decently!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: can't decide either on 12/29/2012 06:38:09 MST Print View

There are all kinds of Benchmade folders under $100, let alone $200. Most of the Zero Tolerance knifes are tactical designs with the wrong blade shapes for repairs and food prep.

Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
Mora Companion on 12/29/2012 18:22:20 MST Print View

Brian, for your needs a Mora MG Stainless Steel Companion, would fit your needs perfectly and not be too heavy.

With the sheath, it weighs around 3oz. It's not SUL, but it can be used very easily for survival situations like batoning wood and it will perform ideally for doing things like cleaning fish/game, whittlling wood, making fuzz sticks, and as a food knife. I carry this knife because it cuts fish and food very well......of course not quite as god as a dedicated flexible fillet knife. I chose the stainless steel version because it has less corrosion issues than carbon steel. I'd definitely go with steal if you will use it for food a lot or of it will often be wet. I know a lot of the bushcraft guys like the carbon steel better because carbon steel sharpens very easily.

i like the Companion more than the classic because it has a slightly deeper tang and I like the grip better.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Bark River Ultra Light Bushcrafter on 12/29/2012 19:10:49 MST Print View

I've carried both fixed and folder, but I prefer a fixed blade.

Bark River JUST came out with an Ultra Light Bushcrafter - the knife officially weighs 2.7 oz - mine in curly birch weights 2.5 oz.

Here's a link to a nice collection of them:

scott rebello
(scottrebello) - F - M
Fixed on 12/30/2012 21:19:09 MST Print View

Esee Izula. 75g with sheet. Super strong. Cool factor is off the charts...LOL.

Nancy Twilley

Locale: STL
fixed on 12/30/2012 21:43:12 MST Print View

+1 on izula.