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Anyone have the Buck Hartsook Ultralight....or Boker Grasshopper knife?
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Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Anyone have the Buck Hartsook Ultralight....or Boker Grasshopper knife? on 02/21/2013 13:21:56 MST Print View

With an Amazon gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, these two knives have caught my eye. Anyone have 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.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Hartsook on 02/21/2013 14:05:18 MST Print View

My Buck Hartsook weighs 22.5g including the sheath. I don't have the knife only spec on hand, but I recall Buck's spec of 14.2g to be pretty much bang on.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Hartsook on 02/21/2013 15:36:59 MST Print View

Wow! Lighter than I would have guessed. It gets more appealing all the time......though the Boker Grasshopper does look more comfortable and useable to me.

Any way, thanks, Dan!

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
hartsook on 02/21/2013 15:40:44 MST Print View


Just a headsup, I had the buck smidgen, which is the hartsook but with different steel. I was not a fan. The handle was tiny and uncomfortable. The blade length was also too small...overall I did not find it useful as a tool...maybe as a letter opener. Yes, its a small fixed blade, but you will not be doing anything of "fixed blade" nature with it. It also felt kinda flimsy (although it didn't flex). I think you're better off sticking with the folts minimalist line that you were eyeing before. The handles on those knives literally melt into your hand...solid connection with no movement b/c of the finger grooves. If weight is paramount, the spyderco lady bug is a much much better knife than the hartsook/smidgen.

If you want a very stout but compact knife, a ESEE candiru is pretty awesome. I've had mine only for a little while and haven't put it through the paces yet, but so far I'm liking it. The sheath is great on it too. A very similar great quality knife, but at a better price point, is the kershaw mini skinner.

I'm generally pretty disappointed with Boker knives. They usually use pretty mediocre steel and I don't find them high value.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 02/21/2013 15:49:56 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Hartsook on 02/21/2013 15:42:35 MST Print View

Its too small in the blade to be very useable IMO.


The CRKT S.P.E.W. is cool too. ts like the Minimalist Wharncliffe but a tad bigger.

Edited by WoodenWizard on 02/21/2013 15:44:25 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Hartsook on 02/21/2013 15:47:52 MST Print View

The Hartsook is awfully small for any real use. I'm primarily using a 22g Baldeo now, which has a lot more blade and handle. That knife has downsides too (having the blade sharpened on only one side means it doesn't slice the cheese straight), but overall it's more useable.

The Hartsook has been in my surplus gear bin for the last year or so, but just this week I pulled it out to put on my MYOG packrafting PFD for emergency use (ie. cutting snagged cordage/straps). It's probably a bit small for this use, but at least I won't have to fiddle with flipping a blade open while I'm snagged underwater.

Hartsook in action - and yes cutting off the skin was a bad idea:Fillet Hartsook

Edited by dandydan on 02/21/2013 15:48:47 MST.

RA Amundsen
ESEE on 02/21/2013 16:19:52 MST Print View

If weight and steel is most important, then the Hartsook wins. But since it seems it has gone the way of so many "neck-knifes" and taken a hit on ergonomics, the ESEE Inzula and Candiru might be considered. Heavier than the Hartsook, but actually usable.

From looks alone, the CRKT 2387 (Folts Minimalist) looks like a competitor. Same weight class, don't know about the steel but seems better to hold, even has Micarta handles.

Edited by Grimner on 02/21/2013 16:23:39 MST.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Hartsook on 02/21/2013 16:31:51 MST Print View

"I'm primarily using a 22g Baldeo now, which has a lot more blade and handle. That knife has downsides too (having the blade sharpened on only one side means it doesn't slice the cheese straight),"

I didn't figure that out, until after I sharpened it for a while and it seemed duller than before I began the process. Without much chance of undoing what I did, mine is now sharpened on both sides.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Anyone have the Buck Hartsook Ultralight....or Boker Grasshopper knife? on 02/21/2013 21:49:06 MST Print View

Thanks for all the info, guys. The additional knives mentioned look good....particularly that kershaw Mini Skinner. Looks super practical/useful. Still, even with its obvious shortcomings, I'm thinking that goofy looking little Hartsook would suit my needs/desires fine while saving me a bit of weight over my current knife.

BTW, Konrad. I got to handle the Folts Minimalist today. What a super comfy and nice knife! Just a bit clunkier/heavy than was hoping.

Karl Kerschner
(Distelfink) - MLife
BRKT Pocket Bravo @ 1.25 oz. on 04/05/2013 16:58:54 MDT Print View

The Buck Hartsook is a great UL knife and it has its limitations. It can split small diameter wood well and is a help cooking. But without a handle IMO it's thin tang is just too hard on the hands for making feather sticks, notches or performing other bushcraft tasks. It needs scales. As is, the Hartsook is also a great backup or emergency knife.

An alternative knife which does have Micarta(R) scales is the Pocket Bravo by Bark River Knife & Tool. Unlike the Hartsook it can perform bushcraft tasks without hurting the hands, and still weights only 1.25 oz. If you feel compelled you can remove the scales for a net weight of 0.875 oz. The steel is 154CM, a first rate stainless.
The Bark River P.S.K. model has a true bushcraft blade at the cost of an additional ounce for a total weight of 2.125 oz. The blade's greater depth and higher grind provide excellent stability and control.

The Boker Grasshopper's cutting geometry and spine, i.e. the back of the blade and handle, for me is way too curved for backpacking chores. It is more suited to tactical grasps. I was disappointed because otherwise it is nicely formed and its 440C is an excellent, tough, stainless steel.

Edited by Distelfink on 04/05/2013 22:06:49 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Hartsook on 04/05/2013 17:23:45 MDT Print View

In order for a short blade to be properly utilized, it must have a reasonably large handle. It's all about leverage. A tiny blade with a large handle can do extremely fine work, think about a doctor's scapel. They're designed that way for a reason. A large blade with a relatively small handle can do big work think traditional Khukri's (not the americanized newer versions that have handles for giants), same deal.

A small blade, with a small handle, is just a normally proportioned blade for tiny gnome hands. It's useless in the hands of a human IMHO. Anything less than a full purchase 4 finger grip isn't going to do knife tasks, and my Ti carbidized scapels will work as well or better, because the proportions are appropriate.

The Bark River knives with small blades and normal sized handles, are universally loved by people that work them hard, for a reason. Even on my beloved Bravo Necker-II, I ground the sharp beak of the birds head style hilt off the end of it, so that I could get leverage when needed.

Pick your knives appropriate to their task, not based on an irrelevant number on a spread sheet. Once you figure out how much and what kind of knife you *need* for the tasks you're using these fundamental tools for. If you still cant stomach the weight of whatever is appropriate and available, contact a custom knife maker, (like myself *hint* *hint*) to help come up with a better solution. ;)

RA Amundsen
minemalist vs para on 04/05/2013 17:34:24 MDT Print View

Put my money where my mouth is and got a CRTK Folts Minemalist Bowie. Very good in hand for such a small knife and the ergonomics are excellent.

Spyderco Para 2 - 108 gr
CRTK Folts - 63 gr (without sheath - 47 gr)
Spyderco Dragonfly - 33 gr (same blade length as the Folts)

The weight comes from the Folts being a full-tang design with a fairly thick spine. Ideal if you need a small blade that will do heavy duty work... a somewhat unlikely scenario to me, but someone else might need that.

Saving weight: the Dragonfly.
Well rounded knife: the Para 2.

Oh no! Those Bark River knives are calling... just make a good sheath and all is good. Or use what you already have, you addict...

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Hartsook on 04/05/2013 18:16:22 MDT Print View

Wanted to add also guys, FWIW, it's not just the type of steel a company is using. It's the HT, that's the soul of any knife.

You would be *very* surprised to see how soft many of these "Professionally" heat treated knives are, couple that with the fact that edge geometry is what determines how well a blade will cut, add up the intentional softness of many of these blades compared to what a custom maker would go with, and the blunt edge geometries, and you simply can't think of steel type as being even a major qualifier.

Production knife companies utilize blunt edge geometry and softer Rockwell hardness, because they have insane warranties, and they assume their customers are morons that don't know how to use a knife, sharpen a knife, or take care of a knife. Mostly they're right, but that's why most people are so impressed when they get their first custom. Softer blades are tougher, and more obtuse edge geometry means the blade stays "perceptively" sharp for a much longer time, but causes it to cut like a hammer.

I've got a full sized Wilson type Rockwell hardness tester, and have RC tested every production blade that's passed through my hands. Most are low-mid 50's, even high end blades I expected to be dead on 58-59 RC. Most custom makers would HT a blade (dependent on steel, geometry, and intended use) a minimum of 57-58 for normal sized utility/hunter/whatever, and many steels 60-62 RC.

Any given type of steel, can be heat treated, and ground, to a million different possible configurations of performance or non-performance.

The reason people like Bark River develop such a good reputation is because they make knives for knife users. Steel types are fairly standard, HT is performance oriented, even still they don't make insanely hard blades (which can be brittle and chip in the wrong hands), and they defer to edge geometry that's tough, but still cuts. Hell you can take one of their factory edges down quite a bit and still have great edge retention and have them cut like lasers.

Karl Kerschner
(Distelfink) - MLife
thanks to Javan Dempsey on 04/05/2013 21:54:38 MDT Print View

Thanks Javan for your posts. No doubt is based on a considerable amount of study, research and practice. Good stuff.

Edited by Distelfink on 04/05/2013 22:10:53 MDT.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Anyone have the Buck Hartsook Ultralight....or Boker Grasshopper knife? on 06/03/2013 16:19:07 MDT Print View

Well, here's what I came up with. It's an older CRKT neck knife (Neck Peck, I believe) turned pocket knife that I had in my whitewater PFD. It's not perfect, but it suits my needs better than what I was carrying for no additional weight, and cost me nothing. Now I get to spend my Amazon gift certificate on something else.

I added the orange gros grain for visibility. The clip on the end of the yellow cord clips to a loop I sewed into my shorts pocket so it won't unexpectedly fall out while sitting. Weight, after seriously cutting down the sheath, is 1.16 oz.


Edited by rustyb on 06/04/2013 08:08:57 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Rusty's Neck Peck on 06/04/2013 07:15:59 MDT Print View

That's a smart-lookin' knife set you've got there, Rusty. Very cool.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Rusty's Neck Peck on 06/05/2013 08:25:11 MDT Print View

Thanks, Erik. I think it'll work pretty well for me.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Light knives on 06/05/2013 10:07:57 MDT Print View

I had a Hartsook and don't think much of it. The handle ergonomics didn't work for me. Small knives tend to have small handles which limits the precision and cutting power. On the other hand, small fixed blade knives with effective handles gain enough weigh and expense that they are eclipsed by other options.

I've been a fan of the Victorinox Little Vickie which is an ounce with the sheath and far more useful than the Hartsook.

IMHO, the small UL folders like the Gerber LST are a better option than the mini fixed blade knives like the Hartsook.

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Another Buck on 06/05/2013 10:41:19 MDT Print View

If you can carry another ounce, I'd look into this gem:

Mine with Sheath: 3.4 ounces
Mine without Sheath: 2.4 ounces

Advantages offered:

Larger Handle
Includes Sheath
Double Edge Sharpening
Ability to Filet Fish(not great, but can do it)
Definitely could split kindling/wood fire stove fuel
Stainless Steel

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Another Buck on 06/05/2013 11:02:38 MDT Print View

They make a caper like the skinner Peter posted. I've been looking at both at work. (we sell em) they seem pretty nice. They make some orange handled ones also. My only gripe is that I wish the blades were .5 longer on both.