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Good lightweight fixed blade knife + sheath, preferably straight + serrated blade
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(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Good lightweight fixed blade knife + sheath, preferably straight + serrated blade on 09/17/2007 16:42:32 MDT Print View

There was a great thread on this topic that I was following a while back, but it wasn’t specifically on fixed blades. I’m looking for a good lightweight fixed blade knife and sheath as a complement to a tiny Victorinox Classic I also carry. I’m also considering a Benchmade Mini-Griptilian folder, which has an excellent serrated and straight edge and is very light. Features I’m looking for:

- A blade between 3.5 and 5.5 inches

- A blade with a good balance of hardness and rust-resistance

- A sheath that would hold the knife firmly mounted upside down (alone or in combination with a strap I can add) - I like to carry it inverted on my left pack strap.

- Lightweight knife and lightweight sheath

The best option I found so far are Mora knives available here:

There are several Mora fixed blades that come in at less than 4 ounces including the sheath. However, they have only 1 model that has a serrated + straight edge (the #761, and I’m not a fan of the fluorescent orange handle, which though it makes the knife easy to find, screams “I have a knife on my shoulder” to people you pass on the trail and in town). The owner of Ragweed Forge suggested possibly using the to #760-MG and adding serrations to the #760-MG’s 12c27 blade with a dremel (so long as the blade was kept from overheating in the process) – I wouldn’t attempt this unless Ragweed Forge would do it because I didn’t even know what a dremel was until I looked it up : )

I’d appreciate any and all suggestions.

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
Good lightweight fixed blade knife + sheath, preferably straight + serrated blade on 09/17/2007 19:47:55 MDT Print View

Benchmade does make a combo-edge fixed blade Grptilian (you said you liked the mini-G). The thing is a lot-o-knife however, and (to me) is more suited to fending off marmots than most camp chores.

I like Mora knives- not pretty, but more useful than most modern designs. When done properly, the lack of a secondary edge bevel makes these knives sharp and durable. I would be very hesitant to take a dremel tool to a tempered egde- the thin material will overheat I'd think.

I hate to answer a question with a question, but if you already carry a sharp blade (the Vic), why another one? A serrated fixed blade on a shoulder strap- is that for emergency rope cutting? I guess I am just asking about intended use, as many knives that have Kydex sheaths suited to the kind of carry you want are "tactical" in nature... or neck knife thingies. If you just want to cut (as oppossed to chop, pry, chisel or stab) the Moras are hard to beat. Oh, I would not worry about the orange handle- it screams "tool", not "weapon". But yeah, it aint sexy.

Ron Teagarden
(Jeeps) - F

Locale: Desert Southwest
Knives on 09/17/2007 21:04:38 MDT Print View

I have been collecting knives for years now, mostly fixed blades. For a lightweight fixed blade option, my favorite knife is the Mora 2000. I also like the Mora 911, 711 & 746. The Scandi grind is a great grind for basic camp/utility purposes. Ragweed Forge is a great place to get blades, I get all my Moras from Ragnar.

Another company that has great fixed blades is Bark River. These are considerably more expensive, but they use a convex edge that can be sharpened by stroping on leather, cardboard or other materials. Bark River blades run a bit small so they tend to be lighter weight than many other companies.

Jeffrey Snyder
(jeffsnyder) - F
Good lightweight fixed blade knife + sheath, preferably straight + serrated blade on 09/26/2007 23:51:21 MDT Print View

I recently bought the seal pup knife by SOG. It is a smaller version of the knife used by navy seals. It is straight + serrated, blade length 4 3/4 inches and weighs in at 5 1/2 ounces. I know, not exactly ultralight but high quality and extremely versatile. They have to pass a two week saltwater immersion test, tip stress, etc. I don't know about a light sheath, I plan on making my own. To Michael, I also carry a Vic. But if I ever found myself in some sort of survival situation in a remote area(god forbid), I will be glad to have a real knife with me. I guess it just depends on where you are trekking and how far away civilization is. Cheers, jeff.

Jeffrey Snyder
(jeffsnyder) - F
knife on 09/26/2007 23:56:41 MDT Print View

Sorry I forgot to mention the seal pup knife is expensive, 93 $ retail, but you can find them brand new in the box on ebay for about 50 bucks.--jeff

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Knife suggestions on 09/27/2007 08:04:10 MDT Print View

Here's my thing: Mora knives are great and light, but they don't add a lot of funtionality over a good folder like the A.G. Russell Featherlite because they aren't full tang knives. If you want a fixed blade, I strongly suggest getting one with a full tang, otherwise you sort of cheat yourself out of the benefits of a fixed blade. Yes, the full tang adds a bit of weight, but your blade won't snap off when you need it the most.

Here are a couple suggestions:

The RAT-3:

or here with a serrated edge:

The knife has a very tactical look, but it has a serrated edge and can easily be mounted upside down on a shoulder strap. If you want to get away from the tactical look, try a handmade Carver knife made here:

and pictured here next to a Mora:

Lastly, what about a no frills neck knife like this:

You could get it wrapped in leather if you don't like the paracord, and you could get Charlie to add a serrated edge.

Both the Carver and the Charlie May knife can be worn around the neck. You might like this better than the pack strap because, even if you take your pack off, you've still got your knife with you.

I'm ne to lightweight backpacking and, up to now, I've always thought that a good knife was very, very importat piece of gear to carry. It can really help to bail you out of a lot of trouble in a pinch, so I don't know if I'll be able to ditch mine to save weight any time soon. Blasphemy here, I know....

Edited by Ramapo on 09/27/2007 08:09:35 MDT.

(ofelas) - F

Locale: On the Edge
light fixed blade on 09/27/2007 20:11:58 MDT Print View

I use an old Lainhart (made of ATS 34 instead of the later version's lesser Colt made 440 steel). I wrapped the handle with a katana style wrap in OD paracord. Lainhart UC

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
back to the beginning on 09/27/2007 20:59:02 MDT Print View

Well, it looks like this has taken me back full circle to the beginning. Jeff, I have the Seal Pup knife, which is an excellent quality knife and comes in at 5.4 oz., without the sheath. Has both a straight and serrated blade. It would be perfect if it were 3 oz. (and had a few other features like a solid metal butt for hammering and a saw back). The kydex sheath adds weight, though I haven't weighed it. Unfortunately the tactical nylon sheath, which I don't have, I believe is even heavier than the kydex.

I wish some manufacturer would make a knife just like this with a few extra features to come in at about 3-4 ounces, with a very lightweight sheath.

My biggest problem with the Mora knives is also the lack of a full tang, the main reason I have hesitated getting one.

David, some very nice knives there, but not practical for me. The RAT-3 is a beast at 10 oz compared with the Seal Pup. I wouldn't go with anything heavier than the Seal Pup and I wish I had something with the same features and more that was even lighter. Anything heavier than that means lugging a lot of extra weight. Even 5.4 oz is no small weight. The weight really adds up. Ever since I started cutting ounces and pounds where I could, walking in the wild and traveling has become a lot more pleasurable.

If I can't find anything lighter I'll try to find a simple nylon and velcro sheath that is lighter than what SOG sells, or have one made (the days of having our own custom gear maker in my military unit are long gone).

Another option might be the fixed blade Griptilian, but I believe it weighs almost as much as the SOG Seal Pup.

It seems that so many manufacturers that make fixed-blade knives that could work well overbuild them in an effort to make them look extra badass, for marketing purposes. They also seem to spread out features that could easily be in the same knife, so that it's hard to have it all in one knife.

Does anyone know of any fixed blade with a full length tang with a partially serrated edge that comes in at sub 4 oz and has a very lightweight sheath?

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Griptilian weight on 09/27/2007 21:03:23 MDT Print View

The fixed blade Griptilian weighs 4.60oz., not a huge weight savings, but the sheath may be much lighter than the sheath of the Seal Pup.

Joseph A. Spina Jr.
(joespina2) - F

Locale: generally deskbound
fixed blades on 09/28/2007 08:24:29 MDT Print View

You may find what you're looking for in titanium diving knives. As a kayaker, I have a Wenoka fixed to my pfd in a similar spot. It has the added advantage of a double lock grip that has never gotten loose despite rolls (or attempted ones). I have the smaller size model (about 3oz.) but they make a larger model that fits your general specifications (no listed weights).

Jeffrey Snyder
(jeffsnyder) - F
knife on 09/28/2007 11:01:16 MDT Print View

Yeah a saw back would be really nice. My seal pup came with the nylon sheath and your right, its very heavy : 4.6 oz. Needless to say I won't ever be carrying it.

Paul Rancuret
(viking8388) - F

Locale: North Texas
fixed blades on 09/28/2007 21:29:14 MDT Print View

If you can live without the partially serrated blade, then Spyderco has some interesting options:

1) Bill Moran (FB01) at 3.0oz

2) Bill Moran Drop Point (FB02) at 3.0oz

3) Kumo (FB11) at 3.0oz

Street Beat (FB15) at 3.2oz


Edited by viking8388 on 09/28/2007 21:29:45 MDT.

(ofelas) - F

Locale: On the Edge
Pics and weights on 10/13/2007 15:21:26 MDT Print View

Here's my personal Lainhart as opposed to the generic print ad pic I posted earlier, finally took pics & weights -TogetherBroken down

Heavy Duty Ballistic Nylon Oversheath with Natural Rubber Dive Straps - 1 oz + 2oz = 3oz
Kydex Inner Sheath - 0.6oz
Lainhart knife with handle wrap - 4.5oz
Honing steel - 0.55oz

I don't carry the dive straps hiking, just thought I'd show the entire system in the pic.

The serrated upper edge is a chisel grind straightedge sawback - very easy to sharpen on a rock, no special tools required.

This knife is definitely a hard use unit, easily grippable even with thick gloves.

Hope that helped.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
light on 10/13/2007 15:32:28 MDT Print View


Nice knife and sheath. If I made my own nylon sheath for my current fixed blade, the whole thing would come in under 7 ounces. I haven't had time to look into yet, but light dive knives with very light nylon sheaths were a good suggestion. The fixed Griptilian I think weighs as much as your Lainhart and comes with what looks like a very light nylon sheath.

Where did you get the light nylon sheath and kydex sheath? Did they come with the knife? The SEAL Pup kydex sheath is very heavy, partly because it's designed for upside down tactical carry.

There is a sweet spot for light full tang fixed blades and sheaths that is not being addressed by knife manufacturers - it would be nice to see a good offering here with a combo blade knife coming in around 3 ounces (losing weight around the handle that could be filled with light material such as rope, as is the case with your handle).

Edited by mountainwalker on 10/13/2007 15:39:24 MDT.

(ofelas) - F

Locale: On the Edge
Sheath on 10/14/2007 14:58:35 MDT Print View

EJ - without the dive straps, the whole thing (honing steel & kydex liner sheath included) weighs in at 6.5oz.

All the components came with the Lainhart except the honing steel; the paracord wrap is very useful as its about 4 feet of genuine mil-spec 7 strand paracord; when I get time, I'll do a full 12 foot tighter wrap.

I remember there was a custom 'smith making a similar knife but with a 3" blade or so, will post with particulars if I can recall the details.

Edited by ofelas on 10/14/2007 15:00:18 MDT.

p Reed
(darvins) - F
Lightest Full Tang Knife on 11/19/2008 20:23:58 MST Print View

I had similar requirements...

Here's what I found...

Here's another site selling it

If you're looking for an lightweight multitool, check this out. Not the biggest or toughest, but it weighs just over an ounce.

Edited by darvins on 12/08/2008 00:00:06 MST.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
F1 on 11/19/2008 22:04:46 MST Print View

As to the Charlie May knife, I was just talking with him last week on the phone and ordering another knife, a "Filetbone" to complement my Gene Ingram "whammer" set for serious meat hunting. He just shipped my OSK and it should arrive any day now, it took a year to get. He advised me that his lead time is now up to 18 mos. and Gene is at 4-5 years...might want to consider this before deciding.

For a knife to use while waiting for a custom to arrive or for most duties, I would currently choose a Fjallniven F1 and this is available at various online outlets.

Matthew Robinson
(mcjhrobinson) - F

Locale: Waaay West
re fixed blade on 11/20/2008 00:45:18 MST Print View

ill add my 2cents. ive been looking for a good fixed blade too...i wanted one i can always carry and a bigger one for sort of a "camp tool".

i agree with Febbo. i currently own a handful of moras (frosts and erikssons laminated carbon steel, and tri flex carbon). A gossman psk (o1) and a scrapyard SOD (sr77). I use the moras for work (im a landscaper) and the gossman and SOD for camping/rec.

"My biggest problem with the Mora knives is also the lack of a full tang, the main reason I have hesitated getting one."

"Mora knives are great and light, but they don't add a lot of funtionality over a good folder like the A.G. Russell Featherlite because they aren't full tang knives. If you want a fixed blade, I strongly suggest getting one with a full tang"

-most moras are full tang you can usually email ragnar and ask if you are unsure. Ive bought a bunch from him he's super cool. im not sure who told you that dave but they were wrong (i just took my frosts apart and found a full tang right to the pommel). ive also cut through animal rib bone with ease with all of my moras.

the main thing ive found is knives are tools. you dont use a screwdriver to pound a nail (also a diving knife in the backcountry doesnt sound like a good idea). ask yourself what will you be doing with the knife, then buy a knife accordingly. I usually like to carry 2 knives. a small fixed blade and a bigger "chopper" blade. although it isnt backpacking light it is highly useful if you want to start a fire or build a shelter.

as far as keeping the knife secure in any position you might need to get clever or just order a mora sheath from someone like JRE or whatnot or make your own (cardboard duct tape velcro and imagination).

i think if youre not going to practice any heavy duty bushcraft techniques buy a mora and make your own sheath. they are cheap and probably the best all around blade style besides a nessmuk. i say buy the orange mora (this is about function not fashion right?),cut the sheath and mod it to be lighter.

i dont see why the knife has to be kept inverted, unless you are planning on constantly using it in which case why buy an inferior knife. sew a button onto your clothing wherever its easy to reach the knife and attach it there.

also i wouldnt count knives out just because they are .10oz more than you wanted. knives are not like technical clothing.

EJ, what do you want to do with this new knife? I bet we can help more if we know what youre planning to do. if you want send me a PM and we can discuss more (my ol lady is sick of me talking her ear off about knives =p )

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
SOG Seal Pup on 12/12/2008 06:17:30 MST Print View

"I recently bought the seal pup knife by SOG. It is a smaller version of the knife used by navy seals. It is straight + serrated, blade length 4 3/4 inches and weighs in at 5 1/2 ounces."

I think I'm going to get one of these. I have no idea how I'm going to carry it though. I don't need a belt for my rain pants or convertible pants. lol

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: SOG Seal Pup on 12/12/2008 07:15:52 MST Print View

The SOG Seal Pup is a great knife, but I stopped carrying mine when I decided to go lighter. Mine was very easy to carry though as it came with a plastic sheath which had a very simple mechanism in the back which slid up and down to mount on a belt or strap. I was able to hook it to my waist belt or shoulder straps without unlashing anything.