Recommendation? Budget fixed blade knife...with a twist

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by OneWithNature, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. OneWithNature


    Jul 21, 2020
    Hi all,
    After spending countless hours on google, forums, and youtube, I have decided it might be easier to pose the question to experts with my specific requirements instead of getting lost in the labyrinth of information on the web....and getting nowhere close to my goal

    I am looking for a general all-purpose fixed blade knife (or a couple of them) to suit a variety of needs. The primary purpose of the knife is for hiking/camping followed closely by buschcraft/survival. It doesn't need to fit any use case perfectly but it should serve the general need well. I have listed what I feel are my requirements and I would greatly appreciate your feedback on 1) knife recommendations and 2)whether the logic for the requirements are sound and if alternate options make sense.

    These are my must-have requirements: (at least I think so :) )

    1. Full Tang ( I am guessing this makes sense since the knife must be strong with minimal chance of failure)
    2. Relatively prominent front finger guard ( this is to prevent accidents when I bear forward on the knives.
    3. Knife Grind order of preference: Scandi > Sabre > Flat . I am picking these grinds since they seem easy to field sharpen and some of the research indicates a hollow grind is generally weaker compared to the others since there is a thinner thickness behind the edge. I am assuming this also means that regularly resharpening the hollow grind ends up making the blade edge weaker as the knife edges come higher up the hollow grind surface. This is one of the requirements I am most torn about since I also see youtube reviews of folks absolutely pounding knives with hollow grinds and they seem to hold up well without curving or bending. Open to suggestions on changing this preference)
    4. Very good edge retention
    5. Strong blade.
    6. Relatively easy to sharpen (and yes, I know this is usually conversely related to #4 and #5 and given a choice, i'd pick better edge retention and strength over ease of sharpening)
    7. AND BUDGET.... This had to be in the must-have list. :) While I'm open to paying a little more for better features, I am looking for knives under $75 USD. The lesser the better. I'm hoping for a good knife filling my requirements under 50 bucks ( I did say hope, didn't I? :) )
    8. no secondary bevels.(having a single bevel to sharpen is easier than maintaining to two bevel edges)
    9. Flat knife edge (since it is tougher to maintain serrated edges)

    The following are features that are very nice to have but if it comes down to it, I'd give these up before I give up the must-haves.

    1. Rear finger guard (to prevent my hand from slipping from the knife when i use the pommel to tap/hammer.)
    2. flat pommel
    3. Drop point or clip point blade
    4. blade length between 4-6 inches
    5. Type of steel (doesn't matter): I think I will keep the knife clean enough so i won't have to worry about rust. But I am not averse to Stainless Steel
    So far, the closest I have gotten to seeing most of my requirements met are the following:
    1. Schrade schf38: Missing flat pommel, steel seems average, and various websites list the grind differently (so I just don't know)
    2. hx rock outdoors: Unsure about the quality of the brand

    I am appreciative of any feedback you might have and I hope to get some good recommendations for a key component of my hiking/survival kit.

    THANK you all in advance! :)

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  2. PirateSeulb


    Jun 6, 2017
    Does stainless vs non-stainless matter?
  3. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Desired blade length?
  4. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    Check out the cold steel “survivalist”. Drop forged 52100 steel, basically indestructible with a solid hand guard.
    I think it runs $75 or less. I have one on the way. Seems like a lot of bang for the buck. Sheath is great too.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
    DocJD, OneWithNature, willc and 2 others like this.
  5. Eversion

    Eversion Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2020
    Best thing I can think of would be a Mora Bushcraft Black or Garberg
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  6. OneWithNature


    Jul 21, 2020
    I should have listed that in my requirements (and I will do so now), but I am not particular about the stainless or not.. I think i'll keep it clean to avoid rust.
  7. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    For basic fixed blade needs on a budget, it's tough to beat a Mora. It won't click all your boxes; but it's worth a look.
    Aside from that, I'd recommend going to your favorite online knife shop & employing their filters. (I don't buy from BHQ, as a rule; but they've probably got the best search filters)
    buckfynn likes this.
  8. OneWithNature


    Jul 21, 2020
    I'd prefer a blade length between 4-7 inches. But I am not absolutely tied to this. But I think any length larger than 7 inch might make the knife a tad unwieldy.
  9. OneWithNature


    Jul 21, 2020
    Thank you. I am definitely considering a Mora for my emergency bag given its price point and incredible reviews. Looking for something a little stronger and beefier for general purposes too. ANd yes, i've made the rounds of the various storefronts. It got a little confusing and the price certainly kept going above my thresholds. and the front finger guard is hard to search for. I kept looking through the pics but I'm hoping to shortcut some of that here. I did shortlist the two knives (schf38 and hx outdoors) through my searches so far. Would would have thought that buying a knife would be this hard? :)
  10. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Was going to say Cold Steel SRK (6") or SRK-C (5") in SK-5...around $40-$50...but just noticed your added requirements of rear guard and flat pommel. The SRKs do have a swell at the end that could count as a rear guard, but they don't have a flat pommel.
    OneWithNature and DangerZone98 like this.
  11. PirateSeulb


    Jun 6, 2017
    Quick look through BladeHQ comes up with these 4 options as fairly decent general/all purpose camp knives that are close to or under the $75 budget.

    ESEE 4P Available in other colors has a coated carbon steel blade.
    Condor Romper Similar to the ESEE option
    Buck Selkirk Stainless steel from reputable maker at a fair budget that seems to check most boxes
    Condor Kephart Another Condor which I don't have experience with their knives but they do get a fair bit of praise among people on these forums.

    Depending on how flexible you might be on the budget there are I think a lot more options if you consider up to $150.
    OneWithNature likes this.
  12. mec003


    Jan 1, 2015
    You seem to be asking a lot from a sub $75 knife. It also sounds like you are basing this search on what others have said you "need", rather than what you yourself have experienced. I dont really like the 'one tool option'. I'd recommend getting a Mora (because its price vs value is great) and using it for various tasks to get an idea about what works for you.
    Focus more on developing the skill set you want and getting familiar with your knife. Once you have a better idea of what you want based on first hand use, then spend a little more for something better.
  13. Sergeua


    May 1, 2016
    Check out Ruike Jager f118. It's a bit over 4 inches. You get a lot for the money. Some g10 contouring, feels good in hand, comes with nice sheath system, looks pretty. But, SRK is SRK ;)
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
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  14. steelhog

    steelhog Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2009
    If I were you; I would buy a Mora companion, Mora Kansbol and a Mora Bushcraft black. (Total of around $85ish). I have lots of high $$ knives but the Moras do all that others do for way less.
  15. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    It’s a tad pricier than most Moras, but check out the Garberg. Full tang, tough, and the steel shouldn’t be too hard to sharpen. I own its non-full tang cousin, the Kansbol, and it works just fine for me.

    I agree with jlauffer about the Cold Steel SRK. If you can relax some of your requirements, the SRK or SRK-C should serve you well. It’s tough, inexpensive, cheap, and it’s got a finger guard that’s not too big or small.
    willc and jlauffer like this.
  16. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Oh, another good contender in the sub-$100 neighborhood is the Becker BK-16. Beckers have a rep for being reliable knives.
    CanadaKnifeGuy, Don W, willc and 2 others like this.
  17. jimmyd1982


    Mar 23, 2011
    Condor Terrasaur fits your description perfectly. It's 4.15 inch, scandi, plain edge, full tang, drop point in 1095 which should hold a decent edge while still being relatively tough and easy to sharpen. Best of all you can find them all over for less than $50
    buckfynn likes this.
  18. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    Varusteleka Jakkaripuukko. The pommel isn’t flat, but it will withstand some beating on. Other than that, i think it ticks most of your boxes. Beyond that, I have found it to be an excellent performer with its 80CrV2 steel, and a great budget knife. I am a fan of the Kansbol, but the Jakkaripuukko cuts better in side-by side use.
    buckfynn and cbach8tw like this.
  19. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Minor observation concerning the alleged lack of strength of a knife that does not have a full visible tang:
    Ka-Bar "Marine Fighting Knife" and Ontario 498; Ontario 449 "Jet Pilot Survival Knife"; any Buck 100 series fixed blade, up to the model 120 "General" (I think the 113 and 124 "Frontier" are the only 100 series fixed blade with a visible full tang. Obviously the 110 and 112 are folding lockback knives.)
    Western fixed blades, Marbles "Ideal", pre-2004 Old Timer/Uncle Henry "Golden Spike", Mora Classic Number 1/01 to Number 3 (note these do not have a guard) and Puukkos in general.
    None of these are known for being fragile, or for breaking. All have a not visible "rat tail" tang, with the exception of some of the Westerns (not to include the L66 and others with leather washer handles) that have a "split" or "double" rat tail tang.)
    Puukkos generally have a full or half length rat-tail/hidden tang, and have had such for well over 100 years. Historically the Scandinavians used their Puukkos a lot "harder" than "westerners" used their "Bowie" knives that may, or may not have had, a full visible tang. BTW the half tang/hidden tang "Bowies" are not known for breaking, either.

    A knife is not a hammer, nor an axe, or splitting wedge.
    "Back in the day" "Bushcrafting" meant taking along more than one tool. In addition to a relatively short 4 to 5 inch blade fixed blade, they also had a "sturdy" two or three blade slipjoint, (Nessmuk preferred the moose pattern. I don't recall what pattern Kephart preferred) and an axe or hatchet. After the development of the pocketable cable wood saw, you would find those in a lot of the hunter's and hiker's/trekker's, and other outdoorsman's pocket, as well. Most kept the axe or hatchet along, as well.
    You can use the back non-cutting end of your axe or hatchet as a hammer, or the side of the head, for that matter, or find a fist sized rock at the creek bed.

    Yet another observation:
    Don't pay any heed to those self proclaimed "bushcraft experts" on You Tube who only talk from their home or a picnic table at some park, and never show any of their time in the field.
    They don't have a clue as to what they are talking about.
    Check out "VINNIES DAY OFF" on You Tube and watch him build a shelter, gathering firewood, etc. using a multi blade slipjoint, or a Opinel Number 9 friction folder, or Buck 110. Not a single "chopper knife" among his or needed.

    Also ignore that fool moron "Bear Grylls".
    FYI he has a full medical team on standby, and keeps them busy, off camera treating injuries and poisoning, stays at nearby hotels, and eats at nearby restaurants (and it ain't at McDonald's et-al)
    Listen to him, or consume some of the wild plants he says you can, or drink your own p, you will die early, and not necessarily peacefully in your sleep (or coma) and pain free.
    He is worse than that late Steve Irwin idiot was, and his kids are. :(.
  20. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    In your price range.
    Meets specs.
    Great company backed by great customer service.
    Easy to sharpen, holds edge decently.
    Flat pommel.

    You might be better served by the Kraton handle version. It’s sheath is polymer as well, rather than leather.
    4B611FB5-6DE6-4228-8671-1561919DB6B9.jpeg 617CBB16-12DC-45EA-A402-6596E0933ACB.jpeg
    buckfynn, fishface5, Don W and 4 others like this.

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