Bushcraft knives with a high Point?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by bikerector, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I am currently working on a bushcraft knife design starting with the Marbles Woodcraft as inspiration for the blade design because Kephart mentions an affinity for it, and I like Kephart designs. But is it well suited to modern bushcraft where it seems most models have points near the midline? Puukkos and leukus seem like the most common variance from the midline tip, that I've seen regularly discussed in bushcraft circles, and I like them a lot myself.

    So, I guess I'm looking for input, opinions, preferences, and general thoughts on knives aimed squarely at bushcrafting or bushcamping (rustic camping) that would have the tip closer to a straight back or trailing point design vs a drop point or spear point that seems more popular.

    Here was an initial sketch I did to kind of see what it would look like and kind of a reference point of what I'm discussing. The elevated spine near the tip serves as a reinforcement for the tip while getting extra belly like a trailing point. It reminded me more of a roach belly style after I drew it, but I was more aiming at a modern take on the Marbles woodcraft with some of the preferences I think people like for bushcraft like no swedge, neutral handle, and a scandi grind.

    [​IMG]

    One advantage I see from this is serving better as a camp kitchen knife with the longer belly, but I'm really interested in others experiences or opinions.
     
  2. Feca10ne

    Feca10ne Gold Member Gold Member

    400
    Jan 29, 2020
    In my opinion, which probably isn't worth much, its fantastic. Looks like a great northern bushcraft knife, good for hunting and dressing larger game. The only thing I can see is that the blade edge is getting really close to being to far below the grip center line.
    Knives seem to do strange things like twist in the hand when the cutting edge is to far forward.
    Ive dressed moose with drop points and had to be more careful with the tip cutting through as apposed to your design with a more "strait back" style. Ive used the fallkniven phk now for almost a decade and really appreciate it. Your mid-line point almost would give a pointer finger something to rest on when choking up on it during skinning.
    That looks really promising!
     
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  3. Smiling

    Smiling

    492
    Nov 21, 2019
    I think the design is great. I really really like the blade shape.

    I would personally go with sabre grind, maybe even convex grind if I wanted my blade to be used for chopping too.

    Handle looks really well, it looks like the type of handle which won't be too rounded, meaning the knife won't be rolling in hand.

    I also like the fact that dull part of the blade edge which is lower from the handle is also kinda acting like a guard.

    I would definitley buy a knife like this. It looks awesome :D
     
  4. marcinek

    marcinek Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Technically it is a sabre grind.

    It's a nice knife! :thumbsup: Functional...not a lot of bells and whistles, and that is a very good thing.
     
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  5. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Marble's Fieldcraft -- the smaller version of the Woodcraft -- is one of my favorite knives. The basic design is hard to improve on IMHO.
     
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  6. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    The maker calls it a scandivex, which I think many people are familiar these days a bit of a rounded scandi. It's always a debate I have as I tend to prefer knives with thinner stock and saber grind but it seems like slightly thicker, 1/8", and scandi is pretty popular with bushcraft knives. I pretty much need to decide if I want to focus it more towards the slicing ability, so cooking and hunting, or more of the wood tasks, making notches, shelter, and firemaking.

    If it became popular enough, maybe we could offer it in both as a stock item but the maker I'm working with is really good about custom orders so either grind is easily a choice if you don't mind waiting.

    As far as chopping, not really a consideration in utility for this size, at least with this sketch, as you're not going to get a lot of oomph behind the blade only being 4.25" and around 9.75" overall.

    For size reference, the squares are 1/4" squares. I have the inches written in to help guide me while sketching it in but they don't show well in the picture and I didn't want to link in a huge one as it is distracting and can cause pages to load slowly, IMO.

    Thank you for the comments. The current timeline is to try and dial in the design by the end of March with a series of wood model, sketches, and feedback from the forum, and then a live prototype for real-world testing and a passaround in April. Depending on things work out after that, maybe have a small batch made up for the start of summer along with a couple other designs that are further along.
     
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  7. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I think this is the eternal challenge, making something that is as good, or nearly so, without outright copying the knife design. The handle is very different from the original but the blade is admittedly a little less creative from the original. The elevated spine is much shorter than the woodcraft, aimed at bracing an outstretched forefinger instead of a thumb. I also haven't decided if I want to leave the elevated spine as a 90-degree spine or round it a little so it's comfier on the tumb for carving tasks. I've started liking radiused spines a lot recently, but they're a little more work (read costs) and I don't think they're universally appreciated.
     
  8. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Okay, follow-up request. Who has used a knife with an above-midline tip for bushcraft, or other similar outdoor uses, and do you have pictures of you using it? The latter, because I like pictures.

    I currently have three that I'm pretty fond of.

    This was me testing out a recently acquired canteen cook set, and I had not used the stove yet as I had just been putting the cup with lid over a campfire instead. The bottom is simple a pic for stock photo as it's a compact bushcraft/hiking/camping knife I designed and like quite a bit. I wanted something is a short blade to limit the overall length but it till has a full-length handle so it's not uncomfortable to use for working on wood. It's off to a tester so hopefully he likes it as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The other is the previously mentioned puukko I asked Jelio to make for me with a shorter than standard blade to aid in carving. The leather handle is comfy and the 80crv2 steel has been good to me so far. 2nd from the bottom (I don't have any recent pics as it's been in the workshop as a carving knife the past 4 months.
    [​IMG]

    And finally a straight back Element hunter from JK Knives made out of S30V he was willing to do as a special order. He doesn't do much in S30V and I think there weren't any straightback elements when I ordered mine, but I think there are 2 now. I like this guy a good deal as a fire starting knife, but carry it around when doing trail maintenance on the bicycle, like in the below photos clearing some downed trees, since it's stainless.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I think all of my larger ones are closer to midline as I look through my collection. My scarpyard safety mutt is probably the exception, but I wouldn't use it for bushcraft as it's a bit thick for my tastes in that use, but it does work well as a small wood processor. And I like orange, which is probably the biggest reason I keep it.
    [​IMG]

    What do you all have and enjoy using, of any size?
     
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I like the knife design (picture #2) quite a lot (last post). Personally I would prefer a flat grind for slicy, and just adapt for wood cutting. As you know, I really like the BK-15 which is a trailing point for the outdoors and frankly just about any outdoor use short of chopping. So, when I choose knives now (other than Kepharts), I am thinking BK-15ish kinds of designs.

    I lean away from the tall blades such as the one in your sketch (Post #1).
     
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  10. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Thanks for the feedback. I'll take blade width comment into consideration. I've been thinking I want something that is longer and slender, but haven't quite worked into that yet. I had something with a similar blade design as you mentioned and tried working in a bit of a Kephart-like handle but it didn't flow that well and I didn't carry it forward to anything yet.

    The bottom one. Very rough sketch without much rounding and "finished" look to it. The handle's roughly a Kephart with a two-finger groove at the front instead of a continuous slope or the more common single finger groove on neutral handles, like an LT bushcrafter. The blade width was around 0.75", compared to about 1" on the picture above.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Your original sketch made the blade width look larger to me. One inch is not too wide or tall. It does add some strength to the design if used in the woods for whatever. Bushcraft is just a word, albeit a popular one, that describes a general use woods knife to me. I don't know if the flat kephart style handle adds anything other than possibly making it more grippy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  12. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I counted the squares wrong, it's 1 1/8" wide.

    I think the elevated spine gives the impression of it being a really wide knife because it makes the belly seem long. In practice, it may act more like a 1.25" wide blade.

    The handle is also pretty wide, as I like bigger handles and learned the glories of "indexing" from the BK62 and Fiddleback Bush Hermit, and tried to bring those handle concepts into the design in the OP. I do wonder if it might be a bit thin in the front but I can work that out when making a life-sized model to test ergos and decide on handle contours and swells. I try to keep our big handed brethren in mind when designing handles.
     
  13. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    When I get a chance, I'll resketch the drawing in the 1st post to incorporate a slightly higher grind y'all can see what that might look like. I will need to adapt the handle or plunge line location a bit as the grind will interfere with the steeper grind.
     
  14. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    After some testing over the weekend of mildly similar knives, I'm going to get a prototype of the design in the OP after getting a wooden prototype made up to fine-tune some of the handle sizing.

    I'm also planning to submit a more puukko-like, guardless design. Something like this. The point is still above midline but not close to the OP. The business around the front of the handle is a scalloping feature I plan to test out in a live proto that I've been using on a mora classic for a couple years now. The mora is right-hand specific so it's bigger on the right side and then just a little bit on the far side of the handle, and a small flat spot on the bottom. It adds a little more security and comfort over a completely round handle the moras come with as stock.

    Specs shown in the drawing are rough targets since these would be handmade.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Edit: changed the pin size this morning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
  15. anthonycastorena2014

    anthonycastorena2014 Gold Member Gold Member

    876
    Nov 27, 2014
    That is sooooo good looking. Love it man! Let me know if you're going to sell a few.
     
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  16. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Thanks for the kind words. I finished up the template and a wood model of the design last week to get the handle contouring worked out. Should have a working prototype coming out in the next several weeks.

    I like to offer a passaround of all of the new live protos I have coming out so look for that in the JK Knives sub-forum soon, probably around the middle of the coming week. If you're interested in getting it in hand before they are officially available, probably around summer but as early as May once the working prototype is tested and some people get to check it out and give me a little feedback, you could get in on the passaround if you're in the US.

    The only thing I ask of those that participate in the passarounds is that they are willing to pay the shipping to the next person in line, no other purchases or commitments required. I will request feedback but it's not mandatory, and the feedback is not a full review, just let me know informally what you liked, didn't like, and how you might like it to function differently.

    In-hand pics.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some common Bushcraft and camp knives (T to B, ratmandu, JK Kephart, model, companion).
    [​IMG]
     
  17. anthonycastorena2014

    anthonycastorena2014 Gold Member Gold Member

    876
    Nov 27, 2014
    I'm in Texas brother! That would be mind boggling in its awesomeness!!! I would love yo try it out! I'm going to be honest with you, this is the first ever picture of a wooden knife I have downloaded hahahahaha. In telling you you're on to something here. I think it looks absolutely outstanding.
     
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  18. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Thanks man! I'll add you to my list and then check back when I get the official passaround request.
     

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