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Favourite Sub 5" Blade

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by forester226, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. forester226


    Jun 6, 2012
    I'm interested in the thoughts/recommendations of fixed-blade knives in the category of survival/bush-craft (not interested in military/tactical/self-defense) with blades between 3-5 inches. I like both carbon and stainless steels. Ease of sharpening is a bonus, (i.e. prefer VG10 to 3G). Any reviews/photos welcome.

    I've got a variety of knives in my collection ranging from 2.6" blade Izula up to 7.8" blade Team Gemini LB. When I go camping/hiking I always tend to take a smaller knife, so I can wear it on my belt with a SAK in my pocket and not be weighed down (and pair with an axe if making a fire).

    I have the following: ESEE-4, Mora SL-1, Fallkniven F1 & NL5 Idun, BRKT Gunny, SOG Seal Pup. My favourites being the F1/Idun.

    I've also had an ESEE-3 (preferred F1) and SRKW Rodent Solution (blade too thick), but sold them both.

    I'm looking into the Fallkniven TK2 & Jarl (but both are 3G) and will definitely be getting a Survive GSO 4.1 when they are available.

    Are there any other knives in these categories (survival/bush-craft, sub 5" blade) that I should look into? I'm particularly interested in scandi type knives.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Sounds like you already have two of the better outdoors knives in the ESEE 4 and Fallkniven F1. have both of those, but prefer the F1. Also have the SOG Seal Pup Elite plain edge. I picked up a Kabar Becker BK-16 (drop point) [or the BK-17 (clip)] a while back and just love this knife. Take a look.

    Another that has caught my interest recently is the Blackjack Companion which is a bushcraft knife. Looks really good and made by Bark River. I also like the Blackjack Classic 125 (right at 5") too for a practical field knife. As you can see, many of my knives are group around the blade size you mentioned.
  3. OutdoorsFamilyMan4

    OutdoorsFamilyMan4 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    take a look at bark river or blind horse knives..... or go custom and check out some Dogwood Customs
  4. adc5


    Jun 4, 2013
    I actually have an ontario rat3 (I know, the design they stole from ESEE, inferior warranty, and all that) in D2 that I'm actually quite fond of. I can get that thing just super sharp with a convexed edge.
  5. 1066vik

    1066vik Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    BK16 -- similar blade shape and OAL as the ESEE 4, but no choil and a longer handle for better long term comfort.
  6. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    I'm really enjoying my small DPx Gear HEST II Assault or Woodsman with a 3.1" blade (with or without PVD coating) of Niolox tool steel (61 HRC) that's also 0.19" thick, weighs less than 5 ounces, black G10 handle scales or Brazilian Santos hardwood scales (hollow handle for storage), Cordura or leather sheath, 304 stainless steel hybrid slotted/Allen screws, 1/4" hex driver, unique wire stripper jimping and hard lashing points, thumb grip/bottle opener, pry bar, etc. Quality made by LionSteel of Italy.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  7. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    Koster Bushmaster 5 " 3V around $215-230. Excellent quality. IIRC it's around .210 stock but it's ground to cut nicely.

    BHK Bushcrafter 4" O-1 ( rc 60 triple temper is excellent O-1). Scandi or FFG. Around $140

    Spyderco Bushcraft UK O-1 4" 3.5mm (9/64th) stock. Excellent ergonomics for cutting. Around $215

    I agree with RamZar about the DPx HEST II with Niolox. It's an interesting steel that is pretty tough and performs pretty well, especially for stainless. I'm not big on fixed blades in stainless but I have one of these.
  8. forester226


    Jun 6, 2012
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm particularly interested in the Blackjack model 125 and the Koster Bushmaster, like the aesthetics of both, and heard good things about the Spyderco Bushcraft.
  9. Mossyhorn

    Mossyhorn Enlightened Rogue Platinum Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    The Falkniven Idun is my favorite 4" blade followed by an ESEE 4.
  10. Shotgun

    Shotgun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2006
    I really like my izula 2 but for longer blades I haven't found a knife yet that's better then the mora companion mg. I've gone through custom knives and production knives trying to find something nicer(as I'm a knife knut) but haven't found anything that does what the mora does. It has a well designed handle that doesn't fatigue your hand in any hand hold, it has a thin scandi grind which works better then the thicker ones and it's extremely light for the work it can do. It may be made of cheaper steel and handle materials but it makes up for that with a good design.
  11. Heathrow


    Nov 3, 2012
    Bark River Bravo 1 for me.
  12. FTR-14c


    Jul 24, 2011
    Just a quick cell phone pic for size comparison, sorry for the poor quality.
    They all have their strong points so its hard to narrow it down to just one or two. Some I haven't used, others I have used very little.
    The Matt Caldwell 1-4 in 154-cm, F1, S1, CABS and GSO 4.1 are up there with my favorites.
    The sad truth is the one that probably works the best as a cutting tool is the thirtyfive dollar Mora.


    I have high hopes for the Scrap Max 460 (on top) but haven't used it much.
    Super thin ELMAX blade, comfy handle and almost weightless.
    Shown with a War Dog
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  13. pilgrimuk


    Apr 18, 2006
    Fallkniven H1, the handle is superb compared to the F1; much more comfortable. It seems a real shame but the H1 is overshadowed by the F1.
  14. Hadji Flip Me Over

    Hadji Flip Me Over

    Mar 1, 2010
    Check out the Scrapyard 511 as well. It's a 5.5" blade, so it might be a little bit too big, but 1/2" never killed anyone, right?
  15. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    You can also get the DPx HEFT 4" Niolox also 0.19" thick and weighing 6 ounces with wood or G10 handles.
  16. Cypress

    Cypress Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Out of the knives I own, Benchmade Nimravus.
  17. Torm


    Jul 12, 2007
    My favourite sub-5" fixed blade is my Busse LMS.

  18. bigghoss


    Jul 27, 2011
    Favorite fixed blade for and woods activity has got to be the Mora Companion by far. However, I'm always going to have a more substantial knife to go along with it.

    My other 3-5" knives I like are the Becker BK14, and BK16, the Ka-bar Navy MK1, and my condor mini bushlore is a nice little knife. I've also played around with my Ontario Rat-3 and CRKT ringed razel and found them to be more than adequate in the outdoors should I find myself with just one of those.
  19. Kwon Kwang

    Kwon Kwang

    Jul 7, 2013
    My new "around the house" utility knife.

  20. tidefan


    Nov 23, 2004
    Older Benchmade Nimravus in M2 steel.

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