Buck Knives Shows Signs of Age in 2017 Offerings

I saw this headline in an email from Knife News & felt immediately uninspired, so I did not read the article. Today, I heard about it again from Benjamin Bouchard, owner of Baryonyx Knife Company. Baryonyx is one of the companies I would consider to be the future of the knife industry.  Check Baryonyx out here:  http://www.baryonyxknife.com/

The first Buck knife was made in 1902, but the company itself was incorporated in 1961, and 3 years later introduced the Model 110 Folding Hunter.  Buck, though a mainstay, seems to be showing sings of its age…




2200?!?! Seriously?!?! Not to be cliche, but IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!?!

luis-bernardo-mercado-dec-8-2016Does anyone here have more than this? This is a new record type, no one has set any such record before, & Guinness set the standard by talking to some dealers, apparently. And it sounds very much like the dealers went on speculation. I think they could have contacted some insurance companies & asked for the sizes of their largest insured knife collections & Viola! You’d have yourself some real record numbers. (Okay, so even such anonymous disclosure might violate insurance regulations, maybe even with the insured’s consent — I don’t know, I do not know insurance regulations.)

But one thing is certain — getting this guy’s collection out there is likely to bring forward some truly much larger collections, so this is a good thing. The largest collections may remain anonymous or unaccounted for, but there will no doubt be some with not just larger collections but larger egos — & that’s when we’re likely to see some truly record-setting numbers.


Full Tang Fraud!

I don’t know if any of you out there own this knife. I don’t, but what freaks me out is that I have no idea what other “full tang” knives out there have this totally bogus welding posing as full tang. I’d imagine there are a lot of manufacturers for whom something like this would be more work. But I could also see how some other manufacturers might get their hands on some smaller chunks of steel at super low prices & decide to pull some fraud like this…

It’s designed to hide the fact that it’s not one full piece of steel!

This is MESSED UP.

A Brief History of Survival Knives

This was a comment left on Backpacker site regarding a survival knife article there. Turns out some other readers liked my comment so I edited for grammar & decided to post it here. I have to say how awesome it was to hear positive feedback!

Horace Kephart, a famous woodsman and conservationist, recommended a small, light fixed blade for those venturing into the woods. Today, the Kephart style of knife has been thriving — usually with a blade of about 4 inches & no more than 1/8″ thick. Of course, he often carried a small axe as well.

George Sears, also known as “Nessmuk,” another famous woodsman, recommended carrying a folder, a fixed blade (again, fairly thin, for meat & fish processing, more akin to an old modified butcher knife), & an axe with a double bit (one bit thicker for splitting, the other thinner for felling & processing wood).

Les Stroud (“Survivorman”) recommends carrying a multi-tool (he often uses a Leatherman Wave). He pulls off quite a lot with this kind of tool, though I recall at least one episode in which he used an axe. Les has helped design an entire survival knife line through Camillus, just like Bear Grylls did with Gerber, the former having the theory that you should be able to find something easily that’s both affordable & effective. Les Stroud has also designed a knife for Helle & an axe for Wetterlings, both of which sell for over $100, but they’re both known to be quality tools.

Cody Lundin, formerly of “Dual Survival,” only carried a Mora for a long time, & his particular model can be found easily for $20 or less.

Creek Stewart, of “Fat Guys in the Woods” (2nd season premiering in June on the Weather Channel) always outfits his students with a Mora that costs under $15, though he once gave them a saw I believe, & he usually has some better kit (Ontario Blackbird SK-5 with a custom built sheath that costs somewhere in the vicinity of $350 — it’s also the prize for the student that performs the best each show). Creek Stewart usually carries a Wetterlings axe of some type as well, though not often in the show.

Meanwhile, there’s a credo often attributed to Special Forces that says “two is one & one is none”. In other words, always have a back-up.

There are many opinions among those with far more experience in the outdoors than I. Having less experience, I’ll go with more gear. A multi-tool, & at least one folder on day hikes. For longer stays away, & even for longer day hikes, I’ll add at least one fixed blade, as well as a folding saw (they’re light & take up little space), & potentially a small axe or hatchet (I don’t usually go as far into the wild as Nessmuk).

A survival knife will be the knife or knives you have with you in a survival situation. Survival situations are usually unplanned, unless you’re one of those people starring in a survival TV show. I’m no Boy Scout, but this is something where it’s better to be prepared than not. You might never need a stout fixed blade to build a shelter. But if you have one, you’re more likely to use it for other things too, such as batoning wood while processing kindling, or even performing meal prep.

Regardless of what knife (or knives) you get, learn how to use it & learn its limitations, just as you would with any other gear. Then sit back at camp & wonder how you ever did without that new knife, & why you bothered waiting so long to buy it in the first place.

CRKT Hood Camp Knife (HCK-1) : “The kitchen knife you can’t leave home without!”

CRKT HCK 1 prototype-A-Duo

This is an incredible knife — I’ve been fascinated ever since I heard of this knife’s existence.  It’s the CRKT Hood Camp Knife (HCK-1), designed by the venerable Karen Hood, of Survival Quarterly, survival.com, & Hoods Woods fame.  I like this knife so much I had to write about it even though I don’t have one yet.  So this is not a knife review, per se — let’s call this an overview.

Yes, that’s the TOPS Black River Wash on the blade.  The knife bears the stamp of CRKT, but my sources have confirmed that yes, in fact, this knife is made by TOPS for CRKT.  As you can tell, the knife also has signature discoloration of differential hardening all along the edge, made conveniently visible by the clear Cerakote protecting the 1095 carbon steel blade.  This knife is not meant for batoning, but the temper line (the “hamon” often found on Japanese swords) should make it obvious that the thinner tip might be too brittle for this task (just carry a hatchet, folks).

This knife also bears a lot of resemblance to the TOPS Pasayten Lite Traveler, the TOPS Tex Creek XL, & the TOPS Silent Hero.  But of course it also bears resemblance to the santoku knives found in most kitchens for the past decade.  Santoku knives were designed as a hybrid of a chef’s knife & a cleaver.  As a camp knife, this knife is designed as a general use knife (which tends to come down to food prep as well as cutting, slicing, & whittling for the most part, at least for me).  Karen Hood holds this knife out as one that will be able to perform 99% of all cutting tasks around camp, & with her credentials I have no reason to doubt her.

In this era of more specialized use knives, this knife appears to be a hybrid, especially with the santoku design & the 1/8″ thickness.  But as it’s often said, the frontier was settled with kitchen knives; trade knives were often patterned after knives designed for processing food.  In this sense, the Hood Camp Knife appears to be a hybrid only in so far as we consider the santoku design to be only for kitchen use.  Karen Hood’s approach of bringing the santoku design to the woods is as visionary as it is simple, & other cutlery companies had best take note.