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WesternHunter's picture
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Re: A really good hunting knife

The problem with pretty custom made knives is that the buyer usually sees them as just that, and often is reluctant to really use them in the field for hunting and rugged outdoor tasks. I always find that I'm more willing to use a knife that I payed under $50 for. The only exception for me is my Benchmade 710. It cost me a bit over $100 about 8 years ago, but it's been my EDC knife since the day I bought it, and that thing has the battle scares to show just how much it gets used for everyday tasks. I have a couple higher end fixed blade knives with nice carbon steel blades. I just think they are too fancy to use in the wild. If I lose or damage a Buck or a Gerber I can always easily replace it. If I lose my Benchmade knife I can replace it too, but not so easily and likely won't because I'm married now with kids and just can't spend money as liberally on stuff like that now as I did when I was single. lol

Been hunting for over 25 years, but over the last 5 years or so I've really come to appreciate lighter weight knives for hunting and outdoor tasks. I have always generally prefere folding knives with locking blades when I'm in the field because of their convenience of carry. Because of that philosophy I may as well couple that convenience with modern lightness. For the longest time I carried my Buck 110 in the field mostly for sentimental reasons, but also because it worked pretty damn well and is a solid knife, but too heavy. I've found that some of the newer Bucks and Gerbers with fiber-glass reinforced nylon handles are so much more easy to carry in the field and just as tough if not tougher, so I now carry one or two of those in the field now.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: A really good hunting knife

I forgot to mension that I had picked up one of Buck's new folding models this past summer at one of the large sporting goods chain stores here. The Buck Vantage Select (large version) 3.25 inch modified drop-point 420HC steel blade. Buck makes the Vantage series in 3 varying grades: Select, Avid, Pro. For $30 it's turned out to be a great knife. I used it to fielddress a pronghorn this past October and it performed great, just as I expected. It's light weight and easy to carry, has a perfect blade shape for both gutting and skinning, much like the blade shape on my Gerber Magnum LST. I'm very pleased with the overall quality and function of this Buck knife. In fact I find it very much on par (if not better than) with a couple high dollar Benchmade knives that I own and use. I had originally bought it as an EDC knife for non-outdoor tasks, but actually find myself using it for all types of outdoor tasks. I'm impressed. It's hard these days to find this type of quality and function in a $30 knife, and it's even made in the USA. Thumbs up

Romey will cringe when he reads that I'm raving about a knife with 420HC steel, but I've actually had S30V steel let me down more. Besides, Buck does a great job with their 420HC blades.

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Re: A really good hunting knife

Actually W.H. my first thought wasnt a cringe but "yea thats doesnt suprise me" I have seen ALOT of S30V not heat treated correctly. I was given a very nife looking custom knife from another well known maker as a birthday gift and it doesnt hold an edge worth a tinkers damn. But I have a 440C knife from another close friend and custom maker that holds an edge like no stainless knife I ever seen. I actually use it as a boning knife and dressed and BONED 2 big mulies last year completely and only had to touch a crock stick to it starting the third Buck. Very impressed.Changed my opinion on stainless IN THE RIGHT MAKERS HANDS.
As for Buck, I know the guy who does their US made blade heat treating and he knows his stuff VERY well too for stainless so since they came back to the US your going to see the edges improve vastly.
I put so much extra work and money into making a high performance knife from steel, heat treat handles and all I really hate to hear of my knives becoming a safe queen, fact is if the owners see the abuse I put on them testing before final clean up (and a few have) they cringe. I have even made other custom makers cringe as the abusive testing but hey, if it dont pass i dont want it out the door with my name on it.
I started makin knives because I was sick of being on snow slopes with a down critter trying to quarter it to pack out and going through knife after knife stone after stone. After all this time I really like where Im at with my heat treat and toughness and yet learned to make them pretty decent to look at and get this, I have YET to have one of my own!! I cant make one and show it to someone or cut with it that someone doesnt beg,borrow, buy or steal. I have even had to ask to "borrow that knife I made you real quick" and been told "um no"
Oh well someday..

WesternHunter's picture
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True

Romey wrote:
Actually W.H. my first thought wasnt a cringe but "yea thats doesnt suprise me" I have seen ALOT of S30V not heat treated correctly. I was given a very nife looking custom knife from another well known maker as a birthday gift and it doesnt hold an edge worth a tinkers damn. But I have a 440C knife from another close friend and custom maker that holds an edge like no stainless knife I ever seen. I actually use it as a boning knife and dressed and BONED 2 big mulies last year completely and only had to touch a crock stick to it starting the third Buck. Very impressed.Changed my opinion on stainless IN THE RIGHT MAKERS HANDS. As for Buck, I know the guy who does their US made blade heat treating and he knows his stuff VERY well too for stainless so since they came back to the US your going to see the edges improve vastly. I put so much extra work and money into making a high performance knife from steel, heat treat handles and all I really hate to hear of my knives becoming a safe queen, fact is if the owners see the abuse I put on them testing before final clean up (and a few have) they cringe. I have even made other custom makers cringe as the abusive testing but hey, if it dont pass i dont want it out the door with my name on it. I started makin knives because I was sick of being on snow slopes with a down critter trying to quarter it to pack out and going through knife after knife stone after stone. After all this time I really like where Im at with my heat treat and toughness and yet learned to make them pretty decent to look at and get this, I have YET to have one of my own!! I cant make one and show it to someone or cut with it that someone doesnt beg,borrow, buy or steal. I have even had to ask to "borrow that knife I made you real quick" and been told "um no" Oh well someday..

 

I think that's very true.  The best steel won't perform worth a darn if it's not heat treated correctly.  I've heard many times that heat-treat is a large part of the equation.  As for S30V and other stainless like 154CM etc, they're starting to get a bad rap because some makers just don't know how to or simply don't heat-treat them right nor do they put the right edge on the blade for the intended task.  They simply use and boast the steel grade as an advertisement.  Not to mension that some users cut things with their knives that they really shouldn't.  Like I said before.  Nearly all of my outdoor knives are very common mid-grade knives from common makers like Buck, Gerber, Case, Western Cutlery, etc.  Most of them have basic "400" series stainless steel blades.  I've used knives a lot and as long as I use my knives for their intended purpose they have never let me down.

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Joined: 06/13/2010
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Re: A really good hunting knife

Check out Knives of Alaska. Great steel, good blade designs.

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Location: Meridian, Idaho
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Re A really good hunting knife

I have always used Gerber and had really good luck. I've been reading a lot about the outdoor edge knives and they seem to be the new rave. They are the next brand of knives that I'm looking at buying.

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I've got 2 gerber gators and

I've got 2 gerber gators and a gerber drop point. They all work well and hold a edge pretty good for the price. Any knife you get will need to be touched up after finishing cutting up a animal.

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Location: Montana
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Knife

Gknutson wrote:

Any knife you get will need to be touched up after finishing cutting up a animal.

Not necessarily.. Wink

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Joined: 08/07/2012
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A really good hunting knife

Hunting knives include the puukko and the Sharpfinger.Most United states styles are based on less sized version of the Throwing Knives. Big smile

WesternHunter's picture
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Sharpfinger

Sharpfinger is a very well designed knife for hunting.  I just wish they still made a good USA made version.  Last year I picked up one of Bucks newer models - the 113 Ranger Skinner.  Seems like a great design and fits my hands very comfortably, sized about right for a field dressing knife.

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