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  #1  
Old 06-21-2005, 01:50 AM
Reggie Barker Reggie Barker is offline
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camp knives or cutting comp. knives

I often wonder what customers want in a camp knife or one that they really plan on using. What handle material blade length and blade steel would they want. I know what I like and have tested to the extreme but I would like some input from customers or other makers on a good camp knife. My opinion to follow.
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Old 06-21-2005, 03:38 AM
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I neither know what I want or need, but I am sure looking forward to your thoughts and opinions.


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Old 06-21-2005, 07:50 AM
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There are probably two schools of thought (well, at least..) on the camp knife. One would favor a big knife - 10-11" blade that can handle any edged chore, including heavy chopping / brush clearing and the like. Fisk's Arkansas Camp Knife and Rojo spring to mind, and the varied cutting competition knife designs would work very well within this design philosophy.

Another school points to practical versatility with an emphasis on portability and light weight - and favors a smaller (6-7") thinner blade, realizing that said knife won't be up to real heavy chopping, but accepting that chopping won't be a frequent requirement and relying on a hatchet if it is.

If limited to one knife only, I would place myself squarely within the large-camp knife school of thought. Stephen Foster and I have a camp knife project design in the works that hopefully will come to fruition in the next month or so - that will show our thinking on the subject.

But, my idea of the ideal setup is a two knife rig, similar to your Border Guard camp knife set (I was looking for it on your site and couldn't find it Reggie) - or this attractive rig from Burt Foster:



I'll take this over a small / medium size knife and hatchet any day.

Roger
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:56 AM
Reggie Barker Reggie Barker is offline
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I agree that a set like that is as good as it gets. You can clear brush, use the large knife to chop vegtables, skin with the small one, peel potatoes ect.When I go to camp thats all I take is one of my camp knives and a small hunter. No gaurds on either one they seem to just get in the way. I worked in a packing plant and never used a knife that had a guard on it. Normally you cut the other hand and a guard won't stop that.
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Old 06-21-2005, 03:17 PM
Carey Quinn Carey Quinn is offline
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Reggie,

I haven't posted in this forum before but I drop by every now and then to see what might be going on.

I just had to comment on that combo set. It is really choice. I have been toying with an idea that is kind of similar. Sometimes a guy wants more than one knife with him and that sure looks like a good idea. I read somewhere a while back that the further from the road you get, the bigger the knife you ought to have. Most of us don't really get too far off the road but every once in a while...

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Old 06-21-2005, 04:37 PM
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Here is Reggie's Border Guard set:



All things being equal, I prefer the look and feel of the hidden tang versus the full exposed tang.

Roger
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:45 PM
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Andries Olivier Andries Olivier is offline
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A pair makes good sense, but the terrain where one plans to go camping might also influence the individual's decision. I can't think of any reason to take a large piece on a camping trip into the desert, or on a bacpacking trip in the open field. When going big-game hunting or camping in the tropics I'll take both.
Handle shape should allways be comfortable and I guess any wear and waterresistant material will do, once again dependin on personal preferance. The serious camper will most likely insist on a non-slip grip.
The choice of bladesteel will also depend on climate etc. In S.A most people prefers stainless, but when it comes to chopping a path through a jungle good old carbon steel makes a lot of sense.
I guess a good interview with a client is the only thing to determine what is best.
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:28 AM
Reggie Barker Reggie Barker is offline
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I agree that the farther from the road you get you need a bigger knife but where I live we very seldom get too far from the road. We ride 4 wheelers into our stands and I leave my camp knife on my 4 wheeler.If I were to hunt in Alsaka or even in the mountains somewhere out west I would carry both a camp knife and hunting knife.
Reggie


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Old 06-28-2005, 04:01 PM
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Hope this thread don't die. Here is a pic of a com knife I picked up in MI at the Scagel-In. Not as fine of a finish as the ones above, but it is signed...lol
cutting knife pic(click4pic)


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Old 06-28-2005, 04:28 PM
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Remember this one Reggie? It has a Mike Williams "Okie Style" handle on it.


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Last edited by hammerdownnow; 06-28-2005 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 06-29-2005, 06:34 AM
Reggie Barker Reggie Barker is offline
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We call that handle material Louisiana chrome here in La. ha
Reggie


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Old 06-30-2005, 03:03 AM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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Roger's kinda said it for me. I personally am in the group that likes a less heavy knife for more portability and ease of carry on the belt without fatigue. However, I have in the past found myself with a knife too small to chop hard, so I now favour a knife with a 8inch to 8-1/2inch blade, about 3/16inch thickness or slightly thicker, full height flat grind or subtle convex. My favourite outdoor knife steel is still O1 and I like the shapes of both the Burt Foster camper as well as Reggie Barker's knife used to win one of the recent cutting competitions. HT ? I'm tempted to temper a bit softer for toughness, but I've never had troubles with O1 that is edge quenched and tempered at 380-390F. That makes 60 Rockwell at the edge. But must have a soft back, either full soft or well drawn back with zone tempering.

Guards ? Intuitively, I prefer a single guard, but my current camp knife is guardless... As you say, I too have never cut myself with a guardless knife. I think Micarta makes the toughest working handles. I have been making my camp knives with full tang handles, but a hefty hidden tang would work equally well. These are my ideas of camp knives. Bottom one is my well-used personal one.
http://www.fototime.com/C56F86151285593/orig.jpg

Reggie... what hardness was your O1 cutting comp knife, if I am allowed to ask ?

My 2 cents. Jason.


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Old 07-02-2005, 04:32 PM
Reggie Barker Reggie Barker is offline
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My comp. knives are 58 rockwell I full quench them. I have had no problem with the 01 at that hardness.
Reggie


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