Importance of a knife

mark.177

Maker
Apr 21, 2014
722
152
Cornwall UK
A fully automated manufacturing process in the blade making, from the initial steel forming, computer controlled heat treating and so on, will produce a far more consistent end product than an artisan, at a hugely lower price.

not having a rant at all but... thats not entirely fair as a lot of us makers have moved on from simple charcoal forges with some very precise electric and propane forges able to hold temp +- 1 degree! a little smaller yes but every bit as precise.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,917
1,407
63
Pembrokeshire
Forget the car analogy - try outdoor clothing....
I get most of my outdoor clothing from reputable makers such as 5.11 great kit at a sensible price - just like a Mora!
There are cheaper suppliers of kit but they are often pure rubbish - just like awful cheap "Survival Knives"!
I have designed and made a lot of my own clothing and have produced some great kit for my needs but which will not suit everyone and where the finish may not be 100% - just like a home build knife
I have designed and had other folks make up some kit - just like going to a custom knife maker
I have bought garments from other makers (Bison Ventile smock for example) that are made in small numbers but to a high standard from great materials - just like buying a more expensive knife....
Yea you can get by with low priced clothing such as Surplus - but for better fit, comfort, looks and style you might want to spend a bit more cash...
 

Sieddy

Full Member
Nov 12, 2016
221
36
Oxford uk
I already spend too much on inexpensive knives and kit to be able to afford the high end stuff! :rolleyes:
I completely see why people want to buy beautifully handcrafted items and it's good that artists and craftsman have a market for their work.
What I struggle to get my head round is those knives that are more than a £1000- what the hell are they making those out of-platinum and diamonds!?! I do think it's ironic that a certain maker has a model branded Kon! ;)
 
Apr 8, 2016
17
0
Garstang, Preston
I don't mind a nice cheap knife or a mega expensive one, couldn't care less if it got scratched it shows its been used after all, but for me it what a knife means to you as well as the functionality of it but I bought a knife from Dave Budd at my first Bush Moot and it'll be with me for life. If you ain't gonna use it, don't buy it plain and simple. Wheelz

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,712
992
64
Florida
I don't mind a nice cheap knife or a mega expensive one, couldn't care less if it got scratched it shows its been used after all....

I have mixed feeling on this. Of course i like a nice shiny new to as much as the next person and would often like to see it remain that way forever. That said, those scratches and marks just as often add character and truly make the tool something personal. It's more often fear of losing a nice knife that bothers me far more than fear of scratching it. That fear even apples to some of my cheaper machetes simply because they're family heirlooms brought back from Panama by my Dad 65 years ago.
 

Samon

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 24, 2011
3,970
38
Britannia!
Also, remember that a 'bushcraft knife' is for hobby purposes only, it's not a true work knife like a butcher or fisherman would use. Those knives DO end up wrecked and shaprened down to little nubs.

That being said, although I won't buy fancy cutom stuff, it doesn't mean it isn't a nice investment for yourself to enjoy your hobbies and to maybe pass down to your kids or family etc. A real work tool won't last even a fraction of the time as it needs to be used constantly without fear of breaking the bank or being damaged. Hence why I've never met a butcher, fisherman, farmer etc that has fancy knives they use at work every day. My tool box has a mora in it, it's rusty and not very sharp but it's good enough as it is for what I do to it. I sharpen it on a file and toss back in the box when I'm done cutting. I will not do the same with the cool or nice stuff I've accumilated over the years.

Why?

Because they're cool! I'd rather keep them for the pure practice of hoarding and collecting and maybe to sell or trade years later, aswell as to learn from the shapes etc for my own gain as a maker. Putting my shiny stuff in tool box or through a body weight of logs like a pro bushcraft master is kind of counter productive, I'd rather use the cruder ones and save the others for..keeping clean and wving around like a boss?
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
a bushcrafter, or a hobby fisherman ( like me) can also put a lot of wear on them..

Me and my son use 4 different knives when we 'butcher" the fish we catch in Norway, he does the removal of fillets - one knife, fine removing bones he missed in filleting - second knife.
I use one knife for removing the skin and shaping the fillets and one knife to remove the cheeks and tongues (of Cod).
all 4 knifes have different sizes and shapes, 3 are made by Mora and one is a Marttiini.

We refresh the edge for every fish. Son sometimes refreshens the edge of his main filleting knife more than once, as he works with "bone contact"..

Yes, those knifes have blades much smaller than original.
Sure we could use expensive knives but why?

When we cut up the bone and skin less fillets to be vacuum packed in our house, we then use a finer, much more expensive kitchen knife. Only because it is there, not because of a specific choice.

The first four knives stay outdoors or in the cellar.
 

mark.177

Maker
Apr 21, 2014
722
152
Cornwall UK
i do get the whole idea of using cheaper knives, work knives, i have an old MOD knife i use for kindling a rusting opinal for the garden a cheap small locking folder on the Welsh dresser for opening packages a sak that mainly gets used for the screwdriver one of my own reject friction folders as an edc but i feel no emotion using them... for bushcraft i consider the knife a friend and companion and get an inexplicable enjoyment from carrying and using them. a cheap shop bought knife just doesnt feel the same, i could loose or break it and yes i would be upset... but i would make another. i could carry a mora and would do the same job more or less but would rather spend the £70 odd quid and another 20 hours or so work making one of my own or spend a bit more and let someone i trust make one for me.
im probably a bit biased as am a maker but then get plenty of custom still for hand made knives so there is a market. i think its just the feeling you get from using something made well with a passion? some get it, some dont. some just cant afford it or would rather spend the money another way.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Mark, the huge difference between somebody like me, and you, is that you can create a knife that "fits like a glove".

Not only the blade, but the handle too. A knife you make for yourself must be an awesome tool for you. The balance, general feel, everything!.

I just buy one and hope for the best.
(except Moras, I know them since childhood, and can try them at the local petrol station or small supermarket!)
 
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Hibrion

Maker
Jan 11, 2012
1,231
3
Ireland
If you can get a knife at a good price that will do what you want, then why not. If you're into the 4 inch scandi ground stereotype 'bushcraft knife' a mora or hultafors will do just fine. In fact, the vast majority of us carry one in a pack as a spare if going out for any real length of time. If you're bumbling in the woods for a day or two, it doesn't matter if they break or don't keep an edge for the longest time, you'll get by. You might even upgrade to some full-tang beast if you are tough on your knives, or beat them through logs, but it still won't break the bank.

However, if you want something that is made just for you, something you can really rely on, you probably need to spend a bit more money whether it's a higher end factory-made knife or a truly custom blade. Top end factory knives like Spyderco command high prices because you are getting a precision made knife with some of the finest materials available, backed up by research, with a warranty and with edges that last nearly indefinitely. I don't mind spending a hundred odd quid on one of their folders. I always have my PM2 in my pocket. It's perfectly made, comfortable, ergonomical, a no frills tool that's always sharp - I basically never have to sharpen it.

However, if going down the custom route, I can honestly say you could waste a lot of money, very quickly. I'm not really interested in paying inflated prices for a knife that is basically ground out of stock steel, much the same as a good factory knife. You know the one's I mean without me having to say. However, I will pay hundreds, maybe even four figures for something special, maybe a hand-forged blade by a master bladesmith with a fine handmade sheath to go with it and not regret it one bit. I appreciate the time that goes in, the skill required and that the finished product is something I couldn't get anywhere else. Something that is perfectly formed and guaranteed to do exactly what you want for as long as you want. Of course, you can spend a bit of extra money on an ornate handle to make it a bit nicer looking, and if you're going this far, I see no problem with adding a few quid to fulfil your desire for an aesthetically pleasing knife while you're at it. We do the same with all our kit, bags, clothes etc.

It's probably easier for me to justify stuff like this as a craftsperson of high-end leather and canvas goods. I understand what goes in to things like this. I work with customers to make sure they get exactly what they want and it is entirely handmade, and something that can't be bought elsewhere.

Basically, If I'm going somewhere remote, I'll bring my hand-forged camp bowie. It will never let me down, the smith who made it demonstrates that his knives will do more than almost any others with regular testing. I don't care how much it costs, I'll limb a tree with it, clean fish and game, prepare my dinner, defend myself if I have to. Someone did ask me recently, 'what would you do if you dropped it', knowing it was worth a few quid. I said I'd pick it back up again :)
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Decades ago, before I had the means to buy anything more expensive and fancier than a Marttiini, i had a couple of soldiers under me that were Same ( in Swedish 'Lapp jävlar' :))

We all carried our own knifes, privately bought stainless Mora, Marttiini, in their case Same knives. Sheats of leather, carbon steel blades, wooden handles with small parts of reindeer horn.
Nothing fancy. Used them to butcher animals, cut wire, wood, everything.
But, when they dressed in their traditional village garb, for party or wedding parties,they wore full horn, with scrimshaw, fancy pieces of knife art.
Those they used to carve a bit meat, fruit or veg. So limited use.
 
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Wayland

Hárbarðr


Life is is too short for ugly kit...
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
F@@@@ng beautiful collection!

PLEASE do not baton with that knife!

The large round bent wood box ( svep ask) looks like it is made for traditional Swedish cracker bread.

The shallow scoop is to scoop out ice when ice fishing?
The large Kåsa is when milking reindeer mamas I think?


I think that the Same make the most beautiful "ethnic' things on our planet.
 
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Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,895
185
Knowhere
Also, remember that a 'bushcraft knife' is for hobby purposes only, it's not a true work knife like a butcher or fisherman would use. Those knives DO end up wrecked and shaprened down to little nubs.

Which is why opinel make such good knifes, they are cheap enough to use to destruction as a working knife. My basic everyday kitchen knife, and leatherwork knife and whatever else it gets pressed into service to do.
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr
F@@@@ng beautiful collection!

PLEASE do not baton with that knife!

The large round bent wood box ( svep ask) looks like it is made for traditional Swedish cracker bread.

The shallow scoop is to scoop out ice when ice fishing?
The large Kåsa is when milking reindeer mamas I think?


I think that the Same make the most beautiful "ethnic' things on our planet.

I would agree with you there although the Inuit come close I think.

I rarely have the need to baton a knife, I'm more likely to use an axe or my hawk.

I'm not sure about the large Kåsa though, it lacks the usual inward curving rim that such milking skops usually have.




It was made by Johan Borgstróm, who I can't find much info about.




For myself, it will make a fine eating bowl.
 

dean4442

Full Member
Nov 11, 2004
536
2
Wokingham UK
Wayland!!! Will you please stop showing all your beautiful things to us mere mortals, I'm now having to mop up all the drool from my keyboard.
To answer the original question, I have had moras and also a condor bushcraft knife and yes they both do the job and I'll probably never wear them out. However the main knife I use for bushcraft is a Bernie Garland bushcrafter which was a present from my unit when I finished my term as Sergeant Major, it's shinier but because of who I received it from I treasure it every time I use it.
My day to day blade I have to admit is a plastic scaled Svord peasant mini, it's beaten up but that's to be expected because it gets a LOT of use.