USAF Survival Knife.

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Graham_S

Squirrely!
Feb 27, 2005
4,016
38
47
Saudi Arabia
I’ve had a hankering for one of these knives for about 35 years, ever since I saw one advertised in the old Survival Aids catalogue.
I suspect that quite a few of us who are of a certain age will look back with fond memories of that publication…

Anyway, since I’m back in the uk at the moment, and since good old Heinnie Hayes had one in stock, I pulled the trigger.
b366a7e8b6484dd809dbb13858370d10.jpg

d58dde3a56f987a661032e6faf55059b.jpg


Spec wise, it’s a 5” blade of carbon steel (1095, I think) with a parkerised corrosion resistant coating with a clip point and a saw back.
The handle is stacked leather and it has a solid butt cap that the tang runs through into.

Sheath is natural coloured leather with metal re-enforcement at the base and up the back, and with a pouch for a small sharpening stone on the front.

Also supplied are a couple of laces, which I assume are to tie the sheath to an aircrew survival vest.

8640c9b7b4c044860555c6347b1c26b1.jpg

Brigadier General Robin Olds with the knife on his survival gear, Vietnam War.

I plan to test it out at the Moot and see how it goes.

First impressions are mixed.
It feels great in the hand, really nicely balanced.
Sheath is decent, although it needed a bit of work before the knife fitted cleanly, and the snap did up.
A bit of wiggling to get the metal plate opened up a bit and it was fine.

The edge.
Well.
It’s going to need work.
It wasn’t that blunt, but it’s not that sharp.
The edge profile needs some work.
I’m going to take care of that over the next week or so (I’m in quarantine, because I just flew back so I’ve got another 7 days before I’m released into the wild…)

The saw is quite fine, and I suspect it’s for aluminium aircraft structure rather than wood, but it should work for notches and such.

So far I’m happy with it.
I’ll update after I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.


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Corso

Full Member
Aug 13, 2007
5,069
375
none
I agree but it's way too soft for long term use.

It's a military survival knife, 24-72 hrs worth of tasks and a cutting tool is the least of your worries
 

Morris-Martel

New Member
Jul 18, 2021
3
0
59
Kent
I’ve had a hankering for one of these knives for about 35 years, ever since I saw one advertised in the old Survival Aids catalogue.
I suspect that quite a few of us who are of a certain age will look back with fond memories of that publication…

Anyway, since I’m back in the uk at the moment, and since good old Heinnie Hayes had one in stock, I pulled the trigger.
b366a7e8b6484dd809dbb13858370d10.jpg

d58dde3a56f987a661032e6faf55059b.jpg


Spec wise, it’s a 5” blade of carbon steel (1095, I think) with a parkerised corrosion resistant coating with a clip point and a saw back.
The handle is stacked leather and it has a solid butt cap that the tang runs through into.

Sheath is natural coloured leather with metal re-enforcement at the base and up the back, and with a pouch for a small sharpening stone on the front.

Also supplied are a couple of laces, which I assume are to tie the sheath to an aircrew survival vest.

8640c9b7b4c044860555c6347b1c26b1.jpg

Brigadier General Robin Olds with the knife on his survival gear, Vietnam War.

I plan to test it out at the Moot and see how it goes.

First impressions are mixed.
It feels great in the hand, really nicely balanced.
Sheath is decent, although it needed a bit of work before the knife fitted cleanly, and the snap did up.
A bit of wiggling to get the metal plate opened up a bit and it was fine.

The edge.
Well.
It’s going to need work.
It wasn’t that blunt, but it’s not that sharp.
The edge profile needs some work.
I’m going to take care of that over the next week or so (I’m in quarantine, because I just flew back so I’ve got another 7 days before I’m released into the wild…)

The saw is quite fine, and I suspect it’s for aluminium aircraft structure rather than wood, but it should work for notches and such.

So far I’m happy with it.
I’ll update after I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Nice knives I bought one years ago at an airshow and like wise needed lots of work on the blade profile. All those saw backs on survival knives never seem to work well as they were designed for aluminium as you say but also the perspex canopies. I will have to dig it out again
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,462
2,429
S. Lanarkshire
@Corso , @Graham_S

You both make points that are not often mentioned.
For a 'right now' in need, knife, then non-brittle and forgiving can be an awfully useful tool, even if it won't keep a really sharp edge for long.
When not in dire need though, not having to sharpen much is something of a relief, but I've still seen a lot of snapped hard and edge keeping knives though.
A slightly jammed twist is enough to break many expensive blades from a moment's inattention.

I don't think we have a thread on knife steels and their properties anymore. It might be a good thing if someone were to start and keep it straight :) (hint!)
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,462
2,429
S. Lanarkshire
Good on you :)

I re-read what I had written and I think soft was the wrong word. It's misleading there, so I edited it.....but, it's still a decent point to make, that there's a trade off between being flexible enough not to shatter under stress (survival is stress/ful situation) or being really, really sharp and good at keeping that really sharp edge.

Bushcraft knives are inclined to be kind of sturdy, one knife to do it all kind of thing, I've seen a fair few sharpened almost to stilettos though :roll:

How sharp do you really need. Our ancestors managed with stone, and it wasn't always flint either.
Slate ulus were common enough, and those folks flenced whales using them.

M
 

Mr Wolf

Full Member
Jun 30, 2013
663
153
Nottinghamshire
How sharp do you really need. Our ancestors managed with stone, and it wasn't always flint either.
Slate ulus were common enough, and those folks flenced whales using them
Same with anything. Everything is good until you try better.
I made the mistake of jumping out of a standard golf r into a stage 3, from now a standard r just doesn’t do it.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,462
2,429
S. Lanarkshire
True enough :)
Surprising just how good flint or obsidian blades can be though. I bought a modern ceramic kitchen knife....it's the same stuff really, though the new kitchen knife dulled long before my flint one did.

M
 
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Graham_S

Squirrely!
Feb 27, 2005
4,016
38
47
Saudi Arabia
@Graham_S

Sorry Graham :blush: we've taken your thread way Off Topic.
Would you rather I split it ? or will we just continue the conversation ? and get to your update in due course ?
atb,
M

No, it’s ok.
While it’s not “on topic”, so to speak, it’s still pertinent information, and relates to the knife in question, as it doesn’t have a super hard steel blade.

I’ll get to the update once I’ve finished putting a better edge on the blade.
It’s slow going because I don’t have all my stuff available.
It’s going to the moot with me, so I’m planning to use it as my primary blade there.
I’ve been playing with it for the last few days and I really like it, although I’ve not had it out of the house yet (Day 8 of quarantine today)
It feels nice in the hand, and the sheath has worn in a bit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
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Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
181
133
Kent
I have a pretty soft knife but I love the ergos and just get in the habit of stropping it often. It's my go-to knife so edge retention isn't necessarily the be all and end all.
 
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Graham_S

Squirrely!
Feb 27, 2005
4,016
38
47
Saudi Arabia
f2880b36c18eb8b977a49932eb31de34.jpg

Work(sharp) in progress…
I’m playing with my new Worksharp precision sharpener.
It’s doing quite a good job so far.
I’m a bit worried about the wear on the coarsest grit plate, but I can get replacement plates from Worksharp apparently.
It’s doing a good job though.
I’d be better off with my Edgepro, I think, but it’s 3000 miles away at the moment, so this will have to do.


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sargey

Mod
Mod
Sep 11, 2003
2,692
6
cheltenham, glos
Will you be bringing your sharpening gadget to the moot
f2880b36c18eb8b977a49932eb31de34.jpg

Work(sharp) in progress…
I’m playing with my new Worksharp precision sharpener.
It’s doing quite a good job so far.
I’m a bit worried about the wear on the coarsest grit plate, but I can get replacement plates from Worksharp apparently.
It’s doing a good job though.
I’d be better off with my Edgepro, I think, but it’s 3000 miles away at the moment, so this will have to do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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