Richard Bucker

axes, saws, and knives; oh my!

Posted at — May 25, 2016

I got it wrong … in fact I have no idea what right is. I thought:with a saw that I would not need an axwith a longer/heavy duty blade I would not need an ax because I could baton and scrapeand so my kit started looking heavy duty and frankly I went overboard.I got an ax anywaya bowie7in full tang4.5in full tangfolding knife as an EDC** full tang and non-folding were all part of the initial driverI started testing this set but processing some very soft and dry wood. Except where the branches once were the wood was ultra soft, the bark flew off in every direction, and because I did not have a processing anvil I could not really swing any of the implements without being concerned about hitting the concrete below.And now I encountered a second stream of advice:no coatings on the bladeno batononly scandi grindscandi grind on the axfull tang not necessarymaking feather sticks with a scandi grind axlight weight and strongAnd so my thoughts and emotions started to swing the other way. And now I’m disturbed. I watched some youtube episodes of Alone and I recognized many different use-cases. Ax was necessary. Saw was still good but less necessary. Most splitting would be done with the ax and the tinder could be processed with a small blade. The scandi grind is probably easier to field sharpen. Coated knives not to much as you have to polish thru the coating in addition to the task at hand.So I have no idea which is the best knife or “system”. I think it’s partly the use-cases you commonly encounter and secondarily which systems you become confident with.PS: I’m surprised how much recognition the Swedish get for bushcraft. Whether it’s Mora, scandi grind or the Swedish Fire Torch, tents, hammocks they seem to be in the middle.UPDATE:  I forgot to add a few things:serrated blades are time consuming to sharpendark and camo colors are difficult to see in a pak or on the ground (face it, if you’re not in the military or trying to evade capture then bright is better; and if that’s not an option then a lanyard is a requirement.)how you wear your know is also very important. [a] inside your jacket [b] clipped on a belt [c] looped through a belt [d] on a lanyard [e] companion mounted [f] mounted to pakplastic, leather or strap case. Compression, velcro or snaps. [a] One of my leather cases disintegrated.  [b] straps are already starting to fray.