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Page Armory » Blades
Posted: 9/7/2009 8:25:20 AM EST
Okay, so I don't own any knives other than a small daily carry type generic pocket knife. That's going to change soon, and I'd like some input from you "knife guys" to help me pick out the right one.

1. I'm looking for a general camp/outdoor knife. I'm not a big time hunter, nor am I involved in the military or LE, so I won't be beating this thing to death. I'll likely use it for cutting small wood, paracord (overkill), etc.

2. Money is not a major factor, though I would prefer not to exceed $300.

3. Would like to buy US-made.

With that said, here are the ones I'm really considering along with prices from the respective web sites. Tell me if I'm on the right track, any negatives you know about, and maybe which one you would select.

Busse "Tank Buster" - $287

Rat "RC-5" - $136

Scrap Yard "Scrapper 6" - $100

Gerber "LMF II ASEK" - $115

Cold Steel "SRK" - $120

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/7/2009 8:42:00 AM EST
Those are some seriously BIG knives.

If you are not a "knife guy", consider also, the BRKT Bravo-1. It is VERY nice and just enough smaller that it makes a difference. It is a very handy size.
Link Posted: 9/7/2009 9:14:32 AM EST
I have the RC-5 and it's one hell of a knife. 1095 high carbon steel is your friend. Just use it, sharpen it and oil it every now and then. Rat knives are one hell of a value for the money and their warranty cannot be beat.

I have also handled the SRK (you can get it way cheaper if you look around), and I'd consider it. I'm not entirely sold on the steel they use, AUS-8. If you could find an older model in Carbon-V I'd tell you to snap it up greedily. Also, I'm pretty sure they're not US made.

I also hear great things about Scrapyard and Busse, but I have no experience with them.

Finally, Mike's suggestion of the Bravo-1 is spot on. It's a great knife, and one that is very likely to join my collection very soon. Check out some of the Bark River stuff, and see if any of them float your boat.

Link Posted: 9/7/2009 9:29:58 AM EST
Just checked out the Bravo 1 (thanks for the tip). Great looking knife that would probably do the trick. I noticed that its weight is half that of the Rat RC-5. I hadn't considered weight before, but I guess that should be included in my decision.
Link Posted: 9/7/2009 11:34:24 AM EST
The RC-5 is a hefty beast, but it rides quite comfortably in its sheath due to the thigh strap. I hardly noticed it on a hike a few weeks back.
Link Posted: 9/7/2009 5:23:15 PM EST
For the money, you can't beat Scrapyard or Swamprat knives. Busse is also good, but relatively expensive. I had a Busse Badger ATAC but sold it.

I think the Scrapyard Scrapper 5 is pretty similar to the Bravo 1 size wise, the Scrapper 6 is bigger. Although they show the knives on the website, they are no longer available from Scrapyard. The only way to get a Scrapper 6 is on the secondary market, same with the standard Scrapper 5. You can order the LE Scrapper 5 on the website though.

I like the RAT knives, very solid, and you get a lot of knife for the price.

I have no experience with the Gerber, but I've heard good things.

As was already mentioned, if you can find a Carbon V SRK, get it. If not, I'd pass on the AUS-8 model.

I prefer Scrapyard and Swamprat. All of which can be found on the secondary market pretty easily.

From the top: Scrapyard Yard Hook, 3 Scrapper 5's, Swamprat Uncle Mini-Mojo, Swamprat Ratmandu.


Link Posted: 9/7/2009 5:38:40 PM EST
I don't think you could go wrong with any of those choices. Busse make an outstanding knife. The Scrapyard line are all based on Busse designs as are the Swamp Rat blades.

This is my Swamp Rat "Ratmandu":



Link Posted: 9/7/2009 5:52:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By mic214:
I don't think you could go wrong with any of those choices. Busse make an outstanding knife. The Scrapyard line are all based on Busse designs as are the Swamp Rat blades.

This is my Swamp Rat "Ratmandu":

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y71/mic214/Knives/DSCN0506_edited.jpg


I really couldn't decide what color Ratmandu to order, so I got the brown/tan......I wasn't going to have the same problem with the Scrapper 5!



Link Posted: 9/7/2009 6:16:45 PM EST
While I'm at it, what's the story with online ordering? It looks like neither Scrap Yard nor Swamp Rat have the knives I might want to buy. I looked for the Ratmandu (by Swamp Rat) and the Scrapper 6 (by Scrap Yard), but I don't see where to purchase them. Where did you guys get yours?
Link Posted: 9/7/2009 6:38:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By wdatz:
While I'm at it, what's the story with online ordering? It looks like neither Scrap Yard nor Swamp Rat have the knives I might want to buy. I looked for the Ratmandu (by Swamp Rat) and the Scrapper 6 (by Scrap Yard), but I don't see where to purchase them. Where did you guys get yours?


They produce limited runs of knives a couple times a year. They don't advertise, and the only way to find out is from the different knife forums, or to keep checking their website.
You can often find them on E-bay, and Bladeforums actually has a for sale section specific to Busse/Swamprat/Scrapyard knives.

Link Posted: 9/7/2009 8:36:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By wdatz:
While I'm at it, what's the story with online ordering? It looks like neither Scrap Yard nor Swamp Rat have the knives I might want to buy. I looked for the Ratmandu (by Swamp Rat) and the Scrapper 6 (by Scrap Yard), but I don't see where to purchase them. Where did you guys get yours?

According to your user info I think you're in Kentucky? If so, head to Knob Creek next month. Busse usually has a pretty big table there.

Other than that, bladeforums and ebay are the two most common places to buy a Busse/Swamp Rat/Scrapyard blade, unless you want specifically what the company has right now.


Any of the knives you listed will do very well for what you want. Some of them may be a little big, though (like the Busse Tank Buster) for your purposes. A Ratmandu, Scrapper 5, or Badger Attack Tactical (BATAC) will do very well, and they're all approximately 5"-5.5" of blade.

But I would go to Knob Creek. In fact, I *am* going to Knob Creek, and I plan on stopping by the Busse tables.
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 4:51:59 AM EST
Great idea, jbombelli. I've never been to Knob Creek even though I'm close. That would probably be a great way to get my hands around one of these knives. When you say the Busse is big, I don't really have any point of reference. I believe you, but I'm just not experienced enough with knives to know what "big" means, so Knob Creek would be a useful experience.
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 5:23:30 AM EST

The Bark River Bravo 1 is the best knife in it's price range, imo. That said, Busse is worth the money.
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 6:26:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2009 6:27:41 AM EST by jbombelli]

Originally Posted By wdatz:
Great idea, jbombelli. I've never been to Knob Creek even though I'm close. That would probably be a great way to get my hands around one of these knives. When you say the Busse is big, I don't really have any point of reference. I believe you, but I'm just not experienced enough with knives to know what "big" means, so Knob Creek would be a useful experience.

You'll enjoy the Knob Creek shoot. Just try to show up seriously early, otherwise you'll have a 2+hour wait just crossing that bridge right before the range. I hear there's a shortcut somewhere nearby that bypasses that huge wait. I'm going to have to get my gps and maps out and figure it out. That wait seriously sucked ass last time.

At Knob Creek you'll see Busses ranging from small, like the Game Warden, to ridiculously large, like the MOAB. To me, a Tank Buster isn't really that large. It's mid-sized. It has a 6" blade. I actually had to look that up. For some reason I thought it was a 7.5" blade. I don't know where I came up with that, but there you go. I was thinking a 7.5" blade is a little large for cutting paracord and fuzz sticks. Now, if you were planning to use it to chop and baton wood for fires and shelters, and dig holes with it, 7.5" isn't so big anymore.

A lot of people are liking the Tank Buster. Personally, I didn't pull the trigger on this one, even though it has so many options. I also didn't buy the Scrapper 5 LE.

I'm saving my money for Knob Creek! Nobody knows what's going to be there, but they always have a lot of seriously nice knives.
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 12:38:15 PM EST
the gerber
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 2:31:30 PM EST
Looks like I may have to choose from the RAT, Gerber or Cold Steel. Waiting around for Busse or Scrap Yard to make a limited run that I'll know nothing about doesn't seem like a good plan for having a solid knife in hand any time soon. Besides, most of them tend to get good reviews here and elsewhere. I'll update (with pics) when the choice has been made.
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 5:07:08 PM EST
The scrapper 5 Le...is a great choise. Or how about the SOD?
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 6:08:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By wdatz:
Looks like I may have to choose from the RAT, Gerber or Cold Steel. Waiting around for Busse or Scrap Yard to make a limited run that I'll know nothing about doesn't seem like a good plan for having a solid knife in hand any time soon. Besides, most of them tend to get good reviews here and elsewhere. I'll update (with pics) when the choice has been made.

If you're set on those three brands, if it was me, I would go with the RAT. I still recommend checking out the table at Knob Creek, though!
Link Posted: 9/8/2009 7:02:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By wdatz:
Just checked out the Bravo 1 (thanks for the tip). Great looking knife that would probably do the trick. I noticed that its weight is half that of the Rat RC-5. I hadn't considered weight before, but I guess that should be included in my decision.


It may be lighter but it is not "light". My blade measures a 0.215" thick and it is constructed with a full thickness, full length tang. The leather sheath it comes with is really very nice (the web site photos don't do it justice).

If you really need the extra blade length and don't mind doubling the weight, well...


Just trying to help.
Link Posted: 9/9/2009 3:11:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2009 3:12:11 AM EST by DCN1982]
Could also check out the Ranger Ready Detachment series. I don't own one, but my friend's RD7 seems very stout and he's pretty hard on it.

Ranger Knives

EDIT: And of those three you listed, I'd go with the RAT.
Link Posted: 9/9/2009 6:40:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Redguard:
the gerber


The Gerber is a great knife. LA Police Gear sells them for around $75 - $80. A great price for a tough knife.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 1:45:53 AM EST
Go ahead and 'fondle' a couple of them before buying (my wife's words- not mine). Chose what you like and what you need- then go for cost. You will be ever happy with the purchase.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:26:23 AM EST
I also urge you to consider the Bravo-1. It is not tactical but nonetheless a very durable blade. The bladestock is very thick and the fully convexed A2 steel is no joke. As it is convexed and uncoated, it will be easier to get better cutting performance out of this knife than the others mentioned. I also find it more comfortable under extended use than the Swamp rat and RATs I have gotten to use, but YMMV.

Here is mine shown with a Spyderco Endura for size comaparison:

Link Posted: 9/13/2009 6:05:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2009 6:09:00 PM EST by Sixguns4Fighting]
My advise is that you go with a small to medium sized knife and a hatchet for camping out.

The "Safety Axe No. 5" and the "Woodcraft Knife" from Marbles are good kit.


http://www.marblescutlery.com/axes/safetyaxe5.html

http://www.marblescutlery.com/cutlery/woodcraft.html
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 6:05:05 PM EST
Update: I was going on a last-minute camping trip, and I needed a decent knife quick. Since I couldn't get my hands on the ones you guys have noted above, I snagged a Gerber Paraframe II (serrated) as an inexpensive, temporary solution.

The reason I'm writing is because now I have an understanding about the size of the knives I had originally wanted. For basic camping and general use, something as cheap and small as the Paraframe ($10, 4oz) will do in most cases. It's not high quality, and I understand it loses its edge quickly, but it does the trick overall. I still want a larger, high-end knife, but now weight is definitely a concern.

The Bravo-1 is only 7.4oz, so it may be the winner.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 6:24:42 PM EST
Bravo-1 is a great little camping/bushcraft/all purpose knife.

Bark River makes some really sweet knives.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 11:55:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By wdatz:

I still want a larger, high-end knife, but now weight is definitely a concern.

quote]

sounds like you found out the truth ––- a lot of people buy more blade than is needed. I realize backpacking is different, and weight and size is a concern,, but if a person has a basecamp setup with their vehicle and a big tent –– there's room for an axe and a brush saw anyway, so a 10" bowie knife is not necessary. (although i just bought a big Cold Steel bowie because it was cool)

If you have up to a 300$ budget ––- put a deposit on a nice custom –– deposit may be a couple of hundred bucks –– by the time it is done, you will have forgotten about it so ponying up another 250 or so will be no big thing

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