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In honor of the "best EDC" knife thread (great info), I'm currently shopping for a 1-stop "do it all" survival knife for backpacking/camping. I'm looking for a 4"-5" blade, but you certainly don't need to limit your comments to that.

My personal preferences are full tang (or close to it), solid grip, and a nice sheath that has several different mounting options (usually on the belt with a single leg strap, but pack mounting options are nice too). For the blade itself I want something reliable, strong, and will hold its edge without having to sharpen after every use.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Gerber LMF2 ASEK. I've heard great things about this although some people have negative comments about 420HC stainless steel. Any others I should consider? Price range is $60-90.
 

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I'm a custom Knife maker and I can answer a couple of your questions.
You definitely want a FULL tang blade. I make my personal knives out of D2.
It takes and HOLDS a great edge. Stay away from 440C and 420 steel. It is hard to sharpen and does NOT hold an edge. I would also recommend that you wait and save up a bit more money so you can buy a better knife. I'm happy to see you don't want a very long blade. I don't like blades over 5 inches on anything other than a machete. I hope I helped out a bit. Good luck on your decision. .........:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm a custom Knife maker and I can answer a couple of your questions.
You definitely want a FULL tang blade. I make my personal knives out of D2.
It takes and HOLDS a great edge. Stay away from 440C and 420 steel. It is hard to sharpen and does NOT hold an edge. I would also recommend that you wait and save up a bit more money so you can buy a better knife. I'm happy to see you don't want a very long blade. I don't like blades over 5 inches on anything other than a machete. I hope I helped out a bit. Good luck on your decision. .........:cheers:
Thanks for the feedback. My understanding of the LMF 2 is that the tang is slightly separated at the butt end in order to allow the cutting of electrical lines without being electrocuted. That doesn't do much for me out in the middle of nature though, and if its going to be a big detriminent to knife stability that's not good.

I'll check out D2 - any specific models you can recommend? I'm willing to spend more if it means longevity.

As for the size, yeah, I borrowed a WW2 Navy knife recently (very similar to the 7 inch Ka-bar marine knives) and it was just way too cumbersome. 4 1/2 - 5 seems perfect to me.
 

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Here are two of my favorite "survival" knives. A Gerber LMF II for roughing it and a Cold Steel R1 Military Classic for "cleaner" activities in the campo. I also like the recon scout, rat rc-5 and the almost indestructible ka-bar beckers.

 

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Knives, like guns, trucks and all toys have price tags.



I am fond of the MPK (Mission Knives multi-purpose knife), first made for the SEAL Teams. I was an officer at Naval Special Warfare Group One when we did the 'knife-off' in 1991 for the Teams and the MPK beat ALL comers. The SOG knife (made of steel) was a distant second because it was not non-magnetic and being made of steel, it would inevitably rust. The MPK came through every brutal test with flying colors.:ninja:
 

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I have this, it awesome. 7" blade


Amazon.com: SOG Specialty Knives & Tools S37-N SEAL Knife 2000 with Nylon Sheath: Home Improvement

Best prices on amazon

This is the shorter 4-5" version

Amazon.com: SOG Specialty Knives & Tools E37S-N SEAL Pup Elite Straight TiNi Blade with Nylon Sheath, Black: Home Improvement

Or the site, they have numerous small version in the 4-5 range.

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, LLC


If anyone is looking for a one/two hand amazing hatchet, this thing is insane.


Amazon.com: SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01T Tactical Tomahawk, Black: Home Improvement

Cut 2 in pine, 1-2 blow, 3 in 3-4 blows.

I don't even grab a saw for anything less than 6 inches
 

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Gerber LMF II is awesome. Its heavy in the hand, insulated from electrical, reasonably priced, sheath has a sharpener and a seatbelt cutter. Its the Canadian Army issue knife now. Also was the shrpest knife I've ever had new.
 

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ESEE 5, HANDS DOWN!!

Here is my video review of it..

 

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I also have the Gerber LMF II. Like others have said, it has a really nice weight and the blade is very sharp.
 
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