If you eat a great meal at a restaurant, is the type of spatula the cook used responsible for the taste of the food?
If you see a beautiful house, how important is the type of hammer the builder used to the final structure?
If someone has a beautiful website, do you ask them what kind of keyboard they used?
Why all the hype about bushcraft and survival knives, then? Get a good knife (don’t join the never-ending search for the “best”, because you’ll never find it), then learn how to use it.
Remember that it’s the user, not the tool, that’s important.
Originally published January 26, 2011.
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I agree with you 100% find a knife that you like and can keep sharp, and practice as much as you can with it!
I believe the same thing happens in the paddling world regarding paddles…
Backpacking world regarding packs…
Excellent point! Capitalism works against that thinking. Marketing and advertising want the consumer to believe they have to have the best to complete the job. It’s good to have a reality check.
Thanks for the comments, guys. I just felt like a rant this morning.
Ooooorah!!!! I love my cheapie bush knife because it takes a good edge and handles all the things I want it to. I haven’t needed to drive it into a tree and stand on it. I don’t know if it would take the abuse or even why I would want to do that. Part of this is fueled by what I consider to be less than realistic tests by many reviewers.
What makes my knife the “best” is that it is capable of doing what I need when I need it. Find yours and stick with it. The only reason I have a drawer full of knives is that I like to tinker with them, make new handles, etc. My bush knife has been the same for many years.
Thanks for your rant. I value your opinions and think that they help stabilize the community.
This makes me feel better. I thought it was just me that thought that about knifes. Thanks!
When I was a kid in the old old days, you had a Buck or a Case or a Schrade or a Old Henry fixed blade knife with a 3 to 6 inch blade,hollow grind. And you did everything with that knife,and they worked fine if you did your part.
As a blacksmith and knife maker, I can say it is definitely important to spend at least $400-500 or more on a knife or it will not work for bushcraft. A good rule of thumb for a quality bushcraft knife is one months salary. Also be ready to purchase a new knife every 4-6 months or whenever your knife becomes tarnished, scratched, out of style or you see another knife that is much better/cooler than yours. To be a real bushcrafter, one really ought to own a bare minimum of 8-10 bushcraft knives, excluding multi-tools and folding knives. In addition, a custom, multi position leather sheath with a ferro rod is essential. Plastic or kydex simply will not work for bushcraft. These key elements should not be overlooked. Feel free to email me if you are in need of a good bushcraft knife.
I agree 101% !!
Great points as usual. After watching Anna Bosum expertly skin an otter and fisher with a tiny $3.00 gas station folding knife, it was plainly evident that the knowledge and skills behind the tool, were more important than the tool itself.
Now you’re just making to much sense…where’s the fun in that?
All great points Bill. But are 8-10 knives, to be replaced twice per year, really enough?
Thanks Matt. There’s a saying to beware the old man with only one gun, because you can be sure he knows how to use it. Maybe there’s room for a similar saying to beware the person with a single knife.
Thanks Doug. My trips up there have had a huge impact on my thinking.
Sorry for that, Alan!