What is your ideal knife length for hunting, camping chores etc.

Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
edited December 2018 in Hunting #1
For general hunting I like a good skinner type blade about 3 to 4". For general camping chores my old Randall Model 14 is my favorite. Love that old knife. Bought it from Cumberland Knife and Gun Works in 'Fayettenam' when I was stationed at Ft Bragg back in the 80s. Also, back when I used to go coyote callin' I found, to my surprise, that the small Fisherman Swiss Army worked great. What say you? 


Edit: Mods, not sure if this belongs in Clubhouse or Hunting. I'll leave it to you where it should be. 
«1

Replies

  • Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
    Holeee crap! Was just looking at the Randall Knives website and there's now a 4-5 year wait on orders.  
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,252 Senior Member
    Whatever size I can reach with one hand from my contorted position of struggle.

    Last time I took my son camping. He started singing the theme song from Have Gun Will Travel. He changed the words to say I was a struggling man in a savage land.🎵😯
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,480 Senior Member
    I don't really have one.  And, I can't say I've given it a lot of thought.  When I hunt, I usually carry 2-3 knives for different purposes, or as backups.  When dressing and caping elk, it's good to have 2 or more, or a good sharpener.  It's also good to have a saw or hatchet.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,500 Senior Member
    A 3", or so,  blade pocket knife, always. Elk hunting, a folding saw, and a couple 4-5" fixed, guthook, skinner knives.  And a sharpener.  
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    I carry a Benchmade Griptilian, for everything except the chores that abuse the edge. It has easy access, clipped inside my front, left-side pocket, as a concession to carrying a pistol on the right side. I can open it with one hand and switch to the right easily enough, for actual cutting chores. I have field dressed and skinned several deer with it, as well as using it for much of the butchering, which I always do at home. The blade is about 3-1/2", and that is my choice for nearly all meat-cutting or skinning chores, except slicing.

    I do like a long butcher knife blade for slicing good cuts of meat, after cooking and resting the meat, but for boning and most other chores, anything over 5" is in the way.
  • Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    Swiss Army knife is always in my pocket, so that’s one. 

    A 3-4” knife as well, of  one flavor or another. Not really locked to one knife. I tend to rotate them. 

    I don’t carry a giant ass knife “because I might need to  chop down trees build a shelter”. Knives aren’t the best chopping tool. A simple $20 folding saw beats chopping with a big ass blade. Why beat the hell out of a knife on purpose?  Oh. I forgot. It’s a Big Johnson Brand made from ou812 stainless Damascus  A2 tool steel and it doesn’t need sharpening even after being pierced through car doors and steel drums.  So chopping down multiple trees to build a shelter 200 yards from my pickup that I drove into the deep dark forest to build a shelter should be no problem.
    Hard to beat a Swiss Army knife. I've had the 'Fisherman' model for decades now and it gets far more use than my old Leatherman. 
  • Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    cpj said:
    Swiss Army knife is always in my pocket, so that’s one. 

    A 3-4” knife as well, of  one flavor or another. Not really locked to one knife. I tend to rotate them. 

    I don’t carry a giant ass knife “because I might need to  chop down trees build a shelter”. Knives aren’t the best chopping tool. A simple $20 folding saw beats chopping with a big ass blade. Why beat the hell out of a knife on purpose?  Oh. I forgot. It’s a Big Johnson Brand made from ou812 stainless Damascus  A2 tool steel and it doesn’t need sharpening even after being pierced through car doors and steel drums.  So chopping down multiple trees to build a shelter 200 yards from my pickup that I drove into the deep dark forest to build a shelter should be no problem.
    Hard to beat a Swiss Army knife. I've had the 'Fisherman' model for decades now and it gets far more use than my old Leatherman. 
    Mines the hunter or camper model, I forget. But it’s two blade with straight and Phillips screw drivers, and a saw. Just about perfect. The drivers aren’t great, but enough to turn screws that aren’t tightened by 300 pound gorillas in a pinch. The saw REALLY gets with it for such a tiny blade. 
    One thing I CANT wrap my head around, is WHY do they keep putting a cork screw on Swiss Army knives? Who the **** needs a cork screw in their pocket? I assume it’s tradition, and if so, it’s a stupid tradition. Make room for a useful tool. 
    Lol! Yeah, the corkscrew is pretty much useless. It would make for a good laugh at a fancy dinner when the wine is served. "Here! Let me help with that bottle of Cab-er-net Savon-yawn" ... breaks out Swiss Army knife. 
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,489 Senior Member
    For gutting, skinning and boning in the field I use a custom made 4" drop point folder made of 154CM, for general work I have an old Gerber 7" fixed drop point I think its 440C, any heavy work at camp a saw or axe, for skinning and butchering in camp or at home I have a bunch of Forschner knives.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,834 Senior Member
    I have a 3" Ontario RAT that does most of my skinning and gutting chores...the 7" RAT accomplishes any of the heavy work.
    Truth be told, the 5" would get the work done but they were out of stock when I bought the 7"
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,480 Senior Member

    I had the Captain model Swiss Army knife and loved it.  Unfortunately, I forgot I was carrying it when I was about to go through airport security, and surrendered it to security personnel before I went through the checkpoint.  I used the tooth pick a LOT.

    I need to go get another one of those.  Handiest pocket knife I've ever owned.

    On a bit of a tangent, I wonder just how many men in this country don't carry a pocket knife, or ever have.  I started carrying one when I was in grade school, and have ever since.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    I have a 3" Ontario RAT that does most of my skinning and gutting chores...the 7" RAT accomplishes any of the heavy work.
    Truth be told, the 5" would get the work done but they were out of stock when I bought the 7"
    That's how I was with the Randall Model 14. I originally wanted the Randall 15 - Airman (5 1/2 inch blade) but back then the wait on orders was 1-2 years and the only one readily available was the Model 14 (7-inch blade) so I picked it up instead. In my opinion, the 14 is far too big as a hunting knife but it does work great for splitting bone when a hatchet isn't within reach and it makes for a great camp knife. 
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    What do you guys mean the corkscrew is useless? Haven't you even been out in the woods with a couple of corked bottles of wine and no corkscrew? How the hell else are you going to get drunk? Drink beer? Liquor?

    Freaking heathens!

    Me...I have several corkscrews at my camp and keep one in my travel bag. Knife? I have really taken a liking to those fixed blade Scandinavian type knives at camp. Branches= sawzall. Bigger than branches= chain saw. Screws? Impact driver.
  • Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    I only drink wine from bottles 
    with screw off caps. 
    ...or a box. Lol!
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,663 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #15
    cpj said:
    cpj said:
    Swiss Army knife is always in my pocket, so that’s one. 

    A 3-4” knife as well, of  one flavor or another. Not really locked to one knife. I tend to rotate them. 

    I don’t carry a giant ass knife “because I might need to  chop down trees build a shelter”. Knives aren’t the best chopping tool. A simple $20 folding saw beats chopping with a big ass blade. Why beat the hell out of a knife on purpose?  Oh. I forgot. It’s a Big Johnson Brand made from ou812 stainless Damascus  A2 tool steel and it doesn’t need sharpening even after being pierced through car doors and steel drums.  So chopping down multiple trees to build a shelter 200 yards from my pickup that I drove into the deep dark forest to build a shelter should be no problem.
    Hard to beat a Swiss Army knife. I've had the 'Fisherman' model for decades now and it gets far more use than my old Leatherman. 
    Mines the hunter or camper model, I forget. But it’s two blade with straight and Phillips screw drivers, and a saw. Just about perfect. The drivers aren’t great, but enough to turn screws that aren’t tightened by 300 pound gorillas in a pinch. The saw REALLY gets with it for such a tiny blade. 
    One thing I CANT wrap my head around, is WHY do they keep putting a cork screw on Swiss Army knives? Who the **** needs a cork screw in their pocket? I assume it’s tradition, and if so, it’s a stupid tradition. Make room for a useful tool. 
    Maybe it's just that my wife likes wine, but I have used the corkscrew on my SAK several times.  Especially when camping- the corkscrew gets lost or forgotten, and I just happen to have one because... I always have one.  But... I always have 3 knives on me unless I'm on a plane or in a courthouse: SAK, a clipped utility knife on right side, and a GTFOOM fixed blade on left side.

    Personally, I have almost gone 100% to Mora knives for hunting/ camping choices.  Inexpensive, hellaciously sharp and hard blades.  I have skinned and quartered 3 deer before one needed to be sharpened, and they are LIGHT.  Best deal out there in knives right now.  A Mora companion in stainless for gutting/skinning/ cleaning/ cooking, an Eldris for utility knife chores, and a Kansbol for heavier duty work.  A perfect set, and all in all, you are out less than a hundred bucks.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5AI1N3/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZNX3HZ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZAIXSC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    Back to original question- Probably a 4" blade.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,092 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    I only drink wine from bottles 
    with screw off caps. 
    ... and sexy models on the label! ;)
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    A multi-plier kicks a Swiss Army Knives butt. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #18
    I carry my 4 inch Kershaw folder and a Leatherman mini ( scissors, small bits, tweezers ) tool, plus a full sized Gerber ( needle nose, small serrated saw larger bits ) multitool in the field.  
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,500 Senior Member
    Thinking more about it, I usually have a hatchet, or small axe.  Or big axe.
    I have a tiny Browning hatchet in my hunting pack.  There's always a big Estwing hatchet with me at home.  There's a small Estwing hatchet in my truck, and a small single bit axe in my camper.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,725 Senior Member
    I I have used my SAK corkscrew to hook and retrieve stuff or pull stuff through an opening to good effect, 
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Billy_BuddBilly_Budd Posts: 572 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    I I have used my SAK corkscrew to hook and retrieve stuff or pull stuff through an opening to good effect, 
    Come to think of it it did come in handy for pulling a glob of hair out of the bathroom sink once. 
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,725 Senior Member
    Exactly
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • minnesotashooterminnesotashooter Senior Member Posts: 708 Senior Member
    I am a huge fan of 4” nessmuk style knives
  • dlddld Member Posts: 375 Member
    WHY do they keep putting a cork screw on Swiss Army knives?

    The Corkscrew is a classic tool. You might say it helped save Victorinox and the Swiss Army Knife as it was one of the new tools to appear on the Officer's Knife model in 1897. It could be argued that the Officer's knife was responsible for saving the company. Since that time many bottles of wine have been uncorked, and inventive uses for the tool have been discovered.


    1. Opens corked bottles 
    2. Untie knots.
    3. Pry the battery out of a cell phone.
    4. Screw it into a wall and hang your coat on the SAK.
    5. Staple remover. 
    6. Smooth out the hole you just made with the reamer.
    7. Clear clogged faucet sprayer.
    8. Bicycle tire valve tool.
    9. Holds the micro screwdriver.
    10. Pick gravel out of tires.
    11. Rip open a blister package.
    12. Ice pick.
    13. Mark a pilot hole.
    14. Clean mud out of shoe soles.
    15. Knot the end of a cord. Thread it through the corkscrew. Handle.
    16. Pop balloons.
    17. Aides in sewing.
    18. Clean mud out of sprinkler heads.
    19. Push used snare wire through it, to straighten out the wire and remove coils or kinks.
    20. Pulls the drain plug out of a tub.
    21. Open the corkscrew and screw it tightly into a broomstick-thickness stick. Now open the blade. Tie it securely. Survival spear for fishing.
    22. Hang the SAK from a piece of cordage from the ceiling. Plumb bob (I have the middle of the handle marked on one mine).
    23. Corkscrew + a metal lid = a filter or wire mesh for cooking.
    24. Carry a chunk of C4.
    25. Pull frozen shoestrings tight, or help loosen them.
    26. Helps get the innards out of a squirrel.
    27. Gets the candle stub out of a candle holder.
    28. Start fights on multitool forums.
    29. Remove the fuel filter from a lawn mower.
    30. Although the new corkscrews are 4 turns, you can use them for range estimation.
    31. O-ring remover for your flashlights.
    32. Pry out partially-exposed nails.
    33. Tighten the apron strings on a wrestling ring.
    34. The inside diameter of the corkscrew is 1/4". I'm sure you know what you can do with this.
    35. Open just a small hole in a coconut.
    36. Lift stuck items out of boxes.
    37. Fish the tape out of a clogged VHS tape.
    38. Remove patches from a flintlock gun.
    39. Remove the inside of a shotgun shell, making a blank. Remove the wad and powder too.
    40. If you don't want the mini screwdriver, the corkscrew can hold a ferro rod.
    41. Tap a tree for sap.
    42. Undo zip ties without breaking them.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,252 Senior Member
    Unchambering a stuck case after head separation???
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,225 Senior Member
    4" Buck for just about everything.  Once I hit 5", I find field dressing becomes too difficult.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    I like a 5" Blade and a 2 1/2" White Tail Skinner with a gut hook to open him up.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,480 Senior Member


    Freaking heathens!


    I'm a freaking heathen and proud of it. :)
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    I carry three blades when I hunt.  
    1) Pocket knife
    2) Havalon Knife - Razor Sharp and I like the disposable blades.  
    3) Fixed blade skinner knife.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,252 Senior Member
    Picked this up today for $12.00 on sale.

    Never owned this brand.
    Its the sharpest out of the box knife I've ever bought. Not even gonna touch the edge.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    I carry three blades when I hunt.  
    1) Pocket knife
    2) Havalon Knife - Razor Sharp and I like the disposable blades.  
    3) Fixed blade skinner knife.
    I usually carry two. I have a Kershaw 4" blade and a White Tail Skinner. I also have a Shrade Old Timer that I like because I can sharpen it easily. It's a carbon steel blade knife.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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