Heh, good subject if there ever was one!
I know I don't spend allot of coin on my blades, yet I use them every day and demand top quality blades.
I favor two brands these day. The Mora and Cold Steel.
If you figure on doing any cutting of flesh or carving or other fine work I think the inexpensive Mora simply can't be beat.
I've done a limited amount of baton work and such with mine so far and they seem to be holding up fine. Not chopping knives though, surely. *
The Mora knives I favor are all under twenty bucks from Ragweed Forge. *I highly recomend that web site, by the way -
The ones I have are the Clipper -
The 740MG -
And the "soft grip" 748.
All of these knives offer a good secure grip.
I think the 4" stainless 746 or 5-3/4" stainless 748 would be fine general use camp knives. They are .098" thick, rather thicker than the Clipper or MG, and come with decent enough sheaths.
I also have an 8" long 749 and do a good bit of light
brush cutting with it. It's what I use to gather fodder for my rabbits with. Bloody well razor sharp, 8" long, thin .079 blade! Have to be carefull using that one.
*Not really sure what it's ideal for yet.
There are a few things a fella needs to know about Mora knives though -
The stainless steel they use is about the best on the planet!
They do not come with a decent edge and must be sharpend first. This is best done with fine sandpaper and takes some time.
The sheaths are not the best, depending upon the knife.
They have a single bevel Scandinavian edge!
Easy to sharpen and keen as all get out, but it might take some getting used to. *
Buy hey, they put the coin where it needed to go, into the fantastic steel. What do you expect for a 13 dollar knife?
While on the subject of Mora knives in general and Ragweed forge in particular, I have to mention the neat little double sided diamon plate they sell.
It works so well my wife stole it from me and now carries it in her purse everywhere she goes.
I had to buy a second one for myself.
On the subject of Cold Steel shivs, I own a Finn Bear, 19 bucks right now *-
And a Roach belly, also 19 bucks right now -
These are both fine little knives and I've gotten good work out of them. I'd recomend them.
I'm not so crazy about the handles on these knives but don't really have anything to complain about. They come with decent enough sheaths.
I like the looks of their new Finn Wolf -
Our Finn Bear™ has become quite popular with our customers. Cold Steel President, Lynn C. Thompson spent over 30 days in the Australian outback hunting Wild Boar, Asian Buffalo, Red Deer, Elk and Sanbar Deer, using the Finn Bear on a daily basis and though it was used brutally, it performed beyond Lynn’s wildest expectations. Especially for a knife that costs less than twenty bucks.
This year, we are happy to introduce a new Finnish styled blade we call the Finn Wolf. It has a slightly more tactical, aggressive quality. Like our Finn Bear, it’s modestly priced. It features a slightly thicker 3mm, 4116 Krupp stainless blade that provides a stiffer spine to support the blade’s narrow profile and sharp, slightly “clipped” point. These attributes, combined with its thin, keen hollow ground edge make it ideal for field dressing, skinning, utility chores and even the rigors of survival or combat use.
The Finn Wolf’s handle is shaped and contoured for comfort and security. Its sweeping curves give it an attractive visual appeal and provide a steady grip for the hand. It can be used edge up or down and in both forward or reverse grips and offers terrific dexterity and comfort in any position you can imagine.
The Finn Wolf comes with a traditional pouch style black Cordura sheath. Worn on the belt or tucked into a pack, it’s ready for your next adventure.
This looks like a good knife and only runs about 25 bucks.
They have a sale right now at Cold Steel and are selling two Finn Wolfs for 30 bucks!
And their new Long hunter looks good -
The Long Hunter is 1/8" thick and seven inches long, a pretty big blade. Only weighs four and a half ounces though, will not slow ya down. A bit expensive at almost 40 bucks though.
Oh, and they also make that version of the famous Canadian Belt Knife now, that several folk mentioned above. I've handled original knives of this type and it really is rather handy despit the odd appearence.
If you guys think Buck makes a decent blade, you gotta try Cold Steel. The Cold Steel blades are so superior to what Buck makes that I gave away my last Buck knife!
And Buck is way overpriced these days!
So good quality Cold Steel knives can be had without breaking the bank.
I guess I should add that one of my Mora 740MGs and my Finn Bear ride in custom kydex sheaths.
Even if these sheaths cost more than the knife they are well worth it and a good investment. A proper sheath rounds out the package and compliments a fine tool, not to mention provides greater safety and security.