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#174422 - 01/29/13 03:15 PM Multitool vs. Knife?
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
In everyday life, I've got a multitool on my belt (a Leatherman Wave) anytime I leave the house and often at home as well. It's super useful, but there's a few drawbacks for hiking. 1) It's relatively heavy at 8.5 oz. 2) The handle has sharp edges and is a bit uncomfortable when using the blade. 3) Some people highly recommend a fixed blade for outdoor use, especially in an emergency situation, though I've never had any "survival" experience so I don't know if that's good advice or not. I was thinking about getting a Mora Craftline Allround and carrying that instead. It's less than half the weight, including the sheath, but I'm afraid I'd miss the Wave, especially the pliers (for bending, quickly snapping sticks to length, picking up hot stuff, etc.) and maybe the saw and the scissors too, or even the flat head screwdriver for prying stuff.

Does anyone carry a multitool with pliers while backpacking? If so, how often do you use the pliers on the trail? Do you also carry a fixed blade knife, and how often do you pick it over the multitool? If the Wave was about half the weight, it'd make the decision easy; I'd live with it's drawbacks and just carry it. There probably are ultralight multitools with similar functionality, but I'm sure they're out of my budget. The Mora is inexpensive.

On a related note, has anyone used one of those camping saws that's just two small handles on either end of an abrasive wire? How well did it work for you?

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#174424 - 01/29/13 03:39 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I carry a Swiss Army knife (SAK to many people) that I've had for years. Mine has a couple of screwdrivers, scissors, two blades (one big, one small), corkscrew and awl. Never needed much else. I now have a tiny multitool I got as a trade show freebie and might carry that. When I had my skis, I carried a tool for them. I now have snowshoes, so the multitool will come with me, just in case.
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#174425 - 01/29/13 03:40 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2861
Loc: Portland, OR
The usefulness of a knife depends mostly on your style of backpacking. I carry a modest-sized Swiss Army knife (the 'Recruit' model) both at home and on the trail. I rarely use it while hiking, unless I use the toothpick. There just isn't anything I need to cut on an uneventful hike.

The only other similar tool I carry is a small scissors of the 'manicure' variety that has a slightly curved pair of blades. I use these for trimming fingernails and toenails, and for cutting moleskin, tape or gauze. These see very light duty or none at all on a typical hike.

I never feel the lack of a pliers. To be honest, I could probably do without the knife and scissors, too, but I feel better prepared with them available.

I've never used the "two finger-rings and a toothed wire" type of saw. I suspect it would absolutely kill my fingers if I tried to. The best lightweight saws I know of are folding pruning saws, or else homemade saws that incorporate a hacksaw blade. These work. The toothed-wire saws look unusable to me.

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#174426 - 01/29/13 03:57 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: aimless]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Dad and I talked about this a lot. I had a small multi-tool in my pack when I first started backpacking. I never used it, not once. I have nothing in my pack where a Philip or flat head screwdrivers would/could have been useful. I couldn't find or think of anything for Allen wrenches. I couldn't think of anything I would use pliers for except pulling stakes out of ground, but I used that tube that came with Big Agnes Seedhouse tent to pull my stakes out. (Maybe you guys could give me other uses for pliers!) I originally asked for a fixed blade knife, but instead my mawmaw got me a folding knife for Christmas that is pretty darn cool. So, now I just carry a folding knife with 4-6 inch blade. (I forgot the exact inches.)



Edited by ETSU Pride (01/29/13 04:06 PM)
Edit Reason: Sometimes I say the sentence in my head, and leave the word out when typing...
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#174427 - 01/29/13 04:02 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I recently started carrying a Leatherman Juice S2, which has pliers. I've never actually used them - but what made me start carrying it was that someone in a group needed pliers to use as a potlifter because they forgot theirs, and someone else need a phillips head screwdriver to tighten the flick-lock on their hiking pole.

I've gone back and forth between multitools (Leatherman Micra and now the Juice, or a Swiss Army knife, years ago) and carrying specific tools (small Gerber locking knife, folding scissors, offset screwdriver with a slotted blade on one end and a phillips on the other, and a small pair of pliers.) I'm not sure I really have a strong preference.

I've really never used anything but the knife and scissors, and not really either of them very often. It's just reassuring to carry them, I guess.

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#174429 - 01/29/13 04:19 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Online   content
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I got a chance to try one of the "wire saws" on a recent trip, it worked pretty good, but was slow cutting through a 5 inch log. I don't know what brand it was, but I've seen others fall apart pretty fast.
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#174430 - 01/29/13 05:24 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I carry a leartherman skeletool. It is pretty light and very usefull. I use the pliers all the time, picking up a hot pot, hook out of a fish, pulling tent steaks, fixxing zippers..... On and on. Would leave the house without it. I also carry buck tops neck knife fixxed blade. Light weight yet plenty strong for more serious chores. Again I always carry this knife, every day.
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#174431 - 01/29/13 05:26 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
From everyone's comments, it sounds like a light fixed blade and a sub 2oz keychain type multitool would be the perfect combination. Perhaps the 1.58oz Style PS; it comes with pliers, everything you'd need for nail care, and basic gear field repair (except duct tape) without the redundant blade. And, it's small enough to clip to your pack and forget it. That combo. would still be lighter than the tool I carry now.

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#174432 - 01/29/13 06:03 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
Loc: Napa, CA
I'll file a minority report. I never carry a multi-tool because it is too heavy, and doesn't have anything I need. I take a light knife and sewing kit. Because the stuff I take might rip, but there are no metal parts to fix.

Why carry a screwdriver or pliers?


Edited by balzaccom (01/29/13 06:09 PM)
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#174433 - 01/29/13 06:52 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: balzaccom]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Even though, as I said above, I carry a multi-tool, I'm constantly asking myself the same question.

Maybe I'll stick the multitool in the glove compartment, where it's available at the trailhead, but only carry scissors and a knife on the trail. We'll see.

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#174435 - 01/29/13 07:38 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
This question comes up in every knife thread, of which there are many on this forum.

I use a small multitool (Leatherman Micra, 1.9 oz.). I need the pliers to compensate for lack of gripping power in my fingertips. More than once I've had to thread a strap through a buckle and can't grasp enough of it to pull through without those pliers. I also use the pliers as a pot lifter. The tiny screwdriver tightens the screws on my glasses (which I have to do every few days). The regular screwdriver is for pushing and prying. There's a small file which is great for finger and toenails (my nails split and break easily--they always have). The item I use the least is the blade!
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#174436 - 01/29/13 07:47 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
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Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I carry sewing scissors about 3 inches long. I can't think of a time I would need a knife.

Scissors are much better for cutting cloth for emergency bandages. They are much better for cutting something to make an ankle wrap. They are better for cutting something to make a sling.

The one thing scissors are not good for is accidentally cutting myself. I appreciate that.
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#174439 - 01/29/13 08:27 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2861
Loc: Portland, OR
I cast another vote for a small sewing kit as being highly valuable for small repairs. When I've needed mine, I've been very happy I carried it. My basic kit is just about 3-4 feet of thread wrapped around a small piece of cardboard, with a middling-sized needle inserted into the cardboard, too. Weighs maybe 3 grams total.

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#174441 - 01/29/13 08:53 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: balzaccom]
billstephenson Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By balzaccom
I'll file a minority report. I never carry a multi-tool because it is too heavy, and doesn't have anything I need. I take a light knife and sewing kit. Because the stuff I take might rip, but there are no metal parts to fix.


Same with me. I also bring some duct tape and nylon repair patch.

My backpacking knife of choice for the past few years has been a 4" Rapala wood handle fillet knife. For about 25 years before that I used the same style knife with a 9" blade.

I started bringing the 4" blade after arriving here and learning about how to think about lighting up. I have years of experience with those knives so I'm sure I'm bias, but I can recommend them with no qualms.

I'd say the benefits of that particular fixed 4" blade knife for backpacking are the thin flexible blade, the bigger and more comfortable handle, it holds an edge, it's tough (on my last trip I opened a big can of beans with it), it only weighs 1-1/4 ounces, and they cost under $20.00.

I also believe a fixed blade knife is safer. This one has a deep notch in the handle that adds to that safety margin.

They're a quality product, the 9" blade I have is 28 years old. I've had the 4" blade for probably about 10-12 years, and both have seen a lot of rough use.

After losing the one that came with the 4" blade, I stitched up a new sheath with a belt loop from 1-1/2 inch nylon webbing and lined it with milk carton plastic. It's pretty much bomb proof and also pretty light at 18 grams, so altogether the 4" blade I carry is just under 2 ounces with the sheath.

Even if you don't make it your goto backpacking knife, these are worth having. I carve our holiday turkeys and hams with mine laugh

Here's a photo of the RAPALA 4-inch Fish 'n Fillet Knife.





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#174442 - 01/29/13 10:10 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Funny how one person can use pliers every day while others never use them. I guess being from construction back ground leads me to more tool use than others of differnt vocation use other items to do the same. Pretty cool how differnt but the same we all are!
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#174443 - 01/29/13 10:31 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: rockchucker22]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I should also reinerate that I NEVER leave the house w/o a knife. I don't feel comfortable with a puny blade. I want a blade that can work. Not serated but streight, sharpen able blade. Something I can skin a deer or carve a tent pole, chop wood, make a spear, gut a fish, pick a splinter out! I can't see ever being without a knife. But I also spend 75% of my time outside, far from home. They talk about the ten items to always carry for me it's two, fire starter and a knife. All else is extra.
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#174444 - 01/29/13 10:42 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Bill, that knife is truly beautiful!

As for sewing, if you use dental floss for thread, both needle and thread are multiple use--the first for removing slivers and the second for cleaning teeth! Just be sure the needle has a big enough hole for the floss. Of course, if your closeup vision, like mine, is poor, you need to take a needle threader, which is not multiple use....


Edited by OregonMouse (01/29/13 10:48 PM)
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#174447 - 01/29/13 11:05 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: OregonMouse]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Coming full circle, I carry a Leatherman Wave, as the OP. I can truly say that I've used it more helping out others, than I have myself (while hiking). It is a bit heavy, but if I'm doing any thing more than a short loop, it goes with me. Definetly on out and camp hikes. Some people think that they're overkill, but I don't want the only time I need it is to be when I don't have it. Also, I'm not as hard core UL as a lot of folks here, but I have been replacing gear with lighter and lighter gear, and getting "smarter" about what I carry and the logic behind it, a great deal of that knowledge coming from people on this forum.

As far as a knife is concerned, if I'm not carrying the multi-tool, I've grown fond of carrying a S.E.A.L. Pup. It's actually a copy of the NAVY SEAL's survival knife, only a minature copy, and I find it works great for just about everything I've used it for. Weighs half of what the multi-tool weighs. The downside is, that it has an alloy blade that is harder than heck to resharpen. mad

J.

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#174448 - 01/29/13 11:46 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: jbylake]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I really like to carry a Wave and I find the pliers quite useful - best way to unjam a locking carabiner,which is probably a fairly specialized SAR application. The pliers also work well for extracting cactus spines.If weight is critical, I could certainly do OK with a SAK, which I carried for years before I got my first Leatherman. I could also do fine, and save weight, if I packed my Squirt PS4, which could handle most tasks. It really comes down to the nature of the rest of your equipment and whether it contains anything that might need the capabilities of some sort of multi tool. This obviously varies a lot, depending upon circumstances.

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#174450 - 01/30/13 09:00 AM Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: oldranger]
mike Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 211
Loc: Ohio
The super ultra lighters will tell you that you can get by with a razor blade or a small pair of scissors.... It works for their style. Having grown up in the middle of nowhere with a knife in my pocket all the time, I don't think I could dispense with the utility of a decent sized knife.

On the other side, I just don't see the need for batoning wood. I have an ESEE Izula, which is a very nice fixed blade knife. But I can always find dead wood lying about, even around heavily used campsites. Even if it has been raining for extended periods, a decent folding knife can skin off wet bark or make fuzz sticks. Yeah, a small folder isn't your best bet for building shelters and all that stuff, but it is a far sight better than a razor blade.

For backpacking, I tend to carry a Victorinox Bantam. It has a single 3-1/4" blade, a combo bottle opener/can opener/screwdriver, tweezers and toothpick. It weighs in at 1 oz.



Edited by billstephenson (01/30/13 11:40 AM)
Edit Reason: fixed link for photo

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#174451 - 01/30/13 09:33 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Well, I bit the bullet and ordered a Leatherman Style PS; I'm going to try it.

@billstephenson
That is a good looking knife, and 2 oz. is great too! That's half the weight of the Mora. But, can it be used with a baton, or is the blade too thin and flexy for that?

In any case, I got a crazy idea. I've got this small handled kitchen knife someone gave me for free. Before I buy another fixed blade knife, I think I'll try cutting down the blade of the free knife with a dremel and see how it turns out.

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#174472 - 01/30/13 05:45 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
That free knife I was talking about, I think is this one. My question is, exactly what parts of the blade should I cut off, and what shape should I make it? Obviously, I've got to cut down the length, but I also want to make it less wide. If I cut from the side with the sharp edge (and grind a new edge onto it) it'll be stronger, but if I cut off from the thicker side, it'll be lighter and I won't have to grind a new edge. I know virtually nothing about knife craft or how any of this would affect feel, utility, safety or any other feature, so any input is appreciated.

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#174475 - 01/30/13 06:58 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I suspect you could split wood that way with the fillet knife. The Mora is a better option because it is a thicker blade, but I think the Rapala would hold up to that. I guess I'll have to give it a try and see laugh

As far as cutting down the blade on your other knife, a Dremal tool isn't a bad option. A bench grinder with a fine wheel is good, and so is a belt sander. I have a lot of experience shaping steel, although none making knives, but I'd grind the bottom to shape it, saving as much of the factory hollow grind as possible, then work on the edge.
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#174476 - 01/30/13 07:14 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
At some point in threads like this, the discussion of batoning inevitably arises. This puzzles me greatly. I agree completely with Mike on this. I have built quite a few fires and I have never even thought of batoning;some of these fires have been built in fairly adverse circumstances.

Without the need to carve up trees,you can get by with a surprisingly small blade. Rambo, eat your heart out.....

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#174479 - 01/30/13 07:28 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: oldranger]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By oldranger
At some point in threads like this, the discussion of batoning inevitably arises. This puzzles me greatly. I agree completely with Mike on this. I have built quite a few fires and I have never even thought of batoning;some of these fires have been built in fairly adverse circumstances.

Without the need to carve up trees,you can get by with a surprisingly small blade. Rambo, eat your heart out.....
I too agree about batoning. Worst case you can always use a large rock to bust up wood. I think batoning and axe work come from back east in thick woods.
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#174480 - 01/30/13 07:34 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: oldranger]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
I've done this (batoning) a couple of times in the wild, out of necessity, but rarely. I've done it while car camping a bunch of times. I seriously doubt that one could do this with a fillet knife, as their blades are usually very thin an flexible, so that the blade will flex under the flesh to "turn" it.
In a campground with fire rings, etc...I have a knife that I take specifically for that, if necessary. It's a Cold Steel copy of the K-Bar, called the leatherneck. It's been improved with a thicker blade, and a Kratex handle, and a couple of other things.
It comes pretty handy in situations where the wood is almost a little too green.
I don't see it as a Rambo type of thing, just a different tool for a different situation.

J.

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#174488 - 01/30/13 09:32 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: oldranger]
billstephenson Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I have built quite a few fires and I have never even thought of batoning


I often do this for kindling and tinder with my fillet knife. I split off toothpick size pieces of fat pine this way for fire starter. That stuff is hard as rock and you only need a bit to start a fire, so batoning it works best. But it's light work the way I do it.

I have never found a need to split wood as big as in the video while backpacking. I can see how it'd be useful for bushcrafting, but that's not something I gear up for when backpacking, and there are lightweight approaches to that too when it comes down to it.

I got a military surplus K-Bar type knife as a gift last year. I really have no use for it, and it scares the bejeebers out of me. It would work good for batoning though grin
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#174492 - 01/30/13 11:06 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: oldranger]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I just figured batoning was sort of like a fire extinguisher or an airbag. You hope you never have to use it, but it's good to know you can. I guess the real question is whether or not that assurance is worth 2 ounces.

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#174507 - 01/31/13 11:15 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
For whatever it's worth, a lot of my fire building has been in Eastern (or Ozark) heavy woods. I only remember battening once in the Adirondacks when another guy and I felt obliged to prove we could start a fire in a driving rain that had continued for about five hours. There was some real mocha loose on that trail, and there were two cold women with us! It worked, and I rarely ever build fires anymore, but when I did, I could always find another way to do it (like pitch or birchbark).

I carry a tiny SAK and use mostly the toothpick and tweezers. I sometimes think pliers (as, multitool) would be handy, but never enough to add mine to my weight. I have a small one, and use it around the house once in a while, and I've taken it on canoe trips but quit when I never used it.

best, jcp

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#174509 - 01/31/13 11:43 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: JPete]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I think Colin Fletcher called it "one-match machismo," and described it along the lines of being able to stop anywhere, in any kind of weather, and, within 5 hours, start a fire with one match. smile

I don't have that much recent experience with bad weather creating a need for a fire, but the one time early last fall that we hiked in the rain all day, on a chilly day, we just stopped and put up our tents, crawled into our sleeping bags and spare clothes (longjohns, in this case), rigged a clothesline inside the tent so our damp stuff could dry a bit (yes, it created condensation; no, it wasn't a huge problem because they were just damp around the edges, not soaking wet.) We lit our canister stoves in the tent vestibules and got warm food and drink going. A fire never approached being a necessity, and we were quite cozy. So, my humble (and admittedly narrow) opinion is that, with decent quality, adequately designed, gear I have much better options than relying on firemaking ability. For me, the need for a fire in such a situation is more an admission of failure than it is a skill. (But yes, I do carry windproof matches and a lighter - and a knife that's big enough to coax dry shavings out of the inside of wet wood. I've never had to use them, though.)

Before you (probably correctly) tell me I'm nuts, I'd also emphasize that I am a recreational backpacker, who sticks to trails in the Eastern US, stays home when the forecast is for rain the whole trip, and am rarely more than 10 miles from my car or an inhabited bailout point where I can get help. I'll freely admit that, in the much larger and more remote areas in the West, my opinion probably doesn't reflect the conditions that you all would travel under.

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#174514 - 01/31/13 12:19 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Glenn, I think you may have misquoted Colin Fletcher. Either way it is pretty funny. It is always the last match that starts a fire, so I start the count over with each match.

The other day, I got a Trangia stove. I think it will be more suitable for my son. I am thinking in wet weather, I could light the stove with one match and set it under a teepee of tinder and kindling. It would light easily. Then I have to remember to pull the stove out.




Edited by Gershon (01/31/13 03:08 PM)
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#174517 - 01/31/13 12:41 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Gershon]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I'll have to look that quote up sometime - I think it was in a footnote about a conversation with a not-so-impressed spouse of the fire-builder.

I used a Trangia for while; great stove - a bit heavy by current thinking, but very reliable and easy to use. I used it with a Clikstand stove base and .9L titanium pot by Evernew.

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#174531 - 01/31/13 04:01 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Judging from this, it looks like a dremel would ruin the blades temper.

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#174538 - 01/31/13 05:42 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
It's not the tool for sharpening a blade, but for shaping, it will work.

Put the knife in a bench vise and start slowing removing what you don't want. Keep the tool moving so as to not heat the steel too much and it will retain the tempering. If it gets too hot to touch cool the blade down with water or wait for it to cool, and then continue. A wet rag will suck a lot of heat out fast. If the steel is turning blue it's too hot, if it turns red it's way too hot. Move the tool faster and use less pressure, after it cools down enough to touch it.

Working with steel is a slow process. Nothing at all like wood. That's what you have to keep in mind. The problem with a dremel tool is the grinding stones are so small you're likely to wear out several for this job. It will probably take an hour or two of solid grinding to shape the blade. Maybe more.

After you've shaped the blade you need to start working on the edge. You can rough it in with a finer stone on your dremel tool, but you need to hone it either by hand or with a knife sharpener. I'd use a knife sharpener as a final grind and then hone it with a whetstone by hand. At that point, honing it can still take a few hours to make it right.

I've redone the tips on several knives similar to how I'm describing and they worked fine for me. That's how I did it. I have never sat down with a knife maker or got to see one at work with the tools of the trade.
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#174540 - 01/31/13 05:53 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Honestly, while I do enjoy projects, I'm not into knives enough, nor are the alternatives expensive enough that all that time and work would be worth it to me. I think I'll just buy the Mora.

It's good to know this info. is here if I ever change my mind though.

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#174542 - 01/31/13 07:35 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By 4evrplan
I guess the real question is whether or not that assurance is worth 2 ounces.


Always worth it
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#174562 - 02/01/13 02:29 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Oh man, this thing looks awesome! It's not a fixed blade, and the blade is pretty short, but it's a lot lighter than the Mora and would be way more convenient for everyday carry. Plus, face it, it's an amazing looking piece of functional art. Now I'm torn.


Edited by 4evrplan (02/01/13 02:30 PM)

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#174569 - 02/01/13 05:30 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I have the ideal solution that will resolve all your doubts. Buy both...

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#174571 - 02/01/13 05:50 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: oldranger]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Spoken like a true gear-junkie/enabler! "Did I ever tell you you're my hero-o-o-o..." smile

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#174572 - 02/01/13 05:54 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By oldranger
I have the ideal solution that will resolve all your doubts. Buy both...

Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
Spoken like a true gear-junkie/enabler! "Did I ever tell you you're my hero-o-o-o..." smile

laugh

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#174573 - 02/01/13 07:48 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: billstephenson]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Bill, I think your advice may require a lot, and I mean a lot of experience, that may not be suitable for this particular situation. I've known several people who make their own knives. A couple actually had a business, but the market is so flooded with custom knive makers, that it's extremely difficult to make a profit at it. But in the end, shaping and tempering is more suitable for those who have skills in knife making, and advanced metal working.

Point being, I don't see the OP's skill level being at the point that he'd want to try shapening and honing his own blades, the OP appears to want to buy a knive.

So while I respect your skill level and expertise, the OP's "choices" and questions seem to be a bit all over the place, which would indicate to me that he needs a bit of help buying a "store bought" piece.

I would suggest to the OP to stay away from the skeletalized type handles, they're "tacti-cool", but they aren't comfortable in the hand during hard use, and the thin design is hard to control, where as a more full handle would aid in control, especially for use as a backpacking/outdoor use knife.

I would recommend that he go check some forums that specialize in this, and ask for recommendations for a knive to be used in the field, being sure to let them know that it's not a tacical knive, but for general use, and specifiying he has not interest in a 4 or 5 hundred dollar "custom maker" knife, but think about A: it's primary use, B: Blade hardness (if the OP is just starting I wouldn't recommend one of the modern cermat blades that take three wise men and a german rocket scientist to sharpen, I'd start with a normal carbon steel knive that can be sharpened without considering belts, and small power tools). Next, and importantly is his budget. I've got some fairly expensive knives that I've accumulated over time. Don't use them, most were gifts. I'm not a knife afficianado, and I get by on 3 that all cost well under $100 each.

Then, when he decides what he real needs are, budget, and takes a real assesment of his knife skills and maintenence level, choosing one might be a lot less confusing.

Just a thought.. grin

J.


Edited by jbylake (02/02/13 08:31 PM)

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#174576 - 02/02/13 11:32 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: jbylake]
billstephenson Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Yeah, you're probably right. I'm a 3rd generation metal man so I may not be a good example of a DYI'er in regards to that. I don't do much metal work anymore, but I've done a bit. Knife makers are real artists. I'm always impressed with their skill and devotion to their work.

I agree with you about the "Paraframe" knife too. I've played with a couple similar handled knives and wasn't quite comfortable with them. They just didn't fit my hand well. It's not a big issue with a knife that small, but I like a more solid handle.

I have a knife a lot like that though. It's a Mac Tools pocket knife with a solid stainless steel handle about the same size and shape. I like it a lot, carried it for years. I've lost and recovered that knife about a dozen times and finally retired it for sentimental reasons (before I lost it for good blush ). The blade did get a little wobbly on it, but that's typical of folding knives and it endured a lot of really hard use.
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#174642 - 02/04/13 06:42 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
JMB Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/04/13
Posts: 13
Neck Knife only. I've never needed more than a blade, and found the neck knife was easier to access than a pocket knife or one carried on a belt.

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#174778 - 02/06/13 10:27 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
djtrekker Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 43
Loc: Virginia
I carry a Leatherman Wave. It serves on the trail, but also at home and on route when driving. I use the blade constantly, but the scissors prove worthy, the serrated blade from time to time, the screwdriver attachments often (maybe more at home, but handy for small maintenance chores around camp), and the pliers are big time useful.

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#175664 - 03/07/13 07:59 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
ThriftyJoe Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 7
Loc: E Wyoming
I like a small folding knife around 3 1/2 inches closed, weighing about two ounces. I have several small pocket knives in that size range that I rotate through on my trips.

I don't really need can or bottle openers or screwdrivers on a backpacking trip. A lot of people like scissors, but I've never needed them either. YMMV though..


Edited by ThriftyJoe (03/07/13 08:05 PM)

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#175824 - 03/17/13 09:40 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
I have used pliers when walking my dog in cactus country. I got so I would not leave home without my mini leatherman. I pulled out lots of spines with them. Saves on the fingers.

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#178925 - 08/05/13 11:33 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
WDW4 Offline
member

Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 18
Loc: Lexington, KY
I use a fixed blade knife with a 6" blade for camping and short backpacking trips, and use it for chopping wood, stirring the pot, as well as cutting whatever needs it. For longer trips, I carry my Gerber multitool. I use the pliers for removing pots from the fire, the scissors for many applications, and the knife for what you would expect.

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#179226 - 08/16/13 03:53 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
NotFrozen Offline
member

Registered: 08/24/02
Posts: 95
Loc: Seattle, WA
I long ago concluded that the Leatherman Wave that I got as a gift was not suited to backpacking. It has lots of screwdrivers and a pair of pliers that aren't much good in the woods. For me the Leatherman Style CS is the best. It's got substantial scissors, a decent blade, a nail file, and better tweezers than a SAK classic. Yes, it weighs 40g vs. the SAK's 20g, but I see the serious scissors as worth it. You do lose the toothpick, though, or a pen if you were to go with a SAK Signature.

Unless I was planning to do some electrical wiring work on the trail, though, nothing could get me to carry the Wave multitool.

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#179286 - 08/19/13 06:12 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: NotFrozen]
bpackengneer Offline
member

Registered: 05/01/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Massachusetts
I like a small multi-tool. A knife and pliers comes in handy sometimes. I use a Skeletool CSX Juice. Pretty tiny for a multi-tool.

Backpacking Engineer

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#179295 - 08/19/13 08:25 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
I personaly carry a leatherman charge as a edc , but in the woods i prefer scissor forceps for scissor tasks and fishing and a decent fixed blade for everything else, that being said my charge has made it on my last few trips, i just didnt carry the other two options!

on another note a well built knife is a multi tool of sorts!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002WRZ1KS


Edited by Samoset (08/20/13 11:37 PM)
Edit Reason: Added link
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#179405 - 08/25/13 06:45 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Samoset]
Pinnah Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/24/13
Posts: 6
When I'm backpacking, I carry the Leatherman Squirt PS4 for the combination of pliers and scissors. The pliers get used to drive a heavy needle for gear repairs in the field. Just used them on the last trip to remove (screw driver), repair (pliers and scissors) and reinstall a blown wrist strap on my hiking poles. The scissors also get used for first aid and nails as others have described.

If cutting tasks were nothing more than than thread and foil packaging, this would be all that is needed. But for us, food often means meat and cheese or peanut butter. Not adverse to starting a fire if wood and local conditions allow. I find the Opinel 8 or 9 is great at both and carries well in the pocket.

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#179697 - 09/14/13 07:39 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: Pinnah]
back2denali Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/14/13
Posts: 4
I've heard this discussion quite a bit in backpacker/hunter circles. I find that the longer the trip - the larger the knife I need. If I'm car camping overnight and fishing then I bring the Leatherman Wave with me. I use the pliers, wire cutters, & scissors. If I'm out for a week or more in the "back country" then I carry the Ontario Rat 7 with a serrated blade. It's good for cleaning animals, chopping sticks, and splitting wood.

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#179766 - 09/19/13 11:14 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: back2denali]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
Loc: Napa, CA
Of course, if you were hiking anywhere in California this year, you would not need either---since no wood fires were allowed for most of the summer.
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#180262 - 10/16/13 09:50 PM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: balzaccom]
Werminator Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/13
Posts: 7
I carry a Gerber Dime as my everyday carry multitool because it is very light and has almost always been enough to do the chores I would call upon a tool for. I recently damaged one of mine using it to pick up something that would not weigh quite as much as my backpacking pot so I know I can't count on it to lift a hot pot. I take with me the Leatherman Wingman on the few hiking/camping trips I have attended. It gives me much more durability and utility while not bearing the weight or cost of many of their nicer tools. It weighs slightly more than my larger folding knives but has scissors, knife blade, and saw, all of which I used on the last trip, as well as the pliers which I can almost always make use of when I have the thing on me...

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#180403 - 10/30/13 09:00 AM Re: Multitool vs. Knife? [Re: 4evrplan]
Ckurz Offline
member

Registered: 10/26/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Florida
I always have a fixed blade on me, I wouldn't go anywhere without it. Who knows what trouble you might get into in the wilds. It's always good to have for protection as we'll, if you can find a nice lightweight knife it might be worth it. I usually carry a Remington fast on me.
On the other hand it's always useful to have a multitool maybe if you could also find a lightweight multi you could pack that as we'll.

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