modify a fav knife for backpacking use ?

Posted by: the-gr8t-waldo

modify a fav knife for backpacking use ? - 09/26/15 03:41 PM

I have an old Wishard boat knife that is surprisingly lite, and also glows in the dark. got it at WestMarine and it's intended for boat use. it comes with two S.S. fold out devices, the first a straight blade , the other a combination bottle opener and rope grab slot. this secondary device I have no use for, but can't remover unless if I do a bit of machining to the fold out hinge. I'm pretty handy with grinders and a dremel tool and don't mind reconfiguring the #2 device......but stumped as to what I could make it into. just cutting it off seems pretty wasteful. anyone have any ideas?
Posted by: Dryer

Re: modify a fav knife for backpacking use ? - 09/27/15 09:22 AM

That slot thing is a shackle key. I sail and those come in handy when you can't unscrew shackles with your fingers. Personally, I wouldn't alter the knife. I've got boat knives that have actually appreciated in value. Shackle keys work great for wing nuts too.

Instead, after carrying a all sorts of knife options over the years, I opted to use my favorite kitchen pairing/boning knife...had a drawer full of them already. Walmart kitchen knife section has some seriously strong knives that even include sheaths, and food grade plastic handles. I made my sheath from PVC and a heatgun.

Logic being, kitchen knives are made for daily use, are easy to clean, and hold an edge for months. I use mine for gardening, pruning trees, hiking/'s just a plain old Chicago Cutlery boning knife with a wood handle. Better than any "outdoor" knife I've ever owned, and super easy to replace if lost/broken.
If you've ever looked at a "Mora" knife, a low end kitchen paring knife is a step up in utility. (i'm not talking about thin and springy steak knifes)
Posted by: Pika

Re: modify a fav knife for backpacking use ? - 09/27/15 11:23 AM

You must have access to a different source of paring knives than I do. I have tried several as camping knives and have yet to find one that can really be sharpened. I'm talking about the stainless-steel-bladed knives you buy at Wally World or Safeway, not the high-end, chef-signature stuff the foodies buy. Sure, the ones I've used work great for cutting up potatoes and will hold a sort-of edge after rattling around in the kitchen drawer for months but I've never been able to get one to take a real edge. My go-to knife is an Opinel #6 with a carbon steel blade. It ain't pretty but it's light and always sharp and, if the need arose, I could shave with it (but I think I'd rather just let the whiskers grow 😀).
Posted by: Dryer

Re: modify a fav knife for backpacking use ? - 09/27/15 08:15 PM

Pika, the Chicago Cutlery blades will shave and hold an edge.
At Wally-world, these cheapies work really well. Not just sheet metal blades but actually angled, tempered stainless.

Pick one, throw the rest in a drawer:

They have tons of the things hanging on the wall there.