Help me pick

Posted by: PaHiker

Help me pick - 12/07/16 12:34 PM

I just finished 20 yrs with the company I work for, and have to pick a gift by Friday. Wading through all the stuff I have, don't need, or are for women, I've narrowed down to two items that might be of help in the backcountry. Could use a little help from you guys (generic, not meant to offend/limit gals).

Ka-Bar knife:

BK3 knife:

Weight of either is not a problem as they would be replacing a couple items I currently carry (knife, cat-hole shovel, etc.).
Posted by: Barefoot Friar

Re: Help me pick - 12/07/16 02:34 PM

I have a Ka-Bar. I love it. I keep it so sharp I could shave with it, and yet I could chop down a small tree if I wanted. But I have only carried it backpacking once. I find I never need a blade bigger than my usual 3" folding pocket knife.

I do carry it hunting, though I confess it would be of limited use for processing game. I carry it mostly because I use Vietnam-era webbing for hunting, and the Ka-Bar looks right at home on my belt along side my other pouches and things. But that's a different application entirely from lightweight backpacking.

For backpacking, I don't know that you'd ever need anything so big. I mean, maybe if it was on my belt and I was attacked by a bear, then perhaps it might be nice to have a blade at hand, but even then I think I'd probably end up just cutting myself in the chaos.

Then again, it's your hike, so do what makes you happy.
Posted by: PaHiker

Re: Help me pick - 12/07/16 02:43 PM

I know, but I have to pick one, there's really nothing else in their "catalog" that seems of interest. I've never actually seen either one, which is why I thought I'd post here.
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Help me pick - 12/07/16 02:55 PM

I don't want either, but I would pick the USMC knife, if I had to pick one. I don't care for the odd shaped knives, like the second one. About the only use I could see for the second knife is batoning and I don't do much of that. Both knives will be heavy and I don't care for the serrations. I've got a knife similar to the first one. It was originally a John Wayne commemorative knife, but his picture on the blade washed off.
Posted by: aimless

Re: Help me pick - 12/07/16 03:52 PM

As stated already, neither choice is likely to be outstandingly useful to a backpacker, but they are what you're being offered, so they are what you must choose between.

If it were me, I'd go with the Ka-Bar, just because the alternative looks like such an oddity I can't imagine how I'd use it. At least the Ka-bar has a following among ex-military types, so it could conceivably find a happy home with someone else, even if you decide you can't love it yourself.
Posted by: the-gr8t-waldo

Re: Help me pick - 12/08/16 10:29 AM

Of the two, I've only used the msmc. But if forced to take one it would be the blunt/flat nose one. It looks like digging a cathole would be easier ( maybe not) and I find myself drawn to knifes that could be struck with something to split wood-in an survival situation. Chopping wood looks like blunt would preform slightly better ......pure agony with either..
Posted by: PaHiker

Re: Help me pick - 12/08/16 10:37 AM

Thanks. I decided to go with the Ka-Bar, because of the weight, thoughts here, and a few youtube videos I watched. One was by a Russian who really tested the hell out of it, far beyond what any sane person would do. Eventually he broke it, but that was after using is as a batton with a 10 lb hand sledge cutting across the grain of a 4x4 kind dried board. Why he did some of the things he did is way beyond me, unless he was just trying to see what it would take to break it.

I saw it used to cut logs for a campfire, then in batton fashion to cut the logs down, then to make feather sticks. It was used to dig cat holes in frozen ground, and to cut paracord for various tasks. Very impressive.
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Help me pick - 12/08/16 05:02 PM

The lower one, the odd shaped one, is a Ka-Bar Becker TacTool. It is more of a combination pry bar, escape tool or rescue tool than a knife. The description talks about pulling hinge pins, prying open doors and windows and smashing glass. I've got a Ka-Bar Becker BK-2 knife, but it's so heavy that I never carry it.
Posted by: EMT Dave

Re: Help me pick - 12/30/16 09:23 PM

Neither one. The K-Bar has a massive hunk of iron on the butt for pounding tent stakes and shattering your way out of a plexiglass canopy.
The other is mostly a pry bar with an edge.
The heaviest knife I would consider is a stainless version of the Swedish army knife or a good, 4" bladed pocket knife with high tech plastic scales.