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Best fixed blade for under $100

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by Bilbo Bagins, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    I need to get a survival/backpack camping knife and I don't know what to get.

    I'm looking for something that has a 5 to 8 inch blade, and something that is not super heavy. It needs to be strong so I can use it in emergency build a shelter, or to baton for firewood. It also needs to be under $100.

    So far I narrowed my search to

    a Buck 119 special. Cheap but decent knife with a 6 inch blade. I don't like the smooth handle, the sheath, and the fact that its very shiny. Stainless steel means I would not have to worry about rust.

    a Ka-bar Good all around knife, but the rat tail tang has issues with bending with heavy use like batoning.

    A Ontario SP-1 Marine, looks like a Ka-bar, but I'm not sure if it built stronger than the old school Ka-bar.
  2. isis07734

    isis07734 Nice guy

    Feb 8, 2006
    The RAT series would be my choice.

  3. BigJoe13


    Feb 7, 2010
    NE Arizona
    The RAT series is very good. Got the 3 and 7 in D2 slightly used for a great price.

    Ka-Bar's Becker line is very good. You can find them on Amazon dot com NIB for very little money if you are paitent.

    Cold Steel Bushman is good as well, though I find I need to do some handle wrapping to make it fit me better. For about $30.00 bucks it is one of the best beater knives I have.

    You can also get a Pukko or Leuku fairly inexpensively from lots of places. Try ragweedforge dot com if you are not familliar with these blade shapes.

    Best of luck deciding, lots of great knives avalible now.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  4. ESEE/Rat Cultery Knives
  5. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    The short air force pilots survival knive is my baseline. I've got <70$ in 2 copies, and while I'll endorse the Rat's, only the D2 version justifies the cost. Otherwise it's a pretty ordinary value. Ditto Kbars.
  6. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Rebel South
    RAT of course and for a couple bucks more you can have a bark river "bravo-1" or "ss-gunny"
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  7. triggerjerk


    Dec 19, 2000
  8. ekmek


    Dec 22, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    SOG fusion fixation around $30. They are super tough and an amazing deal for the price.

    I'll be taking it again with me next week while on vacation...backpacking in Wyoming!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  10. irontexan27


    Dec 14, 2009
    Another vote for ESEE, not to be confused with Ontarios Rat lineup.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  11. tripton


    Jan 15, 2007
    Id say ESEE too, but you are going to be pretty hard pressed to find one that is 5-8 inches long and under $100.

    The ESEE5 is a heavy beast and just over 5 inches. The ESEE6 is a better bush knife and is about 6.5 inches...but it is a shade over 100 bucks too.

    If I were you i would scrounge up the extra 20 bucks or so and get an ESEE 6, if that is at all possible.
  12. another Vote for ESEE, they're guaranteed 100% no questions asked, you break it you get another for free.. period........

    ESEE-6 you will not be disappointed. Heck while you're at it you just cant have one get the Izula as well. ;0) I'm curious to see what you go with...
  13. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    For a good camp knife under $100 you can't hardly beat a Becker. I would go with the BK-7 so it's big enough for emergency chopping. Very solid knives.
  14. GlockPride

    GlockPride Glock 23

    Aug 21, 2006
    Just OK
  15. itstime


    Apr 9, 2006
    Gerber LMF or eese. (rat cutlery).

    O would spen the money for the rc5. It has a much thicker blade and is stronger
  16. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
  17. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    Thickness of blade translates into 'won't break', alright, but it makes for poor slicing. How many knives have you broken? What do you intend to use the knife for? A lot of these are 1095 steel, which is a good simple steel but as far from exotic as you can get.

    I'm awfully fond of D2, as it holds an edge better than 1095, and it takes serious sharpening tools to get there but it can be made 'too sharp' and with a lightly convexed edge on D2, it'll STAY that sharp one heckova while. And D2 is considered 'midgrade' compared to proprietary steels like ZDP-189.

    So how much specificity can you generate? If you'll get a guy to make one out of your choice of steels, and your choice of blade shape, and your choice of handle will feel a personal attachment to the result. A custom job from an unknown/part time hobbyist smith is liable to be fast turnaround and lowball pricing. I saw a D2 9" blade with a burl haft go for $175 last fall that would make you cry it was so pretty. Some folks want L6 or O1 or A2 but ain't many working 1095 within 100 miles of any ocean.

    Just a thought. :)

    Full Disclosure, I own 2 of the Ontario D2 Rat IIIs, bought 'em used under 100$, and they ain't for sale. I've also got Kershaw Outcasts in D2, same thing. Once convexed, it's 3 times the slicer compared to the factory grind, downright pleasant to cut something as opposed to whack at it.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  18. daddysnapmuffins


    Jul 30, 2008
    ESEE/RAT, Scrapyard, Swamprat.