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My intent isn't to rekindle a disagreement, but I recently came across information that I thought interesting about tang/ haft length on axes/ hatchets/ tomahawks.

I'd never owned an axe before recently, and in doing some research I decided to start with a Gransfors Bruk. They are a company that make hand forged axes in Sweden, one of the few remaining companies that mass-produce hand forged blades (almost sounds like an oxymoron).

I recalled the conversations between WCCountryboy and USMM regarding handle length, and whether it constituted a single handed or two handed weapon. Now to be fair, the GB axes are not "weapons", and I get that a woodsman's axe will handle differently than a tomahawk. But that said, Gransfors Bruk define anything with a haft longer than 14" as an "axe", which they define as two-handed use. Their hatchets are all 14" and under, and designed for single handed use. In fact, their hugely popular, "Scandinavian Forest Axe", which is considered a general purpose axe, and not small by any means, has a 25" OAL.

Their axe that I own is the "Small Forest Axe", which has an OAL of 19" (which includes the head, not just the haft), and I can't imagine trying to be effective with it in combat with one hand. It definitely feels like a two-handed weapon. And when I placed the SFA on my belt, even at 19", it felt like it was long enough to inhibit mobility. If I were choosing a hatchet with a back-up purpose of being a weapon, I'd personally go shorter than 19".

Like I said, I'm not trying to restart a debate, I just wanted to weigh in with something I found interesting, and some new food for thought.
 

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I have an old beat up WW1 Bolo.
I guess would be my dedicated combat knife.
I can't imagine any other use for it.
Actually I just think it looks cool.
 

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Combat knife has a lot of different connotations but for survival I'd like it to cover more than just people or opening bean cans. Coming from a region where we knife a lot of game with dogs, 7" of blade as a good medium game sticking length. This gets into hogs vitals from reasonable angles. 8" is better. 6" will work on smaller hogs but you will get fails on bigger ones. 9" is great as long as its not unwiledy on your belt.

Also prefer some form of hilt, even a tiny one, without which you risk running your hand down onto the blade during impact, moreso once mud, blood or rain makes the grip slick. This is why medieval folks weren't carrying around cool little paracorded type blades with no hilts for self defence. They were actually using theirs to drive into one anothers bodies regularly, and as such when a dagger went into play it usually had a decent 7-10" of blade with at least some hilt.

For bushswords or machetes or shortsword type things which would see camp chores+ defensive uses my preference is that they can be used to stab. However sword, spear or seax tip as these latter forms will snap the tip more easily on poor stikes, especially harvesting foliage where you accidentally strike the ground or obscured objects. A good compromise I find is some more belly or curvature near the end like a drop or clipped point which can ride tough impact.
 

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I like about 8" combining combat knife with hunting. Knifing medium game, especially hogs with dogs 7" is minimum for all decent angles, 6" can be done but you get fails on the larger hogs.
 

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KYDave, your Steadfast looks a lot like my Gerber BMF, but maybe scaled down a bit. I've had the BMF in my collection for 40 years, and when my Dad died, I got his BMF.
 

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Knife fighting is deadly, personal, and you should expect to get cut or stabbed in the process. However, they are a great tool to have in said scenario.

I will always choose a good fixed blade with at least a thickness of 3/16” over a large folder any day.
I have one that I use for hunting and general outdoor duties. Its a tops condor alert. 9.5” blade and its 1095 steel. Takes an edge well and does what it should. Bit if I find myself having to use one for close combat Im using my spartan ring dagger. It’s easily deployed and light-as a feather and strong as it needs to be. It slices very well.


Bit if I need to remove limbs, Ill go to my Hellion made by ZT. Its 5160 spring steel and shaving sharp.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Although void of a compass, built in GPS or map/fishing line storage within the handle, I find the Ontario M9 a perfect companion for such a scenario. It’s versatile enough as is, rugged and won’t break the bank. Plus, I don’t need to hunt down it’s location, I always know where it’s at.

That's just it, in an actual knife fight, the bayonet is the only viable option if you want to walk out the winner.

Martial arts training may give most people the idea that in a knife fight, all they would need to do is grab an ink pen and rolled up magazine and come out the winner like in a Jason Bourne film...
 

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Since this thread is still going.

How about just like the old saw about the gun you have on you. Same applies to a knife. You can a have the coolest "combat" knife, whatever that really means, at home on your vest. What do you have on you or about you that you will have everyday? That's probably the knife you will have on you when something real goes down.

Unless you are a highly trained knife fighter, also whatever that really is, a truly dedicated fighting knife is going to be more weight and space your person wasted that could be used to have just a good, fixed blade knife that will do most of your everyday or campstead needs. A good knife that can make a fuzz stick, cut a hunk of your dried sausage, or slice bacon, can also slice flesh. And feel more at home and in motion in your hand from simply using it all the time.

Hey, I like fighting style knives as much as the next guy. Years ago I mentioned in the knife sub-forum that I had found that good fighting knives seemed to share great similarity to good kitchen knives, with the exception of having a hilt. Good kitchen knives are prized for not only their cutting ability, but that they balance and handle really well. Easy to wield and use accurately and efficiently. Same goes for a fighting knife. A Muella fighter I only recently put back in the knife pile was on kitchen duty for a long time. It worked quite well at it.

My range based battle belt and harness currently has a Ka Bar TDI (large) near the left side mags as a last ditch/retention blade. Same way I carried it when working armed security. At the moment an ESEE Izula II gets clipped on the shoulder strap on my non-shooting shoulder. Once I adjust some real estate on the belt or strap I'll probably change that to a slightly larger field type blade in the 5" range. In the extremely unlikely event that I actually have to go to the blade for a weapon, it will do. Quads, brachialis, flexors, and any other disabling target won't know or care if they got cut by a 3", 5", or 12" blade. In tight and close for disabling work a Mora that you use often enough to feel familiar with it will be as effective or maybe more as a 9" dedicated fighting knife that you probably haven't trained in true fighting style, and trained hard, daily, and in full gear with.

Does anyone really train in a proper knife fighting discipline on a constant basis while wearing their fully kitted out zombie apocalypse gear? Or even tried knife combat type moves while wearing full gear?

I'm guessing that the USMC Ka Bar has probably seen a lot more use overall by the Marines as a field knife than it has as a mano y mano fighting knife. I'm sure it's seen a good share of defensive and offensive use through the wars. Just saying it's probably seen even more as a working utility knife. Pretty much what a real combat knife is. Opens cans and bodies with equal aplomb.
 

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OOhhh i have a thing for that black steel. looks like a hot blonde to me, what is this and how can i get my hands on one ??
Just google Cold Steel SRK. Been made from a few different steels and in different locations over the years, but still a good all around working knife.

I had one of the original US made SRKs in Carbon V steel. My dad carried it on the Mississippi along the sloughs for several years when he and mom were caretaking an island in eastern Arkansas for a group of sportsmen. I finally managed to trade him back out of it after many years. I eventually gave it to my son. Kinda miss it, but I have too many knives now that fit in the same type.
 

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Instead of just one "best of the best" get several good to very good knives. You will lose, damage, or break them if you use them enough. Better to have a replacement available.
 

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This is a dedicated combat knife...

**** Dundee would be approve. :biglaugh:

5160 spring steel.
 

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From some of the responses I've read here, clearly many of you are more knowledgeable than I am. Make me somewhat reluctant to post my thoughts but I will anyway if for nothing else that to get feedback and learn.

Combat knife; fighting knife. To me two VERY different things. To me a combat knife is mostly a bushcraft knife. A utilitarian knife for multi use in a combat setting. Less about a knife fight than it is about a supporting role in adverse conditions. To me; in my environment (rural SE) that is bushcraft and there are lots of good bushcraft knives and hawks out there. As to knife fighting; first thing that comes to mind is; is retreat an option? If so RETREAT and live to fight another day. If retreat is not an option (rare in my mind) then a Karamabit is my choice and what I am most comfortable with. To be clear though, I am NOT a knife fighter so a knife is a DEFENSIVE weapon for me. Last ditch in the face of superior force. Close in defense where all other options have been exhausted.
 
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