Large Knife or Hatchet?

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by TLuker, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I’ve been trying to decide between a large knife or a hatchet for my BOB. I would have both in the truck but I would have to cut down on weight if I were on foot. Being on foot means sticking with the bare essentials, and for me that’s a large knife.
    At the moment I can’t ever remember thinking “I’m glad I had a hatchet”. So I’m curious if anyone thinks a hatchet is an absolute necessity or if anyone prefers it to a large knife?

    Thanks
     
  2. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    I prefer both and they both have their specific uses. :cool:

    Just how much weight do you think having both a large knife and a hatchet in your BOB is going to weigh you down?

    I think the small amount of weight would most likely go unnoticed, especially in a real SHTF scenario, once the adrenaline kicks in.
     

  3. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    For camping, I usually have the Vaughn rigging axe, but sometimes the Vaughn roofing hatchet. I always have the KaBar Becker Bowie. The axe or hatchet stay in camp. The Bowie is on my belt. It will handle most tasks I may run into on the trail.

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  4. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Weight Adds Up

    It's not that one or the other weighs that much. The problem is that weight adds up. A small sharp skinning knife is a must. Now add the weight of that small skinning knife to a hatchet and a large knife and the weight is starting to add up, and that's just cutting/chopping tools. I think of a hatchet as nice to have but not a necessity when I've got a large knife. Therefore it can be eliminated in place of something more useful such as extra rope or clothing.

    I'm just trying to figure out how important a hatchet is when it comes down to absolute necessities.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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  6. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Chopping down trees and cutting wood for a fire

    Chopping or cutting or digging through snow & ice

    Used as a hammer or pounding tool

    Defense weapon against predators and can be thrown if needed
     
  7. BlindOldMan

    BlindOldMan New Member

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    I'd go for the hatchet and a smaller knife (such as a Mora). I have lots of larger knives, but when I'm camping I use the Mora very often to cut everything from rope to meat to onions and garlic. If I'm lucky enough to catch a nice perch or snapper, the smaller knife is good for cleaning them.. Not quite as handy as a fillet knife, but way better than trying to use one of those thick, rigid survival knives such as the LMFII.. As to the hatchet, it really gets old splitting wood with a knife and a stick. Hatchets work great with coconuts, make a decent hammer versus a knife, can be sharpened on a rock and still be effective, can get through a door faster than a knife, and the song was "Careful With That *Axe*, Eugene" :D
     
  8. ktmboyz

    ktmboyz New Member

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    I would also say a Hatchet. It doesnt seem as needed for firewood but if you had to build an emergency shelter it would be a huge help, plus it doubles as a hammer. I always have a knife, a machete in a sheeth on the side of my pack and going to have a hatchet in it. I am thinking a Gerber due to their lighter weight and good edge.
     
  9. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    I am partial to the Cold Steel Kukri machete.
     
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hatchet and small skinning knife gets my vote. Another very useful tool is a sharpening steel with a chisel tip made by Schrade.
     
  11. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Read the book "Hatchet". its a survival story.
     
  12. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    I've got a small hatchet in my BOB as well as a full-size KA-BAR. The hatchet is better for cutting branches and small trees and works well as a hammer, too. Any time you can consolidate two or more tools into one tool, do it.
     
  13. Boyerracing343

    Boyerracing343 New Member Supporter

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    Both if i have room. If not ill go with the knife.
     
  14. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin New Member

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    I would do both. The 1 1/2 lbs it adds will be worth it in the long run. Cutting bones on large animals, wood cutting, hammering. My choice is a Gransfors-Bruks Hunter, I don't see them on the web site any more. I bought mine at a sporting goods store in Durango Colorado a few years ago. In choosing now I would go with the Gransfors wildlife hatchet 1st. The Hand Hatchet or the mini Belt hatchet 2nd. They will quickly become razor sharp. great help in skinning a animal too. Few things are worth the extra cost but I think the ax and knife are tools worth buying the best you can get.
     
  15. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

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    Weekend at Arctic Beach & bored kids & willows.

    Kids were getting stir crazy so loaded up the crew and headed out to the outdoors with a corn knife and a small camp hatchet, I thought the kids could use some nylon cord I had along to make Bush Bows in the field.
    the Hatchet kinda knaws off green wood the Cornknife's very thin deep blade bit deep and cut quick on green wood up to 3" with faster results than the hatchet, the cornknife was faster to sharpen using a rock off the beach than the hatchet, even with a latherman file it took a bit to get the dull hatchet sharp and we quit trying as they had more fun fashioning ther bows useing the cornknife (blunt tipped machete with thinner blade)
    I think a sharp Bowie type camp knife would be a better option the only real advantage the hatchet had was hammering (rock did just as good there all over) and splitting wood (corn knife with rock to back the blade did that too)
    ther Bush bows turned out pretty good for green wood, ther arrows were poor as we hadent suitable saplings or reeds, We'd have had to split a large (3"-4" trunk) piece of wood to get shaft splits but would have been labor intensive, shaveing them round
    Was thinking of making a fire drill (need suitable socket) next weekend or a stone axe from slect beach stones.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  16. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Depends on the extremeness of the circumstances. If I'm just out camping, a hatchet is a good tool. If I'm evading, I want the least weight possible, and I can do everything with a knife that I can a hatchet, even if more slowly.

    That is, unless you are planning to just keep your small EDC knife on you, and then add the hatchet. But I wouldn't personally bother rolling around with a 7" survival knife AND a hatchet, if I knew my survival depended on my ability to move as quickly as possible, OR my ability to carry my pantry, my kitchen, my armory, my toolshed, and my hospital on me.

    Not that I'm weak, and am actually pretty athletic, but I agree every pound adds up. I could easily imagine an additional 10lbs making the difference between me being able to easily clear a 6' fence or not. Yeah, I could get over it with probably 60lbs on my back, but I could dive over it with under 20lbs on my back.
     
  17. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    I'm with c3 on the machete. That one from the Ontario knife company looks nice. They also have a saw back version of it too.
     
  18. Toll13

    Toll13 New Member

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    Watch the movie "Hatchet". It's a...the opposite of survival story. :p
     
  19. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

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  20. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I’m leaning more and more to a large knife or machete rather than a hatchet (a small sharp knife is a given no matter what). I do a lot of metal detecting in the deep woods and I carry a light pack with me when I do. That pack starts getting heavy after a few hours (along with the metal detector, spade, and a few other digging tools). That has made me aware of just how important weight is, especially when on the move. And that’s just a light pack for a day in the woods. I have a pretty good idea what a heavy pack with the necessities for several days would feel like.

    I also keep thinking back to when I was kid running loose in the woods. Absolutely nothing got more use than a 7 ½” K-Bar I always carried. It was my multi tool and it chopped, hacked, and hammered just about everything. But I did get some serious use out of a few machetes. That’s the sort of tool I want when my choices are limited, and my choices would be limited because of weight. I can see kukri or Bowie filling that roll.

    I’ll definitely keep a hatchet, or maybe an axe, in the truck. It’s hard to beat an axe when serious chopping is required. Ironically I just remembered a few hatchets I’ve already got somewhere in the shed that I found while metal detecting (and 7 or 8 axe heads). But if it ever came down to being on foot for an unknown length of time, I think I would have to lose the hatchet and stick with the large knife.

    Thanks for the comments.