Handle Divots, yea or nay?

Discussion in 'Survive! Knives' started by Pàdruig, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    After a recent discussion with @91bravo regarding a potential trade, it got me thinking about the divots I have seen on some of the handles produced by SURVIVE!. Before I knew what they were supposed to be, they had me mildly curious but nothing more as I kind of found them to be unsightly...

    Now I know them to be a "Bow Drill Divot" which might prove useful to some and nothing more than a blemish to others. I think I fall in the latter category...

    Are there those of you who have actually implemented that divot and if so, how well does it hold up? I can't imagine that a divot bored into micarta will hold up well to heat and such despite the ruggedness of the material. I honestly feel that it is a bit gimmicky and does nothing for me in regards to the aesthetics of the knife but I am truly curious to hear from folks who might have put it to use.

    Is it a feature worth marring the otherwise clean lines of the knife and potentially compromising the integrity of your handles? Is it that necessary to provide a divot, even if it is deemed to be some sort of last resort?

    It certainly has me curious, I don't think I've seen that feature on other knives.
  2. Psybull


    Dec 31, 2015
    Bow divots are a common feature on lots of bushcraft and survival type blades.
    I have used them with less expensive blades just to see how they worked but didn't want to char up the divot on a gso handle.
    For me I don't mind them on the handle UNLESS it is placed where a fingertip would rest, which I find uncomfortable. So on my 5.1 the handles w/ divots had to be switched out but on the 1st gen 3.5 that was fine. BTW that one has the deluxe handles w/ the brass divot so using that often is no problem.
  3. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    Interesting. I must admit, my exposure to bushcraft/survival blades is limited largely to Ka-Bar and Beckers, I haven't found a huge need to expand my horizons otherwise until rather recently. This 4.7 I have now is just a fantastic knife and I have been carrying it every day since I got it. I wouldn't know for sure unless I had the handles with the divot in hand, but it seems the placement on the 4.7 would create some discomfort, or at the very least, a noticeable irritation.

    I guess I kind of question the philosophy behind putting a divot on a knife. Admittedly, I have not made or used a bow drill much, as I usually am successful with rod and steel, but is it that difficult to get a bow drill assembled and started that you would need to use your knife for such a task?
  4. Psybull


    Dec 31, 2015
    One less thing to have to make in an emergency situation if all you have with you is a knife.
    99% would you need one no, but the one time you do it could be worth it.
  5. Fancier


    Jul 1, 2012
    The divots were one of the options on the starter orders but the majority of the knives I've seen have not had them.
    I figure if I'm down to making fires by friction I've got much bigger problems than needing a divot in my knife handle.
    According to Survive it is intended for emergency use only. Even the brass inlaid divots tended to overheat and melt the scales.
    BBuser likes this.
  6. BBuser


    Sep 4, 2016
    I can't see messing up handle of a quality knife. If you can fashion the rest one more simple piece of wood won't stop you. I thought a metal insert would stop the burn, but previous post indicates otherwise.
  7. Silver Needle

    Silver Needle

    Jul 14, 2014
    Speaking of trades, I couldn't help but think about how easy it might be to lose your knife with that black handle. I'd gladly trade yours for my Untextured orange handles. I think you'd be much more at ease in the woods with handles that are high vis. Let me know ;)

    Anyways, I don't have any divoted handles, so I'm just regurgitating what I've read. Like already mentioned, Guy has said it's a feature to give a little extra advantage in a real survival situation, not a gimmick for regular, casual bow drilling. The 3.5s got the extra brass bowl feature because of their hollow handle. If you used your divot on a bigger or newer knife and the micarta actually burned through then you'd still have solid steel underneath. Some aesthetics might be sacrificed, but at least you'd have a fire if it were life or death.
    Because the divot making is an extra time consuming step, it is discontinued on new stuff.
    Personally, I'd vote nay, as a fire steel and Bic gets me all the fire I need.
    Fancier likes this.
  8. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    NAY! I don't like the idea of sawing away with a bow with a razor-sharp edge near by. Seems like a problem that could be solved about 15 different ways, none of which require me to put my limbs at risk.
  9. Silver Needle

    Silver Needle

    Jul 14, 2014
    Oh absolutely. The GSO divots can be used with the sheath on though, right?

    I feel like I've seen knives of other brands that have handle features that get covered up when the knife is sheathed, but since I don't have a divoted S! knife I can't say for sure.
  10. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Don't know. Probably. If you have to take the sheath off your belt to use the bow divot... I'm still not interested.
  11. Silver Needle

    Silver Needle

    Jul 14, 2014
    Ah, that is a good point.
  12. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    I think it really does come down to just one's own personal survival philosophy. Though I agree with @Psybull that there is that 1% chance or less (likely less) that one might need to use a divot built into the handle to make fire, I cannot think of a single instance or scenario where I would be in such a predicament to necessitate compromising my knife in order to attempt a fire.

    Redundancy is key when it comes to having the capabilities to make fire and I usually have several methods on my person or in my pack when I am out and about. If all of those methods fail and I find myself wishing that I had a divot built into the handle of my knife, then I will be the very first to "eat crow". Otherwise, I just find it to be a feature that 1.) Is largely unnecessary, 2.) Can provide potential discomfort depending on placement and hand size, and 3.) Really messes with the aesthetics of the knife (though aesthetics hardly matters in a survival situation, admittedly).

    I suppose ultimately this is a conversation better suited for the Outdoors and Survival sub, especially since it appears that other knife makers also employ such a feature. But regardless, I, personally, do not care for the divot, or at least its location on the Survive! knives that have it. If a more innovative design or location for it is introduced, I will certainly check it out!
  13. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    As tempting as such a glorious offer is, I must politely decline, orange not really being my color and all. ;) Honestly, I have literally been carrying this knife every day since I got it. It hangs from my belt with the sheath tucked into my pocket and since I pretty much exclusively wear black all the time, it makes for a nice unobtrusive carry system with easy access to an exceptionally useful blade. I have a feeling that such a garish color as orange might very well negatively impact my daily tool selections. :D
  14. Silver Needle

    Silver Needle

    Jul 14, 2014
    @Pàdruig Ok ok, but I wanted to at least try :D

    I'm really glad you've been liking yours. The 4.7 is my favorite out of my humble collection.

    As far as the divot goes, it doesn't sound like too many people will miss the feature since it is no longer an option for new models going forward.
  15. ScooterG

    ScooterG You mean Ireland? Yeah, it’s mine. Platinum Member

    Mar 15, 2016
    From the guy that made the trade with @91bravo, I've got to say that I like having the feature. I didn't buy the knife to collect (I have many that I do though) but to use. I might have reconsidered that if I had waited a couple of year s to receive the knife, but I found it in the Exchange and love it so far...just need to get out of town and put it to good use.

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    91bravo likes this.

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