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Inexpensive large survival-camp-shtf knife

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by lonestar1979, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    What are good choices, my budget is $150.
  2. collim1


    Aug 14, 2014
    Becker Kabar BK9.

    Chops well while still being a great slicer and surprisingly knife like for its size.
  3. Onies


    Apr 29, 2006
    Becker BK5 would be my choice. Discontinued though, might still be deals available. I'll also second the BK9, in fact pretty much anything Becker is a very good option.
  4. collim1


    Aug 14, 2014
    He said large so I thought BK9 was the best suggestion, but I would much prefer the BK16 for a general camp knife.
  5. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    ESEE Junglas can be had for $150 if you look around. Pretty much not gone beat ESEE's warranty or heat treat at this price range.
  6. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 14, 2012
    Agreed. Junglas is hard to beat for the price/value!
  7. Steve6387


    Jul 1, 2013
    +2 on this
  8. efreedma


    Feb 26, 2014
    Check out the Ontario SP50 gen2. I just recently got one and took it camping, performed like a champ and it is far below your budget.
  9. Revolverrodger

    Revolverrodger Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    One more vote for the sp50 or bk9 or junglas
    They all perform very well in my experience
  10. AR_Freak


    Nov 13, 2005
    ^^^^^ This. Quote for Truth
  11. ocnLogan


    Jul 31, 2011
    Your definition of "inexpensive" is much different than mine. I was prepared for like a $30-50 budget. $150 is easy to find a good knife in just about any size. But basically any Becker/ESEE/Ontario will work for your purposes.

    The Junglas is a better chopper than the BK9 (although they're not super far off), as it was designed more as a short stubby machete. The BK9 is more "knife like" though IMO, and is surprisingly nimble for its size. I quite like mine in the two blade combo I use it with.

    I find sizes in the 4-6in better for a single blade which I'm assuming is what you're talking about (single knife). If that was my budget, and that's what I was looking for, I'd buy a Becker BK12/Ritter MK2 (knifeworks exclusive). Its a 6in blade that seems to fit nicely into the "big enough to do most things, but still small enough to do many things" size range.


    Good luck :).
  12. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    For serious stuff in that price range I'd stick with either a Becker or one of the Cold Steels.

    If none of those suit you, then maybe the Junglas...but over the years it seems to get inconsistent ratings in here.
  13. AntCaps

    AntCaps Gold Member Gold Member

    May 6, 2009
    Iv brought my Kabar cutlass machete camping with me every time for the last 7 or 8 years and the only complaint if had is the sheath it comes with is terrible. But it chops like a champ it sharpens very easy it takes a great edge and when I bought it, it was under 60 bucks. If you want something you can beat on and not feel bad I'd grab one.
    Buy one get a decent sheath made and you have a great tool for years to come.
  14. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    I disagree, Way more inconsistency from Becker and definitely CS than ESEE.
  15. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    Should have made it more clear--I meant in satisfaction with that knife, NOT anything about physical or structural aspects.
  16. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    Well, you've got a lot of suggestions so far, but we're missing one important piece of info. Where do you live? Your name is Lonestar, so I assume Texas? Even then, if you are in hot, humid coastal Texas, I'd be more inclined to suggest something stainless. If you're in a very hot arid area with few large trees, then perhaps a slightly smaller knife for finer tasks may do the trick. When you say "SHTF" are you talking camping trip gone awry? Temporary break down of society? Or more like "TEOTWAWKI"? Do you plan on bugging out or in?

    For that matter, when you say "camping" are these car camping trips at a KOA? backpacking multi night hikes with long distances?

    All will have to be taken into account to figure out which knife is right for YOU in YOUR circumstances? I really don't see how anyone can give an educated answer here without more detail.
  17. ocnLogan


    Jul 31, 2011
    Just curious, were those Camillus, roll stamped kabar, or laser engraved kabar Becker that you've had issues with? So far I've not had an issue with kabar beckers, and would say they and ESEE do some of the best 1095 in the industry (my opinion).
  18. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    biggest complaint about big knives is that they are big. No one who is looking at a BK9 will complain about a Junglas. What I am saying is that at $150 or Less the Junglas is the better knife in the big knife category.

    MY experience with my Beckers is from the past and does not apply to todays production. And yes they were excellent blades(my own experience). My own personal issues dealt with handles, well before you could get aftermarket micarta handles for them. I would have kept mine if someone was making handles for them out of micarta like they do today. But I have seen failures with beckers from others in recent times, that leads me to my own conclusion that their heat treat isn't as good as ESEE. There is plenty of evidence on the net of this.





    Anyone can break a knife, but divots from an edge like this is a sign of something different. I know I can break a Junglas in half, but I won't do this to the edge. And if by chance there is one that does have a defect, there is the no questions asked warranty from ESEE, which is the clincher in my opinion.
  19. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Himalayan Imports Tamang.
  20. ocnLogan


    Jul 31, 2011
    To the OP, if you could find a place nearby that stocks some of these, you could get a feel for what fits your hand better, which could help out a lot in this process.

    What do you feel is "large"? I've found that people see things very differently, and frequently comment about how my BK2 is a lot bigger than the classic kabar USMC, even though its blade and overall length is shorter.

    And the question about what exactly you'll be using it for, and how you'll be getting around are good ones. If you're plan is to sit in one spot, then large blades make more sense. If you're wanting to go a large distance, then lighter blades might make more sense.

    Agreed that no one looking for something large will find a huge difference in how they carry. They're fairly similar in overall size. I still feel that the BK9 is more "knifeish" while the junglas is more "chopperish", but that's just a preference thing.

    Yeah, every time someone mentions a broken Becker, its these few photos (aside from the top one, which isn't a Becker) that are usually mentioned. You can see in the photos that those are all roll stamped models, so at least 2-3 years old at least now. And I don't know offhand if anyone has ever been able to tell if these are Kabar, or Camillus BK9's (the stamps on the other side). Anyway, from what I have heard/seen around the Becker subforum, the Camillus BK9's were much more prone to breakage. Also, the roll stamping was done away with to reduce stress risers from the stamping process (not that that would have helped in these particular cases, since it is the edge we're seeing). I've not yet seen a broken BK9 of recent vintage, if that's worth anything.

    For what its worth, in all of the broken Becker knife threads I've been able to find online, they have all been replaced under warranty. Same thing with the Kabar (heavy bowie mostly) threads that I could find. The main difference in my mind is that ESEE is committed to replacing your knife if you're an idiot and do it on purpose. Kabar/Becker seems to avoid replacing those knives with the way their warranty is worded.

    And surprisingly, one of the things you apparently had issues with were the handles, which funnily enough is one of the things I like best about Becker knives. The shape is great, and the grivory to me is the perfect amount of slip + grip. Mostly what that means to me is no blisters, even with extended use (2hr +). But yeah, maybe someday try another one with the factory Micarta. If the scales were the only thing that put you off of it, I guess that's been "fixed" for a while now.

    And finally. I'm not saying that Becker (or anyone else for that matter) is immune to failures, or bad blades. Just saying that with any mass produced knife, its possible to have a few that don't meet QC specs that end up making their way out the door. That's where warranties come in, ESEE of course has that covered, and so far I've not yet seen a warranty request denied from Kabar/Becker.

    Final side note that "proves" this point, is that when you search for images of "broken ESEE" and "Broken Becker", all sorts of other knives show up. And again, this isn't bashing any of these companies. Just saying that any knife can break, either due to user error, or missed HT, and as long as its not a systemic problem and the warranty covers it, I've got no problem.

    People say buss-kin are impervious to damage?

    Here is a rowen produced ESEE

    Cold Steel

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