Question for the Army guys

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Shorttime, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2012
    I was issued a Gerber multi plier 600, later bought a cold steel recon 1 with what I think was the ultra lock. Was like an axis lock.

    What I did with it depends on where I was. Mostly random mundane things.
  2. Frailer

    Frailer Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    1985-2010. Carried a Victorinox Huntsman for the first half of my career and a Victorinox Compact for the second half. As others have mentioned, I used it for opening MREs, cutting paracord/tape/rope/straps.

    I will admit to carrying a sheath knife on occasion during the first couple of years, but I never needed it.
  3. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    Old guy here. My basic training rifle at the end of the 1950s was the M1, just as the M14 was beginning to be distributed to the deployed troops. We had a 6 1/2 inch blade bayonet that was supposed to double as a camp knife, but it was not very good in that role, and I never used it except once to open a large oil can. My only knife was a Kamp King that I had since age 12, and I used it to open C-ration cans, lift bottle caps (no screw-offs then) and cut stuff, like the C-rat cocoa that had to be chipped apart and still would barely dissolve in hot water. A couple of times I used is as a plumb bob, hanging it by the bail. I would liked to have had a Leatherman tool. That would have come in handy, but unfortunately, they hadn't been invented yet.
  4. Amoo


    Jan 8, 2017
    Navy here, but worked in the engine room. No need for a knife, had my Gerber Multitool. We ordered a set of leathermans for the entire division I wanna say in 03/04 and everybody loved their multitool. When I got out and went to work in a steel mill, same thing, no need for a knife, had my trusty Gerber multi tool with me. I only found use for a knife once I got out of the industrial industry and moved to something more commercial. Now it's knife and on the rare occasion I need a knife to do something I would have used my multi tool for, I just buy blade shapes that can accommodate it and accept I may be regrinding or replacing if I break something.

    So I wouldn't exactly call a dedicated knife useless in the military, but I would call it unnecessary weight if you are carrying a multi tool.
  5. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    I learned early on not to take expensive knives out in the field. Or even in garrison. On account of there's always someone looking to steal your stuff. And if it's not stolen, it gets lost. I've probably lost or had stolen almost $1,000 in knives during a single enlistment. Clearly I didn't learn the lesson very well.

    Would I trust most of the guys I served with with my life? Yeah, sure.

    But not my knives. Or my wallet. Or my beer. Or my wife. Or my car. Or my... well, you get the idea.
  6. Amoo


    Jan 8, 2017
    Really? We had a theft problem exactly 1 time. It was handled "in house" as we say and that was literally the only time we ever had an issue. We had 92 guys in our berthing and there were wallets and multitools laying everywhere.
  7. navman

    navman Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2013
    Was issued plenty of knives and tools with blades (Gerber multis mostly). In Afghanistan I carried a CQC-7 and/or a Spyderco Endura. Used it to cut stuff, open boxes/MRE's, process evidence...routine stuff. With Riverine Squadron 2 did two tours to Iraq, had the Endura in my second line gear, an Emerson SOC-FK in my pocket and kept a heavy fixed blade in my third line for breaching and prying (was gifted a Strider EBL-T and used it twice.) Other than that we were issued a SOG SEAL Pup for use on the boats, but I never carried it, a lot of my guys did, poor edge retention but excellent corrosion resistance, and lots of broken tips. The SOC-FK ended up being used the most for, again, normal cutting tasks to include cutting away towing lines that got snagged and lots of zip ties. also used a multi tool for random stuff around the boats and weapons. I did lend my Emerson to a team mate to start a fire with a magnesium starter, which then required a full regrind of the blade, dumb-ass took a chunk out of the edge on the flint. I have a picture somewhere of my deployed kit on the back of an MRAP...

    At my current command (EOD MU) I now make knives and either carry one of my own or a Spyderco depending on what I have handy.
  8. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Cutting chow line...cute:D

    Cutting open MREs seems to be the main thing I saw troops use their knives for. Cutting C4, fuse, det cord, and tape were also common. I never did see anyone with a costly knife. Most of us carried cheaper knives. One Lt thought his S&W knife was the best thing ever. I am also convinced that Engineers are harder on tools than anybody I have ever met.

    I enlisted as a Combat Engineer and later cross trained as a medic (91B) so my experience is like yours. With us, you were issued a knife because of your MOS and the units MTOE. That was back in 1976, before the Gerber MT was even around. IIRC, commo guys were issued T-29s but there was no standard issue folder for all soldiers.

    Thankfully, the Gerber multi-tool was in the supply system before I got out. What a great piece of kit. Should be standard issue for all soldiers to have a MT. You can get by only with a MT but it is nice to have a folder too. If I was going back in, I'd want a Gerber Pro Scout and a light weight folder.
  9. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    This was only like three times... most of that value was lost when I had a whole roll of knives get stolen right out of my office. Teach me to leave things lying around where new recruits can see them. Once I left a Leatherman tool on a water buffalo, and it walked off. And once a CRKT fixed blade disappeared out of my pack. That one could have been a field loss, but I mentioned it in passing to my platoon sergeant, and he did offer to do a shakedown for it.
  10. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    11b here, MRE's, zip ties, care packages, and occasionally clothing come to mind off the top as the most frequent uses.
  11. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    Thanks, fellas! Interesting.

    Confirms what I've read here, and other places.

    A wire cutter, EMT shears, and a pry tool, with maybe some Phillips and flat bits, would be far more useful than a dedicated knife.

    Have I got that about right?
  12. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    The only knife I was issued was a bayonet. I carried a Buck 110 or 103 (modified) and also a Buck 501 in my pocket. I got a lot of use out of those building shelters and etc.
  13. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    Okay, I'm curious about how that came about. Could you explain a bit more?
  14. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I think the magician is talking about a tanker that carries drinkable water. Either a dedicated tanker truck, or a trailer that gets towed behind another vehicle. They use 'em in places where the amount of water can't keep up with the amount of people. For whatever reason, it's called a "water buffalo".

    I'm a "civ", so I don't know how it got this name. :confused:
  15. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2012
    Correct, and it usually has the word potable on it.
  16. Amoo


    Jan 8, 2017
    if by bits you mean ones actually attached as part of the multi tool then yes, if you mean something with swap able bits, then absolutely not never ever, they can and will get lost one by one. Lost count of how many times i went bilge fishing for my Gerber, would have never found a bit.
  17. Halfneck


    Jun 30, 2005
    My 1st field exercise I carried my Al Mar Warrior on my belt. My Plt. Sgt looked at me and asked if if I was planning to use it to amputate limbs, then proceeded to point it out to the other guys in the Infantry Squad. I became "That Guy" for a bit. It was also uncomfortable to carry and kept poking me in the side. It quickly got stowed in my ruck out of sight. Also during my time in brands like Medford/Strider/etc were not around. Emerson knives were the cool guy knife to have thanks to the Rogue Warrior books, but custom was the only option. Emerson didn't offer production knives till I was getting out. That said I kick myself for not getting a custom Emerson CQC-7 at the time for around $350.
  18. Airborneguy


    Dec 4, 2016
    82nd Airborne / 11H..never carried a knife. We had one trooper who carried so many knives we nicknamed him "chainsaw"
  19. armytxn


    Dec 28, 2009
    A good knife was indispensable. I started out with a Spyderco Millie but quickly changed to a Strider SMF because it could handle all of the chores I put it through.
    Duct tape, 550 cord, C4, water bottles, plastic jugs, zip ties....had to quickly cut anything I needed quickly. I also used it for prying open crates and digging in the ground.
    When you depend on a tool that could save your life then you tend to want something great...and you would not leave it lying around either.
  20. PeterDE


    Jul 12, 2016
    Coast Guard. On a ship, if you were handling lines you had to carry a knife, seems like everyone had a Buck 110 or something like a 110. Weren't allowed to carry fixed blades. But you only carried one when handling lines or doing rope work. No knives were issued for this. It was just standard practice. Of course just about everyone had a pocket knife of some sort that they used for everything from cutting lines to peeling potatoes.

    However, anyone doing electrical work was issued an electricians knife (TL-29). They were very handy and useful. Since I was a Fire Control technician (FT) working on radars, gunsights, computers, phone lines etc, I got one. Still Have it. In fact I collect them now. Strangely enough there are many variations on this knife. I now have four all slightly different, two by Colonial, one by Camillus and one by Klien. The two Colonials are very different.

    Being an FT I was in the weapons dept. We had bayonets. For what? Who knows. All we every did was count them at inventory. They never left the locker. In 75 the USCG decided to get rid of them.

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