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Tell me about Busse knives

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by somniloquist, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    Busse knives are IMO overhyped and overpriced, but fine knives.

    Full disclosure: I bought a TGLB for the fun of it.

    My main problems with spending major dollars on a high quality big chopper are:
    1. How much work do you have in between the space where a machete or hatchet/axe would be a better tool? I find big choppers only really fit in a small window that way, and you end up going out of your way to find uses for them, often when another tool would be superior
    2. For a chopping tool that's not going to need a super thin edge, super steels are a waste. You can get a large hunk of tough steel (e.g. 10-series steels) for chopping on the cheap from any number of places. For $20 - $120 you can get a honking great heavy chopper at a small fraction of what you'd pay for a Busse
    3. For the weight of a big chopper you could bag a cheap machete, a nice hatchet, and a Mora--and then you'd have a superior tool for every use case all for the princely sum of $50
    I find that over time I've come to realize the bigger a cutting tool is the less I'm willing to spend on it; there's nothing an expensive machete can do that my $6 Tramontinas can't, and there's nothing a honking chopper is really better at that my $6 machete or my $20 hatchet (assuming we count out looking cool), so I save most of my ludicrous knife spending on folders and smaller fixed blades that would be more likely to see heavy use.

    Frankly, it's a market I don't understand much. It's sort of the rural equivalent of the urban mall ninja, with overbuilt replacing tacticool.

    Just don't make fun of INFI or the Busse cult will show up on your porch with their torches and pitchforks.
    The Mastiff, jux t, Triton and 8 others like this.
  2. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    They make some nice knives, and I have had a few, but they seem overpriced to me. Some of their designs are awkward looking and awkward to use. However many love them. Like everything else, its a personal choice. Try one. You may love it.
    duramax and jeepin like this.
  3. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    I can't comment on 3V as I've never owned a knife in that steel, but I love my Busse SHE2 (Steel Heart Ergo 2) in INFI. Its blade length is within your range. There are several excellent sheath makers on the forums who have lots of Busse options in stock; I went with Buy Brown for mine.

    I tend to use it when camping, and it's great. I put a light coat of mineral oil on the blade before putting it away, and that's it for maintenance. It batons like a champ, the handle feels great (as befits a model with "ergo" in the name), and the choil means that if I have to I can choke up quite a bit for smaller tasks.

    I will say that if I were planning to do more than a casual amount of chopping, I would probably look for a Swamp Rat knife with INFI steel and a Resiprene C (RES-C) handle as that should absorb the shock from chopping better -- or just wear thick gloves. ;)


    somniloquist and duramax like this.
  4. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I would call that knife blasphemy. :)

    It is not like any of us collect knives for practical reasons; we do it because it is fun. For me Big choppers are twice the fun....(I frankly don't know why...but then again I was one of those collecting hollow handled knived during the 80s :rolleyes:)

  5. lex2006

    lex2006 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    Busse is not about the INFI or the great warranty , or even all the Great People
    It is all about the BACON ,not easy to understand but it is , Honestly it's the Bacon
    954Ink, Bigfattyt, 000Robert and 6 others like this.
  6. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    I love my big Busses, but CPK is better.

    What makes Busse work is Infi, run slightly soft with a thick, heavy blade and an obtuse edge. Really well made knifes, but they have little finesse at cutting. The steel -- which is A8(mod) or very close to it -- is tough (hard to break), but it doesn't hold an edge well.

    Definitely a niche knife, but a fun niche.
    The Mastiff and patrickguignot like this.
  7. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Look, just gonna say it. I really don't appreciate you coming in here with all this rational thought and well-reasoned argument nonsense. Mods, can we get a ban for this guy?


    But seriously, though. These points you made burn pretty badly. o_O
    E.D.C., SALTY, bigsurbob and 2 others like this.
  8. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    I have a love/hate relationship with Busse; i have an Alpha Regulator and a Forsaken Steel Heart;i do believe they ARE both incredible knives but not cheap. these 2 models are the best ive seen for me.out of the 4-5 Busses ive had.I was lucky enough to get them with kydex sheaths included.Ive done some cutting with them, not much difference than other knives ive used,but no heavy chopping or abuse.No sheath from the factory sucks pure and simple.I know its been repeated time and time again. Now its another 50-80 to find one.Now as far as just buying the Busse you want, without the secondary market ,finding one you like,and hitting on a good deal,if a new model does come out that you like, you gotta call in at 9pm on a certain night and try to get get one before they are gone.; call too early and go to the back of the line.How outragous !Reminds me of the 80s trying to call in for concert tickets. their website finally shows some models, with an unknown wait period of up to 6 months. Then theres those :ganzas" that they have where you buy a knife with no choice of finish or handle material; like a grab bag.Im strange; for 400-600 i need to know exactly what im getting! The other thing is, if sr101 is a slightly modified 52100,and grant you , a super well done heat treat, how are these knives in the 300-400+ range, when a Cold Steel 8" drop forged Survivalist with a kind of similar steel, say dialed down 25% ,is 75.00? That does not add up to me.INFI is also sometimes hard to justify the cost; if we knew exactly what it was instead of all the speculation, that would help.As good as my 2 Busses are,because of the fact im into these 2 knives for 900.00, they are always on the top of the chopping block as far as selling them off, over any other fixed blade i have. Its real hard for me to have that kind of money tied up in 2 knives. And with the Cold Steel Recon Scout and Trailmaster in 3v coming soon,and with reports from Andrew Demko about its performance being outstanding,heat treated by Peters,those Busses may very well might wind up on ebay.Sell the Busses get both 3v CS knives and have a few hundred dollars left over with performance that im sure would be similar.
    jeepin likes this.
  9. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    You're not alone. I have no use for that TGLB I bought.

    You should buy a Team Gemini Light Brigade, I think you might like it--lol.

    Don't feel bad, I own multiple big choppers that I never use. If you occasionally use even one of yours, your purchases are much more justified than mine.

    My best heavy chopper is a kukri style thing made out of a couple of pounds of 1055, I think.

    If we made our purchases based on logic the hobby would be a lot less fun (and I would own a lot less firearms).
    bigsurbob, Pilot1 and Quiet like this.
  10. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    I fear such treacherous talk may result in exile from the trough and banishment to the hinterlands for eternity . :)
    bigsurbob and evilgreg like this.
  11. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I looked at a few scrapyard knives in SR 101 but that is about it. The Busse knives themselves are out of my price range. I'd rather put a few hundred bucks toward a handgun or AR build.

    Busse certainly does have a rabid and loyal fan base.
    rick melear likes this.
  12. rick melear

    rick melear Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 1998
    20 years ago Busse set the standard, times change. Still good stuff but far from the best. Like CRK and others, there will always be those of us that love and collect them. No regrets
    jeepin and duramax like this.
  13. evltcat

    evltcat Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Busse isn't for everyone... But, INFI and SR-101 are pretty damn easy to sharpen as far as steels go, and there are actually several custom sheath makers like BuyBrown, Chad Pirtle, and AZ Welke who buy every blade Busse releases so you can order a custom sheath.

    I may, or may not, have a few Busse/SwampRat/Scrapyard knives... :p
    Stop on by the Busse Sub and say hi, its a great place to hang out on BF! :D
    Quiet, not2sharp, lex2006 and 3 others like this.
  14. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    The only bigger Busse that I've liked for chopping is the B11. It has resiprene-c handles that are very comfortable, absorb shock well, and are easy to hold on to. The knife blade is very tough without being too thick and it holds an edge pretty well. When I bought it it was less than $250 and has definitely been worth the price for me. CPK is also fantastic.
    duramax likes this.
  15. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I've only owned and used about 15+ Busse designs over the years.

    They put out a crazy amount of unique designs. Always putting out new designs.

    INFI steel is a great hard use steel. It has an excellent toughness and strength at a relatively high hardness. It will handle a lot of stress, impacts and flexing without breaking. That is its really strong point.

    It has excellent stain resistance. Especially in satin finish.

    It does not have the abrasion resistance edge retention that you can get from CPM3V.
    But I've done some silly things with INFI that I would never have thought I would do with knives in that price range.

    I once chopped a small stone in half on accident. About the size of a peanut. It was stuck to the bottom of a log I was chopping into firewood.

    Nearly no edge damage. Edge deflected a bit, and I thought I would have to do a good bit of sharpening.

    But the edge steeled right back Into place. Literally, I just spent about 5 minutes with a hard crime round screw driver and it was back to popping hairs.

    Supposedly CPM3v is not stainless. I only have two, in a belt finish and they have never shown any inclination to rust yet.










    Its funny you recommend Siegle....he is responsible for me getting into Busse.

    Siegle makes fantastic hard use knives that are sharp!

    5160 is a great steel in choppers. I like it enough that I have made two in that steel, and bought others.

    My first Busse was included in a trade I worked out with Bill Siegle in 2007? I got a Siegle custom and a modified FBMLE that Bill had hand sanded the handle scales and added a clip point grind and sharpened laser sharp.

    I never should have let that Siegle or that Busse go.


    I currenrly own no Busse.

    I've migrated towards customs and Himalayan Imports Khukri. Etc.

    There are about 30 models of Busse and Swamp Rat and that I need
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
    not2sharp, duramax and Currawong like this.
  16. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I’ve had a handful of Busse knives over the years and still have a few. I really like them and have found them to be extreme tough, as well as attractive to look at. If you want a great chopper the bk9 fits the bill, but if you want a cool chopper, Busse is a great choice.
    duramax likes this.
  17. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    Overpriced, and then you need to have a quality sheath made to even take the knife into the woods
    jeepin and rick melear like this.
  18. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    Busse knives are excellent. The dull edges some seem to get from the factory are the exception, not the rule. I’ve never received one with a dull edge but one did have a slightly rounded tip. I sent it in and they sent it back perfect.

    My favorites are the older models. The INFI secret recipe has changed at least once, and some claim more than that. The old school INFI was super tough, and held an edge a long time even through outright abuse. It also wasn’t hard to sharpen.

    I firmly stand by the original recipe INFI as being one of the best steels I’ve ever personally used. The new stuff is not as good. It’s just not. I don’t know what they changed, but it was not for the better.

    Here’s my current favorite. Natural Outlaw e-handle. Picked it up at a local gun shop for $102.95. Dude rang it up as “fixed blade with G10 handle”. Lol



    Wasn’t kidding about that price tag. 20% off sticker too.

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
    954Ink, scdub, gotgoat and 4 others like this.
  19. gdwtvb


    Jan 14, 2006
    I bought a Busse knife, a Skinny Ash. I had followed on the Busse subforum for awhile and became infected with the enthusiasm and somewhat mythical qualities attributed to Infi. I got it, spent a week reprofiling it into something usable to me. (On a sharpmaker, slow work.) I acquired a sheath, and tried to use it to prepare for the end of the world. It really wasn't a great knife for me. I kept it for about five years or so before I could bring myself to admit I had paid alot of money for an overhyped product. Maybe the handle shape is comfortable for someone, just not me. When I first got it I tried to use it for bushcraft. I got blisters which didn't happen with my other knives.

    Later, as a continued attempt to justify my purchase, I used it to clean a deer. The only part it excelled at was cutting through the ribs, it was just too big and clumsy for anything else, about 6 and a half inch blade if I am recalling correctly. I was using a large sebenza as my go-to hunting knife at the time, much better tool for the job.

    It ended up packed in a Bug out bag, ready for the apocalypse.

    After about five years of refusing to use the knife because I didn't really like to use it. I liked the way it looked. Even holding it made you feel somehow tougher. But honesty it wasn't designed to be ergonomically used for anything I wanted a knife for. Keeping a three hundred dollar knife, at that time, in a bug out bag that really doesn't do any particular job better than knives costing a sixth of the price finally persuaded me to sell it.

    The good thing is, I got about what I had bought it for.

    They do look cool. The weight and heft of them make you feel well prepared for anything and somewhat invincible. That said I haven't ever been tempted to buy another.

    The Mastiff, skyhorse, jeepin and 3 others like this.
  20. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    When did they stop making the original secret recipe?

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