Fire by hand drill

Fire by hand drill

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Knife porn

Hi,

My F1, a faithfull, used companion.

I was looking at a few lovely pictures of expensive knifes on British blades today. Its all very nice when somone shows a knife and says it is a user when it is plainly not. Any knife that is a user will not look immaculate unless you are using it to chop tomatoes. (why that is a test of a bushcraft knife I will never know) Knifes develop character as they are used.

The pictures that get me thinking are the ones of the old battered things that are functional and used looking and glow with the marks and stains of adventure. When you see one you cant help but wonder where it has been and how the hell it got like that.

Sometimes people are to quick to change knifes hoping to find something better around the corner in the next purchase. Sometimes I think that people buy the woodlores because they think it will imporove their skills.

Our ancestors who used knives on a daily basis would have thought a Mora was the most usefull thing ever I am sure.

There is to much focus on knives in bushcraft I think.I think the problem might be to much choice.

Good example of a used and loved knife is here.

fallkniven-f1-used-abused-loved

The best thing to do if you are starting out is to buy a knife and then use it until it wears out.Then get another one.Thats the way people used to do things but commericalism has taken over big time, we dont feel complete until we have a drawer full of knife shinny blades.

What a rant............................

9 comments:

Perkunas said...

I am definetely on the same boat with your thoughts. I have psoted in many forums, just the same speech that you kept. Posting un-used knife pics into threads about "my best user knife" is so damn lame and pathetic. You cant say anything to be best user after really using it, sharpening knife and cutting some cigarette paper with it,to thin slices aint using either if youre telling people about your true bush-knife. Airplanes are built for flying, knives are meant to be whittled and used as well.

Perkunas said...

I Do admit that i tend to get knives,more or less, occasianally but many of them are given to me to be tried out and reviewed,and some i have made myself or had those done by few of my knifemaker friends. However, they are ALL users, and Never hesitate to get em all scratched up etc. In our bushcraft meeting, i hacked my knives way all the way thru cars hood shamelessly,and i did know it wouldnt survive it without chipping a bit. One time, some years ago i got too much interested about Tops Tracker and iwent and bought it. Some call it a collectors knife but i used it to dig poo-holes into frozen ground and such,as its marketed as a true hardcore knife. Then i started to think could it be done better and i did a improved copy to my own needs. That was bought instantly from me and now its somewhere in Kosovo. Learning to forge and temper myself has been important to me, as now i can pretty easily do my own knives i get an idea for the "better" knife. It helps me to stay away from commercial factoryknives, than Never will be JUST as id like em to be,and it also saves money,if i do em myself and it isnt so dramatic moneytary loss if it isnt what i thought would be the ultimate knife for me :).

Perkunas said...

Yet, i do agree that knives,as well as axes are way too heavy on bushcraft scale. Owning 12 Woodlores, genuine or copies, surely wont make you ANY better as a bushcrafter not to mention better as a person. Its about learning the skills, not about the tool to perform it with. I see a lot of students in wilderness guide school, that believe that buying a 500 euro gore-tex jacket,makes them more pro,and that aint the case. It might fool the others,clients etc, to believe than a person with all the latest gear, is a master but truth might be very different. And it goes with knife & axe people as well. Carrying 350e combat knife does NOT make you part of s.w.a.t team or exciting mercenary,neither does a Woodlore with Ray mears´s handwritten name in its blade, you any better in crafts or bush life.

I see these masters of leathercraft, producing fine sheaths and all, to various knives. Yes, i do admire their skills with leatherworks a lot, and i can only dream to have same skills,but at the same time, i keep wondering that man with that skill, becomes seen as a elite bushcrafter,when bushcraft is more than just one skill. I wouldnt call my self a master BUSHcrafter if i can only do some handles to firesteels and sell them and never do any other bushlife myself,out there in the bush.

And that, is the main thing to me, in bushcraft, to get out qnd craft, to learn to make my being there comfortable without too much commercial aids, and with healthy respect towards nature, animals and the people who used to live outdoors.

Kepis said...

Great post mate, your right and i think at some stage or another we have all fallen into the shiney's trap, i know i have, my most used knife is a £5.00 Mora 511 with the guard cut off, sure i have Woodlores, Woodie clones and a few other great blades from a number of different makers, why?, well at the time i had a high disposable income and could quite simply afford it, do the high end knives do any more than my 511, nope and they never will, it's just nice to have some nice looking blades, i agree, far too much is put on owning the latest and greatest blade onther marker, hell, im guilty of that too, but i still keep going back to my 511 (510), when i instruct i use a 511 the same as the people im teaching, why?, well, on a course i attended, i heard the classic, "he can only do that because his knife is better than ours", utter BS, so to prove the skills lay with the person and not the knife, i use the exact same equipment as those im instructing, because if i can do it, with practice, so can they.

Sure i have a number of drawer queens here, but they were always going to be an investment, like my Alan Wood, just wish id bought a dozen, but bar these, all of my blades get used through the course of a year, but i still keep going back to that Mora 511 (510) time and time again.

Abo said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

i am as guilty as anyone else but as i learn more my focus has shifted from knives to skills.

Perkunas said...

Yo Kepis,

As i do some knifemaking teaching, i tend to see this odd thing. If i happen to carry certain type of knife myself on course, most likely people are trying to make similar without any criticism or thinking will it suit their needs. Ive even seen one guy making a Tracker copy due to my personal carry :).

Yep, i am guilty too, for loving and hoarding blades,but i comfort myself by using them all the time. Un-used knife is like ideology without action, totally useless.

Perkunas said...

And what comes to importance of skills. Its the only thing that matters, skills learned and trained, on field as well as knowledge hammered into our brains. Anybody can get almost any knife, but will it save his/hers life out there,i doubt, without practicing use of it hands on, or without learning the essential knowledge from wild edibles to fire making. The knife itself wont make anyone anything.

Kepis said...

Quote " but as i learn more my focus has shifted from knives to skills. "

Exactly.

Le Loup said...

I totally agree, but then it is much the same with other so called bushcraft gear. Because of what I do, I carry three knives. Two are original blades, one of these was my Fathers knife. The third is a copy of an 18th century jack knife. I took the images a long time ago, so the Jack knife always looks new in the photos, but in fact it has been used a good deal.
My knives serve different functions, & they feel good in the hand. I doubt very much that they will be worn out in my lifetime, & I will never use anything else.
Regards, Keith.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/