Poor Man Survival
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Choosing a Knife-Which One is Best for Survival
Recently I ran a piece on evaluating the best steel when choosing a knife for home use or other purposes…this is a continuation of sorts. Choosing a knife.
The fact is a quality survival knife can come in handy for a ton of different tasks. But there are all kinds of knives out there, from pocketknives to machetes...
Which ones should you buy? How should you care for them? Is it legal to carry them around?
Every state and many cities have different laws regarding what kind of knives are legal to carry…Of course, New York and CA are the most restrictive [as I have previously reported, they are the most anti-freedom states in the union].
The fact is New York City has some of the strictest knife laws in the country. Now, I'm not a lawyer, but one thing I can tell you is that it's illegal to possess a knife with a blade longer than four inches.
Also, many of NYC’s knife laws don't address a specific type of knife but simply make it illegal to expose a knife in public. For example, it would be illegal to carry any kind of knife clipped to your pants pocket because it would be in open view.
What’s the best way to sharpen and care for my survival knives at home? Is there a sharpener you recommend?
If you own expensive knives, I recommend doing an internet search for local knife-makers. They’re all over the U.S. and will be able to take care of your knives the way they should be treated. (Do not go to some large retail store to have your knives sharpened.)
I also recommend checking out the Lansky brand of knife sharpeners. These are inexpensive sharpeners that are great to throw in your bug-out bag for sharpening on the go. Personally, I use a bit of oil and a sharpening stone as I was taught in the Boy Scouts.
Are you folks still championing the Guardian?
The fact is a machete is a great survival tool. It can be used to clear brush and chop wood as well as for self-defense. One of the top reasons a machete is an effective self-defense weapon is that you can defend yourself without getting close to your attacker.
In other words, if you had to use a knife, you would obviously have to be right up in your attacker’s face, but a machete lets you keep some distance. Plus, unlike a firearm, a machete won’t run out of bullets.
I recommend looking at the SEAL Saber XL. This kukri-style, full-tang knife is made of military-grade 3Cr13 stainless steel that won’t corrode or tarnish. Plus, the black oxide 751 coating prevents light from reflecting off the blade for added stealth.
You recommend always carrying a quality pocketknife. My question is... which brand/model/manufacturer do you recommend?
I am a knife junkie and I own a lot of knives. In my experience, both Benchmade and Spyderco make top-quality knives. You can’t go wrong with products from either company. I personally like ones which feature assisted opening and partially serrated blades.
I don't recommend carrying throwing knives for two main reasons:
- Depending on where you live, it may be illegal to conceal or even carry throwing knives.
- Unless you've spent years mastering this skill, throwing knives can be very difficult to use. They’re not something I recommend for someone who is new to knives.
That being said, I do think everyone should carry some sort of knife on them for close-quarters defense and survival purposes. A knife in the hand is a lot deadlier than trying to throw one for 99.9% of people.
I am a former DOD contractor, search-and-rescue member, prepper and survivalist living in remote Alaska. I believe in a knife that will not break, crack or shatter… Do you have any recommendations?
It’s difficult to find a quality knife on the retail market. I suggest finding a custom knife-maker and telling them exactly what you want. (Just know that a custom knife is not cheap.)
The fact is I spent years looking for a knife that would meet my survival needs. In the end, I paid a custom knife-maker to produce a knife to my exact specifications. I call it the NOC Knife — and I have personally tested it under a variety of extreme circumstances.
The NOC Knife has no ring guard, which IMO makes it less effective than the Emerson Gentleman Jim. [You can find these on eBay]
The Emerson Gentleman Jim is a quality folding knife — I’ll agree with you there, Nils — but, frankly, the NOC Knife [custom-made-$500 range] is a better survival and self-defense knife because it has a fixed blade.
I always carry a folding knife clipped to my pants pocket that I use to open the mail and all of the boxes I get from eBay. But other than these purposes, I wouldn’t want to put my life in the hands of a folding knife.
A “folder” is not built for prying or for intense force, and it will snap off at the pivot point under significant pressure. A fixed-blade knife is much stronger and more reliable. Here’s an example of a reasonably priced fixed-blade knife:
Talon Fixed Blade Tactical Knife With Bonus Belt Holder Sheaths
BEST WAY to Sharpen Any Knife RAZOR SHARP!
How to Sharpen a Knife: Beginners Tutorial
…A parting note:
Benjamin Franklin said "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
What readers I have left know I have fought long against the un-Patriot Act even to the point of trying to get a petition initiated via the White House to drop this most insidious set of horrid laws.
I think many civil libertarians and conservatives would argue that the government should never have been given the powers vested in the Patriot Act, because giving such power invites corruption and abuse. It was hard to argue against the point then and it's even more difficult to argue against it right now.
We must understand that this is one issue related to a bigger problem: The character and worldview of those representing the administration in power.
Your Constitutional Rights have never been at more risk than they are right now. Your right to privacy have been tossed into the garbage.
This Coming week my wife and I will be seeing President Trump when he visits Michigan…perhaps we can steal a minute and bring this important point of liberty to his attention. Wish me luck.
Bruce, the Poor Man, free thinker, social critic & cynic
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Take up any of these side gigs and use the extra money you make to fortify your finances.
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I'm a bit of knife freak-I look at the vendors at flea markets in hopes of finding reasonably priced US, German or Japanese made knives. I used to visit the big annual Zippo flea market in Bradford, PA which was also home to Case knives to buy those items as well.
I watched the History Channel's Forged in Fire program & those guys are crazy about knives! Frankly, I'm not that extreme...I'll stick with off-the-shelf. Interesting piece.
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