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Old 04-06-2013, 14:29   #1
glockinNC
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Help me decide

Looking for a new fixed blade. Considering the following, leaning towards Bravo 1 in D2. Any thoughts or recommendations on these, or other suggestions under $200? Primary use is camping, boating and preparedness, some bushcraft. Thanks!

ESEE 4S 1095

Ontario Rat-5 1095

Ontario SK-5 154CM

Bark River Bravo 1 A2 (maybe 3V)

TOPS Air Wolfe 1095

Fallkniven F1 VG10

DPx HEFT 4 SB1
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Old 04-06-2013, 23:11   #2
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Originally Posted by glockinNC View Post
Looking for a new fixed blade. Considering the following, leaning towards Bravo 1 in D2. Any thoughts or recommendations on these, or other suggestions under $200? Primary use is camping, boating and preparedness, some bushcraft. Thanks!

ESEE 4S 1095

Ontario Rat-5 1095

Ontario SK-5 154CM

Bark River Bravo 1 A2 (maybe 3V)

TOPS Air Wolfe 1095

Fallkniven F1 VG10

DPx HEFT 4 SB1
All depends on your preferences, but I'd put the DPX, TOPS, and Ontario toward the bottom of the list.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:00   #3
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All of the choices look like great knives, though, I'm not familiar with the DPX. One of my most used camping knives in a Benchmade Snody Design D2. While I love the steel's capabilities, it would not be my first choice for a SP knife. It is a real bear to sharpen if you don't have the proper equipment. If I were choosing an all around SP/camping/boating blade, I would look into something like 1095 or 154cm. They are much easier to sharpen in the field, with field expedient items, and can still take and hold a hair poppin' edge. If you are planning on doing much boating, I would recommend a super grippy handle to aid in retention, because when you get wet everything smooth becomes slick. Also remember that if you do go with a high carbon steel, that you have to maintain it in a wet environment, or you will get rust.

Its really hard to go wrong with ESEE.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:39   #4
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Out of all your choices the Fallkniven F1 in VG10 will serve you best if boating is a primary activity. D2 will not rate very high in the stainless department nor will the 1095's.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:53   #5
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Many thanks for the replies. You helped me narrow it down to the ESEE, Bravo 1, and F1. I may be trying to find too much in one blade -- maybe I'll save up for two of the three! I'll let you know what direction I take with pictures.
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Old 04-09-2013, 13:43   #6
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All depends on your preferences, but I'd put the DPX, TOPS, and Ontario toward the bottom of the list.
Went back and looked at the DPx again, and I'm wondering why the HEFT 4 isn't a favorite. Looks like the newer one they are made by Lionsteel, not Ontario anymore.

Here are images of a few of their options:
http://www.dpxgear.com/shop/knives.html

Am I missing something? Thanks again!
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Old 04-09-2013, 16:14   #7
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For many, it's the styling and silly "assault knife" marketing. In person, I find the thumb jumping to be very unpleasant and the bottle opener can catch on things during carry.

Nothing at all wrong with the materials or construction, though.
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Old 04-09-2013, 17:32   #8
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Esee will be making their 4" knife available in stainless this summer. Thats what i'm waiting on .
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Old 04-09-2013, 17:44   #9
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Esee will be making their 4" knife available in stainless this summer. Thats what i'm waiting on .
Interesting, any idea what stainless?
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:27   #10
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Interesting, any idea what stainless?
I should know sometime this month.I sent them $3.00 for their catalog on April 1. If i'm not mistaken, the representative from Esee knives mentions 400 series stainless steel for the 4" along with one of their shorter knives too;

This was on one of the You Tube Esee videos of the 2013 Shot show. So, if it is 400 series stainless, is this a good or bad thing? in your opinion? any opinions anybody/
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:36   #11
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Probably be the stainless equivilent of 1095. Nothing fancy, but it'll work, especially if the heat treat is good. I'd probably opt for the 1095 version myself.
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:38   #12
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I just watched the You Tube video again: "Esee knives Shot show 2013". The 4", and the Izula will also be offered in 440c Stainless Steel.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:27   #13
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Originally Posted by glockinNC View Post
Went back and looked at the DPx again, and I'm wondering why the HEFT 4 isn't a favorite. Looks like the newer one they are made by Lionsteel, not Ontario anymore.

Here are images of a few of their options:
http://www.dpxgear.com/shop/knives.html

Am I missing something? Thanks again!
In my opinion knives should only be pointy on one end.

The pommel looks as if it would dig into my side unmercifully.

No thanks.
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Old 04-21-2013, 17:41   #14
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Post purchase reactions/pics

Thanks everyone for the input. I bought three with plans to return at least one (although keeping all is tempting...).

Here are my observations:
Bravo 1 feels best and fits my large hands best. Despite that I think it's more knife than I probably need realistically, and even with 5% from TKC it's the most expensive. Don't like the sheath as much and it doesn't fit as well as the others. I'm leaning towards returning this one.

ESEE 3s - went with the 3 over the 4 upon consideration of likely uses and ease of carry. It is very thin/light and I plan to use this for boating and day trip hiking/climbing. I wish i had gone with the rounded pommel because in some positions it rests against the base of my palm. Great, thin profile Kydex. Wish they has this in stainless with serrations.

DPx HEFT 4 - I was surprised to like this as much as I do. The handle fits my hand well though not quite as nice as holding the Bravo 1. Love the sheath which is obviously high quality. I don't like the bottle opener but given the way it carries I don't see how it could dig into my side. I can easily see this as my go to new camp knife.

Given the above, I'm leaning towards keeping the DPx and ESEE. With the 25% discount on DPx currently offered by TKC, both together were the same price as the 3v Bravo 1.

By the way, Dale at TKC was responsive and great to work with on the purchase.

Here are some images of the new blades alongside my old Alpha Hunter.

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge
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