If You Could Only Have One Knife
Jon Stokes 07.25.15
On the heels of the “only 5 guns” post comes the other most popular question on the gear Internet, the “only one knife” question. This question recently popped up on Reddit, and there’s also a relatively new video up on YouTube where British survival guru Michael “The Roach” Sanderson shows off his personal “one knife.”
The reddit thread features a lot of love for the Fallkniven F1, and I’m going to go ahead and join the club; my custom F1 with a desert ironwood handle from JRE Industries would definitely be my “one knife.” I have a pretty serious fixed blade collection, with a mix of production and custom knives, but I just end up reaching for the F1 most of the time. It’s pretty much perfect in every way–perfect size, perfect balance, perfect shape. It’s the platonic ideal of a bush knife. The blade steel is stainless, yet it’s easy to sharpen, holds an edge, and is tough.
I’ve done a little bit of everything with that knife, from food prep to wood processing to shelter building, and it just works. You can even do a little light chopping with it, if you have to.
All of that being said, when answering the “one knife” question, you do have to clarify a few things, the first being, “One knife for what?”
If I anticipated being set upon by feral hogs or post-apocalyptic raiders, I would want something larger than the F1, with a clip-point blade of at least 7 inches or more. Or, if I anticipated clearing brush or cutting open lots of coconuts, I’d want something in the bolo/parang/machete family. Or, if I were in the hardwood forests of the Pacific Northwest, I’d probably carry a hatchet. You get the idea.
Other points that need clarification: does “one knife” include multitools, or are those separate? Can I also carry a hatchet or a saw?
When I answered “Fallkniven F1” to the “one knife” question, that’s under the assumption that I can carry another tool for felling trees and processing larger pieces of wood, like a hatchet or saw. And it also assumes that I can carry a multitool, like my Leatherman Charge Ti.
If the question is “one edged tool,” and this includes multitools, hatches, and related tools and it’s not The End of the World, then it’s the Leatherman Surge, no question. Or, if it is the end of days then I have to go with the Fallkniven NL Thor. This bad boy can do it all, from fighting off radioactive mutant raccoons to carving tent pegs. Of course, it’s not ideal for the smaller stuff–if you’re carving tent pegs with this then you’re basically using a weapon as wood processing tool, which is doable but not ideal.
Anyway, I really enjoy these types of threads because when I see other people’s picks I get turned onto new gear. So drop into the comments and post your picks.