Canoe camping (and EDC) folding knives

I’d like to limit this topic to folding knives.

I’d be interested in hearing nominations for and experiences with useful folding knives, primarily for general canoe camping purposes but also secondarily for EDC purposes. Not interested in tactical usage, except as a residual or emergency thing.

Comments would be welcome on specific folding knives or just classes of knives, particularly focusing on aspects such as features, weight, length, blade shape, edge type (straight vs. serrated), and tip up vs. tip down carry.

Plain Blade

– Last Updated: Aug-18-12 6:07 PM EST –

I've gone full tilt simple on knives outdoors.

Ease of sharpening, can bang on it for splitting wood,
shelter creation, rope cutting, slicing onions,
opening cans, prying, digging, etc., etc.

Hacking knife, Footprint branded from Affinity Tool Works

Thanks, but it’s not a folding knife

Folding knives Break :frowning: unhappy

– Last Updated: Aug-18-12 6:09 PM EST –

Mine won't break....ever
Carry with me every day in the outdoors.

Reason for limiting topic to folding
Perhaps I should explain why I want to limit the topic to folding knives, though I realize fixed blade knives can have lots of advantages in various applications including canoe camping.

It’s because I want a knife that can have a good secondary function as an EDC (every day carry) knife. Not many people carry fixed blades for EDC - or if they do, those knives tend to be very small.

Plus I have fixed blade knives.

Not the rifle…

Mine’s an earlier version without the seatbelt cutter or window breaker. There are simpler versions for less money, but this model is the only one listed right now that is bright orange or red. I prefer bright orange, red, or yellow knives while off-pavement - for obvious reasons. You can probably find other better deals on older versions on fleabay. A lot of knife for the money, either way.

Spyderco and Puma
I have a Spyderco Endura with serrated edge and a Puma Master. Love them both, but for canoeing and camping, I think I would take the Spyderco. It’s lighter and can be opened and closed with one hand, which is not the case with my Puma.

I use a Buck single blade 501 folding knife I got in the early 70s. Cut some groves down lower on blade so can saw as well.

Serrated is often better for cutting rope(rescue knife)but I prefer a plain edge for general use.

A decent, inexpensive EDC knife is:

I discovered the Smith and Wesson
M.A.G.I.C Assist. Had a couple, lost one still have the other. They come in a veritity of sizes and blade styles. Tough knifes but I have not seen one I would hammer on to split wood. A true one-hand-open even with Neo gloves on.

I’m old school,
for EDC, EDD, (every darn day), I still like the Swiss Army knives by Victorinox.

And I use it EDD. I’m not sure how old it is, or which model, but it’s been with me longer than two decades.

My preferance is the slim design without the scissors, saw, et al.

A useful thing, but not very glamorous.


would help.

There are so many variables that it would be nearly impossible to recommend one over another without knowing your personal attributes and preferences, not the least of which might be price range.

Size and strength of hands?

Anticipated application and frequency?

Importance of edge retention and ability/willingness to properly sharpen?

Size/weight you might consider?

Glenn, this almost sounds like one of those “which paddle is best for me?” posts.

Clarifying topic: what would YOU use?
Tktoo’s right. This is worse than “what paddle” if we interpet the topic as being you trying to figure out what’s best for me.

So what I’m asking, and what would be informative to me and others, is what folder each of you use, or what would you use if you got another folder, and why.

Thanks for those who’ve participated and provided links.

I lost a fairly new CKRT Yeago folder in the Dacks recently, which had about a 3.1" blade at 4.5 oz, but I didn’t really like the type of spring assist it used. It was too hard on my thumb. It was a decent size, maybe a mite heavy, and I do like the idea of the assisted opening if implemented nicely.

Swiss Army One Hand Trekker
My current knife of choice both for camping and everyday is the Swiss Army One Hand Trekker with a serrated blade. Easy to open with one hand and can be closed one handed using your thigh. The blade and flathead driver/can opener both lock. It has enough extra tools to make it useful as a multi-tool but not so many it becomes too fat and hard to handle. I always like to have a small wood saw and the size of this one makes it more useful then the standard Swiss Army knife. Overall, it feels good and secure in my hand.

If I was buying new I would probably get the Forester One Hand version mainly as it comes in red, instead of black, and replaces the Phillips head with a corkscrew. It always seems like I need a corkscrew when I don’t have one and the flat head driver blades are usually good enough for screwing.

For the past 10 years

– Last Updated: Aug-19-12 9:33 AM EST –

for camping and EDWAF (Every Day Work Around the Farm)
Finely made, tough little folder that's taken a lot beating. I don't like the feel of a knife attached to my belt and like having a pocket clip:

Beretta Airlight - made in Japan by Seki
Orange Zytel handles with Beretta inlay shield
Drop point blade, 30% Serrated
Silver Clip on back
7 1/2" total open length
3 1/4" Blade length
4 1/4" closed length
Solid Blade

Used to carry
the Buck 110 “folding hunter” all the time. Comes with a belt case. I think its a pretty good, well made knife, though there may be better that I don’t know of. The hinge is solid, and it can be easily opened one-handed once its broken is a bit. It locks firmly, holds an edge pretty well. Heavy enough so you can drive small finishing nails with the butt. I quit carrying it when I noticed folks around looking at me like I was wearing a side arm or something. Switched to a small Swiss army knife. I still carry the 110 it in my day pack.

Swiss Army Tinkerer
2 blades, 3 screwdrivers, can opener, awl and the all important tweezers. The folding river knife in my pfd will last forever because when I need to use a knife, my Swiss Army knife is the one that gets used.

Apologies if I’ve misenterpreted.
I guess I’m half-heartedly looking, too.

I have a Gerber Blackie Collins fixed on my PFD that I’ve never once used. I used to sometimes carry an old Boker B007 auto, but it’s clunky and not a great knife. Probably my best and most oft used EDC is an all-stainless Gerber Silver Knight that is on my key ring. I’ve had it forever and it is a great little knife.

Anyway, I’m curious to see what you stir up with this thread as I am with all of yours.

Something to ponder in the meantime:

Look for a pre-buyout
Lone Wolf Knives Harsey T2 Ranger. Built like tanks, the right size to be useful as a tool but still EDC. I prefer plain edge. They are going for sky high prices on eBay right now, but a local shop may still have one for the original street price.

Lone Wolf was bought out by Benchmade and the brand re-purposed to sell pedestrian knives geared towards hunters.

Forgot to mention…
I carry folders like this with the blade tip down. I had one set up for tip-up carry once, and it had a habit of opening partially when I was wearing it - which I deemed a safety hazard. Besides - a good one-hander carried tip-down puts the thumb-stud right where you need it for easy opening (at the right time). Another reason I like the M-16 style knives is the finger lever on the back. It gives you another option for easy opening without resorting to any complicated, fragile, or expensive mechanism.