Rope + Water = Knife

-- Last Updated: Jul-31-07 3:46 PM EST --

Saturday afternoon coming down Lower Poplar Falls on the Dead River in Maine I saw a raft, 50 feet from the right shore, upside down, with a man and a woman on top looking scared. There was no eddy or hole behind it and I wondered what was holding it against the current.
From the bank I offered my throw rope but they didn't seem interested. I'm not sure I could have made the throw anyway.
A man from their party came up and told me that when they flipped the woman got her foot trapped. He freed it but then was swept away by the current. He didn't think they would swim from the raft.
He said the "safety wheel" was caught in the rocks and they needed to cut the rope but they didn't have a knife. I don't know what he meant by the "safety wheel" But now I knew why the raft was stuck.
Another from their party tried to swim out to the raft. He was strong but he didn't make it.
A kayaker dragged his boat up and paddled out with his knife in a small drybag. Twice he tossed it to the man on the raft. Twice it was fumbled. Then he was washed downstream.
Another man swam out to the raft, no small feat, only to realize that they needed a knife and he didn't have one.
Finally, half an hour after I came by, the first swimmer made a second try and made it, with a knife. He cut the rope and they paddled to the bank.
Yeah loose lines are bad news in rapids. But lines get loose sometimes.
Y'all can worry about the Rambo image thing. I say rope + water = knife.


I say
rope + water = knife or medical shears

What in the heck is a “safety wheel” ? !
Never heard that one before .

Mines out front Loud and Proud

Good stuff Tommy, what ever a
safety wheel is?

yeah but try spreading peanut butter…
with penny cutters! It doesn’t work too well.

Although I’m a knife guy myself, I do have a couple sets of EMT shears as backup.

What brand and type are your knives

I carry both actually
and they are both readily accessible. But the knife only comes out when the peanut butter is ready to attack on shore. I keep the shears handy because you never know when pennies will attack.

Guess… The Rafters Weren’t Packing…
to avoid Rambo and Ramboette jokes from the tool aversives. They were lucky the rope weren’t wrapped around their legs, or necks…


Gerber River Shorty
Lives on my PFD.


Gerber River Shorty also
I like the blunt end.

Mine lives on my PFD as well - front and center (never gets in my way while paddling)

No longer made, but it was a great inexpensive knife. I also carry a folding knife (in pocket or fanny pack) as well as a multi tool.

Ocean Master Titanium Folder
Titanium supposedly doesn’t rust, in case you forget it in a PFD pocket…

After ruining several “stainless steel” knives that way I went titanium.

Shears are good
I’d say at least as good as a knife for most needs. Better for some.


I have a KISS fixed blade but the

– Last Updated: Jul-31-07 4:51 PM EST –

point worries me(don't want to stab someone) so I just ordered a CKRT blunt blade from STP.

I’m packin’ now!
Should see the stares I got the other day … see, where I was, some of the locals don’t like it that we kayakers can park there. Coming back to the beach, I’m getting a mean stare from an old lady sitting in a beach chair. So as I lift my boat up and start walking back to the car, I can see her working up some nasty comment … until she gets a load of my gear … I mean I’m really packin now … got a Benchmade knife nice and proud on my PDF, and a VHF radio clipped to my PFD … she probably thought my pump was some kind of gernade launcher. Best part is, as her mouth snaps shut, her husband pipes up and asks me how much the boat weighs and says he wants to get one. Somehow I think his afternoon went downhill from there …

That’s Interesting
Although Salt water does seem to affect stainless more than Fresh water, you should not be having rust on a good stainless knife. Curious as to what kind of knife you were getting that rusted like that.

I can probably guess why it rusted, but still curious as to what they were.

Depends on the grade of stainless, but
it will suffer from corrosion in salt water if constantly exposed. Just being around the salt has a bad effect on some stainless.

“Stain + Less”

– Last Updated: Aug-01-07 5:28 AM EST –

is not stain proof. It you use in the salt environment and are not conscientious in rinsing the knife out, it will oxidize, aka rust. As mentioned, some stainless will do so at a slower rate but they will definitely do so at some point if the user doesn't take care of it.

Titanium and some of the cobalt based metals being used in knives, however, are totally stain free, or "stainproof."


knives, or anything stainless for that fact, will also start to rust due to contact with other non stainless metallics like steel wool. If you clean a stainless steel sink or knife with any kind of steel wool you’ll often get splinters of the steel wool embedded in the stainless, and those splinters will rust and start the stainless rusting. Stainless steel used in knives etc is usually pretty soft by its nature, and can easily get other steel material embedded in it.