what kinda knives in your kit?

-- Last Updated: Aug-16-06 4:17 PM EST --

I enjoyed reading an article on here pointing out just how important knives are to a boater (what is the politically correct word for that? watercraftsman, boater). I forget who wrote it, but they recommended having one on your PFD for easy access, usually a folding blade of sorts, then one in a sheath on your waist with a blade no longer than 4" (3" preferrable) and then of course, a bigger knife in your duffel/storage. this is not mentioning having an axe or machete also.

what styles do you like? brand? etc...

what's the best way to cut a rope? do you want to use the sharp blade? a serated blade? would the gut hook slice?

keep 3 in kit.
I keep three knives in my kit. Attatched to my pfd is a day glo snub nosed gerber. In a rescue situation I want to stay away from a sharp point (no pun intended)if I ever have to try and cut someone out of a strainer or…for thier safety.

My second knife is a Smith & Wesson that my friend did a wondeful job customizing into a switch blade. Being swift water certified, I am legal to carry a knife that is operational with the use of only one hand. Or something like that, I just like the sitch blade action. He’s a CNC operator and did a factory looking job on it.

The most used knife is the trusty old Swiss army knife.

blunt nose knives are smart
I think the blunt nose knife is a smart idea. there are several options via Gerber and Kershaw (I like the Kershaw models more). that probably would be what I’ll have on my PFD. I did some searching for your day glo blunt nosed Gerber, but I haven’t had any success finding that knife. blunt nose and day glo are probably accurate description, but not for what the knife is called. I love google, but sometimes it’s a frustration!

No folder for me
On my last kayak camping trip I had cleaned, sharpened, and lightly oiled my pocket knife. I usually keep it in my pocket in my bathing suit. After going swimming I tried to use it to open a package and was suprised that it would only open half way before it bound up from the sand floating around in the Suwannee River. I carry a medium sized diving knife on my PFD and it has served me well over the years for cutting vines, rope and fishing line found in the trees and water.


– Last Updated: Aug-16-06 6:19 PM EST –

You shouldn't need more than two knives. On the river I carry a dive knife or one of the blunt nose knives designed for watersports usage, if I carry one at all. My camp knife is either a Buck folding hunter or a Helle Fjellkniven. I got the latter from Ragweed Forge in New York.


I know a few folks who prefer the Grohman's, but, although they are an excellent knife, I think you can get something comparable for less money.

Boye knives
For seakayaking I carry a folder made from dendritic cobalt carbide by Boye Knives.



– Last Updated: Aug-16-06 7:47 PM EST –


That is my touring/camping knife.

My WW knife is...


that boyeknife is nice!
but I think I like the Kershaw Sea Hunter…it’s quarter the price and I believe it can be setup with a sheath that attaches to the PFD (unless it’s Gerber’s similar styled knife). the Sea Hunter comes in sharp point or blunted point options.

with that Boyeknife, I’m going to going to guess that having a serated blade available is wise, being that will be what cuts thru a rope tangle or what not, if needed, whereas the straight edge for slashing or whatever else it might be needed for.

Why I like it
is it doesn’t rust no matter how you mistreat it. I have a Kershaw amphibian but if you don’t keep it clean and wash the salt off it rusts fast.

The dendritic nature of the material also means it cuts materials like spectra without blunting as much as a steel knife.

I’m no where near salt water Kelvin…
I’m a good 4h drive from salt water sources. I live in Kamloops, an interior city of BC. all of my kayaking will be fresh water I think, so worrying about that particular rust issue isn’t that much of a concern for me. :slight_smile:

btw, what did you mean by Kershaw amphibian? were you talking about one of their water blades?

Tiburon, by Buck Knives

– Last Updated: Aug-16-06 11:52 PM EST –


Designed by Ed Gillett.

I think the handle is made to be wrapped with paracord, I have tried it a few different ways and have yet to find that perfect wrap.

Kershaw amphibian

Blunt tipped Ti Scuba Knife

– Last Updated: Aug-18-06 1:29 AM EST –

Almost every knife described is overkill. Wearing a knife on your PFD says rookie. I knew a river runner who almost died because he wore a knife on his belt. It got hung up in the rigging when his raft flipped and he couldn’t work it loose quickly. Hanging a knife from your vest increases the chance of you getting hung up if, say, you’re swept into a tree. If you feel you need one close at hand attach it to your kayak. The more utilitarian your knife the better. The best suggestion so far was the Swiss Army knife. I carry a Leather Wave in a small pelican case with a lighter, lip balm and TP. My camp knife is a kitchen knife with 5" blade. I keep that in a clear plastic tackle box that holds my spices and silverware. Hard carbide blades are total waste of money. They’re difficult to sharped and break easier. I’ve gutted, skinned and boned out many an elk with my Swiss Army knife. You can’t do that with any of the fancy knives that have been described. I seriously doubt you will use a knife more than that.

you may feel that way pahsimeroi, but…
…as I mentioned, I read in the guidelines from another experienced yak’er that it’s wise to have one on your person, for several reasons. they are among the most useful tools if you suddenly find yourself stranded because you rolled or you had to beach for some other reason. read the article by Tom Watson listed under Guidelines to see what his thoughts on the matter are: http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?156

if a knife is stowed properly, it won’t be an issue when mounted on your PFD, especially if it’s a blunted knife, which is what I think I would carry. being prepared for an emergency would not show you to be rookie. and I’m not doing river running, I’m all about flatwater.

I’m getting a cramic paring knife so I
can carry it on airplanes. Sharp blade and undetectable when taped to your inner thigh, except by full body search.;

Army surplus machete
does everything well. River rescue, clearing snags, spreading PB&J, intimidating the local punks, shaving, digging out splinters…everything.

Wear it on an Army surplus web belt. That way you can have it handy when swimming or canoeing au naturel.


Knives belond inside the boat
After carrying a few different knives on my PFD over the years, I finally came to the conclusion that I was not likely to encounter any situation on the water that a rescue hook couldn’t handle, while being much safer and easier to use than a knife. My PFD now sports a Benchmade Model 6 H2O rescue hook. I do carry a Swiss Army knife and a multitool in a dry bag for use on land (slicing cheese, spreading peanut butter, boat/gear repairs, etc.).

A folding knife in cold water?..
…not so sure.

You are either going to be fumbling around with

bare cold fingers or fumbling around with gloves.

and you aren’t always in your boat when you need it,

like rescuing someone with a rope.

All the pro kayakers I know carry them on their


Perhaps it’s an opinionated, closed mind

that best signatures an amateur.

Best is sea snips. emt type shears
But I am known to carry a lagriffe wwr knife. Dull tip, edge is sharp as sin, simple; blade is 1.25 inches long. I hit it with boeshield T9 yearly and rinse it regularly, low-maintance. sharp and dependable. A high quality, minimalist tool. Not cheap.

A similar boye non-folding would be ideal.