I have a variety of cutting tools for various tasks. I’m not a collector and I don’t go for expensive knives. I like a nice looking knife but that shouldn’t detract from its function. Like many people, I’m still experimenting and haven’t yet found the ideal knife or combination but have found that I use the following cutting tools for the tasks described on a fairly regular basis.
This Puuku Leuko combo is my old favourite. If I’m not taking an axe and think I might have a bit of light chopping to do or undergrowth to cut back (perhaps when tracking) then this is the combo I take. The leuku is a 7 inch Stromeng laminated carbon and the puuku is a Jarvenpaa stainless steel. A nifty combination. I reach for this in preference to any others, especially on solo / lightweight outings where I know there’s not much heavy duty work to be done.
This “Victory” Seax was designed by me and made by Chris Grant. It is of course custom and is the only one like it in the world with Mammoth and HMS Victory scales. It works too!
The “Woodlife” tracker set – These are no-nonsense work-horses and potentially worthy of the Woodlife name. These were a limited run by Duncan Chandler and he will be happy to make a similar model. The micarta scales and no belt clip give it practicality and function over form and it’s as tough as old boots.
Frosts Clipper knife – These are great, cheap, light-weight and practical knives. It makes sense to have a couple hanging around on a “grab and go” basis. Perhaps not the most robust of tools, but if you are just doing a few odd jobs you won’t go too far wrong. I often use it as a neck knife as it’s so light. The additional benefit is that you won’t cry too much if you lose it! This is a great knife if you’re starting off.
Gerber Profile – If I’m just out for the day, sometimes I don’t even need to take a belt knife, but it’s nice to have something in your pocket or pack which is light weight but robust enough to be worth carrying. This Gerber Profile is certainly lightweight. You don’t know you’ve got it on you. The blade locks back so it’s safe to use and the soft, plastic scales are deceptively comfortable if you decide to do some impromptu carving. I wouldn’t baton with it though.
EKA Super Swede 92 – Someone recommended this to me as an unobtrusive, large-ish, folding pocket knife to go on an overseas expedition with. It’s sturdy when locked back and the rubberised handle provides an excellent grip which won’t shrink, swell or deteriorate in damp or wet conditions. I took this to Namibia with me and it was used for kitchen duties while the EKA W11 was used for crafts. Looks like the Swedish knife-makers prevailed in Southern Africa!
Leatherman Charge – I’ve had this for a couple of years now. Basically, it goes where I go; permanently affixed to my belt next to my pouch. It’s a bit heavy, but it serves so many functions it’s difficult to give any reasons why it should be left behind.
Bahco Folding Saw This is an excellent piece of kit and I never leave home without it. It usually resides in my tool pack or shoulder bag. I tend to use this more than the axe for cutting green wood.
Granfors Bruks Small Forest Axe and Wildlife Hatchet I suppose these are the standard bushcraft axes. Both are ideally sized for splitting small to medium sized logs for firewood. They are also not bad for doing a bit of initial carving work. I take mainly the hatchet along if I know there’s some log splitting to do. I find now that the Small Forest Axe is a little too big.