View topic - Rescue Knife: Sharp tip or blunt?

It is currently December 10th, 2019, 7:50 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 7:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 7th, 2004, 12:37 pm
Posts: 1670
Location: Guelph, ON
You might want to look at some of the Benchmade Knives:
http://www.benchmade.com/products/produ ... el=100SH2O


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 7:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
I'm the only one in the sharp tip group? Figures.

I've heard that a sharp tip is useful for the most treacherous situation of all - cutting loose a paddler trapped in a pinned boat. I can think of many other situations where a sharp tipped knife would be superior to a blunt one but I won't elaborate (OK... stabbing bears is one).

As for the blunt tip serving as a screwdriver... carry a screwdriver if you seem to always need one. It was perfected hundreds of years ago (despite numerous attempts to improve it) and serves the purpose infinitely better than the end of a knife.

My main carry knife is a Spyderco "Native", as razor sharp as can be when you buy them and they hold the edge forever. Nothing worse than finding out your new tech knife won't cut worth shit when you really need it. The Native's blade locks with better security than 90% of the knives out there, which is pretty important if you have to take a mighty swipe into a plastic boat (or, hell, a bear for that matter :P ).

In addition to the Native I carry a cheap Gerber folder on a lanyard around my neck. I keep it tucked into my shirt just in case it decides to catch on a sweeper as I get swept past. This is not a usual occurrence in a canoe for me since I am rarely on that kind of water, but it has happened on more than one occasion when I lost my footing while wading heavy pocket water on rivers like the Ausable in New York. :roll:

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 7:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
Mac wrote:
You might want to look at some of the Benchmade Knives:
http://www.benchmade.com/products/produ ... el=100SH2O


Oooh... very nice design. :clap: I'll have to put one of those on my Xmas list.

Do you own one of these, Mac? I'd be interested in user feedback.

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 8:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 22nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1870
interesting thread.
I was just getting ready for a swift-water rescue course.
The instructor demanded that all rescue knives on the course be blunt-tipped as "sharp tipped knives are too dangerous in white-water rescue situations". He also preferred but did not demand serrated blades as they cut rope and kayaks more quickly and effectively than standard blades.

I've had a Gerber Shorty river knife strapped upside-down on my WW vest for 10 years now and haven't lost it yet.

fwiw,
ted

_________________
To the Silent Places
www.parkerclan.ca


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 9:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 7th, 2004, 12:37 pm
Posts: 1670
Location: Guelph, ON
Benchmade makes quality knives but the dive knife can come out of it's sheath under some circumstances. I lost 2 last year on river trips, from 2 separate jackets. One came off during a fall, while portaging through a bog and went unoticed, the other came off while trying to track upriver almost fully submerged under a treeline. But ...both had short leather thongs attached as hand loops and these must have got caught in unseen obstacles, getting pulled from the sheaths and lost.

I replaced one with another Benchmade, but put no thong on the handle. I still have it at the end of this lengthy Season. I am using a rubber band to help prevent the sheath latch from opening. This seems to work and does not prevent rapid extraction of the knife when necessary.

I replaced the other, from my wife's jacket, with a different style knife available from MEC:
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_deta ... 2350282761

It comes with a SS clip on the back that can go through a slash tab on a jacket. It survived there for 45 days of river tripping and much portaging this summer without coming off. It is a bit harder to open, being a jacknife style, but can be opened with 1 hand.
So far it seems to be pretty functional, but I noticed that it is getting scratched up as the jacket gets lightly dragged or slid over rocks when loading or unloading for portage operations. The handle is painted aluminum and not intended for this kind of rough service.


Last edited by Mac on September 25th, 2008, 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 9:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
Ted wrote:
The instructor demanded that all rescue knives on the course be blunt-tipped as "sharp tipped knives are too dangerous in white-water rescue situations". He also preferred but did not demand serrated blades as they cut rope and kayaks more quickly and effectively than standard blades.


Stabbing yourself deeply enough to cause serious injury is not a likely event. More dangerous would be carrying a sharp tipped knife around the campsite where you can trip and fall with the full force of your body mass behind it.

Much more likely is that you would slip with a dull blade and slash yourself deeply. This is a much more serious problem than poking yourself with a sharp tip. I haven't ever used a serrated knife that cuts rope better than a razor sharp plain blade.

The geometry of serrated blades is such that they rely on a sawing motion to cut while a sharp curved blade will cut quite effectively with a one directional push or pull. And once used to cut up a hull you can kiss those "sharp" serrations goodbye as they are nearly impossible to sharpen by yourself. Rope cutting will be problematic after such abuse.

As far as cutting up rotomolded kayaks, I suspect the serrated edge wins that contest hands down. Nice to have a sharp point (the modified Sheepsfoot point on the one Mac linked to looks ideal) to start the cut wherever you want. Those molded cockpit edges are pretty tough. 8)

Another thing I thought I'd mention is the ill advised use of any cutting tool for prying. Knives that cut well tend to be rather brittle. A screwdriver is tempered to a softer state and is therefore much tougher when it comes to prying things apart. They bend in situations where a good knife will snap.

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 10:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 22nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1870
Good reply.
I'll definitely agree with not using a knife as anything else but a knife and a dull knife is a wasted tool.

But serrated blades, although they take longer, are very easily sharpened.

In WW rescue a serious injury with a pointed knife is doubtful but on my last rescue course we had to stop twice to bandage smaller cuts caused by pointed knives. In a real and serious situation all bets are off. Or as the instructor said: "go jump in that sous-hole over there and I'll follow it up with a bunch of loose throw-rope. Let the class know what you think of sharp vs. blunt ended knives when you get out."

As well, standing knee deep or better in fast moving water is a recipe for falling.
cheers Ted

_________________
To the Silent Places
www.parkerclan.ca


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 11:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
Ted wrote:
Or as the instructor said: "go jump in that sous-hole over there and I'll follow it up with a bunch of loose throw-rope. Let the class know what you think of sharp vs. blunt ended knives when you get out."


:clap:

Very good point.

Embarrassing as it is to admit, I pricked myself three times in Wally World playing with my Spyderco Native while deciding whether to buy it. Didn't even feel it until my finger was damp. That knife is surely one that needs a bit of attention if you prefer to leave the blood letting to the ancients. Still, I think the knife that Mac has is a good compromise, kinda blunt by comparison to mine.

Quote:
As well, standing knee deep or better in fast moving water is a recipe for falling.


Oh, you get quite used to it if you do it all the time. When you're out in the middle of nowhere fishing big water by yourself... without a PFD... you learn real quick how not to fall in. I never fall any more, although I now leave the more treacherous stuff to the younger generation. Your toes seem to grow through your boots after a while just to get, as one friends calls it, better gription. You start to "see" with your feet as well, real useful for getting off a rough stretch when you've stayed until the fish stop feeding and the bats rule the night.

There are techniques for everything. I feel quite at home wading in some rivers I'd never dream of canoeing in. A good wading staff (although most of my life I've gone out sans staff) and felt bottomed boots (a recipe for disaster when entering and exiting Royalex canoes... how did I find that out? ) are Godsends once you are standing amidst all those slick clay and algae covered rocks.

Place one foot at a time, lean upstream, avoid getting your boots wedged and NEVER cross your feet in the current. Relax your body and don't fight the current - it always wins. Conventional technique says stand sideways to present a smaller profile to the current, but I'm the same thickness whichever way I stand so I'm free to do as I please.

If you start to go over, a 9' rod offers quite a brace for righting yourself if you slap it down on the water and throw your head down and bring it up last, just like in a canoe. Doesn't seem possible, but it does work well and I've never broken a rod doing it.

Above all, know your limits and don't be brave. The river will have its way if you are careless, and there are no rescue teams waiting below a rapid when wilderness fishing. 8)

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 3:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 22nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1870
Thanks BK,
that's a good lesson for walking the lining lines as well.
Ted

_________________
To the Silent Places
www.parkerclan.ca


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 4:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: November 25th, 2006, 11:15 am
Posts: 420
Location: Grand Bend Ontario
I use a kershaw Amphibian divers knife, got it back in the 80's and attached the sheath upside down to the left side upper of my pfd, double edged with a tip and a serrated section for rope, never had a problem with it falling out.

They also have a couple other models which I would probably pick had they been available back then.

http://www.fernknives.com/kershaw/amphibian/514/

http://www.fernknives.com/kershaw/sea-h ... index.html

http://www.fernknives.com/kershaw/sea-h ... index.html

_________________
"we are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend." Robert Louis Stevenson


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 25th, 2008, 6:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 11th, 2003, 9:32 pm
Posts: 135
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Ted wrote:
I've had a Gerber Shorty river knife strapped upside-down on my WW vest for 10 years now and haven't lost it yet.


I've had the same Gerber Shorty knife upside down on my vest as well for about that long and it's also never fallen out. MEC used to sell them, but not anymore. Here's info on it: http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2763. For those that prefer the pointy type, Gerber has one with the same design as the Shorty. See http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2764.

Last year, I bought the Wenoka Squeeze Titanium knife for my BCD (diving) and so far it's been good as well. See http://www.mec.ca/Products/...

Cheers
Al


Last edited by Sparkman on October 14th, 2008, 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 14th, 2008, 9:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 10th, 2005, 3:03 pm
Posts: 198
Location: Wilmington, Ma
I'll put in a third thumbs up for the Gerber River Runner(pointed) and Shorty(blunt). I've got one of each on two different PFDs and, after many swims and other adventures, have had no trouble with either.

IIRC blunt tips came into vogue after an incident where a pinned kayaker bled to death from having an artery in his leg(femoral?) cut while being cut out of his boat with a pointed knife. The thought was that a blunt tip would have prevented that.

~Tommy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 16th, 2008, 12:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
I also used a River Shorty stitched upside down to my PFD and have never had it fall out. However, my wife lost hers after bailing out on a local river. It must have caught on something. On a Whitewater Rescue Clinic, several professionals showed up wearing Trauma Scissors. After a demonstration of how quickly they will cut through Spectra line and nylon tubing, I may switch. They aren't any good for slicing cheese, but compared to sawing away on line, they are far superior.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 16th, 2008, 3:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 17th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1598
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Take a look at this (rescue hook/trauma scissors comparison test).
In an upset it would be harder to operate the scissors than a knife.


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_o ... e6d925f76c

Rescue Hook by Benchmade:

http://www.botachtactical.com/benreshook.html

_________________
When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.
H. L. Mencken


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 17th, 2008, 10:52 am 
Offline

Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
Clearly, the hook is preferable to scissors. However, a hook is not a knife, so maybe a hook is the way to go.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group