Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More Knives and Throwing Some of Them

If you've read a few posts, you know I'm a bit of a knife freak.  Seriously, I need to start making my own knives, I spend way too much money looking for the perfect ones.

Here's a few of my newest purchases, all pretty nice and none of them were over $35:

Left to Right: BladesUSA Throwing Set, Kershaw, Buck ErgoHunter and another Buck

The BladesUSA throwing set I picked up on Amazon for about eight bucks.  I just wanted something to play around with without blowing too much money.  They are about perfect for a starter throwing knife, cheap, and they seem to throw halfway decently.  Downsides?  They are a little light, which is good and bad.  They don't penetrate very well so you have to have a decent throw for them to stick in the target.  As you can guess, the sheath they come with is very cheap but seems to hold all three knives pretty well.  They probably won't last long, but for eight bucks, I'm not complaining.

The two Buck knives here really impressed me with the feel of their grip.  Both were thick, heavy duty rubber.  They feel great in the hand and definitely won't slip, even when wet.  This first one, the ErgoHunter is designed for right handed use.  In the right hand it is amazingly comfortable.  I guess that means if you're left handed it won't feel right.  There is also a weird patch of "rough" metal near the base of the blade.  I'm not sure if that's for fire starting or what, but it looks odd.  Doesn't seem to affect functionality though.  The blade is an interesting shape and would probably work well as a skinning knife or for general camp use.

I couldn't find the name of this model on the Buck website.  I got it at Cabela's and it's probably my all time favorite general purpose knife.  Great blade thickness, it has the same material as the ErgoHunter for the handle but is a much more ambidextrous grip.  This is also the knife that was borrowed from me during the Hog hunt to knife one of the hogs.  Not to get into too much detail but lets say it was extremely effective.  This is my go-to knife for camping and anything outdoors.  Not too shabby for $20.  If anyone knows which one this is, let me know, I'd love to order another couple of these guys.

Like the previous Buck knife, I couldn't find this Kershaw model on their website.  This is a really nice little knife, the kind of thing that would have been perfect for Boyscout camp when my hands were a little smaller.  Now, I generally prefer something with a more sizable handle for easier use.  Nice steel, good thickness, definitely a quality knife, just wish it had a different handle.  It also came with a nice, if not fancy, leather sheath, which is a definite plus in my book.  More on this knife later.

As usual, I'm very critical of knife sheaths.  Most manufacturers tend to skimp when it comes to how the knife is carried.  However, I'm pleased to say that both Bucks and the Kershaw came with very durable, practical, if not particularly pretty sheaths.  All hold the knives securely, will fit comfortably on a belt, and yet easily release the knife when needed.  The Buck sheaths are some kind of thick canvas fabric with formed plastic sleeves for the actual blade inside.  My only complaint would be that sometimes the blades rattle against the plastic when moving around.  The Kershaw, as mentioned earlier, has an effective, all leather sheath.

Now for the fun part.

I recently purchased the Gil Hibbens book on knife throwing (also from Amazon, purchased at the same time as the BladesUSA throwing set).  Well, it's more of a pamphlet than a book, but it had a couple interesting passages and a few good tips.  I would consider it a pretty basic introduction to the concepts of knife throwing, if you already know the basics than I would recommend getting something a little more indepth.  I had purchased the above BladesUSA throwing knives so that I wouldn't ding up any of my nicer knives learning to throw them around.

One of the things in the pamphlet that caught my eye was when the author mentioned that lots of knives can be used for throwing.  I had always thought that a knife needed to have some special balance or something, but I guess it doesn't need to be that specific.  He had lots of examples, many of which I never would have considered throwing...  folding knives, fighting knives (Kabar, who woulda thought?), hunting knives, etc.  So, of course, I got out my extensive collection of knives and tried throwing them all.  Bwuuuuhuuuhahahahaaa!!!  I was surprised at how many of them actually worked pretty well.

Yes, that's the Kershaw stuck in the zombie's neck.  I told you I would mention it again.  Obviously, the knives designed for throwing were the easiest, but the Kershaw threw as well or better than the BladesUSA.  Neither Buck did too bad, which surprised me because they have such large handles.  Kind of fun throwing a knife that heavy into a faux Zombie.  Almost makes me feel sorry for him.  Almost.  The Kershaw seriously impressed me though, it might not be my favorite camp knife but it's definitely my favorite throwing knife.

For survival purposes, I'm not entirely sure how practical it is to throw one of your primary tools.  In most situations it would make far more sense to make a throwing stick or something similar.  However, if you ever thought it might be fun to throw around your knives... you're right.  It's a ****ing blast!  You definitely need the zombie target though, it just adds the right ambiance.

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