Author Topic: Survival knives, hollow handled.  (Read 35133 times)

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Offline PoliceScannerMan

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Survival knives, hollow handled.
« on: January 04, 2008, 10:05:03 PM »
I have at a local shop a 1984 BuckMaster, one of 2600 made the inagural year.  It is free of the Pat. Pending stamp, which means it is a true 1984 model.  The knife is in OK shape, few marks, but no rust/major dings etc.  The compass is sitll in the handle, and the sheath is in decent shape.  The price is $400, $360 if I pay cash.  What do you guys think?

Heres a pic of a Buckmaster, not the one I am thinking of buying:

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Offline regentag

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 10:19:38 PM »
I remember it well, Rambo.

Sounds like an OK deal to me, if you like the knife.

There are others of course, some better some worse...

Jimmy Lile made it famous, Buck made it affordable, United Cutlery turned it all to sh*t.

Cheers,
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Offline PoliceScannerMan

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2008, 10:21:51 PM »
I most definatley can not afford a LILE!  I saw a Rambo proto for $25,000.....

What are some of the better ones Regs?  I really do like the BuckMaster, minus the Pointy things. (They unscrew).

Thanks for the quick reply.  :thumbup:
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Offline regentag

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 10:25:26 PM »
Timing is everything.

The big question is - do you actually want to use the knife, or are you looking for a "collectible" ?

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Offline PoliceScannerMan

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 10:29:57 PM »
Of course, like most, I want to use it.....  But it will probably live the life of a collectible, dont do much surviving these days.... :evil6:

I do have a Strider BN-SS, which would fit the bill, but lacks the coolness of the round handle....



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Offline Chronos

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2008, 11:09:21 PM »
I love the hollow-handled survival knives. A friend (many years ago) had a Lile. What a knife.

That seems a little high compared to others I've seen. I laugh that I didn't buy one back in the '90s when they were in every knife store in the mall. :)

A few favorites from milkyspit, McGizmo, Surefire, MR Bulk and others

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Offline Bullzaye

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2008, 11:29:35 AM »
 If you're looking for a "user" hollow handled knife, for that money I'd recommend one of the Chris Reeve one piece knives.
  Tim

Offline PoliceScannerMan

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2008, 02:18:57 PM »
If you're looking for a "user" hollow handled knife, for that money I'd recommend one of the Chris Reeve one piece knives.
  Tim
Thanks Tim, I will definatley look into them!
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Offline regentag

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2008, 07:11:57 PM »
+1 on the CRK knives, they're probably the best of the current crop of production "hollow handle" knives.

They have a unique look (which is good), but one that is quite different from the 80's "Rambo" look of the Buck and some others (which may not be good).  It really depends on where this whole thing is going...

Let's assume that the whole "hollow handle" thing is the starting point.  No point arguing the pros and cons, the utility or futility of the design, that could go on forever.  We've all seen First Blood, and hollow handles are cool.  Randall Made knives are also undeniably cool.  Bo Randall has made knives for Presidents, astronauts, movie stars and just about every gung-ho type in every war for decades.  Great story (you can buy the book) and also great knives.  So there's the model 18.  Sawteeth, indestructible, handmade, 5 year wait, Randall mystique.  Oh yeah - it's got a hollow handle.

So that's the *real* starting point, IMO.  But let's say you just want to start with Rambo, and go from there.  There's LILE, as you know... but those are really more of a collectible commodity than a knife.  $25K would have to be for a "genuine" movie prop knife or something, I've seen the run-of-the-mill 80's pieces go for as "little" as $1500, which ain't bad for a $400 knife.  They are very nice and they definitely have "the look".

Then there are the LILE "contemporaries", knives along that pattern (more or less) that were released around the time of that endless string of Stallone star-vehicles on the heels of First Blood.  Too many to remember, but Buck was one of them.  A "production knife" by any standard, the big gimmick was those screw-on points that turn it into Neptune's trident when lashed to a spear.  You can use it for whaling should you find yourself stranded on an ice floe.  Or something.  If those points don't make sense to you, then skip the Buck.  They did make sense to a lot of folks, as it was a really big seller for them.

One of the better variants "back in the day" was made by Vaughn Neely under the trade name Timberline.  I don't know what became of them since Sly gave up acting (tell me he's given up acting, please), but one of his old compadres, Bill Sanders... who used to work at Timberline is still out there grinding a damn fine rendition with that oh-so-cool 80's look.  The knives even come with a little tool-roll (emphasis on little) with a firestarter, a couple of matches, sutures, fishing line, hook... all the survival essentials for around the house.  I don't know what his backlog is, but they are the "real deal" - or as close as you can get this side of Randall in 2008.  Another "real deal" maker in this market is Robert Parrish, but his stuff is incredibly hard to find.  Worth looking for if you just can't shake the hollow handle bug though.  They will definitely cure you.

I'd say that buying an "old" custom knife really doesn't make much sense unless it is to complete a collection, to fill a nostalgic niche, or something like that.  Materials and methods really have improved, and there are some damn fine knifemakers that are actually alive and could use the business.  As with any other knife, you've got the whole production/custom thing to contend with.  If you;re going to be prying open rations and digging trenches, you may feel more comfortable with a "disposable" tool.  On the other hand, you may not.  There are a lot of "genuine" low-bidder military hollow handle knives around - I can't personally recommend any though, I just don't know enough about them.

Well, that's the way I see it...

Cheers,




///rā'gəntg

Offline Rebel

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2008, 09:47:20 PM »


That knife looks a bit dangerous for the user to me, you could do yourself an injury with the finger guard.

Compasses in handles aren't much use if you plan on actually using the knife because you'll probably break it pretty quickly.

Any idea what the metal is?  For that price it out to be a pretty high grade of steel IMO.

My opinion is don't buy it, if you want something really good as either a user or a collectable go with the Chris Reeve knife that was mentioned.  There's a list of current fixed blade knives from Chris Reeve here: http://www.chrisreeve.com/pffixed.htm



Some good information about "survival" knives here: http://www.equipped.org/devices5.htm

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Offline regentag

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 12:57:33 AM »
FWIW, there are a couple of CRK Shadows on USN right now. :)

They have definitely got the look.

Cheers,
///rā'gəntg

Offline Bullzaye

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 06:53:36 AM »
 The Buckmaster was built of 440C stainless. I owned one of these, it was stolen when my house was burgled. They certainly seemed solidly built, though I never really put mine to the test. I now wish I'd abused the living daylights out of it, so the SOB that stole it wouldn't have gotten such a pristine knife.
 Tim

Offline PoliceScannerMan

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2008, 02:40:15 AM »
WOW! Thanks for the loooooong post Regs (And Rebel!)  That is exactly the info I have been lookin for.  I just got back in town from Tampa, watchin the bucs get beat.  I will look into the post more closely in the next few days and maybe make a move.

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Offline fore

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2008, 10:38:56 AM »
Those Randalls are cool, but like reg said that wait is a killer.  If 5 years is too long you can find them on the secondary market for a premium.

I agree that the buckmaster sounds overpriced even if it's pristine unless it's a rare model or something, but if you're thinking of paying that much for a buckmaster the CRK one piece hollow handles are worth a look.

I hadn't heard of anyone other than Lile doing custom hollow handles, but it'd be interesting to see a modern take.
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Offline PoliceScannerMan

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Re: Survival knives, hollow handled.
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2008, 11:29:08 PM »
I scored a CRK mountaineer I!!  I picked one up locally for $150.  Brande new with sheath.  Not bad since Chris' price is $205.  :thumbup:
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