Ask the Gear Guy

Good knife for exploration


Q. I need a good knife for exploring a forest. I want a knife that either unfolds or stays open. Any suggestions?
—Matt the Explorer, Kent, Wash.

A. Exploring a forest, huh? Sounds fun. I think your best bet is a folding knife like the new Gerber Mini Swagger ($27; gerbergear.com). It has a 2.8-inch long fine edge stainless steel blade that locks open so it won’t fold back on your fingers while you’re using it. The Mini Swagger is pretty compact and weighs just 2.9 ounces so you can stash it in your pants pocket or pack, but it’s still plenty big to handle any kind of cutting jobs you’ll encounter out there on the trail. Plus, with its jet black color and machined handle, this knife looks super cool, like something a Navy SEAL would carry!

Comments about “Good knife for exploration”

  1. coolman360 says:

    I actually have a mini swagger and it works great.

  2. Sup says:

    I also need a knife for exploring!

  3. Dann says:

    I carry two knives. A Gerber multiplier and a Boy Scout Swiss folding knife. I have a Nite Eyes pouch that holds both knives, my flashlight, my knife sharpener, my pen and my flint, drier lint and matches for fire building. You could probably get by with just the Gerber as it has everything but the saw, or you could forget about the pliers, which I use with my dutch oven, and get by with just the Scout knife. Why do you need a sheath knife when the folding knife is just as good, contains more tools and in lighter.

  4. Chad 101 says:

    Hey anyone have the GERBER LMF II? everyone else says it’s really good! If you have it or have used it please give me your opinion! thank all!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I use a USMC-Issue Ka-Bar Short, with a blade approximately 6 inches long. It comes in 2 models: full blade or part-serrated. The one I have is a full blade. They are expensive (mine was $80), but it is near-impossible to destroy, low maintenance (the cleaning after every 10th use), can be used as a hammer (the blade is forged into the handle, not attached), doesn’t rust as easily as normal knives, and can be used for multiple tasks (small machete, killing small animals, etc…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Go with a Gerber compact Scout

    • Chad 101 says:

      The compact scout is just a little small for me. No offense to the knife it self but it is just a little small. But it is a great back up knife if you ever lose your main knife. I have the Bear Grylls Gerber Scout and it works pretty good. Another great knife is the Buck Red Point folding knife.

  7. knife spealist says:

    i perfer a smith in weson boot knife i got one at gun show for like $15 it is well balenced and good foor camping with a double blad it is also good for throwing

  8. KnifeFanatic says:

    A great knife for exploration would be something either really light and sharp like a:

    Spyderco Delica4 FRN Sabre Ground: Stronger tip than the FFG and can be fround around $50 dollars. or its Byrd Counterpart the Byrd MedowLark2 for around 20-25 dollars.

    or A STRONG fixed blade like a Becker Campanion or Buck Special.

    • Chad 101 says:

      Or the Gerber LMF II. Which is a military survival knife made in the USA and used by U.S. helicopter pilots all over the world!

  9. dude says:

    i would recomend any kind of multitool knife because they have a use for almost any situation.for a safer one get one with a locking blade.

    • Knife xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

      Yes it is good to have a multi-tool. But in the wild I would go with a fixed blade any day.(since there are not a whole lot of screws to tighten in the wilderness if you know what I mean, lol.) I personally love the USA made GERBER LMF II military fixed blade knife.

  10. S says:

    U should try dis!

  11. nateman says:

    buck 110 folding hunting knife its nice to but it has to wore on a belt

  12. that guy says:

    I like leathermans because they have a super long warranty and they really work.

    • KnifeFanatic says:

      Overall I think that the Leatherman WAVE is the best, it has all the right tools you’d ever need and the quality that never fails. I think their around $50

  13. Andy C. says:

    I’ve had a Swiss Army knife for 2 years now and i love it.Its perfect for any kind of use. The blade is stainless steel and is 2 and 3/inches long.I love it get a Swiss Army knife for sure.

  14. Ninjas with knives says:

    M16 13dsfg all the way! For $60 on the manufactuars web site, they may seem a little intimidating. Fear not! On amazon theyre like $40. As my second columbia river knife and tool knife, i feel it will last me a life time. Also an epic flip knife. Check it out.

  15. A-Team says:

    You should get a Columbia River M16-10KZ – Tanto – Designed by Kit Carson knife. It is a great folding knife that is very safe with its double locking feature. I have owned one for over 4 years now.

  16. Johnny boy says:

    I would say, if your parents are okay with it, go for a survival knife, such as the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate survival knife. It’s not the cheapest thing around, but it will get you out of a bind if you get stuck in a pinch.

    • somebody says:

      that survival knife is pretty expensive, but there is 1 called the scout that is cheaper and good for scouting

    • KnifeFanatic says:

      Bear Gryll’s knife has been having quality issues and has been having the Butt end break off alot.

      For a desent sized fixed blade I would go with the Becker BK2 Campanion its 5 inches long and 1/4 inch thick!!! its around the same price as the “ultimate” survival knife but its impossible to break.

      Another good Fixed Blade is a Buck Special its around $40 at walmart or amazon.

  17. happy jonn=) says:

    nope leather man crater all the way

  18. Webelo 247 says:

    you should use swiss army knives, they are really good and small

    • skinny willy says:

      Webelo 247 I’ve had a Swiss army knife for 2 years and I think it’s very reliable not just for scouting, but also for hunting too.

  19. rage552 says:

    just go to some tackle shops and look for cabella brand knifes

  20. marty says:

    I don’t suggest a frost cutlery knife they dull constantly and the handle needs to be tightend at first as well i suggest the knife in the picture or another knife from the same brand.

  21. Yankee Jim says:

    Remember the best knife is a sharp knife.
    A sharp knife does a better job and is less likely to injure the user. Keep a “small” pocket knife with you when exploring it will come in handy.

  22. Skits says:

    Matt, I think you should use a 3 inch blade flip knife. You could probably get one from your local super market or flea market for $5 to $8, but they don’t last long. I know one place to go to get this item, your local Bass Pro Shop. The name brand I recommend is Cabela’s, It never let me or my brother down.

  23. AbCdEfGhIjKlMnOpQrStUv says:

    you need a parang

    • Chad 101 says:

      That’s a little over kill unless your going through thick brush.
      I have one Bear Grylls parang and it works better than any other machete. You can also use it as a hatchet.

  24. dudeman says:

    Another great knife is the Gerber Kiowa. It’s kinda pricy ($45) but it is a great knife. It too locks.

  25. explorer367 says:

    I have a “parfive” winchester folding knife. I have had it for 3 years of rough use and it is holding on strong. It keeps its edge for a long time, because it is titanium steel. the other plus is that it only cost $15. The blade is about 2 3/4 inches long, this is a great knife!

  26. I says to Mabel I says:

    sweet

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