Having a decent fixed blade knife is a must for outdoor, survival, and life skills. I’ve always got a folding knife in my pocket and have (within the past year) started carrying a fixed blade on a more regular basis. Some may think that’s overkill, but I believe the simplicity and reliability of a fixed blade make it worth carrying more often than not. There are so many fixed blade knives on the market to choose from that you could potentially spend all your hard-earned money trying to find the right one (I’ve spent a lot myself). As your skills evolve, so will your preferred blade.
I grew up watching the Rambo movies and always thought his survival knife was the coolest thing around. As I grew up, spent more time in the woods, and eventually went into the Marine Corps I realized how flawed that design was. A bigger knife doesn’t always mean it’s a better knife. Nowadays with my skill level and experience I prefer to carry a smaller more concealable fixed blade knife that can perform all the field craft tasks, as well as defend myself with (finding that knife can be challenging). Everybody has their personal preferences when it comes to knives, so what I carry and use may not be the best choice for somebody else, but maybe I can help steer someone in the right direction. Here is what I look for when selecting a fixed blade knife capable of camp chores, basic survival needs, and self-defense (I do not consider myself a bushcrafter or survivalist).
- The knife needs to be full-tang in order for me to have full confidence it will be the strongest possible knife when I need it to be.
- The knife needs to have a slim profile for concealing inside the waistband (using a Blade Rigs IWB sheath).
- The blade length needs to be a minimum of 3.5 inches, but not more than 4” with a total length of not more than 8”. Sticking to these measurements allows me to easily carry the knife inside the waistband.
- The spine of the knife needs to have a sharp 90 degree angle for processing tinder and striking a ferro rod or magnesium bar.
The most important knife skill to know is simple put – fire. The knife may be your only hope for getting a fire going. In this article we are going to take a look at the Indy Hammered Knives Neck Knife, and how it can product that much-needed survival resource (Fire).
Specifications (courtesy of ihknives.com)
- Hand Forged 1095 High Carbon Steel
- 7” overall length with a 3.5” blade
- 90 degree spine
- Para-cord wrapped handle
- Custom Leather Sheath by Samson Leather
- Hand Forged in the USA (Indianapolis, IN)
- MSRP of only $49.95 direct from Indy Hammered Knives.
No matter the season or environment you’re in, a good fixed blade is your number one tool to have on your person. Being able to get a fire going by using your knife, is the number one skill to know and practice. Your knife needs to be able to easily and effectively process wood for a fire and assist with igniting the wood once processed. How does the neck knife from Indy Hammered Knives do?
- The spine on this particular knife did not produce near enough sparks off of a ferro rod as I expected it would (I tried 3 different ferro rods). Out of the box the spine of the blade does have what appears to be an aggressive 90 degree angle on the spine. Maybe the lack of sparks is due to the heat treatment of the steel. Luckily most ferro rods come with strikers so this may not be a big deal to some.
- As for using the spine to remove fine shavings from a piece of wood; that was a bit of a chore. The knife was able to remove the fine shavings, but it just took more effort than it needed too.
- The blade edge did a wonderful job of carving fine pieces of wood to be used as tinder. The blade also excels at other carving tasks and camp chores. Although I haven’t used this to process small game, I see no reason to doubt that it would do very well at that.
The neck knife from Indi Hammered knives is a great companion in the woods, and does a decent job at assisting you in getting a fire going. For only $50 you’re getting a hammer forged blade made in the USA that you can trust.