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Thread: Full Tang Bushcraft Knife VS Traditional Puukko

  1. #1
    Wanderer Wolfman Zack's Avatar
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    Full Tang Bushcraft Knife VS Traditional Puukko

    Since the design of the Allen Wood Woodlore knife, full tang scandi grind knives have become synonymous with bushcraft.
    However it seems that traditional stick tangs are still as or more popular in Scandinavia, where what we think of as a conventional bushcraft knife originated.

    I own an Enzo trapper with custom handles that is a good knife, but I sometimes wonder if I really need the full tang or if a traditional puukko would serve me just as well with less weight.

    If an axe is carried for wood processing, do we need the added strength of a full tang bushcraft knife???

    I'm not sure myself, so feel free to discuss both sides, its food for thought..........

  2. #2
    i prefer full tang... i think its better to have and not need than to need and not have...

    i too have the trapper, and a mora robust and i like both alot...

    i prefer to look at it from a survival point of view... if i have only my knife with me, i want it to perform any task i throw at it...

  3. #3
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    The traditonal nordic Puukko as you and the Finns call them, is in the Scandinavian countries (Finland is not a scandinavian country) called a Tollekniv (Norway) and Slidkniv (sverige).
    The finnish word simply means knife. Any type of sharp knife is a puukko. The word is used just like we in Scandinavia use "kniv" and "messer" in Germany or "knife" in England.
    To specify the type of knife you have to add a word. So Bushcraft knife is simple a "Bushcraft puukko"

    Back to the word "Tollekniv" because it more accurately describe what the knives you think of as a puukko is. First of all it is not a millitary survival knife. Allthough in the various Nordic countries soldiers do carry them. Well, in the Norwegian army we carried a leuku (which is also a puukko). Anyway what a nordic tollekniv is. It is a whitling knife. The Word Tollekniv comes from old Norse: "tǫlguknífr".
    "Tolgu" from telgja = to whittle. And "knifr" = knife. And is tradionally carried on a button under the belt (hence the little, useless belt carry system on Mora knives. It is designed to be carried on a button, not carried on a belt.

    Anyway the puukko, lets call them that for ease of recognision as thats what you are used to, is a whitling knife. It's not a survival knife. Most so called bushcraft knives I have seen are not very good at whitling at at all. Sure you can cut feathersticks with them. But fine detailed work, you are better off with the much thinner blade of a traditional whitling knife, like a mora 711. This because of the thickness of the blade. The puukko is much thinner than most bushcraft knives as well. And being made for whitling they never needed to be very strong. Use them as that and they will no doubt last you a life time. And 99% of the time a knife to carve wood with is all you need.

    Anyway, Own an Enzo trapper myself. I do not really like it as a bushcraft knife at all. It is actually as the name says, a hunting knife. My beef with it is that it is as follows. The blade is at least an inch too short for a "bushcraft" knife. The scales are to thin for it to be comfortable as a whitling knife. My hands are screaming in agony after 5 minutes with that knife. So if I have to do anything that requires som time, I fish out my mora 711...and I think the blade is to thick to function very well as a whitling knife also. For that purpose my £4,50 mora 711 is far superior to the Enzo trapper.

    Anyway, I have been drolling at various Helle knives to replace my Enzo trapper. But I hesitate. They are quite expensive knives. At least for someone on my budget. And I have become accustomed to the one factor that the Enzo trapper, and the bushcraft knives have going for them...the robustnes. If that is what is most important to you, then stick with your bushcraft knives. Especially of you feel the need to batton your knives. But if you are the kind that likes to sit and whittle for hours...get a traditional puukko, that is what they are built to do. And they can also gut fish, do up a rabbit and all of that work.Just don't batton them...use an axe.
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
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  4. #4
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDaddy187 View Post
    i prefer full tang... i think its better to have and not need than to need and not have...

    i too have the trapper, and a mora robust and i like both alot...

    i prefer to look at it from a survival point of view... if i have only my knife with me, i want it to perform any task i throw at it...
    How often do you think you will have to rely on your knives strength to survive in the UK. And will you actually have that knife on you when it happens?
    My only reason for getting a full tang, is that some times I batton wood, and I do not like to destroy an expensive knife.

    But if I need a knife to survive, I think any £4.50 Mora will do an excellent job. But then if I eneter a "survival situation" I simply go home. Failing that, I do not think it will be the strength of the knife that will save me...
    Last edited by FishyFolk; 10-01-2015 at 08:54 AM.
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

  5. #5
    Native -Tim-'s Avatar
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    I'm with Rune on this, although I don't claim to be a survivalist or a bushcrafter, I enjoy camping, I also enjoy open fires. My open fires tend to be in a small fire box therefore the wood that I use for fuel needs to be small(ish) more like kindling than logs.

    So, as I generally camp near rivers the wood tends to be in large branches snagged in the river bank by high water after the branches have been reduced to logs and the logs into chunks by saw and axe (now we get to the knife bit,) my knife is used to make small kindling. This is generally done by battoning, enter my trusty carbon bladed Mora.

    My knife to me is not a bushcraft knife it is a work tool and is used as such, from battoning wood to preparing fish the little mora takes it all in its stride (so far)
    But if by chance my knife does break I can either muddle through with my axe or simply reach to my cookset and use my stainless steel mora.

    Now don't get me wrong if I had money to burn I would have a plethora of handmade knifes just because they would be a joy to look at and use.
    So if you want an expensive full tang knife with a beautiful tanned leather sheath, as long as it will perform the tasks you want it to, go for it. For the very same reason I have a bespoke wooden hand made canoe paddle it will do the same job as a cheap plastic paddle, but it feels so much more "nicer".

    I will waffle on no more.

    Cheers
    Tim
    "Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute;
    pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois;
    paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature."
    .

  6. #6
    well i carry tools for different jobs... but it nice to know that 1 would be sufficient... for example, if my axe handle breaks its good to know i can baton through a log with my knife to make a new one...

    plus, i think full tang knives overall are much better looking...

    i made the scales for my trapper... i left them a little thicker than the standard ones and i have quite small hands so i find its comfy for me...

    i have quite a few knives for different tasks

  7. #7
    Ranger Tony1948's Avatar
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    I'm with Rune and Tim on this,I'v made both full and stick tang bladesBut when I go into the woods I take the Mora that Rune sent me and an GB small forest axe.I'v also made my own wood carving blades
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  8. #8
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    Nice collection of blades there, Tony.
    What do you think of the comfort on the Mora 711?
    I love to use that knife, its so comfortable in my hand, and the handle never slips.

    Had a nice one this morning. It has snowed so was clearing up some of the 4 year olds toys that where under a table we keep just outside the door. Under there in a corner was a bucket
    we brought on our summer camping trip to sweden, an in it was my Mora 2K that has been AWOL since summer :-)
    Love that knife too.
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

  9. #9
    Wanderer Wolfman Zack's Avatar
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    Rune, excellent point that puukko simply means knife in Finnish, and that tollekniv is the more accurate term.
    Here in the US the former term is sort of a blanket term, incorrectly as it may be.

    You stated that the tollekniv is not a survival knife, what is preferred in your country for survival???
    I know that the Fallkniven F1 is used by Swedish pilots, but I also seem to recall something about the Mora 2000 being an issued survival knife in some countries......

  10. #10
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    The brutal truth is that we simply do not have the concept of a "survival knife" all. And to illustrate the public oppinion about them, they are reffered to as "Rambo knives", something kids play with. For 99% I guess a survival knife is whatever knife they own and preffer to use. And that knife often wary with the situation. If they go fishing in saltwater they'll bring a cheap Mora. If they do any other activity it will either be a "Tollekniv" on their belt (often a Helle or a Brusletto) , or a Leuku. even the army uses a Leuku as it's issue knife. And if not issued, the soldiers will buy one to use in the field anyway.

    Sure most people know what a surival knife is...they just don't understand why they would need one. Except a few that are into survivalism etc, and kids who dreams of getting into special forces, but can't really pry their hands of their Playstation controllers....

    So I guess the preffered knife is a standard puukko...

    BTW....I have never heard anyone having to rely on their knife to survive. A shovel is my preffered survival tool....far more usefull in the winter hills. To create shelter, just dig into the snow...and all I need for a fire in there would be a candle.
    Last edited by FishyFolk; 10-01-2015 at 02:46 PM.
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

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