Busse Combat, Swamprat, and Scrapyard knives, as well as Ranger Knives and a few Ontario milspec over the years, I have come to the following conclusion: You don’t want just one knife for the end of the world.
That “one knife” solution ends up being a sharpened crowbar which is less precise at fine tasks and less than ideal for hacking tasks. Yes, they work, but they are generally expensive, heavy, and not very user-friendly.
|Nessmuk (George Washington Sears)|
Fortunately for preppers, you can assemble your own Nesmuk Trio for cheaper than the cost of a new Busse Combat knife. With these three tools you can build a shelter, cut firewood (although a folding saw is a GREAT addition to your bug out location if you plan on using wood for heat or cooking), butcher an animal from squirrel to moose size, and prepare food to feed a small group. Here are my recommendations:
I like the Husqvarna brand, and your choices range in size from the 13” hatchet to the 21" carpenter's hatchet to the 26" multipurpose axe. If a handle breaks, you can make or buy a replacement fairly easily, and this is the reason why Fiskars and Gerber brands are not recommended. Eastwing is made in America, but the head geometry of Eastwing hatchets leaves a bit to be desired in my experience.
I suggest going bigger on the axe if you have the space for it, and the 26" multipurpose axe is the one I would want in a long-term survival situation. For a shorter period, though, any will do.
For the large skinning and butchering knife, get a Dexter Russel 6" sani-safe commercial butchering knife (8" version here). This knife will handle butchering chores as well as food prep without any issues. At $25, it's a bargain.
I honestly think that either the 8 or 6 inch blade will do just fine for preparing food for one person, but an 8” blade is better for most cooking chores involving a family or group meal.
The Mora Companion is an inexpensive favorite of preppers everywhere. This knife will handle pretty much any utility knife task you throw at it . Costing only $15, if you don’t own one, you should. The last time I was in Afghanistan, my Mora Companion became my favorite fixed- blade knife.
|Image source unknown; found unattributed on internet.|