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Thread: What's a good camping knife?

  1. #1
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    Default What's a good camping knife?

    Not a multi-tool, I mean a single knife, whether fixed blade or folding. What's a good one for camping?
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    If you want a fixed blade knife, you won't find any better than a classic old ka-bar, in full length or short:

    http://www.agrussell.com/ka-bar-short-usmc/p/KA1257/

    If you prefer something a little less military looking, a classic hunter is a good way to go. Ka-0bar pictured, Buck and Gerber make great variations on this as well.

    http://www.agrussell.com/ka-bar-mari...ndle/p/KA1235/

    A Canadian-style camp knife is also a good bet, a lot of people swear by the blade shape.

    http://www.agrussell.com/d-h-russell...nife/p/DHR-1S/

    If you want a good folder, make sure it has a decent lock - back locks are great for security, liner locks are good for single handed operation.

    My personal favourite for a camping folder is the standard Buck Model 100.

    http://www.agrussell.com/buck-model-110/p/BU110/

    Now, the fun part...

    If you want this for Japan, the new knife legislation makes it illegal to carry any of those. You're limited to a 6cm (2 1/4") blade for carry, unless it's a fishing or kitchen implement. Easy way around it is to throw your camp knife in with some fishing tackle in your trunk - then it's a fishing knife.
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  3. #3
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    Be careful carrying knives around. I've been targeted by police on several occasions where they were specifically searching for knives. The law says that any knife with a blade length over 6cm is illegal to carry and the police are actively searching foreigners for knives as they think it is the greatest threat to society at the moment. I've also heard stories of people getting detained for carrying swiss army knives on their person and even one guy who had scissors with a "blade" longer than 6cm that were in his car.

    I use 100yen shop knives when camping but there are a lot on amazon with plenty of reviews:

    http://www.amazon.co.jp/s/ref=nb_sb_...3C%83t&x=0&y=0
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
    If you want this for Japan, the new knife legislation makes it illegal to carry any of those. You're limited to a 6cm (2 1/4") blade for carry, unless it's a fishing or kitchen implement. Easy way around it is to throw your camp knife in with some fishing tackle in your trunk - then it's a fishing knife.
    It's my understanding that if the knife is packed away with your camping (not just fishing) gear and you are clearly going camping (i.e., you have a tent and stuff with you), then it's legal for you to have it. But you can't have one on your person or even in your bags while you're just walking down the street or riding a train or something.

    Also, I believe the blade length limit is 5.5cm, not 6.0cm. Watch out, ET, don't get nabbed over a 5mm difference!
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    This text appears in the descriptions of knives on Amazon.co.jp:

    刃渡り5.5cm以上の刃物を正当な理由なく携帯することは法律によって禁止されています。
    That means "It's illegal to carry a knife with a blade longer than 5.5cm unless you have a good reason."
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  6. #6

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    Have to agree with "ET" (sorry, EvilTwin, of course) get a buck knife! Mine has worked for me for the past 20 + years. And this darned Japanese law .... 5.5cm, what (or who) do you want to cut?
    Klaus D.
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    A Kraut living in Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    It's my understanding that if the knife is packed away with your camping (not just fishing) gear and you are clearly going camping (i.e., you have a tent and stuff with you), then it's legal for you to have it. But you can't have one on your person or even in your bags while you're just walking down the street or riding a train or something.

    Also, I believe the blade length limit is 5.5cm, not 6.0cm. Watch out, ET, don't get nabbed over a 5mm difference!
    That was me thinking about a case where a guy got arrested for a 6cm blade.... slip there! The limit is 5.5cm, as you so aptly caught.

    And yeah, should be OK if a knife is in camping gear, was just pointing out that if it's in a tackle box it becomes a fishing knife - and therefore exempt.
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  8. #8
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    A good reason for me might not be a good reason for the cops. ;-)


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    This text appears in the descriptions of knives on Amazon.co.jp:

    That means "It's illegal to carry a knife with a blade longer than 5.5cm unless you have a good reason."

  9. #9
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    i have this gerber and love it.
    http://www.gerberuk.com/index.php/product/id/412

    it is a great camping knife and will do anything you could want a knife to do from cutting onions and potatoes, which is what i usually use it for, to cutting a finger off, or skinning a deer. it is definitely big enough to get you in trouble with the law if you carry it in your pocket. for awhile i didnt take it camping. law enforcement is so damn arbitrary compared to civilized countries, but you should be ok if it is buried in your camping gear unless they wanna get you for some other reason...

    eventually i decided that if they wanna deport me for carrying a good kitchen knife deep in my side case the f it. its time to go home!

  10. #10

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    I'm a Spyderco man myself. Normally I'd have a Spyderco Rescue on me but this being Japan, they sit at home.



    You dont want a rescue knife for general purpose but Spyderco has a huge line of great blades. Light, reasonably priced, you cant go wrong.

    http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/list.php?category=3
    Last edited by gkanai; 13-08-10 at 03:35 PM.
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    Is it legal to have stuff like this sent to you in Japan... or will it get seized by customs and then the cops show up at your house?
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  12. #12

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    Dunno. Why would you want to have something sent to you that could be confiscated?

    Stop over at Mont-Bell in Ebisu- they have camping knives.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkanai View Post
    Dunno. Why would you want to have something sent to you that could be confiscated?
    If it's not available to buy here in Japan, or if it's way cheaper in the US with the strong yen.

    Anyway... I'll check out MB.
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  14. #14
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    Got a knife today. Went to this place called "The Edge" in Shibuya (Dogenzaka 1-9-1) and oh, boy... if EvilTwin walked into this store, he would spontaneously jizz in his pants. It's like Neo in the Matrix said, "We're gonna need knives... lots of knives." The whole place is lined with glass cases of every kind of knife you could imagine, from pocketknife to machete. Also, interestingly, the owner told me the way the knife laws work now is there are three different blade length limits depending on the kind of knife:

    Dagger (double-edged blade): Max 5.5cm
    Locking or fixed single-edged blade: Max 6.0cm
    Non-locking single-edged blade (like a Swiss Army knife): Max 8.0cm

    This means it is completely LEGAL to walk around with a normal Swiss Army knife in your pocket!

    However, the tricky part is the cops either (1) don't know the law very well and may think it's 5.5cm max for ALL knives, or (2) know the law and don't give a rat's ass, and may try to arrest or otherwise hassle you if they find any kind of knife on you at all, even if it's legal to have it on you. So if you are going to have a knife in your pocket, I recommend you also keep a copy of the law in there, too, and be prepared to explain it to a cop if you have to. I don't have a link to the text of the law; I'll see if I can find one.

    Anyway, I bought a Buck model 111. The thing that surprised me about it is that it locks open, but does not lock closed. You can open it without depressing the lock button. Is this normal? Seems like it should lock both ways, but what do I know?

    Anyway, if you need a knife, I highly recommend The Edge in Shibuya.
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  15. #15
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    Your lock is normal. It's there only to prevent accidental blade closure while cutting.

    I used to own and carry a Spyderco when I lived in Berkeley.

    Now I have a Leatherman.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Got a knife today. Went to this place called "The Edge" in Shibuya (Dogenzaka 1-9-1) and oh, boy... if EvilTwin walked into this store, he would spontaneously jizz in his pants. It's like Neo in the Matrix said, "We're gonna need knives... lots of knives." The whole place is lined with glass cases of every kind of knife you could imagine, from pocketknife to machete. Also, interestingly, the owner told me the way the knife laws work now is there are three different blade length limits depending on the kind of knife:

    Dagger (double-edged blade): Max 5.5cm
    Locking or fixed single-edged blade: Max 6.0cm
    Non-locking single-edged blade (like a Swiss Army knife): Max 8.0cm

    This means it is completely LEGAL to walk around with a normal Swiss Army knife in your pocket!

    However, the tricky part is the cops either (1) don't know the law very well and may think it's 5.5cm max for ALL knives, or (2) know the law and don't give a rat's ass, and may try to arrest or otherwise hassle you if they find any kind of knife on you at all, even if it's legal to have it on you. So if you are going to have a knife in your pocket, I recommend you also keep a copy of the law in there, too, and be prepared to explain it to a cop if you have to. I don't have a link to the text of the law; I'll see if I can find one.

    Anyway, I bought a Buck model 111. The thing that surprised me about it is that it locks open, but does not lock closed. You can open it without depressing the lock button. Is this normal? Seems like it should lock both ways, but what do I know?

    Anyway, if you need a knife, I highly recommend The Edge in Shibuya.
    I know the shop. I stay away from it... that place is financial ruin for me. Did he happen to have the laws as regards carry printed out in the shop? The 8cm folder part is new to me - then again, that may be because all my folders are lockbacks.

    The one thing he didn't mention on knife law is that, even when you're legally carrying a knife, a cop will often take it off you, citing the public nuisance law, the reasoning being that the cop think you're up to no good, and therefore a public nuisance. The reality, of course, being that the cop wants a shiny new pocketknife.

    On the lock - there are a few knives that lock in the closed position, but normally those are automatic (switchblade) knives. Most folding knives are just lightly held in the closed position by the tension of the lock spring or a backspring.

    Nice choice, anyway, I've always had a soft spot for Buck knives.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
    Did he happen to have the laws as regards carry printed out in the shop?
    No, but I definitely want a copy of them!

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
    The one thing he didn't mention on knife law is that, even when you're legally carrying a knife, a cop will often take it off you, citing the public nuisance law, the reasoning being that the cop think you're up to no good, and therefore a public nuisance.
    Yep, this is what I was getting at when I said the cops know the law but don't care about the details and will just take your knife anyway.

    I believe if you could argue convincingly in Japanese that you are obeying the law and therefore by definition are not a public nuisance, they would back down and move on to easier prey. But few gaijin can debate complex legal issues in Japanese, and few Japanese even try. So the cops continue to act like Judge Dredd: I AM THE LAW!!!
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