Remembering Some Cool Knives

When my interest first peaked in “survival” I was around 14 years old. This was in the mid-80’s between the release of the movies First Blood and Red Dawn. Survival knives began to gain popularity and there are several models I remember fondly.

Now – I am not suggesting all of these were actually very useful – just pretty cool.

Lets reminisce a bit…….

Rambo: First Blood

With a 9″ blade and images of Stallone wielding this knife in the popular movie First Blood – this knife gained tremendous popularity. The hollow handle contained a small survival kit and the back of the blade had saw teeth for cutting through wood. One of my favorites.

Buck Buckmaster

Labeled as the official knife of the US Navy Seals – this knife followed the very popular First Blood knife and was bought by many. I never owned one of these – and they are no longer manufactured. I had heard back in the day that one criticism was the tip of the 7.5″ blade came to too sharp of a point and was easily bent. I wish Buck still made this knife today.

Air Force Survival Knife

Still available today but much more expensive than back in the 80’s. Issued to pilots in the Air Force – always liked the design. Appears rugged – carbon steel blade, saw tooth back, leather sheath.

Gerber BMF

The BMF stood for Basic Multi Function Tool. I had this knife and used it in the field a lot. I loved it and it was extremely durable and well made. I wish I had never gotten rid of it. Gerber would do well to start manufacturing it again.

Chris Reeves One Piece Knife

When I first saw this knife I thought – “rugged!!!”. The entire knife is made from a single block of steel. Hollow handle design allows a few items to be stored. Probably one of the strongest hollow-handled knifes ever made.

Gutmann Survivor Explorer II

Back in 1986 I was given one of these knives by the owner of a gun shop who I had helped move (I was in 10th grade).  I ended up giving the knife to my brother and he still has it today. Obviously designed after the First Blood knife – it is rarely available today. No longer manufactured  – it is still highly sought after on eBay.

explorer survivor 2 knife

Funny the things we remember sometimes. Back in my teenage years – I remember seeing pictures of these knives in catalogs and dreamed of survival adventures. Today – I like my Gerber Multi-Tool and Buck Hoodlum.


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1 thought on “Remembering Some Cool Knives”

  1. Just found your site, very decent. One must remember why the hollowhandled knife pretty much faded away. Most. The Reeve being an exception were pretty weak for actual use where the blade and handle were put together. Second be very careful of saw teeth and serrations on blades they are a great place for bacteria, work very hard to keep them clean. Square cut saw teeth also create stress points where a blade can break. Airplane manufacturers found this in Windows when on planes when they were coming apart around square windows. I have seen blades snap at saw teeth and those notches cut in the tip for a lug on the sheath for ad hoc wire cutters like in pos army bayonet. I Stick with KISS simple time tested woodland blades like my old marbles bison, when marbles was made in the USA, and things like the Kabar marine corps FUK.


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