Survival Gear Review: The Parry Blade

Survival Knife, Survival Gear Review, Mel Perry, Parry Blade, SAS

In the Mid 1990′s, Mel Perry, a Warrant Officer QGM, and a veteran of the well known 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (British SAS) saw the requirement for a new generation of of professional blades that could replace the legacy of survival tools that had been standard equipment for decades. 

(From the Manufacturer) 

Survival Gear Review

Mel Perry - 22nd SAS REG

Mel Perry knew that these professionals deserved something better.  Collaborating with both service members and retirees from elite special forces throughout the world, he began to design what would be recognized as a breakthrough in both functionality and quality of manufacture.  This breakthrough took the form of the Perry Blade in 1995.  Unfortunately due to various commercial considerations the production of the Parry Knife did not proceed after 1995 as planned, and therefore a period of some 13 years has elapsed since the current model, incorporating a number of improvements over its predecessor was re-introduced in 2009.  The knife is hand crafted in Sheffield, England by Samuel Staniforth, a cutlery maker since 1864 and acknowledged as producing the finest knives available, being part of an industry that was first established over 700 years ago.  The knife is fairly simple in design with a bellied Bolo/Bowie type clipped blade with a serrated back edge, and finished in a black Dupont Teflon coating. However, on closer examination the knife offers several different cutting edges and holds, making it extremely versatile.

The Knife

The knife is strong and heavy, with a blade 9 inches long made from ¼ inch thick X46Cr13 420 Mel Perry, SASstainless steel. The main cutting edge is bevel-ground for strength, whilst the deep belly shape takes the weight forward, in the manner of a Khukri, giving the knife a powerful chopping stroke. The point looks clipped in shape but is ground to provide a spear point that accentuates its use for prying /levering and digging. Also near the choil is a hollow-ground section which is honed to razor sharpness for fine cutting and whittling, ideal for making fire sticks The serrated edge on the spine of the blade provides for a sawing action capable of cutting rope, webbing or gristle. The knife is of a full tang construction, with black linen micarta screwed to the tang providing for ease of replacement, resulting from either wear, damage or the choice of an alternative grip to be fitted.

Also in order to extend the survival attributes of the knife it has been found that by wrapping Survival Gear Reviewparacord around the handle, this provides some 2m of cord for use in either a survival situation or correspondingly as a means of restraint for when the role is reversed to one of combat.

The knife is also designed with relatively short guards so that one can choke up the grip for fine work, with the ricasso being extended and having linger grooves to make the choke grip firm and comfortable. The steel butt is squared off on two sides so that it may be used as a hammer in either direction, the flats being file-cut to reduce the tendency for the face to skid off the work on striking. The butt also incorporates a lanyard hole for additional security of retention of the knife as well as a means of securing the paracord, should this option be selected as an additional survival aid.

The Parry Blade – The Definitive Working Knife

Specifications:
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Length overall: 13.75 inches (34.9cm)
Blade length: 8.75 inches (22.2cm)
Blade thickness: ¼ inch (6.4mm)
Blade material: X46 Cr13 420 stainless steel coated black Dupont Teflon
Hardness: Rockwell 57-58Rc
Blade shape: Bolo/Bowie- type with serrated back edge
Edge: Main edge bevel-ground; hollow ground section near Choil for extra sharpness Point is clipped in shape and ground to a spear point
Grip:
Contoured Micarta scales with leather underlay. Contoured double guard and butt, the butt squared off for use as a hammer.
Construction: Scales screwed to full tang.
Sheath: Cordura or Leather

From the SurvivalCache Team

Review by Josh (The Survival Kid) and Jay

Field Performance
I had trouble at first with not babying the edge on this knife as it came from the factory with an Survival Gear Review Parry Blade Survival Knifeamazing hair shaving edge.  I took the plunge, quite literally, and was amazed to see the Brute penetrate a ⅛” thick piece of annealed and laminated sheet steel.

Immediately after the penetration test I tested the Brute’s food prep capabilities.  At 9” long and ¼” thick the Brute is no tomato slicer, but it chopped melons, sliced apples, and spread peanut butter like a pro.  As far as a combative tool goes, the Brute is excellent.  Normally on a knife of this size the center of balance is a few inches forward of the hilt, but because of the s-shaped blade the weight can be balanced at the hilt while still being a formidable chopper.  The handle is amazingly engineered so that the users grip can change from the chopping position, to the stabbing position, to the carving position.

The Chopping Test

Survival Gear Review Chopping Test

The double choils are another engineering feat.  In order to obtain uniform testing results, we tested the Brute’s chopping power on ordinary pine 2”x4” boards.  We tested the Brute against a full size machete, and a 1 ¼ lbs. hatchet.  In 30 seconds the Brute out chopped the other cutting implements by quite a bit.  The Brute excelled in the battonning department as well, I was very surprised by the fact that the serrations did not interfere with battonning at all.

The Saw Back

My first impression of the saw back was that it would detract from the utility of the knife as usually is the case with saw backs, but this was not so. The saw back is designed for cutting the bones of animals to extract marrow for soup, not for wood cutting. The saw does not saw straight through bone, but rather scores the bone so that it can be snapped cleanly. I would like to comment on the integrity of the blade’s finish. The finish held up fantastically through all of the wood cutting, but was scratched up some during the penetration testing.

Likes

I really like how robust the knife is.  It feels like it belongs in your hand, and I doubt that I would Survival Gear Review Parry Blade Survival Knifehave difficulty using it for extended periods of time.  The knife also has several key features that I liked including a lanyard, handle designed for wrapping parachord around it, full-tang construction, and the steel butt of the pommel that can be used as a hammer.

Dislikes

One of the things that I like about the knife could also be its potential down fall for some users. TheSurvival Gear Review word “robust” is a very fitting description for this knife, it may be difficult for people with small hands to use this knife for extended periods of time.  Also, the sheath that is included with the knife is rather bulky and does not hold the knife as securely as I like.  Snapping the handle strap of the sheath is also difficult when the sheath is new but became easier as I broke the sheath in.  I also tried the leather sheath which is an option for this knife and was quite impressed.  Another drawback is the price, at over $300 it is not a cheap knife, but you definitely get what you pay for as far as quality goes in the knife itself.

Conclusion

When I first saw a picture of the Parry Blade, my first impression was that it was another “Rambo Survival Gear ReviewKnife” gimmick. This is not the case. It is a very well thought out knife.  If you have been meaning to get a good survival knife for a while, then this is the one to get.  My Kershaw Outcast just went on ebay, the Parry Blade is the new survival knife in my Bug Out Bag.

***Update to the Article***

We also found a review of the Parry Blade by Australian Hunter Magazine – (Click Here) to see the article.  We want to point out that this is a very rare knife “Made by Survivalist” for “Survivalist” and because this knife is hand made with a very limited run, it is priced accordingly.  This knife is not massed produced or widely available and does not enjoy the backing of a large corporation.  This is a labor of love produced by a small group of “knife guys” in England.

Extract from James Marchington’s book “The Encylopedia of Handheld Weapons”
….“I first handled this knife at the COPEX show in 1995 and was immediately impressed with its heft and handling.   It is a true working tool, designed by people who use knives professionally and know what is needed in a combat survival knife.   I was told that the knife had been selected for Richard Branson’s attempt at a round-the-world balloon flight, and that several special forces units had shown interest.   At the time of writing, however, the knife has not gone into production and only a few pre-production models exist.  With the current British political climate, it is doubtful whether the Collins/Parry Knife will ever become widely available, which would be a loss to military and civilians alike.”

Thankfully that is no longer the case,
the Parry Blade is now available
@ Forge Survival Supply

 

Photos By:
Josh @ SurvivalCache
Jay @ SurvivalCache
Don Caswell

{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Randy March 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Looks like a winner.

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Josh March 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Yep, it sure is.

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Roy2funny April 3, 2013 at 12:39 am

Yes I think so also with its two types of cutting edges and ergonomic cutting edge it is a winner.

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Ian May 30, 2013 at 1:58 am

I have one coming due for dispatch tomorrow May 31st I have permission from Mel's company to do a "youtube" unboxing video look out for it if the delivery date remains the same it should be up within the week.

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CaptBart March 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I did not see a new knife in my future … especially not at $300 plus but those SAS guys do know what they are about … sigh … guess I best start saving my pennies for a knife now. I see one of these in my future. They do look really good – should be worth the price.

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Josh March 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

PM sent.

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Spec March 28, 2011 at 7:28 am

Bummer. I just bought a replacement K-bar. This looks like a great working/survival knife. $300.00 is a lot of money but it looks like it’s worth it

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Chefbear58 March 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

There is only 1 complaint I have about Survival Cache, this gear review is a great example. I am not, in any way saying that this review is inappropriate or out of place. It was also well written.

HOWEVER, can we get some gear reviews of products that most of us can afford?
For the price of this knife I could buy 4/5 K-Bar's, which are great knives. This knife costs more than the 870 XP I bought 6 months ago! Believe me, I appreciate a great knife more than most folks (I am a Chef, knives are tools of my trade), but I don't think I could EVER justify buying a knife this expensive. I have a Chefs knife, that was custom made for my grip, and it only cost me $250, but it also makes me money and has paid for itself several times over.

Again, I am not trying to take away from the great review you guys did of the knife, I think you guys have done a good job of explaining what "paces" you put it through and wrote a fair evaluation of the result. This is usually the case from what I have seen of the gear reviews here… but I think it would be much more helpful to all of the readers if we had gear reviews of products most of us can afford to include in our stocks.

Just my 2 cents!

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Josh March 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

I agree completely. There are a lot of great options out there. The KA-BAR BK9 has a similar heft to the Parry Blade, I have also carried a Kershaw Outcast for years, with no complaint. We are going to be working on getting some reviews of more commonplace items up in the nearish future.

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LesStroudfan April 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm

right on, i totally agree with you man! with the money spent on this "brand name knife," I could have went out and brought a good machete that could have did twice a good a job as this knife. (just saying). keeping thinking the way you do and good look cooking!

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LesStroudfan March 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

i would prefer machetes over this knife such as the Woodman's Pal. The Woodman's Pal is a simple, yet robust design that is British in origin and can be applied to so many different tasks for any survival situation such as the following: woodcutting, brush cutter, shovel, make-shift crowbar, and knife. Plus, the price is hard to beat; usually one of these runs for seventy dollars to hundred dollars or so.

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Wolfie March 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm

In reply to Chefbear58, with my sincere respect, don't take the article as gospel, for there is only one. This knife for $300 is not the end all of knives. No knife is, what ever it cost. There are better knives for $50 and pieces of junk for $400. Take the article as a comparison to apply to what ever price range you consider proper. I agree completely with you that a KABAR knife is just as sound a purchase as any. Simply apply the methods of comparison to the price range you are looking for and purchase the most knife for the money. I'd take a hundred dollar knife and two hundred dollars worth of ammo or food stocks any day.

By the way, you have my humblest respect, working, going to school, family and looking towards being a game warden. I couldn't do it anymore.

Always remember, there is more to knowledge than knowing, it is also application.

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Chefbear58 March 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Agreed, I have seen A LOT of knives in my line of work… diverging from the subject of a "survival knife", and talking Kitchen knives, some of the best "all around" kitchen knives I have ever used were made by Dexter Russel, which tend to be "the cheapest of the cheap". Point being, that even the cheapest knife, as long as it has the basics covered well and is maintained properly can be all the knife you need and more.

Thanks you for your response, and for being so kind! My goal was just to get gear reviews that are a bit more "on track" with the majority of the readers budgets. I enjoy reading the gear reviews, I find them very informative, it's just that all of them I have seen are of equipment that is far out of the price range I imagine most of us are looking for. Realistically someone could purchase a S&W Sigma in either 9mm/.40cal, then post SHTF you could just shoot the guy wielding the $300+ knife and be on your way with both! (By the way, I am not condoning this attitude/plan!)

Wolfie…. +100 on the "one gospel" statement!

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mpo2112 March 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Yes it looks great, very comfortable.. however, not in a million years would I spend $300 on a knife. There are many knives out there for less than a third of the price that will do the same things. If this were $75, hell yes I’d get one.

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mpo2112 March 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm

..plus I’m very happy with my SOG Seal Team Elite..

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Josh March 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Nice knife, I am a fan, we will eventually do a review on it.

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KYMonkey March 29, 2011 at 5:45 am

I agree that more affordable options should be reviewed. There are a LOT of $50-100 options out there and it would be good to know how they compare to a series of standardized tests. I own a couple of "glamor" knives that I bought when I was younger, but my serious camp knife is the diminutive ESEE RC-3. I've considered a KA-Bar for a bigger knife, but I'm not sure of their construction parameters. Also looking at an ESEE RC-5.

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Josh March 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Please reference Joel's comment:

" As for the price, yes it is a little steep but this is not a mass-produced knife by a big corporation like Alcas Corp which makes Ka-Bar and Cutco products sold at every Army/Navy store and gun shop around the country at 100% mark up. There are probably only 100 of these knives in existence and they are hand made in England by Staniforth Cutlery. We heard about the story of this knife and thought it would be cool to review a knife that no one had heard of before. 5 of us at SurvivalCache reviewed the knife, 4 of us really liked it and 1 thought it was too big for his kit. The guys that make Parry Blade are a small team of "knife guys" that make this knife on the side and it is a labor of love for them, you can see that in the knife. At SurvivalCache we get contacted by a lot of manufacturers who only care about how many knives we can sell for them – we turn those reviews down. It was nice to review a knife designed by survivalist made for survivalist rather than a knife designed by a large corporation made for mall ninjas. Bottom line – expensive yes – quality knife yes – anytime you want to get a quality knife brand knife (Cold Steel, Spyderco, Emerson) you are going to pay a little extra."

Have a good one.
Josh

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KYMonkey April 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

That wasn't posted before my comment, was it?

It is a novelty to review a rare knife, certainly, but as far as preparedness goes a $300+ knife that's so rare I'll likely never see one, much less buy one, isn't a priority for me. Better if some of its features were compared to affordable knives that could be easily purchased for a BOB.

Seeing unsolicited reviews of mass produced knives put through a standard of tests (prying, heat resistance, edge retention, wood splitting, etc.) and then ranked on those qualities would make me feel like I was making an educated decision when purchasing a knife. Personally, I don't like expensive knives (or pistols) because I tend to keep them squirreled away for fear of losing or damaging them during use. I can afford a Les Baer or a Wilson Combat 1911 (or, I should say, I could justify the expenditure) but I'd be afraid to take it out of my safe. And I certainly wouldn't carry it. Better to put a Briley bushing on a cheap 1911 and call it even. Same thing with a knife…if I can get one that performs well, I don't need it to be expensive and then I'll actually use it. If I REALLY like a low end knife, I might even buy a second as a back up.

I'm not sure how reviews could be done without manufacturers' influence. I noticed that Forge Survival Supply, linked to this site, sells nothing but Suunto watches…notoriously unreliable (with entire lines being recalled for faulty displays, battery consumption and erroneous measurements), easily scratched and battery operated. Even without the recalls, the lack of durability and use of a standard battery make Suunto a poor choice for a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation. Casio makes solar powered watches with many of the same features or even a Seiko automatic (if all you wanted was to tell the time) would be a more sensible choice. Clearly there's a contract of some kind at work there or there would be more of a variety of timepieces.

I'm not trying to say that that review isn't interesting or even relevant, but I'd like to see the whole list of viable knives. If a product failed miserably, they could simply not put it on the list at all to save the manufacturer face (if that were a concern).

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SurvingJerry April 2, 2011 at 7:26 am

This guy does a lot of nice gear reviews on YT. http://www.youtube.com/user/Equip2Endure

And like I added before, if you really want to see what I particular knife can take, check knifetests.com (limited test group, but some major brands)

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KYMonkey April 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Wow, that's a great site! Even found some quality knives I've never heard of before! Thanks!

Chefbear58 March 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

If you can find an older K-Bar that has been well maintained… SNAP IT UP!!! I have a USMC K-Bar from the Korean War, that my grandfather gave me. It belonged to a buddy of his that he served with. They swapped knives before they left, and told each other that they would give them to their eldest son. My dad used it for a few decades before I got it, but despite the age it is one of the best knives I have ever put my hands on! I only use it once in a while, most of the time it stays stowed safely in my footlocker. The older ones are hard to find, and for a quality one you can expect to pay more than for a new one. However, the fact that many servicemen/women are searching for the older ones before their deployment to the "sandbox" speaks volumes, when they could just go out and buy a new one with little effort. The older ones are usually CARBON STEEL, so it holds an edge very, very well, but it will rust if not cared for properly!

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KYMonkey April 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I've been looking since you posted this and they're getting scarce! Is the tang different in the older KA-Bars as well?

If I can't get my hands on one, I think I'm going to go with a Becker or spend a bit more and get the ESEE RC-5. I like the idea of a MOLLE sheath as well. More and more of my gear is MOLLE compatible and I'm starting to find the interchangeability of pouches and accessories to be handy.

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Chefbear58 April 2, 2011 at 1:35 am

They were/are made of a single piece of steel. Older ones, as mentioned, are carbon steel (excellent for edge retention, lots of maintenance needed). Some of the older ones use leather disks/washers stacked up to make the handle, that's how mine is. Some were modified by those who used them, I have seen some with hand-carved wooden handles, the best one I saw the guy actually heated up the tang until it was glowing red, and then forced it into a chunk of hickory. After it was secured, he carved the hickory down to the size/shape he wanted to fit his hand and then used a wood burning tool to make checkering so it wouldn't slip in his hand.

The Becket BKT-3 looks like something I might like, I prefer a "tanto" style blade and I like a HEAVY rigid knife! The CM-BK9 looks like it would be about my speed to… HAD TO SHOW ME THESE DIDN'T YOU?!?! Guess I am gonna be buying a new knife in the next couple weeks!
The ESEE RC-5 looks pretty good, but the dimensions seem a bit off for me personally, seems like it would be light for my taste… but that's just me. If you like a lighter knife then I would think it would fit the bill nicely. Being a chef and using a knife almost everyday has got me used to using a chef's knife that weighs a little over 2lbs. I can actually wield a heavy knife more effectively than a light one.

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KYMonkey April 2, 2011 at 6:14 am

Yeah, I know what you mean. The Becker is probably a more practical survival knife as far as being able to pry, chop wood, etc. It's a brute. I'm not crazy about the sheath or the grips, but you can modify as you like. I've seen micarta replacement grips on eBay in various colors. Might go that route simply because, if I really like the knife, I can get a second to store in my BOB and use the first on a regular basis to get familiar with it.

The ESEE knives have a special place in my heart because I saw them at a gun show years ago when it was a guy at a card table full of custom blades. At the time, they were simple and inexpensive but clearly well made. I'd already spent my pre-determined amount on other things and the knives they were offering were massive, so I passed. Kind of regret it. I love my RC-3 and its modular sheath. I can't attach it just about anywhere in any direction. It's even jump rated, which is enough for my boulder scramblings. The RC-5 fits my idea of an escape/evasion knife (as it's intended)…something I could wear on a pack strap or MOLLE vest, light and easily handled. I think the ESEE knives are pretty tough, though I wouldn't get a partially serrated one again since I learned serrations create weak points in a blade.

I agree on the tanto tip, though I'd probably just get the drop point Becker BK-2. It's worth noting that Becker Knife & Tool was bought out by KA-Bar. I know absolutely nothing about the quality of them since changing hands, but I know that the old ones were tanks. Hard to go wrong with steel that thick, though.

Chefbear58 April 2, 2011 at 1:44 am

I forgot to mention that the screws holding the handles on the Becker knives could be an asset in a long term survival situation. If one of the plastic ones breaks, just carve new ones, temper them with fire, and screw them into place… I might replace them with wood just for the hell of it!

Another little trick I have learned over the years; If you make your own handle (works best for 2pc), and you temper the wood afterward, you can carve a small cavity on the inside of the handles. I have used them to store extra "life-boat matches", tinder, trioxane tablets,small diameter wire, simple fishing kit, super glue, or anything you might need that will fit. If you temper the wood right, and don't make the cavities to deep, it will be almost as strong as if it didn't have the hidden storage space.

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KYMonkey April 2, 2011 at 6:59 am

Sounds like I'd need to be a bit more handy than I am for that kind of work! Still an good idea…redundant supplies are a gospel in survival.

Another knife I've been eye-balling that you might like the heft of is the TOPS Cochise with micarta handles. I haven't actually handled one, but the blade looks a little front heavy for chopping.

Also, I found handles for the Becker…about $45 on eBay. I haven't found a MOLLE sheath for it yet, but the standard plastic one it comes with has a ton of lashing holes, so a Tek-Lok attachment will surely fit nicely.

KYMonkey April 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Found this today and thought you'd be interested. I might pick one up myself…
http://store.colemans.com/cart/usmc-combat-kabar-…

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Chefbear58 April 20, 2011 at 1:29 am

Thanks man, it looks almost identical to mine, except mine has the stacked leather "washers" for a handle. A friend of mine just got a forge from his uncle and some high grade knife steel, I am working with him to make a knife for me, of course it's just in the design phase at the moment, but if it comes out looking like the concept drawing I can't wait to take it in the field!

I meant to ask you, what part of Kentucky are you in? (obviously don't answer if you're not comfortable saying, there are some weirdo's out there!) I was born in Fort Knox and my girl has family near Elizabethtown.

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KYMonkey April 20, 2011 at 5:14 am

I THINK this KA-Bar has stacked leather, too…at least from the description. It might look glossy from age and possibly the grease they stored it with. For that price, I'm going to pick one up and see how it fairs. They also have Kydex sheaths that will fit it over at Cheaper Than Dirt.

I'm in Frankfort. Not exactly the hub of a metropolis, so I don't have to consider a lot of the urban survival mentioned here. I work close to home and know of a couple of farms off the beaten path that I can retreat to.

I actually have some good friends near E-town! At an hour and a half away, that's my third and final bug out farm.

SurvingJerry March 29, 2011 at 7:11 am

Would like to see knifetests.com put it through the wringer… with their $300.
While $50 is a good ballpark figure for a good knife, opening up to the $80 range is not unrealistic either.
I got the Becker BK-2 "Train Wrecker" on amazon for about $60. It's a beast, which is what I wanted. It's not all pretty nor does it look menacing, but then again, that's a good thing.
I haven't yet put it to serious use, but I am not at all worried about how it will hold up.
I saw a YT video of some wacko who purchased one, made his own micarta scales, sand-blasted off the black coating, took it to a machine shop and had it ground down from 1/4" to 3/16" and made his own sheath.
Why he didn't just buy the knife he wanted in the first place escapes me. Anyways… I digress…

Why is this the PARRY Knife and not PERRY (with an E)?

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Josh March 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm

The Train Wrecker would be an appropriate nick-name. I am a big fan of the KA-BAR BK9 and also the older models of the same knife made by Camillus and Becker. The BK9 has a very similar heft to the Parry Blade, and works really well. I dont know that I could bare to watch knifetests.com test it, their stuff makes me cringe to watch as they destroy some of my favorite knives.

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Miss Parry August 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Its because the gentlman that made it his name his Parry and Perry is a typo
Kind regards his daughter!

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Cerberus May 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I don't believe you're Parry's daughter. Your spelling, grammar and use of the word "typo" clearly indicate you're as near to being British as I am to being President of the United States.

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paulw August 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

It was named the Parry Blade after one of the designers, Mel Parry. Perry is a 'typo'. Yes , I am English and that is an accepted term.

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Forge_Survival March 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

A little confusing but they named it Parry because one of the co-designers was a gentleman with a martial arts background and used the fighting term "Parry" – to deflect an incoming attack. As for the price, yes it is a little steep but this is not a mass-produced knife by a big corporation like Alcas Corp which makes Ka-Bar and Cutco products sold at every Army/Navy store and gun shop around the country at 100% mark up. There are probably only 100 of these knives in existence and they are hand made in England by Staniforth Cutlery. We heard about the story of this knife and thought it would be cool to review a knife that no one had heard of before. 5 of us at SurvivalCache reviewed the knife, 4 of us really liked it and 1 thought it was too big for his kit. The guys that make Parry Blade are a small team of "knife guys" that make this knife on the side and it is a labor of love for them, you can see that in the knife. At SurvivalCache we get contacted by a lot of manufacturers who only care about how many knives we can sell for them – we turn those reviews down. It was nice to review a knife designed by survivalist made for survivalist rather than a knife designed by a large corporation made for mall ninjas. Bottom line – expensive yes – quality knife yes – anytime you want to get a quality knife brand knife (Cold Steel, Spyderco, Emerson) you are going to pay a little extra.

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Stretch March 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

google Parryblade.com for the full story of the blades designer

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paulw August 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

It was named the Parry Blade after one of the designers, Mel Parry (not Perry). I have spoken to the other people involved with the original knife and also seen one of the original batch. It is a super knife.

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Dave H. March 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Great review! I do agree that some more reasonably priced knives also need to be reviewed. The Gerber LMF and glock field knives come to mind. BTW the Glock field knives are on sale at Midway USA for $21.99. YMMV.

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Josh March 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

We are working on it, if you ever want to send me your Glock Knife to review, you know where I live :D But seriously, we are going to be doing some cheaper knives in the future.
Have a good one, and say hello to the dog and Aunt Hope for me.
Josh

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Dave H. March 31, 2011 at 8:23 am

Yea, I've still got my almost 30 year old military issued KaBar (contract made by Ontario Knife Co). Next time I see you you can have it! I've never been impressed with it (very hard to sharpen). While organizing my garage/ shop I came across a large old horseshoeing file that was my dad's (your great grandfather). I will give that to you as well so that you can make a knife out of it. Give your family a hug. Uncle Dave.

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murjd17 April 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I own the Glock 81 knife and I am thoroughly impressed for less than $30. If you search on youtube you can find knifetests.com's video review. Is it as good as the Parry? No, but it will do the trick in my limited student's budget.

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Chefbear58 March 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Josh… Forge… My intention in mentioning more reasonably priced products for the gear reviews, was not to "open the flood-gates"!!! Sorry bout that!

Forge, you mentioned the reasons behind reviewing the knife, after reading you explanation it makes a lot more sense to me know why you guys did it. I have to agree if somebody came to me wanting my opinion on something that they "poured their heart and soul into", I would gladly do it. I can genuinely relate to this, because that's how I am with my profession. Again, I think you guys did a great job with the review, and gave a fair and concise evaluation of it's performance.

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SurvingJerry March 30, 2011 at 2:27 am

It might have helped if you made this point in the review itself. Thanks for clarifying. I don't think that anyone is denying it is a fine piece of workmanship (or at least taking your word for it), but the review does not make the differentiation that it is NOT a factory or mass-produced item.

That's what I thought, re: Parry, but it certainly is confusing. I guess they're expert knifemakers, not marketing specialists.

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badvoodoodaddy March 30, 2011 at 5:03 am

Looks like a great blade and it is built very well. It is just a bit on the big side for me though. It is very difficult to make that perfect blade that works for everything and everyone. If it were just about 2 inches shorter I would be in heaven with this knife. It is also a bit on the expensive side too. Great review over all though.

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Josh April 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for commenting. BTW, I really enjoy your blog. The kit that you just released looks awesome. Keep up the good work.

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Ernie Beatty March 30, 2011 at 6:26 am

You know,one thing alot of you are forgetting,the key words here are SURVIVAL KNIFE, you can't put a price on surviving. It looks and sounds like a great knife,at any price. I have a Hoodlum Blade,i paid all most as much for this knife,it's well worth it and i think this knife is probably a good buy also. Thanks for the review. Ern Man

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Minarchist_1776 March 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

There are almost as many different opinions on what constitutes a good survival knife as there are about survival guns. Personally I tend to prefer a slightly larger blade with a length of about 9" to 10". There are also some excellent blades out there with 6" to 7" blade length, and the biggest reason to choose one over the other is … personal preference.

[Note: Is there any way I can strangle the bulletin board? It just ate several paragraphs worth of post! To attempt to recap ... ]

Decent knives can be had in just about all sizes and price ranges. For those on a budget I would recommend Ontario Knives http://www.ontarioknife.com/about_us.html, and Kabar https://www.kabar.com/index.jsp. As one moves up the cost and quality spectrum another company I would recommend is Cold Steel http://www.coldsteel.com/. These companies are not necessarily the be all and end all of the knife world, but it would be hard to go wrong with a blade from one of them.

One of the more important considerations is how the blade fits and feels in your hand. If it feels "wrong" or it's too "clunky" then it's probably not the knife for you even if it does get rave reviews. One of the tests I would recommend is to change your grip on the weapon while holding it in one hand. Transition back and forth from sabre grip to hammer grip to reverse grip several times. See how it feels. If it's too awkward to do that easily then maybe you should look for another blade. Another things I look for is whether or not the way the hilt is shaped will let you know which direction the cutting edge is facing without looking at the blade. Some knives have a hilt that's cylindrical in cross section, so if you dropped it in the dark and then picked it up again you might not know which way the edge was facing. I also have a bias in favor of knives with reasonable hand guards. The quality of the sheath is another consideration. I have a good custom bowie that's almost unusable because of problems getting a decent sheath for a heavy 12" blade knife. The ideal sheath for a knife will be secure (don't want to worry about the blade coming out if you fall and roll down a hill), and support carrying the blade comfortably in more than one position.

Be sure to check the laws in the area where you live. There are just as many variations in knife laws as there are for gun laws. If your knife has a false edge and if it's legal to do so, then get the false edge sharpened.

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usnyhockeyguy March 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I have one of those Russian "Spetsnaz" survival machetes
, It was under 100 bucks and I like it a lot.

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Chefbear58 April 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I have a Spetsnaz entrenching tool strapped to my hunting pack. It can double as a hatchet, and I was told not long ago by my father that he used it in defense of his life while he was in Honduras, apparently it is extremely effective as a swinging/bladed weapon, similar to a machete.

The see to have some pretty cool gear, but some of their equipment is just borderline weird!

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paulskimon April 2, 2011 at 9:50 am

I'm really new to this whole survival way of thinking, but am sold on its necessity during these trying times and have begun taking steps towards preparedness. I have been buying up many of the things that are recommended here on Survival Cache and so far believe you are setting me in the right direction (you – master, me – grasshopper). I think this Parry knife is probably the ultimate in survival knives (I have actually read about it on other sites), but I, like many others leaving comments here, am limited on funds and would have to save up the money to purchase one. Money that could be put to use buying other necessary bug out items. I did find and buy another knife that is sold on the Smoky Mountain Knife Works site made by Gerber called the Bear Grylls ultimate survival knife (I hear he has some kind of a survival show on TV, but have never seen it). It was only $54.95, which is considerably cheaper than the Parry knife. Like I said, I'm new to this lifestyle and knives in general, but find this to be a pretty serious knife. It's quite a bit smaller than the Parry knife. It is only 10" total length with a 4 3/4" blade that is 3/16" wide, full tang and is half smooth and half serrated. It does have a very comfortable handle/grip that seems pretty slip proof and a textured pommel that can be used as a hammer. It comes with an attached lanyard that has an emergency whistle (yeah, I know, you don't want people to know where you are!) and a fire starter that is built into the sheath. There is also a strike area on the back of the blade to be used with the fire starter. Has anyone else seen or bought this knife. I would love to hear some comments on it from other knowledgeable survivalists. I feel I got a good knife for the money. I do have to admit that someday, if I can save up the money and the S doesn't HTF before then, I can purchase the Parry knife. Then I have a good second knife that my wife can carry in her bug out bag!

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Josh April 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Go with Gerber LMF II or a Gerber Prodigy over the Bear Grylls knife, all similar styles, but the first two hold up better in my experience. Another option from Gerber would be their Profile knife, different design, but still awesome.

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Dj Big Dog September 26, 2011 at 9:13 am

They did a review on it as well. I own a Bear Knife as well, two conoe/hiking trips in Northern MI and still going perfect. I used every option on it in field tests and it works well. I also thought about the LMF but could not find one to hold, as I am a tactile buyer, in my hands usually means if I like it it's mine vs. see it read about it watch videos and then order one wait on it then get it and hate it. Just my habit though. The lanyard is too small for me and the whistle is nice to have but I'd still get a jet scream one as well…it's small light and loud..

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Regulator5 April 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

I personally carry a K-Bar and did during my deployment. I also carried a few other knives, SOG Flash 2 folder, Gerber gator folder, Gerber Guardian 2 dagger, and a flat "Ranger" knife with a tanto styled blade for concealed carry. I have not done a solid review, but randall's RTAK looks like a decent blade for comparison as well. If a person can just carry 1 knife, I like the K-Bar as I can skin an animal or chop kindling with it. It's nice if you are moving with a family unit, as you can have the others carry secondary knives for more specialized needs, i.e., a good skinning/filet knife, etc. I gave my son the Cold Steel SRK that I bought while deployed for a smaller chore knife I kept attached to my Bug Out Bag (literally the brand name). It's a well made knife and useful tool. He was 10, so the size was right. The dagger has but 1 true purpose, sentry removal.

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Regulator5 April 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

I agree and my wife can attest to my expenditures, that you can't put a price tag on survival. I will cry about spending $1 for a loaf of bread, but drop $1000 on a weapon or other tool that will help ensure I come home to my loved ones and am able to defend my family or Nation to the utmost of my ability. Schrade makes decent knives for skinning or nominal camp chores, but I wouldn't want to chop wood with them. Also , as some have mentioned thoughts on this, the more common manufacturers for the military knives, have after market sheaths made to fit them by reputable companies which will be easily configured into your gear and carry preference. Alot of these have small pouches built in for carrying a whetstone or a small kit of supplies.

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Regulator5 April 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

Just a thought, altho not necassarily connected to this article, that a bayonet can be useful. I know, they are not a multipurpose survival weapon, but they are cheap and if get an actual military issue, decent quality. They are designed to be attached to a rifle to further your reach and also for the mental effect it has on the enemy. They, at least American surplus, has the oversized ring that fits over the barrel of the rifle to add stability to the bayonet once attached. This very ring is what makes it worthwhile of thought. If you lose your rifle, you can lash a knife to a ploe to form a spear, but the bayonet will offer an additional securing point and help keep it aligned to perform the best. You can slide the bayonet ring over the pole and lash down the handle and this will help in keeping your improvised spear in a workable condition. Bayonets are normally dull, unless of Asian origin, and some sharpening will help make it a better slashing tool. The surplus bayonets are normally very affordable online or at events that sell these types of products. < Just a thought that may or may not fit your needs and endeavors>

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Chefbear58 April 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I carry a Cold Steel "Bushman" lashed to my hunting pack, it is made of a single piece of carbon steel, but it has a hollow handle. I would never want to be forced to stab anything with it, because it does not have a hilt, but it's a good gutting knife (because of the tip and ability to hold an edge better than any other knife I have ever used) and an excellent skinning knife. It is designed so that you can fix it to a pole (it has a screw hole in the handle to make it even easier… if you have a screw! A woden peg works in a pinch). I keep a few things stored in the handle while it is in the sheath; A SCREW, duct tape, couple snares, among other things.
Could make a good "last ditch" weapon…
Good idea with the bayonet, I hadn't thought of using the ring to help secure it in place!

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Regulator5 April 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I've got a few of the "spears" as well. I used my son's interest in the middle ages to kick start his reading enthusiasm, of course this led to him wanting to get involved in period history ( I don't mind the weapons being around tho…lol).

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Rescue7 April 3, 2011 at 11:01 am

I like a goof knife. I also like a good machete. This one is $23.50 and is the real military issue. I’ve used lots of different kinds in lots of different environments and this is the one that goes out with me. Wrap the handle with some bike handler bar tape and add a wrist loop and you are good to go. http://www.omahas.com/product_info.php?cPath=12_6…
Like any tool one knife doesn’t do everything well. Try to fillet a fish with or skin a small animal with a big assed knife… Chef or not it will suck. I carry at least 3 different knifes. Most are small and they are the ones I use the most. I would hate to take a $300 knife to the field. I wouldn’t want to use it. I’m sure it’s a fine knife but like anything I take to the field it has to be easily replaceable.

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Chefbear58 April 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Try to fillet a fish with or skin a small animal with a big assed knife… Chef or not it will suck.
Hey was that a "stab" at me?!

Seriously though, I agree, the right tool for the right job, knives included. I CAN process small game and fish with my 12" (blade) chef knife… it's certainly not easy and it's time consuming, but it can be done with a skilled user!

However, I usually keep 3 different knives on me at all times (pocket knife -w- quick release stud, multi-tool -w- blade & small saw, boot-knife- double edged "dagger" style), not to mention the several knives in my vehicle and the several knives in my hunting pack, and even more around the house (no "litttle ones" around here to worry bout). In each of those places, besides my EDC, there are AT LEAST 2 fillet knives, paring knife, bowie, KBAR or similar, chefs knife, boning knife, utility knife, another multi-tool, and a Swiss-Army knife… but I am anal-retentive about having decent blades close at hand!

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Rescue7 April 8, 2011 at 7:58 am

No stab or jab Chef. I'm no chef but I do all the cooking for our family. My big field knife is a USN K-Bar… Ever try to fillet a fish with one? For me it’s better to cook the fish whole as I waste so much of the meat trying to fillet it. We are in agreement… The best knife for the job was created for a reason. I carry several knifes for different purposes like you. The article seemed to be about all the uses for the one knife… Great! My issue with the combat knife is that it is designed for combat. For food prep or to cut a piece of string or open a package it’s too big and clumsy. I wouldn’t throw it away if you gave me one but I’m still going to carry my favorites and I’ll use them 99% of the time.

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Regulator5 April 3, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I agree that skinning a small animal sucks with a "big assed knife" but in an actual situation, you may not be able to choose what you have. As for fileting fish, I can pick the meat off with my fingers and not have to filet it to eat. As for small game, even with my normal skinning knife, a small 3" Case fixed blade, I make an incision on the back and hand pull the hide off rabbits and squirrels. This process is quick, especially if done while the animal is still warm. I skin the squirrels immediately after I shoot them while hunting normally. This allows me to leave the guts for the scavengers and the woods to quiet down and go back to "normal" following the shot. I just carry ziploc bags in my pack and a baby wipes to clean up afterwards. I carry multiple knives in my everyday life, but in the truest sense of an emergency, you must make do with what you have.

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Chefbear58 April 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I have seen MANY folks mention different knives, what they like/dislike, cost, etc, etc, etc… and that got me thinking.
I am going to pose some questions for anyone who would like to answer….
#1 Do you know how to PROPERLY sharpen you chosen knives?
#2 How easy is it to sharpen your chosen knives?
#3 How well do your knives retain their edge once sharpened?
#4 Do you maintain your knives? How?
#5 What do you use your favorite/EDC knife for the most?
#6 What do you do if your knife gets rusty? OR How do you PROPERLY remove rust from a blade?

This is out of my curiosity, the reason I ask is because I was asked by a few friends tonight if I could sharpen their hunting knives better than them… which caught me off-guard, because most of them have been hunting longer than me! There is no sense in buying ANY knife, no matter how much it costs, if you cannot sharpen/maintain it!

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Josh April 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Good idea. Here it goes:

#1 Yes.
#2 Depends on the one, for the most part pretty easy.
#3 Fantastic on all but the KA-BAR knock-off.
#4 Wiping clean/ dry after use, regular sharpening, and application of Rem oil on work knifes and cooking oil on kitchen knives while sharpening/ cleaning.
#5 Slicing, most wear experience on the edge near the tip.
#6 Steel wool, and a lube of some sort.

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Chefbear58 April 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Josh, good response. Just a couple things you may want to consider-
1- A small container of Naval Jelly can be a life saver! It strips the rust from the good metal, and does not damage any finish I have come across. It helps reduce the time/"elbow grease" needed to remove rust from metal surfaces.
2- Using steel-wool on your knife can cause more damage to the knife blade than the rust you are removing, it works, just be VERY careful and if possible use another method. I have used Naval Jelly to remove rust with nothing more than a Q-tip and a rag (gun solvent and clean rag to clean up afterward)
3- Mineral Oil is a good choice for coating your knives, it can be used for both utility and kitchen knives if you get the food-grade type. It is also comparable in price
4- A good sharpening steel, diamond stone or ceramic stone/stick (there are some which come in a protective case, they look like a "blast-match")

Otherwise good stuff bud! I know I have said it before, but I will say it again… It AMAZES me how much you know for someone your age, especially these days!

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Rescue7 April 5, 2011 at 8:04 am

1. Yes, a skill all should learn.
2. Ceramic sticks- course and fine. Two sided wet stone coarse and fine. Rat tail file. Chefs iron.
3. Cheap ones suck. Good knifes stay sharp.
4. Keep them clean and dry. When in a wet environment I use WD-40 and bike chain oil.
5. 2" folding serrated lock blade. Small enough to fit on key chain, can cut through seat belt.
6. Naval jelly if it's bad, emery cloth to polish, oil and rag. Use the least invasive that will do the job.
Like most people I take a large knife to the field that is seldom used. My favorite knife is the best one for the job. I use my Leatherman as much as my 2" folder.
My favorite cooking knife is a Henckels, Santoku 7" blade… I use it 99% of the time.

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Chefbear58 April 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Impressive Rescue7, that's almost the exact same way I would have answered!
Just a couple things-
1- Like I said to Josh, you may wish to consider mineral oil rather than the potentially toxic WD-40 or chain oil. I use my pocket knife for just about everything, including cutting a sammach every now and then. So WD-40 could cause some toxins to transfer into said food.
2- In addition to the whet stone, ceramic sticks and "steel"… a diamond stone can be worth it's weight in gold! They can be had for pretty cheap to, I bought mine at wal-mart for about $5 and have been using it for at least 5 years. They are especially handy for a quick couple strokes to regain a good sharp edge.

Nice choice in kitchen cutlery, Henckel's are fine knives. I used them for years before I found Ergo Chef, they have a similar feel and quality, but the Ergo Chef are nice if you have a lot of knife work to do because the handles are a little more comfortable.

Do you cary your ceramic sticks in something to protect them? The ones I have used in the past are pretty brittle/fragile.

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Rescue7 April 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

The sticks came in a wood case with angled insert holes. Bulky but good for the kitchen, base camp or camper. Never tried a diamond stone… Gonna check one out. Thanks! I only use the WD-40 in wet environments to displace water… Did a lot of salt water stuff. The bike chain lube works well in this harsh environment and keeps folding blades operating smoothly while providing a protective coat on the steel. I wash all blades before food prep… Generally don’t do much food prep in the field. Also gonna check out the Ergo Chef line. Thanks again.

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BRENDAH April 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I BOUGHT A COLD STEEL SRK AT THE PAWN SHOP FOR $25. IT WAS A LITTLE DUSTY, BUT NEVER SHARPENED OR USED. IT WAS WORTH IT. I WOULD LOVE TO EAT CRACKERS IN BED WITH THE PARRY KNIFE, BUT THEN WOULD HAVE NO MONEY FOR PEANUT BUTTER. HEHEHEHEHEHE.

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Chefbear58 April 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm

You can find mineral oil at most grocery tores or pharmacies. If they don't have it, I am sure a hardware store would, just keep in mind that the stuff from the hardware store will likely not be "food safe"

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Robert May 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Cold Steel:
Recon scout–Great field knive.
Trailmaster: A larger version of the Recon scout!
Both are Awesome blades!!!!
I used both to support my weight…and that's saying something, as I weigh in about 220 llbs….

Rob in California

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person June 23, 2011 at 8:29 am

I think this knife would be gr8 for any one who can afoord it!

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Sapper_478 July 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

I have been into survival mode for the last 5 years, and within the last year or two I have been putting what I have studied and learned from the net, to practical use. I have been fiddling around with a bunch of different knives and machetes. I agree that spending a little extra money on a good quality knife is well worth it, however, I don't think I would spend hundreds of dollars on a knife. Instead, I would rather carry 2 or 3 different knives and each one would be different and each one would have a different purpose. I love the reviews on knives regardless of price or size. Reason being, it gives me insight and other peoples perspectives on the functionality of a knife and things they use it for or what the design of the knife is intended to be used for. Thanks for the review on the Parry blade.

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Chefbear58 July 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm

So Sapper, which 2-3 knives would you choose in place of the "perry-blade"?

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Sapper_478 July 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Well, that is why I like reading reviews so I can find a few I like. Right now I use a free knife I received from North American Hunting Club, and two other knives I found at a gun show. The one is Frost Cutlery knife and there is no name on the other one just made in Taiwan. For the most part they do the job. The NAHC knife is a folding knife which I use for trap making, which I am horrible at, and small jobs for improvised weapons or tools. The Frost Cutlery knife I use for field dressing animals, and the other NO name knife I use for splitting dry wood or smaller chopping jobs. I realize one knife is preferred, but I like to have a back up. Like I said I have been kicking around a few different ones and would like to eventually find one that I like.

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bACK August 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

__

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ReginaPhalange October 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Looks similar to the Tom Brown Tracker, with less of a hatchet-like front end.

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GreatCaesarsGhost November 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I'm confused. Why bother consulting with service members who most likely would not be able to afford this knife until they leave the military and perhaps get a higher paying job in the private sector? By this time, they'd hardly have urgent need for a $300 survival knife, other than the bragging rights of owning a $300 survival knife of limited availability–especially when you consider a good khukuri can be had for 1/3 the price of this knife that, with the exception of the hollow ground area at the hilt and the saw back, has a very similar shape and could probably do pretty much everything this knife is capable of doing.

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Roy March 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

I enjoyed the review very much and the knife looks like a winner to me. Although with my rather small hands it may not be a good fit for me personally.

I have read some of the posts with interest and was especially intrigued by all the comments regards how 'expensive' this is..! Don't get me wrong I am not a wealthy man at all but I do and have always appreciated quality. My every day carry knife was made by Daniel Winkler and cost me around $700. A huge amount at the time but certainly a dream knife I fell in love with but then again I am a knife guy. Thankfully there are plenty of $20 knife options out there for the bugget minded and fortunately some quality knives to that will satisfy those of us who would prefer to 'invest' in something a little better.

Please don't miss understand me, I DO know that some of us really don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on such tool. However if we are looking at a survival knife or a knife for out BOB then this is no more than an insurance policy and you get what you pay for.

Personally I 'love' knives (and guns) and will always strive to buy the very best I can afford. Of course I could spend the same amount of cash on 10 cheeper knives but then if I really found myself in a survival situation would I truly won't to carry 10 cheep knives or just '1' I could trust my life to?

Regards, Roy.

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Old Scout June 2, 2012 at 12:14 am

Knives are like anything else, cars, guns, women, or just a good cigar. We all have our likes and dislikes, thats what keeps it interesting. What works for Chefbear may not be what works for Josh or some one else. But something to keep in mind when making a purchase, any purchase, is – would you bet your life on a $50 knife? Not to say that you cant get a good knife for fifty bucks but I see people buy cheap peices of junk, knife, gun, or any number of things just because they are cheap. I would not bet my life on a $50 saturdaynight special any more then I would a $20 folder from Walmart. My point is that we all have to judge for ourselves whether the investment is worth the end result. As for myself Im a knife happy fool. I usually carry at least three on me when im in the woods and have at least two more in my pack. And im searching for a match set of spanish fighting knives that put at least one more 0 behind the cost of this one. Each to his own. Scouts out

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Miss Parry August 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Just to conirm about the name
Its because the gentlman that made it his name his Parry and Perry is a typo
Kind regards his daughter!

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Miss Parry August 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

like the spelling of gentleman!

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Drew September 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

Sweet knife. Its HUGE though probably too big for my hands.

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Anthony T May 7, 2014 at 5:29 am

A knife would be a great weapon in a survival situation GOOD REVIEW!! I carry kershaw in my pocket!! How much I should spend for a knife?

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Chefbear58 April 20, 2011 at 2:17 am

It's actually pretty easy to do, it can even be done with a dremel tool. The key is to get enough of the interior of the handle cut away, while retaining enough for the strength needed to perform. I have pretty big hands, so a pretty "chunky" handle on a knife doesn't bother me at all. I usually use hickory or ironwood to make my handles.

I start by cutting a piece (usually from a limb) down to about 2" thick and about 1/2-3/4" more than the length needed and about 1/2" more than the width needed. Just use a whittlin' knife and sandpaper, or a dremel tool, and start to slowly remove the interior of what will be your handle. Once you get to about 1/2 the depth you want, start working on the exterior. I like to carve it down to a shape that looks appropriate for the knife, and will be comfortable in my hand. I usually take a cue from my M1911 pistol grips and carve some checkering into it and one time I made a handle with grooves for my fingers. The groves are alot harder to make than checkering, and I think the checkering makes a more effective grip. I use a pencil and tape to get the lines marked in one direction, then hit it with a fine tip on the dremel tool (only penetrating about 1/10" deep). After the first direction is marked and cut, I move on to the opposite direction. Once the checkering is set, I hit it with a little sandpaper, just to dull the points of the checkering. Once the outside is finished, I finish hollowing out the interior. I found that less than 1/3" thick is to fragile, but 1/3" or a hair more is sufficient. When you are done with the details, if the handle is secured by screws make sure that you tap holes for them before tempering. To temper the handle (adds additional strength by removing the water from the wood quickly) build a fire, or use a small propane torch and heat the wood, the key point to remember is that you are trying to basically cook the water out of the wood, try not to burn it! Do your best to heat the wood evenly, it will be a bit more difficult with a torch than over the coals of a fire, just be sure to keep it moving slowly and try to use a pattern which should be repeated several times.

You don't have to temper it, but it does make a big difference in the durability of the handle. I also try to leave it just a little bigger (~1/8-1/10") on all sides than what is needed, because during tempering it will shrink just a little bit. If it ends up being a little to big after tempering, you can just trim it down with sandpaper. I have made them to store matches on one side, and a very basic fishing kit (hooks, 20 yards of line, a fly or two, and a couple of split-shot weights) on the other. I use deck stain to seal the wood, but you could even use almost any kind of oil (just be aware that you will need to re-apply it periodically). If you want to ensure that the interior of the handles are water-tight, you can put epoxy on the inside of the handle and in the screw holes before you secure it, lock-tight works too.

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Chefbear58 April 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

If you haven't owned a KBAR before, you will enjoy it for years to come! Just make sure to keep up with the maintenance needed to keep it in good condition. A small container of naval jelly would be a wise investment.

There are also a few companies that will custom form a kydex sheath for you if you send them the knife, I have done this with a few of mine. It works especially well for older, well used knives. Because the blade has probably been sharpened a couple hundred times, it might be a little loose in a standard sized sheath.

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