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it's not just a knife ....

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by scubapro50, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. scubapro50

    scubapro50 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Arthur Texas
    934
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    I have noticed on several threads divers talking about their dive knifes. Many own an assortment like myself that run the scale from large 12 inch monsters (so heavy that you need to wear about 3 lbs less lead) to smaller, sharper knifes that attach to you BC. The pride of my collection is a large BUCK knife. It was once advertised in SKIN DIVER MAGAZINE by showing it cutting thru a steel bolt. Now I haven't had to cut thru any steel bolts underwater but it's nice to know my BUCK knife could do it if needed. I also haven't fought off any sharks as they circled me and my dive buddy (watch almost any "SEA HUNT" rerun for details) but I have had to cut several divers loose from nets or fishing lines. This was done by my smaller and sharper knifes. Seems like the large knifes just won't hold an edge and stay sharp for very long. WHAT TYPE KNIFE DO YOU OWN AND WEAR ? Got any good stories about it ?
     
  2. radinator

    radinator Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SoCal USA
    1,066
    2
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    My newest knife , and probably the only one I'll use for quite a while.
     
  3. meisburger

    meisburger Solo Diver

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    LOL - That is so hilarious. At first I thought you had done the site yourself, as a joke. I'm sure that would be a great dive knife, but its a bit expensive for a broken steak knife and a two minute sewing job. :)

    Best, Tim
     
  4. radinator

    radinator Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SoCal USA
    1,066
    2
    0
    No joke. The knife is only to cut line anyway, so why have something more expensive or larger? After all, I'm not Crocodile Dundee. :crafty:

    Replacement knives are cheap, just hit a rummage sale. The way I see it, it's worth the sheath. Believe me, sewing that firm webbing is a bit more work than 2 minutes if you don't have the heavy duty machine handy.

    In fact, I think it's worth it enough I may get one for my other harness on my AL backplate.
     
  5. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    2,261
    542
    113
    I use a Wenoka Sea Style diving knife. It has a leg sheath, and a button to secure it. The head unscrews, so I can take it apart after diving salt water and wash it out. It is equipped with a 5 inch blade, with two serrated areas (different types of serrations), and a line hook to cut finer lines. I feel ill-at-ease diving in Oregon rivers and estuaries, or anywhere actually, without it. It is made of 8835/420 stainless steel, and made in the USA.

    Why do I feel a bit naked without a good knife? Well, let me tell you about how I've used it in the past 40 years of diving.

    Most of my use now is for cutting fishing line and retrieving fishing weights and lures. I never hurt for lead around here. But diving in any Oregon rives will expose a diver to monofiliment lines. I've had fishermen actually try to hook me too. This knife will do short work of monofiliment line, and doesn't hurt to show fishermen that you have a tool to deal with fishhooks too;) I use my knife in the rivers almost every dive. I even had to cut my dive float's line when it became entangeled in rocks in the river.

    When I first started diving, in high school, we had a club that went to the San Juan Islands of Canada for a week of diving on a spring break. We were diving by some docks, and had a captain come over to us to ask if we could remove a fishing net from his ship's screw. It was a missionary ship, and they had limped home on one prop because of the net. The Captian apparently spied some high school divers who wouldn't charge them much for it (us). I used a Sportsways dive knife (again, good stainless that would hold an edge) with a serrated area on top. The rope holding the net onto the prop was about three inches thick. The sharp edge would not cut the rope (at least not fast). So I turned the knife over and sawed through it three times with the serrated area. We got the rope and net off in about twenty minutes, and it was heavy. When it let go, we held on and tried to swim it to the surface, but it took us to the bottom (I was over it, and my buddy under it). On the bottom, we walked it to shallow water, then put it over our heads and swam with all our might to the surface, where as it broke surface people on the dock grabbed it and carried it up. The captain was very happy.

    On a recovery mission in Korea, I cut two Korean pilots out of their parachute harnesses and lines. The parachutes had deployed when they hit the water, and they were tangled pretty badly. They had been ejected through the canopy of their T-33 jet when they crashed it into the Yellow Sea (malfunctioning altimeter, a 100 foot ceiling that looked like 1000 feet because of a glassy calm sea led to them simply descending into the sea). They, of course, did not survive; the parachutes deployed after they hit the water. But I was glad to have a good knife for the mission.

    In the Air Force, we also taped a Mk-13 day/night flare to our knife sheath. That way it was always handy, like the time I jumped into the Pacific off an Ryuku Island while searching for a missing helicopter that had crashed into the sea. We didn't know it, but there was about a four knot current running at the time. The Okinawian barge captian was trying to warn us, but didn't get the information to us in time. So we searched the bottom for about 20 minutes, surfaced about 5000 feet away, and lit off a flare. They saw us and picked us up. The captian was non too happy, but he bought a bunch of drinks that night.

    I have used my knife to kill crayfish and feed them to small fish, and trout. This helps for photography.

    I have used my blade on the knife to chip away rock to collect some coreacia species sea anemonies for lab study (they had commensal amphipods, that were very interesting to observe when I was studying marine invertebrate biology). This technique also works to collect rock scallops, which are really good eating if you get them in deep water on an offshore reef (Oregon).

    The metal handle works well to signal a buddy diver (if wearing a steel tank system--don't try to "ring" aluminum tanks as they dent).

    That's the kind of things I use the knife for, and if you keep it sharp, it can also be used to filet or gut a fish if you leave your filet knife at home.

    Now, what you don't use it for is fighting, either man or fish. There are other, better ways of dealing with both situations.

    SeaRat
     
  6. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Dixie/High Plains
    11,328
    1,505
    113
    Here is a picture of one of my newly aquired knives. It is large and heavy and has a pretty decent edge. It is an old USD SeaHawk. I think it fully capable of cutting it's way out of most bad situations. The fins are rubber Voit SkinDivers and the mask is a Dacor 6 inch oval and the Snorkel is a ScubaPro Jet. Sea Hunt would be proud! Nemrod
     
  7. O2BBubbleFree

    O2BBubbleFree Solo Diver

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    My first knife is a Wenoka blunt-tipped that I got at a pawn shop. It has one smooth edge and one serrated edge. It also has a line cutter near the blunt tip. Why do so many knives have ‘em at the hilt? If you have monofilament wrapped tightly around an appendage, how are you going to get it to the cutter? I catch some flak because it’s hot pink, but it had the blade I wanted, was cheap, and is definitely high-vis.

    I also now have a Buck Intrepid II dive knife:
    http://www.heinnie.com/cgi-bin/heinnie_store/web_store.cgi?page=bucknew/fr-buck.htm&cart_id=
    (scroll the left pane to the bottom and click on the Intrepid image. Lousy site.)
    that I really like. Again, blunt- (or chisel-) tipped. Smooth /serrated edge, and a small ‘hatchet’ section that can chop without damaging the edge. Full tang, and scales that are easily removed for cleaning. Only drawback is that it doesn’t have a line cutter. I’m not sure the grade of stainless, but it holds an edge well, and I always clean my knife after each dive and keep ‘em coated.

    I’m not the most experienced diver around, but have used a knife to remove heavy fishing net from around a sponge. Shears and z-knives wouldn’t have cut it as well as a big serrated blade.

    Also my OW instructor gave me a detailed account of being caught in a drag net. If he hadn’t had a good knife, he wouldn’t have been relating the story to me.
     
  8. Stirling

    Stirling Solo Diver

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    Do you know when the Seahawk was made? It looks very similar to the USD Master Knife that I got new in about 1972, but the Master Knife has molded plastic at the hilt instead of the metal - the sheath and straps appear to be identical. I've got a sharp edge on my knife, but blunted the tip a little bit to reduce the risk of accidental puncture. I haven't actually used it in ages, though. I have a small assortment of other small knives and cutting tools (z-knife, shears), but nothing with a blade of more than 4".
     
  9. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Dixie/High Plains
    11,328
    1,505
    113
    Stirling, I am not entirely sure when the SeaHawk was made. I believed it to be something from the mid to late 60s. Large knives went out of fashion shortly afterwards--wrongly so I might add! I would not remove the point unless your accident prone because while some take a knife as a tool only I do consider it a weapon as well. Leaving out all the SeaHunt episodes where Loyd fended off "hose cutting bad guys" or Crocidile Dundee scenes of killing a huge croc before it consumes his new love interest a knife to me is a weapon first and a tool second. Dive knives prior to the 70s tried to play both roles, they tended to be large and pointed but also sharp with thick sturdy blades, hammer butts and serrated sawing edges. Since I do not hammer on coral or dig my initials into the reef or passing enemy dive boat hulls I tend to think of a knife as defensive against mean critters and also for cutting lines and cables and nets. By the way, despite the poo pooing from the PC crowd divers have in fact defended themselves on numerous occasions with a knife from critters. I am a live and let live sort so I would have to be very upset by a critter to even begin to consider hurting it so maybe it is really just a comfort thing for me--heck I don't know, maybe I just like the look of a big knife. N
     
  10. scubapro50

    scubapro50 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Arthur Texas
    934
    0
    16
    You failed to add the movie "THINDERBALL" where James Bond cuts a number of doublehoses durning the underwater battle. Did anyone else notice the "bad" guys all had doublehoses and the "good" guys had single hoses ...... love the black Voit double tanks as well ? Always wanted one of those underwater sleds too.
     

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