PFD knife for rafters? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-23-2015   #1
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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PFD knife for rafters?

I broke off my knife climbing into my boat a few years back and never bothered to fix the strap on my pfd to carry the knife again. With all the recent drownings we've had, I wonder what part of them were strangling or due to something a knife could help. Or in the last few years how many incidents have you been in where you had to deploy your pfd knife for the actual rope cutting?

The time I carried my pfd knife, I've used it mostly to put peanut butter on my sandwich at lunch, I've never really used it for it's real purpose.

So I wanted to hear from the others on your PFD knife uses AND also placements on PFD. I carried my knife on left front side, right over heart area on the 4 way strap buckle thingie, which broke off when I climbed into the boat. It was always in the way for me and kept snagging on everything.

And what is your knife preference? (links if possible)

Thanks guys!

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Old 06-23-2015   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazak4x4 View Post
It was always in the way for me and kept snagging on everything.
Thanks guys!
I've had the same problems with it being in the way, snagging on everything and have lost at least 3 knifes.
Have gone to a knife I can open with one hand that is in my right PFD pocket. My knife is also most often used for lunch.
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Old 06-23-2015   #3
 
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I have a Bear Claw and a River Shorty. I bought the river shorty first. I liked it ok. The handle was a little uncomfortable. The Shorty fit in the lash tab of my NRS Ninja Just fine, but when I got 2 new PFDs I couldn't get the clip in the lash tab of either one. I thought maybe maybe they changed the size of the lash tab, but I couldn't get it in my dads old Extrasport either.

I just got the Bear Claw and so far like it a lot more. The clip is thin and will easily fit in any lash tab. You can also flip the clip around depending on how you want to hang the knife.

I, like you, don't have any experience with them cutting rope in a real situation. Though I bought the Bear Claw after getting many recommendations from people who have.
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Old 06-23-2015   #4
 
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+1 on peanut butter and cutting bread. I think a pfd knife is like that burried item in your group 1st aid kit (epi pen, broad spectrum antibiotic, blood clot, etc). Very rarely used, but when needed, could save a life (maybe even your own).
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Old 06-23-2015   #5
 
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If the only downsides are an occasional $40 replacement cost and it snagging every now and again, I don't see enough reason to not have one for the 0.000001% of times that you NEED one.

I mostly raft and IK, and I haven't had to use my river shorty for an emergency, but I'll be damned if I don't have one around when I need it. I actually carry 2, and have an extra in my patch kit.

Of course, I come from a background in martial arts studying Kali, Escrima, & Silat, so I always have a knife on me anyway.
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Old 06-23-2015   #6
 
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I was a commercial guide for 12 years and used my knife once to cut a bowline that had come undone and caught in some rocks in a rapid on the White Salmon River. The only way to release the boat was to cut the rope.
I used my knife a second time during a Z-drag operation to prevent injury and release the unpinned boat.
Have also mostly used my knife for lunch duty and other odds and ends, but I would never be on the water without one.
I currently have 2 different knives. A river shorty that I got with some other used gear purchase and a no name double edge knife in a nylon sheath.
The lash tab on all the life jackets are very difficult to attach any of the standard knife clips. Not sure why except to ensure you don't lose it. There has got to be a better way to do this!
My favorite position for a river knife is high on my shoulder strap secured by 2 Velcro straps.
Just installed the River Shorty on my new Astral Green jacket but have not had a chance to use it on the river yet. ( I will in 2 weeks)
Not sure this helps, but you should always have a knife handy when boating IMHO.
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Old 06-23-2015   #7
 
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I am always climbing back onto my board and have yet to lose my NRS Co-Pilot attached to my lash tab. Its flat and I hardly notice it there, nor does it get in my way. I have the Green Jacket and with pocket full the knife is pretty far out in front, but never gets in way. Paddle boarders are in the river more then most other craft and I was really concerned with losing mine, but its still there. Back up knife in pocket too and I never use either. I want them to be sharp as hell the first time I need to use it. I have heard great things about bearclaw and co-pilot (tons of threads about them) and would recommend either for rafting.
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Old 06-23-2015   #8
 
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+ 1 on the Bearclaw. I've got the attachment reinforced with zip-ties.

I never use it for food or anything else - if I need it, I want it as sharp as possible. There's the question about whether it would cut a raft and while it may not, I've usually got a Swiss army knife in my PFD pocket I could use if I had to, and consider rope the main culprit. Yes, people die from being trapped under rafts but I think it's more likely that a rope will kill you. Here's Roy's story that sold me and a lot of other folks on the Bearclaw.

Be safe,

-AH
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Old 06-23-2015   #9
The Russian
 
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Thanks guys, that's exactly the discussion I was hoping to spark. Great feedback, I may give a Bear Claw a try.

I do carry a foldable knife in my pfd pocket and have all kind of knives in my ammo cans on the boat.

So Bear Claw straight edge or serrated ?
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Old 06-23-2015   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazak4x4 View Post
Thanks guys, that's exactly the discussion I was hoping to spark. Great feedback, I may give a Bear Claw a try.

I do carry a foldable knife in my pfd pocket and have all kind of knives in my ammo cans on the boat.

So Bear Claw straight edge or serrated ?
Serrated. Most serrated knifes have a straight edge near tip.
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