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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this thread has been bleached, machine washed and tumbled dried for years but want to see an update to some of the buzzers favorite (or least favorite) river knifes and long term use. I just purchased a new Astral Greenjacket and was going to put the good ole River Shorty on but decided to do some more research. I am looking at CRKT Bearclaw, NRS Co-pilot, and Shorty. Lower profile would be better to minimize pocket depth on new Greenjacket.


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Bearclaw is the best choice if you want a knife you can hold onto and is designed to cut rope. To me that is what I want my knife to do, don't care about bottle openers or other gadgets. They make you handle your knife more causing me to loose it or use if for purposes not needed and dulling it.

Old thread about a user account of no other knife would have saved him except for the bearclaw and its design. Those skinny knives drive me nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't kayak so for my safety I will need it to cut rope or leash but for friends who kayak I would want something for more then just that. How streamline is bear claw compared to shorty and co-pilot?


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The bear claw is the ticket because it is real sharp and curved inward for cutting ropes, etc. plus the finger hook will allow you to hold it longer in cold water. I don't know how "streamlined" it is compared to other knives, but it fits fine on a green jacket and does not get in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The bear claw is the ticket because it is real sharp and curved inward for cutting ropes, etc. plus the finger hook will allow you to hold it longer in cold water. I don't know how "streamlined" it is compared to other knives, but it fits fine on a green jacket and does not get in the way.
I have a Shorty that is ten years old and its ok, but seems like the other two would fit greenjacket lash tab better and not stick out as far. If using astral throw rob, plus pocket with gear/snacks/etc inside, it pushes pfd out in front a ways.
 

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long time boater and the bear claw is my all time favorite and easily the most safe rescue knife I know of. Long time ago I got the popular rescue knife which is sharp pointed and double edged. I got rid of that knife pretty fast and moved to a blunt point single edge rescue knife. When the Bear Claw rescue knife came out, the Bear Claw knife became my favorite and still is. I carry a folder blunt point single edge knife inside my pfd pocket for backup. Blunt nose EMT SS scissors also are a great tool to have in your PFD pocket.

Those double edged and sharp pointed knifes should not be considered a rescue knife in my opinion.

I was not there but a widely circulated story is that some years ago on the Ocoee in TN, a kayaker flipped. Rescue buds got his kayak right side up. In the confusion of attempting to get him free of his spray skirt some well meaning person cut blood vessels with his version of a rescue knife. The boater bled out before local EMT were able to care for the boater. That really hit me hard and should make all of us boaters go to a safer version of a rescue knife than the double edge sharp point designs.
 

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I'm a rafter wearing a bearclaw. If you get a shorty, get the single-side blade with the blunt tip and then file down and smooth off the "blunt tip" edges (imagine sliding it between your skin and a tightly-wrapped rope).

And never use your river knife for anything that's not an emergency.

Be safe,

-AH
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm a rafter wearing a bearclaw. If you get a shorty, get the single-side blade with the blunt tip and then file down and smooth off the "blunt tip" edges (imagine sliding it between your skin and a tightly-wrapped rope).

And never use your river knife for anything that's not an emergency.

Be safe,

-AH
I am not sure I have ever seen a shorty with the other side sharp, the few I have owned are one sided. BUT I know what you mean with the blunt tip edges.
 

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Flog that horse. Thanks to you I am reevaluating my river knife choice.

I have always carried a pointy skinny one to cut my way out of a kayak. What bs.
i have slice hundreds of tomatoes and done more lunches that I can count. The pointy part sucks for dipping mustard too.

The only time I have ever come close to using my knife was on ropes and entanglements. So I need something for that.

For the kayak I will carry a battery powered sawzall. That should work.
 

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From a rafters perspective, claws can't cut tomatoes, avocados, onions, or poke rafts very well.

In all seriousness, I have a rescue knife and a cheap no name all-purpose folding vegetable knife in my pocket.

If you flat-pin/wrap a boat on the unfortunate guest or kayaker, it is nice to have a knife that will stab through boat material. Completely hypothetical, but something to be prepared for.

I have the Benchmade H2O for rescue situations only. The sheath has a thumb lock and is nuclear bomb proof when compared to anything NRS or CRKT. I also stay far away from mounting on lash tabs because I have seen far too many knives go MIA on the water.





A hair tie(anything breakable for emergencies) leashing it to the sheath, a PFD strap through the sheath with zip-tie backups. Where I can get to it but still out of the way.
 

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I like the bear claw.

Heard a story about the NRS co-pilot from a guy who got his boat caught under a rope left in the water in current. He was stabilizing himself with a tree branch so only had one hand. Short story is he took out his knife, realized he needed to switch hands in order to cut the rope. Because of the design he was having a lot of trouble getting the knife back into the sheath with only one hand. As I recall maybe he never even succeeded and got out another way. Something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I like the bear claw.

Heard a story about the NRS co-pilot from a guy who got his boat caught under a rope left in the water in current. He was stabilizing himself with a tree branch so only had one hand. Short story is he took out his knife, realized he needed to switch hands in order to cut the rope. Because of the design he was having a lot of trouble getting the knife back into the sheath with only one hand. As I recall maybe he never even succeeded and got out another way. Something to consider.
I can see that being an issue, Bearclaw and Shorty just slide/click in either direction.
 

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I too like the Bear Claw for both kayaking and rafting. Fits well, with some adjustments, on both my Stohlquist and Kokatat vests. And I'm alway glad to revisit this topic, something new always comes up.
 

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Oh yeah, I just remembered:

Whatever you use, it's great to use some small zip ties to help fasten the sheath to the holder on your PFD. Then remember zip ties break down in sunlight. The zip ties you put on there a couple of years ago may have photodegraded enough that they'll fail soon. Consider replacing them.

It's also good to attach the knife to your sheath/PFD with something like cotton string that will catch the knife if it falls out of the sheath but that you can break easily in a rescue situation.

Use a pocket knife to slice up lunch and do mundane tasks around camp with, not your rescue knife. When you need it, you may only have one chance to slice through that rope.

Here's the original Bearclaw thread that sold me on it. A pretty riveting read by Roy.
 

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Hi

Been using the NRS co pliot my self.

I like how the knife clips on and off its mount...

I have never needed it for an emergency, and I hope I never do.

Knife is sharp, and I also agree with only use it only for emergency. ....keeps the blade nice and sharp.

Paddle on


Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi

Been using the NRS co pliot my self.

I like how the knife clips on and off its mount...

I have never needed it for an emergency, and I hope I never do.

Knife is sharp, and I also agree with only use it only for emergency. ....keeps the blade nice and sharp.

Paddle on


Scott
I just pulled trigger and went with the Co-Pilot. I might by the Bearclaw also and compare, and keep both.

I never use my shorty for anything, I dont even like taking it out of sheath.
 

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was gonna be another Bear Claw voice -- fixed to one of those loops on my Greenvest's shoulders, not the knife tab. Additionally, I have wrapped a rubber band around the handle and over the sheath as a failsafe (which I can pull apart but which hopefully makes it more unlikely that the knife slips out).

Met a guy who tested 'em all, and he said the Bear Claw was the only one that cut his HF rope in one motion...
 

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Bearclaw here. The pointy sharp version. Blunt tips are for girl scouts.

Tip of the day: use shock cord to attach it to your PFD knife attachment and wrap it around the handle in such a way that it keeps it from popping out.

Interesting that the OP chose the bottle opener knife after everyone resoundingly recommended the Bearclaw. Nobody even has bottles on the river. Dumb design.
 
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