I have always been a fan of the Rambo movies. Not sure why. It almost seems as if John Rambo has been around for eons. I remember watching First Blood when I was younger, and can remember being blown away by how well Johns story was told, seemingly using his uncompromising ability to succeed in the face of unlikely odds, and his almost effortless ability to terminate his foes with extreme prejudice, as a rather convincing story telling tool…

I loved his indomitability, and his raw and unadulterated drive to survive. But of course, were are not here to talk Rambo. We are here to talk about cutlery 😛 … blades. And one of the things that the John Rambo series of movies did inspire in me, was a great appreciation for the practical usage of a survival knife.

It would appear they had the same effect on others as well. John Rambo used a different blade for each movie. And each has become a signature blade. Including his newest, most primal, evil and wicked iteration yet…:

Rambo IV Knife

Rambo IV Knife

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Not to repeat the mantra of a couple of previous posts, but… Now that’s a Knife!

OK, actually that’s more like a small machete. But what is perhaps most notable about this blade is that it is a massive departure from his previous ones. Where the others are all sleek and “refined” (as far as survival knives go) this one is just… Raw… Primitive… Brutish… And not really a survival blade. At least not in the conventional sense.

A good survival knife should have a multi purpose blade. Preferably of a good, durable, corrosion resistant high carbon steel, with a strong, drop or clip point (for strength and fine work) a little belly (for skinning and such), a good straight edge with a strong spine, a good, comfortable, non-slip grip, and a full tang for strength.

Other nonessential “nice-to-haves” would be a saw toothed or serrated section on the spine, for sawing through tough materials, a rounded pommel for use as an impromptu impact tool, a lanyard hole in the pommel to aid in retention, and perhaps a nice large cross guard to save your thumb/knuckles some grief.

Finally, but certainly not least importantly, it should be big enough to handle all of your essential survival tasks, but not so big that it becomes unwieldy. Primarily because a large amount if the use you will get out of your survival blade will involve making small cuts, cleaning game, carving/sharpening wood for weapons, traps, etc.

Now lets compare this list against the characteristics of Rambos new knife.

First, and most noticeably… This sucker is a monster! It’s thick, and very, very large! It will be very heavy, and will almost certainly to violate the “not too big” requirement of the ideal survival knife. Sure, bigger can, in some cases, be better, but if you have to rely on a knife for emergency survival, and you find yourself weak from not having been able to eat for a few days, a big knife just ain’t gonna be your friend…

And then there’s the blade profile. Large and wide. With an almost rectangular angle to the tip. It’s more or less a multi purpose cleaver. This would be great as a camp blade, or for jungle clearing. But with no point, it’s functionality would be really limited to hacking, which, methinks, makes is not quite the best tool to have for things like, say, skinning small game…

Besides all that, the blade is unfinished, raw. In fact the aesthetics remind me a lot of the way the Uruk-Hai wannabe scimitars were designed. Simple blades, no finish, just simple edges (and the occasional point) here and there. Essentially the weapon of a brute who really cares little about finesse, and simply relies on brute strength to hack their way through battle. This blade is exactly that, except with perhaps a little more finesse. But not much.

So while the blade is made of an old truck leaf spring, (which, BTW, is an excellent source of steel from which to make a durable, near indestructible knife) it is overall not really a good survival knife. Unless, of course your definition of survival is hacking away at bad guys. Which, In John Rambos case, It is. And he does a darn good job of it.

So, actually, while it’s not the best survival tool for the rest of us, given John Rambos requirements, this blade is actually an excellent survival tool.

Indeed. Please. Carry on with the hacking away at “teh bad ebil peeps” John… Having recovered some of my testosterone from my last post, I leave you to your butchery… Kthnxbai… 😀

Rambo IV Knife – [Realm Collections]