Understanding the difference between strength and toughness can help...
Ford versus Chevy, Mac versus PC, SIG versus Glock — humans have a tendency to form strong preferences for tools, often to the point of developing rivalries towards those on “the other team”. Just go on any popular social media site, and you’ll see the keyboard commandos duking it out in defense of their various preferences.
At the end of the day, there’s rarely a definitive right and wrong option between these pieces of gear. A lot of your choice in tools comes down to personal preference, your surrounding environment, and the way in which you use the item. However, it’s still interesting to see how each team stacks up and read the justifications for these decisions — doing so might even lead you to reconsider your own position.
Most survivalists would agree that a reliable cutting tool is one of the essential items in any emergency kit or bug-out bag. But there’s less consensus on what form that tool should take. Some argue for a small bushcraft knife, a lightweight and flexible machete, or a heavy kukri or parang.
Others say an axe is the way to go, from a small pocket hatchet or tomahawk to a big woodsman’s chopper. Finally, there are those who prefer a saw, either a folding model, a fixed saw, or a chain/cable/wire friction saw. Then there are the various combinations and pairings of these items. Some would even carry all three items, but all that extra pack weight had better be justified.
So, where do you stand on the issue? What cutting tools are currently included in your survival gear? Answer the poll below, and feel free to justify your choice in the comments section. If you carry multiples of the same tool (i.e. a small folding knife and a large machete) or some other cutting tool entirely (tin snips, scissors, bolt cutters, etc.) let us know about that in the comments, too.