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 OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5

OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5

OSI San Mai III
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Trail Master SK-5
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TiLite.W

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OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Wednesday, June 08, 2011 10:11 PM ( #1 )
I am going on a backpacking trip to Washington (Goat Rocks Wilderness) in about a month. However, I can not figure out which knife will have the edge over the other on this and other upcoming trips. They are about the same price (trail master is about $40 more) but the OSI is made in Cold Steels premium steel San Mai III and has a sub-hilt. Where as the Trail Master I want is in SK-5. I realize SK-5 is a good steel, however I would just like to know if I should pay more for a lower quality steel as little difference as it is. Meaning that I have read that San Mai III is only a little bit better overall. 

I will be using this blade for chopping and other campside activities. In addition I want it to be a good sticker to protect from any animal attacks (black bear/mountain Lion). I do not need it for skinning or gutting as I am not a hunter. Which do you think would be a better fit for me? 
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jsquared

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, June 09, 2011 6:50 AM ( #2 )
I believe the OSI is quite a bit thinner than the Trail Master. Based on your stated tasks, the trail master is maybe better bet. Also consider the Recon Scout.

Honestly, that's a lot of weight to backpack, that extra thickness of blade means it weighs over a pound (almost double the OSI)
grindermcgee

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, June 09, 2011 7:48 AM ( #3 )
Of the two choices Trail Master 100%.
 
Do NOT rely on this knife alone for all your firewood needs. Other suggestions include folding saw definitely, small axe maybe. And of course any one of these items may be paired with a smaller belt knife like Master Hunter or even Pendleton or Outdoorsman Lite. So many choices....
juregolec

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, June 09, 2011 10:59 AM ( #4 )
jsquared


I believe the OSI is quite a bit thinner than the Trail Master. Based on your stated tasks, the trail master is maybe better bet. Also consider the Recon Scout.

Honestly, that's a lot of weight to backpack, that extra thickness of blade means it weighs over a pound (almost double the OSI)


I agree and more weight in traimaster is a useful weight especial if you are using knife in the woods
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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, June 09, 2011 12:37 PM ( #5 )
Yep Trail Master.
TiLite.W

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, June 09, 2011 2:33 PM ( #6 )
I realize the weight and will be making adjustments for it. I have a master hunter I just wanted something a bit more substantial for this trip. My brother in law and son are going on this trip with me, for my son this is his first trip into the mountains (bear country). I know the likely hood an attack is very low, however just the thought of it is more daunting. I would rather carry more than come to regret it. 

I don't as much want to carry and axe for the same weight issue. Finding wood will not be as much as a problem, I just want a knife that can baton fairly well in case it rains. 

Btw thanks for all the comments guys!
TiLite.W

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ToolMan

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Monday, June 13, 2011 7:27 PM ( #7 )
Trail Master. It was named that for a reason. It's profile, spine thickness, point of balance, and geometry were all chosen to be the best compromise in the wilderness. And even though being attacked by a cougar or bear is statistically unlikely, it does happen. In that event, the modern consensus supported by analyses of large predator attacks on humans, is to fight the animal with all you've got. Do not defend or run. Go on the offensive. Engage the animal in actual combat, and do not stop until it gives up and runs, or is dead. A Trail Master, swung hard and true, can sever a bear's hand, and do it without damage. The OSI cannot; it has neither the geometry nor the energy (weight in motion) to do it. That also translates into dramatic efficiency when working on wood. To me, the choice is clear.

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jsquared

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:29 AM ( #8 )
If you are truly concerned about bears, get a can of bear spray.
Gunnyman88

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:36 PM ( #9 )
Trail Master would definitely be the best choice.
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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Monday, June 20, 2011 9:37 PM ( #10 )
SK-5 Trail Master.  The SMIII OSI is a beautiful knife, no question.  Really shiny and precision ground laminate steel  If only it had a swedge... but that wouldn't make it beefy enough to be in the same weight class as the TM for a camp knife.



18 Delta

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Monday, August 08, 2011 4:16 PM ( #11 )
The OSI is more of a fighting weapon, while the Trail Master is a tool.  In addition I would add that Carbon Steel is usually a better choice in a blade for chopping and general outdoor task IMHO.  If I need a weapon to ward off critters I would use my Trail Master to make a walking stick/ spear, because reach and range is a beautiful thing when dealing with agitated wildlife. A reach weapon like a spear or quarter staff works well on two legged critters too, a gun would be better yet, however you may not have that option.  Good luck and enjoy the outdoors.
Gary

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Monday, August 08, 2011 7:09 PM ( #12 )
Freak Show Scott


TiLite.W


  (But for aguments sake I would rather Chop a head off rather than puncture a lung or heart so for Bear and Lion I'm with a SK-5 Kukuri first, then the Natchez then the Trailmaster in that order of preferance.)





For the unlikely fight with a bear I would prefer a spear or a Naginata or even better a good bow and some nasty broadhead arrows.  For something
a little easier to carry I'd recommend a nice large machete which would be very handy around the campsite.  Probably the Magnum Kukri or the 18" Barong since I just -happen- to have both of them and my SK-5 Kukri is -still- on back order damn it.  Seriously a machete can take the place of a knife, a hatchet, and even an ax.  You'll sleep better with one next to your sleeping bag.  Those night time noises will bother you a lot less.  Almost as good as having a dog along to stand guard. 

73  Gary








montanaman 1953

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Monday, August 08, 2011 8:26 PM ( #13 )
IMHO try to stay clear of bears and cougars, you wont win with a blade, a bear will throw you around like a rag doll and a cougar is just too fast and powerful, best weapon is a concealed 44 mag !!!!  Best trail knife is a Traily !!!  I think it would be the most versatile !! But stay clear of bears and lions if at all possible, a bear can bring down an elk( at least a griz can ) and a cougar can stop a Whitetail buck, have a safe trip !!! Isn't Washington mostly Black Bear country ????  A few Griz may wonder over from Idaho or Montana !!!  Wish I was goin with you !!!  Lived in the Evergreen state for several years!!!!  Magnificent !!!
Spidey

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, August 09, 2011 12:19 PM ( #14 )
There aren't such things as the best knife or the best steel, just the best pick for what YOU need it for.


I think the poll result speaks for itself.
 
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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:15 PM ( #15 )
I am the lone gunman here that carries an San Mai OSI for Hiking...Oh wait, I retired it for the SRK which is a better all arounder than either the OSI or the Trailmaster. 

(Don't underestimater your Master Hunter either, that is one badass knife) 

The trailmaster is a great knife, I carry it when a gun is not allowed, I also carry it open style to bars that are shady and for long hunting trips when I might have to do something with it that involves getting into the heart of a hog. 
Now with that in mind the Trailmaster is a terrible skinner, it's a good chopper but so is an axe (or Hawk) and for less weight the Sawvivor is even better. 

The OSI can stand in as a trail knife but it is a dedicated soldiering knife, in the vein of the Fairbairn/Sykes model of killin tool. I hiked all over hell and back through the San Gabriel, Sequoia and Sierra Nevada's with mine. It is a fine companion, but not for the en vogue things, like batoning or chopping wood (Both of which are not OK if the knife is your only tool in the bush. Unless you are proficient at sharpening on the go AND unafraid to break your meal ticket) 

All told out of your two choices I would go with your Master Hunter AND the China Version of the SK5 Trailmaster. 

If I were headed out with my kit for what you are doing I would take the SRK and my Rifleman's Hawk or San Mai III Trailmaster. 


One knife is good, Three knives is perfect.  ; )
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Currently rocking a AUS8a SRK for Hikes around SoCal.   



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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, August 09, 2011 9:07 PM ( #16 )
for food prep and light camp chores the osi would be ok. At first I was disappointed the black bear classic was double edged (the bbc is the expensive version of the oss which is a double edged osi) too bad they don't make ablack bear osi lol anyway if your goonna be chopping then and killin bears I'd want the trailmaster fer sure. But pair it up with a master hunter for lighter duty tasks. Or a SRK
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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:02 AM ( #17 )
Didn't read through everyone's comments so if I'm repeating other people forgive me.
     I would go hands down trail master.  If you aren't skinning or doing fine animal process the added weight and size will out chop the other.  If you have to choose one tool for the wilderness the trail master is among the best.  Truth is I would want more than one.  I usually double up.  A large bowie (non-CS) or trail master with a scimitar spike for fine detail work.

     A better combo would probably be a Trail master and pendleton hunger or master hunter.  A large blade small blade combo will give you a lot more range of uses than one medium or even one large blade.

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Gary

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:21 PM ( #18 )
 Fox, I couldn't agree more. Now that I have a Trailmaster I see what you mean about it being among the best. And yes one large knife and one small one for lighter work and the Lite Hunter is a fantastic bargain. I'll have to get one even though I already have a Kobun. Any old excuse to buy another blade!~ Hee Hee.
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ChukaSifu2

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:34 PM ( #19 )
Gary


 Fox, I couldn't agree more. Now that I have a Trailmaster I see what you mean about it being among the best. And yes one large knife and one small one for lighter work and the Lite Hunter is a fantastic bargain. I'll have to get one even though I already have a Kobun. Any old excuse to buy another blade!~ Hee Hee.


You said it Gary! And your right, any ol' reason to buy another knife, I keep telling my lady I need to buy another one to balance out the self for better stacking, but I think she's getting hip! LOL!!!
 
She once asked me why did I need 2 of the same kind of knives, and I thought that was a stupid question, "Because I have to hands of course", at least that's what I was thinking. LOL!!!
     Chuka Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu
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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:53 PM ( #20 )
ChukaSifu2


Gary


 Fox, I couldn't agree more. Now that I have a Trailmaster I see what you mean about it being among the best. And yes one large knife and one small one for lighter work and the Lite Hunter is a fantastic bargain. I'll have to get one even though I already have a Kobun. Any old excuse to buy another blade!~ Hee Hee.


You said it Gary! And your right, any ol' reason to buy another knife, I keep telling my lady I need to buy another one to balance out the self for better stacking, but I think she's getting hip! LOL!!!
 
She once asked me why did I need 2 of the same kind of knives, and I thought that was a stupid question, "Because I have to hands of course", at least that's what I was thinking. LOL!!!


Ask her how many pairs of shoes she can wear at the same time. 


Sturgeon's Law  "90% of everything is Crap" 
 
 Real heroes don't wear capes, they wear dog tags. 

 
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin 
 
Imhoff's Law:
 The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank ... the really big chunks always rise to the top.
   
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference 


In March of 1953 there were 53 kilobytes of random access memory on planet earth.  Thirty years later my first computer had 64K of RAM

I like my guns the way Obama likes his voters...Undocumented


ChukaSifu2

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:59 PM ( #21 )
Yeah, that didn't work! I have more knives than she has shoes. And, her logic of two feet for two shoes argument sure didn't help. LOL!!!

When I said buy 1 shoe and hop then, yeah, that didn't sell either. LOL!!!

The upside though is she's into knives, so on occasion I can buy one, or a double of one and tell her I bought it for her, but I'll keep it safe with my collection for her. LOL!!!

That backfired a few times though, she has like 7 knives sitting on her dresser.
     Chuka Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu
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ChukaSifu2

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:02 PM ( #22 )
And these aren't just pocket knives, 1 is a bowie, a set of throwing knives, a boot knife, and a few folder's. Gotta love it!
     Chuka Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu
Urban Shiv-Tanto's, Master,Magnum II & IX-Imperial Double Edge-Warrior-Chisa Katanas-2 x Willow Leaf & Bagua Broadswords-Jade Lion Gim & Dagger-Gim Swords - Butterfly Swords - Chinese War Sword-Moro Barong-Trailmaster, AUS8 & Carbon V & SK5-Recon Scout Carbon V-Recon Tanto Carbon V-SRK Carbon V-Assegai-Spectre-Caledonian-Taliwar-Rajah I,II,III Plain Edge-Ti Lite VI-Ti Lite-Spartan-AK 47's-OSS-UWK-ODA-Boar Hunter-Peacekeeper I & II -Mini Cullodgen's Plain & Serrated Edge-Oyabun Carbon V 7 1/2 & 9"-Kobun-Urban Dart-Terminator-Safe Keeper I,II & III-Safe Maker II-Steel Tiger-Double Agent-Point Guard Plain Edge-All Spike Series-Master Hunter Plus Carbon V-Skull Head City Stick & Sword Cane-All Big Bore Blow Guns-African Walking Stick-Slim Stick
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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, March 01, 2012 2:27 AM ( #23 )
ChukaSifu2


Gary


 Fox, I couldn't agree more. Now that I have a Trailmaster I see what you mean about it being among the best. And yes one large knife and one small one for lighter work and the Lite Hunter is a fantastic bargain. I'll have to get one even though I already have a Kobun. Any old excuse to buy another blade!~ Hee Hee.


You said it Gary! And your right, any ol' reason to buy another knife, I keep telling my lady I need to buy another one to balance out the self for better stacking, but I think she's getting hip! LOL!!!
 
She once asked me why did I need 2 of the same kind of knives, and I thought that was a stupid question, "Because I have to hands of course", at least that's what I was thinking. LOL!!!
 


sifu thats brilliant....


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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Thursday, March 01, 2012 12:26 PM ( #24 )
The trail master for sure. It will serve your purpose better by a long shot. be careful out there
Recon Tanto

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Re:OSI San Mai III or Trail Master SK-5 - Wednesday, May 09, 2012 11:33 AM ( #25 )
Trail master for sure im always support the san mai III 
But between those 2 i think there is class wight diffrence

Trail master 
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