I recently purchased a hollow-handled "Tomahawk" brand survival knife, which has a handle tube with an inside diameter of about 7/8-inch and a tube length of about 3-1/2-inches.  In thinking about how I would make a really stout spear with this knife, it occurred to me that its tube diameter and length are quite small for the business end of a spear shaft.  Can anyone give me some tips on how to make (and reinforce) the knife end of a spear shaft so it won't break off as easily if it's bent?  Also, in case the knife end of the shaft were to break off under severe bending stress, how can I fasten the knife to the shaft so it won't come off the broken end of the shaft completely?  Thanks in advance for any tips you can give me.

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I use my Cold Steel Bushman Bowie for just that purpose.

It should be taken into consideration that any knife modified for use as a spear will never be as good as something that is specifically designed to be a spear. As such, a knife/spear is more better suited for thrusting rather than for throwing.

I use a thick piece of wood, (1 1/2" - 2"Diameter,) just about to eye-level in height. This will serve as my walking staff when not configured with the knife/spear point. I have a fairly short thick taper on the business-end, so that it won't snap off easily, but enough of a taper so that it will extend to about an inch past the handle. I then secure the handle in place with an eye-bolt screw (the Bushman has a pre-drilled hole in the handle for just such an arrangement.) The eye-bolt is easier to put in and take out without the need of any tools. For added piece of mind, I also wrap some de-cored paracord around the taper tip and shaft, so that it encases the knife handle from hilt to pommel.

The same thing can be done with a shorter piece of wood (2' - 3') which can be used as a short Assegai spear, as well as a baton/digging tool when not knife/spear configured.
Kage, thanks for replying and for the detail included in your reply. The Cold Steel Bushman is ideal for making a spear, but unfortunately I don't have one. That being the case, do you have any suggestions for using my Rambo First Blood-style survival knife to make a super stout spear point? For example, do you think it would be stronger if I lashed the knife to the end of the pole with para cord instead of sharpening the pole and inserting it into the handle, which has an inside diameter of only 7/8-inch, and then lashing the handle to the pole?

In your situation, I would say it'd be better to sharpen the pole and insert it into the handle. Then make some small notches on the pole just behind the handle. You could then use some paracord (de-corded might work a bit better I think) to lash and secure the knife handle via the quillons/hand guard to the pole and tied up into the notches.

Lashing a knife handle to a pole to make a spear is best done with a square-handled knife, preferably one with a slim handle profile, or a full-tang knife with the handle scales removed. A small to medium sized (3"-4" blade) full tang fixed blade with a skeletal handle might do in a pinch. Even a fairly large neck knife, like a Cold Steel Point Guard, would fit the bill nicely.

But once again, either combination would be best suited as a thrusting spear rather than a throwing spear.

Thanks for the very helpful suggestions, especially the one about tying the quillons/handguard up into the notches to secure the knife handle. By the way, what is "de-corded" paracord?

Also, are you suggesting using the knife spear as a thrusting spear rather than a throwing spear because a better throwing spear might be a sharpened longer pole with a flame-hardened point (because it would be expendable)?

Thanks again for your advice.
The terms "de-corded.," "cored,"or "flat" paracord, all mean the same thing, in that the 7 strand middle of a length of paracord is pulled out. This makes the paracord more pliable for coverings/lashings/wrappings.

For a throwing spear, materials, weight, and balance are essential, and with a knife as an improvised spear head, using whatever shaft material is available at the moment, those essentials will be near difficult to achieve. Additionally, in a survival situation, that knife may be all you have to see you through your ordeal If thrown, it could miss the target and strike a surface that could damage your blade to the point of being useless, or it could hit the target but not kill or seriously wound it, and then your spear/knife is gone with the game.

For small to medium game, making and using an Atlatl might be a better choice in a self-reliance / survival situation, as multiple darts/missiles can be made and re-made from hardwood that doesn't necessarily require a separate tip or fletch. For larger game, the thrusting knife/spear would hold up better.

Thanks for all the great info. From your comments, I get the impression that a good survival strategy is to carry at least 3 survival knives: (1) a Cold Steel Bushman for making a thrusting spear, (2) a large fixed blade survival knife with a wire saw in its survival gear and a sawtooth spine, and (3) a multi-tool. With that combination, you can make as many throwing spears (with fire-hardened points), Atlatls or bows and arrows as you need to.
and let's not forget about the Apache Throwing Star, it can come in handy for small fast game. ;)

also, we can't forget the ancient boomerang spear for throwing around big trees and dense thickets.

I wouldn't do it. your  Tomahawk knife isn't quite up to the task. Unless you have some skill with a spear it would not be my first choice for survival hunting. You could very easily loose or break it. Then you are SOL. If you really want a knife/spear look at the cold steel line. I would use my knife to shape a stick into a spear then fire harden it.
Yoy know that SOG has a model, called The Spirit ($51.75), that just requires a broom handle to mount (which also make fairly good walking sticks for cheap)...One of my daughters uses it that way with the blade sheathed and grips the staff just below the knife...Not the best suited for dressing out fish, fowl or game but it will do the job in time.

Terry.....  The Cold Steel Bushman Bowie sells at; http://www.888knivesrus.com/ for $23.00 USD (United States Dollar) plus shipping.  This would be a good investment if you’re wanting a dependable survival knife. Kage and LG&M  has the right idea as for the low budget larger survival knife.  Maved has a good idea as well The SOG Sprit is very functional.  See attached pic.


As I tell my readers and students before you buy a knife or any gear, what is the purpose or need you have identified.  An example would be you are a bush pilot in Alaska flying in supplies to remote locations.  By remote I mean 100 plus miles to the nearest dirt trail.  What gear should you have with you at all times?  Even now your strategy will determine what gear to take.  If your plane goes down is would your strategy be to stay with the plane because of the emergency beacon?  Or would your strategy be, if not injured too badly, to hike out to the nearest location of help?


So what could possibly be the situation you (anyone reading this blog personal situation) could be facing?  There are two options in my way of thinking.  You stay or you hike out.  If you stay then foraging for food and water would be at the top of the list.  If you hike out then you would need something light and multipurpose friendly.  Where you’re possibly going to be, are there dangerous animals present?  By dangerous animals I mean bear or mountain lion.  If where you are the laws allow firearms then the Henry Survival rifle AR-7 (an old Charter Arms product) would be on the top of my list. http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-survival-ar7.cfm.  If we are restricted to cutting devices then here is what I think.


Based on my own experience in the woods of North America, the mountains and woods of Southern Kosovo and the mountains of Northern Iraq, Kurdistan, this is what I carried in my rucksack.  A good quality multi-tool (I have the Leatherman Wave.), a good fix blade knife with a blade no longer than 5”, GPS, water filtration device, emergency water (16 oz.), 12 medium zip-ties, survival blanket, 100 feet of paracord (Internet $5.50) fire starting device (depends on your expertise in starting fires) cell phone (at the top of mountains you can get a signal and the 911 in N. America will work on any service.) and two MRE (meals ready to eat) which have 2,000 plus calories each.  Ration them into quarters and you have four days of food.  If there will be streams, rivers or bodies of water available then 6 small hooks one spool of 20# test line.  The fishing test line makes for good snares for small game.  My rucksack and contents cost about $180.


As for spearing any deer or the like game you will be wasting time and valuable energy.  A wild mountain lion only catches such game one out of ten tries.  For small game and fish take a willow about the average size of your thumb (the middle) and about seven feet long.  Split it down the middle from one end about eight inches.  Place a block at the end of the split and zip-tie which will hold the split open about three inches.  Sharpen both prongs and notch for a barb effect.  You can spear fish with this device.  Spearing fish has a learning curve which took me some time to get the hang of it.  If you stuck in an area then for big game I would suggest deadfalls on well used game trails.  There are several good books out there for making the deadfalls, snares and the like.

Ok my bad.  I forgot to upload the pic of the SOG Spirit.


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