One of the Pathfinder Schools per-requistes is to bring a carbon steel knife. Most of the models I own for bushcraft are anything but that, I like my high end steels. There are several reasons why a carbon steel blade is preferred. Easier to sharpen on a rock if factory sharpening stones and diamond files aren’t available. Faster to sharpen than high end super steels, but also striking a piece of flint down the spine of the blade.
I have never tried this. it would also be interesting to try on different blades due to differential tempering. Where the spines are tempered softer to increase durability. Many spines may not be suited to using as a striker.
How practical is this in reality. There are only two places in Australia to find decent flint, do I want to damage a $400 knife in that way, how much damage would I do after short term use. How much of a factory coating would have to be removed beforehand. I rather buy a cheap Mora and try it out. This technique is more of a survival skill than a bushcraft one.
I read a book called Knife Only Survival by Tony Nester the idea of going into the bush with nothing but a blade and trying to survive has always fascinated me. There are several courses in the US that actually do this for up to 30 days.
So I finally have a reason to purchase a Mora knife. I have taken a quarter pound mash hammer and absolutely destroyed it by smashing apart a large piece of flint to obtain nodules. So this is definitely something I wouldn’t want to try on a LT Wright blade or an ESSE.
As a skill worth learning? I think its something Id like to try. I can see its worth overseas where flint and chert are more readily available in the field than in Australia. How many times has someone lost their ferro rod on Alone to then give up within hours.