In the world of bushcraft there occasionally arises the discussion as to whether to baton or not to baton. I say, to each his or her own.
For me there are many reasons I choose to baton my knives. First of all, it's just practical. I go prepared with at least a couple of knives that I know are designed to be "beat up" and abused. I also go out with more than one knife in my possession, and if one were to break, I have back ups.
In all my time on this earth so far, and for all of that time, meaning multiple decades of bushcrafting, I have yet to break a knife in use. Maybe perhaps I am not having enough fun, but I prefer to think that I am just working smart and not hard.
Anyway, I fall into the camp that prefers to use the tools that I have and use them wisely and with caution, but I will always baton my knives. Besides, they are much safer to use for splitting wood in the dark or in low light, than a hatchet or an axe. I learned that lesson a long time ago, when I thought that all I needed was an axe and nearly lost my thumb in the dark as the fire light died at the most unfortunate moment.
To contribute to a recent discussion on knife battoning on the BushcraftUSA website, I put together this short video composed of highlights taken during the 2012 Hardwoodsman Meet in Missouri last year. We did a lot of knife batonning at that meet, and it seemed and was accepted as the norm. We even created "knee high prep" not just knee high flames.
So here is the video and I hope you enjoy it.
Please consider learning to use your knives correctly and than after that, decide if you want to baton or not. I believe it to be a good skill to master and continue to practice, because one day it just may save your life. Until next time, Happy Exploring.