The Swedish retail store Biltema now offer a variety of hunting and outdoors equipment. I've tested their folding knife from Pro Tracker. This is a robust folder with a 3,5 mm thick drop point blade and a lock back mechanism. When I first saw this knife in a picture I got interested in it's sturdy design. However; the pleasant price of 75 SEK indicates that this is not a knife of premium quality.
The shape of the blade and the gripable rubber handle makes this a nice hunting knife. Unfortunately the knife is delivered with a dull edge. But with this small price tag I can take a moment by the grind stone. The folding mechanism it not so good as it doesn't offer a tight lock. If this annoys you; the fixed blade version could be a more robust alternative (also offered with wooden handle). The fixed blade has a shorter blade in 7CR17MOV and is a bit more pricey.
After some use I can say that this folder is pretty OK. The colorful rubber grip offers a very good grip even when wet and bloody and I still like the looks of the knife. However I've been forced to sharpen the blade frequently to keep a nice edge. It will be interesting to see how long the mechanism of this folder will last. The knife is delivered with a practical nylon sheath.
Blade material: Stainless steel 3CR13, HRC 52-55
Blade length: 91 mm (92 mm according to manufacturer)
Knife length: 119 mm / 208 mm (210 mm according to manufacturer)
Knife weight: 104 g
Total weight: 146 g (with sheath)
Price: 75 SEK (Sweden 2013)
During one of my adventures up in the Kaitum area in Lapland Sweden I had the honors of meeting this beauty. It's one Erik Fankki's skillfully crafted knives. The Fankkis are a very talented family consisting of several amazing knife makers.
I appreciate Erik's ability to mix the traditional Sami design with a more modern look. This is not only a piece for hanging on the wall; this knife feels very practical and capable in my hand. The stainless steel blade Erik made himself and he also prepared the leather material. The horn details are made of beautifully engraved rein deer antlers. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to collect more specific specs on the knife so I let these pics do the talking instead.
This nice blade will certainly offer it's users a lot of joy. And in return I hope the owners pay her back in lot of exercise and loving care. If you recognize this knife please feel free to contact me and tell me how she's doing.
This is a very good example on how a knife can be an efficient tool and a piece of beautiful art at the same time (Knives - Tools & Art).
I'm always walking around a bit in love with a knife and right now it's the Giron (art no. 3537) from Karesuandokniven that makes my heart go faster. This small knife and it's 75 mm short blade has made me appreciate short blade knives again. Appropriately enough I got this knife just before I left for my hiking and fishing adventure in the beautiful Tjuonajokk. Giron is the old name of the town Kiruna in Lapland and Giron is the Northern Sami language's word for Rock Ptarmigan. Felt right wearing the Giron in my belt when operating in this inspiring area of Sweden.
The Giron is one of Karesuandokniven's newest model and it's a tribute to the traditional Scandinavian knife with it's non-existing handle guard and it's straight blade neck. The handle made of brass, rein deer antler and oiled curly birch is shaped as the head of the Rock Ptarmigan. The sheath made of cowhide, rein deer skin and plastic inlays is decorated with a leather wing to enhance the Ptarmigan theme. Karesuandokniven has since some years back offered their model Willow Grouse (art no. 3524) referring to the Willow Ptarmigan that is a bit bigger than it's rock cousin.
The Giron is a small and compact knife that fits nicely in my hand. Of course the lack of a guard demands some blade experience but I like to have some blade contact when working with the knife. The 2 mm thick and 20 mm wide blade is easy handeled, comes with a good edge and is easy to keep in shape.
I like carrying a sheath with the traditional Scandinavian leather loop strap, especially when hiking using a backpack conveyor belt at my hip. After some usage the Giron's leather sheath gets a bit darker in color and gets a beautiful patina. If I could change something on the Giron I'd like the sheath to be about one inch shorter. A small knife like the Giron could in my opinion settle with a smaller sheath than the original length of 188 mm (224 mm in total, knife in sheath).
As I mentioned I'm in love with this knife. It's now a true companion as my EDC outside the Urban Jungle. However I'm a bit curios on how the Giron would feel like equipped with one of Karesuandokniven's nice Damasteel blades. I guess that version of the Giron would make me fall in love all over again.
Blade material: Sandvik stainless steel 12C27 HRC57
Blade length: 75 mm
Knife length: 174 mm
Knife weight: 70 g
Total weight: 122 g (knife in sheath)
Price: 900 SEK (Sweden 2013)
Right now I have a great gang of old axes in the pipeline waiting for my care. It'll be nice and relaxing to start restoring these old friends into shape again. I'll get back to you about each project along the way. I just wanted to give you a inspirational sneak peek of some of the steel on my table at the moment. Feel free to contact me and tell me about what project You are working on right now.
Blade material: 440C stainless steel
Blade length: 85 mm (82 mm according to manufacturer)
Overall length: 184 mm
Knife weight: 61 g (62 g according to manufacturer)
Total weight: 89 g (with sheath)
Price: 1 500 SEK (Sweden 2013)
Greg Thompson at Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP) has designed this tactical knife together with the manufacturer Benchmade. The 176 SOCP Dagger is a slimmed skeletonized tool for tactical self defense. The concept of the SOCP Dagger is to have a quick drawn self defense blade that can help gain time to make the transition to a larger weapon like a hand gun. The dagger's finger loop (inner diameter 28 mm) enables your trigger finger to operate while still holding the dagger. The design makes the SOCP Dagger easy to carry within good reach in a discrete way minimizing the risk of someone else grabbing it.
In the Combo package a red trainer dagger (64 g) is included together with the sharp dagger, a injection molded sheath with a clip and a lanyard cord. The 70 mm long, 44 mm wide and 18 mm thick plastic sheath is offered in two colors; black or sand. The black coated knife is made of 440C stainless steel. The 85 mm long, 19 mm wide and 4,5 mm (5 mm according to manufacturer) thick blade is delivered with two sharp edges for effective penetrating abilities. The Swedish Benchmade distributor is Promoteq, I can recommend a visit to their website. Also take a look at Greg Thompson demonstrating the 176 SOCP Dagger by clicking HERE.
It's very professional of Benchmade to offer a trainer version of the knife as it's very important to be drilled in the gear of choice in this serious category. It would have been nice if the Combo package also came with an extra sheath. That way you don't have to mess with your duty rig while in the gym. I think this is a really nice and efficient high quality tool for self defense in the line of duty. Stay safe out there.
Blade material: Laminated VG10, 59 HRC (also offered in 3G powder, 63 HRC)
Blade length: 100 mm (97 mm according to manufacturer)
Total length: 215 mm (210 mm according to manufacturer)
Knife weight: 149 g (150 g according to manufacturer)
Total weight: 199 g (with zytel sheath)
Price: 1 300 SEK (Sweden 2013)
This mid-size fixed blade has already become a classic. In 1995 the F1 became the official survival knife of the Swedish Armed Forces. The knife model F1 was developed by the Swedish knife manufacturer Fällkniven AB located in Boden. Fällkniven is a family company who started out back in 1984 as an importer of high quality knife brands. In 1987 the company started to produce their own knives wish is their main activity today. The Fällkniven designed knives are produced in cooperation with a Japanese production company. Today Fällkniven is an international well known manufacturer that offer a wide range of premium knives. As of 2000 the US Marines and the US Navy also made the F1 their official survival knife.
The design of the F1 is a tasteful combination of old Scandinavian elegant knife culture and modern tactical robustness. The 100 mm (97 mm according to manufacturer) long and 4,5 mm thick drop point blade has a convex edge of exceptional sharpness and endurance. The blade is offered in two different steels; the laminated VG10 and the more expensive 3G powder steel . This particular knife is equipped with the VG10 blade. If you want to avoid reflections in the blade or need some extra corrosion resistant coating you can choose the black CeraCoat 8H blade. The F1 has a full tang covered by a nice and gripable rubber handle made of thermorun. The full tang is sticking out in the rear to be used as a crusher or for hammering. The F1 is very nice balanced and the weight of 149 g (150 g according to manufacturer) gives a solid impression. I've used this knife for some time now and I'm very pleased. At first I was skeptic to how a blade this thick would handle when carving wood but the F1 works just fine when carving. But the feature I appreciate the most about this knife is it's robustness when taking care of big game and when out in extreme bushcraft conditions. The weight and the edge makes it a pretty good shopper to. When out hunting the F1 also is very easy to keep clean and that's important when handling meat.
The F1 comes with three different standard sheaths; covered leather (L), open leather (O) and zytel (Z). The knive's popularity also generated a number of nice custom sheaths out there on the market. Personally I have one of each of the standard sheaths plus one self modified leather sheath; an open version of the covered leather. This means I got four different sheaths to pick from pending on my activity.
This is also the knife I carried during my bushcraft survival adventure called JVMS Midsummer Survival. I've been pretty tough on this F1 and it still stands its ground. I haven't even had to sharpen it yet, and that's impressive. If you want to step it up a notch in flair you find the beautiful F1 mm; a custom F1 with maroon micarta handle. Unfortunately the mm is no longer in production. The Fällkniven modell F1 has become one of my favorites in it's category, competing with my old Cold Steel Master Hunter. I can highly recommend you to check this young classic out if you already haven't.
Relaxing grey summer clouds is hanging over The Cabin, It's time for yet another day by the grinding wheel. I have a bunch of knives and other edge tools in need of sharpening. So I turn on The Kiruna Grinder and let the slow rotating stone set the pace of the day. When I restore a compound edge, also called a double edge (not convex), I basically use three steps; shape the rough edge, shape the fine edge and sharpen the fine edge. The fine edge initiates the cut/shop, the rough edge then splits the material that finally is separated by the blade. The shape of the edge is decided by the activity the tool is to be used in. For instance is the strength of a big angled edge suited for chopping, while the better sharpness of the small angled edge more suited for carving. When maintaining a convex edge I use another technique than the one described in this post. I hope to tell you more about the convex edge in the near future. Besides the above two mentioned edges there's a lot of different types of edges, for instance; flat ground, hollow ground, chisel and asymmetrical. Below I'll describe how I maintain a compound edge, in my opinion the most common edge shape.
If bigger damage like chips or bends have occurred I use a single cut steel file to restore the shape of the rough edge (the big edge). The hand file has the advantage of not generating as much heat suppose to a high speed machine. Heat can damage the temper of the knife blade. If I want to give the rough edge a finer structure I use the grind wheel (see below).
I use a wet slow turning grind wheel to give the angle of the fine edge. Some harder blade materials may acquire the use of a diamond sharpener to make the shaping more efficient. When using the grind wheel I let the feel of the blade and the sound guide me to the right angle. Here eyes and fingertips are essential buddy's. My advice in this step is to take it easy and don't push the blade too hard against the stone.
If that little extra sharpness is needed I use the ceramic part of Fällkniven's combination diamond/ceramic whetstone DC4. During the sharpening I test the sharpness by holding up a page from a newspaper; if the knife easily slice strips and circles into the paper without ripping it, then I have the right sharpness to the fine edge. Finally I clean, dry and if needed apply a suitable lubrication. If you want to polish the knife you need to bare in mind the risk of over heating the blade if using a high speed machine.
There's always nice having a fresh newly sharpened knife on your belt or in your pocket ready to take on any adventure. This turned out to be a very nice sharpening day out at The Cabin. When I turn off the grind wheel it has tuned many useful rounds... Thanks for this time my round old friend!
Also check out my words on Knife Maintenance.