EKA Swede 110

During my time in Bollnäs, Sweden, I bought this interesting folder back in 1993 in a store called Sport & Maskin. At the time of this spontaneous deal I hadn't heard about this knife model. Of course I've had several EKA knives but I found the Swede 110 design exotic and futuristic, especially the locking mechanism.

By pushing down on the gray button the blade is put into neutral swinging freely around its pivot. This enables you to open and close the knife only by flicking your wrist (see movie below). I don't think this was the manufacturers original idea of how this knife's blade should be maneuvered, but this is the way I've been handling the knife. When pushing down the button the blade sticks out about 5 mm reviling the nail nick that should be used for opening the folder. This robust locking mechanism feels safe as it also locks the blade when closed.

The blade features a flat grind edge profile. But the primal edge bevel is very low almost giving the look of a scandi grind edge with a micro bevel. The blade has hold it's edge very well during my youth's fishing adventures and I'm very fund of this rare bird. It's bad they don't produce this model anymore.

I got very nostalgic when I recently found this knife when going through my knife collection. Now almost 25 years later I even found the original case holding the original price tag of 198 SEK.

Manufacturer: EKA-kniv AB, Swedish company based in Eskilstuna with production abroad
Model: Swede 110
Blade material: Black carbon steel
Blade length: 68 mm
Blade thickness: 2,8 mm
Blade width: 29,7 mm
Knife length (closed / opened): 104 mm / 171 mm
Handle material: Black plastic (acrylate)
Handle thickness: 20 mm
Knife weight: 92 g (incl. lanyard)
Price: 198 SEK (Sweden 1993)

All length, thickness and weights are measured by the Author. Therefore numbers may vary from the manufacturers specs.

Also see my other posts on EKA and their products by clicking HERE.

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Spyderco C136 Persistence

After the success of the knife model C122 Tenacious Spyderco launched the longed for little sibling C136 Persistence in 2009. I also want to mention the other models in the same knife series of four; the smallest C148 Ambitious and the biggest C142 Resilience.

Persistence's chubby spear point shaped blade comes with an extra large thumb hole and a full flat grind. These features are also to be found in the rest of the family. Also serrated versions of the blade are available. The steel of choice is 8Cr13MoV; roughly described as a Chinese stainless steel, hardness RC 56-58 and similar to the AUS-8 but with more Carbon. When talking about the edge; I really like that the cutting edge goes all the way back to the handle for maximal edge usage.

The skeletonized stainless steel liners offer a sturdy handle covered by grippy black G-10 scales. The open frame pillar construction of the handle makes it easy to keep these knives clean; a good feature when field dressing game. The pocket clip can be mounted i four different ways pending on how you want to carry the knife. The knives are liner-locks and there are some moderate jumping going on both on the blade and the liner lock mechanism. 

I've had the pleasure of using a lot of different Spyderco models throughout the years and when it comes to Spyderco's robust EDCs I usually end up with the Persistence or the Tenacious. I like the Persistence for it's; robustness, compactness, good quality and reasonable price. For whittling I think the blade is too wide, but the edge still bite well in wood. Today I have a Persistence and a Tenacious, from this quartet. I would love also getting a Ambitious and a Resilience to complete the family and write a big review on all four knives together. Who knows, I hope Santa reads this post!  

To see more about the C136 Persistence and the history of Spyderco's history; check out No.2 - 2015 of Vapentidningen. The article is also available via the Vapentidningen webpage.

Manufacturer: Spyderco, Inc. US based with production in; USA, China, Japan, Taiwan and Italy
Model: C136GP Persistence
Blade material: Stainless steel 8Cr13MoV, hardness RC 56-58
Blade length: 70 mm
Blade thickness: 3 mm
Blade width: 33 mm
Knife length (closed/opened): 105 mm/174 mm
Handle material: Stainless steel and black G-10
Handle thickness: 10,8 mm
Carry system: Pocket clip
Knife weight: 103 g
Price: 679 SEK (Sweden 2015)

All length, thickness and weights are measured by the Author. Therefore numbers may vary from the manufacturers specs.

One of the Spyderco retailers here in Sweden are; Knivbutik.se

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Mikov Fixir 232-XP-3 KP

The first time I encountered the Czech knife brand Mikov was in the Autumn of 2016. It was through a new friend that was close connected to the knife manufacturer. At the same time, conveniently enough, I was getting contacted and asked questions about Mikov in my role as a Writer and Knife Reviewer. The first model from Mikov I started using was the Mikov Fixir 232-XP-3 KP.

The folder is a multi tool featuring a 82 mm long clip point knife blade, a gut opener and a saw. The knife blade uses a lock back mechanism and the other functions is slip joint tools. The tool has a classic design using antler scales and a brown leather pouch.

I've now been carrying the Fixir 232 on a couple of hunts and so far I like it. The edge needed some polishing before use, but that was a quick fix. I'm attracted by the vintage look and the elegance of using a folder as my primer game knife when out hunting.

Let me get back you you with more information on this knife after some additional usage time i the woods.

Manufacturer: Mikov Ltd. Czech company based in Mikulášovice
Model: Fixir 232-XP-3 KP
Blade material: Stainless steel 440 A, 56 HRC
Edge profile: Full Flat Grind
Knife blade length: 82 mm
Knife blade thickness: 2,6 mm
Knife blade width: 15,1 mm
Gut opener blade length: 75 mm
Saw blade length: 74 mm
Handle length: 105 mm
Handle materials: Stainless steel and antler
Handle thickness: 19,9 mm
Knife weight: 139 g
Carry system: Leather pouch
Total weight: 176 g (knife and pouch)
Price: 68 Euro (The Czech Republic 2017)

All length, thickness and weights are measured by the Author. Therefore numbers may vary from the manufacturers specs.

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Fällkniven NL1 Thor

This is a very personal knife to me as it relates to a couple of very special moments in my life so far. I bought the knife back in 2001; a special time in my life and after some very pleasant use me and my beautiful wife actually used this knife to cut our wedding cake. I've tested many choppers throughout the years but I always return to this knife as my favorite among very large fixed blades. The knife I'm talking about is the Fällkniven NL1 Thor.

The mighty Thor oozes of quality and robustness bout in feel and looks. The impressive almost 26 cm long and 7 mm thick blade is massive but the nice balance makes the knife feel slick in my hand. The laminated VG10 steel never back down and the blade geometry delivers a tough tip and edge, all great features in a bad ass chopper. Back in the days when I bought the knife the NL1 was delivered with a light colored leather sheath. Today the knife comes with a updated black leather sheath. On my knife a sharp edge inside the lanyard hole had a tendency to cut the lanyard. But this was easy fixed with a thin steel file.
I'm really pleased with my NL1 and I hope my mighty Thor will continue by my side throughout my life.

Photo: J. Margulis

Manufacturer: Fällkniven AB, Swedish company based in Boden with production abroad
Model: NL1L Thor
Blade material: Stainless laminated VG10 (HRC 59)
Blade length: 254 mm
Blade thickness: 7 mm
Edge profile: Convex
Knife length: 385 mm
Handle material: Ox hide
Sheath: Leather
Knife weight: 520 g
Price: 6000 SEK (Sweden 2016), 3500 SEK (Sweden 2001)

To see my other posts about Fällkniven's products; click HERE.

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Fällkniven NL2 Odin

Fällkniven's Northern Light Series (NL) is a very impressive lineup of knives expressing power and our heritage from the Swedish Vikings. The NL2 Odin is the lineup's second largest knife with it's 6,5 mm thick and 200 mm long blade. The laminated VG10 steel together with the convex grind delivers a world class chopper.

This particular knife has an interesting history s it got to follow Nicklas Lautakoski on his survival adventure in the TV production Naked and Afraid. The challenge was to survive all naked for 21 days out in the Australian bush only carrying just one object. Nicklas chose to bring his dear Odin in combination with his fantastic personality. A combo that gave Nicklas a adventure for life. You can see more about the adventure by clicking HERE.

Top down;  NL2 Odin, A1 and F1.

The initial pics in this post are taken when the knife was new. The pics below are taken after the adventurous month of hard usage. The edge has been resharpened after the survival adventure.

Manufacturer: Fällkniven AB, Swedish family company in Boden with production abroad
Model: NL2L Odin
Blade material: Laminated VG10 (HRC 59)
Blade length: 200 mm
Blade thickness: 6,5 mm
Edge profile: Convex
Knife length: 323 mm
Handle material: Ox hide
Sheath: Black leather
Knife weight: 380 g
Price: 5500 SEK (Sweden 2016)

To see my other posts about Fällkniven's products click HERE.

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Bushcraft Knife Field Test 2015

During the last year I've executed a bushcraft knife field test comparing 15 different robust knives to each other. The results of this test are shown below and are based upon my personal opinion of each one of the 15 knives after spending time with them by the campfire, out hunting and in the workshop.

I think it's wonderful how the interest for Bushcraft (Woodcraft, Woodlore, Forest Life) are steady growing all over the world. My definition of Bushcraft is; keeping it simple during outdoor activities like; hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting or just hanging out by the camp fire. By learning how to make use of what the woods offer and reading the forest's signs I can get the most out of my time spent in the field, and all of this in a sustainable way. Bushcraft is an umbrella name for old and new knowledge how to coexist with nature. Many of these skills were the everyday tasks of our forefathers; whittling, fire, harvest, field cooking and navigating. For me Bushcraft is humble respect towards my surrounding (friends, animals and the environment). Often Survival is mentioned in the same context as Bushcraft as Bushcraft can be a part of Survival and vice versa. Hence the words Survival Knife and Bushcraft Knife.

The Bushcraft Knife
The knife has gotten an almost sacred status among us bushcraft enthusiasts. But I want to under line the fact that you can bushcraft with any knife, or no knife at all for that matter. But even if the knife isn't the most important tool when spending time in the great outdoors; the knife also has gotten to play an important role as a romantic symbol of self sufficiency and adventure. As a result of the increasing bushcraft interest most knife manufactures today offer one or several modern bushcraft knife models. Below I'm trying to summarize the special features find in these new products.
  • A 100 mm long fixed blade
  • Full tang (the blade steel runs all the way through and up the handle)
  • Extra thick knife blade (3-6 mm)
  • Blade made of carbon steel (for easy maintenance and spark throwing)
  • Sharp blade spine edges (for throwing sparks of the ferro rod)
  • Drop point blade (for a robust blade tip)
  • Scandinavian grind edge profile (single bevel V shaped edge for easy maintenance and good wood carving abilities)

To conclude: a robust mid size fixed blade capable of handling fine sloyd as well as wood chopping. The edge should be easy maintained and the spine capable of producing sparks when needed. This is how a modern bushcraft knife often looks like. However I want to point out that knives with less robust specs than this has successfully been used in woods since dawn of mankind. The absolute most important aspect of a knife is the hand and mind holding it.

The Test
When in my thoughts on how the ultimate bushcraft knife looks like I decided to look into my knife collection and pick out the knives somehow matching the above modern bushcraft knife definition. The 15 knives picked out have been my field friends for some time now; whittling, hunting and cooking to compare them to each other. I'm fully aware of that there are many other bushcraft knife models out there on the market, but these 15 was the ones I had at hand when the test started. For instance a number of interesting modern bushcraft knife models were released during my test; Buck Selkirk KnifeESEE Camp-Lore RB-3Helle TemagamiBrusletto RondaneFällkniven F1 Pro and Morakniv Garberg. These models together with older models like; Condor BushloreBen & Lois Orford Woodlander 4"Marttiini Full Tang KnifeGerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro and Staaf Knives Bushcraft Evolution I look forward testing in the future.

Inspired by my latest saw test I've chosen to publish my test results by using a number of line up pictures showing the ranking between the 15 knives looking at the features; Blade Length, Blade Thickness and Knife Weight. All measuring are made by myself therefor the numbers can differ from the manufacturer's specs. I hope these line ups can help you in your thoughts regarding these knife models. As I do a lot of whittling with my bushcraft knives I also have judged each knife on how nice I think they are when carving wood. These points together with me judging the knife's three main components; the Blade, the Handle and the Sheath sums up to a total score helping me to find my over all favorite knives among the 15. If you have questions regarding my test method you're welcome to contact me. The 15 test objects are, in alphabetical order.

Blade Length
The below picture show a blade length comparison between the 15 test knives. The shortest blade is on the left and the longest to the right.

From the left:

If you click on each knife model you can read more details about the knife and the manufacturer.

Blade Thickness
This is what it looks like when i line up the test knives according to the thickness of their blades. Thin blade to the left and thick blade to the right.

From the left:
2,8 mm, Buck 679 BuckLite MAX Large Knife

Knife Weight
Here you have the lightest test knife to the left and the heaviest to the right. The sheaths are not included when weighing.

From the left:

The Price
The variation in price among these 15 test knives stretches between 199 SEK and up to 3500 SEK (purchase price in Sweden). Even if I try to ignore the price tags while testing the capability, comfort and design of the knives I can mention the tree most expensive and the tree cheapest. The three highest priced knives among the 15 are; the Spyderco Bushcraft, the Benchmade Bushcrafter and the Karesuandokniven Willow Gouse. The three low priced are; the Morakniv Bushcraft, the Morakniv Companion and the Kayoba Knife 770180. You can find more price info by clicking on each knife model link in the text.

The Summary
It's almost an impossible task picking out just one ultimate bushcraft knife as it all depends on what task I'm doing with the tool (fine carving, chopping, hunting, fishing, cooking). Adding to this also all the peronal preferences of each and one of us happy bushcraft junkies. Personally I almoust never batoon with my knife. Instead I let my axe do the chopping. Therefore I often find myself bringing smaller thin bladed knives not using full tang into the woods. Some nice exampels of "weaker " knife models that also manage most bushcraft tasks are; the Classic 2/0, the Classic Original1, the Craftline HighQ, the Basic 511, the Giron and the Pendleton Lite Hunter. I really liked all these 15 test knives. None of them disappointed me so much I wouldn't take them back out there again. But when I summarize all of my testing the final and total ranking looks like this, with the test winner to the left.

From the left:
By clicking on each knife model you can read all my motivations as well as more details about the knife and the manufacturer. I deeply recommend you to read about all the knives to get the most out of this tests analysis.

Top 5
Here you have some shorts comments about the knives placed among the top five.

  1. Karesuandokniven Willow Grouse 3524
  2. Karesuandokniven Survival Knife 3586
  3. Casström No.10 Swedish Forest Knife
  4. Morakniv Companion HD
  5. Fällkniven F1

The Willow Grouse 3524 gets the highest total score when looking at best blade, best handle, and best sheath. Also the whittling capability of this knife is very good. And as a bonus the down to earth and warm design of this knife makes my bushcraft heart beat lively.

Survival Knife 3586 share many of the highlights of the Willow Grouse 3524. But the somewhat wider blade and the not so cylindrical handle brings down the total score a bit.

Casström No.10 has one of the most typical modern bushcraft knife design. t's a really sturdy knife offering an interesting handle and sheath design (see the Dangler). However the thickness of the blade is a bit too much for my taste, therefore a No.10 ends up in a strong 3rd place.

The Companion HD has an amazing blade for whittling. However personally I think the HD's thicker handle belly is a bit too fat. But this strong light weight low prized knife is fantastic bushcraft knife. To be honest I thought the Companion HD would end up on top in my test but in the end the waist measure together with the plastic sheath brought down the total score.

The F1:an's impressive balance and premium grip manage to charm the scandi grind lover inside of me. The F1's convex grind edge deliver an outstanding sharpness and endurance. Adding to this; Fällkniven's nice leather work, result in a strong 5th place.

As the smoke lightens and the test is over I get the nice surprice of seeing that the top five contenders are all Swedish products. I'd like to see this as an indication that we Swedes should be very proud of our nordic way of living, especially in this bushcraft boom era. The fact that all the test knives using a scandi grind edge placed themselves in the top is a good indication of my love for this practical edge profile when it comes to bushcrafting. However I have to say that none of the 15 knives made me so disappointed I'd never will use it again. And even if the test's real fat boy; the Schrade Frontier SCHF36 didn't get the test's highest score I want to lift my hat of to the SCHF36's unexpected pleasant balance. Another surprise was the high score of the low price knife Kayoba Knife 770180.

It's been a pleasure and an adventure comparing all these knives in the same field test. Of course I've learned a lot about each knife, but what I cherish most is the fact that I've gotten a bit further in my philosophical thoughts about what I want in a knife. I hope you have found these test results and knife posts interesting and inspiring. Please let me know if you have any feedback or if you just want to talk about your favorite bushcraft knife. I hope seeing you at the Bushcraftfestivalen 2016 August 12th-14th in Gottröra Sweden. Then we also can sit down by the camp fire and discuss our beloved edge tools.

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Karesuandokniven Willow Grouse 3524

The knife manufacturer Karesuandokniven has been producing knives now for about 40 years way up in the Swedish North. As an adventurous teenager I got my first blades from Karesuandokniven; it was the Moose Special 3507 followed by this Willow Grouse 3524. The knives has performed really good thought the years and since then I've also had the pleasure of getting acquainted with a number of different knife models from the manufacturer. To see more reviews on Karesuandokniven; click HERE. During last year I executed a field test focusing on bushcraft activities. In the Bushcraft Knife Field Test 2015; 15 different robust knifes are compared to each other. You can see the test by clicking HERE. Two of my Karesuando knives enlisted for this test and both did real good; the Willow Grouse 3524 ended up at first place and the Survival Knife 3587 in second place. Let's take a closer look at the Willow Grouse, also called Ripan in Swedish.

The Willow Grouse
The 3,2 mm thick and 102 mm long stainless steel blade made of Sandvik 12C27 has a "mora knife like" shape making it a joy to work with. Back in 1993 when I bought this knife the out of the box sharpness wasn't the best, but after some care it has been performing well. When I compare the older knives to the newer; Karesuandokniven's quality regarding the edge has gotten much better. The spine of the blade has a comfortable rounded shape for carving. But if you like to use the spine on your Ferro rod you can always flatten an area of the spine with your sharpening tool (as seen on the Survival Knife 3587). The knife has a long tang surrounded by Birch, Rein Deer Stag and Brass and the handle offers a very comfortable cylinder shaped grip including a discreet finger guard. As you can see the shape of the back of the handle is inspired by the shape of the Willow Grouse. The leather sheath is fitted with a plastic inlay and offers a good fit for the knife. The classic design of the sheath enables carrying the knife dangling below the belt. The Ripan is also available in a more exclusive version using a blade delivered from the Swedish forge Damasteel in Söderfors.

A Laid Back Winner
Swedish craftsmanship combining; Swedish steel, wood, stag and leather in a comfortable fixed blade knife featuring a Scandi Grind edge is according to me a unbeatable package when it comes to practicality and beauty. Willow Grouse 3524 almost got the highest score in my bushcraft knife test regarding the four categories; Blade, Handle, Sheath and Carving. I say "almost" as the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty got one more point to its blade compared to the Willow Grouse 3524. Lately Karesuandokniven has adjusted their price tags; now offering their knives at a higher price. But I think that is fair when looking to the quality you get for the money. I really don't have anything bad to say regarding the Kresuandokniven Willow Grouse 3524, other than I usually choose a bit smaller blade for my EDC use when out in the woods, like for instance the smaller sibling Karesuandokniven Giron 3537. Nice to see that my old knife from the early 90's won the Bushcrat Knife Field Test 2015. But even greater is the fact that top 5 in this test were all Swedish knives. As I mentioned; check out the test and please feel free sending me you feedback. The Karesuandokniven Willow Grouse 3524 is a laid back winner delivering a clean, casual and competent cut to the Woodsman. the Willow Grouse is my pick when in times I need a more sturdier knife for bushcrafting.

Manufacturer: Karesuandokniven AB, with production in Sweden
Model: Willow Grouse 3524 (Ripan 3524)
Blade material: Stainless Sandvik steel 12C27 with HRC 57
Blade length: 102 mm
Blade thickness: 3,2 mm
Blade width: 21 mm
Edge profile: Scandi Grind with a 22° angle
Knife length: 215 mm
Handle material: Birch wood, Rain Deer Stag and Brass
Handle thickness: 23 mm
Sheath: Cow leather
Knife weight: 118 g
Total weight (knife and sheath): 178 g
Price: 1865 SEK (Sweden 2016)

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