Friday, March 24, 2017

Check out our list of survival knives

What is the best bushcraft knife?

This is a pretty tough question to answer, because at the end of the day, everyone prefers different things in a knife depending on what tasks they plan on doing with it.

Before rushing out to buy a knife take some time to consider what the most common tasks you’re going to be doing with it.  Will you be batoning and processing wood?  Skinning game?  Making tent pegs or feather sticks?  Or is fine whittling more appealing to you?

No matter the task, these knives are likely a few of your best options, and once you have determined your primary tasks, you should have a better idea about what specifications are more suitable to your needs.  These knives are all reliable and capable of accomplishing the tasks noted above, but blade length and thickness, handle width and overall weight will ultimately determine the comfort and enjoyment you will experience while using it in your natural environment for extended periods.

Spyderco Bushcraft G-10

Spyderco’s version of a Bushcraft knife results from a three-fold collaboration between Tactical Bushcrafter Chris Claycombe, a Bushcraft website called BushcraftUK.com and Spyderco designers.

Knives used in the practice of Bushcraft have specific parameters such as possessing blades between 4-6 inches.  Spyderco’s is typical of the genre with a 4-inch blade (no handguard) that’s fully-tanged.  The blade is a Scandinavian or Scandi grind.  Scandi edges have a single bevel grind, wide and flat that cuts with strength and is able to withstand twisting and hacking.  The blade is made from O-1 tool steel.  Bushcrafters generally don’t seek the characteristics of stainless over the performance of high-carbon edge retention, and is why traditional Bushcraft knives are produced using tool steel for their blades.  O-1’s high carbon content holds a long-term edge but also sharpens easily when laying on a new edge.

The black G-10 handle is contoured for comfort with a backup lanyard hole and the knife carries in a black leather sheath.  It is overall blueprinted for performing wilderness chores such as slicing, chopping, whittling and game processing all done in traditional Bushcraft style.

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Spyderco Bushcraft G-10

Overall Length: 8.75″

Blade Length: 4.10″

Blade Thickness: .140″

Cutting Edge: 3.938″

Blade Steel: O-1 Tool Steel

Handle Material: G-10

Weight: 7.8 oz

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Helle Temagami

The semi-full tang provides the extra strength associated with bushcraft knives.  The tang is exposed on the top and pommel end, but is covered by the wood of the handle on the finger side.  This protects the fingers from direct contact with the steel in cold weather.  The drop point style blade is made of triple laminated stainless steel that provides excellent edge holding toughness and ease for sharpening.  The handle has a bit of a finger guard to help keep your hand off the edge when slippery.  The handle shape on the updated version of the Temagami allows a better control of the knife when holding in more positions.  The Temagami comes with a Scandinavian style pouch sheath retaining the knife securely without the need for snaps or straps.

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Helle Temagami

Overall Length:

Blade Length: 4.33″

Blade Thickness: .118″

Cutting Edge: N/A

Blade Steel: Triple laminated stainless steel

Handle Material: Curly Birch

Sheath Material: Genuine leather

Weight: 5.5 oz

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EnZo Trapper

Another knife beautiful in its simplicity, the EnZo Trapper has been around for a while and has established a cult following among bushcrafters.  What I like about the knife is that its various options, including a variety of steels (O1, D2), scales (curly birch, green micarta, black micarta) and grinds (Scandinavian, full flat), means almost anyone can find a combination built to suit.

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EnZo Trapper

Overall Length: 8.25″

Blade Length: 3.875″

Blade Thickness: .138″

Cutting Edge: N/A

Blade Steel: O1, D2, Stainless Swedish Sandvik

Grind: Scandi zero, Flat

Handle Material: Curly Birch

Sheath Material: Genuine Leather

Weight: 4.9 oz

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FallKniven F1

Technically more of a survival knife than a bushcraft knife the Fallkniven F1 makes the list because it is such a superbly built tool.  Originally made for the Swedish air-force as a “downed pilot” knife it’s caught on with bushcraft enthusiasts because of its flawless construction and superb quality.  I’m a huge fan of simplicity and I love this knife because of how beautiful and simple it is.

The knife itself is made out of VG10 steel which is completely stainless and known as a “supersteel” because of its ability to stay razor sharp even after hours of hard use.  Typically I prefer carbon steel to stainless but this is certainly one knife I can get behind.

The blade itself is only 3.8” long which means it can’t be used to baton through huge logs but it’s full tang construction means you’re more than welcome to try!  If you’re looking for a knife to do everyday camp chores while keeping razor sharp this knife is an excellent option.

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Fallkniven F1

Overall Length: 8.3″

Blade Length: 3.8″

Blade Thickness: .18″ tapered

Cutting Edge: N/A

Blade Steel: Lam. VG10

Grind: Scandi zero, Flat

Handle Material: Thermorun

Sheath Material: Zytel

Weight: 6 oz

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Condor Bushlore

If you’re looking for a knife that combines quality and price, then you should definitely check out the Condor Bushlore.

I don’t always want to carry an axe for processing firewood.  In came the Bushlore – a straight edge, full tang knife made out of 1075 carbon steel.  Now I’ll be the first to admit that this knife isn’t the prettiest thing on the market, and the 1075 steel is softer than 1095 or O1 tool steel meaning it requires more frequent sharpening.  However, it comes in at a great price at around $35 with a heavy duty leather sheath, and is something I’m not afraid to beat on.  I like that I can pair it with a folding saw and have no trouble processing enough firewood to keep me warm and cozy on cold nights.

If you’re the type of guy who values function over fashion and wants a knife that you can abuse (and will stand up to it) then the Bushlore comes highly recommended.

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Condor Bushlore

Overall Length: 9.3125″

Blade Length: 4.375″

Blade Thickness: .118″

Cutting Edge: N/A

Blade Steel: 1075 High Carbon

Grind: Modified Scandi

Handle Material: Hardwood, Micarta

Sheath Material: Leather

Weight: 12.32 oz

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Morakniv Companion

The Mora Companion is made out of an exceptional 1095 carbon steel with a beautiful Scandinavian grind.  It has a comfortable rubberized grip and a hard plastic sheath and is an ideal size for almost all woodworking tasks.  The real beauty of the Mora is its price – for under $15 you can get a phenomenal tool that comes razor sharp out of the box.

Unfortunately the only downside to the Companion is that it is not full tang – it’s what’s known as a “rat-tail” design which means the tang tapers and ends about ¾ of the way down the handle.  While not ideal for batoning, if paired with a small axe or tomahawk you have a system that will do pretty much everything you need in regards to processing firewood.  For a knife under $15 this is pretty unbeatable value.

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Morakniv Companion

Overall Length: 8.6″

Blade Length: 4.1″

Blade Thickness: .08″

Cutting Edge: N/A

Blade Steel: 1095 High Carbon

Grind: Scandinavian

Handle Material: N/A

Sheath Material: N/A

Weight: 3.9 oz (with sheath)

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