Combat / Survival / Camping & Bushcraft Knives

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    Silky Saws Yoki Axe – Medieval Weapon or Serious Bush Basher?

Silky Saws Yoki Axe – Medieval Weapon or Serious Bush Basher?

By JustSurviving

At a first glance you could be forgiven in thinking that the Silky YOKI is some form of medieval weaponry forged from an elusive guild. However, at a second glance and looking at the design and raw precision of this Japanese made blade, you would have to have a third glance. At which point your hand would be gravitating towards the non-slip handle in an attempt to wield the empowering scrub hacker.
Well, enough of the dribble and onto the review.

The YOKI is a full tang chopper and made from an unspecified alloy steel. However, from my experience with Japanese made knives, I wouldn’t be worried about any quality issues regarding the metal parts. The overall thickness of the blade is 2.75mm and starts to taper approximately 5mm from the cutting edge.

Undoubtedly the first thing you would notice on the Silky YOKI is the almost 90° curve or brush hook at the end of the 270mm or 10.6in blade. My initial thought was that the curve would have a negative effect on the swing action of the blade and the ‘sweet spot’ on which you try and cut a branch or tree as the chopper is quite top heavy. I did find this to be true when tackling bigger tasks/branches. Not in the swinging action, but where the blade hits the tree, in that, the part of the blade where you would find your greatest impact power is right on the curve. I have found that this then impacts on the energy you are spending hacking, as you are forced to aim your swings (depending on the size you’re attacking) at below, or right on centre of the blade, which for this chopper is […]

True Utility SmartKnife Review

We’ve just received some products from True Utility for testing, evaluation and review. A huge thanks to them for sending them out to us. True Utility® describe themselves as a British design company that specialises in stainless steel gifts, gadgets, and key-ring accessories. Creating clever things for key-rings, True Utility provides people with minimalist and practical solutions to everyday problems.  You can find out more about them at www.trueutility.com
The True Utility SmartKnife is a small innovative knife that is much more than just a pocket knife…. It’s a bottle opener, screwdriver, glass breaker, belt cutter, multi-size spanner, and a knife all wrapped up in a high grade stainless steel body. The closed length of the SmartKnife is 90 x 33mm.
 
It would have been great if a can opener rather than a bottle opener was included but there’s a bottle opener in case you need it anyway.

The spanner handles 4mm – 10 mm bolts which covers pretty much everything you would encounter on a daily basis for small jobs around the home.

There is a flat head screw driver which does the job ok but is a bit awkward to turn. Most screws these days are Phillips heads so it would have been better if the screw driver had a Phillips head.

The blade itself measures 55 mm and is made of fine sandblasted high grade 420 stainless steel and utilises a liner lock. There is also a thumb stud. As it is brand new, the blade is quite stiff which makes opening it using the thumb stud almost impossible. The blade is not exactly razor sharp but cuts through rope and cardboard with ease.

The carabiner style clip on the end is a bit loose and came off so I had […]

Gerber Gator Jr. Machete: Will It Survive the Crunch?

By JustSurviving (Volunteer firefighter and keen USG blade tester)

The Gerber Gator Junior is a 47.3cm long, 445 gram compact machete that can survive brutal bush bashing punishment and the finer tasks of whittling and sharpening. The machete itself has been subject to a mass recall due to a laceration hazard but more on this later.
The Blade
The blade on the Gerber Gator Jr is 27.3cm long, 1/3 tang and is made out of a high carbon steel with a black oxide coating. Coming out of the packet the blade was relatively sharp but didn’t take long to lose its edge after clearing some medium to small scrub and branches.

The style of blade is typical for a machete as it has a long straight cutting edge with a nice belly that comes to a slight drop point. The drop point feature does give it some piercing ability but has no real bearing on how the blade is used, as it is a machete and used as such and not as a spear. On the spine of the machete is a 24.1cm saw blade with rather thick and aggressive cutting teeth. The saw blade is a good addition to the machete as it enables the user to saw through thick ropes, branches and material where swinging the blade isn’t an option. The teeth themselves aren’t the sharpest after a little bit of use and hence it takes a commitment and a large amount of fortitude to saw through any branch that you can’t hack through.

Overall the blade is hard wearing and useful; however there are a couple bits of advice for the user to take note of. The first bit of advice has to do with the […]

Helle Temagami – Les Stroud Survivorman Knife – Review

Since 1932, Helle Knives represented the very highest traditions of quality in Norwegian craftsmanship. This knife production started in an old forge near the home of the founding brothers, Steinar and Sigmund Helle. The knife soon became extremely popular among the locals and their fame spread to other towns, so the two brothers packed their bags full of knives and set off on bicycle towards the east to set up the foundations of this modern day knife manufacturing company. Today, Helle knives are still made manually in order to stick to Helle’s core philosophy of quality craftsmanship. As they always say, “No machine can replace the hands of a skilled craftsman.” Despite its aesthetic qualities, a Helle knife is not made to be an ornament. It is made to be used. Out of the many different knives Helle makes, today we are going to be taking a look at the Helle Temagami. Designed by Les Stroud (famous for his Discovery TV show “Survivorman”), the Temagami is a medium length, fixed blade bushcraft knife made at the Helle knife factory in Holmedal, Norway.

Unlike other popular knives with 4mm+ thick blades, the Helle Temagami has a 3mm thick 11 cm long blade. This does not compromise the strength or quality of the blade at all, in fact it gives the Temagami an advantage over other thicker knives because thinner blades can be used for fine bushcraft tasks like what the Temagami was designed for. Helle knives are not survival tools, they are cutting tools, and the Temagami is no exception. The semi-full tang of the Helle Temagami provides the extra strength associated with bushcraft knives, and with the drop point style tip this makes for a stronger tip and overall, […]

NEW! Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Tactical Knife

The best features, components and usability you could expect from a fixed blade knife!
Hey guys! Its Caleb with Ultimate Survival Gear and today I’m going to be reviewing Gerber’s latest 2015 tactical/survival knife – the Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade. If you’re a fan of Gerber’s LMF2 and Prodigy, you’ll be really wanting to add this tough-as-hell knife to your collection! Ok, let’s jump straight in and see why.

 
The company

This knife is made by Gerber Legendary Blades which has an established reputation in the knife manufacturing industry and has been making survival knives for the US military since 1968. The StrongArm is based around the fundamentals of military survival training and is MIRS compliant meaning that it is approved for use by military personnel. I’m sure that in time, we’ll see the US military testing this new combat/survival knife with the troops.
The knife

The StrongArm came in a pretty standard plastic blister-type package and was quite difficult to remove from the packaging… nothing major really. The first thing I noticed about this knife was that it has a very similar design and resemblance to two of Gerber’s top iconic knives, the Prodigy and the LMF2. So it is basically a next generation LMF2/Prodigy in a sense. The second thing I noticed about this knife was that its made in Portland, Oregon in the USA, not in China so this is a big plus. One of the great features of the StrongArm is that it is full tang and of course we know that full-tang is regarded by experts as the absolute best way to design a survival knife. In terms of colour, you can get this knife either in Black or Coyote Brown. The good news is that it is available […]

Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade Knife: BEST Survival Knife for the Masses?

By JustSurviving

The Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade Knife is the first generation of survival knives that was produced when Bear Grylls teamed up with Gerber Legendary Blades to produce his renowned lineup of survival products. I have had one of these knives for over 3 years and it definitely has more pros than cons. So let’s begin the review…
Based on a proven design…
The Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife is essentially based on the design of Gerber LMF2 ASEK, a troop-tested, rugged survival knife used by the US Military. The main difference between both knives is that Bear Grylls’s version is a lot cheaper, Made in China (unlike the LMF2 which is made in the USA) and has his branding on it.
The Knife
The blade itself is made out of high carbon stainless steel and is a drop point blade. Coming out of the packaging the edge and serrations of the 4.8in or 12.2cm blade were very sharp and could easily cut through paper. The blade features a half serration and a very nice cutting belly on the straight edge. Over the long period of usage I have only needed to sharpen the blade once every month or so (depending on usage) as the edge retains its sharpness very well; which can be attributed to the high carbon steel. The drop point blade on this knife also gives the point of the blade great strength and durability. I have tested and proved this through throwing the knife numerous times into dead hardwood and on the occasion the point/blade has also fallen onto concrete and industrial steel. Still the point hasn’t rounded off or snapped. About the only thing that I dislike about this knife is that […]

Bear Grylls Fixed Blade Paracord Knife Review

Written by JustSurviving.

I must say off the cuff, that the Bear Grylls Paracord knife is great! Ok, let’s begin.
The Blade
The characterizing feature of this full tang knife is that the handle is an extension of the actual blade. This enables the knife to have great balance and feel, more on this later.

The actual blade length is 8.6cm or 3.4in and is made out of 5Cr15MoV stainless steel. This is considered as a lower grade steel, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the blade held its edge after feathering, whittling and general usage. Out of the packet the blade was very sharp and able to shave off hairs and was easily sharpened or touched up. The drop point blade also enables the knife to be used for piercing which comes in handy if you use the knife for one of its designed purposes as being used as a spear when lashed to a long stick. Altogether the blade was able to cope in many mundane and divers situations.
The Handle
The handle measures 8.5cm or 3.3in. The handle is a skeleton of the full tang and is wrapped around with 132cm or 51.9in of medium grade orange paracord. With the paracord on, the handle is surprisingly comfortable to handle. On the back of the blade there is some jimping which gives excellent grip and control for general use and for finer crafting or whittling. At the base of the blade there is a cut out (sometimes referred to as a choil) which comfortably accommodates the index finger and stops your hand from sliding onto the blade when stabbing or piercing any given material.

When the paracord is removed from the handle, the knife looks quite crude […]

Gerber Big Rock – The ULTIMATE Camping Knife?

The Gerber Big Rock Camp Knife is a full tang fixed blade knife designed by Bill Harsey, designer of the Yarborough Knife, which is presented to graduates of the US Army Special Forces Qualification course.

The overall length of the Gerber Big Rock knife is 23.8 cm with the blade being 11.4 cm long and 4mm thick. The knife is made from 440a stainless which is a relatively low cost, highly corrosion resistant stainless steel. It holds an edge reasonably well, but will need touching up every few days if it is used all the time. This knife comes in either a full fine edge or a one-third serrated edge. The blade is almost a full flat grind and is a drop point design. On the spine of the knife there is some jimping and a thumb ramp for greater control when using this blade for fine work. The knife handle is made of a glass filled nylon substrate with a textured rubber overmold. It is very comfortable to hold even when wet because the handle grips your hand almost as much as you grip it! The sheath is a little plain but does the job. It has a single oversized belt loop that will fit the largest of belts, a thumb snap stud to hold the knife in the sheath and a plastic insert that is stitched inside the nylon sheath. The knife without the sheath weighs only 178 grams.

I used this knife for throwing, batoning wood, cutting food products such as meat and vegetables, digging and prying. The blade has held up very well to this use. Since this sheath only had a single large belt loop, I stitched the loop smaller to about […]

Gerber Epic Fixed Blade – Great or Garbage?

Few knives are as dynamic as the Gerber Epic!
The Gerber Epic Fixed Blade Camping Knife is the big brother to the Gerber Basic Fixed Blade Knife and an excellent minimalist camping/utility knife. On first glance the knife looks somewhat tactical and appears to be well built – just what you’d expect from Gerber Legendary Blades! The Gerber Epic is great for camping and also hiking. At the end of this review I will tell who this knife is most suited for.
The blade

Since a knife is really only as good as its blade let’s start right here. Ok, the blade is made from 7Cr17MoV grade steel which is the Chinese equivalent of 440A American stainless steel – a tough  all-round durable steel commonly used in many survival knives today.

This knife is an absolute treat given the fact that it is full tang. Full tang is regarded by experts as the most toughest, durable way to design a knife. The blade length is 3.45 inches while the overall length is 7.4 inches. The blade features a combination fine edge and serrations which share half of the overall blade length each. While most reviews on the Internet for this knife complain about the serrations, they are excellent due to the fact that they can be used to cut through rope, seat belts, tree branches and needless to say they are still sharp as anything long since the fine edge may have become blunt. The tip of the knife is a modified blunt drop point which is pretty unique. On the spine of the knife is some jimping which is great for providing strength to your thumb when doing certain tasks such as cutting or batoning.
The knife came exceptionally sharp and to prove the point was enough to shave the hairs […]