- Category: Reviews
- Published on Monday, 27 July 2015 22:43
Fallkniven knives are considered to be some of the best production knives in the world. I know a number of friends who own them and swear by them. I chose the A1 because of its size and weight; for me, if you're going to carry only one knife it needs to be up to all tasks.
With survival, you're going to be doing larger tasks more than small, such as building shelters, dispatching food, or in a combat situation you will need to fight. When it comes to survival, I don't think it's just living in the woods. For me survival is dealing with anything that is trying to take or end your life, from weather, to an attacker, so I keep this in mind when I think of what a true survival knife means to me. After all you never know what the future will bring and prepping means you prepare for everything you can!
The A1 by Fallkniven is a knife with an overall length of 11 inches with a blade length of 6.3 inches and a thickness of 6mm. This gives you a knife that can do most tasks and has enough weight for chopping and batoning wood. When batoning wood you want a little longer blade, this allows you to hit the blade near the tip to drive it down through the wood to split it. Batoning wood is a task where you can soon see if a blade is any good, since it causes huge stress on the blade tip and if a knife is low quality in any way or defective, they will snap off near the tip.
The A1 also has one of the most important features in a survival knife or any knife and that's a full tang. A full tang is a blade that runs fully through the handle all the way to butt of the knife, and in the A1's case you also have some blade exposed at the butt, this way you can use it for a pummel or as I do for striking my fire steel. The blade itself is made from VG10 steel. VG-10 stands for " Very Good Steel" - just kidding, but it is. The G stands for gold standard in steel. VG-10 steel is a stainless steel which has high carbon in it, producing a steel that both has good resistance to corrosion, but the carbon gives you a blade that can hold an edge like a razor and keeps that edge longer than other stainless steels. This version of the knife also has a Teflon coating that's not used for blade protection as much as it's designed to black out the blade, as in a combat situation a flash from car headlights or even moonlight can reflect off the blade giving your position away.
This knife has a convex blade contour, which is used for more hunting style blades. This is where the cutting edge flows all the way to the back of the blade giving you a smooth cut similar to what is found in kitchen knives. A convex grind gives you a blade that can be sharpened with a razor like edge.
Now I want to talk about sheaths. I will say up front, I'm not a huge fan of the stock kydex sheath that comes with the A1. I feel it looks cheap – it's not but the look is - but there's good news, this model I got also comes with a phenomenal leather sheath, which you can pick up from BushcraftCanada.com The leather version of this sheath is one of the best leather production sheaths I've ever seen. The one from BushcraftCanada.com is not the dangle style it's a traditional style knife sheath, and I will say this up front, I'm not a big fan of leather sheaths, so for me to really like it, it has to be something special! The sheath is made of very thick leather with a strap that retains the blade in the sheath. This strap has two snaps, one to hold the blade down and another to hold the strap away from the blade if you're pulling the blade in and out over and over. This helps to lock the strap back so it's less likely to be cut. At the bottom of the sheath you have a tab that has two holes with a rounded leather string for strapping the sheath to the thigh. Another nice feature is the belt loop can be opened via two large snaps, ideal for taking the sheath on and off your belt. Everyone hates having to pull their belt off every time you need to take the knife off or put it on!
Performance of this knife is off the charts, it comes super sharp right out of the box and cuts like a dream, slices through green wood like butter, and when carving even small task are a breeze. The larger weighted blade give you more swing when chopping and allows you to cut with far more force over a smaller knife. You want this in a survival knife because making shelters and large tasks where an axe is needed, and gets more difficult the smaller and lighter your knife is. Having a blade that is 6mm thick gives you two advantages when it come to survival, more weight for chopping and more durability when performing tasks like batoning that would break lesser blades. Also something to keep in mind, just because a blade is thick doesn't mean it's better, it has a lot to do with how and who has made it, and even more what it's made of!
The handle of the A1 is made from a Thermorun, this is an injection molded handle that provides excellent grip while still being durable enough to hold up to saltwater and cold weather. This is important in a place like Canada, our weather can change from very dry to extremely wet and can be artic cold in winter then very hot in summer all in the same area. This can take a toll on any handle that is out in the weather all year around. I've found handles like leather or wood just don't hold up like glass reinforced nylon, G-10, Micarta, Kraton or Thermorun will.
With survival, one of the things I've learned is, no knife is perfect. People ask this all the time, "If you could only have one knife what is the best?" which is an impossible question because if you want to do everything you need two knives. Ideally you want a knife like the A1 for sure, but to do everything from making a shelter to carving and cleaning food, you need a smaller knife to complement the larger one. Something around 2 inches I've found is ideal. The A1 is without question one of the best survival knives I've used and I would even go as far as to say it's a TRUE survival knife! Even when doing small tasks with the convex edge it gives you a lot of control, and tasks you would normally do with a 2" knife you can get away with using the A1 just by choking up on the blade, this is not always the case with larger knives.
For me a survival knife has to fit my rules and the A1 checks all the boxes! One, it needs to be able to be used all day every day. It also needs to hold up to heavy stresses like batoning wood, and the handle needs to be 100% resistant to weather and hold up to extreme use. I also look for if the handle was to fall off would the blade still be useable, and a blade needs to hold an edge, I don't want a blade that has to be sharpened every hour on the hour when being used. To me a blade like that is useless. Lastly it has to have a strong point and I have to be able to use it to fight with. In most cases life will never come to that, but when I think survival, I think just that - SURVIVAL, and you never know what you may have to survive, so preparing for the worse and hoping for the best should always be your basis for all survival thought!
This is why I say the Fallkniven A1 is a true survival knife, because it passed with flying colors for everything I look for in a survival knife, and combine that with the amazing leather sheath, the Fallkniven A1 is definitely a front-runner when it comes to a survival knife!
To Check Out Fallkniven Knives Go To BushcraftCanada.com