Featured Scandinavian Knives Daniel Jackson May 12, 2017 0 COMMENT The KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) is a great defense against having Murphy’s Law jump up and bite you in the nether regions. The more moving parts on a knife, the greater the chance for something to go wrong. But it doesn’t get simpler than the Scandinavian knife design. The grind on this blade is basic: two bevels sloping down to meet and create a wicked edge. This makes the knife a cinch to sharpen. Lay the blade against a flat sharpening stone and voilà! The wide bevel ensures you keep a proper angle. It’s a design that has developed over centuries. Traditional knives in Norway, Sweden, and Finland have been carried by Europeans from the time they piled into longships to raid monasteries and discover North America. Generations of crowdsourcing while surviving among spruce forests and frosty fjords counts for something, right? A Scandinavian knife — or “Scandi” — is the design many survivalists, outdoorsmen, and bushcrafters turn to when they head to the wilds, where the blade often stands between them and a cold, dinnerless night. Here are seven modern takes on an ancient design that could certainly make the cut into your kit. Make: TOPS Knives Model: Mini Scandi Rockies Edition OAL: 6.13 inches Blade Length: 3 inches Blade Material: 1095 high-carbon steel Weight: 2.2 ounces MSRP: $110 URL: www.topsknives.com Make: A/S Helle Fabrikker Model: Algonquin OAL: 6.34 inches Blade Length: 2.72 inches Blade Material: Triple-laminated stainless steel Weight: 2.12 ounces MSRP: $169 URL: www.helle.no Make: Spyderco, Inc. Model: Puukko G-10 OAL: 7.85 inches Blade Length: 3.33 inches Blade Material: S30V stainless steel Weight: 4.9 ounces MSRP: $400 URL: www.spyderco.com Make: Fällkniven AB Model: F1dz OAL: 8.27 inches Blade Length: 3.82 inches Blade Material: Laminated CoS steel Weight: 5.22 ounces MSRP: $202 URL: www.fallkniven.com Make: Cold Steel Model: Finn Hawk OAL: 8.5 inches Blade Length: 4 inches Blade Material: 4116 stainless steel Weight: 5.1 ounces MSRP: $38 URL: www.coldsteel.com Make: Morakniv AB Model: Bushcraft Tactical SRT OAL: 9.1 inches Blade Length: 4.3 inches Blade Material: Stainless steel Weight: 6.3 ounces MSRP: $130 URL: www.industrialrev.com Make: Columbia River Knife and Tool Model: Saker OAL: 9.19 inches Blade Length: 4.53 inches Blade Material: 1075 high-carbon steel Weight: 5.3 ounces MSRP: $125 URL: www.crkt.com TOPS Mini Scandi Rockies Edition 411: A crease in its Kydex sheath allows you to press your thumb and pop this three-fingered knife free. The Micarta scales sandwiching the full-tanged knife naturally rests in the fingers, pinched between thumb and forefinger. Also known as the MSK 2.5 Rockies Edition, this knife’s blade was made from 1095 high-carbon steel with a clear Cerakote for rust prevention. Made in the USA. Pros: > 1095 is a classic steel that takes a fine edge and is easy to sharpen > Beautiful form meets legit functionality. > Barring restrictive laws, its diminutive size means it can be carried in some places where a larger knife wouldn’t be sociable. Cons: > Lacks hardware for other carry options besides neck carry > The exposed 1095 high-carbon steel on the bevel will rust if you so much as look at it funny. Helle Algonquin 411: The Norwegian-made Algonquin’s thin blade is triple laminated, with two softer sections of 18/8 stainless steel protecting the hard, middle layer of high-alloy steel. The tang runs through the handle — contrasting layers of darkened oak, birch, and maroon leather spacers — and it’s hammered tight against a brass pommel. The knife comes in a plastic-lined leather sheath that can be carried at the belt or around the neck. Pros: > Looking at the old-world craftsmanship, you can almost feel the wind of the wilds. > Out of its packaging, this knife is hair-shavin’ sharp. > Helle gives options so you can carry this knife however you prefer. Cons: > The handle is a tad too bulbous. > Wood isn’t the longest-lasting material. Time will eventually catch up with its beauty. > Gap between blade and handle can let in moisture. Spyderco Puukko G-10 411: Spyderco’s Puukko G-10 follows the design of the traditional Finnish knife, which dictates leaving off the finger guard and cutting (pun intended) the knife’s lines so the handle flows into the edge. The balance point rests about a third of the way down the G-10 handle with a teardrop cross-section. It’s made in Taiwan and comes with a leather pouch sheath. Pros: > Its lines are clever. The blade is deceptively thick because of a shallow bevel on the spine of the knife. > Quality materials: durable G-10 and American-made knife steel. > The sheath fits the knife like a glove. Cons: > If you plan on stabbing or making penetrating cuts with this knife, plan on wearing slash-resistant gloves or bringing plenty of bandages; it has no finger guard. > What hurts more? Accidently cutting yourself or paying an MSRP of $400? Fällkniven F1dz 411: Swedish Air Force pilots carry the F1 as a survival knife. For the F1dz model, Fällkniven started with a 0.18-inch-thick piece of its laminated Cobalt Special steel (an alloy that contains a higher percentage of cobalt), convex ground it like an axe and applied a black ceramic coat. The tang runs through the sand-colored Thermorun handle to create a pommel for pounding. Pros: > The knife is overbuilt for overuse. > Worried that hidden tangs are weaker than full tangs? The F1’s wide tang should allay that concern. > Held under ice water, Thermorun handle offered a better grip than rubber. > Unlike pouch sheaths, you can easily pull the F1 from its sheath with one hand. Cons: > High grind angle at the edge made delicate cuts tricky. > The knife rattles in the sheath. Cold Steel Finn Hawk 411: You can’t get much simpler than the Finn Hawk. The edge’s belly curves up to meet the ramrod-straight spine of the knife, while the blade sports a satin finish. It’s made in Taiwan. The green handle is injection molded first with polypropylene and then rubber, to give grip. The most ornate part of this knife? It’s got a lanyard hole and the 4116 steel is cryogenically quenched. Pros: > The knife floats in the hand thanks to its balance point where the index finger rests. > With an asking price of less than $40, this blade is a workhorse. > Hey, it has a lanyard hole! > Thumb rests nicely on the butt of the knife when held tip down. Cons: > The sheath is a plastic shell > You can have any handle color you want, as long as it’s green. > Plastic and rubber is not the most soul-satisfying handle to hold Morakniv Bushcraft Tactical SRT 411: The name Morakniv is legendary in survivalist circles. Its Bushcraft Tactical SRT is a lesson in contrasts. The TPE rubber handle has nary a straight line, and it fills out the hand. The stainless steel blade is angular, sharp, and narrow. The serrations on the Swedish-made knife are some of the simplest you can find — a series of nine grooves cut into the knife’s bevel. The polymer pouch sheath can strap to your MOLLE system. Pros: > The grind angle becomes more obtuse at the tip, strengthening it. > The serrations help the knife chew through fibrous materials, like rope. > The MOLLE-compatible sheath adds to the carrying options. Cons: > The pommel is plastic — not ideal if you want to give something a good smack. > Serrations complicate the sharpening of this knife. CRKT Saker 411: The Saker is like Italian cooking. You start with simple ingredients (in this case walnut for the handle, brass pins, and a 1075 high-carbon steel) and you come up with something more than the sum of its parts. The spear-point knife is formed from a beefy 0.14-inch-thick piece of metal. It comes with a black leather pouch sheath and a “Bushcraft’s accessory tool.” Pros: > 1075 steel is one of those basic, high-carbon steels that can take a licking and easily re-sharpen. > At 4.5 inches, there’s a lot of blade on this knife. > Sheath is made from thick leather. Cons: > The execution of this knife design is wanting. Bevels were ground unevenly, and the fit and finish of the handle is raw. > Wide, boxy handle > The Bushcraft’s accessory tool is a nice touch, but how do you use it? What can it do that the knife can’t?