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Preview – SHTF – Bizarre Survival Blades

We Get Intimate with Fremont Knives’ Farson Blade and TOPS Knives’ ATAX

While most every knife throughout history was forged for a specific purpose — from the stiletto and Bowie to the facón and navaja — they have also been used for hundreds of years as an all-purpose tool: stab, slice, skin, and saw. That’s the beauty of a knife. Need a hammer? Get a hammer. Need an ax? Get an ax.

Survival knives are a relatively recent invention, as the butcher blades and table knives of the 18th and 19th centuries made way for more specialized blades. It wouldn’t be until the Vietnam War when the modern, purpose-built survival knives were introduced by Randall Made Knives Company. They featured serrations on the spine (for cutting your way out of a downed aircraft) and a waterproof, hollow handle (for storing items like a flint).

These days, survival knives come in a wide variety of styles and configurations, and they just got a little wilder, evident by the two unusual models here: the ATAX from TOPS Knives and the Farson Blade from Fremont Knives. Both of these blades are not primary knives, but to be used as secondary tools in addition to a conventional carry knife. However, all by themselves, they can replace many tools you would need to hump in a potential SHTF situation. If you can grab only one tool as you, say, exit a helicopter’s wreckage, make it either of these.

Fremont Knives - Farson BladeTop Knives - ATAX

Kicking the Tires
The slim Farson Blade (named for an ancient cutting tool found near Farson, Wyoming) is high on style and design, but short on features. The main attribute beyond the wrap-around, D-shaped, stainless-steel blade is its 8 feet of 550-pound paracord wrapped in a nearly impossible-to-duplicate pattern around the handle. It is lightweight, easy to use, and comfortable to grip thanks to the cord wrap. The butt of the blade can be used as a hammer. It is best used for chopping, slicing, and skinning, as well as shaving and scraping.

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