Shouldn’t it be possible to make a practical, comfortable folding knife that could stand up to bushcraft and survival use with few compromises?
I have been working on this concept for five years now. After four different designs, three separate test groups, five independent professional reviewers and hundreds of hours of creating, revising, redesigning and creating over and over again I have settled on the very best folding knife you can take with you into the woods and depend on night and day for Bushcraft purposes and Survival living.
Here is my story:
Over a decade ago I was camping with some friends and family who knew I always had a fixed-blade knife on me. One of them asked to borrow it to do some woodcarving, whittling, fire-prep, etc. They loved it so much they held onto it the entire trip. So, naturally, I had to go to my backup - which at the time was a fairly nice folding knife. It had a hollow grind and a thick edge that I polished up nicely making it cut like a dream. I was excited to get to spend the day working with it, testing it out "in the wilderness". It only took about 15 minutes before my hand was starting to hurt and my grip uncomfortable. After around 30 minutes of constant use, I had to take a break and put it down. Calluses aside, my hand was hurting. The awkward angles in the handle, the gaps and ridges, the pocket clip...all added up to a painful experience. I learned a tough lesson about depending on a folding knife for "real" outdoors work.
Fast forward five years later after over a thousand handmade Bushcraft knives passed from my hands to customers around the world, I had a "Eureka!" moment: Here's this Bushcraft knife I've been making...revising the design based on customer input and feedback over the years staring me in the face screaming "Make me into a folding knife!".
So I did.
So many attempts before have failed where this one is now succeeding.
"You can't make a folding knife without a clip", they said.
"A full-sized handle will be too big", they said.
"All those materials will make it too heavy to carry", they said.
Well, customers have spoken louder than detractors and this is the result of me ignoring preconceived notions and just going forward with what I knew I wanted...what I knew would work.
There are plenty of large folders out there that could be relied on for survival living. I have no problem with that. However, I wanted something that actually feels good in the hand, is properly balanced, can accomplish multiple tasks and has good quality control built into it.
Occam's razor states: "Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected" - in other words, simpler is better. Better for testing, better for problem solving, better for getting positive results. I have eliminated all the things you don't need in a true bushcraft folding knife and incorporated all the things you absolutely do need into a knife design unlike any other - something unique, well thought-out and well designed.
Here are 10 reasons this folder is different than that every day carry pocket knife you've put up with while in the outdoors:
- #1. The blade is perfect for bushcraft. The blade is made from 3V steel, just under 4 inches long (3.95") with a true "scandinavian grind" (no secondary bevel) set at 12.5 degrees and hardened to 59-60 HRc. The flats are tumble-finished for scratch resistance. The blade rides on thrust bearings for a super smooth action.
- #2. The handle is ergonomically designed to maximize comfort. 5" long, full width and full length - fitting hands of all sizes S-M-L-XL. Overall thickness is 15/16" maximum and 3/4" minimum. Palm-swell in both profile and from above makes this a solid grip. The "upside-down egg" cross-section keeps the top of the handle round and comfortable while allowing "indexing" with the finger pads on the bottom. All corners are rounded - no sharp edges anywhere. The guard is built right into the handle - small enough to not get in the way, large enough to still be effective.
- #3. It is both a frame-lock and a liner-lock. Frame-lock folding knives typically don't have full-width handles but use a thicker piece of titanium for the lockbar. Liner-lock folding knives commonly have wider and fuller handles but use thinner material for the lockbar. My design gives you the advantages of both - a thicker lockbar as well as a full handle over it.
- #4. Thumb-grooves that work. Thumb-grooves do a good job keeping your thumb in place, but they are even better than a striker for use with a firesteel - it so easy to get huge sparks thrown. These thumb-grooves are left "square" and placed farther forward so that you can still do detail work with your thumb on top (the rest of the spine is slightly rounded).
- #5. No thumb-stud to get in the way of push-cuts. Anyone who has used a folder for woodcarving, making traps, fuzz-sticks, or slicing in the camp-kitchen knows the inconvenience of thumb-stud placement. It gets in the way of everything. This design comes instead with a milled slot that makes it just as easy to open without sacrificing blade strength and functionality.
- #6. Hidden Pivot Pin. The pivot screws are under the handles to keep a simple and clean look as well as keep dirt and gunk from getting under the screw heads and into the pivot.
- #7. Maximum Blade-to-Handle Ratio. No compromises taken here. I designed and redesigned this folder to get as much blade as possible while still keeping the tip tucked safely inside when closed.
- #8. No Pocket Clip. A clip is by far the most uncomfortable part of the handle on a folding knife. Many of my customers and friends are taking the clips off of their folding knives and throwing them away. This knife can still be pocket-carried but ideally lives in a pouch sheath on your side - just like other multi-tools do. If you can't live without a clip, this knife is not for you.
- #9. Comfort and Usability without sacrificing Quality. This was my #1 goal. Not looks, not fame and fortune, not "flipping", not to drive up a secondary market. Plain and simple, I wanted a knife that I could actually take camping without compromises. I wanted the same quality, durability and reliability as my fixed blades. The materials are all the same, it just folds up after use. It doesn't matter to me how many of these I sell - it is the right thing to do and the right way to do it.
- #10. No Outrageous Materials. For now, I see no need to use damascus, meteorite, mokume, mammoth tooth, ivory or other precious items. These are all materials that have compromises when it comes to outdoor use. They are impractical out in the field under poor weather conditions, changes in humidity, impacts from use, and so on. The materials I have chosen are tried-and-true for enduring bushcraft and survival use.
I've now been carrying a Bushcraft folding knife with me nearly every day for over 3 years. Over time, I have adjusted the design and improved it. I have also taken various steps to make the manufacturing process for this as smooth and trouble-free as I possibly can. This is my very best work and nothing leaves my shop that doesn't reinforce this feeling. I have also built many fixtures, altered tooling, customized hardware, etc. to make this as efficient as possible for me, my tools and my shop. Truthfully, this knife should sell for $600+. However, I am a "Best Bang for the Buck" kind of guy and have wrapped my entire process around this simple notion. If I can save a nickel or dime here or there without compromising quality, I'm going to do it and pass those savings directly to you.
Want to help make this project a reality? Simply contribute at any of the levels shown. At the very least you'll get a custom survival tin. Most of you, however, will probably want to pick up one of these folders for yourself or someone you know appreciates quality work. There are some among you for whom money is not an obstacle and for that I have created the Platinum Package. Feel free to contribute at any amount - it is all appreciated.
I want to get the ball rolling on this before the end of the year so that I can be completely wrapped up before next summer.
Here is my projected timeline:
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges this project is most likely to meet all occur around getting everything to operate on time and on schedule. For that reason, I have built in "extra time" to my timeline so that I can come in on time or even ahead of schedule. I've given 26 weeks to what should ideally take only 16-20 weeks, since this project is overlapping a major holiday and involves multiple parts traveling through the mail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)