Fallkniven F1 Fixed Blade Survival Knife Reviews

Fallkniven F1 Fixed Blade Survival Knife

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Fällkniven F1 – Maximizing Minimalism

Feb 6, 2012 (Updated Jan 20, 2014)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:VG10 steel; Compact; Thermorun handle; Drop point

Cons:Handle size can be too small for some

The Bottom Line: A strong, compact, fixed blade knife for when you need more than minimal function; but, require something less than maximum size.


The Fällkniven F1 has quickly become my favorite, fixed blade knife for backpacking.  Serving as the official Swedish Air Force pilots’ knife since 1995, it has become a popular subject of discourse on survival and bushcraft forums.  It is not a “one knife” (or, more accurately, “one cutting tool”) solution; with those who both love and criticize it often having unrealistic expectations in that regard.  However, for those in need of a small, light, fixed blade knife that functions well within the parameters in which it was designed to perform, there aren’t many options as good, let alone better.  Well, at least in my opinion.

Let’s Deal With Some Terms


Before we go any further, let’s get on the same page regarding a few terms often thrown about these days.  When I was younger, someone headed to the woods, whether hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, whatever virtually always carried a pocket knife.  In addition, many, if not most, carried a fixed blade knife on their belt.  If it involved “spending a night in the woods,” an ax or hatchet was occasionally or semi-regularly taken; especially if a ‘group’ of two or more was involved where shared gear was split between the individuals.

These were all cutting tools; each performing general to specific functions.  If it did the job(s) you needed it to do, then it was “good to go” and the only question(s) raised generally had to do with weight and whether you really needed it based on what the agenda was.  That meant a simple pocket knife would often be enough.  A “belt knife” was usually a fixed blade; though, later, a ‘folding’ knife, with a slightly larger blade, such as a Schrade Old-Timer or Buck made certain tasks easier.  Larger belt knives were hauled because Jim Bowie or Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone or “the mountain men” were personal heroes and you never knew when you’d encounter a big ‘ole bear, with smiling it down not being much of an option – even if Davy done it on television

Today, knives have been invidiously divided into a series of niches; e.g., bushcraft, fighting/combat, folders, survival, hunting, camp, EDC, et al.  As a result, the debates have become endless as to which type is better for what tasks; not to mention whether a particular design ‘qualifies’ for one or more ‘categories.’  The truth is, there is wisdom in the axiom: “The ‘best’ knife is the one you have with you.”  In other words, you can make just about any knife perform its basic function – cutting.  As a result, any knife is ‘better’ than not having one. 

Be that as it may, there are two terms used in discussions today which, according to some ‘experts,’ are not interchangeable when it comes to knives – survival and bushcraft.  In fact, another term has slipped into the same discussion called “self-reliance.”  The trouble is that when you read the explanations of the supposed differences between these terms, you realize that there’s more parsimony than actual, outdoor experience involved.  In that sense, it is about the ‘mindset’ of the individual rather than the actual tasks.

For instance, ‘survival’ is usually considered in the context of “immediate need” and multi- or general purpose designs.  ‘Bushcraft’ is often discussed in terms of ‘advanced’ practices which go beyond “immediate need;” often requiring two or more blades which are more inherently designed to meet specific techniques/tasks.  For the sake of argument, let’s also include “self-reliance,” which seems to be a term employed to denote the knowledge and skill involved in using available resources.  Naturally, it is argued that “self-reliance” encompasses both ‘survival’ and ‘bushcraft.’  (I think you can already see the ‘hair splitting’ going on.  No pun intended.) 

If you lean toward one, all-purpose blade for ‘anywhere, anytime, all the time,’ that can be used to ‘survive the moment’ – be it nuclear holocaust, zombie hordes, biological event, asteroid impact, aircraft accident, ad infinitum – the mindset tends to fall within the ‘survival paradigm.’  If you tend more to the recognition that there has never been one cutting tool which has been able to do ‘everything’ well or ‘best’ in any situation, you tend more toward the ‘bushcraft’ or ‘self-reliance’ paradigms.  Either way, there’s a company, series of companies, marketing experts, and television producers just waiting for you.

Of course, these are simplified generalizations.  To the point, I’m not a big believer in such terms or that type of marketing.  In a generic sense, such terms are marginally useful as an indicator of the mindset behind the design.  In a greater context, however, such ‘marketing’ and ‘paradigmatic proselytizing’ largely does not speak to individual tasks or to the fact that everyone tends to have an evolving philosophy when it comes to equipment; such ‘evolution’ being largely dependent upon that person’s needs in a given situation or as their mindset changes with regard to how they ‘approach the outdoors’ in terms of specific activities.

What is a Fällkniven?

Why do I spend so much time on such ‘philosophy?’  First, because the Fällkniven F1 is listed as part of the company’s “Survival knives” series, as part of their “Hunting knives” series, and as part of their “Military knives” series; labeled as the “Pilot Survival Knife” in all three.  Each category heading provides a certain, intuitive insight into what ‘paradigm’ the knife design is intended to address.  Second, because certain expectations/criticisms/uses, rightly or wrongly, stem from this ‘intuitive’ understanding.  Finally, just because there is a perceived rationale behind categorizing a particular knife doesn’t make it a good or bad “general utility” blade for “spending a night in the woods.”  Such suitability is going to be dependent upon mindset, individual need and skill level, along with an host of other factors.

The first thing to note, then, would be how the company describes itself.  On the “About Us” page of their website, it states the following:

We are a true family firm, with our roots deep in the soil of Norrbotten, Sweden.  We have been hunters and fishermen for decades and we know from personal experience how a knife should be.  The firm started operations in 1984 and today is acknowledged as one of Sweden’s foremost knife specialists.  We began to develop our own knives in 1987 and today this is our principal activity… we’re today Purveyor to His Majesty the King of Sweden.  To be on the safe side we quality test our knives at Lulea University of Technology so that we know how our knives hold up.  The knowledge allows us to dare say that our knives are the strongest, serial manufactured, stainless steel knives in the world!

Take careful note of the ‘family tradition’ of hunting and fishing.  In other words, the company does not present itself as making “survival” knives or “military” experts, etc.  They present themselves as outdoorsmen and knife specialists who have been approached by their government to make knives to be used by their military.  If that doesn’t draw a ‘picture’ for you, then juxtapose that “About Us” to what TOPS Knives, which produces ‘survival tools’ says about itself:

Our Knives are TOOLS designed, and built, using the extensive knowledge and REAL LIFE Experiences of 12 Operators with backgrounds in the Military, Law Enforcement, Outdoor Professions, and the Martial Arts… Over the last twelve years TOPS KNIVES have been requested and deployed in many ‘Hot Spots’ around the world.  Numerous individuals who are currently active FIELD OPERATORS are using our knives and have been reporting top performance and reliability from their TOPS KNIVES.

See the difference?  (The caps are not mine, by the way.) 

TOPS Knives produces the Tom Brown Tracker; featured in The Hunted with Benecio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones and designed by noted survival expert and ‘tracker’ Tom Brown.  They also produce the ATAX; a multi-purpose survival tool designed by the late Ron Hood, another ‘survival’ expert.  Of course, there are a couple versions of the “Hawke Hellion” knife; designed by Myke Hawke, former Green Beret and co-host, with his wife Ruth, of the Discovery Channel series Man, Woman, Wild.  How about the ‘new’ Pathfinder School Knife being produced by TOPS Knives designed for/with Dave Canterbury and named for his ‘self reliance’ school?  (Not to be confused with the Pathfinder Knife, produced by Blind Horse Knives, and featured on his YouTube channel as well as seen on his Discovery Channel program Dual Survival with co-host Cody Lundin.)

That’s not a critique of TOPS Knives or the quality of their products.  It is simply an example of the difference in not only marketing approaches, but of the difference in mindset between the two companies when it comes to “survival” knives.  When you see the “our knives are tools,” a marketing appeal to the ‘tacti-cool’ niche, and realize that TOPS produces products ostensibly designed by ‘survival’ experts versus designs by a family with a tradition of hunting and fishing in northern woodlands and military contracts with their government, the more cynical begin to wonder how much of the respective designs is experienced-based functionality vs. establishing a niche in a flooded market.

What is a Fällkniven F1?


Bear all of the preceding in mind when you read the description provided by the company for their F1…

With this knife a new world standard is being set!  Important factors such as technical design, ergonomy and economy are brought together with the model F1, and represent the foremost concept available today.  The knife meets and surpasses by far established international standards for strength, personal security and value for the money… Mod. F1 is the official survival knife for pilots with the Swedish Air Force since 1995… Mod. F1 represents an entirely new philosophy with respect to knives for survival use.  At the same time it combines the experience of generations of knife manufacturing with modern technology.  The handy size, the well thought-out design, the incredibly tough laminated steel are only a few of many details making this knife something you can rely on… Mod. F1 is a handy knife and is tremendously versatile.  The safe, pleasant grip together with a very hard yet tough laminated steel, makes the knife very useful for all kind
[sic] of daily work but also demanding tasks…

Short version?  Based on a tradition of producing hunting and fishing knives for the northern woodlands of Sweden, the company has used a modern, laminate steel to construct a knife that’s not only affordable (especially compared to many of the ‘survival’ knives/tools on the market), but meets the “immediate needs” of military pilots.  The result is a knife with the following specifications…

Total length: 210 mm (8.3”)
Blade length: 97 mm (3.8”)
Blade thickness:  4.5 mm (0.18”), tapered
Tang: broad, protruding
Weight (knife): 150 g (6 oz)
Steel: Lam. VG10
Blade Hardness: 59 HRC
Handle: Thermorun
Sheath:  All-covering leather or Zytel

A More Detailed Look At Each of the Specifications


Let’s take a look at each of these features in turn…

Length (Blade & Overall)
Size is a major consideration for military pilots.  There just isn’t that much room for ‘extras.’  When you remember that a pilot’s worst nightmare is to eject over territory where they have just been dropping bombs and rockets on people, the realization strikes that ‘survival’ equipment is a derivative of an absolutely last resort option.  Thus, such equipment is minimized in terms of both quantity and size.  According to the company’s 2009 catalog (available in .pdf format), the knife is carried in the thigh pocket of the survival (flight) suit of “every Swedish fighter pilot.”

Unfortunately, the total length (8.3”) and blade length (3.8”) don’t tell the whole story.  While there is the inevitable debate regarding the ‘proper’ length of blade for a ‘survival’ vs. a ‘bushcrafting’ knife, the reality is that 3.5” to 5” is generally considered the ‘ideal’ compromise.  Anything smaller and the knife generally won’t work well for ‘heavier’ tasks.  Anything longer and the blade tends to become a problem for ‘finer’ tasks. 

With that said, the 3.8” blade length is from tip to handle; i.e., the spine.  The actual cutting edge is slightly shorter.  There is approximately 2 ¼” of straight edge before the belly starts.  In other words, you have just enough edge for tasks such as feather sticks, carving, etc. and just enough belly for field dressing game.  I can also stipulate that it works well on trout.

The one, somewhat legitimate ‘complaint’ lodged against this knife, however, is the length (and girth) of the handle.  I wear large/x-large gloves depending on the manufacturer.  The handle is just long enough (and only just long enough) that I’m not slopping off the ‘pommel’ end.  Likewise, the girth is less than ‘hand filling.’  When I pick up my slightly larger Cold Steel Master Hunter in Carbon V, the difference in feel is significant, with the Master Hunter filling the hand much better.

This means that someone with truly large hands will likely find the handle too small.  It also means that, in conjunction with the small, front quillon and lack of a choil of any consequence, you’ll need to be careful “choking up” on the blade.  Don’t get me wrong, if you get a firm grip, you can exert considerable downward pressure and the Thermorun helps in that regard.  It’s just something to keep in mind.

Likewise, it makes the lanyard hole almost useless, at least for me, in that I have not found a way to string a lanyard without it ending up uncomfortably between my hand and the handle.

Blade Thickness
Once again, debates rage.  As I stated in my review of the Gerber LMF II (see review link below), quality, outdoor blades fall between 5/32" and 7/32" - 0.156 and 0.219" - narrower blades, such as fillet knives, being too flexible for general use and thicker blades, such as the ¼” thick slab on the Becker BK2 (see review link below) being good for 'chopping' but not as good for 'finer' work.  At 0.18” or just under 3/16”, the F1 is right in the middle.  Remember, however, that the specs say that is a tapered thickness.  In other words, the spine is 3/16” thick for the first 2 ½”, where it begins to taper toward the point.

This is one of the reasons why I’m a bit askance regarding some of the YouTube videos and ‘articles’ where batoning pretty good size pieces of wood is seen as a suitable task for this knife.  Can the knife do it if you absolutely need it to?  I don’t know, first hand.  I haven’t abused the knife by trying to pound it through larger pieces of wood.  Don’t misunderstand.  This is anything but a ‘delicate’ or 'fragile' knife.  I simply cannot see the thought process as regards risking damage to your second most important survival tool; the first being knowledge and the ability to apply it.

Batoning with a knife is not intended for ‘splitting rounds' or processing a wood pile into ‘fireplace' logs.  It’s most basic purpose is for getting at dry wood to start a fire.  In addition, ‘proper' technique indicates that sufficient blade length be exposed on both sides of the wood being split so that the blade can be ‘batoned' evenly; i.e., you don't just pound on the tip.  Given the tapered thickness as you approach the tip and with only 2 ½” of ‘thick’ spine, not to mention the 2 ¼” of straight, cutting edge, I’d say the designers had somewhat the same mindset that I do as regards this technique – i.e., it's fine for producing small kindling, knocking out portions for animal traps, or creating fire drill components.  (The drop point design gives this ‘tapered point’ additional strength compared to other styles; but, it doesn’t solve the entire ‘problem.’  More on the “drop point” design in a minute.)   

Yes, with a little technique it can handle the appropriate sizes for emergency shelters such as a lean-to.  Since I can typically find that size laying around or break it off myself, I tend to save my knife for less harsh treatment.  Why?  First, because I'm not sponsored by a network or manufacturer, with spare blades waiting back at the crew’s camp.  Second, in a survival situation, the main emphasis is to preserve and maintain resources/tools.  Break, dull, or ruin one of your most important tools, your knife, and how much tougher does 'survival' become?

In that context, I’ve used the Fällkniven F1 for ‘batoning’ small pieces of kindling into smaller pieces of kindling by ‘pounding’ on the spine with the side of my hand.  Choose the right wood for your purposes (making kindling, not ‘practicing’ batoning) and I can tell you it slips through like a hot knife through butter.  (More on ‘batoning’ in a moment when we talk about the steel.)    

Tang (broad, protruding)
The F1 is a full, non-tapered tang, running about ¾” (give or take) in width for most of its length.  The end protrudes about 1/16” from the end of the handle, creating a ‘pommel’ that can be used, theoretically, for driving stakes (though not necessarily into ‘hard’ ground) or, to a lesser degree, creating ‘headaches.’

Weight
The F1 is listed as weighing 6 oz. without a sheath.  That’s not quite correct.  If you take the 150 grams and convert it (1 gram = 0.03527396195 oz.), the number of ounces works out to 5.29 oz.  That’s almost precisely where my antiquated Weight Watcher’s scale puts it; i.e., just over 5 oz.  With the leather sheath, the total weight, according to the Weight Watcher’s scale, is just under 9 oz.  (I don’t have a Zytel sheath to weigh it with.)  Compare that to the 11.4 oz. of the Gerber LMF II and the 16 oz. of the Becker BK2 and you can see why I prefer it for backpacking.

Steel This is likely the most misunderstood, maligned/praised, and perceptibly complex part of any discussion regarding the Fällkniven F1.  Without drifting too far into histrionics or “the weeds” of technical discourse, I’ll try to keep this simple.  First, there are two, primary ‘steels,’ depending on which model of the F1 you purchase – VG10 and 3G.  Since the VG10 is, by far, the more common and the 3G version is significantly more expensive, not to mention this listing is for and I only own the VG10 model, let’s stick with VG10.

**Note - DO NOT confuse “VG10” with the “VG1” steel used in knives such as marketed by Cold Steel.  While they share certain similarities and are touted by their respective pundits, they are two, different animals.**

In the aforementioned 2009 catalog, the company describes VG10 thus…

Rust-resistant special steel
VG10 is a costly steel that is hard to work, but which, when correctly hardened and tempered, gives a blade that is resilient and hard, as well as practically stainless.  Nowadays, we hardly ever use anything but laminate blades, as these are about 20% stronger than a solid blade.  With an outer layer of 420J2 and an edge made of VG10 you get a blade that is extremely strong and retains its sharpness for a very long time.

In an overly simplistic sense, the 420J2 steel forms a ‘protective’ outer layer.  It is a ‘softer’ steel which makes it ‘tough’ in the sense of protecting the inner, ‘harder’ (comparatively more ‘brittle’) VG10.  However, the 420J2 does not take or hold an edge well.  The VG10 is laminated or ‘sandwiched’ between outer layers of the 420J2.  It is considered an “high-end” stainless steel that, due to the Vanadium in the alloy, takes and holds an excellent edge.  It is ‘rust resistant,’ though, perhaps, not as much so as the 420J2 due to an higher carbon content; which is part of the reason for using the latter as a protective, outer layer.

As the catalog description alludes to, a critical factor in the use of VG10 is the heat treatment process.    It becomes even more crucial given the steel’s use in the F1.  The VG10 is ‘sandwiched’ in between the 420J2 outer layers and only shows externally as the actual cutting edge of the blade.  The advantage is that VG10 is a denser steel which can be made ‘harder’ while retaining excellent edge-taking/holding properties that other steels cannot achieve at such ‘hardness’ levels without being too brittle.  The disadvantage is that the ‘harder,’ comparatively more ‘brittle’ and less rust-resistant steel forms the edge, meaning that while it takes and holds an edge much ‘better’ than some alternatives, particularly in stainless steel, it isn’t necessarily as ‘strong’ as other types of steel in the sense of withstanding ‘improper’ technique/use.

That’s the key.   One of the most often heard criticisms of the Fällkniven blades which use VG10 (and, interestingly, the knives of other companies using VG1) is that the edge has a penchant for chipping.  So far as I can discern, virtually every one of those ‘stories’ I’ve found of the Fällkniven F1 blade ‘chipping’ is tied to batoning, chopping, and/or ‘hitting the ground/rock.’  In other words, when batoning, the knife is improperly driven through to hit the ground; usually meaning some form of hard contact with a rock/pebble/gravel.  When trying to ‘chop’ through dry, seasoned hard wood with a knife, you can expect a few ‘issues’ to arise. 

When dressing large game and using a ‘small’ knife to chop through bone instead of an ax, well…  It’s just about as bad as when one decides to clean a fish on top of a streamside rock, ‘sawing’ through the head until the blade cuts through and ‘saws’ the rock itself, then wondering why the knife dulls so quickly. 

At some point, given such abuse, you can expect a knife edge to ‘give.’  Some steels will ‘fold.’  Some will ‘chip.’  Others will do both or crack or simply ‘break’ either due to the steel or the design or both.  That’s why there’s a reason I refer to batoning and chopping as ‘abuse’ in my knife reviews.  In some respects, it is necessary to find out what your blade is capable of in ‘training’ so that you know what the limits are.  But, to want a knife to do the full job usually expected of an “ax,” especially on a regular basis, is a mindset too often seen today. 

Can you get a well-made, well-designed knife to perform some of the light tasks usually asked of an ax?  Yes, when you occasionally need to and no alternative is available.  If, however, you ‘regularly’ seem to find the ‘need,’ then you should be carrying a cutting tool more appropriate to that ‘need.’  Likewise, if you have to use a knife, you should know how to use it to perform those tasks in such ‘immediate need’ circumstance; not to mention accept and be prepared to deal with/mitigate the fairly common and predictable results of doing so.  In other words, know your tools; their strengths and limitations.  Know your own skills, resources, and limitations.  Then, make sure you know how to combine that knowledge of the tool, skills, resources, and their limitations for maximum benefit. 

That applies whether you have a survival or bushcraft or self-reliance mindset.

Handle
Simply put, Thermorun is a rubber-based, ‘plastic’ material and is used to form the handle to provide a good grip in wet conditions and allow you to grip the handle in extreme cold.  (Remember, we’re talking a knife for the Northern Woodlands.)  Subjectively, it’s not as perceptibly ‘soft’ as Kraton and not quite as ‘hard’ as the “Sanoprene” Benchmade utilizes.  It forms a relatively thin layer around the tang, which contributes to the ‘minimal size’ and ‘minimal hand filling’ of the grip.  Also bear in mind that as a ‘rubber’ based elastomer, ‘high heat’ can have its effects.

Bark River Knives & Tool, makers of the Bravo 1, do offer the Fällkniven F1 as an occasional ‘custom’ run in the sense of taking the bare metal and adding scales made from Micarta, Cocobolo, G-10, Desert Ironwood, etc.  You’ll need to find a stocking dealer and/or consult BRKT’s website home page to see what knives are currently in production.  But, realize that it’s gonna cost you.  The standard, non-coated blade (the F1 is also available with CeraCoat 8H blade), Thermorun handled, VG10 F1 has a street price of around $120 - $130 for the Zytel and leather sheath options respectively.  The BRKT versions, depending on the scale option you choose, will set you back $250 - $400.  (To get a sense for the options available, check out http://www.knivesshipfree.com/)

Is the price difference worth it?  BRKT does an excellent job.  The options range from functional to practical and downright beautiful.  If you like the F1 size/design, but just need a more ‘hand filling’ grip, then I suppose it can be worth the difference and I would not have an issue with someone else spending the money.  For me, especially given that I regularly use this knife in the ‘wet’ (e.g., blood and water), I’ve stuck with the Thermorun.

Sheath
As already noted, there are two options from Fällkniven; leather and Zytel.  For my purposes, I prefer the leather; which is black with a ‘flap’ that covers the handle.  One criticism I’ve seen online of the leather sheath is you have to insert the knife “just so” for it to go in correctly.  That’s true.  It’s not so much a matter of “holding your mouth right” as it is being ‘aware’ while placing it in the sheath.  (Bear in mind that I wipe down and ‘dry’ my knife before placing it in the leather sheath.  I also give the blade an occasional wipe of ‘oil’ because even the best stainless steel will ‘corrode’ if not maintained. )

The Zytel sheath is reputed to be a better option in extreme wet and cold.  It has a drainage hole in the bottom and the Zytel is claimed to be more resistant to the knife to freezing to the inside of the sheath.  However, since I don’t own the Zytel sheath and can’t speak from first-hand use, I’ll let it go at that other than to note that Fällkniven lists a right and left hand version of the Zytel sheath for the F1.

There are a variety of after-market sheath options available in a variety of price ranges.  In fact, Fällkniven itself offers an open top, leather, ‘dangler’ sheath as a ‘spare part.’  JRE Industries offers several variations of leather sheaths for the F1.  There are Kydex and leather/Kydex options out there.  Of course, you can also make one yourself.  That’s one of the benefits of this knife’s popularity.

A Couple Features of Import


The Fällkniven F1 is a Swedish design, but is manufactured in Japan.  While that may or may not be of ‘import’ to you, there are those who seem to bristle at the idea of the ‘Swedish’ tradition in cutting tools being ‘outsourced’ to Japan.  Debates surrounding the efficacy of Japanese knife production can range from the simple to complex to heated to surreal.  The simple reality is that, as with many, if not most ‘outsourced’ products, it all comes down to the quality demanded (enforced) and cost tolerance.   In the case of knives, there are some excellent blades which come from Japan; including the Fällkniven designs.  Also, in this case, ‘common assumption’ is that there is no other choice since (again, this is the assumption) the VG10 used is a proprietary material and/or there are trade restrictions which preclude its use in manufacturing outside of Japan.

The Fällkniven F1 has a convex ‘edge’ or what the company refers to as an “axe edge.”  This has become a very popular grind for “outdoor” knives and is argued to be more utilitarian.  It can also be a little ‘intimidating’ to sharpen for those not familiar with it.  Since there exists a rather ubiquitous amount of coverage, written and video, concerning convex vs. other grinds and how to sharpen convex edges (including tips on Fällkniven’s own site), I won’t attempt to deal with it here.  Suffice to say, with a little practice, it’s not that difficult to obtain a very sharp edge and is, in some ways, easier than with other grinds and steels.

Speaking of the sharp, the F1 comes from the factory with a fully functional, sharp edge.  At least mine did.  Feather sticks, notching, fish cleaning, et al. are good to go right out of the box.   

The F1 also has, in my opinion, the advantage of a drop point design.  I have a preference for drop point blades and as noted in the Benchmade 10502 Rant review (see link below), Benchmade describes a drop point as follows:

A slow convex-curved drop in the point characterizes a drop-point blade. The drop-point format lowers the point for control but adds strength to the tip. Usually coupled with plenty of belly for slicing, this format is often used for hunting knives. It is also a fantastic all-around blade format. This blade shape can be found on a wide array of knives.

Final Thoughts


You do recall that, at the beginning, I mentioned that Fällkniven touts its family history of hunting and fishing, that ‘categorization’ as a ‘survival’ or ‘bushcraft’ knife didn’t guarantee a blade’s suitability as a “general utility” item, and that the description the company provides for the F1 emphasized “an entirely new philosophy with respect to knives for survival use;” including surpassing “by far established international standards for strength?”  Again, this is why so much time was devoted to discourse on terms, marketing, and the expectations which come with such ‘labels.’ 

Put another way… 

Do you know what you believe or do you believe what someone else has told you? 

Do the specs meet the actual needs of use or do the features seem more intended to meet the expectations of the marketing labels?  

Do you know how to combine knowledge of the tool (based on first-hand research and use rather than ‘marketing labels’); individual skills; and available resources, then utilize that combination of knowledge, advantages, and limitations for maximum benefit? 

For my money and my purposes, Fällkniven has done just that with their F1.  In a very real sense, they’ve maximized a minimalist design in terms of value and performance.

Other Cutting Tool Reviews

Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 
Bahco 396 Laplander Saw  
Gerber LMF II 
KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion 
Benchmade 10502 Rant 
Benchmade Griptilian 551  
Victorinox One-Hand Trekker   
Victorinox Super Tinker 
Victorinox Fieldmaster  
Victorinox Classic 
Wenger Standard Issue 
Leatherman Wave   
Lansky Retractable Diamond Rod Sharpener 
Gränsfors Bruks Axe Sharpening Stone #4033   


Recommend this product? Yes

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