Utility and Weight Savings

Reviewed by Astro-Hiker from Southern CA on Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I've been on a quest for a "realistic" knife that will meet my needs for weekend backpacking and longer trips that is lightweight multipurpose and can hold an edge. I found myself on both edges of the extreme prior to purchase of this knife. I started with a Buck 119 (almost a Rambo knife now that I look back on it) which was a beautiful knife but it was also way way more than I needed. I've worked my way down the list of good knives with quality steel, including various other beautifully made Buck knives and Gerber knives to get to something that I would both use and trust in an every day camp situation. I'm not looking at chopping down trees or tying the knife off to the front of the stick and becoming bear grills, but it's nice to know that I could if I wanted to.

I decided to take a chance on this combination knife that had a firestarter embedded in the handle and I must say I'm very impressed. Yes, I realized that the knife is not full-time. And yes, I realize the steel is not as thick or as high-quality as a Gerber LMF. But the light my fires Swedish fire knife is sharp out-of-the-box and easy to keep that way, useful, and, I'm not sure exactly how to say this, it's pretty darn handy to have around camp. If I have to split wood with it I'm really not concerned at all about hitting the blade with another good-sized stick to go ahead and hammer down through a log to split it. It's a low enough cost knife that I have had zero reservations of actually using it. So what I find is that I use this knife more than any other and it's lighter than most of my other knives that I've tested on this long and tedious quest to find the balance between ounces and functional utility.

The embedded steel comes as the top part of the handle and it easily twists out of the handle when you need it and throws good sparks when struck against the back of the blade. I've been able to start a fire with a properly prepared fire bundle every time with the Swedish Light My Fire and I found that this portion of the knife to be quite good. One thing I would've liked on the knife is an embedded sharpener in the case. If it had that this knife would be five stars for sure. I would have preferred a full Tang, but in actual use it's never been an issue. I typically don't use the back end of my knife to hammer on things so if that was a concern then that might detract from this knife's utility.
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