Pros: Blade Sharpness, Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, Blade Material, Materials, Weight, Overall Quality, Finish
A reliable Companion for the bush
I've owned all sorts of knivesand used them for 50 years as everyday tools.I was raised on a western ranchand have lived in the northern bush most of my life.The last 20 years have been spent off the gridon a homestead in the mountains of BC, Canada.I bought five of these knives for myself and my familyfor Christmas three years ago,and I wish I had bought them 20 years earlier!The Scandi grind is a treat to sharpen and use.In fact, I'd enjoy sharpening it much more oftenbut it rarely needs touched up, even after months of use.The plastic sheath seems odd at first glance,but is a far more intelligent designthan the more common leather or cordura models;the belt clip is strong and aggressive,the knife is held very securely in it,and the thumb stud on the sheath ensures that the knife releases quickly and silently and reliably.Water has no effect on this sheath and the generous drainage hole works perfectly;it's great to have a sheath that is maintenance-freeand that doesn't insist on rusting my blade!It's much easier to replace the knife without lookinginto the always-open sheath than between cheek-by-jowl layers of leather or nylon.The belt clip reaches nearly to the top of the handle-this turns out to be a brilliant design,as the knife handle doesn't stand above the belt:it doesn't drive into my belly when I sit down!The grip is comfortable, hand-filling, and high traction.Skinning and butchering a deer no longer means a cramping hand.I bought the Companion with the carbon steel blade,as I have never been satisfied with the edge on stainless.These blades take a surgical edge and hold it,whether the knife is in daily useor languishing in the kitchen catch-all drawer.After three years of hard usenot one of our five Companions shows the slightest blade damage;no nicks, no bent tips, no stains, no loss of temper. Is this the perfect knife?That depends on what you want to do with it.The fat, confidence-inspiring blade works great for whittling and carving and general camp use,and for cleaning and skinning and butcheringany kind of game or domestic meat.It's too thick, though, to be ideal in the kitchen,where a thin blade slides more easily through fruits and vegetables(just try slicing a wedge from an apple;the edge cuts into the apple easily,but the wide shoulders can't pass through the narrow crevice-a bit like a fat-bottom worker trying to lower himself through a small man-hole).If kitchen use is important to you,buy the regular (not the "Heavy Duty") model.Hunters, scouts and soldiers need a knifethat is as silent and invisible as possible.The Companion releases from its sheath far more silentlythan snaps and (especially) velcro.The carbon-steel blade, however, is as shiny as if it were Stainless.I have no desire to inadvertently flash my locationto game or to other humans,so I sliced a lemon with mineand left the blade covered in pulp overnight.The result was a light-swallowing patinathat I find very attractive.After three years the patina has worn just enoughto make my knife look like a vintage heirloom. Strong, sharp, silent and nearly maintenance-free.This is a no-nonsense sheath knifethat you can trust your life to.The absurdly low price is a bonus.For hunters and homesteaders this rates 5/5.