Having ‘made do’ for many years with various off-the-shelf and dedicated Survival and Bushcraft knives, Dave Watson sat down and considered what was required from a ‘bushcraft’ style knife. He realised that a practical knife will always be a compromise – put simply, if the knife is large enough to chop with then there will be a corresponding loss in its suitability for fine carving and whittling, and vice versa. Many ‘Wilderness Experts’ carry with them at least one knife plus an axe and folding or bow saw whilst in the woods. Each of the tools is very good at doing the jobs for which they were designed. So why carry a large knife that will do some of the work that the axe will do whilst also carrying an axe?
How a knife is used (and is seen to be used, as an instructor) is extremely important. Those using larger knives have been witnessed holding the blade itself for the finer skills—not the best example to set, especially for younger students!
The above has led Dave, through much experiment and discussion with Roger Harrington of Bison Bushcraft, to arrive at a blade that is 3¼” long. Roger is well known for his craftsmanship and is amongst the best knife makers in the UK so he was the obvious person to approach.
The thickness of the blade has been optimised at 1/8” which is fine enough to allow carving and whittling, but heavy enough to enable battoning of wood up to 3” in diameter.
The cutting edge comes right up to the handle—this makes shaving wood and the creation of feather sticks and wooden flowers so much easier, with enhanced control and power. The relatively short length of the blade makes gouging out wood for e.g., starter holes in friction fire baseboards a pleasure as you have so much more control than longer blades.
Having already mentioned the length of the blade, another vital aspect is its profile. Of immediate note is the pronounced ‘belly’. This is to facilitate carving which it does beautifully.
The knife is also suitable for game preparation. It has a slightly dropped point with the blade being short enough to enable the point to be masked by the tip of the index finger for ‘unzipping’. Again the blade profile helps with this. Skinning is made easy as the knife becomes an integral part of the user’s hand.
The Woodland Survival Crafts Knife is being produced to this specification exclusively for Woodland Survival Crafts. by Roger Harrington of Bison Bushcraft.
As with most handmade items, this knife is not only a tool to do a job but becomes ‘organic’. The evidence for this was seen at its launch at the 2007 Wilderness Gathering. Customers were given the choice of knives available and took over an hour to decide which was the ‘one’ for them.
PLEASE NOTE: This item will be restocked in January 2024.