This is the second knife I received in the package from Survivor Knives. The knife has an 8.25″ blade, a 4.75″ hilt, and a hardened pommel button. The blade is not full tang, which is always problematic. The rubberized handle is well done, though the cross guard is a little tight on my pointer finger (big hands). This offering from Survivor is a nice entry level knife for your kit.
As with the HK 729, this is an entry level knife for the use market. This is not a show piece that will break the first time that you try to cut something. Nor is it a durable knife that should be used as your everyday knife if you are an avid camper. It is a survival knife for people who go to the woods once or twice a year. If you take care of it and do not expect too much out of it, you will find that it is a good knife. 4.5 of 5.
The knife itself draws more of its design from combat than utility. The 8.25″ blade is longer than most people will need in a wilderness situation. If you are cutting it is too long, if you are using it as a machete it is too heavy and not long enough. It kind of falls in that mid-range of being a little bigger than useful. One of the worst features is the cut-aways. While they look cool, they are on the spin of the blade and will quickly be damaged during batoning. 4 of 10
While this knife can do most of the tasks you need a knife to do in a survival situation, it is slightly unwieldy. If you had to fight a bear, you would lose, but the longer knife may be useful to make it angrier so it killed you faster. It does have a solid construction, which does make it slightly more durable than cheaper knives, but when you try to make a knife that is both knife and machete, you end up trying to look like Rambo but looking like Rand Paul. 4.5 of 10.
The knife was sent through the basic battery of tests and it did not break, bend, or chip. The knife dulled quickly, but you expect that from a stainless steel blade. The handle held together nicely, which is a worry when you have a blade with less than full tang. If you are going to use this for basic camp/survival tasks it will perform well. I do want to note that fine carving was a little tricky because of the long blade. 6.5 of 10.
Cool Factor and Final Score
Survivor Knives makes their knives look cool. From the cut-aways to the non-functional saw edge on the back, it does look cool. Black tactical is always going to look nice hanging from your bug-out bag. 7 out of 10.
Overall, this is a good starter knife, which is what it tries to be. With a stainless steel blade, a young outdoorsman can learn to take care of knives by sharpening it with little worry about rust. This makes it more forgiving than some other mediums. It will wear out, but not before you have gotten some good use for it. This gives it a final score of 26.5, making it a great starter knife for those who are on a budget.
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