Sometimes the best cutlery reviewers are people who have a lukewarm interest in knives. Forget design, steel, handle material etc. – for these folks the bottom line is simple: Does the knife work?
This Fire Creek Forge Bushcraft knife works quite well.
by Leon Pantenburg
Disclaimer: Fire Creek Forge supplied the product for this review. At the time of publication, there was no sponsorship relationship between Fire Creek Forge and Survivalcommonsense.com. Nobody had any input into this post. All I ever promise is a fair shake.
My wife, Debbie, who is essentially indifferent to knife testing, and merely tolerates my cutlery obsession, snagged this handmade knife by Elijah Williams as soon as it arrived in the mail. The Bushcraft immediately became a kitchen knife, which means its main employment area will be inside, with brief, supervised sojourns into the outdoors.
“Not everybody wants a knife that can gut a deer, skin a hog or split an elk’s ribcage,” Debbie commented. She noticed my incredulous expression. “This knife fits my hand, slices well, and holds an edge. It stays in the knife drawer.”
Here are the Bushcraft specs:
– 1/8-inch thick O1 Tool Steel
– 4-inch blade
– 8.75 ” overall length
-Flat grind, differential temper
-Edge RC hardness 58-60
-Olive Drab Canvas Micarta handle scales
-Stainless handle bolts
-Hand-stitched leather sheath
Fire Creek Forge is a small business located in Potlatch, Idaho, owned and operated by Elijah and Sarah Williams. In addition to heirloom quality knives, they make unique and useful forged items the blacksmith shop. Everything they sell is hand forged or hand made by Elijah or Sarah.
Elijah is a “Forged in Fire” champion (Season 6 Episode 8) on the History Channel’s hit show.
The blade design, with the drop point, flat grind with micro bevel and thin blade make this a good skinning and hunting knife. The Bushcraft went along on a deer hunt, where it was used for several deer hunting tasks. The Bushcraft was used for skinning around the shoulders and neck, and it proved to be quite nimble in my hand.
I didn’t try splitting the whitetail’s ribcage with it, since I was also field testing another knife. But I’m guessing the Bushcraft could do the job.
The knife was also used to whittle some feather sticks and other bushcraft knife tasks, and it was my EDC knife for several weeks.
The good stuff:
Steel: O1 Tool Steel is the original oil-hardening, “non-shrinking” tool steel that can be hardened to the Rockwell C 65 range from a low austenitizing temperature, according to the Hudson Steel Corporation. O1 is a general-purpose tool steel that is typically used in applications where alloy steels cannot provide sufficient hardness, strength, and wear resistance.
The blade holds an edge very well, and it is easily stropped back to a razor edge when it eventually dulls. O1 can stain, but a quick wipe with an alcohol swab to remove blood or other acidic substances keeps the blade from developing a patina. If patina is not desirable, go with a stainless steel.
This slender handle kept me from using the knife inside the abdominal cavity while I was gutting a deer. The knife would have gotten drenched in blood and other fluids, and a slender handle could slip in my hand. Someone with smaller hands could have used the Bushcrafter safely. One size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to knife handles.
This is not a deal breaker. Since all the knives are handmade, just contact the company and specify what you want.
Sheath: The knife comes with an attractive, sturdy, hand-sewn leather sheath.
Made in USA: Fire Creek Forge Knives are hand made in Potlatch, Idaho by Elijah Williams. They are works of art that can be used hard. Fire Creek pays local, state and federal taxes, and the company contributes to the local economy. Buy local, buy American!
Do you need a Fire Creek Bushcraft knife?
Well, Debbie thinks she does! Looks, blade configuration, steel hardness and handle material don’t matter much with her. The bottom line is: Will the knife work for what she needs it to?
Debbie thinks it does, and you probably will too!