Thursday, December 21, 2006

My New Camp Knife

A couple weeks ago I posted that I hard just bought one of these:

"This is a Lynn & Cook Saturn; which I ordered in 3/16" ats34, no scalloping on the blade spine, dark red, heavily figured redwood burl scales with mosaic rivets, and a hand tooled leather sheath. I don't have it here for a pic right now, because mine was a custom order; so I could get exactly what I want (it's usually in 5/32" 440c, with the vine pattern on the spin, and a kydex sheath)."
And now, here it is:

3/16" ATS 34, with hand shaped redwood bastard burl (the type of burl pattern), and mosaic rivets. Excuse the lighting, and the smudge marks from my hand; I just took a few pics quickly this evening after the big brown van of happiness dropped it off.

It's got a very unusual burl pattern; that doesn't show up very well here. I asked Lynn and Dennis to just pick a piece of pretty, heavily figured wood, whatever they thought looked good; and I really like the results. As I said, in photos you can't really see the depth of the burl, but it's very nice. Also the scales are left satin hand rubbed with no lacquer etc... because it's intended to be a hard used knife; if it were fully finished the figuring would really pop.

I may polish it up with some lemon oil and take some pics just to see what it would look like.

But, like I said, it's intended to be a work knife. Look at the thickness of the blade here:

and the depth of the grind, the choil, and the strength of the tip and false edge.

This is one seriously tough knife, that should stand up to years of camp and field use.

The knife is very specifically right handed; you can see the scales are offset shaped, and in the pic at the top you can see the finger grooves are slightly angled, so that a right handers grip is reinforced:

It's still quite comfortable in the left hand, but the grip is greatly reinforced in the right hand; it's just more natural and secure. Also note that these scales are thinner than those on most knives; because the blade stock is so thick. In order to keep the grip slim, the scales were slimmed down by 1/16th. The sculpted shape of them is EXTREMELY comfortable; I could easily see working with this knife for hours without hand pains.

Of course, I ordered it with a right handed leather sheath, rather than the standard kydex:

My only real complaint actually, is that I don't care for the Finnish style of sheath, that has become very popular with custom knife makers because it is very simple, tough, and attractive.

The problem I have is that the knife slips deeply into the tube of the sheath and is held in by friction. For a camp and field knife, I prefer a loose sheath, with a secure strap. With this style of sheath, if you push the knife in deep enough to be very secure it can be hard to draw the knife, especially if your hands are wet or slippery.

The knife came hair popping sharp, but the edge is still ground at a relatively strong angle, that I don't anticipate having to regrind either way. Given the quality heat treat, and good base alloy I'd also expect the edge holding to be as good as any stainless knife can be, provided I don't do much cutting of bone, or other hard abrasive media.

All in all, it's a gorgeous, sharp, strong knife, and I'm very happy; especially considering the total cost including shipping, was $160. I'd easily rate this knife as high as my $300-$400 knives.