Fallkniven A1: Wilderness Calling

Fallkniven A1: Wilderness Calling
It's strong, Sweedish, and laminated.  The capable Fallkniven A1 is one of my top mid sized survival knife picks, especially when things get wet and stay wet.  While I am a big fan of the high value carbon steel survival knives, they aren't right for every situation and I have found that in high moisture/salt/precip environs their blades will rust faster than you can care for them.  Some high tech coatings can help this propensity quite a bit(DuraCoat, baked-on Dow Corning "MolyCote 3400A") but that relief and cutting edge will always be exposed (and coatings can wear off).  That's where the Fallkniven laminated VG10 stainless steel blades come into their own.  The 13 .4 ounce (370 grams) A1 can surprise you with its capabilities too  Credit its .24 (6mm) thick clip blade which is seen in few other factory produced stainless survival blades.  This thick blade gives the A1 outstanding swing and heft.  It achieved impressive wood chopping and splitting capabilities beyond its mid-size category in TNP testing.  While the A1 could serve is a variety of wilderness roles (like LBE combat blade), its true calling is in the wilderness and Fallkniven accurately identifies and substantiates this use in their literature.  Like some other Fallkniven blades, the A1 Fallkniven says it has passed some arduous bending/breakage tests (data shown) which substantiates the laminated steel concept.  This composite blade features a VG10 steel core sandwiched between 420J2 exterior layers.  This makes the knife more rust and breakage resistant while giving the owner the outstanding edging capabilities of the proven VG10 choice.  Note however that these laminated Fallknivens will nick/chip when they come in contact with the pebble-ridden ground (been there, done it).  Such contact I find is almost inevitable in bushcrafting so you can just expect it and either live with it or sharpen it out afterwards. But the benefits of rust resistance and higher edge holding make the compromise worthwhile.  The clip blade features a mid-spine grind that allows the spine to have full thickness for maximum strength (but I still prefer the full flat grinds). The A1 like its A2 bigger brother (reviewed by me in 2008) has the somewhat short Kraton handle which rides on the this slab (read full tang) of laminated steel.  It is comfortable and will be durable for most adventurers.  The Zytel sheath is my favorite:  it is light, tough, drains nicely, fits snugly, has a good retention strap, and fits the survival POU well.  A lanyard hold is provided.  All this capability in a 13.4 oz knife isn't exactly cheap and prices seem to go up every few years unfortunately.  As of 2010 expect about $155 US for the satin version, about $180 US for the blackened CeraCoat 8H version (which does wear off with use).  But it's worth it and is an all star performer when the rain and snow falls but you still find yourself in need of a woods serious blade. /////////////////////  Nutnfancy Likability Scale:  9 out of 10 (price considered) ///////////////  Music:  www.torley.com

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