The Brothers of Bushcraft designed BOB Knife has been a smash hit for TOPS Knives and for good reason – it is a great knife. I own one and it strikes a great balance between cutting performance and durability thanks to its somewhat unique modified “Scandi” edge and large, hand filling handle. There have been several iterations of the BOB Knife so far; all of them featuring a powder coat finish in various colors.Many users find that the coating reduces cutting performance and just ends up rubbing off during some common tasks like batoning. It is fairly common for people to actually strip the coating from their knives. The newest version of the BOB Knife is the first without powder coating from the factory. It features a tumbled finish that leaves the 1095 steel bare.If you don’t care for coated knives, this is the BOB Knife for you. Check out the new B.O.B. Knife with Tumbled Finish at TOPS Knives.
Riverside Forge needs to be on your radar. They make some incredibly attractive knives at incredibly attractive prices. Many of their designs are geared toward the bushcraft community and that is the case with the knife I am profiling today.
This bushcraft knife that Riverside Forge recently posted for sale is representative of much of what they make. It is a fairly traditional bushcraft design that is ground from 1/8″ thick O1 tool steel and comes in at about 8″ overall. Its spear point blade features a scandi grind that excels in carving tasks. Its gorgeous stabilized redwood scales are set off by spacers and all brass hardware.
This knife sold for just $100. Most of their offerings come in at under $150. That should knock your socks off.
Check out Riverside Forge on Facebook.
InnerBark Outdoors recently released this video about feather sticks (aka fuzz sticks). It is hands down the best information that I have seen on the subject. In the video, Andy covers a refined technique for creating feather sticks safely, how to choose the right wood, and why to make them.
The ability to create quality feather sticks is one of these most single useful skills the outdoorsman can possess. It is also a test of one’s ability with a knife and the knife itself. There is a good reason you see feather sticks mentioned in nearly every survival oriented knife review.
Nothing about Gransfors Bruks is inexpensive and that includes the various aftermarket items that you might want to go with your axe. Most of the axe masks that you find are very well crafted and beautiful to look at but very expensive. They are also usually made of leather which certainly works but a hard axe mask/bit cover can be a nice safety item on sharp axe that is carried in a pack. That is why I was so happy to come across Grizzly Outdoors. They offer an axe mask for the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe that is molded from kydex and costs only $15. In that world of Gransfors Bruks, that is a bargain of the highest degree.
Check out Grizzly Outdoors.
If you could only choose one knife to walk into the woods with the intent to stay a while, you could do a lot worse than a good parang. The large, traditional design excels at tasks like fire prep and shelter building. One of the nicest examples of parangs that I have seen recently was created by Wolf Creek Forge.
Their parang features a massive 3/16″ thick O1 blade with an etched finish. The green canvas micarta handle is complimented with black liners, loveless bolts, and a lanyard tube. This was their first parang and they intend to offer a run of these eventually. That run will likely sell out quickly so get in touch with Wolf Creek Forge via their BushcraftUSA forum or their Facebook Page.
The new GrandDaddy G2 looks a lot like it’s predecessor in its general shape but this short machete has learned some new tricks.
Like the original GrandDaddy short machete, the G2 is cut from reclaimed saw blades (.95″-.105″ thick 8670M high carbon steel). Both versions are differentially heat treated. Both versions have the same full-tang construction, 10.875″ long deep bellied clip point blades, and curvy handles.
Unlike the original, the G2 features a black powder coat finish and machined G-10 handle slabs. The handle slabs are fitted to site flush with the tang. Finally, while the clip point blades are extremely similar, the G2 adds a short sharpened swedge that serves to create a stronger tip.
The GrandDaddy G2 comes with a skeletonized kydex sheath. The sheath is available in OD Green or Flat Dark Earth.
Check out the GrandDaddy G2 at Southern Grind. Read more about the incredible back story of Southern Grind at Jerking the Trigger.
Knife makers have been emulating George W. Sears’ , AKA Nessmuk, favored knife design ever since he wrote Woodcraft. The design is traditionally characterized by a distinctive overall “S” curve shape with a bull nose blade. However, many makers like to put their own spin on it.
One of the most distinctive versions I have seen lately comes from Lerman Custom Knives. It is obvious at a glance that it is a Nessmuk and yet it has been stretched and modernized in a very attractive way. It is both traditional and modern at the same time and the combination is striking.
Check out Lerman Custom Knives.
The state of hardware store axes is really dreadful. A typical hardware store axe has a poor quality metal head that is sand cast into a single, inefficient shape with a poor heat treat and a handle that promotes blisters rather than preventing them. There really isn’t much that these axes get right which leads many people to look overseas for their axes. Manufacturers like Wetterlings and Gransfors Bruks make wonderful tools but they are often expensive, they may not be well suited to American hard woods, and their available patterns are somewhat limited.
The lack of quality options leaves the savy axe user to seek out and rehabilitate old US made axes. However, not everyone has the time, know-how, desire, or work bench space to rehab their own axes. Thankfully there are people like Jon LeValley of LeValley Outdoors who are doing their best to restore these old, used axes to usefulness.
LeValley Outdoors offers a staggering variety of axes that have been cleaned, inspected, re-profiled, sharpened, and properly hung on a new handle that is hand finished with linseed oil and beeswax. They have hatchets with several lengths of handles, boy’s axes, full size single bit axes, cruiser size double bits, full size double bits, and other useful patterns like Pulaskis and broad axes. They have axes from many of the great American makers like Collins, Kelly, Plumb, True Temper, Norlund, and more along with some very nice European makers.
The axes range quite a bit in price based on their condition and desirability but all them come ready to work with a fresh edge and handle. The majority of them are priced for those who plan to use them rather than collectors. It is possible to purchase a top quality tool for half of what you might pay for a new European import.
For instance, if you are looking for a great general purpose camping/hiking axe, LeValley Outdoors sells unmarked boy’s axes for $60. Vintage unmarked axes are often the best deals on the market because they were usually made by a manufacturer that you would recognize but came with a paper label that has worn off or were made without a mark to be sold in a large department store. Much of an axe’s collector’s value is based on the maker’s marks and since these axes lack marks, they can be sold without regard to collector’s value. The prices are even more reasonable when you consider that any over $25 ships free.
If you are in the market for an axe that is actually worth a darn, check out LeValley Outdoors.
Jeff White’s hand forged knives have long been one of the best kept secrets on the knife market. Jeff’s knives are known for their frontiersman style and their amazing value (most cost less than $50). Now, sheath maker Robert Jones has teamed up with Jeff White to offer an even better value.
Robert Jones Hand Sewn Leather is offering packages that include a Jeff White knife with a handmade sheath. There are several packages available ranging in price from around $50 to $90.
One of the most popular of those packages is the Bushcraft knife that Robert designed with Jeff. The knife features a 1/8″ thick, 4 5/8″ long blade that is forged from 1095 steel. It has full tang construction and curly maple handle slabs. The sheath is a fairly straight forward leather pouch design with an available dangler option. It sells for just $90.
Check out all the packages at the Hand Sewn Leather Ebay Store.
InnerBark Outdoors is a YouTube channel that deserves your subscription. They generate excellent reviews and outdoor skills tips including this latest video that shows how to sharpen your knife outdoors both with proper sharpening tools and without. This is the best video that I have seen on this subject.