So lets dig into what this blade can do in words (granted a picture/video is worth a thousand words and there are several of those here) and to do that lets go through my requirements for the selection of the mythical "One Tool Option."
Manageable Blade Length: 4.3"-6.75": This knife has a 5" blade that is perfectly functional for both a tactical blade or a woods blade. The main reason for this requirement is for batoning wood and as you can see in the video above this knife will easily baton material and also has sufficient length to serve as a superior defensive weapon if needed.
Solid/Flat Pommel: While the pommel of the knife isn't flat (I really need to fix the wording of this requirement to be solid pommel capable of being used as a makeshift hammer) it is still capable of crushing walnuts or hammering a tent peg into the ground. Granted you have to keep the knife at more of a forward angle but it is still quite capable.
One Cutting Edge w/ No Serrations: The full 5" blade is a solid cutting surface without any serrations and has a scandi-vex grind. I haven't had much luck with the scandi-vex grind in the past as it seems quite vexing to sharpen for me and doesn't seem to be as durable as a straight convex or scandi to me (I have really fallen in love with the saber grind recently). This knife has been fairly durable as after I sharpened it the first time it hasn't needed anything but stropped since. While the knife doesn't slice through wood like the bush clever (See my review here- LINK) it still produced sufficiently thin shavings to make tinder material.
90 Degree Edge on Spine: This is the only ding this knife would get in my opinion and would in all likelihood be fixed by James on the production models and given this knife carries with it a lifetime warranty it could be sent back to James to have the spine sharpened easily. In the review video you will see that the spine had trouble removing material from the both the ferro rod and fat wood as it is slightly rounded. While this may not be a big issue for those looking for a fighting knife it is for a redneck woodsman from WV who collects a lot of tinder material by scraping and lights 90% of his fires with a ferro rod. Now for me it honestly isn't a deal breaker as I obviously always carry two knives or more in the woods and my two neck knife options have some of the sharpest spines of any knives I've handled. So why is this not a deal breaker? 1) The knife has a lifetime warranty and if you send it back its fixed as James stands behind his work; 2) I carry more than one knife; 3) It's not a deal breaker on my scout or Mora Bushcraft Black which have been used extensively for flint/steel as I carry that back up knife. While one could pull a Les Stroud (I'm a huge fan btw so don't get all mad) and merely use the blade to scrape material that just isn't an option for me personally as I would like to preserve the blade of my knife as much as possible in the field.
High Carbon Steel: This knife is made from high quality 1095 high carbon steel which makes it relatively easy to sharpen in the field and also allows the knife to be utilized for flint and steel fire making. While I haven't tried to utilize the knife for a flint and steel fire as of yet, but the IHK bush clever works amazing for that purpose and has been used to effect fire via that medium on several occasions.
Sharp/Spear Point: The knife has a sharp point as showcased in the review video and will work quite well as a defensive weapon. While it doesn't have a spear point setup on the tip it is still capable of drilling a hole to start a bow drill set or to drill a hole to make a carrying sling for a bamboo container.
Heavy Duty Sheath w/ Ferro Rod Loop: This knife comes with three excellent sheath options! All three sheath options are among the highest quality you will get with a knife out of the box (yes there are fancier custom sheaths out there but the difference in quality will be minimal and the price will be close to the price of the knife), but I honestly LOVE the looks of the Kydex sheath option as I believe it is the best fit for a tactical knife and the two look amazing together. The OD Sheath that came with the prototype knife came with a fire kit (ferro rod, scraper/saw, jute twine and four sure fire options) that make fire craft easy as pie. The standard IHK/Sampson leather sheath are among the top of leather sheaths I have received with a knife.
1/8"- 3/16" Blade Thickness: This knife is 3/16" thick which makes it very suitable for long-term self-reliance. The knife is still quite capable of slicing and cutting very fine for fine wood working or fire prep but is also ideal for heavy-duty work such as prying out a notch, batoning or even processing large game.
Full Tang or Nearly Full Tang w/ 1+ Year Of Abuse Testing: This knife is tough and full tang. IHK stands behind their products 100% so buying with confidence should never be a problem with their products! I haven't had this knife long enough to tell you how it performs after a year, but in the several times I have picked it up for woods use it has performed to expectations. The knife also worked quite well for dinner prep making steak and chops on two different occasions.
Have something outdoor/bushcraft/trapping/preparedness/hiking/camping/fishing/hunting related you want me to make a post about? Leave me a comment and I will see what I can do! As always feel free to leave your questions and comment below! Also if you enjoy the blog please vote for us on the following websites to help us reach a wider audience: