Friday, August 27, 2010

One cheap knife to stay away from

So I was at Big 5 a couple of weeks ago. They have some pretty good deals on occasion. On this particular day they had a Schrade Extreme Survival Knife on sale for $20 (marked down from $60). Helpful hint: Never pay full price for anything at Big 5. Ask the manager what the last sale price was. They'll look it up and sell it to you for that. Anyway, one of the first rules of buying survival related anything....if it has the word extreme in the name it's probably worthless crap. Schrade sold out a few years ago to Taylor Brands who now slaps the Schrade name on the cheapest China made crap that they can find. I couldn't find any reference to the type of steel that this knife was made out of. I only knew that it was stainless which usually means the cheapest stainless grade available that's not heat treated for shit. Knowing all of this I decided to give the knife a shot, anyway.

On it's face it's a pretty cool looking knife. The factory edge was pretty sharp. It's got nice heft with a bulky handle. The blade is 5mm thick and 7 inches long. The knife is 12 1/4" long overall. Unfortunately, most of the weight is centered in the handle so it's worthless for chopping. Speaking of the handle, it's got a big, heavy pommel that would make a pretty good hammer and a nail puller. The nail puller is a pretty silly idea for a knife but maybe someone's gotten some use out of it. It doesn't have a proper finger guard so if you do decide to use the end as a hammer then you need to be extremely careful. It's shaped similar to a dagger. It's got a mean looking sawback that won't actually saw anything because it's just a bunch of notches cut across the spine of the knife. The sheath is decent. It's made out of canvas and it has two pouches in the front. They're big enough to hold a sharpening stone and a small survival kit. It had it's pros and cons at first glance but it was only $20.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So once I got it home I just had to put it through a few tasks. I started by chopping at a big log in my backyard. Like I said before, between the huge handle and the shape of the blade this thing is a horrible chopper. Don't even bother with anything that's more than a few inches thick. I also had to clear a few lower branches from a tree so I got to hacking. It made short work of them. At first I thought things were looking up for the knife until I stabbed it into the tree while I was picking up the branches. When I went to pull the knife out the tip broke off.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have a habit of breaking the points off of cheap, crappy knives. If it happens while I'm hammering away on concrete blocks then I can understand the point not holding up. When I stab a tree and it happens then as far as I'm concerned the knife is crap. This Schrade Extreme Survival Knife definitely falls into the crap category.


Anonymous said...

Good advice! So many brand names have now sold out and are made in china. Even some buck knives are made there. I'm old enough to have a good collection of U.S., Swiss, and German knives. Quality that will last.
Look for them at flea markets and garage sales is my advice.

The Urban Survivalist said...

Pawn shops are also a great place to look for them. I've gotten some really killer deals on some nice knives in pawn shops.