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Knives Illustrated November 2021

Your guide to the best knives -- hunting, chef's, tactical, outdoor, collectibles, and more.

United States
Engaged Media
7 Issues

in this issue

3 min
what's a survival knife?

Idon’t like restricting definitions. In this issue, we have a special section that’s labeled “Bushcraft.” Some of it mentions survival, such as Jim Cobb’s excellent article on knives the survival instructors choose. I’m hoping to avoid any debates on what exactly constitutes bushcraft and survival, specifically when it comes to the knives involved. I’ve heard those arguments before. Bushcraft, as I see it, is a minimalist approach to setting up housekeeping, especially in wild places, just as Reuben Bolieu did in Malaysia as he discusses in his story on parangs. You make use of the resources in the surrounding environment to improvise the things that you didn’t drag along with you. While that constitutes entertainment for Reuben (he’s a little crazy), it’s great practice for you and me should we ever find…

5 min
atc model 2: a more versatile camp tool

1. American Tomahawk Company Model 2 SPECS: ATC Model 2 • Overall Length: 14.25 inches• Head Length: 6.75 inches• Cutting Edge Length: 4.125 inches• Weight: 23.5 ounces (without sheath)• Blade Material: Drop forged 1060• Finish: Black powdercoat• Handle Material: STN 66 super tough nylon• Sheath: Kydex scabbard with low-ride MOC straps• MSRP: $239 AmericanTomahawk.com The American Tomahawk Company’s No. 1 ‘hawk follows the classic Vietnam tomahawk pattern with its small cutting edge and back spike. It’s compact, handy, and dangerous. It’s also a pretty good general-purpose tool, but it wasn’t designed primarily as a camp tool. Enter the new No. 2. The ATC No. 2 is a robust hammer poll ‘hawk with a bearded head and an aggressive 4.125-inch cutting surface. It’s made from drop-forged 1060 carbon steel with a black powdercoat finish, and it…

7 min
stripped down... or fully loaded?

There’s no denying that a knife is one the most important tools a person can carry. That’s rarely in question at all. However, what does come up for debate is which is better: basic or embellished? Are you better served with a bare-bones basic blade built with quality and durability, or one saturated with a variety of bells and whistles that can perform numerous tasks? On the surface, the answer may seem apparent. More is better, they say. But does this relate to knives? Or conversely, though equally as important, simple designs last longer, and perhaps a standard fixed-blade knife would be the victor. Here we’ll dissect the two distinctly different knife styles and try to determine if one outshines the other or if both have their own respective value based…

1 min
swiss army knife solution: let me count the ways

There are pocketknives, there are multitools, and then there’s the Swiss Champ XXL. If you find yourself needing a quality tool with more functions than either a single or multi-use knife can provide, then this behemoth from Victorinox may be for you. It stands above all others in both sheer bulk and tool variety. It features a mind-staggering 73 functions and puts an entire tool chest in your front pocket. From the ordinary, such as a saw and knife blades, to the more obscure like a wire crimping tool and hook disgorger, to the downright odd additions like a pharmaceutical spatula and a multipurpose hook, this pocket pal has it all, and then some. This monster of a multitool is not all brawn, however, as each unit is meticulously hand assembled by…

1 min
the whiskey knife line offers the perfect blend

The Whiskey Knife line is diverse in offerings, but similar in both materials and craftsmanship. This amazing line utilizes upcycled white oak whiskey barrels to create the handles of these knives and tough A36 steel for the blades. You’ll get both high cutting performance and artisan style with all models. Furthermore, these knives offer some special features that take these blades past the point of just a basic cutting tool, including an integrated finger guard, ferro rod notch, and specialized sheaths that offer multiple carry options. All the knives are hand forged in Kentucky and feature full-tang construction for year after year of reliable performance. Check out all the models at ReptileTool.Works…

7 min
minimalists to the max

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) began its relationship with Alan Folts 13 years ago, and it all started at a knife show with a friend of his in the industry taking one of his custom Minimalists over to show the folks at CRKT. CRKT took a chance on the then relatively unknown parttime maker and did a limited run of the first Minimalists, which was a Wharncliffe design. That initial run sold out quickly and the path was laid to where we are today, 10 Minimalist designs later. The latest additions to that group are the Persian and the Cleaver. NEWEST MINIMALISTS I was surprised to learn that these latest designs are the result of user input in his Facebook group for Minimalist users, both custom and CRKT. Alan has always…