I’ve built a few folding knife prototypes along the way….from wood dummies…to aluminum trainers…to mild-steel mockups…and now this is the real-deal.
I’ve always wanted to make a folding bushcraft knife. Not just a folder with a scandi grind. Not just a folder with a carbon-steel blade. But an honest-to-goodness folding version of my own Bushcraft knife.
Here’s a pic of my Bushcraft knife to illustrate the point.
And here are some W.I.P. pics of the first working prototype of the new Bushcraft Folder.
Here are the parts disassembled.
And here it is put together somewhat – I still need to cut the screws down.
And a good look at the contouring in the handle – which is nearly identical in cross section, width, etc. as the regular Bushcraft knife shown above. Again, forgive the long screws that haven’t been shortened yet.
As you can see there is still some work to be done. I need to fit up the blade and lock, heat-treat it, grind it, finish the materials out, etc. But I’m finally at a point where there is enough to look at that you can get a good idea of what’s going on and a sense of what “isn’t” here as much as what “is”.
10 reasons this folder is different than your everyday tactical folding knife:
1 – 0.125″ thick 3V steel, true scandi grind (flat) set at 13 degrees, hardened to 59 HRc, tumbled finish on flats for durability
2 – frame-lock type construction under a full size handle. Typically you have either a thinner liner-lock with scales, or a thicker frame-lock. This has both a thicker frame-lock as well as scales.
3 – full length, full width, “upside-down egg” cross-section handle.
4 – squared off spine with thumbgrooves for striking a firesteel
5 – no thumbstud to get in the way of woodworking cuts. Anyone who has used a folder for woodcarving, making traps, kindling-sticks, etc. knows what a pain a thumbstud can be. Instead, there is an oval in the blade (not milled yet).
6 – hidden pivot pin to keep things clean physically and visually. And to keep comfort. No bolster either. Keep it simple and straightforward.
7 – maximum blade/handle ratio. No compromise. Blade tip goes all the way to the back of the handle.
8 – no pocket clip. A clip is the most uncomfortable part of a handle on a folding knife. It only takes about 10 minutes of serious use before your hand starts to get torn-up and many of my survival friends are taking the clips off of their folders anyway. I’m not against a clip on a tactical folder. Just not on an “actually-will-be-used-for-bushcrafting-and-survival” folding knife. I will have leather pouches made to hold the folder with an optional firesteel loop along side it.
9 – Comfort and usability were the #1 goals. Not looks. Not money in my pocket. Not for “building my reputation” or prestige. I just wanted a knife I could actually take bushcrafting and not have to compromise comfort and usability. All the same quality materials as my fixed blades….it just folds up for convenience. It doesn’t matter to me if I sell 10 or 1,000 of these. It’s the right thing to do, and this is the right way to do it.
10 – no exotic materials. I imagine at some future point I may consider dressing up one of these for fun. But for now I have no desire to add damascus, mokume, mammoth tooth, and so on. Those materials are highly impractical out in the field where you may regularly encounter poor weather conditions, changes in humidity, impact from use, etc. These will lock up rock-solid, have impervious materials and be ready for constant (not occasional) use.
There are plenty of great tactical folders out there. I have purchased and collected many myself – both custom and production knives. I really don’t have anything negative to say about anyone else’s work. I just feel there is a “gap” in the market for a usable, comfortable folding bushcraft knife and I intend to fill it.
Thanks for reading!
More pics as I make progress.
Check it out!
Let me know what you think or just wish me good luck!
ShortNess “In-Hand” pics.
Here are the MUCK and BushMaster blade blanks before the blades are ground out. As soon as the primary grinds are done and the handle holes drilled and chamfered, they’ll be headed out for heat-treat.
Pic showing the thumbgrooves:
Check ‘em out:
Don’t anybody trip and fall in THE PIT!
Check ‘em out!
Here’s the video:
You should definitely be checking out these books:
Have a look!
I’m working on gluing up 2 sets of knives right now while others are in heat-treat, etc.
In each tray is 10 knives (mostly )
The orange dots are “priority” and “Paid-In-Full”. Usually I would glue up all the knives at once. But since there was a request by a number of customers that they get theirs before the New Year, I started those first – with permission, of course, from the others on the waiting list.
Here are the progress pics:
Bushcraft handles cut, drilled and fronts prefinished. Just need to do the counterbore for the corby bolts and they’re ready to glue up!
ShortNess handles cut and drilled – ready to do fronts.
Like I said, usually I do them all at once, but this time made an exception for the Holidays. Also, you’ll note that I haven’t finished marking the labels for the ShortNess orders. Just did the handles quick to get them going. There are 6 different steel/grind combinations for the blades here and it makes me double-triple-check everything to make sure I have it all exactly right. I have my list nearby and I’m constantly checking it.
If you’re interested in being added to the list – shoot me an email or fill out this form: www.kosterknives.com/orders
If you’re on the list already – congrats!!!
Thanks for reading!
All knives sold. Thanks!
Getting blades ready for heat-treat. Check ‘em out!
Have a look at these beauties!
Link to Monster Nessie page:
I had some downtime this morning – still recovering from a bad stomach bug from Wednesday afternoon.
Anyway, I took some time to figure out a list of countries I’ve sent knives to and then I ordered them by quantity sent.
Here’s the list – hope I didn’t leave anyone out!
Hundreds of knives have gone to:
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- South Africa
Just a few each:
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Lucia
- Sri Lanka
As you can see, my knives go all over the world. The only problems I’ve ever had was with Canada and using Global EMS (Express International) seems to have solved that.
I’ve created a google calendar for tracking order progress and tasks, etc.
Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it updated at least a week in advance, if not sooner. Should help you guys get an idea of what I’m working on and how I’m spending my time.
Here’s the direct link:
Koster Knives Calendar
It can also be accessed under the “About” drop-down menu at the top of each webpage on my website.
Thanks for being a loyal reader, customer or buyer!
Have a look:
Let me know if there is anything I should add.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks to the good folks at Evans Electric in Rogers, AR – I am back up and running.
Quite a stressful weekend…but glad to be in the shop at full speed again.
“Can you explain the differences between Canvas Micarta and G10?”
I get asked this question a lot since I make knives using both handle materials. I’ve put together a few thoughts and observations I’ve had while having made hundreds of knives with what I consider the 2 best synthetic handle materials available.
Note #1: I heavily bead-blast my synthetic handle materials. So the notes regarding texture and finish do not carry over to polished/buffed handles.
Note #2: Bead-blasting these materials removes the resin inbetween the fiberglass/canvas, leaving micro-divits – which is what gives it such a nice grip.
Both G10 and Canvas Micarta can be bead-blasted for a nice grippy texture. However, there are subtle differences between the two. G10 seems grippier when dry, and Canvas Micarta’s grip actually improves when wet. The reason for this is the nature of the material used. Canvas – being a natural material - when exposed to moisture behaves like wood and leather..it “opens up”. The entire surface becomes grippier. G10 (made of fiberglass – a man made material) remains smooth when wet.
Both take on a nice matte finish, but the color of G10 can change significantly more when bead-blasted. It tends to dull the bright colors, whereas with canvas micarta, it doesn’t start out as bright, so bead-blasting doesn’t seem to dull it much.
Lines in the material:
Canvas Micarta has “squiggly lines” that can be seen around the tang of the knife and the face of the handle can have slight “rings” showing the contouring of the handle.
G10 in solid colors does not show “rings”. However, in alternating color (Blue/Black or Black/Tan, for example) the pattern can be quite visually striking.
It takes less work to maintain G10, even though both handles are synthetics….canvas is still a natural material…and benefits from the ocassional oiling. I’ve had some customers coat theirs with a spray-on polyurethane finish – with good results. (keeps the texture and grip)
G10 feels “cold” when you leave your knife outside in cool weather. Micarta always feels “warm”.
G10 is more stable than Micarta, but only by a slight margin and really….we’re talking about 99.5% and 99.9% dimensional stability. Both materials are very stable and won’t “move” on you. I have sent my kitchen knives with G10 handles through my dishwasher hundreds of times with no delamination whatsoever.
G10 is heavier than Micarta.
I only offer 3 colors in Canvas Micarta: Natural (yellow/brown), Green and Black.
There are many more colors available for G10 – here’s a list in order of my preference:
Solids = Blue, Orange, Red, Black, Tan (I do not like yellow – don’t ask for it…I won’t do it!)
Patterns = Blue/Black, Black/Tan, Black/Orange
Hopefully this helps explain some of the reasoning behind why I choose certain materials, and perhaps it will help you in making a decision on which to use.
Thanks for reading!