I started using one of the Karesuando 3516 “The Fox” knives about a week ago. A month or so ago I made some references to it on the Trestle Pine Knives blog but hadn’t really had time to put it to use. So let’s start with the basics.
Blade Length: 4″
Blade Steel: Stainless 12C27
Blade Thickness: .125″
Handle: Brass Guard, Reindeer Antler/ Bone Insert & Butt Cap, Oiled Curly Birch
Sheath: Leather ‘Dangler’ Style
The first observations (and customer comments) concern the sheath. The dangler style of sheath is criticized by some users in that it lets the sheathed knife move freely on your belt. A typical belt loop tends to hold the knife closer to the body and restricts it’s movement.
While I understand the criticism I see another aspect as well. If you’ve spent any time in a canoe you know what it can feel like to have a pistol holster or knife sheath that needs to be pushed out of the way to sit comfortably. The same can be true in a vehicle. This style of sheath allows the knife to swing to the front or back without twisting on your belt or pushing into your ribs. I also like this flexibility if I’m attaching it to a backpack (which I frequently do).
The first thing I noticed when I handled all of the Karesuando line is that most of their knives have a handle fitted to a medium to large hand. I like that a lot. The Fox is one of those knives that really feel good in my hand. While I typically prefer a 2.5-3″ blade, the larger handle on The Fox make the 4″ blade as easy to handle as the shorter blades.
I’ve gotten addicted to the powdered steel technologies and sometimes forget there are other incredibly good steels out there. In addition, there’s something to be said for an EDC knife that can be easily touched up in the field. The Scandi ground 12C27 Sandvik blade has a LOT going for it.
My understanding is 12C27 was developed in Europe for use in making razors and naturally was quickly accepted as a knife blade steel. It has the desirable characteristics of taking a ‘razor’ edge and hardening to 57+Rc results in a tough stainless blade. After using the knife for a bit over a week I can’t fault the blade performance in the least.
Where I was most impressed was how effortlessly the Scandi Grind tore into a piece of pine. I love the convex ground blades as they take and hold an incredible edge but you can’t beat the Scandi when it comes to this type of cutting. The Convex edge can be razor sharp but when slicing hard material the convex edge can tend to climb out of the cut. Not so with a Scandi ground blade. Most will cut straight in as deep as you have the strength to push.
If you’re in the field building a fire, being able to quickly put some shavings into the mix, The Fox is a champ. It’ll bite into a piece of wood and keep cutting deeper.
The blade measures about .125″ thick which is a great thickness for medium to heavy duty cutting. With a 4″ blade you want a bit more steel in the blade for the additional stiffness. As a result, it’s not the greatest ‘slicer’ in the camp kitchen (not that its intended to be). The thickness wants to ‘split’ things once you start the cut. This isn’t to say you couldn’t slice an apple or a tomato. But take a hard cheddar cheese and you may end up with chunks instead of slices and that over ripe tomato may yield more juice than tomato.
Like every knife I’ve handled, it doesn’t do everything. BUT, if I”m in survival mode and have to dress out a moose The Fox would be…pretty good. When I’m working on getting a fire going to cook a moose steak and trim some limbs for a shelter for the night, The Fox would be fantastic. In fact I can’t think of too many tasks (not requiring a hatchet) it wouldn’t handle with ease. The dangler sheath allows me a number of methods of attachment which could be really convenient. The Stainless 12C27 blade cuts down on maintenance to prevent corrosion in a wet/bloody environment. Overall, I really like the knife and will have to reconsider my powdered steel snobbery.
If your interested in trying one out, check out our special that will run through the week.