Building the Ultimate Survival Kit

Fact: the world will end at some point. Hopefully it will come to pass in a few billion years with the sun swallowing the earth in a spectacular fireworks display. By that point the human race will have colonised thousands of other planets and will experience the event by way of a live stream rather than 1st hand.

If we’re unfortunate enough to experience a cataclysmic event before then or even a minor survival situation, then you can increase your odds of survival significantly by ensuring you have access to a prepared and well provisioned survival kit.

Unfortunately disasters can often occur during periods when we least expect it, during such times being prepared will often have a significant impact on your ability to survive the situation. Chances are you, like myself and many others, have been told by many authority figures, including the government, to have essential survival items at hand. You probably thought about it, agreed it was a good idea, then went back to watching Game of Thrones. Maybe you live in a high risk area, somewhere that is prone to fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, or in the case of the UK the adverse weather conditions are probably the most immediate concern. With that in mind you might have stockpiled some water, maybe some canned food & lentils, and stocked up on candles, batteries and torches.

These items will likely get you through most minor disaster situations. But, what if the unthinkable happens? Horrible situations are unlikely, but they can happen. From tsunamis, to earthquakes, to terrorist attacks, to floods, to volcanoes. The range of disasters that can happen are almost uncountable and can all pose serious challenges to your continued existence.

Chances are that you’ll never have to exist in a world where every day is an epic fight for your continued survival, but let’s imagine an apocalyptic setting, taking a few proactive steps now could literally make the difference between life and death later. At the worst case, you’ll end up buying a few bits and pieces that you’ll rarely use and invested a few hours of your time. In the best case or worst case scenario, your preparation will mean you won’t become a statistic, you won’t starve and you won’t become a victim of a roaming scantily clad biker gang in 2025.

How to Build the Perfect Survival Kit

This is not your run of the mill survival kit or something which you might take away with you camping. This is fire and brimstone end of civilisation survival kit which will allow you to survive, even prosper, in all sorts of dangerous and adverse situations. While it’s pretty much impossible to account for every survival eventuality, or even please every arm chair expert (there might be something you want to see included, in which case include it), but with the things in this kit, you’ll be far better prepared than 99% of the population, and even better prepared than someone that bought a commercially available kit.

In researching the requirements for this survival kit guide, I’ve liaised with several experts in the field as well as tried to take an objective view of the numerous other guides available, taking the best parts and discarding the chaff. Where appropriate I have cited my references and tried to reason why an item is a must have .

The Pocket Survival Kit

A professionally put together pocket survival kit will likely only have a minor impact on your potential for survival in an apocalyptic scenario, but it also has the distinct advantage that it will fit in your pocket, which means you can always have it with you. Having this simple piece of kit with you before you head out your front door is a great idea. Ideally, a pocket survival kit will be part of a larger survival kit which will always be with you. 
A pocket survival kit is made up of a few simple items:

• A waterproof container to house the kit
• A candle
• Compass
• Fishing line and hooks
• Flint/striker or other non-match based fire starter
• Matches
• Plasting bags
• Safety pins
• Sewing Kit
• Signaling mirror
• Snare wire
• Water purification tablets
• Wire saw

When you’re away from home, your primary concern will be having access to water and being able to keep warm – which is why this kit contains multiple methods of creating a fire, as well as ways of making water safe to drink (boiling or tablets). This kit is ideal to carry with you everywhere, it very portable and contains several essential must have items. But, for and of days event, you’re going to need a more serious pieces of kit.

This list will be long, and where appropriate we have provided the reason for including the item as well as our recommendations as to what to buy. Not all items require an in-depth explanation, we trust that you understand that a sleeping bag is for sleeping and that sleeping in a tent without one can be a very uncomfortable experience.

 

The Survival Backpack

Backpack – Your backpack is perhaps one of the most important pieces of kit you can buy, it needs to be lightweight, sturdy, waterproof and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It needs to be able to put up with the wear and tear of prolonged use and large enough to carry all of our essentials. I strongly recommend purchasing a pack which is MOLLE compliant or that has external webbing, this will allow you to attach extra pieces of gear to the outside of the backpack when appropriate. I would personally recommend any of the options below:

 

Torch – A torch can illuminate your surrounding on an otherwise dark night, as long as you have access to charged batteries. At a push a torch can be used as self-defence weapon and even to focus sunlight for creating a fire. It’s a very useful tool, but one which become less useful as time progresses, depending on batteries. It’s worth looking into low energy LED torches or hand cranked versions, which will significantly extend their usefulness.

 Duronic Hurricane 4 in 1 Rechargeable Wind-Up

Compass – It perhaps goes without saying but a compass is really a no brainer, they are inexpensive, small and will allow you to orientate yourself with ease. Make sure you select one which is decent quality. A lensatic compass is a great choice.

 

Maps – The more information you have on your surroundings, the easier it is to navigate. If the worse happens and you need to flee your normally familiar surroundings, you may need to travel quite far and GPS might not be available. In these circumstances several high quality maps will be invaluable and will be worth their weight in gold. Buy as many as you can that cover your immediate area and surrounding areas. Store them in a waterproof ziplock or map bag.

A First Aid Kit – Functional first aids are widely available from many stores, most are perfectly capable triaging minor wounds and injuries, but I would suggest supplementing the content to make sure it includes the following items, latex gloves, tweezers, pain killers, bandages, needles, sutures, antiseptic and anti-diarrheal.

 

 

Knives – A good knife is incredibly important and should be part of any survival kit. A well-constructed, reliable and sharp knife can be used in many scenarios, from hunting and cooking to wood gathering and self defence. I would suggest buying a fixed blade full tang knife with a straight edge, as these types are generally stronger and more maintained. Additionally look to buy a multifunctional knife which can be used for other scenario that require more specialised tools, for example opening a tin can with the blade of a knife is possible, but it’s more easily accomplished with a tin opener attachment on a multi-functional tool. This knife can also act as a backup in case something happens to your primary knife.

Peasant Fixed Blade Survival Knife

Peasant Fixed Blade Survival Knife

Crowbar – If you’re thinking about survival situations, chances are you’re thinking about the wilderness, but you’re probably missing out on a lot of potential resources if you don’t consider the cities. A crowbar is key to forging for equipment and food within a city and can quite literally be a lifesaver. In a pinch, it can also be used as climbing equipment.

Hatchet – If you need to build a fire, make traps, build a shelter or gather wood for any other reason, having a hatchet can make your job much easier. It’s worth bearing in mind that while pocket saws are lighter, they are not as durable, and sharpening a serrated is not a trivial job, as such I would still recommend a hatchet over a saw.

Field Tool Tomahawk Survival Axe

Hatchet

Firearms – This is probably a fairly controversial choice, but it’s difficult to address a doomsday survival kit without even considering weapons. If you live in the UK you’ll probably find it incredibly difficult to get your hands on a gun legally and rightfully so. If this is the case then consider air rifles or more traditional hunting tools such as bows or hunting catapults.

Folding Shovel – Small in size and designed for digging, there is no replacement for a shovel if you want to dig a fire pit, put in shelter foundations or even cook food on.

 

Water Purification – Iodine tablets offer one of the most compact purification systems available, though they are not sustainable long terms and are not a good solution if you need to purify water for a large group of people. It’s worth investing a proper water purification system that you can set up at your base camp.

 

Water Storage – As you’re travelling around you probably don’t want to lug around 20kg of water with you. Buy a water flask. For your base camp buy a seal-able food grade container which is suitable for containing liquids.

 

Sleeping Bag – Get a sleeping bag which is suitable for the weather conditions you might encounter. It’s good to have something small and portable, it’s worse to be cold when trying to sleep, make an appropriate choice.

 

Collapsible Tent – Modern day tents are engineering marvels and are capable of being extremely small and portable while collapsed, yet also be warm and spacious when erected. There a ton of buying options available, so finding something to meet your budget and requirements should be easy.

Fire – You absolutely need multiple methods of starting a fire. Buy some strike anywhere matches, a multi pack of disposable lighters, a magnesium block and striker and a solar lighter. These will likely keep you lighting fires for years to come, if not decades.

 

Fire starter – Cotton wool and wire wool makes for an excellent fire starter.

Climbing Rope – You can never have enough rope. Climbing rope is perfect for climbing, given that it’s rated for both weight and shock. Invest in at least 100ft of rope and a few quality carabineers. It might be a good idea to prepare the rope with a carabineer attached in order to allow for quick deployment and less fuss. Climbing rope can be used to reach hard to navigate places, to make a quick exit or for securing equipment.

General Use Rope – You’ll want to have as much general purpose rope as you can afford to carry. It’s brilliant for building shelters, creating traps, holding equipment together, keeping items off the ground and individual strands can be used for sewing. There are for more uses than I can possibly list here. I would very much recommend 550 paracord, it’s cheap, compact and very strong.

Knot Tying Guide – Unless you’re a former boy scout, fisherman or outdoors enthusiast, chances are your knot repertoire is rather limited. Even if you know several types of knots, there’s no harm in knowing more, especially when you find something that meets a particular use case. Buying a small laminated knot tying guide is an incredibly cheap way of getting access to a variety of knots.

Clean Socks/Underwear – It’s very likely that you’ll end up wearing the same clothes for many days at a time, in which case you’ll find your clothes quickly become soiled, wet, damaged and looking worse for wear. I highly suggest that you have clothes that are used as day wear and a separate set of clean clothes which you use for sleeping in. Try very hard to keep your sleeping clothes clean, dry and in good condition. If you do this you’ll find slipping into your clean, soft, warm and dry clothes at the end of the day is a highlight and something you’ll begin to look forward to.

Food – While it’s not sustainable to live off prepacked food long term, it’s worth having a stock of emergency supplies which can tide you over until you establish a sustainable food source. Long lasting foods come in many forms, from tins, freeze dried meals and dried beans through to nuts, chocolate and other calorie dense foods. Ideally you’ll want a selection of food types, including items which can be eaten without any form of preparation (tins), items which are nutritious but require preparation (dried beans) and items that are very calorie dense and are therefore portable and can be eaten on the go. Avoid food waste, anything which you can’t eat can and should be used to bait, composting or other purposes.

Appropriate Clothing – Dress appropriately. Have a range of clothes for all sorts of weather conditions. If the climate is hot, ensure you have light layers which minimise your skins exposure to the sun. If the climate is cold, having multiple layers of clothing is better than having one thick layer.

Bandannas – Despite perhaps not being the coolest accessory to have, bandannas can still serve a functional purpose. They can protect your head from the sun and when soaked in water they can help cool you down. They can protect your mouth from dust and in emergency act as a bandage or act as a sling.

Gloves – Whether you live in a hot climate or a cold climate, you’ll need gloves. If the weather is cold then the need for gloves is obvious. In a warm climate, or really any climate, having gloves can quite literally save your skin. If you’re putting together shelters, chopping wood and handling rope and you’re more used to using a keyboard and mouse, you’ll find that you can blister pretty easily. Given time you’ll gain callouses and harder hands, but in the mean time you’ll want to be able to continue with your work, which is where a pair of quality work gloves can keep you working.

Waterproofing – Having several heavy duty rubble sacks at hand can mean you can easily waterproof a rucksack, store wet clothes or even put together a temporary shelter.

A Survival Book – Even if you’re an expert at outdoors survival, having a handy reference guide can be a great help. Get one that fits in your pocket and I can guarantee you you’ll reference in more than once.

So that’s it, that’s the survival kit which will help you survive the apocalypse. I’m sure many people will have an opinion that differs, maybe something is too heavy, or there’s too much stuff or even to little stuff. If you want to pack something else, pack it, if you want to leave something out, then leave it out. There is no right and wrong answer. Customise the content to meet your own personal requirements, location and climate.

Best of luck and I sincerely hope you’ll never need to use this survival kit.

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/building-the-ultimate-survival-kit

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Bahco Laplander Review: Top-Quality Folding Saw in the Spotlight

Are you looking for a top quality folding saw for bushcraft or pruning? Basically, you have a lot of factors to consider. Primarily, you need to take regard of the convenience. This is difficult to find, especially now that not all folding saws are well-balanced or hassle-free to grip.

Moreover, it is also crucial to take into consideration the size of the saw in relation to the measurement of your hand. If you are purchasing online, it is easy to find out if the product you are interested in will give you no worries in user comfort. You can simply check out what its previous buyers have to say.

Most importantly, you should also look for a folding saw that is control-fitted. This is regarded as the ideal selection if you want to attain utmost ease in operating the equipment.

Apparently, with the aforementioned factors, the market has something to offer in advance – Bahco Laplander Folding Saw. You will see the reviews of the product not only in tons of websites but also in forums.

It is also obvious that when you review the feedbacks, you will obtain only high praises from its previous and existing owners. Nonetheless, you may want to learn more about the product. This is not a problem since the following excerpt will introduce you to the high-quality equipment in detail.

What Is Bahco Laplander Folding Saw?

 Bahco Laplander Review

Bahco Laplander Folding Saw is considered to be among the top omnipresent tools for pruning or bushcraft available today. At present, you can even consider the product as a legendary option. Why? This is due to the fact that it does live up to the hype you are seeing online.

By looking at it esthetically, you will already find that the product has an attractive design. Although it is not common to describe a folding saw based on its appearance, you will still find the folding saw oddly attractive compared to its rivals in the market.

You may even deem the folding saw as the best-looking one you will ever find. You can also compare it to a folding knife that puts together every tool you need.

However, more people care about the performance of the saw, which it will not fall short in. Many have described Bahco Laplander’s operation to be seamless and highly rated in various feedback sections online.

Expectedly, it comes with a 7.5-inch blade, which makes it a highly sizable tool. In truth, you can even put it in your pocket, providing ease when you have to move from one place to another. Although the tool is lightweight, you will be surprised that its performance can compete to any folding saw’s feat in the market.

Do you know that you can use it as an alternative to your hiking tools that are practically heavy? Truthfully, there is a possibility that it can replace an ax in a way since it can be utilized in many situations.

If you will check out the construction of the material, it can actually work alongside a large knife, and you will not even find any difference. There is more to its attractive design – build that gives way to quick and easy execution of tasks.

You will also love the fact that the blade of the product can be detached and replaced at the same time. You can basically use a Philips screw in order to unscrew the pivot.

Stunningly, it can chew through logs. You may be hesitant at first, but when you try it, you will be more than surprised. In record time, you can eradicate a three-inch wood without physical hazard. You can even decimate most materials with reduced effort.

How Is the Folding Saw Used?

Bahco Laplander, making short work of firewood

You will be using Bahco Laplander in order to cut logs or branches, particularly coming from small to medium trees. If you are working on a medium tree, you may use the folding saw in order to decimate five-inch diameter of logs.

It is actually impractical if you will use the seven-inch blade in order to cut through bigger branches. Moreover, you may need other tools to do such task.

Bahco Laplander is also sold as a piece of equipment to cut through not only wooden logs but also bones and plastic. The XT toothing of the product is very fine and sharp, which means you can cut materials in any direction possible.

In other words, when you pull, you will still be able to cut the material. Alternatively, pushing also provides you the same result. Apparently, regardless of the angle of cutting, the output is good.

If you do not try taking on large logs, you will not have issues about the blade sticking to the material. So long as you do not go beyond its capacity, the work will be done easily and quickly.

When the saw is folded in or out, the blade will be locked securely. In other words, it will not simply cause cuts to the operator. For instance, when it is folded in, you will not worry it from closing over your hand.

Observing the performance of the folding saw will help you learn that the tool does not stick much. It rarely does. This is considered to be due the design and coating of the blade.

Carrying the folding saw is also very easy since it comes with a wrist and belt leather lanyard. Having it with you at all times is now possible despite the rugged activities you will go through.

As claimed by its manufacturer, the rubber coating was added to the tool so that you will not have problems using the folding saw even in wet conditions. Extended use will not be an issue as well.

You may use the tool for survival, bushcraft, and hikes among others. If you are searching for a folding saw that is compact, lightweight, dependable, and tough all at the same time, this product is a good choice. Besides, it will provide you ease of use and quicker execution of the task.

What makes the folding saw more amazing is that you do not necessarily have to swing it. In other words, the risk of the blade bouncing against the material you are cutting is eliminated. Even if you position it at an unlikely direction, it will still provide a fine cut.

What Is the Build Quality of the Equipment?

The build quality of the Bahco Laplander Folding Saw is remarkable. When folded, its length is nine inches or 23 centimeters. Basically, a heavy gauge steel has been utilized in order to construct its seven-inch blade.

You will also notice that the teeth have been hardened for extra durability. As for the reduction of friction, Bahco Laplander made it possible to add a coating to avoid corrosion. This will make cutting through wood, plastic, or bone much easier.

Despite the fact that the tool is considerably light, you will feel that it is constructed solidly. When you fold it in and out, you will notice that it is meant for long-term use.

The blade of the folding saw is also matched with a comfortable-to-use handle. Do you know that Bahco Laplander made it possible to create the handle for both small and large hands? In other words, you do not have to worry about sizing at all.

Furthermore, the material used for the handle is high-density plastic and will not easily shatter. Even if you use the item continuously, you can anticipate the blade to keep on operating without a discrepancy in its performance.

The rubber coating of the folding saw also makes it reliable for an extended use and good grip. Regardless of the weather or environment, the grip technology of the material is paramount. Besides the material’s grip, you will also find a palm swell found new the saw end.

The construction of the Bahco Laplander Folding Saw will not be complete without the safety lock, which is meant to keep the blade secure both when in use and folded in.

You will also love the fact that there are no crisp detents or phosphor bushings found in the tool. It also has a pivot, which can be unfastened for the replacement of the blade. As anticipated, the pivot of the folding saw is a screw and a bolt.

Top Features of Bahco Laplander Folding Saw

There are various features that this folding saw can offer. Apart from the fact that it has a high-quality build, there are various reasons why most people purchase this product. To give you more details about its attributes, given below are the following:

Material Compatibility. You will not have issues when it comes to working with the Bahco Laplander Folding Saw, particularly if you are pertaining to the material to cut. It can cut both wet and dry wood. As mentioned above, it may also cut through bone and plastic.

Regardless of the material you have to decimate, the blade has a special chromium coating that will keep it from rust.

User Comfort. You will find the folding saw very comfortable to use. It is highly balanced. It also has a handle made for easier grip. Every factor necessary to comply with the operator’s convenience has been complied with by the product.

You do not even have to worry about the sizing since the tool is designed for both large and small hands. You will find it comfortable to hold even if you will use it for extended period of time. This was proven even by the reviews from its previous and existing owners.

Some customers even described that holding the folding saw gave them a weird feeling of actually doing a lot of things easily with the tool.

Razor Sharp Cut. The folding saw is designed with sharpness, making it easier to use and safer to operate at the same time. It will provide you a quicker execution of task. It requires minimal energy in every cut.

You can use its blade to cut in every direction you prefer. So long as you do not use it in extremely thick logs, it will not stick to the material.

Prevention of Notches and Dings. You will also find the folding saw highly usable if you want to get really low when cutting wood. It has a very thin stock, which means that it is versatile enough. Warping and torque can be totally resisted by the material.

This is also proven by reviews, stating that the folding saw does not collect many notches or dings, which are commonly found on a blade’s edge when used.

The fact also implies that the folding saw can be used as a gardening tool apart from strenuous activities. Despite being perched on a branch in a perilous manner, you will still be able to cut tree branches with much safety and considerable reach.

Easy Maintenance. Bahco Laplander made it possible to create a folding saw that is very easy to maintain. Normally, craftsman and gardeners sharpen their tools using conventional tools. With the product, you will be able to make the task easier by replacing the blade.

You simply have to loosen the screw, detach the blade, put in a new blade, and tighten the pivot. The replacement blade is quite expensive with a price point ranging from £12 to £20. Nonetheless, there are reasons for this, such as the advanced features and intensive manufacturing of the components. It is your discretion where to buy one and what type of blade to use.

Pocket-able Tool. The folding saw can be brought with you anywhere minus the inconvenience since it can be pocketed. You will not even feel it is in your pants, especially now that it weighs next to nothing. You may describe the folding saw as a highly unwieldy tool as well, unlike its rivals.

This is considerable if you need to take a walk and get a few logs. Bahco Laplander also developed this tool in order to support people who reside in farms or require frequent cutting of small limbs or saplings.

Trusted Manufacturer. You can be certain that there will be no issue when it comes to the source of the folding saw; Bahco has been present as early as 1886. Its founder, Johan Petter Johansson, was the one who invented and patented the adjustable wrench and modern plumber wrench at around 1890.

From then on, Berndt August Hjort offered to secure the marketing rights for Johansson’s products. After 64 years, the company got its present name. The present parent firm of Bahco today is Snap-on Incorporated.

For approximately 130 years, the manufacturer has been recognized for producing top-quality tools.

Cost-effective. Everything you need from a folding saw is found in Bahco Laplander’s product. In other words, there is no reason for you to neglect considering investing in this product. Although others may claim that the price of the folding saw is equivalent to purchasing a larger saw, it is a great steal if you want a long-term tool.

You also do not need a bigger cutting equipment if you are only executing small tree cuttings every now and then. Besides, who would not want a folding saw that you can bring almost anywhere?

Pros of Choosing Bahco Laplander Folding Saw

There are various reasons why you should consider buying Bahco Laplander Folding Saw. Apart from its exceptional features, there are also advantages that will encourage you even more to take regard of the product.

To provide you its top pros, given below are the following:

Lightweight. The lightweight profile of the product makes it a must-have for people who often need to cut small to medium branches or perform gardening tasks. It is also a top option for survival kits since it will not cause inconvenience when being carried.

Paired with its light construction is the compact design of the product. Despite the fact that it is light, you will not have problems in getting all necessary folding saw capabilities from it. Truthfully, it even exceeds expectations.

Useful for Various Situations. Even if you check out yourself the reviews regarding the product’s performance, you will find only the best feedbacks. For most previous and existing owners of the folding saw, the tool is easy enough to use for getting the job done.

Some also stated that they will no longer be going to an outing without carrying the folding saw. If you want to fill in your scout pack, complete your survival kit, or collect gardening tool, this is a great option.

Seamless Cuts. The folding saw has the capability to cut through dry and wet wood with ease. Take note that reviews also stated that even if you use it for both hard and soft woods, you will not have any issue. Other users even described the folding saw’s mechanism to be similar with slicing butter.

Less Fatigue. Many users have also commended Bahco Laplander for providing a folding saw that eliminates constant stress on the hands of the operator. Regardless of sawing several branches, you will only have to exert a little effort.

With such advantage, even your kids will be able to work with you when necessary using the tool.

Safety Features. You do not have to worry accidentally cutting yourself or anyone near you while working with the folding saw. It has a self-locking mechanism, which means that the blade will not simply swing by itself when not in use. Once folded in, the blade will be secure accordingly.

It also cuts despite putting it in an awkward direction. This is totally different if you are using an ax for cutting branches or saplings.

Cons of Purchasing Bahco Laplander Folding Saw

Apparently, no product is perfect. This is the reason why even the folding saw coming from Bahco also has flaws as reported by its users. However, you must know that its shortcomings are not major problems, which make the tool no longer usable.

Given below are the following:

Limited to Small or Medium Timber. It is true that the folding saw is not applicable if you will work on thicker or larger logs given it only has a seven-inch blade. As mentioned earlier, it may not be applicable if you will work on wood with more than five inches in diameter.

Nonetheless, this con is overshadowed by the fact that the folding saw can cut through a variety of materials other than wood. For instance, it can slice through bones and plastic components.

Easily Wearing Powder Coating. Many users have also complained that the blade’s powder coating does not stay too long. The material is actually added in order to decrease friction when cutting through logs.

However, this may be the reason why Bahco made it possible to provide its users an option to replace the blade of the folding saw.

Competitors of the Popular Folding Saw in the Market

Similar to other top-quality folding saw options, Bahco Laplander also has several competitors on the market. It is obvious that the product concerned outperformed its rivals, but, still, it is important for you to compare the items for a cleverer evaluation. This is also a means of guaranteeing that you have chosen Bahco for a great reason.

EverSaw Eight-inch Folding Hand Saw. This is made for backyard pruning but can also be applicable for bushcraft. It is made of a top-quality carbon steel blade. Moreover, it has medium razor teeth that come with a triple-cut design. You can anticipate it to provide sharp sawing and highly smooth cutting.

It has a full length of 17 inches. EverSaw also developed its folding saw with an efficient handle that is comfortable to use, either by right or left hand.

Nonetheless, this product does not have the finesse of Bahco. It may still perform well but may fall short in terms of lightweight profile and friction reduction.

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F10N-CP Folding Saw. If you are looking for a folding saw meant for hiking, backpacking, and camping, this is a tool that will stand up to the test. It comes with a high carbon steel blade with a length of 8.25 inches. Its blade also has a black powder coating, making it more esthetically pleasing.

Despite the sleek design of the product, there are complaints in terms of its performance. It has poor ratings in terms of locking mechanism and edge retention.

Conclusion

Given the reviews of Bahco Laplander Folding Saw, you will definitely see that it is a product to seek. It has the distinction of being an all-encompassing product. Despite the fact that it has complied with the top preferences of users, it still pleased its customers necessarily.

Although it was debated that the folding saw may be as expensive as a larger tool, it will still be a great buy if you need a long-term pruning and bushcraft assistant.

From its construction to efficiency and convenience of use, the folding saw cannot be beaten at present.

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/bahco-laplander-review-top-quality-folding-saw-in-the-spotlight

Victorinox Swiss Army Knives – The Best Pocket Knife Money Can Buy

You might be an adventurer who spends his days in the wild, surrounded by breathtaking nature. Perhaps you are a family person who loves to go off the grid every once in a while and just enjoy the time with your family and nature. Then again, you might be someone who loves to be prepared for the unexpected situations at every moment. Well, whatever the case may be – chances are, you are looking for a multi-purpose tool that will make easy work of opening cans or bottles, cutting wood, or cutting food. We are talking about a pocket knife, of course! However, we don’t want to talk about those cheap models that will only make you waste your money because they are often useless. No, boy. We are talking about the real deal – the legendary Swiss Army Knife.

So, if you are on the same page as us, and you’re looking for reliability and high-quality, then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect article. In here we will talk about the one and only – the Swiss Army Knife. This knife is known as “A cultural icon of Switzerland” and with a good reason. From the knifes history to the 10 best versions available, we have got you covered, so read on if you want to know more about the best of the best.
What exactly is a pocket knife?

Before we move on to the history of Swiss Army Knife, let us first talk about the pocket knife in general.

We all have heard of this handy item, even if you have never used one. But, how much do you really know about pocket knives? A pocket knife refers to a fold-able knife that can fit into your pocket (clearly, that’s how it got its name). A pocket knife is a versatile tool as it comes with one or a few blades that fit inside the handle. Besides that, these pockets come with an array of tools, such as scissors, pliers, wood saw, head screwdriver, corkscrew, etc. Thanks to that, these knives can be used in numerous situations, from cutting fruits, to cutting wood, to opening envelopes, to opening cans and bottles.

The first pocket knives we have heard of date all the way back to the early Iron Age. When you stop and think for a second, you will see that it is completely logical why these people have come up with a pocket knife. It must have made their life so much easier. A pocket knife makes OUR lives a whole lot easier, since they are perfect for everyday use and those unexpected situations, let alone how helpful it was to craftsmen thousands of years ago.

The History of the Swiss Army Knife

Antique Swiss Army Knife

But, enough about those old times, it’s time to go back to present or at least to 1880s. At that time, the Swiss Army wanted to buy new folding pocket knives for their soldiers, so as to make their everyday life much easier. So, in 1891. The German knife manufacturer Wester & Co. delivered 15, 000 pocket knives. This pocket knife was called Modell 1890.

Why these pocket knives were made by the German company, one may ask. That is because Swiss companies had no production capacity needed for delivering these products and in such a large number. But, it was not long before Karl Elsener (his company was selling surgical equipment) made a decision to start the production of pocket knives in Switzerland. Like with every person who made a decision and sticks to it, Karl Elsener started producing the Modell 1890 knives at the end of 1891.
After a few years ago, Elsener wanted to improve the knives’ design and make it more office-friendly. So, he delivered that, too! In 1896, he invented a pocket knife that featured a spring mechanism. Thanks to that, he was able to attach many more tools to the both sides of a handle, making it a real multi-purpose pocket knife. In 1897, this knife was registered with the patent office and became known as The Officer’s and Sports Knife.

When you look at the Swiss Army Knife, you will notice the cross and shield symbol. That symbol Karl Elsener used for identifying his knives, and that symbol became a signature of Victorinox-branded models. Speaking of Victorinox, you may ask how the company that produces Swiss Army knives (Victorinox) has got its name and what it has got to do with Karl Elsener. Well, you are about to find out.

In 1909, Karl’s mother died. After that, he decided to name his company “Victoria”, because that was his mother’s name. Okay, we get that, but that still leaves us the last part of the company’s name unexplained. What’s with –X? Read on to find out.
In 1921, Karl started making Swiss Army Knives from stainless steel, also known as “inox”. As you can guess, Karl then put together “Victoria” and “Inox” and that is how the company’s name – Victorinox was born. The quite interesting story, don’t you think?
Oh, we almost forgot. We have one more interesting fact to share with you. Do you know why these knives are called “Swiss Army knives”? Well, since the first model was made by the German company, they named it “Offiziersmesser”. Now, you probably don’t even know how to pronounce it. Well, that was also the case with American soldiers after World War II. They struggled to pronounce “Offiziersmesser”, so they come up with their term “Swiss Army Knife”.

So, let us now talk about the present moment and how Swiss Army knives look today. From now on, when someone says to you “Swiss Army Knives” you must know that it refers to a pocket knife with a main spear point blade and a myriad of tools (a can opener, scissors, screwdrivers, corkscrew, and many others). In addition to that, these tools are placed inside the handle by way of using a pivot point mechanism. As for the look of the Swiss Army knives, they usually come with a red handle and feature a Victorinox cross logo.

Now that you’ve learned a thing or two about the history of Swiss Army Knives, it is time to take your knowledge to the next level.

The Best Swiss Army Knives Reviewed

Here is a list of the best Swiss Army Knives, so that you can easily find the right one for your hand or pocket.

Victorinox Huntsman Pocket Knife Review

Victorinox Huntsman Pocket Knife - Red

The Victorinox Huntsman is a good choice for anyone who wants to be like a hunter – prepared at any given moment for any situation. With 14 different tools, this knife is more than just a pocket knife. You get scissors, so you can easily cut cardboard, or a plant, or whatever else you need to cut. There are two blades – smaller and larger that are sharp right out of the box and will remain sharp for a long time.

Since the blade is 9 cm long, you can use this knife in many situations, whether you need to open envelope or cut fruits and veggies. One more tool that you will find especially handy is a screwdriver. Thanks to all these tools, it is clear why this unit is made for campers, hikers, adventurists, and all-around users.

However, even though this unit features 14 tools, they all go under the blade, so you can carry the knife with you, without even noticing it’s there.

As for the blades, they are made of stainless steel and are sturdy. This pocket knife and all others on this list come with lifetime warranty against defects since they are produced by Victorinox.

Victorinox Huntsman Pocket Knife - Red

As we have already seen, this knife offers an array of tools. However, the problem is that getting some of these tools out is a real hassle. And this is definitely not a desired feature when you are in a hurry. Another issue is that this unit comes in a cheap cardboard slip, so you’ll probably want to buy a case to keep the knife safe and sound.
All in all, this pocket knife is ideal for hikers, gardeners, and anyone else who wants to keep a handy tool in their pocket, just in case.

Pros:

  • comes with 14 different tools 
  • versatile 
  • ideal for anyone who needs a good quality pocket knife
  • two blades – larger and smaller
  • the blades are sharp and sturdy 

Cons:

  • some of the tools are hard to reach 
  • doesn’t come with a case 


Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Champ Review

Whether you are a newbie or have been using a pocket knife for years, this little guy will blow your mind away. That Swiss Army Knives have been improved over the years proves the fact that this unit comes with 32 functions. Now, that is what we call unparalleled functionality.

Scissors, metal saw wood saw, nail file with metal file, multipurpose hook, fish scaler with hook disgorger, two rulers, fine screwdriver, chisel, Pliers with wire cutters, magnifying glass, pressurised ballpoint pen, and stainless steel pin are just some of those functions. With all these tools, this pocket knife is hard to beat.

The blade is 6 inches long and is non-locking. However, don’t think this knife isn’t safe. In fact, you can slide it into the rear pocket of your jeans, or in the pocket of your jacket, knowing that the knife won’t accidentally open. Since Swiss Army knives are one-of-a-kind, it would be ridiculous for their manufacturer to produce models that aren’t safe for their users, right?

Made of superior stainless steel, this unit will last you for over a decade, making it a sound investment in the long run. Sure, investing about £59 in a pocket knife is not a small thing, but, it is well worth it.

The handle is comfortable and you will not have any difficulty holding the knife. In addition to that, it will not slip from your hands. This also adds up to its safety.

As for the downside, it is the same like with the previous model – this knife doesn’t come with a pouch. So, you have to buy it on your own, and spend extra money. But, that’s the only way to keep this unit protected.

Pros:

  • highly functional 
  • comes with 32 functions 
  • ideal for handling any kind of a challenge 
  • durable 
  • safe 

Cons:

  • should have come with a pouch or case 


Victorinox VIC SWISS CHAMP XLT Review

Victorinox VIC SWISS CHAMP XLT

Well, if you thought the previous model was expensive then you haven’t met the Victorinox Swiss Champ XLT. But, if you are a knife enthusiast and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars on a superior pocket knife, then this is the way to go. With 50 impressive functions, this pocket knife is arguably the best one. With this guy by your side, you will be fearless and ready to take on every situation. And when we say “every”, we really mean it.

First, this unit comes with an array of different blades, making it perfect for heavy duty jobs as well as for those light and medium ones. Next, it comes with a plethora of other tools. With a bottle opener, screwdriver, wire stripper, tweezers, scissors, wood saw, magnifying glass, pin, spatula, wire cutters, and many other functions, this unit is a good choice for anyone who appreciates practicality and versatility.

Whether you are on a trip, in the woods, in your backyard, or in your office, this knife will be your best friend for years to come. If you have a friend who is also passionate about pocket knives, then this classy pocket knife makes a great gift.

Finally, the handle is well made and will resist the challenges of the times. This knife is sturdy and you will use it, even after years of use, because it will not wear out.
As for the downfall, this unit is a bit heavy. But, taking into account its functions; its weight doesn’t come as a surprise. Plus, that’s the compromise for what you get with it. Still, the unit will fit into your pocket (you just need to have a big pocket ha-ha).
All in all, this pocket knife is synonymous with innovation and functionality. Its main downside is the price, but if you are serious about pocket knives, then you should not have second thoughts. This little guy makes all the difference, which is why it is favorite among knives enthusiasts all over the world.

Pros:

  • excels in functionality and versatility since it comes with 50 functions 
  • ideal for knives enthusiasts who are willing to invest in a high-performance knife
  • classy design 
  • durable 

Cons:

  • Expensive 
  • a bit heavy 


Victorinox Explorer Army Knife Review

Victorinox Explorer Army Knife - Red

Whether you want to take something apart, or fix something, this pocket knife has got you covered. As its name implies, this unit is perfect for exploring the world around you, and help you handle the challenges of everyday life (whether it be opening a bottle of wine, reading a letter, or cutting the rope in the wood). Compared to the aforementioned products, this one comes with the least number of functions. So it is not like you can expect this unit to do wonders, but still, it is ideal for handling some basic tasks such as slicing fruits and opening cans.

With 16 different functions and its compact size, this unit is a true pocket knife. Add to that 101g of weight, and you get a pocket knife that will be hidden in your pocket until you need it. Seriously, if you want to buy a pocket knife, but don’t want to bother with a bulky model, then you will be more than happy with this little guy. And with a key ring attachment, you don’t have to worry about losing this handy item. In fact, attach it to your keys, and take it everywhere with you. How convenient is that, huh?

With a classic Victorinox design, this unit looks amazing and will be a great conversation starter. But, the fact alone that this unit is Swiss Army knife is enough for starting a conversation with knives connoisseurs. Anyone who loves knives will be impressed with the look and performance of this unit.

On top of all, this unit comes with sharp blades that will not break. Much like previous models that we listed, this one is also well-built and is reliable.

As for the downside, this unit is not designed to handle heavy-duty use, so if you are after that, well, you have to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • comes with 16 functions 
  • Ideal for basic tasks 
  • compact and lightweight
  • fits easily into your pocket 

Cons:

  • comes with only 16 functions 
  • not for those looking for a pocket knife for heavy duty jobs 

Victorinox Ranger Grip 55 Walnut Swiss Army Pocket Knife Review

Victorinox Ranger Grip 55 Walnut Swiss Army Pocket Knife

If you are after a comfortable and one-of-a-kind pocket knife, then you should definitely take a look at the Victorinox Ranger Grip 55. This pocket knife is designed with beauty in mind but also delivers a great performance.

It has 12 functions, making it a good choice for basic tasks. Whether you are on a picnic, a family trip, or at your friend’s party, this unit will come in handy. Even though it only has 10 tools and 12 functions, the unit is practical and useful. Meaning, it doesn’t come with those unnecessary functions that you will never get the chance to use.
But what makes this unit stand out from the crowd is a lock blade feature. Thanks to it, the blade will stay in a place all the time. So, no doubt that this knife is safe for carrying around in your pocket. That Victorinox makes every inch and part of a knife count proves the fact that this knife has a lock trick. Take a look at this knife for a second. Do you see a lock release button? That’s right, you don’t. Well, that is because it is hidden. Namely, the logo on the side actually functions as a lock release button. Pretty smart, don’t you think?

Another great feature is a handle design. This unit has an ergonomic design, so holding the knife is a real pleasure.

The icing on the cake is the striking look of this unit. The walnut finish makes this pocket knife really beautiful and worth having. We just can’t get enough of looking at this pocket knife and neither will you.

As for the downside, this unit should have come in a nice package, so as to be ready as a gift.

Pros:

  • lock blade 
  • safe
  • lock press release design 
  • sturdy 
  • ergonomic handle 
  • ideal for basic light tasks 

Cons:

  • should come in a nice package 


Victorinox Swiss Soldiers Knife Review

Victorinox Swiss Soldier's Knife

The Swiss Soldiers Knife is one of the best pocket knives out there and as such won’t disappoint. With a lightweight design and useful functions, this unit makes a great addition to everyday life. Whether you are someone who collects pocket knives or you just want to have a top-notch pocket knife at your disposal, you will appreciate the functionality of this unit.

Being the favorite of Swiss Army, it is not surprising that this unit allows for a single hand operation. You can easily get the knife out with one hand, thanks to a large lock blade. This makes it a good choice for anyone whose nature of the job requires from him to be prepared at any moment.

What also contributes to its ease of use is ten functions. Even though this knife doesn’t come with tweezers, which some users didn’t like, it still has all the other basic tools one could need in the case of an emergency. Some of those tools are wood saw, key ring, wire stripper, bottle opener, can opener, small screwdriver, and Philips screwdriver. As you can see, this little guy is ready for challenges and will be your right hand.

One more thing that makes this unit easy-to-use is its design. With only 131g and 111mm, this unit is lightweight and can be placed in your pocket. However, keep in mind that the blade is large so you have to check the law in your country before buying this knife. For example, this pocket knife is not legal in the UK because of the blade’s length.

Speaking of blades, this knife features two of them, both of which are serrated. Other models on this list that we mentioned come with plain blades. Serrated blades are sharper and will more easily cut through the food.

As for durability, this unit will surely last you for years, don’t for a second doubt that. Made of stainless steel and coming from Victorinox, this unit comes with a lifetime warranty on any defects, for a worry-free purchase. Once you try Swiss Army knife, you will never again go back to other pocket knives. And why would you, when these knives are of the best that money can buy?

Pros:

  • great for single handed operation 
  • Ten functions 
  • serrated blades 
  • durable 
  • easy to use 
  • lightweight 

Cons:

  • doesn’t come with tweezers 

Victorinox 0882300 Army Knife Alpineer Review
Victorinox 0882300 Army Knife Alpineer Review

The Victorinox Alpineer is an adventurist that will handle all the tasks and challenges in a blink of an eye. It comes with a few features, and a lightweight design, making it perfect for hikers, alpinists, and other people who cannot imagine their lives without a pocket knife at their hand. This little guy is a classic and will never go out of date.

Compared to the above-mentioned models, this one only comes with 5 features – large lock blade, tweezers, toothpick, key ring, and corkscrew. However, this unit is powerful enough to take on basic tasks that you can encounter when in nature. So, you don’t have to worry about the unexpected, as long as you have the Alpineer by your side. With a lock blade, you also don’t have to worry about the blade popping out at a wrong moment. So, know that this pocket knife brings you the needed safety.

The last thing an alpinist needs is more weight, right? So, Victorinox thought of that and come up with a solution – this Alpineer pocket knife. This is one of the reasons why Victorinox keeps delivering top notch products. They always listen to the needs of their customers, tailoring the pocket knives to their needs and desires. So, if anyone knows how to keep the innovation and reputation at a high level, then it is definitely this company.

That being said, the selling point of this pocket knife is its design. This knife is called Alpineer. Therefore it is quite logical that it only weighs 60 grams, making it one of the lightest pocket knives on this list. And with a key ring, you can attach this unit to the keys or your backpack, keeping it within easy reach. Or if you want to put it in the pocket, you can also do that. Since this model is very lightweight, you won’t notice that you’re carrying it with you.

As for the looks, this unit looks classic. With a recognizable red handle, this pocket knife ensures its place on the “best-looking pocket knives” list. Of course, some of you don’t care about the looks, but knives enthusiasts do care and they will understand the subtle beauty of this knife.
On the downside, the blade is very sharp right out of the box, so you have to be careful when working with this knife. 

Pros:

  • sharp blade 
  • well built
  • a classic design that looks great
  • practical 
  • lightweight and compact easily fits into the pocket
  • good choice for hikers, alpinists, etc. 

Cons:

  • the blade is very sharp so you have to be careful when using the knife 


Victorinox Swiss Army 1 Pocket Knife Review

Victorinox Swiss Army 1 Pocket Knife

In case you are looking for something different than previous models on the list, then this might be just the thing you need. Here we have a pen knife – perfect for fitting into your pocket.

Since this is a pen pocket, it doesn’t come with all those numerous functions like classic pocket knives. Instead, it comes with a sharp blade. However, don’t be naïve and think this pen knife doesn’t offer a top notch performance.

In fact, there is one thing where this unit excels – durability. Because of its unique design, this unit is probably the sturdiest pen knife out there that (at this price point).
The combination of stainless steel and aluminum makes this pen knife practically indestructible. With that in mind, this unit will easily last you for more than a decade. That is if you take care of it properly.

Moreover, this pen knife feels good in your hand, allowing you to have control over the object. It is easy to get the job done with this bold guy by your side. Thanks to its design, this unit is a good choice for travelers who don’t want to add weight to their baggage. With 44 grams and one blade, this knife takes up very little space, yet its presence will give you the peace of mind.

Another thing that makes this pen knife unique is its look. With two Alox scales, this unit looks courageous and stylish, leaving a strong impression on anyone who sees it.
However, this product is not perfect. In fact, the problem with this unit is that it doesn’t come with a key ring. Now, taking into account a sleek and compact design of this unit, that part doesn’t impress us. In fact, we find this unit easy to lose, because it is so little. A key ring would save us so much trouble. So, you definitely need to keep your eyes on this pocket knife, if you want to keep it.

All in all, this pen knife is extremely durable and comes with a reliable and sharp blade. So, if you are looking for that, you just can’t go wrong with the Swiss Army 1.

Pros:

  • extremely durable 
  • well-built 
  • unparalleled sturdiness
  • design 
  • bold look 
  • sharp blade 
  • ideal for travelers 

Cons:

  • doesn’t come with a key ring


Victorinox Evolution Wood 17 Swiss Army Pocket Knife Review

Victorinox Evolution Wood

Never be afraid of a change. The only way to live your life to the fullest is to embrace change and step out of your comfort zone. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it is possible. It all starts with making a decision. So, if you are not afraid to widen your horizons, and want to make the most out of every day and situation, then The Evolution Wood 17 might be just the perfect choice for you.

With its authentic design and numerous functions, it is clear to see why this unit is one of the best pocket knives out there. Add to that a good price and this unit is hard to miss.

Everything about this knife is extraordinary. From elegant wood scales to 13 functions, to comfortable handle. So, we just don’t know where to start with this one. Should we start with its sturdy and elegant design that is easy on the eyes? Not only that, but this unit also feels nice in your hand. It comes with wood scales so it will give you that well-known warm and cozy feel that only wood can give. This is an especially feature if you are far away from your home. Each time you use this pocket knife, you will think of your home.

Or should we talk about how sturdy and well-designed this unit is? It will certainly last you for a few years.

We have to mention 13 functions that you get with this knife, making it ideal for any situation. With nail cleaner, nail file, bottle opener, wire stripper, wood saw, scissors, screwdrivers and key ring, this unit is a real pleasure to use.

Lastly, this unit comes with an ergonomic handle, so it will fit perfectly into your hand. Thanks to that, the unit is safe, because it won’t slip from your hands.

Even though the Evolution Wood 17 doesn’t have any real downsides (yup, it’s just that good), it only comes with 13 functions. Now, don’t get us wrong – all of the functions are useful. But, it wouldn’t be a bad thing that this unit includes a few more functions.
Overall, for those of you looking for a pocket knife that has a soul, this is it. With a walnut finish, the Evolution Wood 17 brings the change in the world of pocket knives. This unit shows that it is possible to combine elegance, coziness, and functionality, giving you one-of-a-kind item that will follow you wherever you want to go.

Pros:

  • elegant design 
  • 13 functions 
  • comes with a wood saw 
  • ergonomic handle 
  • well-built 

Cons:

  • comes with only 13 functions 


Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Pocket Tool Review

Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Pocket Tool

Last but not least. For those of you looking for a companion on your everyday adventures, this is a perfect choice. The Classic SD is arguably the best mini pocket knife, and you will love it! It is adorable. But don’t think that this unit only looks good. No boy. It performs great as well.

With 7 functions (scissors, nail file, screwdriver, blade tweezers…), this pocket knife is ideal for everyday use and with its compact design, this knife will be within easy reach all the time. You can attach it to your key chain, or put it in your pocket. Either way, you will carry this unit wherever you go, all the time, because it is just that useful.
The scale is made of ABS and is sturdy, so no need to worry about that. As for the blade, it is made of stainless steel, like with all other products on this list. That being said, the blade is sharp and won’t dull quickly.

A slight concern is that this pocket knife comes in a slipcase. Meaning, it doesn’t look very nice if you want to give it as a gift. So, you will have to buy a case or something like that if you want to sweep someone off their feet with this gift.

One more concern is that people don’t realise how small this pocket knife is until they receive it. So, yup, this is a very small pocket knife, and will discreetly fit onto your key chain.

Pros:

  • 7 functions 
  • Compact design – weighs only 22g 
  • the ABS scale 

Cons:

  • comes with a slipcase 
  • very small 


The Final Word

And there you have it, folks. We gave our best to give you a comprehensive and lengthy article that will help you find the best pocket knife for your needs and means. Since all the products come from Victorinox, they are all of a superior quality and excel in performance. Now, it is up to you to choose the one that will suit best your needs, and that is exactly why we listed 10 best Swiss Army knives. With our diverse list, you will be able to choose just the thing you need.

A good pocket knife is a must because you never know what is around the corner. Whether you are going to the woods, are doing jobs around your house, or are a knife enthusiast, Swiss Army knives make all the difference. So, buy one for yourself and feel that difference. Sure, some models that we listed above are pricey but keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and with Swiss Army knives you get a lot. Whether you need to open something, cut wood, or use scissors, the Swiss Army Knife has got your back. So, the question is: What do you want?

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/victorinox-swiss-army-knives-the-best-pocket-knives-money-can-buy

Kelly Kettle Review

If you’ve ever spent time in the damp UK weather waiting for a small amount of water to boil in order to make a much needed cup of tea, then you know it can be exercise in patience. Not only do you need to build a fire which is reluctant to light, but you also need to build a stand to hold your pot over the hottest part of the flame, even then it can take what seems like ages for the water to boil. But there is a solution. The Kelly Kettle is here to help satiate the UK populations need for tea.

Kelly Kettle

At its heart the Kelly Kettle is an extremely elegant solution to the problem of boiling water quickly while out and about. With this simple piece of kit it’s easy to boil over 1 litre of water in as little as 4 minutes, with only the fuel that is naturally available. The Kelly Kettle accomplishes this feat by focusing a fires heat, as well as maximising the surface area exposed to the heat in order to increase absorption and transfer the heat to the water. The design of the kettle consists of a fire base and a kettle chimney, as the kettle is chimney shaped, not only does the heat applied to the kettle base warm it up, but also any smoke heat and flames that go through the kettle chimney will additionally heat up the water. This means water will boil very quickly.

Our Kelly Kettle Review

As someone that loves the outdoor, I am always on the lookout for innovative and interesting products that can help save me time and help save my back from carrying too much stuff. I am continually tweaking what I take away with me for a long weekend and revising what was useful and what wasn’t useful. As a consequence of this constant revision, I always have an eye out for a for pieces of equipment that are useful for a wide range of scenarios. 

When bad weather settles on your camping spot or you’ve just had enough walking for one day, you want to set up camp, eat, enjoy a cup of tea and relax with as little fuss as possible. Being able to boil water and cook relies on being able to build and light a fire, as well as having quality outdoor cookware. In an emergency situation fresh water might not be readily available, in these circumstances being able to adapt your setup to purify and distil water could be critical to your survival. 

I recently had the good fortune to see the Kelly Kettle in action as a local camping and outdoors fair, it immediately blew me away. The design is ingenious, simple and very effective. The Kettle was created over 100 years by the Irish Kelly family. It’s a unique solution to the natural fuel cooking system. No artificial fuels, gases, liquids or tablets required with this cooker. 

I chose to buy and review the medium sized Kelly Kettle Stainless Steel Scout, which is capable of brining 1.1 litres of water to the boil in a bit under 5 minutes. This is perfect for couples, small groups or even solo travellers. 

The whole package packs away very neatly into a durable nylon pouch, the kettle is just over 25cm tall and a little under 19cm wide and weighs in at a fairly substantial 1.08 kilograms which increases to 1.6 kilograms once all the accessories are included. This is obviously somewhat larger and quite a bit heavier than a lot of the portable cooking solutions that are available, however, there is an aluminium version available which reduces the weight by 25%. So as long as you don’t mind cooking or boiling your water in an aluminium container then you can save quite a bit of weight. 

If you’re still off the opinion that it’s a little on the large side you could opt for the slightly smaller model called the Trekker which weighs in at a much more manageable 760 grams, this model is capable of holding and heating 0.5 litres of water, it’s much better suited to the solo backpacker. As with its bigger sibling, the Trekker is also available in aluminium, which is also around 25% lighter than the steel version. At the other end of the scale if the Base Camp version which holds 1.5 litres, so it’s better suited to larger groups or anyone that likes huge portions.

Kelly Kettle Magic

Every Kelly Kettle is made up off two primary components, the firebase and the kettle, and if you decide to buy one of the numerous Kelly Kettle kits, then you’ll also get various accessories and other bits and pieces. 

The Firebase

firebase

The firebase of each Kelly Kettle is made from a single piece of machine pressed heavy duty stainless steel, this means that they are very sturdy pieces of kit and have very few weak point. The aesthetics of the base are fairly non-descript, it looks like a bowl with a tapered lip and a hole in the side. The firebase is approximately 8cm tall and 19cm wide. As the name suggests, the firebase is where you’ll burn the fuel which will in turn heat the kettle. One of the biggest selling points of the Kelly Kettle is that you can burn almost any type of fuel which you have available, including pine cones, tinder, dried grass or anything else which you have to hand. If you have one, you can even use a alcohol burner. Quick tip: make sure to restrict the airflow out of the top of the kettle exhaust when using an alcohol burner, doing to helps trap the heat in the chimney resulting in a much faster boil rate, this will also help to reduce the amount of fuel required to heat the water.

The Kettle

The kettle measures in at around 25cm tall and 16cm wide. In order to ensure the kettle remains robust and durable it’s been made from two pieces of tough stainless steel that have been welded together. The inner and outer walls of the kettle form a pocket which holds the water, additionally, the inner wall also acts as the kettle’s chimney, where any flames, heat and smoke produced from the fire also serve to heat the inner wall of the kettle. In order to carry the kettle when hot the wire bail handle has been spot welded and features a wooden handle to insulate your fingers from any heat. Originally the kettle was designed with pop rivets to hold the handle, however, after feedback the rivets where replaces with welds to prevent the occasional leak. The kettle also includes a silicone stopper which is tethered to the kettle by way of a sturdy stainless steel chain, which is perfect for sealing the kettle when not in use. 

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Kelly Kettle Accessories

kelly kettle accessories

The pot support is inserted into the Kettle’s chimney and can support almost any type of cooking pot you’d like it to. As all of the heat from the fire rises through the chimney you can cook and boil water at the same time. However, the design is not without its faults. Firstly, as the cooking pot rests on top of the kettle chimney the whole set up is quite tall, and as with anything that’s tall, stability can potentially be an issue. The second issue is that the pot is at a fixed height above the chimney and can’t be adjusted, this means the temperature is difficult to adjust. 

The pot is both sturdy and easy to clean due to being made from heavy-guage stainless steel. At roughly 8cm tall and 12cm across, the pot is capable is not insubstantial in size and is capable of holding around 1 litre of liquid. The lid of the pot can double up as a small frying pan. Additionally included in the cooking set is a pot handle and wire grill which fits onto the firebase. 

Available separately for the Kelly Kettle Scout is the Hobo Stove. This is simply a steel ring adaptor which has raised pot supports, the set up allows the firebase to be easily converted into a simple to use hobo style stove, which is perfect for cooking with almost any pan or pot. In addition the Hobo ring raises the height of the pot above the firebase, which in turn increases the air flow. It can be used with or without the firebase and can be easily store inside the firebase when not being used.

 

Using the Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle is very easy to get started, but there are a few things to be aware off before getting going. As the kettle is quite tall, it’s very important that the firebase is place on a level, flat and sturdy surface. When in use the firebase can become incredibly hot, so setting it up on a flammable surface such as a wooden table or on something that could melt, such as snow, is best avoided. The height of the chimney should also be taken into consideration, remember that very hot exhausts will be exiting the chimney, so bear this in mind when placing the kettle and watch out for overhanging branches, tarp or anything else flammable. 

When you have the firebase positioned on a sturdy surface it’s time to get the fire started. As with most fires, start with small pieces of fuel and any fire lighting aids you intend to use. Once the fire is established you can add some slightly larger pieced of fuel and lower the kettle onto the base. 

It’s best to use clean water or water that’s been filtered before being added to the kettle. Filtering the water can be as easy as using a cloth or coffee filter. This makes keeping the inside of the kettle clean much easier. The design of the kettle means that cleaning the interior is a very difficult job. 

If you need to add more fuel to the fire you can simply pop a few pieces through the chimney as needed, just bear in mind that the kettle does not require a lot of fuel to boil. If you find that you’ve added to much fuel it’s probably wise to allow some of the fuel to burn away before attempting to remove the kettle from the base.

Once it’s cheerfully boiling away, remove the kettle by holding the wire handle perpendicular to the body of the kettle, then simply lift it off the base. Pouring from the Kettle is equally as simple, lift it by the handle and then tilt it using the silicone stopper chain. 

The clever design which combines a firebase and a chimney works in a similar manner to a rocket stove. As the hot exhaust exits the chimney it sucks in extra air and oxygen into the firebase, which in turn allows the firebase to consume more oxygen and burn at super high temperatures, which also produces more and faster moving exhaust which of course sucks in more air and oxygen. This action creates very high temperatures and will allow the water to Kelly kettle to boil very quickly and efficiently. Typically the kettle will come to the boil in under 5 minutes. 

If you happen to need more than one kettle’s worth of boiling water, simply refill the kettle and place it back on the firebase. Subsequent boils happen much faster due the established fire and already warmed kettle. 

Cleaning the outside of the Kelly Kettle is easy as using a green pad and a bit of water, it’ll not end up looking brand now, but you should be able to remove the majority of the soot. I would also suggest allowing the interior of the kettle to dry out before replacing the stopper, this will help prevent any unpleasant smells or tastes.

Additional Notes on Safety

  • Always remove the silicone stopper from the kettle before placing it on the firebase. Not doing so can result in a dangerous increase in pressure resulting in leaks or worse. The stopper should only be used for transporting cold water. 
  • Never use the kettle without water in it. Water helps to disperse heat evenly over the whole kettle, without water the inner walls and base will very rapidly heat and expand which could result in weakening of the kettles seams. 
  • Avoid leaving the handle above the chimney when it’s placed on the firebase, you don’t want to accidentally heat the handle up and burn your hand. 
  • Do not overfill the kettle. Once the water has begun to boil it could spill our and put the firebase fire out or worse. Leave a few cm between the lip of the spout and the water line. 
  • Finally, this is not a toy, keep it away from children and don’t let children near it when in use.

Packing Up

Fortunately the Kelly Kettle is pretty easy to pack up. The first step is to fill the pot with all the smaller bits and pieces, for example pot handles, utensils, seasoning and even fire kindling. Next you’ll place the lid on the pot and place it into the firebase. The grill and the pot stand both fit into the bottom of the kettle. The firebase base fits nicely into the bottom of the kettle upside down. Lastly the whole system is placed in the nylon carry bag and the drawstring is tightened to keep everything together.

Summary

The Kelly Kettle is a brilliant piece of kit, one which is good for the environment and is a very capable cook system that specialises in bringing water to a boil in as little time as possible, while minimising the fuel required to do so. If you’re ever a survival situation or even if you’re just camping, being able to rapidly and easily heat water can be an absolute life saver. The Kelly Kettle is built to a great standard, it’s durable, rugged and does its job impressively well. The fact that it can be used with nearly any fuel source and during almost any weather conditions is nothing short of amazing. As with almost any product, there are some drawbacks to consider. In my opinion, the two biggest are the systems size and weight. I can’t imagine the system being any smaller and still being effective, and I don’t think compromising on the materials thickness is worth it just to save a small amount of weight. There are also a few other minor niggles which could easily be ironed out with a small changes, for example printing the capacity on the side of the kettle would be helpful, as would adding folding handles to the pot. None of these are major issues.

Overall in this Kelly Kettle review I would give the system my seal of approval. It’s a dependable system that will last a lifetime of use and is well worth the small investment, definitely a double thumbs up.

Kelly Kettle Alternatives – Ghillie Storm Kettle Review

Ghillie Storm Kettle

The Ghillie Storm Kettle is largely similar to the Kelly Kettle, both in terms of looks and functionality. Constructed from lightweight aluminium and weighing in at around 950g, the Ghillie Storm Kettle is relatively light weight and capable of holding an impressive amount of water in its 34cm by 18.5cm frame.

As with the Kelly Kettle the Ghillie Storm Kettle allows for the rapid heating of water using only the fuels that are at hand. This means you can use pine cones, sticks, grass or even dried animal dung. As long as it burns you can use it to fuel the Ghillie Storm Kettle.

The Ghillie uses the same principles as the Kelly, which utilises the chimney to increase the oxygen available for the firebase and therefor increasing the burn temperature. As discussed above, it’s a great system that very effectively boils water in a very short amount of time.

Ghillie Kettle or Kelly Kettle

In short, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two products. With the Ghillie kettle you might be sacrificing durability for a bit of weight saving, while with the Kelly kettle you’re getting a solid piece of kit which is a little bit on the heavy side.

Given a choice I would personally pick the Kelly Kettle over the Ghillie, the accessories and build quality is ever so slightly superior, but it’s definitely a close run thing. At the end of the day it’s your choice.

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/kelly-kettle-review

What Are The Best Hunting Catapults In The UK for Survival?

The catapult is an age old hunting weapon that should be part of any hunters kit. They are one of the most reliable and simplest weapons available, compact in size and inexpensive to repair and buy, there is no good reason not to have one in your collection. They are also a lot of fun to use. The question remains, what are the best hunting catapults available to buy in the UK?

A hunting catapult can be anything from a very simply Y shaped piece of wood with some elastic all the way up to an aluminium alloy catapult with additional balancers and laser sighting aids. Modern hunting catapults are far more effective than the wooden toys I used as boy growing up, they can be lethal in the right hands and incredibly accurate at far greater distances than you might expect. These catapults are made from space age materials and have been scientifically engineered in order to be as effective as possible. 

Before we dive into the slingshots available, let’s first explore the advantages and disadvantages of adding a hunting catapult to your kit. As with many survival aids such as survival knives, the hunting catapult is often a low tech piece of kit, which at its heart is just a piece of wood and some elastic. The fact that it’s low tech works in its favour, the chances of critical component failure are low and any parts that do fail are readily replaceable for very little money or skill.

When choosing a hunting catapult it’s worth considering the pros and cons associated with them:
Pros

  • With practise they can be very accurate and deadly
  • Silent operation
  • Exceptionally easy to reload
  • Reloading takes seconds
  • Simple design and operation
  • Lightweight and small
  • Easily repaired
  • Cheap to buy
  • Nature can provide ammunition

Cons

  • To be effective requires practise
  • Store bought ammunition can be heavy and bulky
  • Spare parts are required

Overall the pros of owning a hunting catapult far outweigh the cons, which means they are must have weapons for any serious hunter, survivalist or prepper.

It’s worth investing in a decent supply of ammo when buying a hunting catapult, a pack of 200 8mm ball bearings will cost between £5 and £6, and replacement bands will cost up to £10 for a replacement set.

A good quality hunting catapult will start at around £20 and can go all the way up to £150. If you’re not sure what you want then I would suggest starting at the lower end of the scale and then investing in something more significant if you feel it’s something you’d utilise.

TRUMARK FS-1 Review – Buy it from Ebay

Trumark FS-1 Review
Often what makes a good hunting catapult is the elastic tubing used, with that in mind, that’s probably one of the first things you’ll want to upgrade with this catapult, replacing it with something with a stronger pull weight and greater elasticity. As an out of the box catapult, it’s good for a beginner or a child showing an interest, just don’t expect it to pack much punch, but that is reflected in the price. The wristguard and arms are made from resilient aluminium alloy. The catapult handle is made from moulded plastic and it’s capable of holding a reasonable amount of ball bearing ammo. I would have liked to have seen more thought gone into the ergonomics of the handle, while not uncomfortable, it could be better. The wristguard folds up, which means the whole thing is very compact and easily fits into a bag or large pocket. Anyone that has experience using a catapult will find the Trumark FS-1 a bit on the weak side of things, but for controlling pests and target shooting it’s the perfect starting catapult.

Pocket Predator Hatchcock Target Sniper Review – Buy it from Ebay

Pocket Predator Hatchcock Target Sniper Review
The pocket predator hatchcock target sniper is a side shooting catapult that is well loved in the hunting catapult world, and for good reason. Named after the legendary Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock, this catapult takes ergonomics to the next level, keeping your wrist in a neutral position which avoids placing excessive pressure on your joints or fingers. A steel base is used as the foundation of the catapult which is surrounded by ballistic resin, this makes the catapult strong, supple and comfortable to hold. Additionally the fork is designed in such a way as to accommodate multiple types of tubing, including flat bands, squares or tapered.

Dankung Toucan ParaCord Wrap Hunting Catapult Review – Buy it from Ebay

Dankung Toucan ParaCord Wrap Hunting Catapult Review

The dankung is simply put a beautiful hunting catapult, both in form and function. Made of functional aluminium alloy, the grip is very comfortable to hold and additionally feels substantial and robust. At just over 200 grams it’s very easy to carry and takes up barely any room in a bag or pocket. As Dankung is seen as something of a luxury brand, the price is slightly larger than you might expect from a similarly sized and specced hunting catapult. The manufacturer claims the piece is manufactured to fractions of a millimetre which in turn means you can be more accurate with your shots. In practise this is largely true, once used to the characteristics of the hunting catapult it’s possible to hit the same target consistently. The Dankung catapult is equally good for target shooting as it is for hunting.

Survival Slingshot Archer Complete Review – Buy it from Ebay

Survival Slingshot Archer Complete Review
As a widely available commercially made catapult, the survival slingshot archer complete has it all. It’s an all-rounder that’s perfect for hunting and perfect for target shooting, it does everything you’d want a hunting catapult to do and it does it better than most. Aerospace quality aluminium and steel has been used to create the body of this beast and it comes with a 25 lbs draw weight as standard. For anyone that enjoys hunting at night the catapult comes with a standard one inch led torch, additionally there’s room for a fishing reel and stabilisers. If you buy this, it’s doubtful you’d ever want for another catapult. The main drawback is that it’s difficult to source in the UK, you may have to import it from abroad.

Eagle Aluminium Steel Alloy Hunting Catapult Review – Buy it from BladesPro

Eagle Aluminium Steel Alloy Huntung Catapult Review
The Eagle Aluminium Steel Alloy Hunting Catapult might not be ultimate hunting catapult, but it’s as close as us mortals are ever likely to get. The Eagle Aluminium Steel Alloy Hunting Catapult starts at 16lbs of draw weight with options of increasing this as required, the design means it’s great for both left and right handed users, requiring some minor adjustments to ensure a perfect fit. Without any practise or tuning you’ll be able to send steel ball bearings flying at an impressively terrifying 150 feet per second. The hand guard provides a stable platform making aiming and long sessions of use a doddle. Additionally, the catapult breaks down quickly and take up a relatively small amount of space in a backpack or pocket.

Fat Boy Stainless Steel Catapult – Buy it from BladesPro

Fat Boy Stainless Steel Catapult

 

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/what-are-the-best-hunting-catapults-in-the-uk-for-survival

The Complete Guide to the Best Hunting Knives

No hunter can be said to be fully prepared without a good quality knife. A quality hunting knife can serve multiple roles for the serious hunter, from killing an animal to butchering its meat, the knife is perhaps one of the most important pieces of equipment anyone can carry when out hunting. For hundreds or even thousands of years knives have been a hunters best friend, and to this day it’s a staple for anyone looking to spend time in the outdoors.

As with most things that have existed for such a long time, there are many variations, styles and specialist uses for hunting knives. We know from first hand experience that it can be overwhelming to sort through the endless options available and decide on something that meets all of your requirements. To that end, we’ve composed this article to help you in your decision making process, we’ve tried to cover everything you’ll likely need to know about the humble hunting knife. We’ve even tried out many knives and composed our list of the best hunting knives.

Ka-Bar Becker Campanion Camping Knife Review – Buy it from Amazon

Ka-Bar Becker Campanian Knife Review

There’s no denying that the Ka-Bar Becker Campanion knife is good looking hunting knife. The blade is made from an impressive 1095 cro-van steel, and the whole knife measures in at a very manageable 10.5 inches.  The blade tip is a drop point and the handle is a non slip Grivory material.  Even though the warranty doesn’t cover every scenario, it is limited lifetime warranty.

The ruggedness of the Ka-Bar Becker Campanion knife impressed this reviewer and I wouldn’t doubt it would last a lifetime of use.

Böker Fahrtenmesser Jug Review – Buy it from Amazon

Böker Fahrtenmesser Jug Review

This fixed blade Böker knife is very capable, not only in terms of sturdiness but also for all round quality. 

Ontario Knife Company SP10 Raider Bowie Fixed Blade Knife Review – Buy it from Amazon

Ontario Knife Company SP10 Raider Bowie Fixed Blade Knife Review

Ontario Knife Company SP10 Raider Bowie Fixed Blade knife is a durable and razor sharp blade that has a usefulness that extends beyond being used as a hunting knife.  

Haagen Fixed Blade Hunting Knife Review – Buy it from BladesPro

Haagen Fixed Blade Hunting Knife Review

The Haagen Fixed Blade Hunting Knife is one the cheapest options available on this list, but that does not mean it’s less capable. The blade is well proportioned and the grip incredibly comfortable, there isn’t a lot missing from this knife and it’s a bargain as well.

Stealth Black Fixed Blade Swiss Hunting Knife Review – Buy it from BladesPro

Stealth Black Fixed Blade Swiss Hunting Knife Review

Everything about this knife screams quality, right down to the black powder finish on the blade.  It is a clean and sleek looking knife that will look right at home in any hunters equipment.

Hunting Knife History

It’s an impossible task to identify when the first hunting knife came into being, which is mainly because knives have existed in various forms for millennia. It perhaps goes without saying that the knife is probably one of the oldest tools around, sharing a legacy with other stone tools such as clubs and hammers. There are many stone age records which demonstrate that ancient mankind would often fashion knives from stones, bones or shells, allowing the hunter to be more effective and deadly. Ancient Egyptians began to improve the knives they used when hunting, fashioning wooden handles for their stone blades, which increased the comfort and forces they could exert while wielding a knife. These stone hunting knives looked quite different from what we have today, but they were regularly used for hunting, while smaller stones knives would be used for more intricate work such as skinning and cutting meat.

Apart from the massive technological breakthrough in form of metallurgy, the hunting knife remained largely unchanged for many hundreds of years, that was until Jim Bowie completely changed and revolutionised the knife. Jim Bowie was a American legend and frontiersman. In his lifetime, Bowie modified and changed knives to meet his very specific requirements, taking design cues and influences from Finnish and Spanish hunting knives, as well as from butchers knives.

In general terms, the design of the Bowie knife can be described as a large fixed blade sheath knife with certain characteristics which include a clipped point and cross guard. The Bowie knife design exploded in popularity after Jim won the now famous Sandbar fight, which turned the man and the knife into an American legend. You might be asking yourself at this point, what does this have to do with hunting knives? During the years after the rise of the Bowie knife, the Bowie style of knife became incredibly popular with trappers and hunters due to the knives impressive ability to butcher and skin game. Today, many hunting knives are still inspired by the Bowie design.

The next major improvement in the history of the hunting knife was the influence of the Swiss Army knife, which showed that a hunting knife need not be fixed blade. Hunting knives began to become available without sheaves which made them far more portable and easier to fit into a pocket. Instead of attempting to replicate the multi-functional design of the swiss army knives, the smaller folding hunting knives became more focused on providing a knife which excelled at skinning. The last major change to the hunting knife design took place during the mid 20th century. Legendary knife maker R.W. Loveless created what is now called the drop point. Today the drop point is very common place, but it’s important to recognise that it wasn’t popularised until Loveless started incorporating it into his designs. Today it’s now a standard feature across hunting knives.

The Modern Hunting Knife

These days, when we discuss a hunting knife, it’s unlikely we’re referring to a knife that’s used to kill an animal. You will still find some forms of hunting performed with a knife, specifically wild boar hunting, however it’s often performed with a specialist hunting dagger, these daggers are specifically designed for stabbing. A modern hunting knife is not specifically designed for stabbing, instead they tend to specialise in cutting and slicing. The term hunting knife encompasses a lot of design options, so it’s very difficult to point to one type and say definitively that this is the best hunting knife design.

Hunting Knife Uses

An ideal hunting knife should be able to perform several roles, it should be able to gutt, skin, bone and butcher very efficiently. To better understand the requirements here’s a breakdown of each of those uses.

Gutting

One of the most important uses of a modern hunting knife is to able to perform field dressing, which is basically the process of removing the internal organs from a kill in order to stop contamination of the meat. When a deer has been killed, gutting the animal is the first thing that must be performed. A hunting knife is used to cut the animal open in order to remove the internal organs. A gut hook can make this job much easier, but we’ll cover that topic in depth later on in the article.

Skinning

Skinning is a very important aspect of the hunting knife. An effective hunting knife needs to be able to carefully cut through the skin of the animal without accidentally tearing through to abdomen or cutting muscles. The ideal skilling knife will be thin, short and slightly curved.

Deboning

A hunting knife is essential for removing the meat from a recent kill and a knife designed with this job in mind makes the task infinitely easier.

Butchering

After deboning the kill the next step in processing the carcass is to cut the meat up into more manageable pieces. Butchering can be performed with various methods, the only real pre-requisite is that the knife can cleanly cut through the meat.

Caping

Caping involves removing the skin from the neck and head of an animal such as a deer in order to create a hunting trophy. When caping is required, the skin from the shoulders, neck and chest are removed using a knife.

Hunting

Even though hunting knives are most of the time not designed to be used for actual hunting, it doesn’t mean they are not capable of doing so. Specialist hog hunting knives are available and are popular option. It should be noted that most modern hunting knives are not ideal for this sort of work. Ideally you’d want a knife that’s capable of cleanly piercing the heart of the animal.

Types of Hunting Knives

Camp Knife

Camp Knife

If you ask someone to describe a hunting knife, they’ll probably think of the classic camp knife. A camp knife has been designed to perform all of the tasks you’d expect a hunting knife to be capable off, they are great multi-purpose tools. amp knives are largely based on hunting knives, with the exception that they will generally have a larger drop point which is capable of performing a range of jobs around the camp site.

Bowie Knife

Bowie Knife

We’ve covered bowie knives fairly extensively in this article, but to recap, it’s a large fighting style of knife with a clip point that became widely adopted by hunters during the 19th and 20th centuries. You’ll find that many knives that are available are heavily influenced by the Bowie Knife.

Caping Knife

Caping Knife

It’s extremely important to preserve the neck area of an animal if you wish to create an animal trophy. This where the caping knife excels, with its smaller size and upturned point, it’s the perfect utility for performing this delicate task. Even though a caping knife by definition specialises in caping, they can still be used to perform a variety of tasks.

Skinning Knife

Skinning Knife

A well designed skinning knife is an invaluable asset, at its heart it’s a tool that specialises in removing the skin from animals and, as such, it must include certain design properties, the most important of which is the correct design of the blade. Additionally, it needs to be sized correctly and needs to be capable of taking and holding an edge. Taking all of these points into consideration, choosing a well-designed skinning knife needs to take several factors into consideration.

Skinning Knife Blade Design

When deciding on a skinning knife, the design of the blade is one of the single most critical factors that needs to be taken into consideration. Even very small changes to a blade can impart a significant change to the way the blade handles. It’s important to be aware that the type of animal that’s being skinned will directly affect the methods and techniques used for removing the skin, this is due to the way the hides are attached to the muscle tissue. For example, all game within the deer family have hides that are loosely attached to the rest of the animal by way of a thin membrane. This membrane is easily sliced with a sharp knife, so it’s particularly well suited to knives that have a clip or drop point, as the tip can very easily penetrate and cut the membrane. However, an animal such as a wild boar will have a hide that is attached to the carcass by a layer of fat that is quite tough and fibrous when cut. In these circumstances a knife with a trailing point is particularly well suited to this sort of job, as the whole of cutting edge can be used to remove the hide with a sweeping cut.

Skinning Knife Blade Length

Blade length is an important aspect to consider when choosing a skinning knife. We strongly recommend matching the length of the blade to the size of the animal you intent to skin. For example, a small game animal such as a rabbit is best suited to a skinning knife with a small blade of around 8cm. A larger animal such as a deer may require a blade as large as 13cm, and so on.

Skinning Knife Blade Steel

A skinning knife which can take and hold an edge is a very important consideration. It can become very frustrating to stop and sharpen a knife when you’re halfway through a job. It is therefore critical that a skinning knife is made from very hard steel as opposed to durable steel, this is due to prioritising its ability to hold an edge over its ability to take punishment. We would recommend a knife of hardness between 56 HRC and 62 HRC in order to provide the best user experience. o further complicate the choice, you might have the option to pick between high carbon steel and stainless steels. For a skinning knife you’re better off picking a stainless steel blade, as long as it has sufficient hardness.

Skinning Knife Handle Design and Material

When picking out your skinning knife, I would suggest prioritising a handles ergonomic properties over aesthetic flair. Ideally you’ll want to pick a knife which is comfortable to hold at a variety of angles, edge up or edge down. Make sure the handle is suitable to your style of skinning, whether that’s with the index finger extended along the spine, or with the index finger wrapped around the handle, make sure it fits with your needs. Once you’ve met the usability and comfort requirements you can begin to look at the materials it’s made from, there’s no reason not to pick something decorative such as antler or horn if that’s what you prefer, skinning knives are rarely subjected to the same type of punishment as other hunting knives so they can afford to be pretty.

Fixed Blade or Folding Blade Skinning Knife

You’ll likely find that most experienced hunters prefer to use a fixed blade knife over a folding knife. It should be noted that when it comes down to functionality, there isn’t a definitive answer as to which is better and it largely comes down to personal preference.

Boning Knife

Boning Knife

The boning knife is another type of specialised hunting knife which as the name suggests is used to debone carcasses. Before I begin to delve into the intricacies of the boning knife we should make sure we know what we mean when we talk about boning knives. If you already know and you’re very familiar with the topic, feel free to skip ahead into the next section. boning knife is most often used to remove the meat from the bone of an animal. It is not intended for cutting through bones, if you’re looking to cut bones then you might want to consider a cleaver.

You might not know this, but the boning knife is the most commonly used knife by butchers, it’s that important. A skilled butcher can use this type of blade to very carefully remove cuts of meat from an animal, leaving almost nothing behind but cartilage and bones. The boning knife can also be used on smaller animals and more intricate work, such as removing bones from a chicken breast or from a fish.

It’s additionally the perfect tool of choice for opening a cut of meat up for stuffing, cheese, spinach and garlic stuffed chicken breasts anyone?

Now that we’ve established what a boning knife is used for, you’re hopefully better able to decide if this is the sort of specialised hunting knife you’d like to add to your collection.

Boning Knife Blade

A boning knife should be kept sharp. Getting close to the bone with a blunt knife can be difficult and dangerous job, additionally force will need to be applied and can result in slipping and injury. Additionally, a dull blade will likely result in significant portions of meat to be left behind. Removing the meat from a carcass should be effortless and it shouldn’t require a workout. For this reason I would suggest honing your knife before every job and having your knives professionally sharpened once a year, alternatively you can follow our knife sharpening guide to do it yourself.

A Mid-Length Blade

You’ll want your blade to be long enough to slice through meat without requiring hacking, but you’ll also want the blade to be small enough the handle easily. For these reasons I would suggest buying a knife with a which is around 13cm long. Such a blade is perfect for slicing through meat and carcasses without effort while also allowing for good degree of control and finesse.

Heavy Handle

For most knives the weight ratio between the handle and blade should be even, however, this does not apply to boning knives. Since the boning knife is quite small it’s good practise to buy a knife whose handle is heavier than the blade. The heavier handle means you can have greater control the blade and can make movements and cuts more accurate. Finding a boning knife with a heavy handle should be relatively straightforward, the boning knife will traditionally have a think flexible blade means it’s weight is less than most similarly sized knife blades, as such the handle will often be heavier by default. If possible I would strongly recommend buying a boning knife which is full tang and
features a steel bolster and steel end cap.

Protective Pinch Bolster

A bolster is a piece which is added between the handle of the knife and blade. The bolster works to increase control and increase safety. As you use your boning knife on some particularly difficult jobs, with slippery slick fingers and excessive force, you’ll want to make sure fingers don’t slide off the handle onto the knife blade. While non-slip handles are pretty common place, they are no completely fail safe, but a protective bolster can help protect your fingers if your grip fails.

Flexible Steel Blade

Right off the bat we should rule out ceramic blades for use as a boning knife. Ceramic blades are inflexible, brittle and can easily snap, chip or shatter if they come into contact with bones. Never buy a ceramic boning knife! Since we’ve rules out ceramics, we’re left with steel as the obvious choice. It might seem obvious, but make sure you select a strong type of steel for your boning knife, I recommend carbon steel. Not only do you want a strong steel blade, but you’ll also want a flexible blade. Therefore, rather than defining the strength of the blade by it’s rigidity and impact resistance, it’s better to judge the blades strength by its ability to flex without snapping.

Buck Knife

Buck Knife

A buck knife is a generic term for the knives made popular by Buck Knives. Specifically, it is any knife modelled after the Buck 110 Hunting Knife, which was a large folding hunting knife. These types of knives will most often have a clip point. Despite the origin as a hunting knife, the style of knife is very popular as a generic pocket knife.

Hunting Dagger

Hunting Dagger

A hunting dagger is a knife which has been specifically designed to kill an animal. These knives are double edged with a sharp point and non-slip handle, they are designed to pierce the heart of the animal resulting in a quick death.

Hunting Knife Set

Hunting Knife Set

Even though the hunting knife set is not an actual type of knife, they are a great option for anyone looking to buy all the specialised hunting knives in one go. These knife sets will typically contain a caping knife, skinning knife, boning knife, butchers knife and more besides.

Additional Features of a Hunting Knife

Gut Hook

Most hunting knives comes with the option of buying them with a gut hook. A gut hook specialises in assisting the hunter in gutting the animal. The semi-circular sharpened hook which is normally located in the spin makes unzipping the skin of the animal somewhat easier, however, most capable hunters can already perform this task, so the value in a gut hook is debatable.

Blade Styles

The type of blade style comes down to personal preference, but there are largely three main types of blade points that you’ll likely encounter on a hunting knife, these are: Drop Point, Clip Point and Skinning Blade.

The clip point is a very popular feature on hunting knives, the design was popularised by the bowie knife and had proved to an excellent option for hunting knives. The clip point is characterised by a blade tip that has been partially clipped off, the tip is ideal for puncturing and making a slit, as such it is widely considered a great all round knife. Extra care must be taken with a clip point knife as it’s innate ability to penetrate skin means that it can inadvertently puncture a gut sack while dressing a kill in the field.

The drop point was popularised by Bob Loveless in his famous designs. The drop point follows the spine of the knife in a curved fashion which creates a lower point. This design offers more control for the wielder and increases the durability of the blade. The drop point is now the standard design for hunting knives.

Fixed or Folding Hunting Knives

A fixed blade hunting knife is not absolutely necessary, but it does offer several advantages over a folding knife. First and foremost, the lack of moving points and potential weak points mean a fixed blade knife is generally stronger and more reliable. Additionally, a fixed blade hunting knife is far easier to clean, with far fewer nooks and crannies for gunk and dirt to accumulate. On the flip side, a folding hunting knife will take up less space and can potentially contain several types of blades for various tasks.

Hand Guard

A great addition to any hunting knife is the hand guard. The very nature of the work performed with a hunting knife means they are prone to becoming very slippery and the last thing you want to happen is for your hand to inadvertently slip, giving yourself a nasty wound in the process. The hand guard prevents your hand from slipping onto the blade.

Ergonomics

It is absolutely essential that your hunting knife is comfortable and easy to use. Any knife which is difficult to hold or prone to slipping is asking for trouble. Prioritise comfort over aesthetics.

Serrated Hunting Knives

Serrated hunting knives are relatively uncommon, but they do exist. Unfortunately a serrated blade tends to hinder the functionality of a hunting knife rather than help.

Hunting Knife Sheath

Sheaths are not required for folding hunting knives, but they are absolutely essential for fixed blade knives. A sheath not only makes carrying a knife safe, they also protect the knife from the elements. I would personally recommend either leather or kydex for the sheath material.

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/the-complete-guide-to-hunting-knives

Pepper Spray UK

When it comes to self-defence, the laws in the UK are very strict and rightly so. This can cause a problem for the general law abiding public, how can you effectively defend yourself from an attacker but still stay on the right side of the law. Mace is not legal in the UK, but there is a pepper spray UK equivalent which might just do the job and help buy you precious seconds to enact your escape, it’s the perfect self defence spray.

The choice of weapons which you can use to defend your family and yourself is limited, and is controlled by the government in order to stop the defensive weapons from being used in an offensive manor. You cannot and should not walk around with a 50 inch sword strapped to your back, nor can you carry a handgun or any other sort of weapon, even if you claim it’s for self-defence only. In all fairness, I know I feel safer knowing that it’s very unlikely that I’ll be a victim of gun crime.

A weapon is still a weapon, no matter what the intention for carrying one was. If you’re caught carrying a weapon then it’s implied that the intention to use the weapon was there, which can of course mean you were prepared to seriously injure or even kill another human being. Which no matter how you try to spin it, it’s simply not cool.

So when it comes to defending yourself effectively the choices and responsible options available to you are limited. The act of even holding and pointing a knife at a would be aggressor is against the law in the UK, the consequences of doing so can be very serious and are even worse if you actually use it.

The crime rate in the UK has been dropping steadily for the last 20 years, but that by no means that crime is not a problem. Muggings, theft and breaks-ins are still a common occurrence, especially in the major cities.

So, what can you do to defend yourself? You cannot legally carry a weapon with you to defend yourself, we’ll need to look into alternative UK legal methods of protecting ourselves, our children and our families.

One of the most effective non-lethal weapons that has been proven to effectively deter an attacker is the pepper spray. Many police forces and other authorities around the world use these sprays, and they are an extremely effective deterrent. However, pepper spray in the uk is considered an offensive weapon, which makes it illegal to own and carry.

I can wholeheartedly empathise with the law makers in the UK, they have a very hard task of protecting the public from harm, but that is doubly difficult when we consider that any self-defence tool can be just as easily used for offence.

But what about the general law abiding public, surely we have rights when it comes to defending ourselves in some way? The answer is there isn’t a whole lot we can do and unfortunately the criminal element will rarely if ever adhere to the same rules as the rest of us, meaning we’re already at a disadvantage.

The law is very clear when it comes to pepper spray in the UK, it’s laid out in Section 5(1) (b) of the firearms act 1968:
This act prohibits any weapon of any description, designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other substance.

Basically, the law categorically states that any sort of pepper spray, the type typically used by law enforcement around the world, that contains a noxious gas or liquid would be considered illegal to carry and illegal to use by any UK citizen.

So what are the pepper spray uk legal alternatives that any member of the public can use and buy?

The only legal alternative that the public has at their disposal and is in some ways the uk version of pepper spray would be one of the Deterrent Self Defence sprays. These sprays are typically:

  • Non Toxic
  • UK Legal
  • Can be carried by any adult
  • Compact & Discreet
  • Non-Lethal Criminal Identifier
  • Contain No Harmful Chemicals
  • Accurate to 4 Metres
  • Proven to be highly effective

We’ve tested three different types of these sprays and we must say that despite their rather small dimensions, they are very capable of giving any would be attacker pause for thought.

If sprayed at the face they are very capable of completely disorientating an attacker, giving even the most determined attacker pause for thought and kicks in the natural instinct to turn away or move away from the spray. If the spray gets in the eyes the attackers vision will be blurred and it’ll be very difficult for them to see effectively.

Our testing showed that someone sprayed with these canisters will have very little choice other than backing off and trying to protect their face from the stream. Any attempts to wipe away the gel can actually impair the vision further, and can lead to no small amount of panic, I can attest to this directly.

Having a foreign liquid sprayed in your face and then finding it very difficult to see is not at all fun, it’s even worse when attempt to wipe the stuff away and your left with blood red hands, your mind immediately goes into overdrive thinking that your haemorrhaging from your eyeballs. It’s not at all a pleasant experience and that’s with prior knowledge of what’s about to happen. I can only imagine the sheer panic that would engulf an attacker sprayed with this stuff, I would be inclined to do a runner.

To add insult to injury, the gel is very hard to remove completely, and can remain on the skin and clothes for several days afterwards. Some varieties even come with a UV dye, so even when the visible traces are gone, they are still going to light up under a UV light. Both of these factors can make police efforts to find the attacker much easier.

All the products we tested where cheap, under £15 in most circumstances, which for an effective self-defence tool is a brilliant price.

Safehaus Mini Self Defence Spray Criminal Identifier – Review

Safehaus Mini Self Defence Spray Criminal Identifier

Buy it from amazon

The Safehaus Mini Self Defence Spray Criminal Identifier comes in a compact but easily handled discrete package. The spray container measures in at 85 × 34 mm, which means it can fit in most pockets and won’t take up much room in a rucksack or handbag. I found it very easy to manoeuvre and find the trigger, even when not looking at what I was doing. The spray is very powerful, I think it easily exceeded 4 metres, but the power is diminished at this range. The stopping power is decent and I can definitely see it stopping a would be attacker.

  • Great range and power
  • Small and easily concealed
  • Good stopping power
  • The gel makes it very difficult to see

TIW FARB Gel Spray Criminal identifier self defence – Review

farb spray

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This farb gel spray is very similar to the Safehaus version, other than a difference between the packaging I would say they are the same product. They share the same dimensions and the spray looks identical. All in all the characteristics are the same, same range, stopping power and characteristics. That’s not a bad thing as I was impressed with the Safehaus version. The good points are it’s possible to get different buying options, such as holsters and multi-packs. Great product.

  • Great range and power
  • Small and easily concealed
  • Good stopping power
  • The gel makes it very difficult to see

SABRE DID19 19 ml Deterrent Marking Spray – Review

SABRE DID19 19 ml Deterrent Marking Spray

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The Sabre system utilises a purple dye unlike the previous two sprays and it additionally has a UV dye included, which should make identifying the attacker easier for the police. The range was around 5 metres, it definitely has a lot of power behind the spray which exceeds the other products we tested, which is perhaps down the slightly larger volume. In my testing the staining ability of this spray was superior to the other two sprays, it took more washes and scrubbing to remove all traces and even then some spots still showed up under UV light. This spray definitely gets my Best Buy award.

  • Fantastic range and power
  • Great staining ability
  • Handy size
  • All round brilliant product

Conclusion

The farb gel spray and the others have been specifically designed to be fully UK legal, they are completely fine to own and carry, so any member of the public has concerns over their safety or for their family members should consider buying one of these defensive sprays.

All of my family has one, as do I.

One of the best things about these sprays is that the red colour will stain the attacker for several days, making them easy to identify and publicly outing them as potential criminal. 

 

Source: https://www.bladespro.co.uk/blogs/news/pepper-spray-uk