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And then there were 3

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by LostViking, Apr 17, 2018 at 2:06 PM.

  1. LostViking

    LostViking Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Been thinking lately.
    I believe I am going to make Fiddleback Forge my Default Knife Company.

    In reality that means very little. I am not now, nor will I ever probably be, a large consumer of new knives. Don't get me wrong. I do buy knives. But not like many folks here do. But Andy always treats me like a big customer anyway. And that is pretty cool.

    What drives me to this decision?
    First off, as I as said, Andy has always treated me very well. And as anyone who is here probably already knows. The fit and finish of Fiddleback Knives is outstanding. Plus the community sort of jives with my way of life. Just real and sort of laid back. I like that.

    But it goes deeper than that.
    And it truly is driven by different things.

    First off. I like the small hometown feel of Fiddleback Forge. It's an American Company, making American Products. I like that.

    Next my knife needs seem to be an ever evolving Möbius. I'll probably end up back where I started if I travel long enough. But I may be facing in the opposite direction when I get there.

    And lastly, It's the knives themselves. Not just how they look. But how they respond in your hand.

    My Leuku is a fairly large blade. Bit it's light and quick in hand. It always seems ready. I rarely find it slipping out of my grip. It's like an extension of my hand. It's just there.

    My new Pro Kephart arrived on Saturday. It has that same balanced feel to it. Such a cool little knife. We have spent most of our time together so far, in the kitchen. Wind, rain, ice, and snow have all conspired to keep us out of the woods. The Kephart has done a great job at tasks it wasn't really designed to do. So I can't wait to actually get into its own element.

    Yesterday, I listed a knife for sale. Not a Fiddleback. But a very nice knife never the less. I need to downsize and generate some cash. I wasn't looking to trade. I wanted capital. But as luck would have it. I was asked if I wanted to trade. I said I'd listen. And what I heard was Fiddlebacks. Long story short. My knife is headed out and a Fiddleback Bushcrafter is headed my way.

    The Bushcrafter will make 3, hence the title. In truth, I haven't seen many of Andy's knives that don't appeal to me. But I thought the Bushcrafter would fill the void beween the Leuku and the Pro Kephart rather nicely.

    As I was researching the Bushcrafter yesterday. I stumbled on a review from a gentleman who seemed to have it in his head Fiddlebacks were overhyped and over priced. He entered his review very skeptically. Almost mocking his loaner Bushcrafter as voodoo, and marketing. But by the end he was gushing about it.

    But gushing in a way that made sense to me. He used words and phrases like simple, straight forward, no unecessary frills or gimmicks, and so on. It just made sense to me.

    Since I had no capital outlay involved to try the Bushcrafter. It seemed like a no brainer to me. Of course I didn't count the money I already had invested in my original knife.

    But that's because my original knife was just sitting in a cabinet. It might as well have been money buried out in the yard in a coffee can. I had it, but it wasn't doing much for me.

    I certainly wouldn't call myself a "Fanboy". But I've never held a bad Fiddleback Knife. I regret selling my original Recluse and Woodsman. But time marches on, and we all have life lessons to learn.

    Late winter/early spring, always seems to be my weak spot for knives. Cabin fever is in full bloom. Spring is teasing, yet remains aloof. My mind switches to new bushcraft projects, fires, and outdoor cooking. All the opportunities and potential breathes new life in to my aging battered body.

    With two new Fiddlebacks and one old standby. Life should be good this spring. I am very much looking forward to testing out the Pro Kephart and now the Bushcrafter.
    Phill50, wildmanh, Odaon and 9 others like this.
  2. Aias


    Aug 1, 2012
    Excellent write up, Lost Viking. Oddly (or maybe not so oddly), I've come to hold many of the same views, including moving away from the knives I thought I wanted and needed for my outdoor adventures. With my first Fiddleback in hand, and the next looming on the near horizon, I can say I am very happy to stand here too. Selling off part of my collection was very worthwhile... no regrets.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 4:44 PM
    bladesmith3 and Oyster like this.
  3. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I've never played with a Leuku outside of the FF shop, but I like them, which stood to reason since i also like the Recluse and Patch. I LOVE the Kephart model. To me it has two features I really wanted for a bushcraft knife from a perspective of a field craft knife designed for use in the deep south where one of my favorite foods is alligator. It has a nice sharp point for penetration and it has a nice speed bump between the handle and blade. The Scandinavian philosophy on child and adult knives doesn't hold any sway over me since there are no gators in Scandinavia and we always end up comparing oranges to apples. I love the mid tech Kephart because of the steel used. The thing is I was spoiled to tapered tangs by the time I met Andy thanks to a couple of of my knife making and designing mentors. So I have a love hate relationship with both. I love the hand made ones because I can get the tang tapered on them, but all the steels used are prone to rust in or even near salt water. I love the mid tech version because of the steel used but hate that FF doesn't do tapered stainless tangs. But then I was fortunate enough to stumble across a particular FF knife made of hammer textured A2 with a nicely tapered tang that must be a special piece of A2 as it simply refuses to patina even when left soaking in food juices. So I am holding out hope that some day I might manage to land a Kephart in this special hammer textured A2 as well. For now though, this one has put the Kephart back in the drawer as I will edc this one over the summer :) The Bushcrafter handle is sublime.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 3:21 PM
    LostViking and Oyster like this.
  4. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Well my friend I am honored beyond belief that you'd consider us your default knife company. And I don't care if you use your three to nubs and don't replace them till the steel is sharpened to a spliter either. I thought that was about the best thing I've heard. Maybe we need a patch saying exactly that for Blade Show.
    Oyster, Lady1911, varga49 and 5 others like this.
  5. LostViking

    LostViking Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I didn't make that statement lightly or off the cuff. You've earned it!

    I don't think I'm young enough to wear these down to nubs. But I promise they won't be in my will as safe queens either.

    I like the patch idea!
    Fiddleback likes this.
  6. LostViking

    LostViking Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I'm right there with ya,
    Knife selection is as much about the user, as it is about the knife. Personal preferences, location, skill levels, intended uses, all come into play. Which is partly why there are so many options out there.

    I like options and challenges.
    Sure you can do big knife stuff with big knives. The same can be said for doing small stuff with small knives. Where the fune begins is when you reverse the roles. You can learn a lot doing big stuff with small knives. And Vice versa.

    Some days, I just want to go out and cleve with a big chopper. But more and more I find myself on the other end of the spectrum.
    Aias likes this.
  7. LostViking

    LostViking Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Your posts always strike a chord with me!

    I have several knives that originated from "Witch Doctors in Helsinki"
    They know their craft very well. And the blades they produce are stellar pieces. But there is always that underlying fear. The fear of sliding forward.

    But I don't live in Helsinki. Although there are parts of Finland I could easily call home, wilderness wise. The original Puukko style, which I admit I am still very fond of. Seems more at home in the boreal softwod forests of the Nordic countries. Than they do in my northern hardwood forests.

    As of now. There are no gators in the Adirondacks either.
    But like you. I'm very of fond of the speed bump. I like pointy too. But that transition from handle to blade can be a dangerous place. Especially given cold, wet hands.

    Maybe I'm unskilled, or perhaps lazy.
    But I like the comfort level the speed bump provides. Also the extra leverage it provides when forward thrust is called for.

    Even more so than the safety feature of said bump. Is its seconday attribute. The ability to index the knife, immediatly, in hand, by feel. My Puukkos are all but indiscernible with out visual confirmation or physically touching the blade.

    I can grab my new Pro Kephart anytime. Day or night, and tell you exactly where the blade is just by feel. And while remaining on the micarts. I see that as a huge plus.

    Even in the kitchen. I find the need to visually check my Puukkos before my thumb ventures out on to what I hope is the spine of the blade.

    Just little things you pick up after you have bled all over a tent peg, or a pepper.

    Oh, by the way. You can keep the gators.
    I don't sleep well around hungry dinosaurs.
    Lady1911 and mistwalker like this.
  8. Aias


    Aug 1, 2012
    Yes... it's very much a process of self-discovery. As much as I liked the idea of the big chopper, the impracticality of it on my belt/ on the trail and in camp made itself clear. So, I had to better understand my needs, refine my skills, and in the process evolve. I know now that my ideal sized field knife is in the 5-7" range, and, even then, in most cases a 3.75-4.5" inch blade will serve just fine. But I like a little more knife, just because... so a 6" blade tends to be my favorite size (thus, the Fiddleback Forager I am waiting for).

    Between your posts and Mistwalker's, I've had a lot to think about. Thanks to you both for that... and as for a 'go to' knife company... I looked at Fiddleback a long while ago, unconvinced that what was offered would suit my needs. That was then--a fair amount of experience has shown me otherwise... and as I said before, I'm glad to stand here with you all.

    I'm a professor by trade, but an outdoorsman by passion... soon the semester will be done and I'll be wandering in the nearby mountains, desert, and coast line... I'll post pics ;)
    Oyster and Nbrackett like this.
  9. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I don't see it as lazy, I just see the absence of a speed bump to be stressful in some uses, and disconcerting when I'm fatigued. I don't necessarily need a full on lower guard, but I like them on some field knives. I don't mind an integral guard in/or a dropped edge either when done well. I definitely prefer an asymmetrical handle just for the ability to index quickly and safely in the dark. But the cool thing about gators is, unlike bears, gators can't climb trees :D
    Aias likes this.

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