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EDMF Trench Bowie Review

Oct 4, 1998
My Eight Dollar Mountain Foundry Trench Bowie just came today. I`ll give my first impressions now and do some testing and report on it next week. I chose blade#18 and grip B,that`s a 12" Bowie blade with the middle sized trench grip.The blade`s made of SAE8670 modified,this is the same steel used in sawmill blades and is similar to L6. It was delivered shaving sharp. The grip is cast of an aluminum alloy,wrapped with paracord and capped by a thick steel buttcap attached with 2 countersunk screws. The grip is cast around a large tang that should make the knife very strong. The blade is left unpolished,then blued for a non glare finish. The handle is covered with a tough black coating of some kind. The overall look and finish are that of a military rifle. It came in a very sturdy black leather sheath that`s both stitched and riveted. It features a thumb break strap,reinforced snapped belt loop bg enough to fit on a web gear and extra grommetedholes on the bottom for a leg tiedown. My first impressions were that this thing is HUGE and looks very purposeful. This is not a knife that I will be afraid to use hard. Upon picking it up I was pleased to find that it`s somewhat lighter and livelier than I expected and balances about 1 1/2" in front of the guard. The blade stock is 3/16" but the sabre ground blade is broad with plenty of belly and I`ve been unable to induce any flex in it without the aid of a vice. The grip`s oval in crossection and the paracord makes for a secure grip. The open knuckle guard is amply sized for my large hands even with gloves on. The custom lettering I had cast into the grip came out nicely ,it`s also dated and numbered,so is the sheath. A little quick initial testing has already indicated that this should be a great chopper. The clip point with sharpened false edge(at my request) seems to penetrate very well also. I`m planning on really wringing this thing out ASAP,stay tuned for the results. BTW this monster with sheath and no custom options goes for $95 (no typo!).IMO that`s a heck of a lot of knife for the money. Marcus
Doh! I lied ,that price IS a typo. The real price without any options is $90. $5 for custom lettering cast into the handle. Smaller knives are $75. Marcus
I got a chance to do some chopping tests with the bowie today. As controls all the tests were done vs. a sharp hatchet with a rubber handle and a CS style tanto with a 440 stainless blade. Before the tests both knives would slice a sheet of copier paper almost completely in half,the hatchet would cut about half way through. All tests were also repeated by a friend who favors the hatchet to eliminate and bias on my part. The first test was chopping down a 4"dia. poplar tree that was standing dead wood. The bowie cut it down in 16 chops. We then cut it into lenghths with the hatchet(also 16 chops) and the tanto(53 chops). This tree was very solid all the way through. Next we duplicated test 1 on a similar tree that turned out to be slightly rotted in the center. This time the bowie took only 7 chops to sever it. The hatchet took 12 and the tanto 38. The next test was 3" dia. dry oak. The bowie chopped through in 9 chops the hatchet took 15 and we gave up with the tanto after 40 because of the extreme shock and discomfort it caused. At that point it had cut less than half way through. BTW it should be noted that at no point during these tests did the blade of the bowie become stuck in the wood as often happens with my Ontario machette,the bowie`s heavier blade also seemes to cut deeper with each chop. Next we tried splitting some of the logs we had cut. Not suprisingly the hatchet excelled here followed by the bowie and then the tanto. The final tests were more of a free for all. I wanted to have cut through 10(total) logs of roughly equal size before testing edge retention,so we chopped up some of the logs from previous tests until we reached my goal, except for the tanto. That brings us to chopping comfort. The tanto was awful,the grip tended to slip of of the hand,rotate,and transfered a lot of shock to the arm making it tire faster. That`s why we stopped with only 6 logs cut. The hatchet was next in line,the rubber grip absorbed some vibration but slipped around a lot making periodic adjustments a must. The bowie was the most comfortable to both of us. The D guard along with the factory lanyard and oval grip kept it secure and perfectly oriented. The paracord wrap soaked up most of the vibration making it pleasant to use. In general use the bowie lops off branches under 2" in one swipe with little effort. The axe usually took 2 or 3. The tanto 4 or 5. Out of curiosity I tested the "brass knuckles" surface of the D guard on a pine board and found that 5/16" of the "studs" could be embedded into the wood with little effort and somewhat deeper with more effort and some dis comfort.Following the chopping tests I gave each tool the cutting paper test again. The bowie still sliced the paper the same as before(and shaved hair decently). The tanto still cut the paper but not as well as before (and scraped hair). The hatchet just bent the paper. It wouldn`t have cut my hand if I had tried. FWIW I did some moderate bending tests as well. I did the "Fuzz door jamb test" and succeded only in proving that the knife is stronger than my door jambs. I did get it to bend just a little with almost allmy 220lbs. on it but it sprang right bach to true. The same can`t be said fr the door jamb,doh!
But it should be okay with a little paint. All in all this big chopper is one tough customer especially for the price. I wouldn`t be suprised if my friend orders one for himself. Marcus