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Fällkniven H1 Hunting Knife

Nov 25, 1999
<center><font size=4>Fällkniven H1 Hunting Knife.</font></center>
<center><small>Patr 1 of 2</small></center>

<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596736&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596737&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>Not too many European knife manufacturing companies today can compete with brand named American counterparts in knife quality and modern material use. Sometimes reviewing excellently made knives from the other side of Great Water I feel something like hurt Old World's patriotism.
Maybe this is one of the reasons why I like to review European made knives, especially if I honestly can say a good deal of good things about them.

Swedish Fällkniven knife company make knives realizing classic, time proven knife manufacturing ideas in modern high technology materials. Being familiar with all their actually manufactured models I can say with complete conviction - their knives look modestly but they work greatly! Thus no wonder that these knives are quite popular among serious knife users on the both sides of Ocean.

<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596739&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596740&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>New H1 Hunting Knife is not exception. The classic Scandinavian hunting blade is realized in modern high-end cutlery steel. When I got it into my hand first time my first impression was: "What a massive knife!" After I knew it somewhat better this impression has changed - I could say rather "What a sturdy knife!" Please wait a moment, I'll explain why.
Here (right) it is shown in company of F1 and S1 knives. Please note that it have the same overall length as F1 but noticeably another ratio between blade and handle.
<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596741&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=left SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596744&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>On the other hand the blade has thickness the same as S1 Forest Knife, full 5 millimeters. Discussing this matter with Peter Hjortberger (Fällkniven) I asked him why he didn't make the blade thinner, 3 - 3,5 mm would be quite enough in my opinion to do all what hunting knife is designed to do. Sure, with thinner blade the knife would be worse prybar but better cutter. Yes, Peter answered, I know that knife is not prybar but what can I do if a lot of people really use their knives in this role? I had to agree that it is a lot of quite imaginable situations when man simply have to pry with knife. I also was forced to do it sometimes and the single knife, which I broke in my life - yes, I did it when prying. No, I'm not a stupid and I know that knife is the most expensive and the less efficient prybar to have. This is only a matter how important thing are you doing prying with knife (for example saving your or someone's else life). Naturally in such situation it is far better to have a knife you do know you are not able to break even if you want to do it.

<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596751&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596752&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>Like all Fällkniven knives H1 has full tang construction, which also contributes to knife amazing strength. The blade tang is exposed on handle's butt and can be used as field hammer if required. Please note the oval shape of the handle, unlike another their models, let's return to this mater a while later.
Like all Fällkniven models H1 comes with convex ground edge which provides very good balance between edge strength and sharpness. Formerly I was convinced that the convex edge is suitable only for blades no smaller that S1 Forest Knife. We discussed this matter with Peter numerous times and he couldn't convince me about convex edge usefulness on small blades like WM1. As result I resharpened my WM1 to conventional edge with back bevel. Life did what Peter couldn't to do. Being more and more partial to convex edges I have added more and more back bevels to my WM1 edge and now it is true convex edge again, maybe a small bit thinner than out of the factory box.

But let's return to H1. Out of the box this strong blade with convex edge was literally hair popping sharp. To precise somewhat, I usually consider that the blade is hair popping sharp if it can shave thin hair on the down side of forearm with minimal pressure against skin or without any pressure at all. For me it is not a problem to sharpen the convex edge to this sharpness but I really admire the manufacturer who makes it in mass production!

<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596746&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596750&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>Since we are talking about sharpening, how to sharpen this blade? V-style rod sharpeners do not work on convex edges. Here we discussed some methods how to sharpen convex edge (Disclaimer! I have never tried my described there method by two reasons: I'm too lazy and I don't have to do it).
In my honest opinion the best way is - get the decent set of bench stones. My faithful DMT Diamond Whetstones and equally loved SPYDERCO ceramic Bench Stones work nicely for me sharpening convex edges. Needless to say some deal of sharpening skills is required also. But do not worry, it is only one step forwards from free hand sharpening of conventional edge with back bevel.

<center><small>to be continued...</small></center>

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 12-31-2000).]
<center><small>Patr 2 of 2</small></center>

<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596754&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596756&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>Unlike other Fällkniven models with Thermorun handles H1 has Kraton handle. Peter justified this with the fact that Kraton is slightly less slippery and provides somewhat better adhesion to the hand. This is no way the least important matter because H1 lacks any kind of finger guard. Is this design safe enough? Following Fällkniven advertising they offer this model for experienced people only. Sure, their formal liability and simple human honesty require them this kind of advice.
<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596759&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=left SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596761&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>But I'm not selling this knife, so I'll say simply. If this design would be unsafe all (or closely near all) Scandinavian people would walk today without their fingers pretty traditionally. Please remember, that traditional Scandinavian hunting knife (puukko) also have no finger guard at all. Simply these knives are working tools not designed for stabbing into hard target. For most pure cutting works each kind of finger guard is redundant and sometimes it can be even quite obstructing.
<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596763&Sequence=0&res=high" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596766&Sequence=0&res=high" border="2"></a>So please don't afraid of this (right) look: the finger above the edge without any guard between! Believe me nothing tragic is here. The H1 handle is very comfortable to handle in all useful grip positions, oval handle section's shape, decent non-slip pattern and adhesive handle's material provide really sure and safe grip. The rest is the question of your skills and care only. Each cutting work is dangerous activity by it's nature but the man who knows how to use his knife can be safe even without any finger guard at all. The man who doesn't know how to use the knife properly and safely is not protected enough even with D-style hand guard - it no way protects his other hand, legs, chest, etc.

So far H1 is delivered with classic style dangling open top leather sheath only. Peter told me that they are currently working on Kydex one, which would hold the knife securely enough despite the lack of finger guard. So soon we will can choice the sheath what meets our needs the best, exactly like with other Fällkniven models.
<a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596769&Sequence=0&res=high " target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596771&Sequence=0&res=high " border="2"></a><a href="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596772&Sequence=0&res=high " target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=222944&a=1651092&p=36596774&Sequence=0&res=high " border="2"></a>Sheath's pretty low position allows to reach the knife without obstructions even being dressed in heavy winter clothing. Almost entire knife stays inside the sheath and it is practically impossible to turn the sheath upside down in any body position. So I can consider that this sheath without any fastener is secure enough to do not worry to lose this relatively expensive knife. Of course considering that the user is enough caring man and each moment knows what he (or she) is doing. However without this normal level of human care it is better to do not have any knife at all.
This style of sheath doesn't allow one hand draw, to draw the knife you should hold the sheath with your other hand. However this is neither fast draw sheath nor tactical or fighting knife. Peter told me that they are working on thinner plastic insert to make entire sheath narrower. For me sheath's width is not an issue, it looks classy and visually well balanced even this time. My main proposition would be to add second belt loop approximately on the 1/3 of sheath's height counting from top. This would allow relatively high sheath positioning on the belt when being dressed in light summer clothing.

Conclusions: are you looking for strong, reliable, handy, versatile, reasonably sized and reasonably priced knife for hunting and another outdoor activities? Here it is!

<center><font size=4>Happy New Year!</font></center>

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 12-31-2000).]
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sergiusz Mitin:
This style of sheath doesn't allow one hand draw, to draw the knife you should hold the sheath with your other hand.

My main proposition would be to add second belt loop approximately on the 1/3 of sheath's height counting from top.</font>

Well, you can draw with one hand, but the sheath will be pulled up quite a bit then.
I notice you also carry it on your left side, is this because of easier draw or to get it out of the way of something you carry on your right?

The idea of a second loop sounds nice. But there are two problems: It would cost more and what do you do about the other loop then? If under the belt, it's pretty bulky. Another kind of sheath is more likely for these reasons, I think.
Excellent review (as usual). I purchased my F1 on the strength of your review of that knife. Eric Noeldechen (a.k.a. Normark) now makes his superb Concealex sheath for the H1 as well as the rest of the Fallkniven line.
Happy New Year from mild (32 F.) and sunny Alberta. (We'll get back to our usual -40 in the new millennium, no doubt).
I would carry my hunting fixed blade on the left side to put it away from gun. Also the cross draw movement is more natural for me even if the sheath wouldn't be held with other hand - simply individual liking.

Gripping H1 butt with thumb, middle and ring fingers and pushing the sheath with index finger I can draw my knife with one hand if required. But to hold the sheath with other hand seems a lot more natural for me.

You are right, the low carry loop could be quite obstructive carrying the knife in high belt position. Sure, another sheath would be far better solution.

I saw the photos of Eric's sheaths for BM Nimravus and Cub - they look nicely. Maybe Eric could show us some sheaths for Fällkniven knives? I'm especially curious how they look from "clip side".
Sergiusz, nice review.

Some questions:

How was the cutting performance?

Did it hold an edge for a good length of time?
Serg, Great review (again). I, too, have purchased several Fallkniven's based on your findings. BTW...Eric (Normark) does have some Fallkniven's in his sheaths dispayed on his website. Eric's work is great. I'm expecting on of his multi-carry rigs for my WM-1 any day now.
I didn't do extensive edge retention tests on H1, here you can find some evaluations in this matter with Fällkniven F1. Since the steel and heat treating are the same we could expect similar performance.
After I read your question I have tried cutting performance on hemp rope the same as I used comparing BENCHMADE Pinnacle in ATS-34 and Nimravus Cub in M-2 here. H1 blade in VG-10 sliced through the same rope about 70 times until lost ability to shave hair on my forearm. Please excuse this "about" because it is really hard to decide which particular cut is a border between shaves and doesn't shave.
Subjective feeling is that H1 blade slices rope less aggressively than ATS-34 blades. This could be caused by thicker convex edge additionally highly polished on SPYDERCO Ultra Fine Bench Stone.
This result also noticeably differs from SPYDERCO Calypso Jr. Ltw. in VG-10 performance on the same rope. I think the edge geometry is essential here. H1 blade is simply designed for extreme strength and ability to shave is not adequate measurement in this case. After it couldn't shave it still was able to cut cardboard and whittle wood very decently.