Folding Bushcraft Knife that is usable/comfortable - by Daniel Koster

Can a folding bushcraft knife compete with the fixed blade version?

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Daniel Koster

www.kosterknives.com
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Shouldn't it be possible to make a practical, comfortable folding knife that could stand up to bushcraft/survival use with few compromises?

I've been mulling around this idea for about 11 years now. And I've finally found a way to make it happen.

Here's the story that started it all:

I was camping with relatives who knew I was into knives. I pulled out a knife I had made and gave it to someone to do some woodcarving, whitting, fire-prep, etc. They loved it so much they held onto it the entire trip. So, naturally, I had to go to my backup - which at the time was nice folding knife. It had a hollow grind but a thick edge that I put a large secondary bevel on and it push-cut like a dream. So I figured I'd have a pretty good time testing it out. It only took about 15 minutes before my hand was starting to hurt and then after 30 minutes of constant use I had to put it down. Calluses aside, I was in serious pain. Fast forward a couple years to a passaround I participated in here on Bladeforums with the Hossom Retribution #1 & #2. I was very curious to try these out because it was a rare full-sized handle on a folding knife. Aside from the handles being too short on one and too long on the other, I found the overall size very comfortable to use. However, it lacked a full-length backspacer and the crazy curves in the blade and handle made it impractical for serious bushcrafting.

Over the years I have been designing and redesigned this ideal folding knife in my mind and in CAD. Then I had a Eureka! moment. Here's this bushcraft knife that I've sold for a number of years now, have made various versions of, have tweaked the design carefully since its inception, have sold 800+ of them....and it's staring me in the face screaming "Make me into a folding knife!".

So I did.

I've built a bunch of prototypes of this design along the way....from wood dummies...to aluminum trainers...to mild-steel mockups...and now I have finished the final prototype.

I've been fielding requests from customers to make a folding scandi-grind knife for nearly as long as I've been making scandi-grind knives. But I didn't want to just make another tactical folder and simply scandi-grind the blade. I needed it to be something special, something unique, something well-thought-out. That's why it has taken me so long to get this far. And even now I have been working through prototypes...and am finally finished.




Here is a picture of the final Prototype!


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10 reasons this folder is different than your everyday tactical folding knife:



  1. [*=left]0.125" thick 3V steel, true scandi grind (flat) set at 13 degrees, hardened to 59-60 HRc, tumbled finish on flats for durability, riding on IKBS bearings for super smooth action
    [*=left]Frame-Lock type construction under a full size handle. Typically you have either a thinner liner-lock with scales, or a thicker frame-lock. This has both a thicker frame-lock as well as scales. Maximum comfort and stiffness/rigidity.
    [*=left]Full length, full width, "upside-down egg" cross-section handle. No squared edges - everything is rounded and contoured. Thicker on the top for rolling in your hands while carving, thinner on the bottom for leverage.
    [*=left]Squared off spine with thumbgrooves for striking a firesteel
    [*=left]No thumbstud to get in the way of woodworking cuts. Anyone who has used a folder for woodcarving, making traps, kindling-sticks, etc. knows what a pain a thumbstud can be. Instead, will be a nail nick or milled slot.
    [*=left]Hidden pivot pin to keep things clean physically and visually. Also, for comfort. No bolster either. Keep it simple, practical and straightforward.
    [*=left]Maximum blade/handle ratio. No compromise. Blade tip goes all the way to the back of the handle.
    [*=left]No pocket clip. A clip is the most uncomfortable part of a handle on a folding knife. It only takes about 10 minutes of serious use before your hand starts to get torn-up and many of my bushcrafting customers and friends are taking the clips off of their folders now anyway. I'm not against a clip on a tactical folder. Just not on an "actually-will-be-used-for-bushcrafting-and-survival" folding knife. I will have an optional leather and/or cordura pouch made to hold the folder with a firesteel loop along side it as an add-on.
    [*=left]Comfort and usability without sacrificing quality was the #1 goal. Not looks. Not money in my pocket. Not "building my reputation" or prestige. Not for pimping. Not to drive the secondary market. I just wanted a knife I could actually take bushcrafting and not have to compromise comfort and usability. All the same quality materials as my fixed blades....it just folds up for convenience. It doesn't matter to me if I sell 10 or 1,000 of these. It's the right thing to do, and this is the right way to do it.
    [*=left]No exotic materials. I imagine at some future point I may consider dressing up one of these for fun. But for now I have no desire to add damascus, mokume, mammoth tooth, and so on. Those materials are highly impractical out in the field where you may regularly encounter poor weather conditions, changes in humidity, impact from use, etc. These will lock up rock-solid, have impervious materials and be ready for constant (not occasional) use. They will be made from the same materials I use for my fixed blades.



There are plenty of great tactical folders out there. I have purchased and collected many myself - both custom and production knives. I really don't have anything negative to say about anyone else's work. I just feel there is a "gap" in the market for a usable, comfortable folding bushcraft knife and I intend to fill it.


Thanks for reading!



Dan
KosterKnives.com




Edited to add:

1 -you can pre-order here =====> http://kosterknives.com/pre-order
It's just a "show of hands". No commitment. No obligation. I will contact everyone on the pre-order list when this is ready to go.


2 - Specs:
Liners will be made of 0.095" thick Titanium
Blade is 3.7", 0.125" thick CPM 3V with Scandi grind set at 13 degrees
Handle is 4.8", made from 3/8" thick material with palm swell/contouring

3 - this knife is intended for all bushcraft use except heavy batoning or spine-whacking

4 - Pricing is $365 because this knife is for 24/7/365 use - hard use, all day, every day, all year long.

5 - Options available:

The following options/add-ons are available.


Handle Options



  • Natural Canvas Micarta (+$0)
  • Black Canvas Micarta (+$0)
  • Green Canvas Micarta (+$20)
  • Black G10 (+$30)
  • Red G10 (+$30)
  • Blue G10 (+$30)
  • Orange G10 (+$30)
  • Blue/Black (+$40)
  • Black/Tan G10 (+$40)
  • Black/Brown G10 (+$40)

Sheath Options



  • Leather Pouch ($50)
  • Leather Pouch + Firesteel loop ($60)
  • Leather Pouch w/ foldover flap ($60)
  • Leather Pouch w/ foldover flap + Firesteel loop ($70)
  • Black leather (adds $10)
  • Tooling (adds $10)
  • Kydex - MOLLE/TekLok compatible ($40)
  • Kydex Drop Loop - MOLLE/TekLok compatible ($60)

Titanium Finish Options



  • Bright finish (+$0)
  • Orange peel finish (+$20)
  • Heat-colored finish - specify color range (+$30)
  • Anodized finish (more even) - specify color range (+$40)
  • Beadblasted (+$0)
  • Stone tumbled (+$0)
  • Other - specify

Misc Options/Add-ons



  • Nail nick instead of Milled slot (+$20)
  • No thumbgrooves (+$0)
  • Striker tip - swedge, not a false edge (+$10)

I'm open to suggestions - feel free to email me any requests for options you'd like to see added.
 
Last edited:

Daniel Koster

www.kosterknives.com
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
20,974
More pics!


10344431_10205222143497839_7166236305807439758_o.jpg


1402164_10205222142577816_4283452488235602418_o.jpg


10704224_10205222142657818_4279469179655101944_o.jpg


10733925_10205222142737820_7870149815270370385_o.jpg




Note:

For those that don't like thumbgrooves - have you tried mine? The way I do them is different than others. The edges are deburred on top and the corners left square. Terrific for throwing a spark on a firesteel (much better than just the spine). Plus I put them far enough forward that you have plenty of room to push down on the spine with your thumb without getting into the grooves...and yet not so far forward that you won't engage them if your index finger should overcome the guard.
 
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Joined
Apr 16, 2009
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13
I'm keeping my eye on this one!...

...and the rest of the knives you make, it seems. That can only be a good thing, right?
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2000
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1,104
Good on you Dan. I look forward to seeing this come to fruition. What made you choose 3V over a high quality stainless like M390 or Elmax?
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
399
id buy it, it all depends on the price! would this be hand made or milled by machine, finished by hand?
-T
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2001
Messages
1,670
Very interesting! 3V is seemingly a fine choice for this one, though a good tough SS would be great as well. I'm happy to see this in the works. I hope I can afford one! :)
 

Brummie

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
2,382
This looks fantastic, Dan. I completely agree about the hole in the market - I've been looking for ages for a 4" folder with a good steel, minimum handle length, which at a push can handle some abuse, but I've never found what I was looking for. Fully support the opening hole rather than thumbstuds, which hang up on deep cuts.

My only issue is with thick liners and a thick spacer, it looks like a lot of metal in the handle. Will you use Ti? If not, will you skeletonize the liners? Balance is really important to me in a knife - I like it right on the first finger in a general use blade like this, so an overly heavy handle would be a bit of a put-off.

I'll be watching this closely.
 

superfluities

Moderator
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
337
I'm in...
Dan, I like your...
"10 reasons this folder is different than your everyday tactical folding knife:"
I may need 2-3 of this one. (I also like the idea of a quality stainless version some day)
 
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FTR-14c

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
1,966
I really like this, the Bushcraft is a great knife.
Maximum blade/handle ratio!... I'm in.
 

Pykrim

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
683
I've seen some scandi folders around before but none like your design, I like it!
 
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