Glock Model 81 Field Knife Review

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by dshairs, May 26, 2012.

  1. dshairs


    Aug 21, 2011
    I have noticed that there haven't been many in-depth reviews out there on the Glock Field knife, so here's my take on this knife. I inculded an overview at the end so if your'e looking for a simple sum-up of this knife, you don't have to read in depth.

    Knife Specs:
    Weight: 202g/7.13 oz
    Steel: HRC55 Spring Steel
    Blade Length: 6.5 inches
    Overall Length: 11.5 Inches
    Thickness: .25 inches
    Cost: Around 35 U.S.D

    Military Use: This knife was produced by Glock in close cooperation with the Austrian Jagdkommando (Special Forces) and it is currently issued to the Austrian Armed Forces and the German GSG9. Hopefully the below images will work, it's my first time uploading photos. If not, you can always google image search the Glock Field Knife.

    Sheath::thumbup: I bought this knife about a year ago and wanted to throughly test it before I reviewed it. Ill start with the sheath. For those of you who are familiar with Glock's firearms, the sheath is made from the same polymer as Glock uses in their handguns. For those of you who are not, it is simply a super strong weather-proof lightweight plastic. The sheath is designed in such a way to allow you to quick-attach it to your gear but then lock it into place by hooking the two pieces together. Retention is a tensioned plastic clip in the front of the sheath, which needs to be pushed back to remove the knife. One hand removal is possible, as is silent removal. The knife can be inserted either way into the sheath, which is useful for lefties like me. There is a small loop in the back of the sheath for a tie-down, and an adequate drain hole in the bottom. Overall, the sheath was done very well, especially for its low price. It is functional and very rugged.

    Blade::thumbup: Ill start with the steel. The knife is made of HRC55 Spring steel, which is not stainless and will rust easily in water, and in all honesty I wasn't too excited about that, being a lover of the strong 1095 Carbon Steels. Contrary to my first assumptions, I was really blown away by the resilience of this steel. The idea behind this steel is that it won't chip or snap, making it an ideal field knife, because your'e bound to hit a rock or two in the field, and you don't want your blade to fail. Now I will say, this will not be a shaving sharp blade. It comes sharp out of the box, but it won't get much sharper, but this is because of the spring steel being softer than say 1095, and also it is a quarter-inch thick. This thickness, while inhibiting sharpness, is great for military field use, and allows for the saw back. The saw back is actually one of the best I've seen on a knife. The saw teeth are angled foreword as well so in a combat situation the saw will rip flesh going in, but come out easily. The hand-guard is adequate, and has a bottle opener on the back. The handle fills the hand very nicely, only a little smaller than a KA-Bar's. The base of the handle is capped to allow for hammering. I have also read that it is removable for a bayonet attachment, but that it is discouraged because you could ruin the knife handle in doing so. The blade is a full through-tang, again like the Ka-bar. One complaint I have heard about this knife is the tip. The tip is pretty dull, and difficult to get sharp, but Glock actually did this for a reason. This is so that a stab attack will not stick into the enemy's ribs. It also makes for a stronger tip.

    Testing::thumbup: This knife performed admirably in both my chopping and tip strength tests. The first test was chopping through a stairway truss. Seems like an odd test, but a stairway truss needed to be chopped apart for disposal and I decided to test out this knife. The wood was very hard (possibly oak), at least 1.5in thick, and about 12in wide (length is not important because the chopping was done across the width of the truss). Now, this amount of chopping is more than would be done at one time under normal circumstances in the field, because most times your'e not chopping apart a tree thats 12in thick, but never the less its a good test for the limits of the knife. The whole job took about 30mins, and the only real wear was on the black coating. This was extremely surprising to me because the blade is soft steel and there was no rolling of the blade. Also, the blade is balanced towards the handle so there isn't too much weight in the blade for chopping. So it may not be the ideal blade for the job, but the fact that it gets the job done without any problems lends it to be a durable survival/field knife.
    My second test was what you should normally never do with a knife...that is throw it (with not much skill) and stab wood indiscriminately. Many a knife has broken a tip or even broken in half from being thrown over and over. Even designated "throwing knives" have broken, even with people who know how to throw well. Me, I don't always hit point first. My throwing is in no way admirable, making it a good test of this knife's strength. Now, this is where the knife really shines. I've probable thrown it 200times into my wooden barn wall, and probable 40% of those impacts have been "bad" ones (i.e not sticking in), and 20% of those bad ones have been critically bad throws (like a hard throw that hits the blade parallel). I've read reviews of throwing knives that break from one of these critically bad throws, but this Glock keeps going. The reason it doesn't break is the spring steel; it springs back into place instead of snapping like a harder, more brittle steel would. This is why I think that this knife would make a great throwing knife as well as field knife.

    Overview: In conclusion, this is a great knife. Weather you want a throwing knife to really beat on, or a extremely durable field knife that won't cost 100, or even 50 dollars, this would be the knife you'd want. The steel is durable and easy to sharpen, and it won't chip or snap. The sheath and handle are all made of Glock's weather-proof polymer. The balance between a field knife and a combat knife has reached a good median in this blade. I would suggest this knife to someone who needs a cheap, all around fixed blade; which is exactly how Glock designed this knife.

    If anyone has any further questions, feel free to post below and I should be able to respond shortly. Also, this is my first real in-depth review of a knife, so please let me know what you think, and if you have any criticisms or suggestions for future reviews. Thanks for reading!
  2. frank k

    frank k

    May 8, 2001
    Thanks for the review!

    I do have a few questions.

    How sharp was the blade form the factory and how hard or easy was it to sharpen?

    How well does the blade cut and how well does it hold an edge?

    Does the saw back really saw or just cut notches? (if you tried to saw through a 2x4 would it saw all the way through or stop sawing when the teeth bottom out in the wood?)

  3. dshairs


    Aug 21, 2011
    The blade had a passable edge on it from the factory, but it was easy to sharpen due to the softer steel. The profile of the edge is ground in such a way to allow for good edge retention, but not a razor sharp edge. So you could reprofile it, Ive seen it done, but the profile from the factory is good for longterm edge retention, which is what this knife is designed for. Also, the blade has not much of a belly, so don't expect amazing slicing, but for the blade shape, it cuts OK...not impressive because of the thick blade but also not dissappinting. As for the saw, my test have shown that the saw will go all the way through, but that usually isn't the fastest or least tireing way of getting through a 2x4. Feel free to post any more questions, and thanks for reading!
  4. clearytja


    Oct 17, 2002
    Great review. Well written and comprehensive. I got my brother one of these and it became his "go to" knife when repairing his house. (His house needed a lot of work. Sorry Bro!) Last I heard he was using it to scrap pieces of tile out of corners and it handled it with ease.
  5. Bama Joe

    Bama Joe

    Apr 4, 2012
    Nice review on a knife I've often considered in the past. I usually see it selling for around $30 or so so sounds like a good value.
  6. ursamajor


    Oct 27, 2010
    I have the model 78 (non saw back). The edge and tip from the factory are horrible. However, 5-10 bucks at a professional sharpener to re-profile the edge and set the tip is money well spent. My 78 is now shaving sharp, add I had the edge backed up to about an 8th of an inch. It had a nice utility tip on it. Holds an edge decently, and is now very easy to re-sharpen.

    It if a great knife, esp for the price. And the knife that is within it (and comes out, once you get the edge and tip issues sorted) is amazing.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  7. ursamajor


    Oct 27, 2010
    Duplicate post
  8. Skimo


    Mar 28, 2009
    Good review, they will definitely get razor sharp, I gifted one to my nephew in law, the model 78 that is.
  9. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010
    Got a question. Where does it made in?
  10. dshairs


    Aug 21, 2011
    The blade is stamped Made In Austria
  11. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010
    Thank you Dshairs.

    Just curious, what do you think you will use this blade for in the future?
  12. dshairs


    Aug 21, 2011
    well I use this knife as a beater knife…anything that I dont want to risk one of my nicer blades on. Im not the best sharpener, so I use this knife to practice sharpening so i dont risk messing up blade geometry on my other knives. If I had to go into the woods and needed a survival knife…i could use this but id brin my ka bar for that
  13. Humppa


    Jul 25, 2010
    I have a Glock 78 Field knife (same knife, without the saw on the bladeback). Mine rests patiently in the tool box. I use mine very hard on building lots. Even as a prybar.

    What I can tell you - that piece is nearly indestructable. You can use it as a field knife for the outdoors, or as it is me - a working knife for the dirtiest jobs. I used mine to cut/pry wire stripes around stones to get them free. The edge was very sharp (not razor sharp), and the edge was still the same.

    BTW: One side of the handguard is a very good beer-bottle-opener :D
    I gonna post a pic of mine, if I can.
    The austrians made a very good job on that one.

    Kind regards
  14. peppen108


    Apr 14, 2012
    I think that the main draw back of the knife is its aggressive military look. I that don't bother you put a new grind on it and you got a knife for life. :)
  15. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    1055 Carbon steel while lackluster in terms of edge retention should be an incredibly though steel. I've always wanted to handle a Glock knife but haven't ever got around to it. I imagine they would make a fine rougher use knife .
  16. another mike

    another mike

    Jul 26, 2012
    I have one of the 78's as well. I highly doubt the advertised hardness of 55 is accurate, not on mine anyway. Edge holding is really poor. The steel is so soft, I could use another knife to cut it's edge off, and not even a super nice one with a high hardness either. It's blade geometry is terrible for everything I normally use a knife for except for throwing which it still doesn't excel at due to its round handle. I knew going in that a blade that thick and that narrow was going to be a poor slicer. I batoned some wood with it and it did ok at that, but not great. Chopping is difficult. And also, I was surprised when my knife took a bend. I easily bent it back but still. The tang is probably a little fatigued now. This knife was designed to be a bayonet, plain and simple. It's good for stabbing and that's all. Now it may seem like I'm giving this knife down the road, but I think it's worth the 20 dollars it cost me because I can use it when I don't want to abuse something nice, it looks really mean (cool to some people), and most importantly: This is the manliest tool known to man for opening a beer. the bottle opener guard is AWESOME.
  17. trentu


    Mar 2, 2006
    I have used mine for food prep, carving, battoning and throwing. I have a Mitotoyo RC hardness tester and got 56RC when I checked mine. Even after use it was still sharp. Just used a steel to bring back the edge shaving sharp. I like them a lot for the price. Better than a Mora.
  18. Skimo


    Mar 28, 2009
    Probably because it's a bayonet. :)
  19. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010
    Other than the uber-toughness, the overall design, notably the latch on the sheath and the tip design is simply breath-taking.
  20. markksr


    Mar 15, 2007
    I have always felt that this was a somewhat underappreciated knife. Mine lived in my truck for a long time...


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