HI Survival Knife

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Howard Wallace, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    I recently got my hands on an HI survival knife, which was inspired by the successful Cold Steel Bushman. I am familiar over the course of years with the abilities of the Bushman, an inexpensive but durable knife. I was pleased to see what the kamis of HI did with the concept of the Bushman as a starting point.

    I pulled a brand spankin' new bushman out from under my bed for comparison purposes.


    The CS weighs in at 100g, and has a hollow grind. The HI is 3x the mass at 300g, and has a scandi grind. The HI is considerably thicker.


    The mass difference is easily perceptable. The HI has the heft that inspires confidence in its ability to chop.

    The knife came with a high-quality sheath.


    Here's a side view to show the thickness. Congratulations to the sarkis on this worksmanship.


    I took the knife out to the backyard for a little batonning and chopping.


    The thickness of the blade was an advantage when splitting wood with the knife and baton.


    As evidenced from the close-up, the wood is only cut at the beginning, and after that the knife is acting as a wedge to pop the wood apart. There was little to no vibration of the handle during battoning. The knife was quite comfortable and efficient (as knives go) at splitting wood.

    I then tried a little chopping. The knife crewed through a chunk of douglas fir with little effort.



    Just for fun I decided to pound the knife point first into some wood.


    The knife held up well to this abuse. You can see from the vertical shot how hefty the handle material is. After all the chopping and pounding there was no edge or tip deformation.

    Then came the tough testing (for this knife). Into the kitchen. Red Flower provided a "survival sweet potato" that had been in the refrigerator for too long and had started to go bad in spots. My mission was to peel it, cut out the bad spots, and then dice the good parts to go into the pot with our corned beef for dinner. The moment of truth. Would the bulky HI monster be able to peel a potato, or would the merciless Red Flower make me go hungry once again?


    My first peelings were pretty thick, but after I got the hang of it I was able to continue with respectably thin peels.


    Taking out bad areas with the knife tip was not a problem.


    Dicing the potato was interesting. Not like a thin kitchen knife. The sharp edge would cut at first but as the thick blade sunk into the vegetable it would wedge it apart with a pop similar to what happened with battoning wood. Nonetheless, the potato was diced quickly and easily, if not in the usual manner.

    We did enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of my labor later that evening.
  2. Shawn fu

    Shawn fu

    Dec 10, 2005
    Great review,Howard-thanks for taking the time:thumbup:
  3. stickfred


    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks for the report from the field, Howard. I always appreciate hearing from the "old timers". Its good to know that you're still around. Bon appetit.
  4. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    That was a nice review!
    Thank you, Howard!
  5. warty


    Mar 2, 2010
    Thanks Howard! I hope DanSmithy sees this since it PROVES that the CS version is also open at BOTH ends...
  6. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010
    Excellent review Howard!

    It's growing in me!

    How's the feel on the handle?
    Is that cotton threads winding on the handle?

    Robust and sturdy design.:thumbup:
  7. casio


    Nov 17, 2008
    Great review thanks :thumbup:Howard
  8. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    Either that, or that I am in on the conspiracy! ;)

    It's either heavy thread or light twine. I'm not sure what the material is but it is comfortable and insulates the hand from the bare steel. It also provides a good purchase on the handle.
  9. DanSmithy


    Jul 19, 2010
    About that...I've managed to find out the culprit of my deception.
    Someone in the shop stuffed a piece of black paper in the handle :eek:
    I was "window shopping" at the time and taught that the handle sides curve back to what's the blade. There you have it. Apologies sent to Warty. :)
  10. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Great pics, Howard:)

    Thanks so much for your review.
  11. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great review and Pix, thank you Howard and Red Flower
  12. ElSitherino


    Jul 27, 2010
    How big is that grip? It looks like it's wide enough to draw in some strength from the forearm for a good bit of power. Do you like the way the grip feels over the more apparent tapering of the CS?
  13. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999

    It is a good solid grip.

    I pulled out the CS so I could compare grips to answer your question. After several minutes I decided it's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. I do like the string wrap on the HI because of its insulating properties and the sureness it gives the grip. It would be easy enough to put a similar wrap on the Bushman should one desire.
  14. Red Flower

    Red Flower

    Oct 13, 2004
    Howard and I had fun together to review the knife. He did the most of work, I only "clicked" the buttons on the camera.

    Take care, Redflower
  15. ElSitherino


    Jul 27, 2010
    Cool, I really like this style of blade as a backup and I like the options the hollow handle offers. Thanks for the answer, I'm going to have to take this knife into consideration.
  16. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    The kamis actually incorporated the string wrap because the Bushman I sent them was wrapped in a similar manner with leather stitching thread. The string is nice, but I have found that the heavy duty waxed nylon thread for leatherwork is even better. It wraps nicely, it's tacky to the touch, and if one needed to use it in a survival situation it's much stronger. You could easily use it as fishing line or for tying shelter joints together. I haven't measured it, but i bet there is easily 6-10 feet of thread that fits on the grip:thumbup:
  17. PayetteRucker


    Aug 4, 2009
    I like the grind and blade design alot. Not sure if I could get into the hollow handle...
  18. GregS


    May 6, 2008
    You'd have to be tiny...:confused:
  19. PayetteRucker


    Aug 4, 2009
    haha, I'll give you that... how about a smaller one too? a 3 inch skeleton blade or simple boat tailed satisal handles. Man that would be a sweet companion to a good sized khukuri... I'd love to see HI's take on an Ulu as well :)
  20. cramsey3006

    cramsey3006 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    I don't see this knife on the HI site. Am I overlooking it somehow?

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