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Skean Dhu shootout- H.I., C.S. & Sarge-made

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by Ad Astra, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Skean Dhu shootout- H.I., C.S. & Sarge-made

    A few months ago, with the Ram Raffle, I was *very* fortunate to have snagged a Skean Dhu (SD) made by forumite Sarge. Liked it a lot, carried every day until security concerns at my job made that a risk-of-loss. Not going to happen to that one.

    Ordered a Cold Steel (CS) Brave Heart on a whim, while ordering their little neck knife. The Brave Hearts must be in demand; was backordered for almost 2 months. Finally it came.

    And about that same time I shot for a Himalayan Imports (HI) SD, because you never know, with the deals of the day, if you'll *ever* get one or not. Some models used to take months of sharking to get. (Anybody seen an HI Seax lately?)

    So I find myself with three really nice SD's and thought I'd post a pic or two along with some comments.


    [​IMG]

    First, the CS SD. Soul-less mass production knife, yes. But Lynn Thompson, the designer, knows a thing or two about knives. It's wide, and has nice control. Flat and easy to carry, with a removable belt clip and a necker chain. Very grippy, too. Hole in handle also. Very pointy; needle sharp. So much so I feel I may break the point someday. Overall, though, I really like it. Pic below.

    [​IMG]

    Second, the HI SD. We waited a long time for these Rusty-tribute beauties. Sarge carved the model, I think, that the kamis made them from. Well, it's nice, if you don't have one yet. Most comfy handle of the three; flat on one side, fits the hand strangely well. Got that Scottish shamrock shape going on, which is artsy, but it is practical too. Wide and rounded grip gives a lot of control as well. This one is a lovely wood handle and was I think destined for Nasty but through a twist of forum fate, I wound up with it with Nasty's blessing. Sturdier than the CS SD, it's not breaking any time soon. Handle is largest of the three; which is both good and bad. Great feel, hard to conceal- depending. Slips right into a cell phone pocket. err, it COULD go in a cell phone pocket. Pic below.

    [​IMG]

    Third up, Sarge's own generous contribution to one medical student, Ram. Sarge is low key about it but it's known he can make great knives out of old files. The Sarge SD has a nice long blade with a low profile handle of antler. The SD is a general use blade really; and a last-ditch weapon I suppose. This one is sturdy, pretty and easiest of the three to carry. Key to this is the handle. It is minimal, really. The antler is naturally grippy enough to give good control, maybe less than the other two. The longish blade is pointy but not delicate. With its sheath the rig is so flat it can go anywhere easily. Pic below.

    [​IMG]

    A Skean Dhu is a great utility blade; moreso if you're of Celtic derivation, which I am. None of these are going to go in my boot, wool stocking or bagpipe kit: don't have any of that. But one of these three is likely to go with me a lot of other places.

    Hope you enjoyed a look at these knives.


    Mike


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Don't anyone use the expression "jimping for joy." Kevin.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sylvrfalcn

    Sylvrfalcn

    Jun 4, 2002
    Good stuff :D I haven't handled one of the CS Bravehearts yet, but I used to have one of their "Culloden" sgian dubhs with plain edge in Carbon V steel. Liked it pretty good. Cut the rubber handle off, put an antler handle on it, and liked it even better. ;)

    Sarge
     
  3. Grob

    Grob

    462
    Nov 29, 2005
    Great post. I've been wanting a Sgain Dhu for quite a while now. I dont like the look of the CS, as functional as it may be, for no good reason I can think of. Thanks for the comparison. The nicest Sgain Dhu I have ever seen was made by Brian Lyttle but those were over 1000 bucks. I'd better get me an HI or a Sarge.
     
  4. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Sarge retired from knife-making. Please nobody ask him for one.

    HI's are available, though, from time to time.


    Mike
     
  5. Sylvrfalcn

    Sylvrfalcn

    Jun 4, 2002
    That's pretty much factual for the time being, can't say for sure what lies down the road. It's not that big a deal really, I always say if you know what makes a good knife, then a good knife ain't hard to make. There's lots of knifemakers right here in the Cantina. Some have just started recently, but are already showing much talent and much promise. Others are truly serious, and highly noteworthy, putting the very bread on their tables by making knives.
    There's two ways to get the exact knife you want, made exactly like you want it. Either pay someone else to do it for you, or invest the time and effort learning the skills necessary to do it yourself. The second option may take a bit of time and patience, but once you own the skills, the knives themselves become infinitely expendable/replaceable. Buying/owning/collecting knives is fun, but making yourself a good knife, and then going out and using it, has got to be the ultimate for a true knife nut. :D

    Sarge
     
  6. ferguson

    ferguson

    Feb 21, 2001
    Great review Mike. Thanks!

    Steve
     
  7. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Believe me, I get torn over which to carry. Almost whipped one out at the Thanksgiving table when we were short silverware. They are general-purpose.

    The HI: pretty & sturdy, great in the hand. The CS: an easily stowed (flattie) good knife to have along. The hand-made one: certainly closest to what Celts of antiquity actually made and carried.

    For some reason I just don't like carrying a folder anymore. They are machines, and simplest is best thing, or at least, the most satisfying.


    Mike
     
  8. TomFetter

    TomFetter

    Dec 6, 2004
    I'll still carry a folder when I can't carry an obvious fixed blade. But I'm thinking more and more about making a 3" blade, 3-fingers-on-the-handle fixed blade knife that can nestle in my pocket with a clip on the sheath. Then I can dispense with the SAK or its brothers as my EDC. Haven't yet thought out whether to go with a drop point, or a puukko style, or a little boucheron, or something a bit wider for its length, etc.

    But Sarge's right; using this as a way to learn how to make a decent knife will mean I get more choices ... and get handles that fit my hand, instead of some ergonomic average.
     
  9. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    nice review.
    Couldn't this have been on the HI side of the forum? Can't tell the rules anymore myself.


    munk
     
  10. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Me neither. Erring on safe side. Didn't want to "critically compare" any products but celebrate a design in general.


    Mike
     
  11. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    There you go. I'm lost without a lawyer.


    good to see all three blades.


    munk
     
  12. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Great post! Sweet dhu's. Sarge made mine, and its joyful to use. My Sarge knives are my sharpest too!
     

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