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Skrama:

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by GREENJACKET, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    "I have a Skrama", was the write up I did for another forum. I thought it must have been well documented here are its pretty great, but after a search I couldn't find much. So here is a bit of a rehash of what I wrote:

    Skrama:
    Its not often when someone comes up with a design that is unusual, though something that we have been asking for for yonks but didn't quite know what we wanted. Well in the Skrama they have made something that answers a whole lot of wants and all in one package. Its a camp chopper, small hatchet, billhook, snedding parang, hardwood machete, and whittler all in one.
    We all know the Martindale Golock and many of us bludgeoned our way through a forest or two with one. Sadly, they have some real limitations and for me they really don't hold a good edge, if at all, and any edge doesn't last long. Well I like to think of the Skrama as a thinking man's golock because its a better animal/tool altogether in design, materials, and utility.
    Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    The Grip:
    Firstly the Skrama has a through tang and its a a meaty one. It sorts the balance out perfectly and not going to break, and its never going to come out of the grip. The man made rubber is of a very high quality that not only gives a superb grip but is going to last the life of the blade. Ergonomically its excellent, and I've used mine for hours without any hot spots and thats without gloves. It does everything you would want it to in heaps.
    The reason the Skrama is so clever is that it has a hand and a half, read long, handle, that gives various grip positions. Most choppers are forward biased being blade heavy. The Skrama can be choked up and feel neutral. As it not unduly heavy it can do the finer tasks like feather sticks will ample control. In fact it has two grinds with one short finer section towards the grip for just such use; a very nice detail. Can't think of anything that does this as well other than a parang and then thats because parangs can be held to give a neutral balance by the central shaft. The Skrama's grip is excellent wherever you hold it and when held towards the rear end gives the velocity for deep chopping.
    All very clever and really works well. Basically its a tool that would compliment an axe as easily as compliment a small knife. Made by Fins, who know a thing or two about forests and wood, its businesslike qualities are obvious.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next, the Steel:
    Its 80CrV2, 59 HRC. Its a tough steel and great choice for this kind of thing. I haven't put it in a vice and tried with a scaffolding pole extension to bend or break it. Can't see the point of that. I'm sure this thickness will be well tricky to be forced to fail. I haven't tried cutting breeze blocks with it either. If you must then break them with the with the spine. The edge is done keen so might may well take some damage if you hit something stupid hard. Its for working in the woods not a scrap yard. For the work its expected to be use for the steel and hardness are an excellent choice and well up to the task. Importantly the Skrama is man enough for European woodland use, which most machetes aren't. Its on the keen grind side so is a cutter rather than an axe chipper. Far superior to what I would expect at this price point. It comes "hell" sharp from the start.
    [​IMG]

    Weight:
    The Skrama comes in at under 1.2 lbs. A GB Small Forest Axe are 2lbs; GB Wildlife Axe 1.3lbs; Martidale Golock 1.25lbs; ESEE Junglas 1.4lbs. So its really not bad to carry being on the lighter side of "choppers". That weight makes it very controllable especially in the choked up grip which gives it such versatility.

    Finish:
    One of the things that makes this tool so attractive is it is "fugly". It is all functional and practical, with a business like finish that is well executed. Who wants to have money spent on something that is going to have to take a real beating and going to be covered in tree resin and muck? Its foremost a work tool and its ready for work from the start. No alterations, sanding, customising, finishing, or messing about required. I'm delighted the money has gone into the steel, quality of handle material, and not spent on anything not needed. Its kept the ticket price at a reachable level too.

    Sheath:
    The Skrama is offered with three options: a very basic plastic sheath (that fits the British Army Frog), a leather, and a Molle compatible cover to the base basic. The leather and Molle add to the costs. I'm a fan of the leather one:
    The leather version is a leather cover for the plastic sheath, with dangler. As a carry system goes its excellent. The leather is vegetable dyed and nicely done. Both the leather and rivet fittings are mid quality wise though plenty adequate and will do absolutely fine. Looks well smart and no reason it won't last years and years; depends how you look after it.
    For those who have the skill, or leather worker contact, then there is room for a custom quality to up the game further. The leather sheath option does add to the ticket price by quite a bit. However, I'm a fan of the plastic insert system for what is after all to carry a work tool and non stainless blade. This kind of tool is going to get mucky.
    The British Army Scabbard is plenty good enough too.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Cost:
    Well mine came in at under £60 base model with the Bushcraftuk discount from the only place you can get them; for $ then whatever the exchange rate is but even with post its not sell the kidney time:
    https://www.varusteleka.com/en/category/tools-and-knives/417

    Safety:
    This blade may well be more controllable than some, but then you wouldn't want to get it wrong. Its a powerful tool and not going to take prisoners. It comes scary sharp and best kept that way, but it does have some weight so comes with some danger as is. This kind of weight, once it has some momentum, will take some stopping. Just don't put anything in its way you don't want cut deeply, because deeply it will go.
    Same goes for many tools, but this one I think has more bite than most. Respect it.

    Summary:
    What it is for:
    Its for all those smaller chopping tasks. It sneds and chops all the poles that a temporary camp construction could need. It can de-limb the poles, clear off small branches, and clear an area of all the annoying small stuff. Its keen bevel cuts deep into soft material and the three grips gives those cuts real control, far more than any kukri or machete. I found I naturally took up the correct grip that best suited the power and control I wanted for any given chop. I can't praise enough the neutral balance which gives smaller jobs the necessary dexterity that so many other blades just don't. At 1.2 lbs it can be driven without the usual total commitment that other heavier weight forward tools demand. Its also long enough to give it some reach and the real velocity with a rear grip that machete users so like. Clearing stuff was easy. What I like most is I wasn't forever trying to check the chop as I so often have to do with weight forward designs. It kind of chose the right power to get the job done without flying away once through.
    I did sliced through most of the green stuff I tackled and on thicker stock it didn't jam much at all. I got no annoying vibration when it stopped dead, which for many thinner blades is just horrid (Cold Steel machete and such).
    I gave it to my son, who knows enough about using blades. Immediately he said "its fugly". He also noted the neutral balance and was an immediate fan.
    Its OK at battoning medium to small stuff, as good as any big knife.
    It excelled at sharpening stakes and sticks. Its a big blade that behaves and being on the keen sharp side the control is very reassuring.

    What its not: its not an axe. It cuts but does not have the grind to chip out wood chunks like an axe head does. My son agreed it was enough for poles but not for big heavy construction logs. Build yourself a camp but not a log cabin. If you want to fell a large tree use an axe, or saw. Its not a splitting maul either. Try and tackle something too hard and thick and its limitations are very apparent. On anything that it can slice through then its great.

    I've yet to hit a rock with it so haven't put any noticeable damage on the edge. I haven't had to sharpen or touch it up yet either and I've done plenty of work with mine already.

    It would certainly compliment an axe, as it does a whole lot of things better than any axe. For traveling light it would do enough so that you could leave the axe behind and halve the carry weight. (Both axe and Skrama are better when complimented with a saw). I think a Skrama would do well in the jungle too; just that I don't have one on my doorstep to prove so.
    Lastly, there is a more stainless version which for boating, and tools left in the wet as on a daily use quod bike in Wales or Scotland, might well be the better option. I doubt anyone would really know the performance difference to worry much steel wise. They do two Puukko's to compliment it, and they are pretty keenly priced too.

    Here is one on my forest camp pack:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    jongly likes this.
  2. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Nice review.
    Based on your previous post I liked what I saw and ordered one. It arrive yesterday (I'm in the U.S.), no issues, no delay. I have not used it yet but it is exactly how you describe - very comfortable and well-balanced in hand, very functional and clean fit and finish, sharp, etc. I went with the plastic sheath to save money and it required considerable force to extract the blade. I'll see if that persists, but although simple and cheap material, it appears to be serviceable for safe carry.
    I also found another nice companion blade at the vendor you noted and bought that too. Looks like a handy cutting tool (I got the shorter of the two variants, at 110mm or a little over 4" blade) with same steel and rubber compound handle as the Skrama. Leather sheath included for a very reasonable price. I like fully enclosed tangs for cold weather use and considering where this comes from (Finland) I expect it to do well in winter.
     
  3. rpn

    rpn Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    I saw you mention it in another thread and it got me researching it too. I'm very intrigued and tempted to try one. Seems like a great value and design.

    Thanks for posting.
     
  4. Murindo

    Murindo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 4, 2010
    I've had one for two years that is used for yard work and gardening. Your review is a very accurate and this knife is well worth the price. The plastic sheath on mine is loose and does not retain the knife well enough for carry. I only use the sheath as a safety cover for storage in my garage.

    I've considered shortening the blade a bit and making a Kydex sheath for mine.
     
  5. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Nice to have some feedback.
    The plastic sheath/insert on mine are fine, nothing great but does what is required. The leather covered has a snap for travel, and hang the additional cost as I like it: "job done". When working I want the blade to go in and out fast between tasks, so it works for me. I'm sure someone could produce something better in Kydex but its not something I'll be going for as I'm happy as is.

    Interesting on shortening the blade. To me again I like it as is, as anything smaller then I may as well use one of my other big knives. I also like the "eye" which gives it character/a face; reminds me of a whale!
    Two things I've been thinking about when using it. Firstly, I like the way its keen enough to catch and cut springy stuff when clearing an area; bramble and thicket. I also think its not a bone clever, and shouldn't be considered as such. Bone is horrid on steel that isn't designed and ground to cope. Anyhow, I'm happy that I've filled a niche in my forest cutting armoury.

    I've pushed this Skrama for a few weeks now because I think it would suit a lot of people. Its a great product, and at respectful price which is reachable for many. I think its a bit of a bargain considering what you get and the steel used. However, I really must let it cook for a while and leave the subject alone as I've said what I need to. I enjoy my knives and have a few. Its not often that a new angle on design get me this worked up but in the Skrama it has.

    Those who do get one I do hope you enjoy it,... and be safe.

    Lastly, I have nothing to do with the company at all.
     
  6. Boggs

    Boggs Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    Greenjacket......

    Thank you for such a thorough review and overview of the Skarma
     
  7. spyken

    spyken

    Apr 29, 2002
    i like it, I'm waiting for them to have the option of more affordable shipping to my part of the world :(
     
  8. Murindo

    Murindo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 4, 2010
    Here is my Skarma after two years of yard and garden work. I cleaned it up and sharpened out the nicks before taking the pictures. As you can see, the coating wears. This knife has been used with very little care between uses and has hung in my humid Houston garage.
     
  9. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Seems like there has been a bit of a run on the Skrama :cool: I've been informed on the British Blade Forum that a whole lot more are on their way and should be back on the shelf in 2-3 weeks. The informant sharpens them and they are doing plenty!

    Anyhow here is a little mod I've done. I've done it with a deer antler tip but a .17HMR empty case works too as a toggle. A safety catch for when you really want it to stay put in its sheath:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Anyone else got one?
     
  10. Armadew

    Armadew Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 22, 2006
    Nice mod! I'll probably do something similar when I get mine. Because I'm absolutely getting one!
     
  11. inkynate

    inkynate Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Thanks for the review GJ, just ordered one yesterday and I'm already thinking about adding another one for my brother. This blade really has a lot going for it on paper, I look forward to trying it out for myself.

    I really appreciate the long product decription provided on the website, pretty much every question I would have asked is answered there. Stuff like the variable grind for fine cutting near the handle suggest this is a very well thought out design with an uncommon attention to detail for the price point.

    Thanks again for giving it some exposure here. :thumbup:
     
  12. rpn

    rpn Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    I'm sold on these too. Looks like an effective tool at a wonderful price. :thumbup:
     
  13. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Thanks guys, I'm a fan. Back in stock now.

    Do give some feed back of what you think. They are not bone breakers nor breeze block busters, but excellent for what they are designed for... wood, the small stuff, not logs.
    I'd be amiss without one in my cutting armoury now. I'm reordering again as my spares keep going off with friends to far off lands.
     
  14. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    In this pic it shows your skrama in the plastic sheath, in a second canvas over-sheath. What is the second canvas sheath? Thanks
     
  15. inkynate

    inkynate Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    I don't know for sure if this is the same one, but it sure looks like it:

     
  16. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    British Army SA80 bayonet frog; they sell them on the site. I actually have a few as they were cheap as chips at one point. Cheap enough to play about converting to work best for you. Not sure if there were some slight variations but all should work. A Silky Saw fits them too, snug fit.
    Here is a picture of a basic conversion to molle:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I still like the leather for my own personal carry. Have the frog one for the tool box, or military carry.
     
  17. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    ^Thanks. The leather is nice, but imo that sheath set-up is a perfect match for that blade.
     
  18. inkynate

    inkynate Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    My Skrama came in yesterday. Pretty fast for overseas shipping, I wasn't expecting it yet. I owe my wife one as I was already out on our property getting ready for a party when it came. She was still at home, so she signed for it and brought it out with her. It was a nice surprise to get to knock about with it for a while.

    I didn't have a ton of time to bushwhack, but did some of my normal work with it and tried to push it fairly hard in the time I had. Took out a couple of honeysuckle bushes, some wild grape vines, and chopped up some harder dead stuff in the firewood pile.

    I haven't measured the edge thickness or angles yet, but the low saber grind goes pretty thin. It bites really well but I did have some concerns about potential damage due to how thin it is. Thankfully none was observed after the first outing. My early impression is that it will have sufficient strength and toughness to be used pretty hard, but I'll save the really heavy work for axes and choppers.

    Here's a quick size comparison with a SYKCO 1111, this is a serious tool:

    [​IMG]

    I don't want to say too much about the handle until I've used it more, but I didn't have any issues with it yesterday. The material appears to be similar to Res-c , but still a little different. The analogy that came to mind is that the Skrama material is a little harder and slightly more plastic-like, while res-c has a little more give and is slightly more rubber-like.

    A final note for now on the sheath. I ordered the no frills kydex option. The retention is decent and it's nice to have a sheath for transport, but it's a little weird to offer a sheath with no obvious attachment points. Unfortunately I wasn't aware of the ability to pair it with the SA80 bayonet frog until after I ordered. I may hunt around for one or look for an excuse to place another order with Varusteleka, but it's not a pressing concern.
     
  19. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    :eek: Thank you for this comparison shot :thumbup: Until this, i had not really grasped the sheer size of this beastly tool.


    Hmm... If you have a drill, you can punch 2 or 3 appropriately spaced holes through both sides of the sheath to allow the passage and tightening of screws, similar to how Bladetech designed the G-clip (not my pic)

    [​IMG]

    The hole on one side would need to be larger to allow the screw-head to pass through the inside of the sheath and be retained by the smaller hole on the other side. You'd need to use screws with fairly flat heads and/or locate the holes such that the blade would not much encounter them during sheathing/unsheathing. But that way, you could attach the no-frills sheath to any accessory you desire. :)
     
  20. inkynate

    inkynate Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Ha, exactly. Specs and pics did not impress its tru magnitude.

    I was thinking along the same lines on the sheath as well, good idea.
     

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