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

  1. argyle1812

    argyle1812 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    The JX may work well but my god it has to be one of the ugliest knives I have ever seen in my life. Also not really a fair comparison since the JX weighs around 28 ounces.


    Feb 23, 2000
    Wow the JX is 1/2lbs heavier. Thats a Skrama and a Silky F180 for the same carry weight. I know what I would choose.
    JX is ugly, not even funny ugly. I'm not likely to ever own a JX, doesn't do it for me in any way. Poor comparison anyway. I'd prefer a comparison to knife that I would respect like the Junglas which is a completely different beast. A miss match but interesting.

    There seems to be far too many new knives desperate to be different to catch the market. A whole lot not very practical, well averagely poor. Think I preferred this thread without the junk creeping in. Lets keep it that way; sorry to bring other things in!???
  3. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    How about a BK4?
    Would that make a good comparison?
    The 4 is my favorite "do all blade"


    Feb 23, 2000
    BK4 is certainly more comparable.
    If we take the class of the Skrama as that of the Martindale Golock then the BK4 fits.
    The Martindale Golock has been around for yonks and well respected. The golock is a short beefed up machete. Short to be more packable, stouter to tackle denser woods and material, and tough to be soldier proof. A true classic if you served in the British Army.

    The BK4 takes a huge nod to Lofty Wiseman's Survival Tool, as in Lofty of SAS Survival Handbook fame. I think Lofty took a nod to the Gurkha Kukri as he would have done his SAS selection jungle training with them. He also definitely used the Martindale Golok. The Survival Handbook came out and all things "survival" went large. Lofty had his Survival Tool, Rambo had his knife, Wilkinson Sword had a Survival knife monstrosity and the Beckers under Blackjack Knives flagship came out. I think thats when I first saw the BK4???? Then Ray Meers turned up with his GB Small Forest Axe. Then there was more Rambo and a bit of Preditor thrown in for good measure! Busse arrived with their Battle Mistress, a huge slab of inf steel with an edge on. The rest is history, but the "big knife" problem is still being thrashed out. Several "big knife" camps have developed. The truck camp with the heavyweights and the light weight carry it on foot camp. I having been light infantry am in the latter camp.

    I like recurve blades, but I'm not such a fan of Kukris. Nor Lofty's Survival Tool, nor sadly the BK4. I loved my Blackjack Marauder II, a long heavy Bolo. But when this style is medium big it generally doesn't work for me. All chop and not enough control from too much weight forwardness. Heavy big blades are hard to control.
    The BK4 has a great reputation for taking abuse. As a beater for chopping out tree roots then a great tool. But for me its gets all too busy with all its curves compared to a standard golock. The other real issue with the bolo, BK4, Survival Tool, style is when chopping a very small area of the blade takes all the hits. The design is meant to get more weight to that area, but in reality its still not enough to do what an axe can. That small area takes damage and the design when built stout has a reputation of breaking along the shaft. There are a lot of forces going on and manufacturers don't always get their heat treatment right.
    I've used a few Becker knives, I think even a BK4, and I'm not a fan of their handles. I seem to get a painful hot spot blister from them fast, and I have medium callused hands, well not super soft; I tend not to use gloves.
    The big knife that is portable is a difficult one. Chop power in a knife is poor and to me poring on weight is not the answer, sorry Busse and Esee Junglas. Anything close to 2lbs then have an axe.
    The golock, panga, bolo or machete aren't heavy. The golock only just has enough whack for heavier woods but in truth 4" oak is about its limit; 2 to 3" better. More than that its axe or saw time.

    So yes the Skrama could be compared to a BK4. I keep saying the Skrama is a thinking man's golok as thats what it is. A portable, small package, large blade for everything before reaching for an axe. Keen edge that cuts.
    Lastly, I think the Skrama has it over the BK4 for pure utility, keenness of edge and comfort of handle. However, if I wanted a chopper for having in the cab of a digger, for bashing out roots or chopping blocks, then the BK4 might be just the ticket.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  5. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    Thank you for the well thought out response.
    I also like a lightweight blade, one that can get the work done with geometry and technique more then just brute force. One that can also do "small knife " tasks.
    I don't have a need for large blades often but I am attracted to them. So I look for good deals. The Skrama looks like it might be one of those deals.
    It doesn't hurt that I like 80crv2.


    Feb 23, 2000
    Some links to my thesis above:

    Another blade of the 1990's was Al Mar's Pathfinder, but like many the heat treatment was all wrong and they often failed. In big knives and machete's its better to keep on the soft side than hard. The Martindale Golok is like many machete's just too soft to hold an edge for long.

    My Blackjack Jack Maruader II and BG Small Forest Axe:

    I just think the Skrama is pretty well perfect for a versatile and well made improvement on the golok. A Skrama and Silky F180 will do most woods tasks and a portable efficient package. If you understand the merits of the golok and its limitations and that fits what you are looking for then go for it. However, there are a few that don't get it and want it to be some breeze block bashing huge heavy Battle Mistress of a blade, that can cleaver an oak tree. Think that would be a sledge hammer and chainsaw all rolled into one.

    Do tell us what you think of 80crv2. It certainly takes an edge and holds up to some punishment.
  7. Creaky Bones

    Creaky Bones Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    You couldn't give me that knife. It is however a perfect representation of its "designer". Useless.

    I have and really enjoy both. I wouldn't describe the BK4 as a heavy chopper for bashing things (I know that's not exactly what you said. I'm paraphrasing). It's light, quick, and punches way above its weight. That's one of the features I like most about both of these knives. I have the micarta scales on mine and find the Becker handle design very comfortable. When I plan on bringing a large knife on a hike attached to my pack, the decision is almost always a choice between the BK4 and the skrama. They are both unique designs with a ton of versatility. Great knives.

    Thanks, by the way. I bought the skrama after you started this thread and I really enjoy it!


    Feb 23, 2000
    Of all the big blades I discussed above the BK4 is a good one. For Lofty, annoyingly for him, his Survival Tool has had a few quality issues over the years and its luck if the knife has a whole lot of luck built into it or not. Had several different manufacturers do them, I think they are fine now. I'd have a BK4 over it as they have more built in confidence in them. BK for the price deliver and worthy of their excellent reputation.

    I had to looked up the JX and watch va few ytube reviews. That handle sure does chew up people's hands. For a tool that should be required to do hours of work thats a no no. (Quick one, Lofty Wiseman's Survival Knife is sent from the factory for it to be customisable by the user; its a bit course and such tweaking expected. Factory Martindales are better for a good sanding and oiling too). I don't know Mr 101, but its funny how a lot of reviewers are so polite when talking about the JX. I get the impression that they are not really convinced but too polite to say so. To me the JX is trying too hard and has some major flaws as a practical tool. Give me a KISS tool over that any day. My very limited impression of Mr 101 is that he may well have handled a whole lot of knives but he should get out of his garden more and do a full days manual work with some of the stuff he raves about. I like that he shows what you can get but his opinion is about as helpful as a shop assistant that hasn't got a clue. If you end up panting after two minutes work then either you are doing it all wrong or the tool is pants for that job. The only thing beating on a log proves is that the edge doesn't roll or blade collapse or fail. No one "beats on logs" for real.

    Anyhow, thanks all for your input. Keeps this threat bubbling along and interesting.
  9. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    The only blade I have in 80CrV2 is a small one. It does take & hold a good edge but it is too small to take advantage of the steels toughness.
    Aside from my BK4 ,my other blades I would put in this category are Ontario 12" heavy machete, a Bechmade bushmaster ( it's similar to your blackjack with a 10"blade) a 7"enep recurve, and a Buck reaper. I Reaper is a more useful tool then I though it would be.
    Like I said I don't have a need often but I do like blades like the Skrama.


    Feb 23, 2000
    I think the 80CrV2 is a high quality steel and suits knives with practical application that requires toughness. However, it does mark up, stain, quite rapidly so probably not ideal for pretty knives. Small blades, and folders can have harder edges and don't need to take quite so much punishment so there are better, more stain resistant, steels to be had. For get down and dirty, agriculture, then its great.

    I had a Benchmade Bushmaster. Can't be many out there!! Probably quite collectable now that Benchmade is so big and such a part of the establishment. Sadly, it has a shortish tag and mine wore through the rubberised grip. I sold it on to someone who could rehandle it.
    It was similar to the Blackjack Marauder I, the smaller one. Whereas I love the MKII, the MKI is difficult to take an edge and hold it. Interestingly for the design its poor at chopping, well for all that front just doesn't do much. I wanted it to work but it really doesn't. I'm on my second MKII (stolen) and the first I swathed through forests with. I was younger then, and fitter, to the point I rarely take mine out any more. Its one blade that can directly compete with a BG SFA. You could build a log cabin with it. I think they are Jap Aus 6 or 8. Their heft and front forwardness make them have a fully committed action the same as an axe or hatchet. Once committed it takes a lot of stopping.

    I can see the 12" Ontario being a good beater. Similar in many ways to a Golok, (possibly a tad heavier??). Just shows there is the need for this scale of blade. Where the Skrama shines is the weight and neutral hold that gives it so much control to do those small tasks. Its the weight and control that matters and dictates what uses these can be used for.
    Light weight machete's and parangs work around the village because they are cheap and they are controllable. Endurance work then the lighter the better so long as there is enough weight to cut through. Heavier tools are used when required, but thats a different game. However, to keep them light the stock material is thin, spring thin, and doesn't work elsewhere well (like where we live).

    For jungle there are two types of machete/bolo weights depending on what they have to tackle. Length too, but the weight per length is what matters. The golok is a bit short but stiff enough and chosen for its general use and portability.

    The Reeper looks similar in function to the old Blackjack Mamba 7, an example which I have. On the light weight side of things. Looks quite handy, and keen grind. They are slim and I struggle to quite place what my Mamba role was??? A bit too long and a bit too fine. Mine is little used as I have other knives I prefer.

    I agree there really needs to be a job worth doing and big enough to warrant the big blade. Nothing left to do in my garden! Lots beyond though....I'll have some stick snedding and reed cutting later in the summer.
    Thanks for sharing. Gave me a bit of a nostalgia trip, and an opportunity to put down my thoughts. I don't rave too often unless I think something warrants it.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  11. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 25, 2009
    covered the skrama's plastic sheath with some leather and finishing up the dangler loop. Pics to come.
  12. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    Been eagerly following this thread. For years I've had my eye on a bigger fixed blade that can handle some chopping, but still do other tasks if needed.

    Busse, Becker, Swamp Rat, and ESEE were the contenders.

    As soon as I saw this, there was NO hesitation. THIS is the fixed blade for me!

    BTW, did anyone else notice the glaring annoyance in the first video? It was PAINFUL to watch those blades just bounce around on account of swinging straight down instead of angling the blade so it would bite!!! Lol.

    Not criticizing the guy or anyone's technique. But I naturally figured out how materials respond to blades as a child. So it's surprising to watch a dude who seems pretty seasoned, but hasn't learned that yet. Heh.

    Those logs took WAAYYY to long to get through. Seemed like he was getting frustrated too!

    Thank you for bringing my attention to this blade. When fun money happens, I'm getting the carbon version!


    Sent from my SM-S906L using Tapatalk
  13. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 25, 2009
    It is to be expected that pm "jessica x" 101 keeps peddling his monstrosity. You couldn't bribe me with enough good steel to use that thing.

    Wrapped the stock plastic sheath that comes with the skrama with croc patterned leather, and made a dangler frog for it. Felt "artsy", so drew a viking dragon ship in the front and some toothy flames top and bottom with a sharpie :D





    still debating whether to do or not a handle strap.
    Elgatodeacero likes this.


    Feb 23, 2000
    Well thats different. How about a some pattern spayed onto the handle? Mask most of it off and do some matching fine croc lines. Kind of negative to the bright sheath.
    DPM camouflage is all very well until you can't find it.
  15. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 25, 2009
    hmmm...maybe I can carve the lines in the handle and then paint them...if not, I'll try mask and spray.


    Feb 23, 2000
    A Dremel with one of their small stone hone drill bits would do it, doesn't have to be deep just enough to hold the paint.
  17. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 25, 2009
    yeah, I have carved 2 becker handles that way before, but the becker handle material is different. Don't know if the dremel bits will gum up with the skrama? only one way to find out.
  18. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 25, 2009
    will take better pics later

  19. EricV

    EricV Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    I'm not a fan of large chopper style knives usually, but picked up one of these after all the great reviews and because the handle shape seems to lend a lot of flexibility.

    Its a very well thought out grip shape, and the whole knife just feels handy. It should be perfect for the backwoods hammock camping I do when you need to clear out brush to get a good hang location, and making kindling for the fire too.
  20. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    Well I failed to talk myself in one, I did order a Terävä Mini-Puukko . It should make for a useful knife and fun project.

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