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Skrama:

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

  1. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    For ll those interested then the Terava 110 is in stock again. Compliments the Skrama well. I have the 140 and like it as a wood processing tool, the scandi grind sure works well. Sharp edge sure, but they are no paring knife. Think I'll be getting a couple to finish my Varusteleka stable of cutting tools. Might spoil myself with some of their dark caffeine chocolate too.
     
  2. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Well the Skrama can look after itself now as there are plenty out there.
    The vast majority love them, a very few either can't get their heads around them or just prefer something different. They are a working man's tool, and as I like to think of them: a thinking man's golok.

    Anyhow, like this sheath by a bushcraftuk forum member:
    [​IMG]
    If you have a Skrama picture that you want to share then get it up.
    Annoyingly my son left mine out for several day in the wet and I should have taken a picture of the surface rust that developed. Some Scotchbright scouring pad and it was back to its old self. Do wax them up if in the wet for a long time.

    Has anyone painted theirs? Put a different finish on. Anyone polish one up bright? Definitely at the price something that can be customised. Any sheath makers out there?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  3. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Some Y tube stuff:
    Like this but you need to follow what he says, as at first its difficult to know if he likes it or not. He does, but just trying to prove some points about knives and axes in general. In fact what he says is very close what I think. I'm looking forward to his thought on the Carbon to Stainless as he has both: :


    Another one. A comparison to a lighter stainless bolo. Handles, so easy to over think them. Love to see the comparison to the JX in future (1/2lbs in weight difference and the JX is fast getting into my pet hate knives list). The kid goats are cool, his hound too.


    Lastly, seems to be a fan, welcome to the club. Note the smily face, Skrama has this effect:


    BTW, brown sheaths back in stock.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  4. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    I need to get a decent sheath for mine. I used my Skrama today to help a Bigboy Silky saw take down a 12" dia. cottonwood tree that was threatening one of our outbuildings. It is an amazing chopping blade. Cottonwood is not particularly hard but you still need a saw or axe to take down a tree (chain saw preferably for a bigger tree and get 'er done professionally if your house or powerlines are in the fall zone). This tree was either going to come down in a storm in whichever direction the wind blew it, or I could have some influence on where it fell. The Skrama blew through branches over 1" in diameter in one swing, two chops for a 2" branch. Made limbing a breeze, just watch your legs or whatever was on the follow through side of the branch. After I got the tree down I cut it into sections I could drag to the side and just for fun, chopped through the main stem where it was about 6" dia. That was a little work, but it is a pretty effective chopper and easy to handle. And the handle is the most comfortable and secure I have used on a big blade. It easily outchopped a few other big blades I brought to the party. On and off rain was the only issue, and I cleaned and oiled the blade after - this is 80CRV2. Still don't have a good sheath, so that is next
     
  5. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    The brown leather sheath is back in stock, which is my favourite. Or go for the British army frog as on ebay which I prefer over the Molle offering. If ordering you might spoil yourself with a Terava 110??? as the post would be the same. Or some canned cock??!!!??
    [​IMG]
    Or do your own sheath, something jazzy??

    Love to have seen a picture of the work you did. I breezed through a Willow the other day with mine. Son preferred the Skrama's control over my Blackjack Marauder II which is a front heavy monster.
    Took the mick out of my son as he got a blister, I didn't. Soft hands from being a Student! (He can handle his booze and birds, but not work! Its was good father and son prime time.) I don't generally wear gloves and the Skrama has plenty of grip without being aggressive; one of the best of all my knives.

    Keep them coming lads.
     
  6. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    I was reminded by your earlier post to order a sheath - mine will be black because they seem to be out-of-stock in brown. Prettier, but for a good functional sheath I'm not too particular about color.
    I already have the 110 - picked it up when I bought the Skrama - it is a very good blade indeed, and well worth the price.
    That is the thing - these are very low risk purchases and you get very good performance for the price! I really like the handles - fully enclosed tang and excellent, no-slip and comfortable grip, which is essential always but especially for winter use in my neighborhood.
    I'll try to have a picture-taking device available when I get home. I leave for work in the dark, but still lots of daylight at this time of year when I get home (if it is not stormy anyway). The tree was at the corner of the quonset we park our vehicles in, so I walk by it at least 2x per day!
     
  7. theJman

    theJman

    310
    Sep 2, 2015
    I've been eyeing the Sissipuukko for a while now, but I just can't get myself to pull the trigger on anything where the name reminds me of Bruce/Katlynn Jenner! :eek: :p
     
  8. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder

    Aug 25, 2009
    Used it to crack some coconuts for water two days ago, it was an effortless job. Ive been opening coconuts since I was a kid with a small machete, and every time I get a big blade, coconuts are a mandatory task. The skrama aced this with flying colors.
     
    GREENJACKET likes this.
  9. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    I got mine last week, with a Molle sheath and a spare plastic insert so I can hang it on a nail in the workshop. For me the jury is still out, I see the potential as a 'multitool' to replace a light machete for brush clearing plus a hatchet for chopping and splitting light to medium stuff when one either does not want to take a whole arsenal in a backpack for a hike to a bushcraft-camping base camp, or one simply does not have all that other stuff and wants to have one tool that can take their place in a pinch. But I also see certain imperfections (the grind is too blunt for me to clear light and flexible brush, there is the 'knob' in the handle between the forward and backward grips that bothers me) and may modify some things. I am spoilt though, having two Gransfors Bruks axes (the small forest axe and the small splitting axe) and a heavily modified and personalized Tramontina 14-inch bolo machete. Of course those specialized tools, all three of them probably the best in their niche, perform their tasks better than the Skrama ever will. My guess is that it will be a very good tool to split quarter logs into kindling for the wood stove, once the splitting axe has done its job to reduce full-sized logs to something of more manageable thickness. That way I won't need to abuse a nice Puukko... Time will tell.
     
  10. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    OK, I just passed my new Skrama over the belt sander and reground it (it's always a risk, I only have an old cheap belt sander that I clamp upside down on a workmate, not a real belt grinder meant for sharpening, so no guides, I just eyeball it). Looks more polished, and the too-blunt secondary bevel is now a much keener convex edge. Lightsabered. It does a lot better against nasty bramble vines, of which we have millions here along each path and every roadside. It cuts clean through instead of bludgeoning. I seem to be not the only owner who has put another, keener edge on his Skrama, and it helps. I think that brush clearing is an important task for a long blade with some reach, more so than being able to chop sideways through a thick log after a few hundred blows. :rolleyes: Delimbing and such also went better with the modified grind. Less force required, the mass and momentum of the blade can do most of the work. :)
     
  11. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    When I've found a new picture hosting site I'll fix the pictures. Hope Photobucket goes bust.

    I haven't changed the edge profile because I tackle a lot of green wood. The Skrama will do several inches in fast time. Zips through anything less.
    The springy stuff does require something very fine to catch and cut. The factory edge is good but I can see why you made it thinner. So thin it will take damage if you hit hard things like rocks? For me I keep the edge paper slicing sharp and it catches well enough for what I encounter.
    Exactly what edge is a trade off and personal need. At $60 odd for the blade then go for it. Have two! Its agricultural and at a respectful price so you can be practical about it. If you need to use a belt sander on it do so. Whatever it takes because its for using. I use a big DMT diamond block. (An angle grinder is going to burn the heat treatment so don't use one). In practice mine shrugs off the work and rarely needs maintenance other to keep it popping sharp with a few wipes. I get a full days work out of it anyhow before even looking if it might need some touching up, most times it doesn't.
    I've been using mine flat out these last few months. Tackled loads and its been a joy. Got a lot of work done, saved me a load of time and effort, and I can't be happier. I like the hump, wouldn't change anything.
     
  12. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    Flickr does a reasonable job for picture hosting, at least with some effort you can distill links to insert the pics into forum messages...
    A few days ago I got to try mine out during a serious wood processing session in the yard, turning branches of various wood species and sizes into firewood and pointed sticks for things like propping up tomatoes. Oak, hazel, ash, prune, most of it pretty hard. I swapped constantly between my GB axes (small splitting axe for splitting really thick logs, then splitting the quarts by batonning them with the Skrama; the small forest axe -SFA- for delimbing and point cutting, like the Skrama). There is not a lot of difference between the Skrama and the small GB forest axe for delimbing up to finger-thick branches and twigs, they differ on cutting points - with the GB SFA I can chop a point on a stick in 7 or 8 chops while rotating the stick on the chopping block; with the Skrama it takes a few chops more, and then I can refine the points more by slicing thin slivers. You can do that with the GB SFA but the cutting edge is shorter so you need to make more cuts that way.
    I beat the Skrama through some seriously hard wood and have also tried chopping sideways through an ironhard piece of arm-thick thornwood that even resisted the Gransfors Bruks SFA. The axe needed fewer chops to dig deeper, but the Skrama survived it well.
    The Skrama did best at slicing off large pieces of bark. Again, the axes will do it but it takes more time.
    After hours of work like that, the modified convex edge held up well, it remained clean and sharp with a few strokes on the stropping board. I no longer test my blades on thin paper, I slice them through Amazon-quality cardboard boxes - if they do that without effort then they are sharp enough for me.
    I don't really see much use in trying to pound any knife, chopper or not, sideways through thick logs. Seeing grown men pounding endlessly on foot-thick chunks of tree reminds me of overactive little boys trying to beat any object they find to pulp. The only 'use' is burning off steam and agression. The original 35 degree edge of the Skrama is obviously meant to survive that sort of pounding, but it reduces its usefulness as a trail/brush clearing tool. With the convex edge it lightsabers through flexible vines and still resists a fair bit of beating. No edge will remain flawless after a head-on impact with hard rock or metal (carbon steel machete vs old railway track, the machete loses... and the only nick I got in my Skrama was when I wanted to take pictures of it next to a Tramontina machete sitting in the chopping block and accidentally hit the spine of the Tram with it - both ended with a good nick that needed to be filed/sanded/sharpened out. It was my first try with the Skrama and I did not yet have the proper feel of the blade, so I missed. Don't miss with it, it's bad news for anything that accidentally acts as a backstop...).
    I see it as a packable trail clearing blade that is able to do small axe/hatchet things well enough to forego carrying the hatchet. And it may enable you to pry a victim out of a wrecked car, who knows. ;-)
    I can also see why one would not want a thicker and heavier chopper than this. My 14-inch Tram bolo is a lot lighter and flies through vegetation because it accelerates faster. Energy equals mass times speed squared, so faster wins over heavier once you get to the point where the blade will not break on impact. I would like to see someone testing the Skrama against a 12-inch Tram - same reach, thicker versus faster...
     
    GREENJACKET likes this.
  13. GREENJACKET

    GREENJACKET

    Feb 23, 2000
    Nice write up of your initial experience.
    I use a SFA often too, though less so recently. Its a lbs more tool, and an axe. Love them.
    Checking a 2lbs chop does get annoying on small stuff and even with a sharp edge its not keen. Has its own technique and given practice is very adaptable to a point.

    Tram Bolos, Trams in general are thinner and lighter and so faster. Great tools. They do ring ding a bit and the steel is a bit soft. They will take a keen edge but quite a lot of work getting and maintaining. The lightness gives them dexterity. For some jobs can't be beat.

    I keep my Skrama paper cutting sharp, plus have two nicks when I hit iron which only over time will get sharpened out. I haven't over thinned the edge as I want it to handle harder work, but also to catch the cut on springy stuff. Factory works for me. Holds that edge for a very very long time. The steel is great.
    I like its package size and like that its a bit thicker stock than the Tram. Vibration free unless really pushed hard, which is rare for the most part.
    I like the two hand position and the control choked up gives.
    Reach is acceptable for my neck of the woods.
    Price is more than a Tram but for what its made of pretty affordable and cost effective. Trams are a bargain so a Skramas, and I think even SFA are worth the premium.

    Do try it on other tasks and tell us how you get on. A piccy please. I chuck mine in the truck more and more often because it annoys me when I haven't got it and there is a job to do. I have one on my Bushcraft pack too.
     
  14. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Some good discussion here. If I think a lot of hardwood chopping is likely, I'll bring a GB and the wildlife hatchet is light enough to pack. For weed whacking (old field poky thistles and stinging nettle etc) I like the longer reach and blade speed of an 18" machete. But for a lot of bushwhacking chores and a good all-round, versatile tool, the Skrama is hard to beat. Good length, and flexible extension too with different hand positions, strong blade with plenty of edge, controllable, and love the rubber grip (especially in winter or with gloves). It is easy to carry, so easy to have with me, and a good complement to more specialized tools (axe). I have some expensive big blade choppers that don't function nearly as well as the Skrama. Like it!
     
  15. EricV

    EricV Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Finally got around to making a frog for the sheath last night. Pretty happy with how it ended up, mainly wanted an easy way to clip it to my pack rather than just shoving it in a bottle pocket. Really love this thing.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    To get back to this discussion, I still like the Skrama a lot but I don't think it is a 'one tool option' for people who go hiking in the woods - as in taking this thing instead of a regular 4-inch belt knife as their only fixed-blade tool. When I was a lot younger and used to carry my ballast in a pack instead of as fat around the waist, I was the kind of backpacker who cut off half the handle of his toothbrush to save weight, and weighed off just 700 grams of dry food per day of the trip, to go hiking for weeks without any option for resupply - I took into account how much excess body fat I might burn off as fuel while doing 20 to 25 kms per day in mountainous terrain, carrying up to 26-27 kg of pack weight. The only thing I did not skimp on was shelter - I always carried a small tent, good sleeping bag and waterproof Goretex outer shell for the sleeping bag, plus some lightweight cooking gear so I could have my camp set up and be sitting out of the rain drinking hot soup within 15 minutes of arrival. And as most of those trips were above the tree line anyway, there was not a lot of wood to process anyway. In such a scenario, you don't take up to 900 grams of large chopping knife plus sheath (no matter the brand or model) 'just in case'. Nor do you carry a fishing rod on the off chance that you may catch a measly little fish in some mountain lake. Better bring a extra day's worth of dry food for the same weight or, in the case of the heavy knife, some extra fuel for the cooking burner if you foresee the need to cook a lot of meals, instead of going to the trouble of processing branches into small sticks for a cooking fire. I quickly learned that. Even when I make day hikes these days, I tend to think that way.
    Thus, I see the Skrama, as nice, strong and comfortable as it is, mostly as a base camp tool to supplement other wood processing tools. Or as a supplementary tool for woodprocessing and pruning in the yard. If I were to take a long blade just in case I needed to do some trail clearing, I would rather take a lightweight Tram machete - a 12-inch version is about the same length as a Skrama, with similar reach but less mass to carry.
    As a car trunk 'just in case' tool however, the Skrama is excellent. On a recent holiday outing to a friend's house on the Atlantic coast, I took it along in my baggage in the back of the car, and as the weather turned out to be friugid and humid a few days and there was a long-neglected fireplace and a stack of equally long forgotten old logs and sticks in the yard, but no decent useable axe (not one I would like to try anyway), I got out the Skrama and pounded it through a handful of two-inch thick extremely tough hardwood sticks to get to their dry interiors, make kindling and the like. And presto, we had a fire going in a house that was so humid that even the box of matches on the fireplace was too humid to use (um, a Bic lighter helps in such a situation). I was very happy to have it, was even able to leave the owners with a nicely prepared fireplace and a stack of split logs next to it, which they really appreciated.
    In such situations, as a basecamp or trunk tool, you don't need the nice leather sheath. Mine hangs in the workshop in a plastic blade protector (I got one extra for that) and I have a PALS/Molle sheath for when I want to carry it, with a strap diagonally across the shoulders, under my left armpit. I think it is far too unwieldy to consider carrying it dangling from the hip.
    Just a note on the comparison with an axe. I do not use a GB small forest axe for must of my splitting, I use a GB small SPLITTING axe, with the GB small forest axe to complement it for more details work. Obviously, as the splitting axe is already in a whole different league from the forest axe where splitting logs is concerned, the Skrama does not even enter the same universe. It does complement the axes once I get down to splitting 1/4 or 1/8 logs into kindling and the sticks are too thin to remain standing upright on the chopping block as a proper target for the axes. By then, you could also baton them with a good 5- to 6-inch knife like the Jääkkäri Puukko, but having the extra blade length of the Skrama is great to have.
    So: basecamp tool, yes, car trunk multifunctional blade, yes, yard tool, certainly, one-tool option hiking/backpacking blade, probably not, at least not for me. For the latter, I might carry the Jääkkäri Puukko 140, which is quite good at slicing through vines for some light trail clearing and can either hang on the hip or slip discreetly into a day pack.
    All the Varusteleka blades are great in their class, truly useful and if in stock, are worth getting. And so are their socks. Really. Get a few pairs of the Finnish M05 military merino socks along with your knife and make your feet happy. :)
     
    GREENJACKET likes this.
  17. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    I modified my Skrama again, sanding the central 'knob' in the handle down quite a bit, as it hurt my hand while chopping and during tasks that require a solid grip. When I choked up towards the blade, my middle finger always sat right on top of that knob. Once smoothed down somewhat, the handle became a lot more comfortable and the knife thus more useful (it still has some swell where the knob used to be, just not as abrupt). Note that this is actually an advantage of not having a full-width tang: you can adapt the handle more as you don't need to take away any steel.
    Packages from Finland keep coming this way. My Skrama is now completed by the 140 and 110 mm versions of the Puukko knife, both in carbon steel and both sheathed. They now sell the knives and the sheaths separately, and the combined price has gone up a little bit. Still ridiculously affordable for the quality, but the first signs of a future price hike are there. For the US readers here it is nice to know that the Finns are working to set up a shop in the US starting this summer.
     
    GREENJACKET likes this.
  18. theJman

    theJman

    310
    Sep 2, 2015
    Do you have a pic with the handle mod? I'm curious to see how it looks now.
     
  19. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    Voila, photo of the modified Skrama:
    [​IMG]Skrama_new_mod_strip01_800w by Frank Schweppe, on Flickr
    Lowest is the modded knife, with the central knob on the handle sweetened down to a gentle swell. The handle now has two bellies and you can slide your hand back and forth without being bothered by the knob. More difficult to see is that the grind is also modified. It is now convex. The secondary bevel has thus been made keener as the grind goes down fully convex to a zero edge. Much better for cutting flexible growth and the steel still stands up to a fair beating.
     
  20. schwep

    schwep

    80
    Jan 4, 2017
    And another mod, this time of a Jääkkäripuukko 110. Yeah, got that one too. I need a safety/rescue knife for hot-air ballooning (increasingly strict regulations have now made that mandatory and as a knife person I'm not going to try and cut thick kevlar or steel-reinforced ropes, safety belts or tree branches with some dinky little pocket knife). The JP110 seems like a good choice for that, but the tip is too agressive and dagger-like (even though it is quite thick). I rounded it off to a sort of little sheep's foot so I can slide it underneath a safety belt or harness, and otherwise use it in an emergency with little risk of stabbing a passenger by accident... I think it worked out pretty well. The edge remains sharp up to the downward curve from the spine so there is still a tip, sort of. It actually cuts quite well there. Also makes good countersunk holes for screws. ;-)
    [​IMG]Puukko110roundtip001_800w
     
    JasonJ likes this.

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