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Timberline Spec War

Oct 2, 1999
Can anyone tell me about the Spec War? I seen one for sale, (brand new with original sheath), for $119.00. Is this a good deal?

Thank You.
I think you would be better served by purchasing an Ontario or Fallkniven fixed-blade of about the same size AND a small prybar. This would save money and you would have an excellent tool for cutting an for prying, rather than a poor tool for either task.

The spec war at that price is a good deal. It is as mentioned by corduroy a limited use knife. It's a combat knife (or sharpened prybar) but it comes with an awesome sheath and if your looking for something along those lines it's a nice piece. I bought one for a friend of mine and it did 39 months in Bosnia and he says it's a great knife.

~ JerryO ~
Well... they look cool... and they are sorta okay for chopping (massive blade) but dont expect to slice anything soon.....
I wouldn't get one even though I bet that it is well made. An SRK with kydex sheath probably does everything that that knife can do, and at almost 1/3 the price.
The knife is interesting but the sheath is too clumsy for my taste, but you can always get a new kydex sheathmade for it.
Best regards

Ivan Campos
Ok, I will admit that I purchased a Timberline SpecWar in plain blade.
I got it for about the same price (may be less from a BF member - he didn't use it either). The sheath and straps looks neat, but they are way to big and bulky for most functional purposes. I cut a few simple things with it and sold it to another BF member.

I would have to say that if you want a knife for a lot of bang for the $, the Fallkniven, Greco, or CS SRK are solid knives for hard use.

Just my two cents. I am not a tanto fan anyway....LOL.

Ray 'md2020'
At $119 it's a very good deal. I don't know why this knife gets all the bad rap from all the "experts" (while way over priced knives, like the Emerson Commander--not any better construction quality than a Benchmade--get all kinds of praise). It is probably the stoutest knife you can buy. You would really have to work hard to destroy it. And the big surprise is that it actually does what a knife is supposed to do--cut! Chisel grind knives are also easy to sharpen. The shealth is also excellent. For a "survival" knife, the SpecWar is an excellent choice.

Get one

Used ot have one. When I first got it, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Excellent indexing for a blade that size with a saber grip. Choking up on the blade and wrapping the first finger on the in the choil (groove) gave the blade a perfect balance, making it nearly "invisible" in my hand. Drawing the blade from its slightly exotic sheath was both quick and silent.

Let's see. What did I do to it? I probably shouldn't say this in front of other knife knuts because it involves dismemberment and grotesque contortions. But, if you can stand a ghastly tale and not hunt me down for heresy, I will continue.

For starters, the whole rig was too big for me. The sheath was designed for a lactical low ride on your thigh. Excellent concept if you're SWAT serving high-risk warrants. But not for me. For starters, the rig was too big. Having the handle snap enclosure on the knife limited my leg movement. I didn't like it at all. So I got rid of it.

But at the same time, it also meant that an opponent had as much quick and easy access to my knife as I did. Perhaps the best thing I ever did with that knife was to wrap a cord over the lower guard and tied it down to two punched holes in the kydex. This meant that nobody can just yank the knife out off of me. But at the same time, it was nearly effortless for me to slip the cord off to the side with my first finger as I draw the knife. And it was just about as fast as it was to draw the knife without the cord there.

The only catch now was that the knife had a wide range of angles, and it was slightly tricky with the muscle memory. In other words, draw the knife standing up was a little different from drawing the knife sitting down. But my leg was free!

But I'd be fooling myself if I thought I could walk around with that thing down at the local grocery store. So I tinkered with it some more. At this period of time, I was wearing a light jacket. I also did a few crazy things with that jacket, but that's another story. So, I decided that to experiment with a shoulder holster. Another thing I didn't exactly like about the sheath was that the blade was held in place by a "button" formed in the kydex. Press this so-called "button" while drawing will produce the desired silent draw. However, just yanking the knife will give you a speedier draw, but was a bit louder. Ingenious, except that, over time, the button was slowly being sliced away from the blade's edge. Pretty soon, it didn't hold the knife as well as I wanted it to. I could just up and down and eventually it would fall out.

This is important because, again, for the shoulder holster idea, it meant called for the blade to be hung upside down in my armpit. Luckily, with the cord in place, I never lost my knife! AND, in shoulder holster mode, it was still just about as quick to draw as it would have been without the cord. The shoulder rig itself consisted of a length of tubular nylon webbing, I think 1" in width, wrapped and sewn in a figure 8. On one end, it was looped and attached to the knife. At this point, I didn't need the upper section of the original sheath. The sheath consisted of two parts, an upper and a lower. The upper was only a webbing strung around a 1" plastic buckle. The webbing was sewn as a loop so that you can slide your belt through. Make sense? The lower section consisted of everything else. In the event of an emergency, one can depress the large buckle behind the knife handle and the two smaller buckle that wrapped around your leg to quickly ditch the knife. Again, I could have used it as part of the holster configuration, but after some testing, I realized it was redundant. In fact, not only was it redundant, but the extra space being under my arm gave it more space for the knife and the buckle to slam together and make excessive noise. So, I took out the entire buckle.. and the leg straps.

While it worked, it was also somewhat uncomfortable, partly because the amateurish job I did on the shoulder straps, which made it somewhat uncomfortable, and part because of the weight of the knife with nothing on the other side to counter that weight. Besides, it was a seasonal rig, and as the weather begin to warm up, I had to find better ways of carrying the knife.

Then came the idea of turning the knife into a pocket sheath. I stripped yet even more off, except the bare necessity. Around this time, I also begin to shear off the extra layer of nylon that wrapped all over the sheath. It was superfluous now that I've removed the buckle. The pocket concept was straight-forward. Put it in the pocket. Drill two small holes inside the pants pocket. Run another small cord through the punched holes near the bottom of the sheath, run it through the holes in my pants front pocket, and tie it around my leg. Naturally, a good portion of the handle stuck out. But it wasn't a problem when I draped an untucked shirt over it.

In fact, I showed up to a friend's house wearing this rig once and asked him if he could find a knife I was concealing on me through casual observation. He couldn't. So the rigged worked, but not too well. If I started moving too fast, the handle will swing enough to print through my shirt. The rig was cumbersome to put on and take off. But worst of all, the the sheath was hurting my leg, especially when I have to sit down. I'm not sure how to explain this except that it hurt me bad enough that I did perhaps what may be the sickest thing I've ever done with a knife (sheath).

It took months, but I finally got around and decided to take a hack saw and lop off the bottom portions of the sheath into a V-shape. The operation took over an hour of careful scrutiny and sawing. But when it was done, the pain had dramatically reduced. Unfortunately, even with the messy Frankstein-ian operation, it still hurt a little too much to be comfortable and the problem with the handle printing remained.

By now, I decided that nothing more could be done with this sheath. And even if I could somehow produce that magical conceal carry rig, I would still not be able to legally carry it. (Note: I never carried it out in public conceal.) So, I did the final thing that I could do. I sold it to a friend and took the loss. Since I butchered it, it wasn't much was a collector's item. Actually, I got quite a bit out of it considering that the only thing that resembled the original Spec War was the knife itself.

But hopefully, you can see that I cared about that knife and held on to it as long as I could have. But that knife and I didn't see eye to eye and we had to go our separate ways.