Sunday, February 24, 2013

Light My Fire Swedish Fireknife Review

Light My Fire Swedish Fireknife Review

I am often asked how big a survival knife should someone have and I generally attempt to steer people into the 3.5"-6" range. I can say from experience that those that recommend carrying a huge mega survival knife as their only knife have not spent significant time outside as "outdoorsman".  In reality, some of the top survivalist in the world recommend a relatively short 3.5”-4” knife. Many of these same top survivalist carry a Mora brand knife which is a simple and light knife with a blade size and shape similar to your average long kitchen paring knife. These folks know that it is not the big tree chopping tasks that get you to the next day of survival, but the little things that require some detail cutting that only a small light knife can perform.

Light My Fire is a well regarded outdoor product manufacturer who produces everything from a titanium spork to miniature tealight lanterns, but recently added a rather interesting survival knife to its line.  The Swedish Fireknife, by Light My Fire is a joint collaboration with the renowned knife manufacturer Mora mentioned above. Mora has been making knives for over 120 years and it well regarded as producing razor sharp knives which have stood the test of time.

The intent of the Swedish Fireknife was simply to combine the outstanding blade of a Mora knife in an affordable format which integrated Light My Fire's Swedish Scout Firesteel to provide an all around base for a survival kit.  The result is an extremely sharp and durable general purpose survival knife that can do everything from start fires to clean game all for under $30.

As would be expected in a bright safety orange knife street priced at $29.99, the intent of this knife was not to deliver a stunning looking knife, but one which could deliver the utility for not a lot of money. The result is that the sheath, handle and ferrocerium rod handle are all injection molded polypropylene.... not fancy but it works.  The majority of the expense was clearly dedicated to the flexible and durable blade made of Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel with a Scandinavian grind.

To improve grip on the Swedish Firesteel Knife they integrated a high friction TPE rubber handle. Tipping the handle is Light My Fire's Swedish Firesteel Scout  which keys and clicks into the end of the handle for safe keeping. I found this storage position perfect and did not have any issues with it interfering in any way or coming loose during my testing all while being simple to remove to light my test fires.  Per my previous review of the Light My Fire Scout firesteel, there were no surprises and the firesteel performed exactly like my Scout. Of note the Swedish Firesteel Scout available either separately or integrated into the knife will deliver approximately 3,000 strikes, works wet or dry at any altitude and produces a shower of 5400 degree sparks.

I always say that the sheath makes or breaks a great knife and this simple injection molded drop sheath is a timelessly functional design with a few updates.  The belt clip can be unclipped from the closed position so that you do not need to remove your belt to attach or remove the sheath. The knife securely locks into the sheath for right handed only carry and there is a drain hole and lanyard attachment at the tip of the sheath. 

The knife performed amazingly well, actually incredibly well, however I am sure Mora would not put their name on a junk knife. Having handled Mora knives, the higher end models do have improved blade geometry and better steel, however the blade and geometry of this blade did everything I asked it to do. With the polypropylene handle, I was able to get away with light battoning of the blade. This does not mean I put the beatdown on the knife, but I was able to use the extremely sharp blade to work my way through a 3" cottonwood which proved that the knife is easily capable of hard survival duty if required. This Mora designed blade sailed through my kitchen dinner prep test and the whole chicken breakdown test. It sounds simple, however breaking down a chicken will show the flaws quickly of a knife that cannot perform simple and delicate tasks and as you would expect the Mora cruised through the test.

Although a more durable full tang knife would be my preference, however sometimes simple is the best solution to a complex problem such as survival. In this case I almost feel compelled to buy a case of these and make up simple little survival kits for friends and family as they delivered everything you need in a survival knife. If you want to play Rambo or fight a zombie horde, this probably is not your knife, however if you are looking for a real survival knife the Light My Fire Swedish Fireknife is a solid option. 

For a street price of $29.99 the Swedish Firesteel Knife is a great deal for the quality of steel blade that comes on this knife, now considering it also includes an integrated $12 Swedish Firesteel, this is a screaming great deal for a simple survival knife that will deliver 95% of everything you could need in a survival situation.

Mora of Sweden blade of Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel.
Scandinavian grind.
Polypropylene sheath with clip.
High-friction, TPE rubber handle.
An original Swedish FireSteel® Scout, with approximately 3,000 strikes, twist locks into the handle for lighting campfires, gas stoves, and barbecues.
Swedish FireSteel firestarter works equally well when wet, performs at all altitudes, and produces a 3,000°C (5,400°F) spark.
Dimensions (in sheath): 8.7" x 1.8" x 1.2" (22 cm x 4.5 cm x 3 cm)
Knife Length: 8.5" (21.5 cm)
Blade Length: 3.75" (10 cm)
Weight (w/ sheath): 3.4 oz. (94 g)

Industrial Revolution - Light My Fire

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