Old Hickory - update

Earlier this year I tried to trial the OLD HICKORY butcher knife which, mostly thanks to Dave Canterbury and his fans, was receiving a lot of attention.

As you will probably know I was disappointed as the scales fell off ............... but unperturbed I epoxied the scales back on and decided to give it a second chance.

The knife itself is a weigh and size I like - I know its a butcher knife NOT a bushcraft knife but what is a bushcraft knife? My thoughts, and again these are similar to the DC camp, is that back in the day mountain men and back woodsmen would have taken such tools with them into the wilderness - indeed George Laycock and David Montgomery among others also support this line of thought.

So would it have been kept exclusively for butchery or would it have been employed for general duties?

Hard to say - but personally I think anyone who had a knife with them would, regardless of its type, use it for whatever tasks they needed it for. Even if we consider the trinity of tool, knife - saw - axe, we would still need use the knife for many varied tasks.

So I decided to give it a go - test it against a Mora no1 and a Opinel no8 in a small carving contest.


Overall I was very pleased with the end result, the knife batoned well and the scales remained on this time! Carving with the single bevel (I had to sharpen the knife straight from new to get a decent edge) was ok and as before

 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZIuSAOrf9Y&list=UUTid1QaZEjj3AJU6xYQcIUQ)

Feather sticks etc were fine.

In the end my thoughts are thus - I will continue to carry the Old Hickory Butcher knife but married up with my trusty old Mora No1 - indeed I am pondering making a piggy back sheath for the pair. The versatility offered by these two tools is excellent, the price likewise very good - you do need to invest a little time on the edge and epoxying the scales on, a sheath is needed too - but you get a lot of knife for your buck!!


Anonymous said...

Seems like that Old Hickory and Mora will make a very versatile combo! Thanks for showing.


Lance Culp said...

You mention Dave Canterbury, who I think is a fantastic guy. But I'm a bit surprised that DC is so high on the knife for bushcraft use.I love the Old Hickory knife. I have one in my kitchen, and it is great there kitchen use. But it wouldn't be high on the list of knives that I would take into the bush. First of all, it doesn't come with a sheath. Dave is selling a sheath for it that costs far more than the knife. Sure, I could make a sheath, but there are other points to consider: the blade is extremely thin and I have to wonder how much batoning it would hold up to. And understand the folks in Dave's camp are adamant about the need for a knife to hold up to batoning. That's why they say that a Mora, which has a partial rat tail tang, is only really qualified to be a "back up" knife. Some now carry knives that can best be described as pry bars with edges. Such knives' only claim to fame is that they will do a half decent job of splitting wood. Such knives are mediocre, at best, for other jobs around camp. The Old Hickory is not optimal for batoning. Although the Old Hickory knife in question is full tang, I don't think it would hold up better than a Mora for batoning.Yes, the Mora and the Old Hickory could be paired as a combo, but I would be more inclined to make a combo of a Mora and a folding saw.Finally, the blade is longer than I like, although there are uses for a long blade. In sum, the Old Hickory butcher knife would be a compromise as a bushcraft knife.

Survivall said...

Hi Lance - well put Sir! I agree with you.

Part of the idea of the butcher knife is to carry it for said task as much as bushcrafting.

All that and the review said, personally for proper bushcraft (ie trips longer than a weekend) I WILL still be packing my axe, saw and Mora ......... but for overnighters and specific trips a butcher knife or even a good sized camp knife will still be coming along.

Lastly - the mora bushcraft pathfinder looks like being the knife to replace the OH giving the outdoorsman the option of a decent sized Mora to bridge the gap between a 4" blade and the chopping power of an axe (I hope)