Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cold Steel Canadian Belt Knife Review

Sharpening Although mine came shaving sharp out of the box you could see some scratches and uneaveness along the edge. I had a go at improving it as at circa £10 I could afford to make a mistake with it. I used some pretty worn wet and dry to start and smoothd out both the edge and the join between the 2 grinds. After that I've just stropped it on Dremmel polishing paste on a sheet of cardboard and it keeps getting sharper

Soft Wood For carving soft wood (pine) it is beautiful and I find it more controllable than my Mora. Despite the curved edge you can still plane pine flat quite easily. I also find it better for making fuzz sticks than the mora due to the curved blade.

Hard Wood On (dry) hard wood it isn't quite as spectacular but still does an admirable job. The thumb grooves can feel a little aggressive at times if you have to use your thumb all the while. The handle is also less comfortable for gripping with a "fist" grip without the thumb in the back than the Mora.

Grind The grind is in theory slightly hollow (concave?) but as you start to sharpen it the transitions smooth out and it begins to be very close to flat.

Handling The handle material is pretty tough and comfortable and although it has picked up a couple of scuffs. Overall the low cost of this knife has encouraged me to play with it a lot more and as much as I hate to admit it it's thin blade and light weight make it closer to a Nessmuk than my custom which cost 6 times the price.
I have done some battoning with it but only through pine so far. It has excelled at that and the curved edge should make it very efficient for this use.

Sheath The sheath is perfectly functional and holds the knife securely. It also holds a Frosts Mora when you mix the pair up as you're playing with them both! To be fair this nylon sheath is better than what you'd get to this price in leather.

Judgement In conclusion it is a great knife and my favourite - it outdoes my SAK because you can use it harder. It is better than my custom Nessmuk as it is closer to his original specification. It is more comfotable and holds a better edge than my Bark River PSK. Most controversial of all I think it is a better budget knife than the red wood handled (No.1) Mora.

Further reviews (by BCUK member Wortbag) can be found here.