Schrade Knives SCHF28 (Available 2015) – @
Schrade sent a package of 2015 models to me a short time ago giving us the chance to offer some pretty exclusive ‘Win Before You Can Buy’ opportunities to our readers. I am used to opening up the packages from Schrade and finding impressive contents, heck you might think I am desensitized to it. When I opened the box for the SCHF28 I let the expletives fly from surprise. This knife is 14.5 inches of pure intimidation. The blade itself is about 7.5 inches of titanium coated 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel with both convex and concave curvature.
Out of the box, this behemoth is easily shaving sharp and relatively light for it’s size, I’d almost call it nimble. The grip appears large with shallow finger grooves and tread-like texture. Its surprisingly comfortable for it’s size. The large finger guard with hole and choil provides an added control to the blade for choking up and working on more precise tasks.
While the steel used is high carbon stainless and relatively well suited for bushcraft I would say this offering is made more for beauty, intimidation and hacking of just about any type. The SCHF28 will do fine as a short machete and exceeds in chopping due to design and the titanium coating. The coating actually keeps blade well protected even under heavy use. It’s important to stress the surprising resilience of the titanium, I have discussed in many reviews the horrible acidity of my skin and sweat. This same coating is used on the SCHF22 which I wore for months as a neck knife with no damage from my skin. This is the only metal coating that has ever stood up to long term exposure to my skin. Below you can see the blade after it was used to chop down a small tree, it’s practically untouched.
The two areas I would expect the SCHF28 to fail would be batoning and prying. The blade’s width may lend a bit of extra strength in a case where prying is needed, but overall I would not recommend prying with any large blade made of stainless steel (even though the blade is 1/4 inch thick). Stainless is by nature more brittle than non stainless high carbon steel. This is the trade we make for the extra corrosion resistance stainless brings. As for the batoning, I would expect the false edge along the spine would eat right through any baton you may be using to split your wood.
The thermoplastic belt sheath has grommet holes and slots that provide multiple carry position options and more. Due to the width of the blade and the convenient slots I thought it a good idea to add a wrap of 550 cord that provided a little something extra and a leg tie down when it’s wanted. As with any knife with complex curvature it will be necessary to use specific sharpening sets to keep a proper edge so keep in mind you may want a clamp set or ceramic rods such as the sets sold by spiderco for your maintenance.
In the end, the SCHF28 is a big win for Schrade. It’s a real beauty with instant attraction and serious attitude. As a matter of fact my father has always wanted a large scale ‘Bowie’ knife. I expected something of a more traditional or western style to peek his interest. As soon as he saw this blade he demanded to know where he could buy it. So it looks like the SCHF28 has one more fan and I have some of the Xmas shopping decided on already.