Schrade Knives SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife (MSRP $66.66)
I held this knife for last with the Schrade knife giveaways. From the beginning it was my absolute favorite of the blades offered to us for review. In the end, fell for all 3 knives for different reasons. The SCHF9 truly is a beast of a blade and well suited for all kinds of bushcraft. The blade is just over 6 inches of very thick 1095 High Carbon steel. That’s the same steel used in Kabar knives and the reason I like to say Kabar quality at Kmart pricing. When I say thick, the blade is actually over 1/4” thick, closing in on 3/16”. The only blade I have seen personally that gave me that sense of indomitable heft was the Kabar Becker 3 tool. Both knives look like they can handle serious abuse and tough jobs like prying. The difference being the Becker is made with an angular blade that is sharpened on one side only. This means the SCHF9 would certainly be more capable as an all around knife at nearly 1/3 the price. The hefty thickness of the SCHF9 runs all the way to the tip losing some sharpness at the extremity but insuring you don’t have a break if you decide to take on an unadvised task. The 1095 itself is my personal favorite choice for large knives as it’s incredibly tough and will take and hold an edge as well as anything while not worrying me with the brittleness of a stainless steel blade’s aptitude to chipping. Yes, this means you should care for the blade and avoid corrosion with a touch of oil and TLC but that is a trade I will make every time. Schrade took most of the work out of that care regiment for you with a nice dull grey coating on the blade that will block corrosion for the foreseeable future. I will warn you that I did notice slight damage to that coating with testing, post batoning. This damage was minimal and will certainly not affect my opinion of the knife after all I asked of it. The handle scales are a circle textured hard rubberized grip with well thought out contouring. The grip narrows and then flares toward the bottom allowing you to have a good grip while holding less of the handle for chopping and similar tasks. Another nice touch is the finger groove in the base of the blade. This in combination with the moderate jimping at the top of the tang near the front of the grip, gives nice control for smaller more delicate tasks. The whole thing weighs in at about a pound and just over 12 inches long with a nylon sheath and removable accessory pouch. If I was asked to upgrade this knife I would use some aspects of the SCHF10 design but retain much of what makes the SCHF9 great. I may add the coating, micarta handles and extra jimping found on the SCHF10, but I would retain the blade size, shape, thickness and certainly material as is. There is a reason this knife has been called the best budget survival knife on the market. You can buy yours on Amazon right now for $40.