When I opened the box from One Source Tactical, my Sweetie immediately and without any prompting whatever, "Now THAT is a knife!" With apologies to Crocodile Dundee, it's the VIKING SURVIVAL KNIFE from Suarez International...OL length of 14.5; 8.5 inches of blade; 1075 carbon steel, a very aggressively textured polymer grip slabs, lanyard hole, kydex sheath with numerous options for tie-downs and straps as well as an attached TEK-LOK for the belt.
Gabe says the knife owes much of its design to the classic Finnish puukko design...you're probably familiar with this design if you're a fan of the S.M. Stirling science fiction book series "Dies The Fire" or you've been watching a lot of episodes of The Vikings:
Some time ago I received a Finnish Puuko Bayonet from a very good friend that had recently visited with our contacts in Finland. The blade looks more like a kitchen knife than something that goes on the end of a rifle. But it is very utilitarian.
At the same time, we were watching the final shows in the History Channel's The Vikings. One of Lothbrock's guys had a knife that was like the Puuko Bayonet, but slightly larger. Immediately I thought that such a knife could do everything...and of course, we had to build one. So in the tradition of our various Scandinavian brothers, we have the Viking Survival Knife. I know the Finns were not Vikings, but Scandinavian Survival Knife is a mouthful.
Unfortunately, I don't have nearly the knife lingo of Michael Janich, and I realize from reading back issues of Blade and Tactical Knives that in order to test a knife I should head into the bleak wilderness surrounding the new Secret Hidden Bunker and clear at least an acre of brush with the VSK, hack down a 12-inch tree, roll up some leftover carpet and hack through it with a single stroke and, I don't know, maybe behead a crocodile or something.
So, it being Thanksgiving and I can't face clearing brush before I cook — not to mention the obvious absence of crocodiles — can I just say that I like this knife?
It feels "alive" in my hand, an obvious combination of relatively light weight and a perfect balance point. I like the grip texture. As a knife guy I have a bunch of long, sharp things lying around the Bunker...one of my favorites has always been an old Ocean Edge dive knife (long discontinued) because the grip never slips, it holds its edge well and it's got a big honkin' metal knob on the butt for hammering stuff. I hammered on a lot more stuff than I ever cut or stabbed! The VSK looks like you could use it to pound apart a train.
In truth, I like knives that tread the line between great big Bowies and the plain old machete (Southern Grind's Granddaddy and TOPS Condor Alert also come to mind). I can't even remember the number of machetes I've owned over the years, and they've done yeoman's work...whenever I used to get a magazine assignment in Mexico or Central America, my first stop upon arriving in country was to find the nearest "feed store," where I could buy a peasant shirt, a cheap machete and canvas sheath and a sharpening stone, since every machete I bought "down there" was as dull as dirt. Not a 1911, but better than harsh language (in dive towns, I've always purchased a cheap dive knife at the local scuba store, cause they had a good idea of what was and was not legal; that'll also work with ice axes in areas climbers frequent...if you had to choose one "improvised" weapon, you could do a lot worst than an ice axe).
But I digress.
The VSK looks like a great workhorse blade, and it has become my favorite "dog walk" knife. Clip it on my off side...walk Alf the Wonder Beagle! I also like the price, $149.99 (same as the Southern Grind blade). Too many of the so-called "surveil" knifes are more like "investment" blades...sort of like learning to throw knives with a vintage Randall #1.
BTW, before you ask the funny green condom on my carry Sig P938 is a TUFF1 gun grip cover...I love these things! I got a nice note from Scott Hopkins, who heads up TUFF1, and he included a couple of the gun grips in the package. I cut a piece of one to fit the STI LS9 I used in the IDPA Back-Up Gun Nationals and I was very impressed with how well it did exactly what Scott said it did...really, really gripped. I added one to the 938, and I'll be adding a TUFF1 to my other carry guns (as well as my 3-Gun AR and mags).
I love inexpensive products that perform perfectly...I like them a lot! Thank you, Scott.