American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bark River PSK

The knives I took with me this weekend varied a bit from the original plan so the Aurora didn't get any work. The PSK knife, however, did get some attention and I have to say I'm generally pleased with the knife.

This knife was conceived, designed, and commissioned by two members of the Knifeforums community a few months ago. Mike Stewart agreed to make 200 pieces of a very limited run but asked to keep the design as simple as possible. One choice of handle material and only one color--orange G10.

The actual cutting surface is approximately 2" long with the entire knife coming in at 5.25" overall. Including the slabs, the thickness is around 5/16" with the blade thickness closer to 1/8" of 12C27 Stainless. This is NOT a big knife.

Here is the PSK as loaded inside my modified NRA Survival Kit. The kit is an excellent value and, pre-modification, comes with a metal match, whistle, signal mirror, and tinder. To those I have added a lighter, jute twine, water purification tabs, a mini fishing kit (hooks, split shot, and line,) a sewing kit, snare wire, a small jigsaw blade, aluminum foil, duct tape, band-aids (plasters,) and the PSK knife.

The whole kit is protected by an NRA-badged Otterbox 2000 which provides waterproof and crushproof protection for the gear inside. While there is no hard proof to verify that this is, indeed, an Otterbox, I have compared the NRA case to an Otterbox 2000 and the components and construction are the same on both pieces. The hinge, the latches, the lanyard loop, and the shape of the two sides are all the same.

The knife is held in a three-finger grip and I've tied a small lanyard to the back to give my pinky something to grab. Setup this way, the knife handles much like the Mini Canadian with thinner scales and blade--kind of a Skinny Mini Canadian. I have yet to use the PSK knife for an extended period (hours) but it remained comfortable to handle throughout the duration of use both woodworking and food prep. I haven't really beaten on the knife yet as that seems, to me, outside the scope of the design. I did, however, use the knife to scrape up tinder, carve fuzz sticks, and split seasoned wood to prepare the fuel for a small fire. Then I used the PSK knife as a striker with the BlastMatch and easily generated enough sparks to get my fire going.

Scraping, batoning, and carving had no effect on the sharpness of the blade. A quick strop back and forth on a pant leg was all I needed before putting the knife back in the kydex sheath.

Overall, this is a very nice addition to my PSK. The 12C27 won't leave me wondering if my blade is rusting away, it gets and stays plenty sharp, and the whole knife fits easily into the Otterbox 2000 so it'll be there when I really need it. Blaze orange G10 makes it easy to find--in case I ever drop it in the woods.

Thanks for reading,


B

1 Comments:

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Stephen Renico said...

Nice review.

I just thought of something odd: I haven't been out in the woods sometime solely for pure enjoyment. Most of my recent times staying in the woods was in the Army. Having an orange handle on a knife so you could find it if you dropped it never occurred to me.

Not a bad idea. Though, for the time being, I think I'm still partial to finished hardwoods for my knife handles. :-)

 

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