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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Hultafors Expedition Knife > Test Report by Suzi Gibson

Hultafors Expedition Knife - Suzi Gibson - Backpackgeartest.org
Test Series by Suzi Gibson
Initial Report - 7 March 2017
Field Report - 14 June 2017
Long Term Report - 24 August 2017

Tester Information:

Name: Suzi Gibson
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Height: 5'6" (1.7 m)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Email address: suzi.gibson at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Prince Frederick, MD, USA


Backpacking Background:

I've gone on many family camping trips to various places along the east coast of the US since I was a child. The backpacking bug was always there, whispering in my ear until finally in my early twenties it bit me! I've since done several backpacking trips in Florida, Washington, Virginia, and North Carolina. Currently, I'm working on exploring all the day hiking trails in Southern Maryland with the goal of resuming backpacking trips this summer with the kids.


Product Information:

Manufacturer: Hultafors (Sweden), Made in Taiwan
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: https://www.sport-hansa.com/
MSRP: US $32
Listed Weight: 4.2 oz (120 g)
Measured Weight: 3.8 oz (108 g) Knife Alone, 5.2 oz (147 g) Knife with Sheath
Blade Length: 3.6 in (93 mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.12 in (3.0 mm)
Handle Length: 4.52 in (115 mm)


Initial Report


Product Description & Initial Impressions: Hultafors Expedition Knife

I'm going to preface my Initial Report by disclosing that, while I'm not a subject matter expert, I have been carrying and using knives for many years. The Expedition knife is a new model for the US. This Nordic, fixed blade knife is much akin to the traditional bushcraft style knives. It's simple, yet very functional. The Japanese carbon knife steel blade measures 3.6 inches (93 mm) with a full knife length of 8.12 inches (20.6 cm). The blade has a scandi grind for superior sharpness and sharpening ease. The blade has also been treated with an electrophoretic deposition coating (EPD) to better protect the steel from oxidation/rusting. It has been sharpened to be of uniform sharpness along the entire blade length. Also included, is an etched scale up to two inches (5 cm) that has both metric and imperial markings. The spline itself really intrigues me. It has been ground to be utilized for batoning, as well as with a firestarter! The knife tang, while not a full tang, is 3.2 inches (8.1 cm) and should hold up well.

The 4.5 in (115 mm), contoured handle is made from polypropylene (PP) plastic with a ribbed Santoprene grip. The grip fits nicely in my hand and gives the impression that it'll stay securely in my hand even in adverse conditions. This should prove valuable if I am to use the knife to spline kindling in a wet environment.

The molded thermoplastic sheath is primarily a vertical, friction mount. The 3" (7.62 mm) textile belt loop can also be modified to snap onto garments or gear. There is also a loop on the sheath solely for storing a ferro rod. The sheath also has a thumb tab to assist in unsheathing the knife. Unsheathing the knife does require a bit of force, as it should to prevent little hands from accidentally accessing it.


Summary:

Hultafors Expedition KnifeThis knife is supposed to be a functional, quality knife, at a budget price. While not glamorous, I have the impression that this knife will be able accomplish those goals. I am impressed at the knife's sharpness straight out of the box. I had no problem slicing through a piece of paper. I like how it attaches to my belt and how it sits on my side. The thumb tab is a feature that I really like right now. I find it useful for unsheathing the knife. Given how wet Maryland Springs' are, I believe the Santoprene grip will prove to be very valuable. I look forward to seeing how the EPD coating holds up to use including sharpening and if sharpening exposes the knife to oxidation. Overall, I can't wait to utilize this knife during testing!


Field Report 14 June 2017


Field Locations and Conditions Hultafors Expedition Knife

Over the past three months, the Hultafors Expedition Knife was gone on several hikes with me around Southern Maryland. Trails hiked include Calvert Cliffs State Park, Biscoe Gray Heritage Park and a series of private held trails. Elevations traveled ranged from sea level to 169 ft (51 m). Temperatures ranged from approximately 32 F (0 C), to 65 F (18 C) and sunny. In addition to my day hikes, I have also used the knife in various activities around the farm since, if I had purchased such a knife, I would be sure to utilize it as much as possible in both hiking and work situations.

Field Performance

The knife has performed well during the initial testing phase. During my day hikes, I have used the knife to knock down smaller width (1 inch, 2 cm) branches and to fashion makeshift hiking sticks for the kids with great ease. My palms were sweaty on a couple occasions, but the Santoprene grip really helped keep the knife steady in my hands. The lightweight nature and slenderness of the sheathed knife make it almost non-existent while being worn on my belt. I've also found the thumb tab to be very useful when unsheathing the knife. The electrophoretic deposition coating (EPD) has held up well so far with minimal wear occurring primarily on the spine where I was striking the ferro rod. With regards to the fire-starting capabilities, I can say that, while my personal fire starting skills need work, the knife and ferro rod (acquired separately) did what they were supposed to do. My only grievance is that the elastic loop does not securely hold my ferro rod and it also leaves the ferro kit striker dangling. For this reason, I have decided to stow them (ferro rod and striker) in my pack on future outings.

Hultafors Expedition KnifeI've also put the knife to work around the farm since, as I started previously, this is what I would be doing had this been purchased. The knife slices through fertilizer and media bags with great ease! I used it to clear small (1 inch, 2 cm) branches and underbrush in a new chicken yard that was tucked into the woods. It made quick work of nylon pallet straps as well as unboxing shipments. It was so useful; it caught the attention of one of the dogs that also decided to try it out. Despite their brief test, the knife is thankfully, still in great order and their teeth marks have not rendered the grip or the sheath unusable. The blade has remained very sharp and has yet to require sharpening.

Summary

Overall, I am really impressed with this little knife! One aspect I really admire is the Santoprene grip! I really like how well the grip keeps the knife comfortably in my hand. When comparing the knife sharpness to my “go to” knife, this has yet to require sharpening compared to my standard knife, which would have required sharpening at least once by now give the tasks tested with so far. Given the previously mentioned concerns with the ferro rod holder, I have decided to leave the ferro rod stowed in my pack on future trips in order to not loose it. I'm really looking forward to continuing to put this knife through its paces during the long term testing phase.

Likes:

  • Lightweight and Balanced
  • Durable
  • Rugged Sheath
  • Sharpness
  • Santoprene Grip

Dislikes:

  • Elastic loop for ferro stick doesn't fit smaller sticks snugly enough


Long Term Report 24 August 2017


Field Locations and Conditions

Hultafors Expedition KnifeDuring the final testing phase, I packed the Hultafors Expedition knife along for an additional two day hikes. All together, all but one of my day hikes were located in Maryland. The only hike not there was in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Trails hiked include Calvert Cliffs State Park, Biscoe Gray Heritage Park, American Chestnut Land Trust, Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, and private held trails. Elevations traveled ranged from sea level to about 500 ft (152 m). Temperatures ranged from approximately 32 F (0 C), to 90 F (32 C). Weather conditions ranged from sunny to rain.

Field Performance

The knife has continued to perform well during this testing phase. I have continued to use it to make hiking sticks for the kids and knock down branches for kindling. Maryland summers are notorious for being humid which, can make for some sweaty palms. The Santoprene grip has continued to keep the knife steady in my sweaty hands. I did switch the knife's location to my pack since my summer attire doesn't allow me to wear a belt. The knife fit nicely on my daypack and was easily accessible but I did end up packing my ferro rods inside my pack since they would not fit securely into the holder on the sheath. The friction mounted sheath has maintained its integrity and kept the knife secure. The electrophoretic deposition coating (EPD) has held up well during testing with the bulk of the wear on the spine where I was striking the ferro rod, and on the blade edge. The blade has remained sharp throughout testing. I've continued to put the knife to work around the farm, opening media and fertilizer bags, and various other farm activities.

Summary

Overall, I am still impressed with this knife. It's budget friendly and handles the basic tasks with ease and durability. It has handled both day hikes and farm use (and some dog abuse) well. I've been very pleased that the knife has stayed sharp through the testing phase. I'm still impressed with the Santoprene grip and its ability to stay secured in my sweaty hands.

Likes:

  • Lightweight and Balanced
  • Durable
  • Rugged Sheath
  • Sharpness
  • Santoprene Grip

Dislikes:

  • Elastic loop for ferro stick doesn't fit smaller sticks snugly enough


This concludes my Field Report for the Hultafors Expedition Knife. Thanks again to Hultafors and BackPackGearTest.org for granting me the opportunity to test the Hultafors Expedition Knife.



Read more reviews of Hultafors Group AB gear
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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Hultafors Expedition Knife > Test Report by Suzi Gibson



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