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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Muskrat Suregrip > Owner Review by Joshua Goodin

KNIVES OF ALASKA MUSKRAT - SUREGRIP KNIFE
BY JOSHUA GOODIN
OWNER REVIEW
March 21, 2007

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Joshua Goodin
EMAIL: Goodkolo@yahoo.com
AGE: 25
LOCATION: Southaven, Mississippi, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I have been hiking and backpacking since I was 15, in locations from as far east as South Carolina and as far west as California. A lot of my experience came during a three year stint in the Army. I would classify myself as a mid-weight hiker. I believe there are some "luxuries" worth taking, but I keep my weight down on as many things as possible. I will average 75 to 100 miles (121 - 161 km) a year. I usually set a leisurely pace of between 1 - 3 mph (1.61 - 4.83 kph), because I like to really enjoy my surroundings.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Knives of Alaska
Model: Muskrat
Handle: Suregrip
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.knivesofalaska.com/
MSRP: US $59.97
Listed Weight: not listed on website
Measured Weight: 6.4 oz (181 g)
Advertised overall length: 6 1/2 in (165 mm)
Advertised blade length: 2 1/4 in (57 mm)
Advertised blade thickness: 1/8 in (12.2 mm)
Steel grade : D-2
IMAGE 1

Product Description:
The edge of the knife extends completely around the semicircular top, and along the back of the blade for one additional inch (25.4 mm), which gives a total cutting area of 3 1/8" (88 mm), but it keeps the blade length down to 2 1/4" (57 mm). This allows for cutting in either direction with the knife. The blade is smooth edged, with a bead blast finish with a manufacturer's seal on the blade. It has a full tang, and a lanyard hole in the end. This version of the knife has a black rubberized "suregrip" handle. The thin 1/8 in (12.2 mm) thick blade is D-2 tool steel and holds a very sharp edge. The knife came with an oiled brown leather sheath with a 1/2" (24.5 mm) leather wrap around handle holder that snaps closed. The sheath has a belt loop at the top and a company logo stamped on the front. There are four handle options for the muskrat a "suregrip", a "desert ironwood", a "presentation desert ironwood", and a "stag", ranging in price from US $59.97 to $169.97.

FIELD USE

I use this knife exclusively for backpacking and hunting, I've used it for a couple of years now. The first thing that I noticed is that it comes straight out of the box unbelievably sharp. During the time I have used it I have not had to sharpen it even once, although it is getting to the point now where it will just barely shave hair. The back of the blade has a textured thumb rest for more precise handling. The Suregrip handle has lived up to its name thus far, it has yet to slip in my hands, even when wet. I chose this style handle for that exact reason. The reason I chose a rounded point knife is because it minimizes weight while maximizing blade area. It can also double as a perfect skinner while hunting. The sheath is an oiled leather which looks great and holds the knife, it even has a secondary wrap-around button handle holder, however, even with this, if the sheath is turned upside down the knife will not stay in.

I began using this knife in the field about two years ago. I have used this knife in the Ozarks for common trail activities like opening packages of food and cutting rope. I used it in Mississippi and Tennessee woodlands to skin deer and squirrel, a task which it accomplished beautifully. On Pinnacle Mountain in Arkansas I had to use the knife to cut a replacement walking stick after a fall off a small boulder bent one of my trek poles. I have used the knife during all four seasons with temperature variations from 25 - 90 F (-3.88 - 32.22 C), and in altitudes from sea level to 3000+ ft (914+ m). In every condition I have put it through it has met or exceeded my expectations.

SUMMARY

I have used the knife to cut everything you could imagine cutting on the trail and in the woods; rope, plastic, cardboard, tape, skin, bone, and so forth, and so far I have no complaints about the functionality of the knife. The pros of this knife are that steel seems is of good quality, the edge has held through countless uses, the grip and thumb rest are exceptionally functional, and the weight and size are perfect for my uses. My negatives about this knife are harder to come up with. Primarily my complaints have to do with the sheath and its inability to hold the knife inside, even though it has an extra handle holder. Also I was a little disappointed with the button on the handle wrap part of the sheath, it seems to be oversized, and of a comparable quality to any button you might find in a craft store.

So, in summary the knife is practically perfect, the sheath is not. Good steel, great edge, great grip, and very functional, but the holding method leaves something to be desired.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Muskrat Suregrip > Owner Review by Joshua Goodin



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