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Fallkniven S1L “Forest Knife” Review

By Bill Bernhardt

Fallkniven is a true family-run firm with roots deep in the soil of Norrbotten, Sweden. In fact, the family consists of numerous generations of dedicated hunters and fishermen who have learned from personal experience how a knife should perform in the field. Although the firm first opened its doors in 1984, they began to develop their own designs in 1987 and today, Fallkniven is acknowledged as one of Sweden’s foremost knife specialists! In fact, they are the official purveyor of knives to His Majesty the King of Sweden!

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Consequently, the designers at Fallkniven have gained considerable experience over the years through close contact with and feedback from both manufactures and customers and thus, they have employ this knowledge to make the World’s leading, specialized, knife. Plus, to ensure the quality of their knives, Fallkniven’s designers test their knives for durability and reliability at the Lulea University of Technology in Sweden and this excessive torture testing gives them the confidence to say that: “Fallkniven produces the strongest, serial manufactured, stainless steel knives in the world”.

However, upon viewing their web site, you may ask yourself why you would want to purchase such an expensive knife as a Fallkniven S1 L Forrest Knife for such a rugged and demanding purpose as camp use or outdoor survival?

Well, the answer to that is in addition to excellent design, craftsmanship, and choice of materials, when you purchase a Fallkniven knife, you get reliability and durability. In fact, when you find yourself in the position where your life depends on a well designed, truly reliable, fixed-blade knife, what seemed expensive when you purchased it will instead seem cheap when you desperately need it. In fact, in that situation, your knife will very quickly become your best friend! Thus, instead of thinking of the Fallkniven S1 L as an expensive outdoor accessory, think of it instead as a inexpensive insurance policy that just may save your life one day.

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The Fallkniven S1L Forest Knife has an overall length of 9 3/4” and features a 5 1/8” Clip Point blade made from 1/4”, laminated, VG-10, stainless steel hardened to 59 Rockwell finished with a mirror polish. Also, the handle features full-tang construction with a Thermorun grip and a protruding pommel and the knife is supplied with a black leather sheath.

Those of you who have already read my reviews of other Fallkniven knives on this web site are already aware of my passion for this brand and their laminated VG-10 stainless steel. However, what really attracts me the most about these knives is their reliability and durability. You see, when I am in the field, I absolutely depend on my knife to provide me with a wide range of services including, but not limited to, slicing, cutting, carving, light chopping, puncturing, splitting, striking, digging, and probably several others I can’t think of at the moment. Consequently, as an outdoor professional, I absolutely must have a knife that will hold and edge forever and will not break under the most extreme duress and that is why I am so enamored of Fallkniven knives.

Plus, whenever I look at a Fallkniven knife, it just seems like they have managed to do everything right which is no less than amazing and this is certainly true with the S1L Forest Knife. With an overall length of 9 3/4″ and a blade length of 5 1/8″ made from 1/4″, laminated, VG10 stainless steel hardened to a Rockwell hardness of 59, this knife is certainly large and sturdily-built.

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However, in my opinion, although it is excellently shaped, the blade is just a bit too short to serve well as light chopping tool and thus, I feel like it would be better paired with a larger, dedicated, heavy chopping tool such as a Fallkniven NL1L Thor Bowie.

On the other hand, the shorter blade does make it far handier as a hunting knife since the 5 1/8” blade is just long enough to handle large game such as Elk and Bear and yet it remains highly controllable for fine work such as small game or capeing.

Also, the  is my absolute favorite shape on both a hunting knife and a survival knife because the clip lowers the tip of the blade; thus bringing it closer to the centerline of the blade for greater control. In addition, it can also easily be used as a leather or fabric punch or for drilling holes in wood or bone.

Plus, the designers of this knife also included a very small, but also very important (in my opinion), feature into the blade of this knife in the forclip point blade shapem of a miniscule ricasso which, more than anything else, convinces me that their claims of actually using their knives in the field are indeed true. While this small feature is often overlooked by other knife manufacturers, it provides the user with that extra little bit of leverage when carving with the back of the edge that is so useful sometimes.

Furthermore, the choice of the hard, yet tough, VG 10 laminated stainless steel is a thoughtful, no compromise, design feature that Fallkniven has staked their reputation on.

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Although this steel is considerably more expensive than most other knife steels, many users fee like the extra expense is well worthwhile because the hard center layer of this laminated, composite, steel is made from a high carbon steel that will take, and hold, an extremely sharp edge. But, by its very nature, such hard, high-carbon, steels also tend to be brittle and thus, the inventor’s of VG 10 decided to laminate two outer layers of tougher, and more flexible, stainless steel to the hard, high-carbon, core steel in a manner very similar to the way the original Japanese Katana sword was forged. Therefore, this particular steel combines the best qualities of both hard and tough knife steels which makes it an excellent choice for use in a premier quality survival knife. Last, while I am not a big fan of saber grinds, I have to admit that they do create a very strong bevel and if they are wide enough, the can create a fairly fine edge.

Thus, in my opinion, not only is the Fallkniven S1L Forest Knife a pretty knife, it is a well designed and well constructed knife that could be safely called heirloom quality. However, it is not such a pretty knife that you are inclined to permanently place in your safe instead of carrying it with you into the field as you should. But, if you ever find yourself in a true survival situation, you will thank yourself many times over for your foresight in purchasing such a high quality knife because, when your life is at stake, no expense is too great.