Best Bushcraft Knives of Blade Show 2023
Once again, we scoured the floor of Blade Show to find some awesome knives for your bushcraft needs. Some of them are classics, some are new, and at least one is a new spin on a favorite blade. Before we get to the knives, we have to say it was great to spend time with our sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees. As much as Blade Show is about knives, it is also about community, and it's great to see members of the GABC community and to also invite some new people into the group. Without further ado, here are some of our favorite bushcraft knives of Blade Show 2023.
Condor - Stainless Terrasaur
Condor has updated their tried and tested workhorse, the Terrasaur, with a new stainless option versus the original 1095 steel. The designer, Joe Flowers, is known for adventuring in the rainforest and other humid environments, and this knife is great for having a scandi-ground blade that can stand up those environments.
All versions of the Terrasaur model feature a 4.15-inch blade, a polypropylene handle, and a deep carry sheath allowing ambidextrous carry so your knife is always where you need it.
This is a great budget-friendly knife for paddling or even just use in humid environments. Be sure to check it out and all of the other great blades from Condor.
Helle - Didi Galgalu
We always stop by the Helle booth to see what these talented Norwegian knife designers and craftsmen have brought to the show. We were excited to check out some new models, but one knife, in particular the Didi Galgalu, stood out because of its backstory.
It was designed by Andars of Helle on a 15,000-kilometer overland journey across Africa. He took several partially finished versions of the knife, and he and the team filed and shaped the handles each night around the campfire as they traversed the savannah and valleys. The knife takes its name from the Didi Galgalu Desert in Northern Kenya.
The African Kiaat wood handle is secured to the full tang with rivets. It's contoured to provide a comfortable and secure grip. The scandi grind is great for wood, but the blade stock is thin enough for tasks requiring slicing cuts. The quality leather deep carry sheath is embossed with an outline of Africa.
This mid-sized fixed blade with an interesting name isn't necessarily new, but this year will be the first time it's readily available in the United States. Be on the lookout for an upcoming review here on the GABC Explorer Blog.
PLK - Small Trade
PL Knives is a relative newcomer to the GABC community, but we quickly realized these blades are purpose-built to be used and to perform well. At Blade Show, the Small Trade was one of our favorites. It's a classic design, but with nice touches that make it stand out.
The blade is made from 80CrV2 steel and features a carving-ready Scandinavian grind. The orange G10 handle is sculpted to improve grip and indexing, and the bright color all but guarantees it won't be lost. It features a matching Kydex sheath for a modular and secure carry.
Warlander Enterprises - Falcon
If you keep up with the custom knife world, then chances are you've heard of Warlander Enterprises. If not, it's time to up your game. We always make a point to see what Amy has been up to. Her knives are functional works of art with incredible attention to detail and striking designs.
It's honestly hard to pick out a favorite Warlander blade, but this model, the Falcon, really stood out. Featuring a 3/32 inch thick 3 1/8 inch long blade made from A2 steel, the Falcon is obviously a cutter. The handle is painstakingly constructed with brown burlap and a natural canvas micarta with a Tiffany blue stripe.
The sheath is just as well built. Rounding out a true heirloom quality combo that would serve you well for a number of backcountry tasks.
Woods Monkey - Kerf Carver
Coming off the success of the Banana Peel folders series, our friends at Woods Monkey have debuted a new blade that's going to make a great companion to tackle plenty of bushcraft chores.
The Kerf Carver features a coffin-shaped handle and an AEB-L blade that are designed to make a no-frills carver that's focused on comfort and utility. The flat facets on the handle went through several different versions to find the one that provided the most comfortable grip and utility. The handle shape lends itself to excellent indexing and also provides a comfortable shape for a variety of grips. The LTWK crew spent time with experienced wood carvers to ensure that the Kerf was the best it could be.
It includes a JRE sheath, and at this time, several scale color options are available. If the Kerf follows the path of the Peel folders, we expect to see lots of handle options in the future.
Wilson Custom Knives - P.A.C.K. Lite
Hollow handle knives hold a special place in the hearts of many adults that started their survival journey running around the woods with a "survival" knife with a handle stuffed full of matches and a bubble compass on the pommel. The P.A.C.K. Lite, aka Pack And Camp Knife, from Sam Wilson, is a modern interpretation of these vintage pieces.
With an overall length of 7.25 inches and a 3-inch blade made from CPM 154 that's 3/32 in. thick, the P.A.C.K. Lite is a great size for everyday carry or to pair with a hatchet or larger chopper in camp. It weighs in at 3.2 ounces, so it's lighter than most folders but offers significantly more utility.
Of course, you outfit the hollow handle with whatever you want, but Sam also offers prepackaged and sealed kits for outfitting the knife.
Speaking with Sam, it's obvious that he sees a tool as the sum of its parts, and the sheathes that accompany his knives are just as high quality as the blades they carry. The P.A.C.K. Lite sheath is nicely formed Kydex that's TekLok compatible, and there's ever a leather pouch available as an option.