Casstrom Lars fält knife€150
fire steel Scraping9.0/10
Overall knife design7.5/10
- Scrapes a Fire Steel
- Fits bigger hands
- All round
- Well balanced steel
- Rusts pretty easily
- No fire steel loop
- Able to Scrape a Firesteel
- Carbon steel
Lars Fält is a renowned bushcraft expert. With 35 years experience of being a Swedish Army Ranger survival instructor he knows his stuff. Now… anno 2017 he designed his own knife. Together with Casstrom (A Swedish knife manufacturer) they made it a reality. The Casstrom Lars fält knife. And you guess which 2 blokes got their hands on it ASAP?… you guessed it. The DBK Boys indeed.
Before we’re going into the details let’s take a look at the Specs of the Lars fält knife.
|Total length||23 cm|
|Blade length||11,5 cm|
|Blade width||2,9 cm|
|Blade thicknes||Approx. 3,5 mm|
|Steel||High carbon tool steel Böhler K720|
|Handle||Curly Birch with black liners|
|Sheath||Deep pocket sheath in sturdy veg. tanned leather|
The Lars fält knife with it’s scandi grind and curly birch handle looks like a classic bushcrafting knife. Not too small not too big, just right for around the camp chores. The friction sheath looks simple but classy using thick leather and an optional dangler. All seems right for a €150,- knife.
Before you buy a new knife it’s always important to check out which steel it uses. In the case of the Lars fält knife it uses K720 (O2) steel, a ‘carbon steel’ (every knife with less than 10,5% chromium content by mass is considered non stainless). The steel can tell you a little about how the edge will hold, how easy it is to sharpen and how tough it is. The perfect balance depends on your personal needs.
Before we test any knife we always start with sharpening. K720 is easy to sharpen at 58-60 hrc and should be able to get a good edge even on cheaper water stones. I sharpened the knife up to 5.000 grit and finished with a 1 micron diamond spray on a leather strop resulting in a hair popping sharpness. But the question you all want answered is: Does it stay that sharp? Well, we did some testing with it. We carved, we batonned and did some other around the camp stuff (see our video below). The K720 steel seems to be heat treated very well! The edge showed some minor edge problems which were easily stropped out, but was able to shave until the end! Overall the K720 steel feels very balanced in terms of edge retention VS toughness VS wear resistance. The only thing you should keep in mind is that it can rust pretty easily!
The handle is made from curly birch and black liners. Curly birch is not the hardest wood around and will need some care over time. When the wood turns pale you should oil the handle with something like linseed oil or Danish oil. A ‘dry’ handle can swell a lot when it becomes wet which can cause gaps between the tang and the handle. When drying it can crack. Keeping good care of the handle is necessary. Don’t let the above scare you. I’ve had many knives with curly birch handles and seldom had problems as long as you oil them once in a while. Overall I’m a big fan of these simple classy and natural looking handles. The handle geometry feels decent. it’s made for a firm grip but not so much for side holding. Reverse grip feels great though. The handle is just about the right thickness for my medium sized hands (9.5cm palm size). The handle leaves some space for larger hands as well! Overall the handle is not the best I’ve seen in terms of geometry but I had no hot spots during my testing what so ever. Do keep in mind that handle comfort is very personal and something you should experience for yourself.
The sheath is made out of thick high quality veg. tanned leather and comes with a belt loop and optional dangler. The friction between the knife and the sheath seems good. It does feel like it might need some wet forming after a few months of use (this is common with friction sheaths). Overall the sheath feels great and I’m pleased with it. The only thing I would have loved to see on this sheath is a fire steel loop.
Overall knife performance
During our video we did some various tests with the knives. A lot of people argue whether you should or shouldn’t baton with a knife. I personally love batonning with my knives to create kindling for my fire. Back in the days when most knives didn’t have a full tang batonning would be considered as abuse these days with modern heat treating and steel manufacturing techniques full tang blades should be able to withstand regular batonning every day in my opinion. Don’t worry fokes… the Lars fält knife batonned just fine. Scandi grinds are not the geatest for batonning but the blade is long and thick enough to easily split knot-less pieces of fist thick wood for the fire. Don’t expect a light weight, mid sized knife like this to be a great chopper though. After batonning of course you would want to make some feather sticks to light your campfire. Scandi grinds are great for carving but do like to dig into the wood where as convex will glide over the wood more easily. The handle gave me enough control to make some great feather sticks though! (Do note that after hand sharpening the true scandi becomes very slightly convexed). Now that we have some kindling and feather sticks we need to make fire with the fire steel that we have in our pocket instead of in our knife sheath… No problem for the Lars fält knife though! The spine stroke some of the best sparks I’ve seen in a while! Fire was lit within seconds.
With a camp fire going it’s time to relax. What better than to carve something that pops into your mind? Scandi grinds are amazing in carving because they give you so much control over the edge. While carving with the Lars Fält knife though we felt like the handle wasn’t giving us perfect control but was certainly decent enough. It didn’t give us the amount of control that we’d hoped to see. In the end we did make a fine carving though!
Overall the Lars fält knife from Casstrom is a very decent knife. If you like a classy simple design and need a knife for around the camp the Casstrom Lars fält knife is definitely a good choice.
Also the price seems to be right for what you get. K720 isn’t a ‘super steel’ by any means but delivers a solid very well balanced performance and is very suitable for people without expensive sharpening gear. Starter or bushcraft expert, this knife can be enjoyed by all. If you’re looking for a knife between €100,- and €200,- this is certainly one to keep in mind.