Spine / Fire steel scraping9.0/10
- Finger Guard
- Well balanced steel
- Amazing chopper
- Very allround
- Handle can feel rough
- Able to Scrape a Firesteel
- Sheath: Leather
- Stainless steel
Fällkniven is a company located in the far north in the province Norrbotten of Sweden. With over 30 years of knife making experience they have become the leading company specialized in cold weather survival knives. They became very popular with their near care free ‘Swedish Pilot Survival Knife’ The F1 in 3G steel. The F1 and the larger models S1 and A1 sold like hot cakes. Following in their succes is the Pro series which sets the performance mark even higher. The Fallkniven Modern Bowie is their newest knife in this Pro series.
|Tang||Protruding broad tang|
|Weight, knife only (g)||565|
|Blade length (mm)||254|
|Blade thickness (mm)||7,41|
|Total length (mm)||387|
|Finger guard||Stainless Steel|
With a premium product comes a premium package. The Fallkniven Modern Bowie is shipped inside it’s own watertight and shockproof box that can even be locked with a (not included) lock. You could eventually remove the foam and make it your survival kit or whatever you wish. Back to the contents, the knife comes with a very thick leather sheath and a Fallkniven DC-4 sharpening stone.
We actually learned how to sharpen on the DC-4 and it’s definitely a great field stone to have. The first thing you notice after opening the box though is the huge amount of shining steel blinding your eyes. The MB is more like a small sword than a knife. I instantly started to laugh when I grabbed the knife… what an incredibly thick piece of steel. More like a crowbar with an edge… I’m pretty sure this knife can put a smile on every knife lovers face. Even if you normally like smaller knives like I do.
Most of the new high end knives from Fallkniven are made from laminated CoS steel (meaning Cobalt-Special) hardened to 60 HRC. Laminated steel is like a sandwich. You have the good stuff inside and you pack it with bread so it doesn’t fall out. In steel terms lamination adds tensile strength to steel. The harder more brittle steel is sandwiched between softer steels. This makes the knife less prone to breaking or getting hair fractures in the steel structure with hard use. A common misunderstanding is that lamination will add edge retention or extra toughness to the apex. The cutting edge however is not laminated as this is where the primary steel needs to do it’s work. However, it is said that the pressure of the cladding process tightens the molecular structure of the main steel increasing the edge retention. Proof has yet to reach me though. Lamination does add increased corrosion resistance enhancing the already very corrosion resistant Fallkniven blades.
Back to the CoS! CoS is made by Takefu like most if not all steel that Fallkniven uses. Japan has a long history of steel working and knife making as can be seen in the performance of the CoS. CoS is currently our favourite stainless steel. Although not made with modern day PM Technology CoS has a very fine molecular structure which allows the user to make a knife of this steel extremely sharp. CoS is pretty easy to sharpen, takes an incredible edge and has a very decent edge retention. Many people think stainless steel overall are not very tough but this is based on older stainless steels. Although the toughest of steels are still high carbon I have been very satisfied with the toughness of CoS. Together with the care freeness of CoS this is one of my favourite steels overall.
The handle of the Modern Bowie is made of Thermorun. For those who have never heard of it, it can be best explained as a rubber like material that is very resistant to chemicals, UV, heat aging and weather. Again enhancing the corrosion resistance of the Fallkniven knives. The handles have a structure on them to increase grip making them grippy even in the rain. Thermorun shines in the cold as it almost doesn’t conduct heat from your hands. Fallkniven conceals the whole (full) tang of the blade with Thermorun so the steel doesn’t touch your hands (Stainless steel conducts heat 600x faster than air). Futhermore the handle geometry is decent and designed in a way to give you enough control for smaller tasks and enough room to get a good swing with it. Up till now I have not experienced any hot spots. The structure on the handle though can feel rough to your hands when they’re cold. The edges of the guard are nicely finished so they doesn’t feel sharp to your finger.
The sheath is simple but made of thick quality leather. The knife is held in with a strap that goes over the guard making it impossible for the knife to fall out. In the beginning it might be hard to close the strap as the leather still has to stretch a little. In time it will become more easy. One thing to notice is that the MB comes with a leather sheath instead of the zytel sheath. The leather sheath adds to the premium feel of the blade but for pure survival purpose the zytel sheath would be a nice option. As far as I know there isn’t a zytel sheath available for the MB at the moment of writing. Many dislike the zytel sheath because of it’s looks but in reality it is very practical and almost impossible to destroy. The leather sheath is gorgeous but on the other hand the only thing of this ‘package’ that needs extra care. I personally like to use ‘Sno-seal wax’ to make my leather sheaths more weather resistant.
The sheath features a small hole on the underside to allow water to get out of the sheath. There are also holes in the bottom to allow the sheath to be tied around the leg to prevent the sheath from swinging too much. Overall it’s a great sheath. I’d love to see a zytel option in the future though.
Overall knife performance
We have had the pleasure of testing and abusing this knife. I can write a few pages about the tests and performance but I’ll keep it short. The knife looks like a beast and it performs like a beast. The geometry of the blade and bevel worked exceptionally well for chopping. It is honestly the best chopper we have tested so far. No surprise that with this thickness and length this knives is also a crazy batonner. For wood processing this knives shines as a survival knife should. With this knife you’re definitely able to build yourself a decent camp with ease without fear of breaking this crowbar. The downside of course is that it’s less suitable for smaller tasks. After our own resharpening the knife did featherstick a lot better than in our video. Carving spoons and cups is not for this knife though. All in all this knife is just a no BS beast that gets your ass out of the woods.
The Bowie was originally made as a fighting / duelling knife so if things get really ugly it will make a good weapon. At DBK we rather stay with poking wood though.
In this video below you can see some of the tests we’ve put the knife through.
After all the tests and the tests of later videos we made I can say I really enjoy this knife a lot. I chops like a king, has my favourite stainless steel, sharpens easily and the handle and sheath also hold up great.
OK. The knife performs like a king but the price of this knife is something that deserves it’s own paragraph. Not only does this premium knife come in a premium package but it also come at a premium price. At the time of writing one has to put down €800,- in Europe or $660 in the US (difference is caused by tax systems). Understandably this price will be too high for 90% of the knife community. But the question remains.. is this knife worth the price?
Let me start by saying price and quality never go up equally. You pay 100% more for 10% more, that’s with everything from computer parts to knives. This is mainly caused by the research that goes into it, premium components and of course price and demand plays a role. Less people need a premium article so less are being made. Naturally the price goes up as the machines producing it still cost the same. But anyway… back to this knife. Is it worth it? The answer is simple. That completely depends on your needs and what you’re willing to pay. For people living in the city it might not be worth it while someone who might be more prone to get into a survival situation could question ‘is your life worth €800?’. This definitely is a knife I would depend my life on. It’s also a knife that will last you a lifetime … or several.
This knife is not for hobbyists but for professional use or hard core collectors (That’s where I fit I guess).
For me personally this knife is worth it. Just be sure to question yourself if that’s the case for you.
Here’s what Fallkniven has to say about their price.
This knife is a beast…. an amount of steel that makes every knife lover smile. The Modern Bowie shines in cold weather survival and will definitely get you home.
Because of it’s excellent blade geometry it chops and splits wood like no other. It would be wise to pair it with a smaller knife like the Fallkniven F1 for smaller tasks like carving though. The handle geometry is decent but makes you very happy if it’s cold outside. For me, the best thing about these Fallknivens is that they are completely care free (besides sharpening of course). I hope to see a Zytel sheath for this model in the future to also make the sheath completely care free. On the other hand this leather sheath looks very classy and is made incredibly well.
The blade itself is made out of my favourite stainless steel, CoS. It’s easy to sharpen, takes an amazingly sharp edge, has excellent corrosion resistance and has very decent edge retention.
The knife comes shipped in a nice watertight and shock resistant box with a DC-4 included. The box can be transformed into a survival kit which is pretty neat.
The price is something to consider. It’s one of the more expensive production knives out there. If that’s worth it for you is something only you can decide.