View Full Version : Pass Around Knife Field Review

12-17-2007, 03:43 PM
Ok so I finally got out to do some field tests. Decided the backyard wasn't the best place so I went snowshoeing last Saturday with a friend. Hiked about 4 miles in 10F weather, round trip. Here's the review of the Cold Steel Bushman:

* Solid steel construction, including hilt
* Hollow hilt for attaching to stick for weapon/spear or for storing emergency items (hollow is good so long as it is part of the full tang construction)
* Solid feel
* Paracord handle (is this stock or an addition?)

* Hollow hilt (I never liked hollow handles)
* Thin blade construction
* LARGE blade, both in terms of length and height (Bowie version, the other one doesn't look as bad)
* Brittle point (see con #2)
* I didn't see the Cold Steel "CarbonV" imprint anywhere so I assume it's stainless steel since it's "made in china"
* No lower hand guard
* No secure way to secure in the sheath

After taking a honing stone to the blade, we got it razor sharp but hated the fact there was no lower hand guard or way to secure it in the sheath (original or leather). We also noticed the blade was cut from the hilt with no "half-moon" between the two. This made sharpening very difficult near the handle so we filed back the hilt from the blade a bit (see end of thread for clarification). We're contemplating welding on a small lower hand guard to protect against the enviable slippage but probably won't as it'll change the knife too much. We wish Cold Steel would've came up with a securing strap on the original sheath (it's only held in by slight friction of the curved, rounded handle pushing open the nylon sheath). Doing any strenuous hiking other than walking on flat ground may cause the sheath to invert and the knife to fall out much too easily.

We encountered some ironwood about 1/4 of the way in and decided to test the Bushman's sapling-cutting power on one of the hardest wrist-sized trees available. Cut a baton from a nearby maple sapling by bending and cutting the trunk 45* on the stretched side. Scored it along it's circumference and broke it against a nearby old growth to the desired length. Bending the ironwood down near-parallel to the ground, we set to work near on the ironwood using the Bushman and the maple baton. Because of the Bushman's width, the baton was chewed up pretty badly towards the end. We finished off the ironwood with a Cold Steel SRK which has a 5/18" blade width on the back.

Next I found some tinder fungus (true) growing in a nodule in a birch tree. Being inside a cavity, I couldn't knock it out using the baton or the butt of either knife. I initially tried to break it off by pounding the point of the SRK into the base of the fungus using the baton as a hammer. I tried the SRK first because I feared any significant prying action on the Bushman would break the point. However the blade width, even at the tapered point, was too wide for effective insertion in the frozen fungi. Next I tried pounding the Bushman into the fungus. Whereas I thought the width an inferiority, it actually slid in fairly well and the very action of splitting the fungus upon entry broke off a large chunk of the fungus without any prying.

For these basic uses that require more strength than finess, the large blade did not interfere with our use. However the blade is around 8" long and 4-5" in height so it's more like a machete than a survival knife. No lower hand guard and, again, the large size makes it next to worthless for carving. However the thin steel and razor edge (so long as you can keep it on a stainless steel blade) makes sapling cutting a breeze... Just don't try to pry anything with it.

That was about the extent of the bushman's initial trial, however I am going out for a day or two for winter survival bushcraft on the 20th so I'll be sure to use it more then.

(Clarification on filing)
My digital camera is dead so I'll have to do some weird photoshop editing on a stock Bushman Bowie photo. Below is an image of the Bushman. See where the blade begins on the lower side? See how it starts immediately after the hilt? Yea, that area is very, very hard to sharpen with a stone so we took that small piece of metal highlighted in red and cut it down so the start of the blade is exposed.

06-10-2008, 02:50 AM
The bushman is SK-5 high carbon Steel.The problem with most hollow handle knives is the handle and the blade are weak at the joint of the two. Sinch the bushman s one peice this is not an issue. The only other one that I am aware of is the Chris Reeve and you could buy 20 Cold Steels for the cost but they are nice.

Gray Wolf
06-10-2008, 01:39 PM
Mitch, the belly is 4-5 inches??? What's the weight on that puppy?