My impression of Fallkniven began before I ever even owned one of their knives. A little while back, I reached out to Fallkniven, among other bushcraft knife manufacturers. I was surprised to have found what looks like a list of every employee’s direct email proudly displayed on their website. I sent them an email introducing myself and BushcraftKnifeGuide.com and suggested that if they would like any of their products tested and reviewed on BushcraftKnifeGuide.com, send them to me and I would be happy to do so. Less than 24 hours later, I received a response from the founder and owner of Fallkniven, Peter Hjortberger. He informed me that he found the site “very informative” and intend to send me an F1, S1, A1 and DC4 for review. The gesture is incredibly generous, for which I am greatly appreciative. Many thanks to Mr. Hjortberger and the people at Fallkniven. I appreciate the great customer service, contribution to the knife and bushcraft community and for the evidently, great products.
That being said, although I appreciate Fallkniven’s gesture, I have no loyalty to the Fallkniven brand or company and promise to always give my honest and unbiased opinion on this and every product I discuss.
According to Mr. Hjortberger’s email, the A1 is officially used by elite soldiers all over the world. It has been tested and approved by the US Navy and US Marine Corp and is included in the NATO catalog.
I would be willing to bet that there are few situations too daunting for the Fallkniven, A1 Army Survival Knife.
This is some knife. It’s big, beefy, well thought out and well designed.
Its brushed finish, 6.3” long, ¼” thick, Laminated VG-10 (420j/VG-10/420j) blade is a force with which to be reckoned. It is beautifully ground to a convex edge with swedging that further refines its blade’s point, helping to compensate for its width and thickness. Because this blade was ground in all the right places, it is capable of finer work than the average big knife.
Like its little siblings the F1 and S1, the A1’s handle is made of Thermorun. This stuff isn’t pretty, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in quality. It seems impervious to moisture and unaffected by impact other than a superficial scuff. The combination of the Thermorun and its aggressive checkering the A1’s handle gives a positive, secure grip, even in the least ideal conditions. The A1’s handle is less rounded by the heel of my palm and is overall roomier than the F1’s. It seems to be shaped identically to the S1’s handle, just bigger.
At the base of the handle, sits a modest but affective pommel. Above that, a properly placed lanyard hole large enough for 550 paracord.
Like the F1 and S1, the A1 comes with either a leather or zytel sheath (zytel version shown). the zytel is terrific. It’s lightweight, tough, water proof and provides decent retention without the retention strap secured, and incredible retention with the strap which is secured via snap, not Velcro. Snaps are simple a fail proof as Apposed to Velcro which can wear, frae and collect dirt.
This knife is a gem. A big gem. Some may find it too big for a traditional bushcraft knife. The Falkniven A1 is more of a survival knife, that is capable of being a great bushcraft knife. Just don’t expect to be able to carve a grain of rice with it or you’ll be disappointed.
The a1’s size really shines when chopping and batoning. Its extra blade length and thickness allows the A1 to take on bigger logs and branches. I was originally concerned that the blade’s Vg10 core might be too brittle to stand up to appropriate punishment and that the blade would chip. Although my concerns are warranted, I was pleased to find that the A1 endured the abuse far better than I expected. I ran it through pine 2x4s without any difficulty or damage to the blade or edge, whatsoever. The 4″ – 6″ thick, dried white and red oak branches posed a bit more of a challenge. The oak chipped the Vg10 edge. Although the damage was less than I expected, it was more than I hoped. That being said, the chips were minor, easily sharpened out, the blade was still usable despite the damage and my hopes were unrealistic. The A1 performed better than most similar knives would have under the conditions. The blade’s edge held up well through a decent amount of chopping and batoning.
The bottom line is; this is a big, capable knife. It is strong enough to chop and baton through dried hardwoods and refined enough to carve notches, points and feathersticks. The Falkniven A1 is an all around good survival style bushcraft knife.