Das deutsche Review kann im Tacticalforum nachgelesen werden.
At this year’s IWA outdoor exhibition Fallkniven of Sweden was present again with their own booth for the first time in years. Apparently they decided to show some presence in the knife community and present the new knife models. Not that it would be necessary, Fallkniven being one of the most recognized and undisputable company names in the world of knives.
For me personally it was a nice surprise nevertheless – especially since I received a message from Andreas – owner of Lorenzi Stahlwaren in Vienna – asking if I would be interested in doing a review of one of the knives of Fallknivens Pro knife series.
With that being said and done: thanks to the nice guys from Lorenzi, who already made it possible for me to present the Fallkniven F1Z review to you, I am able to give you an insight about the S1 Pro of the well known and respected swedish company Fallkniven.
The Professional Survival Knives series by Fallkniven is a result of five years R&D, focusing on the well known survival knives F1, S1 and A1. The updates are supposed to put these knives on the next step in terms of functionality and quality. In that regard the company lists eight distinctive differences to the regular survival knives. I will come to that later on – let’s take a look at some dry facts first:
Overall length: 24,7 cm
Blade length: 13 cm
Thickness: 6 mm
Steel: laminated CoS (cobalt steel), hardened to 60HRC. More Info: http://goo.gl/wTh8OW
Weight (knife): 250g
Handle material: Thermorun
Sheath: Zytel – Molle compatible (!)
Scope of delivery
Contrary to the regular survival series by Fallkniven, the Pro Series knives are being delivered in a shock-resistant and waterproof box, as well as a DC4 whetstone, which consists of a diamond and ceramic stone. Thus one gets the following items:
1x Zytel Sheath
1x DC4 Whetstone in a leather pouch
1x box with foam inlay
The S1 Pro features a classic spearpoint blade made of laminated cobalt steel (CoS), which is hardened to 60hrc. The blade is 6mm thick and has a convex edge.
The spine of the blade is square edged to be able to strike a firesteel. As a result one does not have to stress the edge of the blade for that.
As with the other laminated steels used by Fallkniven, one can see the transition of the two steels coming together, almost mimicking a hamon line. I already mentioned this nice effect in my review to the F1Z.
Furthermore two nice details can be found on the blade. On the one hand the logo and the steel name lasered neatly to one side of the blade, and on the other hand the most practicable notch next to the ricasso.
Another difference to the regular survival series is the crossguard, made of stainless steel, which can be found on all of the Pro Series knives. This crossguard is permanently mounted to the tang.
The handle material of the S1 Pro is made out of Thermorun, like all the other knives of the survival series. The material is directly applicated to the tang, as you can plainly see on the lower side of the handle.
This as well as the lug which is punched through the tang, prevents the handle to come off. The tang itself is wider and thicker according to Fallkniven, which will make it significantly stronger as a result. As with the regular knives of the survival series the pommel of the tang comes out of the handle, therefore serving as a possible impact tool.
As with most of the Fallkniven knives the sheath is made out of Zytel. For the Pro Series it underwent an update though:
The material of the sheath is thicker. The webbing for the belt loop as well as the strap to secure the knife are unchanged. Left and right of the opening of the sheath there are lugs now, to accommodate webbing and paracord, therefore making the sheath compatible to PALS and MOLLE platforms.
Another slit can be found at the bottom of the sheath, which replaces the two holes of the regular zytel sheaths.
Don’t let yourself be fooled that there is no draining hole anymore! It was just combined with the slit at the bottom of the sheath and is therefore well hidden. I can imagine though that any sort of webbing or paracord will be effectively hindering the draining process, depending on the way the sheath is being used/attached.
Speaking solely about the feel of the new zytel sheath, I can say that it appears to be far more high grade than previous zytel sheaths of the survival series.
As mentioned before you can find a DC4 whetstone in the scope of delivery of the Fallkniven S1 Pro. This stone is being delivered in a nice leather pouch and consists of a ceramic and diamond side each – as indicated in its name. The diamond side is made out of a titanium-aluminium-nitride, and the dark side is a fine ceramic stone.
As the proficient knife user surely will know, the aggressive diamond stone can be used to give a very dull blade a usable wedge, while the fine ceramic stone is being used to further sharpen the edge. According to Fallkniven the stones do not have to be lubricated with water or oil, but should be cleaned with water and soap after regular use. A dish washing detergent with a suitable brush proofed to be very effective in that regard, opening the pores of the stones again.
Even if it is not part of the scope of delivery of the professional knives series, I would like to mention the CC4 whetstone here as well. It has two fine ceramic stone sides, which can be used to do even finer sharpening works.
The white stones is made out of a super fine ceramic stone, while the dark stones are made of a fine material of synthetic sapphires.
This whetstone is to be used without water or oil as well and comes in a nice leather pouch.
Such a box being part of the whole package is a very nice surprise in my opinion. Especially with that size you can spent enough money on another knife, if you think about the price ranges of comparable boxes. Insofar I think the box is quite the upgrade to the Pro Series.
Looking at it from the perspective of transportation, storage and presentation of the knife alone, the box is quite the overkill. Characteristics like “shock-resistant” and “waterproof” are not necessarily needed for such a strong knife like the S1 Pro. Insofar you can let your imagination run wild for which kind of usage you can modify that box.
The box itself closes with a decent click on both buckles and feels high grade and massive. I really would like to know who is producing the box – I for myself can’t give you that info.
Feel and Manufacture of the S1 Pro
The knife felt high quality from the first moment onwards and gives the user the feeling he can count on it. I wasn’t able to find any flaws in the production of the knife and was pleased by its feel and ease to use.
The balance is somewhere in front of the crossguard towards the tip. Insofar I wouldn’t call the knife top-heavy, but also not 50/50 balanced. How it fared in use I will elaborate on later on.
Here I would like to show you some of the various ways to grab the knife without problems.
Differences to the regular survival series knives
Meanwhile most of the differences were already mentioned in the above paragraphs. For the sake of clarity I want to sum them up properly in a few sentences:
- Instead of the laminated VG10 a laminated Cobalt Steel (CoS) was used for the knife, hardened to 60HRC.
- The thickness of the blade was increased.
- The tang is wider and thicker in comparison to the regular models.
- A stainless steel crossguard was added.
- The convex grind of the blade was refined to improve the cutting properties.
- The Zytel sheath was made stronger and adaptable to MOLLE platforms.
- The knife is supplied with a DC4 whetstone.
- A shock-resistant and waterproof box is also part of the package.
The S1 and its “siblings” – the F1 and A1 – are well known for decades. Insofar I had to ask myself the question if there is anything new at all I can contribute in terms of using the knives in the outdoors.
For me personally the S1 Pro is ideal when it comes to size: Not too big and not too small. The F1 is already a very interesting knife for me, but the S1 Pro fits me much better because of its size.
Nevertheless I find the handle of the F1 more fitting when it comes to the feel in the hand. Because of its size and the weight the S1 Pro tends to roll a little in the hand. The Thermorun handle material is warm in the hand and handy indeed, but in my opinion the knife handle could feel a little bit more thicker.
The thickness of 6mm is making the knife into a sheer pry bar. The ability to cut is not impaired by this though. Because of the convex grind and the plain, uncoated surface, the knife is one hell of a cutter.
Additionally the knife becomes a fierce hacking tool thanks to the quarter of a kilogram of weight. It was fun as well as fascinating, how fast I was able to chop through an arm thick branch.
It is the same with batoning. Again the weight of the knife and the thickness of 6mm are an advantage. In that regard the stainless steel crossguard comes also nicely into play. Depending on which area of the spine you are using for the baton, one must know that the handle can get quite the beating. Especially if it is made of such a softer material like Thermorun. With the metal crossguard an effective protection against possible wear is being ensured – next to the obvious function of protecting your fingers.
When it comes to the tip of the blade it is safe to say that due to the spearpoint shape and the way of the grind, it is very strong. Stabbing and drilling did not have a negative impact to the tip during my excursions to the woods – an info that might be relevant to the hunters and archers.
As a matter of fact the knife was able to do all of the tasks I have thrown at it in an exemplary manner. For those of you who want to see it with their own eyes I have prepared a short video. As always I let the video speak for itself…
With the Professional Survival Knives series Fallkniven returned to the scene, moving away from its classic survival knives at the same time after five years of R&D. Although I am not sure if you need five years to put a crossguard on a knife, change the steel and put everything in a waterproof box.
But let’s stop the polemics! The well known saying “never change a winning team” cannot be used with the Pro Series. The updates do make sense and were necessary! In the special case of the S1 Pro, which was reviewed here, one can say without a doubt that the knife was effectively upgraded and will be fit for the “job” for the next years.
I am a little bit more sceptic with the zytel sheath though. In that regard Fallkniven could have transitioned to Kydex, but this would have probably cost too much in terms of production changes at site, where Fallkniven has its own machinery.
Nevertheless the changes regarding the MOLLE compatibility are very useful and the advantages of such a synthetic sheath, especially when it comes to the filthy outdoor and hunting activities, are out of the question.
The whole package of the Pro Series is very convincing in the end. A high quality knife with a functional sheath, a proper whetstone as well as a means of transportation for the knife and several other important outdoor items, are giving the outdoor enthusiast, the hunter and gatherer as well as the military professional an excellent starter- and/or survival package.
With that being said I want to come to an end. I would like to say my thanks to the company Lorenzi – feinste Stahlwaren & Schleiferei for giving me the opportunity to present you this particular knife but also I want to thank my readers for their patience!
Thank you and until next time!