Mittwoch, 19. September 2012

EKA Nordic W11 short review

I recently had an opportunity I could not resist;-). I was craving this knife for some 17 years or so, but did not want to spend that much money. Turns out the occasion arose to get it CHEAP;-). Steel is 12 C 27, tempered rather high. Carving mild steel rods was no problem. The blade is 10,4 mm long, 24,5 mm wide and 3,8 mm thick. The hollow grind was rather ...erm.. bulky?;-) so out came the diamond hone and the ruby strop. I reprofiled the edge to a 20 degree and gave it a mirror shine finish, which was a bit hard at first, for the steel has a rather coarse structure fabric, and I suspect, the acclaimed 59 degrees HRC might be a bit high for the potential of 12C27 and not a selective tempering method or cryogenic annealing. Also, this knife really could do with a scandi grind. Then it would be a great bushcraft design! Also, the tang could be longer and protruding out of the handle, which is made from beautiful Bubinga wood, as with the Fjällkniven F 1.

The handling is good, the balance point approximately on the first rivet. The tang is a hidden flat tang, which makes for a very comfortable feel. The finger dent on the handle to me feels a bit too far back, and the checkering could be a touch deeper. The sheath is made from top grain leather and keeps the the knife in even upside down. The single rivet at the tip might not do the greatest of jobs to keep the backside attached to the top, it´s already coming apart, and the rivets are set after stitching, cutting the seams apart. That could be done better! 

Do I recommend the knife?

It seems to me that it´s a great blade for hunting, and it works okay. For the price tag, there certainly are better designs. I got it very cheap, so I bought it. But for only 35 € more you get a Fjällkniven, and for 103 € less you get a Mora. EKA could make it easily a winner by keeping the temper at 57 degrees, doing some cryogenic annealing or tempering it selectively, doing a scandi grind on it and letting the tang protrude some 2-3 mm out of the handle. I guess that would make it a top seller with the bushcrafting lot without raising the manufacturing cost too high.

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