Tuesday, March 11, 2014

First Impression Review: Pinewood Forge Curved Knives- Hand Forged O1 Steel, Hand Finished Hardwood Handles WITH a Kydex Sheath for just $52- Wow


Longtime RMB readers know that I don't pull any punches when it comes to product reviews. If it breaks, or there's a problem, I'll report it. I also like to find great products to share with you. Without a doubt, Pinewood Forge's curved knives are one of the best things I've found in years.

For readers that might not be familiar with curved knives, they are used primarily for carving spoons, bowls and other wilderness utensils. A good curved knife is worth its weight in gold if you plan to create all of your own implements in the backcountry.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I like to give it to you straight. So let me get right to the point-- don't walk, RUN to your computer and order one of these curved knives if you can afford one. Why? For just $52.00, you get a hand forged O1 Steel curved knife with a mirror-polish, a beautiful hardwood handle taken from Pinewood Forge's 35-year-old premium hardwood collection, plus, a Kydex sheath. Try finding a hand forged knife anywhere for even double that price!

I say "run" to your computer because Pinewood only makes these in batches, which usually sell out quickly due to eager customers in European and Australian spoon carving circles, where they have a rabid following. The US bushcraft community is still largely unaware of these gems (but not for long).

The Story Behind Pinewood Forge

Pinewood Forge owner Del Stubbs was inspired to start his Minnesota-based knife business after traveling to Sweden in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where he studied under master carver/craftsman Villie SundquistStubbs was highly impressed by the quality and useability of the carving knives he saw, taking note of their design. When he returned to the States, he decided to develop and perfect his own Scandinavian style carving knives and offer them for sale in the US.

Pinewood Forge owner Del Stubbs:

Eventually, Stubb's meticulously hand crafted carving knives gained a cult following in Europe and beyond. They were also featured in a 2001 Wood Carving Illustrated Magazine article, which stated that "Stubb's knives had the best design they had ever seen." More recently, Del's "Harley Refsal" knife was featured on the PBS television program "Holiday-- Craft in America.

Pinewood Forge's Open Sweep curved knife, good for larger projects or primitive furniture making:

Pinewood Forge Hook Knife, great for spoon and bowl making.  If you're a bushcrafter and can only afford one, this is the one to grab:

All three sizes of Pinewood Forge's Curved knives:

Comparison with a Mora Hook Knife. The Pinewood Forge blade is a little smaller, but carves better and holds an edge longer due to its edge geometry and use of forged O1 steel:


First Impression

Due to time constraints brought on by covering SHOT Show and Winter OR over the last couple of months, I was unable to do a full field review of the Pinewood Forge knives. However, I did play around with them enough to see what all the fuss was about. They are simply fantastic hand forged curved knives, regardless of cost. Add to that the fact that Pinewood is asking an almost ridiculously affordable price for them and you have an unbelievable deal. Woodcarving Illustrated said that these were the finest curved knives they've seen. I agree 100%. In fact, these knives have ALREADY been added to my personal bushcraft kit, and you can expect them to appear in more of my adventures.

5 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

For more information, visit Pinewood Forge at 
http://www.pinewoodforge.com/catalog.html

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)

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