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The editor puts some Swedish field tools to the test
I know the EKA brand well. I have several of their knives in my collection and all of them are hardworking field tools that know I can rely on. The new Swede 9 has quite a change in looks compared to my other knives, having quite an angular appearance that surprised me by being pleasantly comfortable in the hand. As usual, EKA chose the Sandvik stainless blade steel, hardened to Rockwell 57-59, ensuring a sharp, durable edge.
The grind is typically Scandinavian, maximising strength along its 2.5mm thickness and the profile is a modified clip point, which I found practical for everything from skinning squirrels to whittling wood. Dual thumb studs make this a comfortable, one-handed opener and my favoured pocket clip was very welcome, but the unusual lock means it needs two hands to close. It’s a type of spine or rocker lock that extends past the handles to form a lanyard loop at the rear. Pressing this down frees the blade and it gives the impression that you’d be very unlikely to release it by accident.
The scales are made from G10, a super-tough, synthetic material that can be machined and polished into any shape you like, and EKA took full advantage of this by adding a grooved pattern to aid grip along both sides. I was glad that it wasn’t too deep or fancy because it allowed blood and tissue to be cleaned off easily after preparing game. A fire steel with a carbide sharpener and a lanyard are included, but perhaps the best accessory these knives offer is their 10-year warranty, which speaks volumes about the quality.
Swede 9: £59.95
I also received EKA’s new FireSharp, a neat three-in-one tool. It has a carbide sharpener, a ceramic sharpener, and a fire steel with its own striker. The size was good for me, allowing the base to be held flat on a surface with my left hand whilst I worked the knife with my right, giving good confidence that I wasn’t going to slip. The carbide ‘V’ does the main sharpening work, leaving the ceramic side for fine finishing. Anybody planning to go a bit ‘Bear Grylls’ will be pleased to know that the fire steel in this version has been strengthened and will work wet or dry. Finally, if you’re really in trouble there’s a Morse code alphabet panel for signalling help.
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