Schrade SCHF30 Fixed Blade Knife Reviewed
Marketing from Schrade
A sturdy, multi-purpose knife serving survivalists and outdoors enthusiasts alike, this full tang fixed blade weighs in at 6.3 ounces. Cloaked in black with an overall length of 9.7 inches the SCHF30 is a stout, rugged clip point fine edge survival and bushcraft knife. Fashioned from tough, edge holding, powder coated 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel honed to a razor sharp edge, the knife features a thumb ramp with ergonomic jimping accompanied by a finger guard on the grip’s underside.
With a blade length of 4.9 inches, the SCHF30 handles batoning tasks with ease. Use the sharp 90 degree spine to generate a shower of sparks from a ferro rod. The clip point design allows for maximum penetration when piercing and textured TPE handle slabs, held to the knife by three steel bolts, ensures a firm, reliable grip in even the wettest conditions.
An oval lanyard hole at the knife’s base allows attachment of a lanyard, which can be slipped over the wrist when performing chopping tasks for added security.
With nine grommet holes, the black thermoplastic sheath accommodates a number of multi-carry options and features four slots for lashing the sheath to another piece of gear or a pack.
As tactical as it is practical… made from premium materials… and built for a lifetime. This is the Schrade SCHF30 full tang fixed blade survival knife.
Manufacturer: Schrade, www.schrade.com
Overall Length: 9.70 inch (24.64 cm)
Blade Steel: Titanium Coated 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel Blade
Blade Length: 4.90 inch (12.54 cm)
Blade Thickness: 1/8″ (0.32 cm)
Handle Material: TPE Handle Slabs with Finger Grooves
Handle Length: 4.80 inch (12.19 cm)
Weight: 0.44 lb (7.04 oz)
Accessories: Multi-Carry Option Thermoplastic Belt Sheath
Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty against any manufacturing defects
Origin: Made in China
Today I will be reviewing Schrade’s new SCHF30 Fixed Blade Knife which is part of their 2015 fixed blade collection.
Schrade’s SCHF30 is a well-balanced survival knife with a sleek tactical look and feel, and its sized perfectly for an EDC or bug-out bag.
The SCHF30 comes with a lightweight thermoplastic belt sheath that is very durable. The SCHF30 firmly snaps into place without any rattle or risk of it falling out. Additionally, there are numerous strap slots and grommet holes for various lashing options.
There are two 4.8″ black TPE handle slabs attached securely to the tang with three steel Torx bolts. The two handle slabs are textured with an attractive pattern to provide a firm, comfortable grip even in wet conditions. There is a small amount of jimping located on the thumb ramp for ample traction and comfort. The handle seems to be a little small for those with extra large hands. However, with the index finger groove and raised heel of the handle, there are many gripping options.
The SCHF30 features a 4.9″ 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel blade with a durable black powder-coated finish, a sharp clip-point pattern, and an attractive swedge ground into the forend of the blade’s spine.
Now lets focus on the SCHF30’s features in more detail…
Schrade’s new SCHF30 is made from a single piece of 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel approximately 9-7/8″ long, 1-9/16″ wide and 1/8″ thick. This stout material and full-tang design provide the SCHF30 with its superior strength and rigidity, at the same time remaining very lightweight at just under 7.5 ounces. Perfect for tactical use and whole host of bushcraft techniques.
8Cr13MoV is a Chinese stainless steel that is similar in quality to AICHI, AUS8 and 440B stainless steels with regard to strength, hardness, corrosion resistance and edge retention. Stainless steel is a popular class of material for knife blades because it has properties that are commonly resistant to rust and corrosion, while remaining easy to maintain. This makes it an excellent choice for a survival blade. While this alloy is typically easier to sharpen than other stainless alloys like 440C, it generally does not hold an edge quite as well.
While the 8Cr13MoV High Carbon stainless steel and full-tang blade design are certainly tough enough to withstand a moderate amount of punishment, it is only rust resistant and not rust proof. Even with the protective powder-coating, it is still susceptible to rust without proper care and maintenance. If the blade becomes wet, simply dry it thoroughly and lightly coat it with a protective oil like Break-Free CLP before storage. If you do, it will likely last you a lifetime.
The SCHF30’s clip point design pattern is one of the most common knife blade shapes specially designed for maximum penetration when thrusting and piercing. Clip point blades give the appearance of having the forward most section of the blade from the spine to the tip point “clipped” off in a straight or concave line. Additionally, the SCHF30 has a subtle swedge ground into the blade effectively increasing the angle toward tapered point, further improving its ability to stab and pierce.
The SCHF30 has a deep, hollow-grind and a slight compound bevel without any serrations. This is a very common grind on factory knives today that is simple to sharpen and easy maintain.
There is a very small choil just in front of the finger guard. However, it is much too small to really be usable except maybe with a ferro rod.
Jimping is a term commonly used to describe the small notches cut into the SCHF30’s thumb ramp located at the top of handle to prevent slippage while performing a thrusting motion as well as fine bushcraft tasks. The sharp 90 degree spine or mini finger choil work perfectly when striking a ferro rod, with or without the protective coating. However, as you strike the ferro rod the protective coating becomes worn off.
The SCHF30’s handle consists of two durable TPE rubberized handle slabs with an attractive textured pattern providing an excellent non-slip grip even in wet conditions. Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer (TPE), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubber is made from a mix of plastic and rubber polymers providing both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties.
The two halves are attached through the full-tang blade with three recessed Torx screws threaded directly into the knife steel allowing it to absorb much of the shock when chopping and batoning, thereby reducing fatigue. The handle features an index finger groove and finger guard, a jimped thumb ramp, a slight palm-swell, and a raised heel making it easy to hold on to with or without gloves.
The SCHF30 has a large tear-drop lanyard hole located at the tail-end of the handle to support numerous tethering options. Additionally, it has a solid pommel that can easily be used to as a makeshift hammer in a pinch.
The SCHF30 comes with a belt sheath made from an extremely durable thermoplastic material weighing in at only 2.2 ounces. It snaps securely in place without any slippage or rattle. The molded belt loop is capable of accommodating a belt up to 1-3/4″ in width. In addition, there are nine grommet holes and two 1-1/4″ strap slots on each side of the sheath to accommodate a wide-variety mounting options.
So lets see what the SCHF30 can do… In order to provide a some sort of apples-to-apples comparison between blades, I will be performing five durability tests; Batoning, Chopping, Feathering A Stick, Tip Strength and Edge Retention. In a survival situation, all resources are fair game. However, since I am not in a life-or-death situation, I’ll stick to some dead lumber that I have lying around for these tests.
Per Wikipedia: Batoning is the technique of cutting or splitting wood by using a baton-sized stick or mallet to repeatedly strike the spine of a sturdy knife, chisel or blade in order to drive it through wood. The batoning method can be used to make kindling or desired forms such as boards, slats or notches. The practice is most useful for obtaining dry wood from the inside of logs for the purpose of fire making.
For this test, I split a couple of 3″ logs a little less than 12″ in length. I used the baton to strike the spine of the SCHF30 as I worked my way around each log toward the center. Once the inner core of the log was narrow enough, I was able to quarter it without any difficulty whatsoever. When I was done with both logs, I had pile of perfectly-sized kindling.
The SCHF30 is only 1/8″ thick with a tapered swedge on the spine which typically do not lend itself well to being struck with a baton. However, the aggressive hollow-grind and ultra sharp blade were enough of an advantage to cleanly split through each log without much effort. However, I did break a couple of batons in the process.
The SCHF30 is a slender knife that is very lightweight. Not really the best qualities for a chopper. However, the handle is very comfortable to hold toward the end which adds a little extra power to your swing. Surprisingly, the SCHF30 was able to chop through some light material, although it was at a rather slow pace. You would definitely be better off if you could have a hand axe or hatchet with you as well. However, if it is all you’ve got, chose smaller material and you’ll be fine.
Feathering A Stick
Per Wikipedia: A feather stick (sometimes referred to as a fuzz stick) is a length of wood which is shaved to produce a head of thin curls protruding from the wood. It is used for damp wood to start a fire (or campfire) when dry tinder is hard to find.
For this test I chose a section of holly about 1″ in diameter and around 16″ in length. Holly is a bit of a hard wood, but it is what I had on hand. After stripping the bark off the bottom 6″, I began by taking long thin strokes around the bottom-end of the stick creating those finely shaved curls otherwise known as “feathers”.
As I worked my way around the stick I was very careful not to dig in too deep or too shallow causing the feathers to break off. About 6″ of the way up, I began to work my way around deeper and deeper into the stick creating shorter thin curls until I was almost all the way through and it snapped off leaving a perfectly feathered stick for starting a fire.
Schrade’s SCHF30 certainly excelled at feathering a stick, even with its sharp factory edge out of the box.
Testing the SCHF30’s ability to stab or pierce without bending or breaking the tip, I drove the blade into the end of a 12″ stump with a baton about an inch deep. Then I loosened the blade using a side-to-side motion until it became loose enough to pull out. I repeated this action a few more times without any sign of chipping or tip damage.
The final test was to bore a hole into the side of a 3″ log. By twisting the SCHF30 back and forth, I was able to bore the hole approximately 3/4″ in diameter and about 1″ deep. The aggressive tip performed very well here with no sign of damage.
After all of the other functional testing had completed, the SCHF30 was able to slice cleanly through the same sheet of paper that it could at the start. Performing the tests left no sign of cracks, chips or imperfections of any kind with the exception of some slight wear on the blade’s protective coating. The SCHF30 held its edge and remained very sharp through the entire process.
The SCHF30 is certainly not a prybar or a chopping beast… It is however a lightweight full-tang tactical blade made from high-quality materials. The SCHF30 is extremely durable and very comfortable to wield, perfect for most survival situations and bushcraft techniques. The SCHF30 is built to last a lifetime, an ideal candidate for any EDC or Bug Out Bag.
The only red flag that I found is related to its small handle. I think it might be a little small for someone with extra large hands. However, for those of us with smaller hands, the handle proved to be a very comfortable fit. It has a very ergonomic feel that translates into exceptional control.
I found the SCHF30 to be a rugged clip point blade with a fine edge. It was sharp right out of the box and held its edge extremely well. The sheath is well designed and provides excellent protection and retention like any good sheath should.
I really like the SCHF30. Perfect for anyone with smaller hands. I give Schrade two thumbs up on this blade.
You can find this and other Schrade products here: http://amzn.to/2c0kjZF
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the product(s) mentioned above for free in consideration for a complete, honest and impartial product review for publication on LetsTalkSurvival.com with no gurantee of the outcome whatsoever. Any opinion provided herein is based entirely on our personal experience with the product(s).
About Taylor Brands and Schrade Cutlery
Founded by Stewart Taylor in 1975, Taylor Brands has been manufacturing, designing, and distributing high-quality stainless steel cutting tools and accessories since our inception. Taylor Brands owns and produces Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, and Imperial branded products, and are also licensed to produce multiple product lines under the world famous Smith & Wesson brand. In total Taylor Brands manufactures several hundred different products including fixed and folding knives, collapsible batons, tactical pens, handcuffs, tactical and survival accessories, and flashlights.