Schrade SCHF35 Fixed Blade Knife Reviewed
Marketing from Schrade
Forged from high carbon 8Cr13MoV steel with a rugged stone washed finish, the SCHF35 is every bit as dependable and tough as it looks. The marriage of a strong drop point, recurve blade and full tang de-sign makes this a superb knife for bushcraft and tactical environments alike. With an overall length of 8 inches, the 3.4 inch blade comes ready for action and slicing sharp. Deep set spine side blade jimping offers added control and increased leverage when cutting resistant material. And a pronounced under-side index finger groove doubles as a guard.
Black scaled handle slabs are secured directly to the tang by way of two oversize steel bolts. Impervious to most elements, the G-10 slabs offer comfortable, consistent gripping traction in the face of unpredictable weather or operational variables.
The full tang protrudes past the handle slabs to serve as a pummel and offers a lanyard hole for passing cordage to keep the knife tethered to your wrist for added security.
Held tightly in place by the friction grip of the nearly indestructible kydex sheath, the SCHF35 can be car-ried on a belt… or lashed to gear by taking advantage of the durable, all-weather sheath’s grommet holes.
With superior edge retention and recurve blade design… made from premium materials… and built for a lifetime. This is the Schrade SCHF35 full tang fixed blade tactical and survival knife.
Manufacturer: Schrade, www.schrade.com
Overall Length: 8″ (20.30 cm)
Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel Blade
Blade Length: 3.4″ (8.60 cm)
Blade Thickness: 5/32″ (.396 cm)
Handle Material: Scaled G-10 Handle Slabs and Finger Groove
Handle Length: 4.6″ (11.70 cm)
Weight: 0.44 lbs (7.04 oz)
Accessories: Multi-Carry Option Kydex Belt Sheath with Grommet Holes
Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty against any manufacturing defects
Origin: Made in China
In this article, I will be reviewing Schrade’s SCHF35 Fixed Blade Knife which is part of their new 2015 lineup. The SCHF35 is a compact, lightweight and very attractive little workhorse. And with all of the large fixed-blade survival knives and machetes that I’ve been looking at lately, it was nice to mess around with something a bit more compact for a change.
My initial thought of the SCHF35 was how perfect it would likely be for an EDC or Bug Out Bag.
The SCHF35 comes with a Kydex sheath that is both lightweight and extremely durable. The SCHF35 is held firmly in place without any rattle or risk of it falling out. Additionally, the removable belt loop can easily be flipped to the other side for left-handed use utilizing two of the four grommet holes.
Two black G-10 handle slabs are securely attached to the tang with two steel bolts. The slabs are deeply scaled to provide a firm, comfortable grip even in wet conditions and are slightly smaller than the tang so it can be used as a pummel when necessary.
The SCHF35 features a 3.4″ 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel blade with stone-washed finish and an attractive swedge at the forend of the blade’s spine and a moderate drop-point and recurve. There is a small amount of jimping on the blade’s spine adding the perfect amount of traction for increased blade control.
Now lets look at the SCHF35 features in more detail…
The SCHF35 is made from a single slab of 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel 5/32″ thick end to end. This full-tang design provides the superior strength and rigidity that you would expect from any good survival knife. The SCHF35 features a very sharp 3.4″ blade with an attractive stone-washed finish.
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.
Although the 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel and full-tang design are certainly tough enough to withstand a moderate amount of punishment, it is only rust resistant, and not completely rust proof. Even with the protective stone-washed finish, 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 before any long-term storage. If you give it a little oil from time to time, it will likely last you a lifetime.
The SCHF35 has a moderate drop-point and recurved edge with a narrow-pointed tip. A drop-point profile is best explained as a blade with a convex curve from the spine to the tip of the blade which provides a strong, robust tip that is easy to direct when chopping, cutting and prying, but is often less suitable for piercing. However, in the case of the SCHF35, the spine also has a narrow tapered swedge toward the front of the blade providing a longer point angle which is perfect for piercing.
Many blade types including the drop point, clip point, and even a hawkbill can have a recurve. A recurve is best described as a blade characteristic or feature rather than a blade shape. A recurve generally refers to a blade with a sweeping “S” shaped edge which are often used to help balance a large chopping blade as well as changing the blade’s angle in an attempt to improve its slicing, chopping and draw-cut capabilities.
The SCHF35 has a deep, hollow-grind with a compound bevel and no serrations. This is a very common grind on factory knives today. The shape of this blade provides a bit more leverage perfect for heavier bushwhacking tasks like chopping and lighter bushcraft techniques like carving and shaving sticks. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat challenging to sharpen with a stone due to the inward curve (or recurve) at the base of the drop-point.
The jimping and finger guard are very well placed on the SCHF35. Jimping is the term used to describe the small notches cut into the back of a blade’s spine to prevent slippage and improve fine control of the blade. The spine of the blade also works perfectly for striking a ferro rod, with or without the protective finish.
The SCHF35’s handle is 4.6″ long consisting of two attractively scaled G-10 slabs providing an excellent non-slip grip even in the wettest of conditions. The G-10 handles are made from a durable fiberglass-based laminate resulting in very hard, lightweight, and extremely strong knife component.
The two halves of the G-10 handle are attached through the tang with two recessed allen bolts threaded directly into the knife steel allowing it to absorb much of the shock when chopping and batoning, thereby reducing fatigue. The handle has a slightly curved shape with an index-finger cutout make it easy to hold on to with or without gloves.
The SCHF35 also has a lanyard hole located at the base of the handle pommel sized perfectly for a paracord strap providing a variety of tethering options.
A Kydex sheath that is virtually indestructible is provided with every SCHF35 blade. Its form-fit design holds the blade securely in place without any movement or rattle whatsoever. The belt loop is designed to accommodate any belt up to 1-7/8″ wide. Additionally, the belt loop can easily be flipped to the other side for left-handed use. The sheath can also be lashed to your gear utilizing the four reinforced grommet holes.
Now lets see what the SCHF35 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, Feather 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 wood 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.
The short blade and tapered swedge on the SCHF35 do not really lend itself well to batoning. But that does not mean that it can’t be used when you really need to get the job done. You just need to think a little smaller, and a little less aggressive.
For this test, I chose to split a couple of 3″ logs about 12″ in length. I used the baton to strike the spine of the SCHF35 as I worked my way around each log toward the center core. Once the 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 about 30 pieces of kindling. The sharp blade and aggressive grind angle split through the grain cleanly and without much effort at all.
Chopping with the SCHF35 was not at all what I had expected. I thought it was not going to end well at all due to its short stature and light weight. However, the handle is very comfortable to hold toward the end which adds a great deal of extra power to your swing. Additionally, it has a very sharp recurved edge providing an aggressive cutting surface which easily penetrates into the material you are trying to chop.
With each swing, the blade sank deeper into the log as more and more material went flying. Albeit, it is a very slow process to get all the way through a log with this tiny blade. You are definitely better off if you can have a hand axe or hatchet with you as well. However, if it is all you’ve got, just go for the smaller material instead.
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.
Creating a feather stick is one of the test that I really expected the SCHF35 to perform well at. Its small size, jimping and scaled ergonomic handle coupled with its aggressive recurved cutting edge certainly provide a high-level of fine blade control. This fine control translates directly into an easy to wield blade perfect for typical bushcraft and survival tasks.
For this test, I used a fir stick about 1″ in diameter and around 18″ in length. I am sure a pine or hemlock would have worked equally as well. I began taking long 5-6″ strokes along the bottom-end of the stick creating finely shaved curls otherwise known as “feathers”. I found that the area just behind the recurve of the blade to be the sweet-spot for feathering sticks.
As I made my way around the stick, I was very careful not to dig in too deep causing the feathers to break off. About 6″ up, I began to work my way around deeper and deeper into the stick creating short thin curls until I was almost all the way through the stick. Once it was thin enough, I snapped the lower section off leaving a perfectly feathered stick for starting a fire.
I was very happy with the results of this test. Schrade’s SCHF35 performed exceptionally well for a compact survival knife with a factory edge.
To test the SCHF35’s ability to stab and pierce without bending or breaking the tip, I drove the blade into the end of a 12″ stump with a baton about an 1-1/2″ 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.
Next I used the SCHF35 to bore a hole into the side of a 3″ log approximately 1″ in diameter and about 1″ deep by twisting the blade back and forth. The SCHF35’s sharp, aggressive tip performed this task flawlessly.
After all of the other functional testing was complete, the SCHF35 was still able to slice cleanly through a single sheet of paper without issue. Testing 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 SCHF35 held its edge and remained very sharp through the entire process.
Schrade’s SCHF35 is built from rugged materials tough enough to get the job done, and for an affordable price. Its small size, light weight and ergonomic design make it is easy to wield and a cinch to conceal. The blade is sharp right out of the box and stays that way, even under heavy use. The sheath is well designed, providing excellent edge protection and blade retention. Truly an ideal candidate as a primary, secondary or ternary blade for any EDC or Bug Out Bag.
As a survival knife, I love everything about this sheath and blade from its small stature to its light weight and extreme durability. So much so that I will definitely be adding this one to my EDC and I will likely pick up one for each of my family’s packs as well. I have to give Schrade two thumbs up on this one.
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.