Review: Hultafors Craftsman’s knife
- Credit: Archant
A simple tool is sometimes all you need – the editor says
Like most people I can’t resist a bargain, so when I saw the Hultafors Craftsman’s knife from Sweden I needed to have a better look. I know Hultafors for their extraordinary axes which are stunningly sharp and cut like nothing else I’ve ever tried. This handy knife follows the well-proven formula of a drop-point, carbon-steel blade with a moulded synthetic grip made popular by Mora and Frost. In the middle of Sweden there are huge factories churning out these super-popular blades at an incredible rate, so their price is very low. This means a knife broken or lost isn’t as upsetting as it would be if it were a more expensive one. Better still, they offer great performance for gutting and skinning duties and have become a trusted tool for many country people.
The Craftsman is a little smaller than most of these and uses carbon steel, as opposed to stainless steel, saving a little money. Further, the shape is a basic ‘Scandi grind’ that’s quick and simple to apply. Carbon steel needs to be cleaned and oiled regularly to avoid corrosion, but when a knife is this cheap that’s a small price to pay.
The grip is a proper handful, with a prominent guard to prevent your hand slipping forward onto the blade when it’s cold and wet. I found it comfortable and practical during some very cold winter days.
The sheath also follows the same formula, being moulded from a tough synthetic material that’s almost indestructible and can be scrubbed clean in hot soapy water, like the knife, to remove blood fat and hair, to maintain hygiene standards.
The polish along the blade’s spine could be a little better, but apart from that I thought the overall finish was as good as knives costing many times as much, and at no time did I feel that I was using some bargain basement tool. I find it incredible that a product made in such an expensive country could cost so little, yet offer such performance. Carbon steel needs some TLC to keep it in top condition, but it takes an edge easily and keeps in much better than cheapo stainless, so it makes perfect sense in this application. I can find nothing to complain about with this knife and lots to enjoy, not least of which is the incredible price of £5.99!
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Model: Craftsmen’s knife (HVK)