Sunday, March 1, 2009

BUSSTR (Basic Urban Survival) in green linen

This year (09) I came out with a folder I had been working on for, oh I guess I had the body designed for about 8 months and had not decided on a blade style. Then through a fluke I found a mention on the internet forums of a blade being offered for very few dollars called simply 'the Cobbler blade' that struck my fancy to try. Its a $7 blade before shipping and offered from Ragnar's Ragweed Forge website along with other various blades you can buy to put your own handles on. 

The reviews from the people buying this little blade were raves about it and how much performance you got or bang for the buck so to speak. The blade is thin. Think of a favorite paring knife in your kitchen and thicken it just a bit and you have the idea because its .064" thin. To get an idea of that the lock on this model is .070 or a little thicker but not much. Its not really all that flexible of a blade either even though its a thin blade akin to fillet knife thinness. Its hardness is 60 RC on the Rockwell scale and its hard clear through to all parts of the blade not just the edge and boy is it a pocket full of razor! Its one of those knives you just use the living daylights out of. I love it! Unfortunately the blade was discontinued and Ragnar has sold out of this high carbon true "Scandi grind" blade but if you happen to find one, because there are still a few out there floating around, well, I'm sure you'll be amazed as I was. 

I bought all 25 of those remaining to close out Ragnar's inventory on the item. So far all but a few are spoken for for this folder that has turned out to be a nice economy custom knife just about any working man can afford. Trust me its that good though even if you spent a lot. I know I've spent four times the price and not had a knife that worked as effortlessly! As mentioned, I turned the blades I bought into a folder rather than leave it a sheath knife. I'm just showing this one in green linen for my blog. I carry and use one just like this that is brown canvas micarta and has a standard non low rider style tip up pocket clip. Otherwise they are the same thing down to the weight. I'm not sure what I'll do once these blades run out, which will be soon, but I am working on a collaboration with another well known Scandi grind maker that does excellent work. I have six of his blades coming and will post one of those when its all done. 

I call this one my BUSSTR folder. This stands for "basic urban survival, and followed by my initials. This name was the creation of a friend of mine. My thoughts on a basic urban survival folder was that it should function as a good pocket companion in both city and some deep woods uses as a back up to a good sheath knife to do whatever lighter duty cutting can be done around the camp or during a hike or while just on a picnic. It should be light weight so you can easily have it on you all the time, it should be comfortable to use in all grips that could come up in the field or around the house, and it should be of a blade steel that can easily be sharpened on a flat sand stone rock if that is all you have.  Lastly, it had to be something with 'real edge geometry geared for use' not something that looked all big and bad but ended up being essentially all bark with no bite. I don't know about you folks but one way I've always used to determine the 'usability' of a knife is how quickly I can use it to make 'fuzz sticks' in the field to start a fire with right quick if the need arises. This little blade does that effortlessly even on hard black jack oak wood! Granted being thin and a great slicer the edge can ding easier but I think most folks appreciate and know how to use and care for a thin blade with some real edge geometry by not trying to cut out a knot in a tree branch all in one cut but to whittle it down. Fuzz sticks are just like making small broom sweeper type sticks with a bunch of whittled fuzz on the end that will light quick and burn hot and fast. With the right tool it does not have to be a big chore. With the wrong tool you can wear a blister on a bare hand right quick trying to make it slice much to even sharpen a pencil let alone do a bigger job like this. 

Also, with the economy the way its been for us here in late 2008 and into 2009 I thought using this blade would allow me to come up with something that knife enthusiasts could still afford and at the same time still get a custom level knife. Apparently I was right! Soon as I posted my own and showed it off others took interest. BUSSTR fits the bill and many survivalists and outdoorsman can attest to the merits of the scandi grind in the field and even this little blade called the "COBBLER" because they are familiar with it. Its been around and known about in their circles for some time. I just found out too late about it I guess or I'd have a bigger inventory of these little user blades. It is my sincere hope that the same company making these carbon blades comes up with a replacement similar to it in a 12C27 stainless steel because that is about the only thing I can think of that would probably be better. 

The BUSSTR folders measure 4 and 5/8" closed and they have a 3.125" blade length open. These weigh in at between 3 ounces on the light side to 3.4 ounces on the heavy side and sport .070 thickness titanium locks and liners, micarta scales of various colors and a low rider or standard style pocket clip of titanium along with thumb studs, stainless hardware, a lanyard hole big enough for para cord to slide right through easily and nylatron washers in the pivot for what breaks in to become a real nice smooth action when opening and closing the blade.  This is the definition of " real world user heaven" right here! In my opinion, it doesn't get much better than this. The profile of a scandi grind is such as to make it slice and perform well anyway, but when you combine it with a hardness equal or greater to this blade and a thin stock you end up with something that will absolutely amaze you in the field. The first time you use one on any job you'll probably say the same thing I did. "WOW that cuts great!" 

I know people that have bought expensive knives and then paid various custom knife makers to grind their blades down thinner to achieve this level of performance. No need to spend that extra with something like this available I can tell you that. These come that thin to begin with and they work very well.  This blade is better than anything I could have made up myself using 1/8" stock and it makes shorter work and less effort to get a job done than anything else I have. Its a first choice in the safe for me most everyday to my surprise, beating out many higher dollar knives in my collection.  All this at a discount! Amazing! Thanks for looking guys. Just wanted to show another of one of the various things I get myself into. I expect in the future to have some other various offerings using scandi grinds and we are even toying with some Wharncliffe shapes to see what we can come up with so stay tuned.


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