I am excited to announce a knife collaboration that I designed with Jackson Mills of Freedom Forge. This knife is my idea of what I consider to be a perfect survival, hiking, and everyday carry knife. Introducing: The Talon!
This knife was inspired by my experience in the wilderness using countless different types of blades. There is no "one knife for every task" knife, as some may say. This knife wouldn't be the best option for cutting down a tree, or processing a bunch of firewood. This knife is useful for just about everything else though! The 3 inch blade has proven itself to be my favorite length of blade because of the ability to carve a lot of wood, while also being compact enough to comfortably carry. Any shorter than that and you lose a lot of cutting power. This also makes a great skinning knife with the curvature of the belly of the blade. I am not a big fan of huge finger guards as they can get in the way when I am carving with the bottom of the blade, but I also like at least something to protect accidental slippage.
The handle of this knife features a very ergonomic shape for comfortable handling. The handle scales are made up of green canvas micarta over orange liners. The sheath is made of kydex with a button strap to accommodate different styles of carry. On the belt it can be carried in the "scout" style (horizontally), or the sheath can connect to a backpack strap while hiking. What sets this knife apart from a lot of others, is the exposed tang at the butt of the handle. This allows the knife to be used as a scraper for ferro rods and plant fibers, and also as a hammer. The corners on this part also serve as a good bone scorer for breaking old bones to make tools, or for etching styles into bone or wood.
The entire spine of the blade is rounded, with jimping in the middle of the spine. The jimping is located in the middle as I find that is the most useful place to add a little bit more control with different grips on a knife. I frequently carve with both of my thumbs on the spine, and the jimping helps to keep a steady grip. A lot of bushcrafters obsess over a 90 degree spine on their knives for the scraping of ferro rods. Although this is a nice feature, I chose to do without the 90 degree spine. The main reason is that you should only need to scrape a ferro rod once or twice to get a fire, and that you may be carving wood for hours around that fire. The rounded spine offers more comfort on your thumbs long term and that is why I decided to keep it round. The exposed tang at the butt of the handle is 90 degrees and works perfectly fine for scraping ferro rods with a little bit of practice.
This was a fun collaboration with Freedom Forge and I trust his work. I highly recommend this knife to my students, as it has been created and inspired through the skills offered at Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival. This is a great every day carry, skinning, wood carving, camping, and utility knife. Jackson offers different handle and sheath options but the colors shown here are the official colors I have settled with and I think the knife looks (and works) beautiful!
If you would like to order a knife, you need to contact @freedom.forge on Instagram and let him know you'd like a Talon knife! I may sometimes have a few for sale at my adult survival classes in which you can pick one up there.
Overall Length: 7"
Blade Length: 3"
Blade Thickness 1/8th"
Sheath: Kydex with Button Loop
Additional Features: Exposed Tang, Jimping, Finger Guard, Lanyard Hole
Written by Tim Swanson, Founder of Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival