Today, I’m going to be reviewing the Fallkniven A1. I don’t normally review stainless steel fixed blade knives, because I was a die-hard high carbon steel guy. Don’t get me wrong – I still love high carbon steel, but this knife is a wonderfully crafted and insanely strong cutting tool that would be right at home in a bushcraft kit.
The A1 was originally designed for Military purposes, but it’s a great knife for those of us who want more corrosion resistance, higher edge retention, better wet weather performance, and less maintenance. Let’s get in to it and I’ll break it down for you.
Quick Company History
Fallkniven AB was founded in 1984 and is based in Norrbotten, Sweden. Today, the company is recognized as one of Sweden’s foremost knife specialists. Fallkniven uses extremely high quality (and expensive) laminated steel in their knives. They hold claim to having the “strongest, serial manufactured, stainless steel knives in the world”. To prove that fact, they openly supply their knives to Lulea University of Technology for specialized and controlled strength testing. You can find the results and data from the tests here.
Fallkniven A1 Specs
Blade Length: 6.3″
Blade Thickness: 1/4″
Overall Length: 11″
Blade Material: Laminated VG10
Blade Finish: Satin
Sheath: Black Zytel
Weight: 12 oz
Fallkniven A1 Review
The Fallkniven A1 is for the serious knife gurus. The quality of the materials, craftsmanship, and the sleek design put it in the top of it’s class…think of it as a “supercar of knives”, if you will. Don’t judge it on it it’s gorgeous looks alone though, this thing flat out performs. The steel is absolutely incredible, and that’s coming from me – a high carbon steel advocate to the core. The convex grind of the blade is very, very nice. It takes a razor sharp edge and requires very little maintenance. The Kraton rubberized handle has a nice “grippy” texture and feels great in the hand. Overall, it’s just a well balanced performer all around. Let’s dive a little deeper into it!
Insanely Strong Construction: The Fallkniven A1 is just built like a tank. Fallkniven has spent a lot of time and money engineering their knives to be the strongest knives ever made. The A1 features a full tang construction, a 1/4″ thick blade, exposed pommel, and Kraton handles.
So not only does it excel at general cutting tasks – it could probably pry open a car door if you needed it to. Here’s another link to the test results performed by Lulea University of Technology – the A1 withstood 556 lbs before breaking the blade. That’s pretty impressive.
Very High Quality Steel: The Fallkniven A1 is constructed from Laminated VG10 Stainless Steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59. This Japanese produced steel is constructed by laminating a center piece of VG10 steel between 2 layers of 420J2 steel, which is produces a strength increase of around 20% above a solid stainless steel.
Technical aspects aside, the Laminated VG10 holds an incredibly sharp edge. Considering it’s toughness, it is a little harder to sharpen than your traditional carbon steel blades. So when you do eventually wear down the edge on it, you can expect to spend a couple of additional minutes on a stone getting it back in shape. I don’t really see the downside. It can also shower sparks from a ferro rod…*loud, obnoxious gasp*…the myth is busted.
Nice Kraton Handle: The handle on the A1 is made from Kraton, which is a synthetic polymer alternative to rubber. It features many of the same characteristics as rubber, (e.g. the flexibility, high traction, and sealing properties) but with an increased resistance to heat, weathering, and chemicals. So it’s the synthetic supercar of rubber? Yeah…it’s the Ferrari of rubber.
Excusing the technicalities, (again) it feels great in the hand and it’s extremely comfortable. It features a very fine diamond pattern for increased traction, which is really great in wet conditions. The handle also has a single quillon for additional security and safety, but it’s small enough to allow a choked up grip for fine carving tasks. The Kraton also provides a nice shock resistance when using the exposed pommel to drive stakes or tent pegs.
Beautiful Convex Grind: You know I love my Scandinavian Grinds…it’s quite obvious by now, but the Convex grind on the A1 is a thing of beauty. Sure, it chops and splits wood well – it’s 1/4″ thick and it weighs 3/4 of a pound, it should do those things well. It also carves very well, which I love very much. I’m not going to jump the gun and say it’s better than a Scandi grind, but this is probably the best “one tool option” that I’ve tested yet.
Very Nice Leather Sheath: The A1 comes with 2 sheath options – Zytel (plastic) or leather…you can decide what’s right for you, but I’m going leather every time. I suppose that the Zytel sheath has it’s advantages, such as the fact that it’s easier to clean and it has a drain hole for wet conditions. Let’s face the facts – it looks and feels like a cheap piece of shit, especially for a knife of this caliber.
This right here looks like a much better companion to me. The leather sheath is beautifully crafted from black leather and features very nice double stitching with rivets, a quality cross strap hold down with snap, and a bottom attachment point for a leg tie-off. This thing is pure sex.
None: I can’t find anything negative about this knife so far. I’ve chopped wood with it, used it to baton hardwood, carved a variety of tent pegs and trap triggers, pounded stakes, used it to strike ferro rods for numerous fires, and cut a variety of cordage with it. It does everything I’ve asked for it to do – and it’s done it very well.
Bottom line, the Fallkniven A1 is a pure beast in the bushcrafting department. If you’ve been on the fence about a stainless steel fixed blade in your bushcraft kit, I recommend you check this knife out. It just might surprise you.
Click here to check the current price on Amazon
If you’re looking for other bushcraft knife options, check out my Best Bushcraft Knives article. It’s a list with 14 of the best bushcraft knives available for any budget.