Bushcamp and 'Merican Puukko Pass-around Signup

JK Knives

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For several years I've been buying fewer and fewer knives but I keep coming back to look at pics of that Bushcamp. I think it's a great design!
bikerector did a good job designing it, kind of reminds me of the old Straight Back Kephart.
 

bikerector

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For several years I've been buying fewer and fewer knives but I keep coming back to look at pics of that Bushcamp. I think it's a great design!

Thank you, thank you. I had it out making a fire yesterday and I really think bushcamp is squarely where it excels. The shape is killer on food and it makes a fire really. One of the things I've started gravitating towards more and more is push cutting for feather sticks with the tip instead of using the flat near the handle. It just seems like I can get better control that way without getting my knuckles on the stick or in the dirt if I slip. The high point does a great job in that regard. Really, the belly is about perfect if cutting against something like a stump or log as an anvil or a cutting board for food. It certainly has a different feel than something like the Kephart despite being about the same size and a similarly neutral handle shape. I think it looks the business as well.

The Merican Puukko is also really sweet and I think it easily fares well with the better bushcraft knives available. I think the 3/16" thick blade is plenty robust and rigid to do a ton of work and the clip point really helps getting into tights spots for carving while the overall short blade height helps with the whole thing being agile. The handle shape is key here as well and I'm loving the side dimples for indexing and that added little bit of grip.

I used both to make a 4-prong spear and this is where the Merican Puukko showed it was the better bushcraft knife if carving is your thing. Getting in to sharpen the prongs was much easier with the Puukko but the bushcamp could still get the job done using the belly and tip for push cuts.

I didn't get pictures as I had the kid with me and we were having a good time around the fire, rolling a beach ball around, and playing with his new dump truck that's 1/4 his size and probably weighs nearly as much as he does.

The knives are worlds apart in how they work despite having similar handle and blade lengths.

I'm really interested to see what the testers think of them as I think both are winners in very different ways, but I can't help love the bushcamp as a simple yet unique design, or at least I haven't seen too much out there like it available for sale.
 

bikerector

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Last call for testers of the Bushcamp and Merican Puukko. I have two volunteers for each right now and I'm taking at least 4 (about 10 weeks of testing once shipping time is including).

I've updated the shipping date to 5/11/20 to account for the slight delay and to give myself adequate time to test before shipping them out.

As of right now, both are available for special order at a price of $210 for most handle materials. The stocked items will be $10 less when we get to that stage.

Cheers!
 
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bikerector

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Nice view this morning. Built most of the shelter frame with the Merican Puukko but finished staking down the tarps a few days later with the bushcamp. The kid sat still for the photo, but that was about it. We tried to have breakfast but that crazy boy is a runner; chased him around for about a mile yesterday.

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We've also been watching a turkey vulture nearby recently and today there were 3 up in a tree directly outside the opening of the tarp shelter. We didn't get pictures of the group because the kid took off towards the neighbor's house. He's my new fitness plan.

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bikerector

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I normally don't use my fixed blades at the table, but it is designed for a bushcamp so it needs to be able to perform. This baby worked well cutting up the meat before cooking and did a fine job at the table after cleaning it back up. It's starting to get that nice used look to it :).

Cutting up some smaller pieces for the kiddo.
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Scalloped potatoes, corn, and pork loin :thumbsup:
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I don't want to say it's my favorite because I like the knives I've designed, but I think this may be one of the better all-around designs for most people I've done. I don't think people are going to be too disappointed if they try it out. Keep it utilitarian looking with micarta or get some nice wood scales on it for a timeless look.
 

bikerector

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I'm planning to get these out a little earlier than anticipated. Below is the tentative passaround schedule

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bikerector

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Another positive to the dimples in the handle besides adding grip, it allows for kydex to grab on creating a very sleek package.

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bikerector

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The Merican Puukko should be about ready for the next tester. The bushcamp was delayed nearly 2 weeks so the 1st tester just received it but so far his initial feedback has been all positive.
 

Pàdruig

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Alright, all.

I apologize, I meant to get this bit of review submitted earlier but with how busy I've been, I haven't had a lot of time to spend on the forums aside from a casual presence.

That said, the 'Merican Puukko is on its way to the next person on the list and I've finally had some time to formulate my thoughts into what I hope is something somewhat coherent.

I've become rather interested in Puukkos lately and have been seeking out various examples in a somewhat casual sense. When I saw that bikerector bikerector had designed his take on a Puukko and was offering up an example for a passaround, I was certainly intrigued and offered to give it a try. To me, puukkos and other nordic style blades are rather fascinating - they represent an indigenous people that is not oft spoken of outside of some bushcraft circles. Even then, the knife isn't often attributed to the Sami people specifically, where it is likely the style originated. We think Finnish, Norwegian, etc. when, in fact, the style itself, alongside the Leuku, are used by the traditionally nomadic Sami people of Northern Scandinavia as a whole.

Today, the puukko making industry is rather considerable in Finland, Norway, and Sweden - with all three countries contributing some rather notable makers and companies. Even the more economical options are noteworthy (think Morakniv) and are lauded as being effective cutting tools in woodworking, bushcraft, and overall outdoor skills.

Historical and cultural significance aside, the puukko has always struck me as being one of the more comfortable and versatile knife styles out there. In fact, the maker Saku Honkilahti has said that a puukko should look and feel like a puukko whether it is visible or not (darkness, low light, etc.). He also says that a puukko should allow for at least 10 different holds - simple and powerful in hand without being overly burly or cumbersome.

That leads me to the 'Merican Puukko.

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Immediate impressions demonstrate that it is comfortable in hand - it doesn't fill the hand like a traditional puukko tends to do and with the "dimples" or impressions shaped into the handle, it further deviates from what makes a puukko a puukko. That isn't a bad thing and shouldn't be viewed as a negative in any way. Everyone's hand size is different and one might value certain handle characteristics differently. I don't have gigantic hands but I do have large hands and wear an XL size glove in most cases - this knife feels good in hand and really, really shines when using a pinch style grip.

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The blade itself has a sweeping clip shape to it and is ground with John's "Scandivex". John's O1 is excellent as always, making for a tough blade that takes a keen edge. Not as much belly to this blade as some puukkos and the clip gives it some flair that you otherwise wouldn't see but it is slim and nimble and has proven to be more than capable at a variety of tasks.

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In a small to medium sized belt knife, I want it to be as efficient at prepping food as it is in doing finer tasks like preparing a fire and other related chores. Though the low scandivex grind isn't going to be as effective as a full flat grind when prepping food, the overall thin stock and good edge made short work of some potatoes - this will perform just fine at food prep.

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I wanted to build a small fire so I used the 'Merican Puukko to prep some small bits of kindling, create some fatwood shavings, and throw some sparks. It did all of these tasks very well. I even created a bit of a featherstick.

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In conclusion, I will list some pros and cons - please bear in mind that this is simply a matter of personal tastes rather than any real criticism of the design.

PROS:
  1. The knife is overall comfortable in hand, especially in a pinch style grip (which is a grip that I use when prepping food).
  2. The blade is light, nimble, and tough - one can accomplish a whole heck of a lot with a knife like this.
  3. Overall, it will be easy to carry as it is unobtrusive and lightweight.
CONS:
  1. Despite a comfortable handle, I still would prefer it to be thicker.
  2. The dimples in the handle tend to limit the grip options. Though I can get a nice firm grip on the blade when prepping wood, I notice the depressions and it throws me off a bit.

Overall, it's a good blade and I can't really think of any reason why one couldn't make good use of it. Though I do prefer the larger grips of more traditional puukkos, I feel that is likely more a matter of personal taste than anything.

Here are some comparison shots with other puukko like blades - only one being a Finnish made one.

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Great job, John and Chad. I hope this proves to be a successful addition to your collaborative lineup.

Sláinte!

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JK Knives

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Very nice review and photos!
 

bikerector

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"Immediate impressions demonstrate that it is comfortable in hand - it doesn't fill the hand like a traditional puukko tends to do and with the "dimples" or impressions shaped into the handle, it further deviates from what makes a puukko a puukko."

This is a big reason I didn't call it a puukko outright as I feel it's "Americanized" a bit between the full-tang and the clip point, though I have seen puukkos with sweeping clip points in a puukko thread or three when I did the research. It follows the classic mora lines much more than the true Scandinavian puukko pattern, though the sleekness and lack of guard don't put it too far off either. It's not far off from sloyd pattern either, except for the clip and dimbles.

Regarding handle size, it's a weird trade-off for me because I love big handles and this is a first for me with a smaller handle on such a long blade. I found it to feel very nimble in the hand and pack smaller because of it but with XL hands I could see it being a problem. The handle is bigger and longer than the mora classic I have with the exception of the dimples at the front.

Pàdruig Pàdruig do you think you would like it better without the dimples? It was a concept to add a little more security in a pinch grip since it lacks a guard which some people much prefer. But, while adding the security in pinch grip it sounds like you felt it lacked comfort in other grips, I'm curious which grips you didn't like it for.
 

Crag the Brewer

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I like that you did this. I bet it was Fun and informative for everyone!

If you ever needed another opinion on future works......haha...... :)
 

JK Knives

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I used to do passarounds all the time, hated it when people would sign up, get the knife, and never post a review.
 
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