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Back when I was a kid in the 1980’s, hollow-handled survival knives were all the rage. It seems like everyone was making them, from the true customs like the Jimmy Lyle knives that probably started the craze to production knives like the Aitor Jungle King. There were also a myriad of models from Japanese and Taiwanese manufacturers that ranged in quality from okay to exceptionally dismal. Remember the old bubble compass models with aluminum handles and vinyl sheaths that sold for under $10 at flea markets everywhere? Yep, I had one. I think it was knives like these that gave the whole hollow handle knife concept a bad name, and the style eventually drifted out of mainstream popularity. I’ve been seeing something of a re-emergence of the style lately, though, and one of those is the Cold Steel Survival Edge.

Mora Style

When you first look at a Survival Edge, probably the first thing that’s going to pop into your head is “that looks like a Mora.” And to my mind that isn’t a bad thing. Swedish Mora knives have quite the reputation for good performance at modest prices, they’ve long been the favorites of bushcraft and survival schools and have even been issued by the Swedish military. Generally speaking, most of the plastic handled Moras have not been full tanged knives, but generally hold up pretty well to rugged use. Cold Steel took advantage of that fact when they came out with the Survival Edge. The Survival Edge features a 5-inch blade of German 4116 stainless steel that’s 2.5mm thick. The blade style is a Scandi ground clip point very reminiscent of a Mora. Where things get different is the handle. The Survival Edge features a double quilloned handle of injection molded Polypropylene. It has approximately a 1-inch tang connected by what looks to be a heavy nut in addition to the molding. Whatever the actual connection, the blade is rock solid in the handle with no signs of any sort of play present. The rest of the textured handle is made up of a hollow tube and the entire grip is 4 inches in overall length. A series of five grooves that contain rubber o-rings are present for traction and a set of grooves is present on each side of the handle where it tapers towards the guard. The butt cap screws into place to secure anything you put inside the handle and to keep it dry.

The Survival Edge comes with a Secure-Ex sheath that is once again very reminiscent of a Mora, down to the belt clip and the button hole on the back. The knife locks into place on the double quillion and is very secure when sheathed. Integral to the sheath is a firesteel holder and an included ferrocerium rod. The rod locks into place on the handle. Total weight of knife, sheath and ferro rod is only 3 ounces, so it’s easy to carry on the belt, in your pack or even on a neck lanyard.

For more on this pick up the May 2013 issue of Tactical Knives!

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