Fallkniven Exclusives: The SK1, SK6, and SK3 Knives

   11.04.13

Fallkniven Exclusives: The SK1, SK6, and SK3 Knives

After falling in love with my other Fallkniven knives, I couldn’t help but to spring for the Fallkniven SK1, SK6, and SK3 Swedish style knives from their Exclusive custom line. They are, without question, stunning with the curly birch handles, brass fittings, and that incredible 3G steel.

About Fallkniven Knives

Fallkniven started in 1984 with the goal of manufacturing the highest quality production cutlery available anywhere using current materials and manufacturing. For ten years prior to starting the company, the Falkniven founders had been involved in Swedish military testing of various knife designs, and they had found that most knives would not survive the harsh cold environments.

So the Fallkniven team developed a fundamentally different approach with the then new VG10 steel, updating an old Japanese laminated steel Kasumi technique to produce a harder, tougher, and sharper blade. In 1995, Fallkniven began producing the now famous laminated Fallkniven F1 Survival knife for the Swedish military. Many, including myself, consider the F1 to be the best lightweight survival knife ever produced. The F1 is everything a lightweight survival knife should be and is nothing it shouldn’t. Fallkniven also offers a production “Exclusive” custom knives and their $2000+ handmade Damascus series. The Exclusive custom line of Fallkniven SK1, SK6, and SK3 knives offer all the extras of the custom handmade line at about a third the price.

Where many knife manufacturers focus on the latest and greatest trendy knife design, Fallkniven focuses on offering no-nonsense knife designs with the best steel available that are safe, comfortable, strong, and sharp. The old clip and drop point designs used by them are nothing new, but they have proven to be the most useful designs over the years for survivalist, hunters, and outdoorsmen.

What makes Fallkniven really special is the steel used in their knives. Outside of the kitchen knife industry, very few knife manufactures use the extremely expensive VG-10 steel for their blades. But Fallkniven has recently bested themselves with the introduction of their 3G steel. This steel increases performance of the VG10 steel significantly and is, from my experience, the most advanced cutlery steel anywhere. Of course Fallkniven laminated this as well so we end up with a insanely strong and sharp knife with no equal. These 3G steel bladed knives will reward owners not only with beauty, but also with a knife that holds the sharpest edge for the longest time.

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Fallkniven also contours the overall blade shape for a convex edge. This, again, is a very expensive process which few manufacturers offer. Most manufacturers just grind a simple edge into a slightly contoured blank. The convex edge retains more of the steel in support of the edge, which provides for a stronger, finer, sharper, cutting edge which will be less prone to chipping than a ground edge. The smooth grind itself cuts and passes through objects of your cutting affection much more easily than a multi-angle ground blade. This expensive convex grind process nets a very strong but extremely sharp edge which is typically only found on handmade custom knives.

Fit, Finish, and Feel

I love the feel of a custom knife, and all three of these Fallkniven knives feel perfectly balanced in the hand. Like the regular production line, the finish and fit of the SK1, SK6, and SK3 are exceptional, and the edge grind is pure convex perfection. You can tell additional effort was spent ensuring no detail was overlooked on this exclusive custom Fallkniven series.

The knives’ curly birch handles still provide grip when wet and blend perfectly with the nickel silver finger guard and buttcap. The leatherwork on the sheaths is also truly exceptional. Often I see gorgeous handmade knives paired with very amateurish sheaths. In the case of the Fallkniven knives, the quality of the sheath matches and compliments the knife itself.

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The only fit issue I had was the SK1’s sheath was just a tad too tight initially. However with use, it has loosened up to an appropriately snug fit. The SK6 and SK3 sheaths fit perfectly right out of the box.

Features and Function

Fallkniven SK6: The SK6 is an excellent, large-blade, general purpose field knife with a 6mm thick blade that I would imagine could take an obscene amount of abuse. I did test this beautiful knife via a vegetable cutting test and effortlessly batoned it through a 3” cottonwood. Due to thickness of this blade geometry, it was not the best at the finer tasks like vegetable cutting, slicing, and prep. The knife is definitely better suited for larger boning and skinning tasks, and the the full nickel silver finger guard provides good finger protection during those more abusive cutting chores.

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Fallkniven SK1: Of the three knives, the SK1 has been by far my favorite and the most versatile. It passed the kitchen food prep test, producing crisp kitchen cutlery cuts on everything from vegetables to meat and even cheeses. The 4.5mm blade was tough enough to handle repeated batoning cuts through larger logs, but still thin enough to not create a wedge effect during fine cutting and slicing. The overall blade geometry serves many purposes well, and from my perspective is the finest “survival knife” a person can own. Basically it’s an F1 that looks stunning. Once the sheath was broken in, I really liked the open-top leather sheath that provides both secure carry and easy access.

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Fallkniven SK3: The SK3 is probably the most interesting of the three knives due to its size. Basically the SK3 is a perfectly scaled down version 70% the size of the SK1. The blade is essentially the same size as a standard Swiss Army knife, but that 3G fixed blade delivers one durable little scalpel. I think all too often we think we need a giant blade, but this little knife proved big cutting power comes in small packages.

I was not surprised at all that I was able to easily baton the little knife through 2” cottonwood. It’s a truly fine little knife which is perfect for general bushcraft and camping, and it’s more useful than its size would indicate on all but the largest tasks. The hunter will find that this size knife will probably become his most loved and well used knife.

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Final Thoughts

Now the one and only downside: the price. These three knives are definitely up there in price, starting at a $215 street price and going up to $380. Considering the custom level quality and finish, it is a very reasonable price.

As a founder of one of the largest cutlery stores in the US and former a metallurgy consultant, I know steel. The blade steel alone is the best, sharpest, and longest lasted edge of any steel I have ever tested. Really the Fallkniven 3G steel is spectacular. Remember the first time you owned a real knife that would hold an edge really well? Remember the huge difference in performance over that cheap knife you had before? The 3G steel represents that much of an improvement over the best knife blade you have ever owned. Then layer on nickel sterling finger guard, buttplate, and curly birch handle and you have a special, heirloom quality knife.

What defines a Swedish knife? Apparently it means sharp as hell, beautifully finished, utilizes the world’s finest materials, and ergonomically correct no frills design. Fallkniven would add that the Swedish knife design would not outshine the user, but I disagree. I could be covered in crap but by pulling out the SK6, SK1, or SK3, I would feel like a million dollars. They are gorgeous to look at and handle, and they perform superbly. Simply put, if you want the finest production outdoor knives made, this Fallkniven Exclusive line is it.

Fallkniven SK6 Specs

  • Total length: 277 mm (10.9″)
  • Blade length: 158 mm (6.2″)
  • Blade thickness: 6 mm (0.24″)
  • Weight (knife): 258 g
  • Steel: Lam.CoS
  • Blade hardness: 60 HRC
  • Butt cap: Nickel silver
  • Guard: Nickel silver, specially anchored
  • Handle: Curly birch
  • Sheath: Black leather
  • MSRP: $445
  • Street: $380

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Fallkniven SK1 Specs

  • Total length: 210 mm (8.3″)
  • Blade length: 97 mm (3.8″)
  • Blade thickness: 4.5 mm (0.18″)
  • Tang: Hidden
  • Weight (knife): 135 g
  • Steel: 3G
  • Blade hardness: 62 HRC
  • Handle: Curly birch
  • Sheath: Open top leather
  • MSRP: $399
  • Street: $240

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Fallkniven SK3 Specs

  • Total length: 147 mm (5.8″)
  • Blade length: 70 mm (2.8″)
  • Blade thickness: 3 mm (0.12″)
  • Tang: Hidden
  • Weight (knife): 48 g
  • Steel: 3G
  • Blade hardness: 62 HRC
  • Handle: Curly birch
  • Sheath: Open top leather
  • MSRP: $286
  • Street: $215

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