Schrade SCHF9 vs SCHF36 Survival Knife

   11.15.16

Schrade SCHF9 vs SCHF36 Survival Knife

At one time Schrade was known as an excellent knife company. They were right there with Buck and Uncle Henry. However, for whatever reason, things started to slip, and quality took a downturn. Eventually Schrade became a company who produced less than quality knives.

All that changed when Schrade released their SCHF line of ultimate survival knives, which has turned their quality and reputation around. The new line of knives feature full tang, 1095 carbon steel blade or 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel blade (depending on model), clip point, drop point, rubberized grip, nylon sheath, Kydex sheath–just a wide range of options.

With a price range from $25 – $50, the Schrade SCHF line of survival knives has been a hit. Rightfully so, as they come across as being well built and quality made.

Let’s take a look at two knives from the Schrade SCHF product line. These are the SCHF9 and the SCHF36.

Schrade SCHF9

My personal Schrade SCHF9 was received as a Christmas gift several years ago. First impressions were very good. The knife and the sheath feels very solid. After taking the SCHF9 on a couple of three day camping trips, I was very happy with its performance.

Schrade SCHF9 survival knife

  • The blade is made out of 1095 carbon steel, which holds a good edge and is easy to sharpen.
  • Blade length: 6 1/2 inches
  • Handle length: 5 1/2 inches
  • Overall length: 12 1/4 inches
  • Blade thickness: 1/4 inch
  • Weight with sheath: 1 pound 5 ounces
  • Weight without sheath: 15.7 ounces
  • Blade type: Drop point
  • Price point (November 2016): $37.85 from Amazon.com

The sheath has a detachable carry pouch that came with a sharpening stone. I found the stone rather cheaply made and replaced it with a Smith’s Pocket Pal. I like the pouch being detachable as I can take it off and mount it on a backpack. It adds another layer of functionality to the knife and sheath.

Let’s round the price up to $40. For a $40 dollar knife, I feel this is a good deal. 1095 carbon steel, sheath, extra pouch on sheath, lanyard attachment, 1/4 inch thick blade–this is a workhorse of a survival knife. If the SCHF9 breaks, there is nothing to really complain about.  Sometimes you get what you pay for, and this is a $40 knife.

Weighing one pound five ounces, this is a heavy knife.  For a day hike, bug out bag, get home bag, it is difficult to justify dedicating one pound just to a knife.

The sheath does not fit MOLLE webbing. The belt loop is just that, a belt loop.


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Schrade SCHF36

My Schrade SCHF36 was received as a Christmas gift from a family member. I had it on my Amazon.com wish list and a family member bought it for me.

Schrade SCHF36 survival knife

Just as with the SCHF9, first impressions of the SCHF36 were very good. I liked that the SCHF36 has a shorter blade than the 36. Long heavy blades are over rated and over hyped.

When skinning a wild game animal, long blades make it difficult to make fine cuts. The heavier the knife, the faster fatigue sets in.  A thin short blade trumps a thick long blade for skinning every day of the week.

The blade is made out of 1095 carbon steel, which holds a good edge and is easy to sharpen.

  • Blade length: 5 1/4 inches
  • Handle length: 4 7/8 inches
  • Overall length: 10 1/16 inches
  • Blade thickness: 1/4 inch
  • Weight, with sheath: 1 pound 0.15 ounces
  • Weight, without sheath: 13.25 ounces
  • Blade type: Drop point
  • Price point (November 2016): $25.86 from Amazon.com

My schrade SCHF36 came with a fire starter flint and steel. To aid in starting fires, I bought some small baggies from a local big box market. The baggies were found in the arts and crafts department and are for keeping small items such as beads in. I put dryer lint in 2 baggies and stuffed them into the extra pouch on the sheath.

Unlike with the SCHF9, the pouch on the sheath is not detachable, which is not a big deal.


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Conclusion

Sometimes you get what you pay for.  With a price range of $25 – $60, the Schrade SCHF line of knives comes across as a quality product for the price range.

I like that the SCHF36 is shorter and weighs less than the SCHF9, but just slightly.  The 36 still weighs in at 1 pound 0.15 ounces. That is a lot of weight just for a knife. In comparison, the Gerber Big Rock weighs just 7.85 ounces. If you want a lightweight knife to take backpacking, there are better options on the market.

In July 2016 I went on a day hike and took the SCHF36.  After about 8 miles or so I started asking myself, why did I take along a knife that weighs so much?

Overall, if you are thinking about buying one of the SCHRADE SCHF line of knives, go ahead and pick one up. They are reasonably inexpensive and the return on your investment seems to be good. With Christmas just a month away, they would make a nice Christmas present for a young adult.

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