12 Days of EDC Christmas, Day 5–Bark River Bravo 1 LT in 3V
Tony Sculimbrene 12.05.16
I have been buying Christmas presents for my wife for years–two decades if you include our pre-married dating life. And I am terrible at it. In that entire time I think I have purchased maybe three or four things for her that she actually liked and she did not pick out herself. Nonetheless, every year I go through the same mental contortions trying to find that perfect gift.
But she is picky. I am not the only person that has this trouble. All of her family does too. There is not just a simple, get-me-whatever item on her list. Nor is her list hyper specific like mine (Spyderco Techno please). She just drops the gauntlet: I’d like a shirt and I am left trying to deduce what that means. Oh, and we have a stupid no gift card rule. If I had one thing I would do over in my marriage that would be it–nixing the no gift card rule. I guess that means I am very lucky and I have a pretty darn good marriage.
But what do you do if someone your buying for likes gear and is that picky but also maddeningly non-specific? I got your back on this one.
Bark River Bravo 1 LT in 3V
Try as you might you will not find a knife that is a better all around than the Bravo 1. It has a very good handle, a very good blade, and that lush and beautiful Bark River convex grind. But the Bravo 1 is a bit thick. At .25 inches thick, the blade is massive. It can pop wood when batonning, but if you are thinking that as a camp knife/jack of all trades it should be able to do slicing, you are sorely mistaken. No slicing here.
But Mike Stewart and crew are tinkerers (as if the line up of slightly larger and slightly different knives doesn’t tell you that already). They tinkered here and got one hell of a knife. By thinning the blade stock to around 3/16 of an inch and using the mighty 3V steel, you get probably one of the best all around fixed blades being made today. It can hack, it can chop, it can slice, and it can drill.
3V is not a simple steel. It’s not a steel that is maintenance free nor is it something that will retain beauty over time. It will tarnish since it’s a high carbon steel, and it will chip. It’s HRc is well over 60. But it will also hold an edge for almost an infinite amount of time. I beat the living hell out of my Bravo 1 LT in 3V and stropped it back to hair popping sharp. Then I did the same thing the next day. There are a few micro dings in the edge, but nothing worth whining about.
The one drawback with the knife, and tell me if you have heard of this with fixed blades, is the sheath. The stock sheath is positively awful, with a very narrow mouth and a retention strap that seems designed to get in the way. And given that this is going to your picky friend, tell them you’ll buy a custom sheath too.