I used to think I didn’t need a dedicated hunting knife. Most medium fixed blades and a few folders have served me well in a dual role capacity. Most of those knives were designed for basic woods use. They tend to be designed for chopping wood and other camp style tasks. The blade geometry tends to lean toward being robust and ideal for multi tasking. They can be used for gutting and skinning game and for a long time I figured the whole dedicated hunting blade was somewhat of a marketing ploy. I took it as a given that processing game was always going to be a tough task. Having used a couple of Fallkniven blades before and been seriously impressed I decided to give the PHK a go mainly due to its beautiful curved blade and quality steel. The PHK stands for Professional Hunting Knife and it certainly lived up to its name..
Fallkniven are famous for knives with a no gimmicks design. They rely on quality materials and superb engineering to sell knives. The PHK follows the same ethos. The design is both simple and beautiful. A full tang upswept fixed blade with a rubberized handle and polymer sheath. Fallknivens handles are some of the most comfortable on the market. The rubberized outer material is incredibly durable and provides the user with plenty of grip. I used the PHK with and without gloves and the handle always felt solid with no hint of movement at all.
The tang is visible at the end of the handle and could be used as a striking plate if needs must. I certainly wouldn’t as the PHK is to beautiful to abuse! The handle also has a hole machined in it for a lanyard. Fallkniven always make rock solid knives and the PHK certainly upholds the standard. The highly polished Stainless crossguard, tang and outer material offer not even a hint of wobble.
I think this is one of the most elegant blades I have ever come across. The upswept shape reminds me of a beautiful Katana sword. When I first picked up a PHK I was surprised how beefy the blade is. The blade is 5″ long and 0.20″ thick. Most blades of that size I have previously used lack the finesse or sharpness to make effective game preppers. This blade is so sharp out of the box, maybe the sharpest new blade I have ever seen. It cuts like a razor yet retains a solid backbone.
The 3G laminated steel blade is a marvel of modern metallurgy. Laminate blades offer the best of balance of cutting ability, wear resistance and strength. A singular blade steel might be sharp but a little brittle or strong in the spine but unable to hold a good edge. Fallkniven have chosen three steels that they feel offer excellent edge retention, sharpness, durability and corrosion resistance.
The upswept shape and drop point are not just aesthetically pleasing. The shape allows for both delicate precise cuts and power when moving through gristle. Although it was no doubt designed to handle the type of beasts one may find in Sweden it is equally at home processing rabbit or pheasant here in the UK. The tip is incredibly sharp and allows the user to make shallow cuts which are often needed when skinning and trying to avoid piercing any internals which might taint the meat. The PHK is an incredibly versatile tool for the hunter.
The PHK has been put to work on Deer and Pheasant and it did a superb job. It seemed at first to be somewhat large to deal with Pheasant but the phenomenally sharp edge made for easy work.
I would absolutely recommend the PHK to anyone who does a fair amount of game prep. I have nothing negative to say about it at all. Even the utilitarian looking sheath does a great job of retaining the blade in rough terrain yet still allowing easy removal.
At around £370 in the UK the PHK is no budget knife. People who buy and use Fallkniven blades are looking to invest in a premium tool which will last several lifetimes. A good friend of mine refers to this premium brand philosophy as “buy once, cry once” rather than settling for budget options which will let you down at some point. I am inclined to agree..