Review of the Fallkniven Odin NL2L Knife

For most people, Fallkniven knives can be quite pricey. What makes these knives fairly demanding on one’s pockets? The answer is a handful of priceless things- excellent design, superb craftsmanship, top shelf materials and, when you purchase a Fallkniven knife, you get reliability.

Reliability is what every survival knife is about. Purchasing a survival knife that is cheap but does not deliver the level of productivity you demand from it is actually what’s pricey.

Besides, there are things that a trusty knife can give you like getting your life spared from danger while you are out there in the wild.

Reliability, like all Fallkniven knives are all about, is something you can expect from the Fallkniven Odin bowie. To prove this is the fact that every Fallkniven knife is taken for testing at the University of Technology in Sweden to see how well they put up with the basic to the intricate demands of field use. Every single time, Fallkniven proves that they are the strongest, serial manufactured, stainless steel, knives in the world. 

Fallkniven Northern Lights series Odin Bowie is the premier proof of the company’s outstanding track record in knife craftmanship.

The Fallkniven Odin bowie measures 12 3/4” in length and has a clip point blade that measures 7 7/8” in length with a flat grind and a convex edge.  It is made from a core of VG-10 stainless steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59 laminated to two sheets of 420J2 stainless steel (usually hardened 49-53 Rc).

This knife features an oval quillion made from stainless steel and a stacked leather handle made from ox hide that is unaffected by oil and solvents and is impervious to immersion in water whilst providing a very positive grip.  In addition, the classic stacked leather handle is capped with an aircraft grade aluminum butt cap with a lanyard hole. Plus, it is supplied with a heavy-duty, hand-sewn black leather sheath that will last for many years even in extreme conditions.

Thus, for those of you who prefer a slightly shorter blade, the Fallkniven Odin Bowie is a smaller brother of the Thor Bowie but features the same top shelf materials and workmanship. If you are the type of person who requires the absolute best outdoor gear available, I believe that the Fallkniven Northern Lights series Thor bowie knife (NL1L) can be safely said to be what you exactly need.

First of all, for those of you who are not familiar with VG-10 blade steel, it contains 1.0% Carbon, 15.0% Chromium, 1.0% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium and 1.5% Cobalt. It was originally developed by Special Steel Co., Ltd, based in Takefu, Fuki Prefecture in Japan for the manufacture of high end Japanese chef knives.

The presence of the above mentioned alloying metals combined with the high carbon steel makes the iron matrix (crystalline structure) significantly stronger. In addition, the inclusion of a small amount of Vanadium results in a finer grained crystalline structure and many people report that they are able to get knives using steels that contain Vanadium shaper than they can non-Vanadium steels such as ATS-34.

As a result, VG-10 steel is highly corrosion and abrasion resistant, has an improved, long-term, clean-cutting edge and is highly machineable and is therefore easy to grind. But it is such expensive steel that it is usually laminated to a tougher stainless steel such that the VG-10 forms the core of the laminate and the tougher steel forms the outer faces. An added advantage of this laminate construction is that you can expect a 20% increase in the steel’s resistance to bending as compared to an ordinary VG10 blade. Consequently, due to its exceptional quality, VG-10 is commonly known as V “gold” 10 or V “ken” 10 (“ken” is Japanese for “gold”) because it represents the “Gold Standard” amongst blade steels and is used in many high quality smaller EDC blades.

The blade of the Fallkniven Thor survival knife is made from 1/4” bar stock which is then flat ground to create the best possible combination of edge sharpness, edge retention and edge strength. It is then finished with a convex edge (the best possible combination of slicing and cutting ability and edge retention).

Plus, in my opinion, the shape of the blade on this knife in one of the prettiest Bowie-style Clip Point blades I have ever seen and, in choosing to make it from the ultimate blade steel, Fallkniven has created a knife that approaches perfection!

Fortunately, Fallkniven did not stop with the blade though. In order to properly compliment such a beautifully shaped blade, they added a small, oval, stainless steel quillion made from what appears to be 1/4” bar stock and then followed it with a beautiful, stacked, ox hide handle with a hard aluminum butt cap.

While I have to admit that stacked ox hide is an unusual handle material for a dedicated survival knife, I can assure you that you would be absolutely amazed by just how tough this material is. So, when you have a material that is nearly as tough as Micarta and but is as pretty as wood, why not make use of it to achieve the best of both worlds?

In addition, although many of you might find the 10” blade to be a bit awkward for fine work such removing the hide from harvested small game animals, the balance of this knife combined with the Clip Point blade shape actually make it very easy to control the tip of the blade.

Also, it has been my experience that if I can only have one knife in the field, I would far rather have a big knife than a little one because it is far easier for me to perform little tasks with a big knife than it is for me to perform big tasks with a little knife. Consequently, if I were given my choice of any single, dedicated, survival knife on the market today, I would without hesitation choose the Fallkniven Odin Bowie (second only to the Fallkniven Thor Bowie) because I know that it is tough enough to see me through any extended stay in the wilderness and that it is capable of performing every task that I would ask of it.

So, as you may have guessed by now, like so many others, I am absolutely in love with this knife!!! Not only is it one of the prettiest Clip Point Bowie style knives I have ever seen, it is made from some of the finest materials on the planet! In fact, my only complaint with this knife is that Fallkniven supplies it with a convex edge which is a type of edge that can only be achieved by hand grinding on specially constructed belt sander.

Consequently, in order to preserve the convex edge when sharpening it, you have to either send it back to Fallkniven or have another knife smith do it for you or have your own belt sander and the skill to sharpen the knife yourself. But, other than that one, very minor, complaint, I believe that the Fallkniven Northern Lights series Odin Bowie is quite possibly the best survival knife on the planet.

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