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FIELD BLADE REVIEWS
M40 SURVIVAL KITS ON SALE NOW!
Ontario SP5 Spec Plus Survival Bowie
Pretty much ANYTHING made by Ontario is at the top of my list when it comes to "bang for the buck". I've never had one of their products fail me, nor have I heard stories of their products failing. They maintain top notch quality control over their steel processing and heat treating, and simply put, their steel takes an edge and holds it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you could MAKE one fail with the proper amount of abuse, but these are extremely durable field grade blades. By "field grade", I mean that the fit and finish of these isn't display case material, but if you want a blade that you can really use and abuse, choose an Ontario. Most of their larger field blades fall in the $40-$60 price range, and here is one of those.
I bought my Spec Plus Survival Bowie for $48 online... eBay to be exact.
It's a nice, thick (1/4") high-carbon steel blade, 10 inches in length, yet surprisingly light in hand due to the full flat bevel grind. This makes for a great chopper.
Anyone who knows me well realizes that I wouldn't be content there. The hard rubbery handle is okay right out of the box, but I figured I could do better. One of my all time favorite knife handles for hard use is the type found on Scrap Yard knives. It's simple, elegant, and incredibly comfortable. I chose to shape it something like that. I also did a bit of work on the blade, giving it a flatter topside along with a heck of a good sharpening. Here's what I came up with, alongside a picture of the original for comparison.
I will eventually replace the sheath, but in the meanwhile, I've spruced up the existing sheath with a good 25 feet of paracord and an external pouch for goodies.
In summation, this is an outstanding blade, and a very formidable chopper. It's easily worth the $45-$60 asking price, but you may want to re-sheath it. I wish Ontario would offer better sheaths. It's one of the few problems I've seen with their line of blades. I would have no problem spending extra for one. As it is, I'll now drop more than I spent on the blade for a good leather sheath!
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