Fiddleback Forge Handyman

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Schmittie, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Schmittie

    Schmittie Member

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    Maybe you are like me. As time passes, my preferences in knives seem to change. For the past few years, I have found I am most likely to carry and use a more compact knife, about 7-7.5" overall. I like a full sized handle (4") and short blade best. All my larger knives with a blade over 4.5" have been sold off because I just don't reach for them anymore nor do I want to carry that much steel around. It's just overkill and I don't have anything to prove. For me, thin is in. I'd like to introduce you to my favorite, compact, lightweight bushcraft knife.




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    Fiddleback Forge Handyman in 3/32" A2 scandi grind, skeletonized full tang, green canvas over natural liners and orange pinstripes.

    Weight- 3.8 ounces
    Blade length- 3 1/4"
    Handle length- 4 1/4"

    I've owned this knife about a year or more. So there has been plenty of time to do a variety of tasks:

    Skinning out a doe I got this season
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    Whittling on the patio in the summer months
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    Carving indoors during a long winter
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    What would a bushcraft knife review be without a try stick? This ash sapling was cut in the spring and was pulled out of the brush pile in early fall. It's plenty dry.
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    The knife had enough mass to knock off all the little branches and slice off the remaining knots with ease.
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    The remaining notches were a joy to carve, even in this old, hard stick.
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    Of course, she holds her own feathersticking with the big boys.
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    I could cut curls with this knife all day long.
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    Through all of these tasks, the edge remained sharp, only needing a light strop afterwards. The only damage sustained was a tiny chip near the tip that happened while skinning the deer. I think I raked bone a little to hard when cutting the lower legs off. But no worries. Fiddleback's in house heat treating is just plain great, whether it's O1 or A2. Although I really enjoy the O1 knives I have from them, I think I'll keep trying to get 3/32" A2 whenever possible. I just like it that much.

    Besides the overall size of this knife, my favorite detail is the handle shape. When first introduced to Fiddleback Forge, I was very impressed with Andy's use of a forward palm swell, like on the popular Bushfinger, Hiking Buddy, Kephart models. With a forward Palm swell, the hand grips closer to the ricasso and provides greater cutting power. This feature is on many, but not all Fiddlebacks. But over the past 8 years I have been purchasing and using Fiddlebacks, I find that I don't prefer that handle style. That is no problem. Andy has such an amazing variety of bushcraft knives, there IS something for everyone. [​IMG] The Handyman still has a palm swell, but it is centered and more neutral and similar to what is on the Terrassuar and Skookum Bush Tool. For whatever reason I like this style better. I can't say how exited I was to see this model released in mid 2015.

    This knife isn't exotic, doesn't have the newest "super steel" on the market and certainly didn't break the bank. But it does what I want every time and is a joy to carry and use. She may not be fancy, but she sure is pretty to me and my favorite Fiddleback so far.

    [​IMG]


    I'd like to thank Andy and the Fiddleback crew for consistently producing wonderful tools. They make something for everyone out there, to the daily workhorses that I prefer and the beautiful show pieces that many collect. If you haven't already, check out Fiddleback Forge.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
    ChristopherRC, Datilite, CWB and 4 others like this.
  2. CWB

    CWB Member

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    Great review schmittie. I think Fiddleback is one of the best knife brands on the market. And the Handyman maybe one of the best models made outside of the pro-kephart.

    Here's mine....

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    Datilite and Schmittie like this.
  3. Schmittie

    Schmittie Member

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    I really would like to snag a 3/32 convex model. I like yours a lot. One of these days :)
     

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