Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Review: Fallkniven F1 v's Fallkniven TK6

I've had an F1 for a long time, as you can see I've used it, abused it and anticipate continuing to use it in the style to which its become accustomed for many years. The TK6 hit the door mat a few months back [read the unboxing review HERE] and I thought you might like to hear a bit about the differences.

I bought my F1 both in the states; and a while back, so it was a serious bargain - the knife I chose it against was a Gerber LMF which has also gone up in price over the last few years and now looks like very poor value for money. Whereas the F1 is still at least two or three lifetimes worth of knife.

The TK6 on the other hand is pretty much the same price as it was when it first came out. Not cheap, but with a few notable exceptions, quality seldom is. By staying the same price while other knives have gotten more expensive, in real terms the TK6 has actually gotten cheaper [you can tell yourself].

The F1 is a survival knife: so its for making firewood and shelters

The TK6 is a hunting knife: so its for dismembering beasts and cutting up snack foods.

Both knives are designed in Sweden by Fallkniven and made in Seki City Japan. When the F1 came out VG10 was a rare 'super steel' it's still super [and it's still steel - ber boom] but now you can buy a VG10 knife for $40, and there are other makers also offering laminated VG10 blades, so the rarity has died off a bit. VG10 is a fantastic steel for edge retention - I once gutted, skinned, and butchered a Fallow doe with a Spyderco Urban without needing to refresh the edge, that's a steel that holds an edge. At 59 HRC its a hard blade, the edge is more resistant to folding over, but obviously hardness is often accompanied by brittleness - I've chipped the tip of my F1 more than once, the first time splitting a stick and the second time dropped point first onto a granite worktop - although here the F1 beats any non laminated blade as the lamination takes care of any concerns about cracking or bending; I've prised floor boards up with mine and hit it with a brick hammer, it's still rocking on. You can see Fallkniven's testing HERE. And my reviews of the F1 HERE and of Fallkniven's sharpening service HERE. After a few years of using the F1 I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one.

The TK6 is a different beast; a shorter blade in the drop point style, made with a blade of '3G' (which is  Fallkniven's proprietary name for a lamination of  VG2-SGPS-VG2 steels) that is first hard to blunt and then hard to sharpen. At 62 HRC, SGPS is a very hard steel. So much so, that for me at least, Diamond Stones are a must. I've long wanted the TK6 as the next step in the search for my 'little-big-knife' a sort of field-scalpel on steroids. I love it, the blade shape works, there is just-enough handle, and the edge holding is other worldly.

Fat blades are not 'slicers' and never will be, so I wouldn't class either as being a very good kitchen knife, the TK6 being much better as the blade feels narrower. The F1's massive strength comes at the cost of always feeling a bit 'fat in the cut' whereas the TK6 feels a lot thinner. With the absence of any nearby Deer Stalking opportunities, when The Lighthouse Keeper and myself Fished the Usk, I prepared two Squirrels and skinned a road kill Pine Marten, here the TK6 really found its niche, its the most convient skinning knife/field scalpel I've found yet: Superb!

Enough blade length to prise away hide, but still short enough for a tip-protected cut when first opening the animal up. So no need for one of those silly "look at me I'm a hunter" gut-hooks.

I know I'm a Fallkniven fanboy so in the interests of fairness I have to have a bit of a moan about the fit of the TK6's handle, neither design has the casting quite right but somehow I'm more inclined to give the rough and ready F1 a pass and say that as part of the premium Tripple Krona range the fit on the TK6 is a bit of a let down. This isn't such a big deal for me as it's always been my intention to customise a TK6, it has the steel and blade shape I want, and some of the other features I'm going for aren't available off the shelf. If you were set on keeping the factory handle a bit of work with a scalpel and some sandpaper would sort it out, but you should bear that in mind before you order one. That being said, I seriously love mine, it's a lot of that perfect knife I've been looking for.

"There is no 'perfect' knife but you'll have fun looking for it" SBW

"There's no bore like a knife bore" Raymond Mears

The custom project, some huntin' with raptors, and air rifles, some stalking, and of course more kit reviews on the way.
Your pal


Perkunas said...

Thanks man, i really appreciate it.

Ohio Slinger said...

I love my F1 - it's hard to think that another knife could replace it as the perfect all-around utility and reliable hunting companion.

Not sure that I really need anything else but if I was going to spring for a second knife, the TK6 would be a good choice.

Sahil said...

Nice looking work horse blade! Seems like the Swedish equivalent of the ESEE to me. How did that pine marten taste? :)

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


Very happy with it, in fact so much so that if I known I'd have liked it so much i'd have got one sooner.
I like ESEE a lot but this puppy is quite different.

Sorry i've just remembered I didn't respond to your email.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Ohio Slinger
Big F1 fan myself, I wouldn't go away without it.

If I had my druthers the F1 would be either an inch longer or an inch shorter and a bit thinner/more slicey in the blade - which is where the TK6 comes in.