Overall Length: 210 mm
Blade Length: 97 mm
Blade Thickness: 4.50 mm
Style: Full Tang
Steel: Laminated 3G Powder Steel
Hardness: 62 HRC
Handle Material: Maroon Micarta
Weight: 197 Grams
Made in: Japan – Designed in Sweden
Sheath: Genuine Leather
An impossible task?
Fällkniven started with field-testing a large number of knives, both fixed and folding knives, the vast majority of well-known, reputable manufacturers from USA, Europe and Japan. Curiously, none measured up! The bottleneck was the Swedish winter, which set the limits of what was possible. Regarding folding knives, they found that they were too weak and not reliable enough, especially when it came to snow, ice or dirt in the locking mechanism. Fixed knives appeared that they had cooling metal details in the handle or that they caused blisters, or were designed in a way that they did not provide an enough secure grip.
In that situation, they sat down and began to set up the parameters for how a survival knife for pilots would look like and, that was a real challenge. The reason why the knife should be light was because if the knife was too heavy it would tear the fabric of the leg pocket in pieces if the pilot was forced to eject from a crashing plane, it’s all about big G-forces. While at the same time would still be both strong and stay sharp well.
It became a hunting knife!
For a hunter, the knife should be safe in the hands even if they are bloody, sweaty or have cold or wet fingers. The edge retention is gained by using a high-alloy corrosion resistant special steel from Hitachi Metal Corp. in Japan, a steel that the Boeing plant used for rotor blades in its huge aircraft engines. As usual, such ideas came from knife makers in the US, where especially the now late Robert W. Loveless, the world’s all-time best knife maker, was the one that drove the development of finer steel knives (he had seen an F1 knife and liked what he saw. He got his inspiration when designing his knives, from Scandinavia. He always had liked the simple, clean lines of Scandinavian knives and that that had been the guiding star of his production. Bob Loveless died in September 2010, 81 year old, but his design will live for a very long time – he is considered to be the one who introduced the drop point design of knives, a design which hunters appreciate very much.
In August 1995, Fällkniven AB could deliver several thousand knives to the Swedish Air Force. During the following year the knife was introduced to the civilian market, and it led to a viral success. The F1 Pilot Survival Knife was the first production sheath knife in the world fitted with blades made of special steel and that appeared to be very attractive twenty years ago. The F1 blade has through the years been upgraded in terms of the technical content but the original design stands up yet. The experience and the philosophical concept that F1 knife is based on can be found in virtually all other knife models from Fällkniven AB, the relationship between the different models is striking, especially in the technical and ergonomic purposes.