Woodsman Folding Knife
By Craig Birse-Johnson
The woodsman is one of the smaller bladed folders from the Jack Pyke range of knives.
What drew me to it more than the others was its interesting “wasp like” shape. That combined with its solid look made me think it would be a good pocket knife for the tasks I normally do.
Folded length: 4 ½”
Blade length: 3”
Overall length: 7 ½”
Weight: 93g (103g with sheath) Price: £ 12.99 - £15.99
When you first take the knife from the blister pack it comes in, you do notice straight away that it is blunt, so you will have to spent a little time getting a good edge on it before its really usable. A quick check over also reveals that the finish seems to be ok and there are no defects or loose parts.
The blade itself is made from 440 stainless steel and has a matt finish. It is 2mm thick at the spine. I would say it is a spear point and is flat ground with a secondary bevel.
On the bottom of the blade there is a fair sized choil that allows you to sit your finger in quite comfortably and securely. I haven’t had any trouble with my finger slipping out as I have found on some knives with a shallower choil.
On the spine at the back there is a 1” section that is ridged. This is a good feature as it gives you extra grip when you need to put extra pressure on the blade from your thumb. When using the choil and the ridged section together you get a lot of control over the blade. I find this especially handy when carving in detail or other fine work.
Also on the blade you have a 5mm double stud (one either side). These are to aid in one handed opening of the knife. They are a good size and allow your thumb to easily catch and open the blade. They are very secure and so far there has been no sign of them loosening.
The body is made up of a few parts which are:
The locking mechanism: The locking mechanism is a 1mm piece of SS that is secured to 1 side of the casing. At the bottom a strip of the steel is bent upwards, this is the locking bar. When the knife is in the closed position the blade slides over a nipple on the bar keeping it pressed down. When in the open position the blade slides over the bar until it is fully opened. At this point the bar pushes up and sits in behind the blade locking it in place. The bar has a section of ridges to give better grip when pushing it down to close.
When locked the blade is held very securely and I haven’t had any problems with up/down, side to side movement.
The casing is also made from SS and has a brushed finish to it. The 2 halves are held together by 2 screw bolts with the separators in between. There is another separator near the front which has been riveted on. When open, the back of the blade sits against this one which stops it coming any further back.
The last piece holding everything together is the large ½” bolt at the front. This is inset on either side and goes through the blade, acting as its pivot. Again the bolt is very secure and the blade pivots smoothly around it.
On either side of the knife, screwed into the casing there is a polished wooden plate.
When I first got the knife I was a bit concerned that these plates would make it uncomfortable when using for any length of time. However I have found the opposite to be true. They actually pad that part of the handle out, giving you more to hold onto, better grip and making it more comfortable. They also make the knife look good with the wood contrasting against the metal.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is a 3” shaped piece of SS that is screwed to the casing with 3 screws. It allows you to clip it onto your pocket or belt.
I have to say from the start that I do not like a pocket clip on any knife. I find they make holding your knife uncomfortable as it digs in to the palm. Also if you’re putting it in your pocket you can bet that if you have any leads, string headphones etc. it will get tangled up in them. To be fair, I did keep the clip on for a while to test it on the belt and pocket and to make sure that it did its job properly.
The clip sits very tightly against the wood plates giving excellent grip. For the time I did have it on the clip held to my pocket/belt with no problems.
The sheath is made from a thin nylon with the edges reinforced with thicker webbing. On the back you have the belt loop which measures 2 ¾” x ¾” and is stitched strongly onto the body of the sheath. The knife is held into the pouch by the top flap which is fastened down by a ¾” square of Velcro.
There is plenty of room inside and you can easily fit a fire steel down the side. My only complaint with the sheath is the fact that the stitching, although secure is untidy. There are a few loose ends and some of the rows are uneven and squint.
The sheath is perfectly serviceable but out of personal preference I will make my own leather sheath for it. I think it would be a good option to have when purchasing the knife.
Living on a small holding, hunting for food and having numerous hobbies, there is never a day goes by that I don’t need to use a knife for one thing or another. Over the years I found that of all the knives I have, I tend to use the smaller bladed and pocket knives the most, this was another reason I was attracted to the woodsman.
If anyone was looking for a knife solely for skinning and butchering I would definitely recommend this one especially for small game prep.
I have done a lot of game prep over the years with a lot of different knives and I would certainly say this is one of the good ones. Due to the shape of the blade you can easily get the tip right down in between the muscle and skin and when using a drawing movement it gives a clean sweeping cut. Also as the choil and grip gives you the extra control it makes taking the meat from the bone and jointing so much easier. It is also quick and easy to clean.
Carving, leatherwork etc.:
Again I found the Woodsman to be excellent for this type of work. When carving the back of the blade is big enough to do the heavier task of removing lots of the excess wood whilst the tip is shaped perfectly for fine detail and fiddly work.
I found the handle shape make it comfortable to use over long periods of time the choil and ridge section again comes into play giving you that extra control which is very handy for cutting out shapes etc. in leather as you can put plenty of downwards pressure on the blade.
I have used the Woodsman for numerous tasks from making feathersticks to light the fire in the morning to cutting open bags of feed and hay bales and lots of food prep as it is a great kitchen knife also.
In my opinion the woodsman is a simple well designed sturdy little folder. Not only does it look good but it is functional as well. The easy to open blade means you can have it out of your pocket/sheath and ready to use very quickly. It is light and comfortable to use so extended periods of use are no problem.
I think this is a good quality knife at a very reasonable price.