By John Fenna
Although the Casstrom Swedish Forest Knife is available in different sizes, steels, grinds, handle materials and sheaths, when I saw the 10cm “No 10” version in 4mm O2 steel with Curly Birch scales in a Cognac veg tan leather sheath that also held a matching fire steel, I kind of fell in love!Luckily it also performs well in the woods!
The 12cm long handle stands out with its shape – more ergonomic than most I have used - and with its contours and rounded corners proves very comfortable and secure in a wide variety of grips and usage, while the oiled Curly Birch, black liners over the full tang, 3 brass rivets and brass lanyard tube, make it look superb.
The 10cm drop point blade is 4mm thick Bohler K720 (O2) high carbon steel hardened to 58-60 HRC with a flat Scandi grind, while the back edge corners are sharp enough to produce showers of sparks from the fire steel with minimal effort.
I did, once, manage to slightly roll the edge – batoning through tough seasoned hardwood - but generally the edge stayed keen and proved durable as well as easy to sharpen. Most days the knife only needed a quick stropping to bring it back to shaving sharp.
The sheath is made from Cognac coloured 3mm veg tan leather with a welted sewn edge and has a rivet at the top of the strong stitching. The wide belt loop is twin riveted and there is an eyelet at the tip of the sheath.
The knife is held in the sheath with friction and is very secure, while the “army” style (95mm x 6cm) fire steel has not only a lovely Curly Birch handle, but an elastic safety loop (in a matching brown) to secure the fire steel in its loop once it starts to wear down beyond the point that friction will hold it in place.
A very practical, functional, comfortable and – to my eye at least – beautiful knife, the No 10 is a great “all rounder” in the woods, doing everything from food prep, through spoon carving, firewood prep to trimming out hazel poles to be made into walking sticks.
Hailing from Swedish Lapland, the Casstrom No 10 Swedish Forest Knife in carbon steel and Curly Birch with the combo sheath with fire steel is designed to perform – and suceeds!
This knife is available in various handle choices, but in Curly Birch costs £130.00.
For more info visit www.casstrom.co.uk