Re: Roger Linger Bushcraft Knife
Beautiful knives, Roger does great work. I currently own 4 of his knives, and we a working now on a 5th.
Here is a small review of the latest knife he mad for me.
Roger Linger Wilderness Survival Knife (Tracker Style)
I have never been a big fan of knives with extra gadgets and gizmos, but there is something about Tom Brown’s Tracker Knife that has always drawn my curiosity. I have taken several survival courses over the years, and have always been a big fan of a smaller 4” blade and a mini hatchet for chopping. After reading several of Tom Brown’s books, I became lured into his legends of Grandfather and the Indian Scouts, so I signed up to take his standard survival course over the winter of 2005 in Florida. If I’m taking one of Tom’s classes, I might as well try out his knife design. There have been many makers of this style knife over the years, but because of the complexity of the grind, most makers have ceased making the Tracker. TOPS Knives has a version of the knife, but I really am not a fan of black-coated blades, and the biggest drawback was the saw teeth. On the TOPS version, the teeth are not offset and this would cause the saw to blind while cutting wood. David Beck has been making a great version of this knife, but recently became ill and stopped production of his WSK version. Looking for a custom Tracker-style blade, I turned to my friend Roger Linger. Roger has made several knives for me in the past, all with remarkable craftsmanship. After commissioning Roger and several emails and photos later, my new custom knife arrived.
My first impression was, “Wow, this knife is big”. This knife is made of ¼” thick O1 steel with an overall length of 12 1/2 inches and a blade length of 6 1/2 inches. Roger specially heat-treated the Hatchet edge to be slightly softer than the drawknife to resist chipping. I spend several hours playing around with this knife, and I found it as effective as a small ax or hatchet for chopping. The handle of the knife was designed with several finger grooves so you can hold it in different positions to increase leverage during chopping. Roger also tapered the tang, which really increases the forward weight and gives it a powerful chop. I chopped up several Oak logs and limbs and was amazed how this thing performs; the knife out-chopped both of my Gransfor Bruk hatchets.
The drawknife/Carving section of the blade was heat treated to 59 HRc, and came very sharp, and performed many cutting tasks with ease. I cut up several pieces of rope, whittled a few sticks, shaved thin strips of Fatwood tinder. The blade performed flawlessly. Roger contoured the black Micarta handle, and it fit my average-sized hands very comfortably. You can move your hands up to the most forward position of the handle to gain better control and balance while craving or doing more precise cutting chores.
The saw teeth were milled in impeccably, and I was very surprised at how well they cut dry hardwood. The saw teeth are staggered and self-cleaning, but did clog up while cutting softer wood like pine. I sawed several pieces of hard dry oak around 3” in diameter with relative ease. Of course chopping would be a lot faster, but if you would like a precision cut the saw portion is quite capable of tackling the job.
Roger left sharp 90-degree angles on the spine so I could strike a FireSteel. The O1 steel will really throw a shower of sparks that should easily ignite tinder.
Jamie Briggs made the custom leather sheath. The sheath was made to be worn either vertical by using the removable belt loop or in the small of the back, Scout style. The sheath also has a loop to hold the Swedish Army FireSteel, so I will always have the two most important survival items with me during my wilderness adventures.
If you didn’t guess by now, this knife really impressed me. I have dealt with Roger Linger on a number of projects in the past, and each and very time when one of his custom knives arrive; his remarkable craftsmanship blows me away. I have heard many people on the forum talk about this style knife before, and now I can say, if you haven’t used this style knife, you really would not truly understand what the knife is capable of. It’s a very well thought out tool that can perform many survival tasks. Thanks again to Tom Brown, Roger Linger, and Jamie Briggs for helping to create a real serious survival tool for me.
Last edited by myakka; 07-03-2012 at 18:18.
The more you know, the less you need.