One day in 2006 I have received a large package from Busse Combat, which contained several new knives, including Fusion Steel Heart, the one being reviewed here, HOG FSH LE, Satin Jack TAC or SJ TAC, and couple other things in it. I said in other review, there was a long gap in my Busse buying process, and those two were the first ones after a long break, like a year or two. Don't remember exactly. Although, I was lucky to grab this very rare specimen, limited edition steel heart, #7 and the number was low enough to make it more desirable for knife collector ;) I know it's not very rational, because #235 from the same batch would be exactly the same Steel Heart as the #5, but collectors have their own things going on, and it's fine. I'm not sure I get it, but whatever. The knife was cool, it was quite rare and it was a Busse. So, I was happy with it.
General- As it is pretty much a standard rule at Busse Combat, whenever the new design comes out, or a new version of the existing design, limited edition(LE) is introduced, often that LE is the first one to appear on the market than the standard combat grade(CG) editions. Unfortunately, I have no idea what exactly was the background with this knife, whether or not it appeared prior to Busse Fusion Steel heart or after it. Besides, the knife I got was the Fat version of the Limited Edition Steel Heart. I guess this goy would appear a little later, since fat ones are not introduced in the initial LE version, although nothing can be ruled out. I'll figure this out eventually. I know for certain it was produced in 2004 though. For the record, if you are not bona fide Busse collector, Fat in Busse Combat knife thickness classification means 8mm(5/16") thick, while standard or normal thickness is ~6mm(¼"), thin being 4.8mm(3/16") and anything thinner than that is classified as anorexic. So, based on that my new Fusion Steel Heart was a healthy fatty knife ;) The knife arrived packed in a box, no sheath as usual. Initial inspection revealed the knife made by Busse Combat, medium, rather on the large side fixed blade knife, quite thick for its size. Blade finish was nice smooth satin type, which is what limited edition Busses typically have. Satin finish quality was very nice, no scratches or grind marks. Busse logo on the blade and the #7 etched on the ricasso. Build quality was obviously rally good, everything was ground, machined and fitted very well and precisely. Overall, it's make any Busse collector's heart to beat a bit faster ;)
Blade- The new Fusion Steel heart (FSH) blade geometry resembles the Steel Heart II blade geometry a lot more than the intermediate version - Ergo Steel heart. To me that was a good thing, I liked the SHII the best. Yes, better than HOG FSHLE too. The blade is 203.20mm(8") and I already mentioned its unusually thick blade, which is 8mm(5/16"). Well, not quite unusual for Busse Combat, as they routinely make blades that thick, although in limited editions and special runs. Although, if you think HOF FSHLE was the thickest steel heart ever produced, think again ;) There was another special run, MOASH, mother of all steel hearts, which was about 8.75mm(0.345") thick. Not that HOG FSHLE was suffering form the lack of metal in it though. Just, if you want the thickest, then this ain't the one, look for the MOASH, which was produced in the same year 2004. The blade had a standard Busse Combat factory edge on it, which is a convex edge, sharpened at 40° total angle, or 20° per side. HOG FSHLE has a drop point blade, which is a full flat grind blade, complete with a choil and ricasso, which is little less than an inch long. Other than that, no specific blade features to speak of. For the stats, the blade is made from the Busse proprietary INFI steel, and here is the INFI steel chemical composition.
Handle- The handle on the HOG Fusion steel heart LE is pretty much your standard Fusion type handle. As all of the Busse knives, FSH LE is a full tang knife design, and the handle slabs are attached to the tang using Busse standard tube fasteners and a glue underneath. There are 3 tube fasteners on the handle, and as an option some of the modders do replace them with the screws, in case you plan on removing the slabs often, which I very rarely do, mainly because of the rehardening or recoating, and since I've' never done that on Busse knives, I never had a need for that either. The exposed areas of the tang, between the handle slabs and on the butt were very nicely smoothed out and they flush with the slabs perfectly. Nothing is protruding to irritate your paws. Believe me, on the knife this heavy, and HOG FSHLE weight very hefty 749g(26.4oz) it does matter how smooth those parts are, since with every chop or swing you make the inertia and recoil forces are quite considerable, and you have to hold the knife tight, you don't want the thing flying somewhere uncontrollably. As for the rest, the handle was quite ergonomic and comfortable for the knife of this size and weight. Texturing was well defined and micarta is good enough to provide secure grip, without irritation. On the other hand I have never done any significant, prolonged session with this knife, and I can not comment on its long term use aspects. Visually, I did like the handle design. And the last detail I have to mention, the butt, which is the typical skull crusher type butt, with not one, but two holes in it. One of those holes in conjunction with the whole on the ricasso gives you ability to make a d-guard if you want that.
Usage- None. I have to confess, I have never used this knife. It was one of the rare safe queens in my collection, too pretty to be actually used and abused. Although, a lot of Busse collectors deem that a mortal sin, most of them are still guilty of doing the same :)
Conclusions- Well, it was a collector's peace to me, so all I did just played with it and recorded the stats for the review database. Other than that, no use. Still, I can tell you that it was a very well made knife and given its maker's reputation and my own experience with Busse knives, it would've been superb performer for heavy duty use, had I ever decide to use it in that role. After all, HOG FSHLE was heavier them a lot of the kukris knives I have. So, for chopping, heavy duty prying, harsh cutting, anything of that sort, this knife will do very well. It's not a delicate cutter for sure. It's a brute, but a collectable brute. if you get one and have heart to use, by all means, it won't let you down ;)
- Model - Fusion Steel Heart Limited Edition;
- Blade - 203.20mm(8")
- Thickness - 8.00mm
- OAL - 345.00mm(13.58")
- Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
- Weight - 749g(26.4oz)
- Handle - Micarta
- Acquired - 03/2006 Price - 650.00$
- Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;
Last updated - 09/01/11