General - I've Had it forever by now :) Haven't used it seriously yet, mostly sitting in the trunk, as an emergency knife. Looks very impressive ;) A1 is a fairly large, heavy piece of cutlery. One of the reasons to get this knife was the VG-10 steel. VG-10 is a high end stainless steel. As many claim, it can compete with ATS-34 & be very successful in this competition. For those who like exact numbers - VG-10 Steel Composition. As you can see nothing prevents this steel to be ATS-34 competitor, or even beat it, though as usual, the heat treatment means a lot in this case. Considering that I have seen only positive replies about this knife, Fallkniven must be doing very good job ;) You can find more info on Cliff Stamp's web page about this knife, check his article Fallkniven Mod A1. As of the quality, I have no complaints regarding A1. Well made factory knife, no flaws, no problems.
Blade- A1 blade is 162.00mm(6.38") long. Which is fine for most cutting tasks. Out of the box sharpness was satisfactory, it would shave and cut free hanging paper without a problem. The edge was not rough, but not mirror polished either. For heavy use knife I prefer that type of edge vs. mirror polished. Out of curiosity I did 5 passes per side using 1000 grit ceramic rod. It definitely improved sharpness. Factory edge is fairly thick, but not as thick as I've seen on many other factory knives. My understanding is that originally A1 would come with convex edge, which later was replaced with standard V edge. Somewhat pity, although more difficult to sharpen, convex edge has higher performance and would've been preferable for survival knife.
A1 survival knife blade geometry is nothing complicated, it's simple and practical. Clip point, flat saber ground blade, with V grind edge. Blade thickness in .24", which is 6mm in SI. Obviously the knife with the blade of high quality steel that thick is not a weak one. I have done some heavy prying/chopping with A1 and can only confirm that. The tip on A1 is really strong. It didn't have problems neither with seasoned wood prying, nor with stabbing sheet metal and aluminum tubing. As a chopper A1 is an average one. Because of it's relatively light weight which is due to narrower blade it doesn't chop as well as Busse NO or even Busse ZTNO. Both Busses have 6 inch blade, but much wider, plus the ergo handles, which makes them better choppers, even the lighter ZT NO. Though for cutting A1 does perform well. For finer cutting tasks one would probably wish there was a choil, but alas, there is none.
It'd be interesting to compare A1 with Busse SJ CG. Dimensionally those two are almost identical and blade geometry is similar, although SJ is flat ground and A1 is saber. Although, INFI steel used by Busse is definitely tougher and more wear resistant. Anyway, later if I have time I'll try to do some comparative job.
I haven't used A1 for any prolonged tasks, so can't really comment in that regard. Though for short term use it was comfortable enough not to rise suspicions about long term. Edge holding was good on cardboard cutting and wood whittling/chopping. Cliff's conclusion was that VG-10 steel at 59 HRC is tougher than ATS-34 steel at 61 HRC, but wear resistance was slightly inferior to that of ATS-34. Judging from that A1 will hold well on heavy duty cutting and chopping. VG-10 is a stainless steel, so it doesn't really need any coating. Mine has nice satin finish. However Fallkniven does offer black coating too, for those who like covert operations ;) For now, I don't have info about their coating in regards of wear/chipping resistance.
Handle- A1 handle is comfortable for whatever this knife was designed. Even during chopping it is Ok. Handle is made of textured Kraton®. It's not aggressive to become uncomfortable, yet has enough traction to provide secure grip even when your hands are wet or oily. Hidden full tang extends slightly past the handle butt. Just enough to be used as a hammer. As I've mentioned above A1 was comfortable in use, I've tried it for various materials, including used tires stabbing, cutting and prying. All that was handled without any problems, and I didn't have any sore spots on my palms. Obviously prolonged use may change that, but most of the time I guess A1 is a very user friendly knife.
A2- During the spring 2002, Fallkniven introduced a new knife named A2, which A1 on steroids I guess. According to specs it's blade measures 8 inches in length. One more interesting detail is A2 laminated blade. The cutting edge is made of the same VG-10 at 59 HRC, and is laminated with 420J2 stainless steel. I've discussed VG-10 already, and as of 420J2, apparently it's some sort of a clone of well known 420 series. If you are interested, here you go 420JS steel composition. High corrosion resistance and toughness makes it good choice for external layer. Also, like the old days A2 features convex edge. I think I won't miss this knife as soon as it becomes available in USA. Longer blade will make it more blade heavy and a better chopper. It's gonna be interesting to observe laminated steel convex edge in action.
- Blade - 162.00mm(6.38")
- Thickness - 4.76mm
- OAL - 282.45mm(11.12")
- Steel - VG-10 59HRC
- Handle - KratonR
- Weight - 305.00g(10.31oz)
- Acquired - 06/2000 Price - 100.00$
- Sheath: Kydex
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Last updated - 09/01/11