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Featured Item | Hultafors Pack

Hultafors Pack
Hultafors Pack

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Hultafors Pack

Hultafors is a Swedish company whose roots date back to 1883 and to the invention of the folding rule. They produced mostly wooden measuring tools for a long period of time. But since the early 1990s when they bought and merged with other companies, they manufacture hand tools, including pry-bars, hammers, axes and knives. Some of these acquired companies go back a long time in history, such as the Hults Bruk reaching back all the way to 1697. Today the company known as the Hultafors Group, which includes three main sections, namely Snickers (workwear), Wibe (ladders) and Hultafors (hand tools). Generally speaking the company is better known in Europe, than in North America.

This brings us to our Canadian distributor, Paul at BushcraftCanada.com. He carries a good selection of axes and knives from the palette of Hultafors. He grouped three of these knives in a money saving bundle. All three models belong to the "Craftsman's knives" line of the manufacturer.


HVK model (orange handle):
Steel: Japanese carbon @ HRC 58-60
Total length: 208mm
Blade length: 93mm
Blade width: 18.5mm
Blade thickness: 2.5mm
Weight: 75g (sheath 23g)

RFR model (blue handle):
Steel: Japanese stainless @ HRC 57-59
Total length: 208mm
Blade length: 93mm
Blade width: 18.5mm
Blade thickness: 2.5mm
Weight: 75g (sheath 23g)

GK model (green handle):
Steel: Japanese carbon @ HRC 58-60
Total length: 222mm
Blade length: 94mm
Blade width: 23mm
Blade thickness: 3mm
Weight: 105g (sheath 27g)

Overall impressions:

All three knives were sharp enough to slice newsprint with the factory edge, but none of them shaved hair. The GK model (which had the worst edge out of the three) even had some visible burr on the edge. I touched them up on my Spyderco Sharpmaker and some charged leather. The RFR and HVK models are essentially the same, except the blade steel (and handle colour...). The stainless (RFR) model gives up a little hardness and thus a bit of edge retention in exchange of easier maintenance. These two knives have Scandinavian grind with a (tiny) micro secondary bevel. The more robust GK model have a Scandinavian grind with a well defined secondary bevel, which was a bit uneven at the tip. All three knives have a hidden tang construction where the tang goes about halfway into the handle and in the case of the beefier GK this distance is about 2/3 of the length of the handle.

The colour coded handles are molded Polypropylene (PP) plastic with a very prominent finger-guard at the blade and a somewhat less pronounced pommel at the back. These handles are tough, weatherproof and have enough real estate for large hands and work gloves, especially the GK. They have a slight surface texture and provide a good, secure and comfortable grip, even when wet. Also, they are smooth enough to be used for extended time periods without developing hot spots in one's palm. Here are some in hand photos.


The sheaths are made out of the same tough "PP" plastic as the handles. They give a tight fit and hold the knives securely. I could not shake them out upside down. These sheaths can be mounted on a belt or on the buttons of a work uniform (this kind of carry is very popular in the Scandinavian countries). The belt loops can be opened and clipped to some harness or webbing as well. In order to accommodate thicker belts the loop needs a little modification. There is a "ridge" or "rib" inside of the loop which has to be cut away. This is easy to do, since we can open and close the loop. Also, there is a drain hole at the bottom on each of these sheaths and a thumb rest on the top to facilitate the one handed draw of the knives. Now, these sheaths are not going to win any beauty contests, but they are very functional.

Practical use:

I have tried to use all three members of this trio equally in every assignment and share my thoughts and opinions here. These knives are well suited to carving and "bushcrafting" chores in the light to medium field and perform nicely in the woods. They can even take some abuse (within reason...), especially the stronger GK model. So, here are some of the categorized tasks I have put them through.


Light batoning...
...feather-sticks and shavings. Nice and curly.

A little whittling...

...notches. Clean and smooth cuts.
Some deep power cuts...
… and power slice. Notice the nice and clean surface.
Scrapings made with the spine of the blade...
...and drilling with the tip.

This trio carried out all these jobs admirably. The spine of each blade was sharp enough on one side to throw good sparks with a ferrocerium rod and make fine wood or bark scrapings. The relatively thin Scandi blades bite deep into wood and easy to control even during power cuts. (The GK model suffered here slightly, because of the different grind and thicker blade.) The keen edges compounded with the generously sized handles make them powerful slicers, yet they are still very safe to use. Actually, I think they are good candidates for youngsters and inexperienced people to learn (supervised) safe knife handling.

Cutting, slicing:

Here, I have used different materials as subjects of my tests.
Such as pneumatic air-hose...
...plastic plumbing pipe..
...nylon webbing...
...nylon rope...
...bicycle inner tube...
… and leather.
Stripped some household "Loomex" wire.
Also stripped and push-cut(!) some 8 conductor, 24AWG size CAT5E data/communication cable with the GK model. After this, the edge of the secondary bevel developed a very tiny, really hard to see roll/burr in a small spot, which was removed with a couple of swipes on the Sharpmaker and it was perfect again. Other than this one, minor roll, none of the knives suffered any damage during these tests.

Food preparation:

In this field the relatively short blades, but even more so the finger guards were limiting factors in the performance of the knives. Of course, they can be pressed into kitchen duty, if necessary. They will fulfill those requests as well. I took some pictures of these accomplishments.



Both the stainless and the carbon steel blades seem to have good edge retention.

The finger guards virtually make it impossible for your fingers to slide onto the cutting edge, but some of the time they do get in the way of certain kinds of work, e.g., food processing or some carving action. I strongly feel, that the oversized finger guards take away from the capabilities of these knives.

Some people would grind them off, but that would pose another problem in the form of a loose fit in the sheath. I wish Hultafors would make some purposely built bushcraft models, using the same materials with a touch longer blade and more importantly with more subdued (or even without) finger guards... Although, originally these lightweight knives were (as the name of the line "Craftsman's knives" suggests) designed for tradesmen, mostly in the construction/maintenance business, they hold up pretty good in the outdoor/bushcraft arena as well. For example, they would make an excellent back up, loaner/starter knife or a good addition to a survival kit. Teamed up with other tools, such as a folding saw or/and an axe they would serve anyone well in a main kit, also. All three of these blades belong to the same inexpensive category (I would not call them "cheap"...), as the better known Mora knives and provide excellent value for the money. It is really hard to beat the money-quality ratio that these knives have. In this bundle offering it is an even better deal. Definitely a recommended buy either on their own or in the bundle of three.

Thanks for reading!

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