A while back, I wrote an article based on a video I made taking a nostalgic look at “The Survivor”… the cheapo hollow handled survival knife inspired by the film First Blood. After making fun of that piece of crap knife that so many of us naive 10 year old “survivalists” got from Santa Claus in the early 1980’s… I went on to recommend a few that my research revealed as viable survival knives.
One of those is Kizlyar Supreme’s Survivalist X. After discussing a few particulars concerning the knife with Kizlyar Supreme, a top quality Russian knife manufacturer, I decided to review the Survivalist X.
The Survivalist X is available with two blade steel options, AUS8 (Japanese Stainless) and D2 (a tool steel). I opted for the extra toughness with slightly less water resistance of the D2 rather than the AUS8 which is easier to sharpen but needs resharpening more often and which has higher resistance to corrosion and rust than D2.
AUS8 is a Japanese stainless steel that has only 0.75% carbon content so it has excellent resistant to corrosion and rust. It is also easy to sharpen to a very keen edge due to its vanadium content which also improves wear resistance and refines the grain for good toughness, but will also need to be resharpened slightly more often than a higher carbon content blade which typically have excellent toughness.
D2 is a “semi-stainless” tool steel with good (not excellent) resistance to corrosion and rust as its chromium content of 12% is just shy of the 14% that qualifies a steel as stainless. It is excellent at holding an edge, but is harder to sharpen to a very fine edge. It has a carbon content of 1.50-1.60%.
I critically thought through and tested the design and construction of the knife, its sheath, and survival kit contents… putting it through some very thorough and demanding paces. My methods and process are all recorded in these two videos…
My ultimate opinion of Kizlyar Supreme’s Survivalist X in the D2 Tool Steel… I am glad I own this knife. It has met and/or exceeded my very high expectations of a hollow handled survival knife… in terms of my three criteria for a survival tool:
By the way, for those of you who still doubt the viability of a hollow handled survival knife… Kizlyar Supreme is developing full-tang versions of the Survivalist series and are
now making prototypes for testing. Here are a few behind the scenes looks at handle configurations. Kizlyar Supreme is interested in consumer feedback and is specifically interested in which of the three handle configurations my readers like more… and why. Kizlyar Supreme is still thinking about handle material, though it will most likely be G10 or textolite (a Russian material similar to G10). Please leave a comment below sharing what handle you like more, and perhaps you might also express some other valuable comment and suggest what else you would like added/changed in these drawings.
What hollow handled knives do you own or use?
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