If you have never been to Blade Show, it’s difficult to describe the sheer number of blades that are all under one roof. From cases of classic Randalls to new designs that incorporate cutting-edge materials, there’s truly something for everyone. We scoured this massive event to pick out the best knives for bushcraft.
Our intent was to find a wide range of blades that could be used for bushcraft tasks and projects. We visited with old friends and met some new brands while making our selections. Continue reading to see what we found at Blade Show 2022.
Dragonfly Blade Works Bolo
Closely modeled after the legendary USMC Corpsman Bolo, this large chopper from Dragonfly Blade Works is a great utilitarian blade. It’s made from 3/16-inch 8670 steel and has a parkerized finish. The bolo measures 16.5-inches overall with a 10.5-inch blade.
We think the Dragonfly Blade Works Bolo would make an excellent chopper for split wood fires, limbing poles, and more. Plus, the rounded tip is excellent for digging, so you can utilize it while foraging and more.
The heavy-duty leather sheath is strong and sleek, so it’s easy to take the bolo on all of your rambles. If you’re looking for a big blade that’s historical and functional, this is the knife for you.
Many bushcrafters love a knife with a Scandinavian grind, and Helle is a company that knows how to make one. While there are plenty of quality puukkos and other larger blades with this excellent woodworking grind, it’s uncommon in folders.
Helle’s folders offer a great carver in a small package that still incorporates a full handle made from gorgeous curly birch. The Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel measures 2.7-inches, and the whole knife is 6.4-inches open.
The removable and reversible clip allows the knife to ride low in the pocket but still at the ready when it’s needed. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better bushcraft-focused folder than the Nipa.
Condor Norse Dragon
We were surprised to find very few knives that we would classify as puukkos at the show. However, we did come across a blade with many of the same features at the Condor booth.
The Norse Dragon features a 1095 steel blade that’s 3.8-inches long and the knife measures 8.3-inches overall. The handle is American Hickory and features a brass bolster and a burnt dragon design.
The back sewn leather sheath has a dangler attachment and is well made. It completes the very traditional-looking package. It’s easy to tell the Norse Dragon isn’t all about looks, though. The scandi grind is sharp, and the ergonomics are excellent. This is undoubtedly a knife that is made to be used.
Okay, we realize that this is another scandi grind, 1095, 8-ish inch knife, but there are plenty of reasons to include it in our list. Not only was it designed by the prolific knife and survival journalist Reuben Bolieu, but Rowen Manufacturing produces it, and it’s covered by ESEE’s incredible lifetime warranty.
This iteration features ESEE’s blackwash blade and micarta handles. The knife is carried in a high-quality leather pouch sheath.
The RB3 really has all of the features of a great mid-sized bushcraft blade in a durable package. If you want to buy one knife for all of your outdoor pursuits, the RB3 would be a great option.
L.T. Wright’s Genesis
You read that right. Not “a” L.T. Wright Genesis, but “the” L.T. Wright’s Genesis. One of the most influential knifemakers of our time carries this well-loved and well-used blade.
While L.T. is very generous, I doubt you can have this particular knife. However, there are plenty of examples of this model available in a variety of grinds, steels, and handle materials.
Regardless of the specifics, the Genesis is 9-inches overall with a 4.25-inch cutting edge. The tapered handle fills the hand, and the thumb scallops provide excellent control for detail work.
This design is really a new classic, and the LTWK crew has adapted the general aesthetic into some great variations, including the Next Gen and the Gen 6.