True North Blog

Knife Review – Fallkniven F1

Knife Review - Fallkniven F1

Anyone who has taken one of my wilderness survival courses, or has spent time with me in the backcountry, knows full well that I have a penchant for equipment that is of Swedish origin.  There are probably several reasons, but the overriding one is simply that I love equipment that is well crafted and built to endure.  Sweden, then, is lucky enough to be home to many such products.

In as much, my primary survival knife is the F1, manufactured by Fallkniven, a company based in — Yes, you guessed it — Sweden.

With a total length of just over 8 inches (the same size and length as my folding knife), the F1 certainly doesn’t fit the image of the typical “survival knife,” but, trust me, looks can be deceiving.  It is an extremely versatile knife that can be used, not just for slicing, but chopping, prying, and pounding.  Which is appropriate since it has been the standard issue survival knife to pilots of the Swedish Air Force since 1995.

Fallkniven F1 bAnother great aspect of the F1 is that it is easily held and controlled in smaller hands.  With my survival courses being on average comprised of 60% women, it is not fair or realistic that I recommend traditional knives that are unwieldy (think the “Rambo” knives that many other survival schools suggest).  The Fallkniven F1 is the knife that I would be totally comfortable outfitting a wife or daughter.

I only have two critiques, one being legitimate and the other merely superficial.

My main problem is keeping the edge sharp.  I don’t fully understand the technical reasons, but because the steel is very hard, I have a great deal of trouble keeping an edge.  As my friend, J.C., has articulated to students while helping me to teach, a dull knife is a dangerous knife.  This may sound a bit dramatic, but it is still true.  I must concede, though, that sharpening is not my most refined skill so I accept a good part of the blame.

The second problem is that the sheath, while certainly functional, is equally dull cosmetically.  This, though, I easily remedied by commissioning a custom kydex sheath that sports a pouch that holds a multitool, a miniature LED flashlight, and a commercial grade “Swedish Firesteel” made by Light My Fire — I told you that I have a penchant for all things Swedish!

Anyway, a video is much a better way to fully convey to you how great a choice the Fallkniven F1 is for your backcountry or survival needs.  So, I have provided below a videolink from Cachewild, who did a particularly good job demonstrating the knife.

Erik Kulick leaning aginst wall with True North badge on blue shirt

About the Author

Erik is the founder of True North Wilderness Survival School. He is a police officer, EMS provider, a Wilderness EMT, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been featured in national and international media, including CNN, the Associated Press, and Backpacker. To learn more about Erik, visit him on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Facebook.

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