Fremont Knives “Farson” Survival tool

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Here is an interesting blade that you’ve never thought of owning. The Fremont Knives “Farson” Blade. An interesting modern day take on a prehistoric design which was found in the Great Red Desert in Wyoming. This tool was intended to accomodate a variety of tasks such as chopping, cutting, slicing, and skinning. I took it through a bit of field testing to see if it could hold up to it’s claims.

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The factory specs on the blade are as follows…
SPECIFICATIONS:
• Overall Length: 6″
• Blade Length: 3.28″
• Blade Material: Stainless
• Handle : 8ft of Survival Cord
• Nylon Sheath Included

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The blade comes with several warning labels to announce where the sharpened edge of the blade begins and ends. This is clearly intended for military types like me. The finish is a dull satin except for the cutting edge.

There are two holes drilled in the handle to secure the eight foot paracord which is wrapped in a very deliberate manner. There is also a large stamped out hole in the center to allow a hand to wrap around the handle much like a set of brass knuckles.

The nylon sheath is adequate for storage in a bag or something, but if carried on your person, a kydex rig or leather setup along the cutting edge would work better.

The edge is sharp enough to go to work right away, but not razor sharp. This may be an intentional move by Fremont Knives due to safety concerns and sheath design. A better edge could be achieved by a competent user with a sharpening stone.

I started asking myself what a guy like me could do with this particular blade. The design is so unique I felt like I should attend a class on how to use it properly.
Then again, although it is unique, it is brilliantly simple. You can intuitively scrape and shave bark, create kindling sticks, cut carrots, split timber, process a large animal, create a hatchet, and the list goes on.

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This could make an excellent addition to any survival kit or bug out pack because it can do so many things whilst taking up very little space/weight. I love the “tacticool” survival tomahawks by Benchmade, S&W, SOG etc etc, but they can be pricey, hefty and ackwardly shaped for a bugout survival kit. With a street price of $50-60 USD, you won’t feel bad about tossing one of these in your pack.

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One of the most interesting things about this design is that you can Lash it to a stick to make a chopping tool or hatchet. There is a two foot lanyard which comes off the bottom of the handle with two overhand knots in it. If you untie the top knot you can loosen the cordwrap without untieing the cordwrap. You could then slip a stick between blade and cord to create an ax handle, or a section of stick to act as a palm swell for better grip.

This is a thoughtful cordwrap design, but in practice it doesn’t work very well. After three or four chops the wrap will inevitably come loose despite your best efforts to secure it.
The good news is, if you just unwrap the eight foot cord and create a lashing, it holds like a champ. The file work near the top and bottom of the handle bite into the cord well without damaging it.

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I tested the field expedient hatchet on the branch pictured. I was impressed at it’s ability, despite the hasty lashing.

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I also used a large stick to hammer the bottom of the blade to split a piece of firewood. Once again the blade came through on the task. Fremont knives does not reccomend hammering the blade with stone or metal when performing the tasks mentioned above. It makes sense, but then again you have to wonder what metal is used for the blade exactly. The only description is “high quality stainless steel.” A bold assertion if you ask me. Knife nuts would much rather see a designation such as 440C, AUS 8, ATS 34 etc etc… Just come clean with it Fremont.

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I regret that I didn’t have a downed Caribou to test The Farson’s skinning ability. However, based on similarly designed knives by custom makers that I have tested, it would seem the design is capable of such duties.

If you are stepping up your preparedness or looking for a versitile camping/hunting tool for your kit, this may be a feasable option for you.

Related

Michael Y

Mike is a life long shooter and gun lover. He is currently serving in the USAF with 12 years in, 8 years to go. Hobbies include anything that sucks up money such as guns, motorcycles, cars, knives, photography, and travel. Has also been labeled by some as a “gun nut,” and a “gear queer,” among other things we won’t mention…


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  • David Hinerman

    How much does it weigh? It seems like it might be a bit light for a hatchet application.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Actually the website doesn’t say but I can find out for you.

    • Michael Y

      Good observation. At 6.1oz it does not have the brute strength that you would hope for. However, if you select a lengthy and hefty ax handle you can still get the job done. The Sharp knifelike edge rather than the typical camping hatchet edge helps level the playing field. If you got real creative, you could include a flat stone in the lashing to add some chopping weight.

  • Samuel Suggs

    Michael Y I find it amusing that you have done exsclsivly blades whereas your description dosent mention them at all anyway looking forward to your future work and your work with knives has been excelent so far

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I’ll let Mike take it farther if he wants to but knife making runs in the family including him.

      • Samuel Suggs

        I am not qestioning his qualification its just funny

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          It’s not a resume Samuel:-) Mainly what he does now and just the highlights. He does mention knives as a hobby.

          “Hobbies include anything that sucks up money such as guns, motorcycles, cars, knives, photography, and travel”

          • Samuel Suggs

            I know i meant absolutly nothing bye it its just interesting and im weird like that

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I’ll chastise him severely for not covering the extent of his knife interest and experience–LOL!

          • Samuel Suggs

            Thank you my OCD will not keep me awake I thought I was going to have to stare at his self description thing all nights

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I understand:-)

    • Michael Y

      Thanks for the kind words Samuel. I’ll do my best to keep em coming. I was going to write articles on guns as well, but Phil doesn’t trust that I will send them back after I’m done =)

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Yea right! lol I wish I could!
        Oh yea I said I would chastise you. Consider yourself chastised—lol

    • Beaumont

      Er, what?

  • Samuel Suggs

    Yipeeeeeee another tacti ulu I can hardly contain my excitment

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      If you ever get a chance to watch the show” life below zero” one of the men featured in the show is married to an Eskimo lady. When the ladies get together to skin game the tool the use has a very similar shape.

      • Samuel Suggs

        yeah “its an ulu” so is this this this and this and this

        • Samuel Suggs

          they are large animal processing knives thats it, which makes it odd that their are actually many attempts to market them to preppers and other wliderness types case in point the draven industries Fulu its a ring ulu for fools or the folding convertible ulu form blade teck dynamic sounding aye. alternatly the souta ulu alcas convetible hatchet knife at the bottom suckes at both bye the way like Ive said before I know GOOGLE FU if its out their and related to weapons i can and will eventually find it

  • Samuel Suggs

    They practically claim that they discovered an ancient weapon of a more civilized age in an Aztec temple craved in red marble. Short of climbing Mount Everest and discovering a mysterious jade dagger with the inscription “他媽的你這個故事是狗屁” on its golden hilt I can’t think of anything that stinks more of bull in all of knife design. Especially when you consider what has come before see obvious thing they ripped off below

    • Giolli Joker

      I love Google Translate. :-D

      (well, just sometimes…)

      • Samuel Suggs

        me to

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        I don’t when it’s used like that—

        • Samuel Suggs

          i corrected you are no fun

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Yea I know but then we ladies who read the blog. Just call me old fashioned:-)

          • Samuel Suggs

            did you find my correction ammusing

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Yes I did:-) By way of reply not a problem—-

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Here’s a North American Indian skinner. This one is for smaller animals.

      • Samuel Suggs

        yeah I suppose, that one looks to be incredibly blunted

        • Kyle

          It was probably discarded a long long time ago. Time has that effect.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            It does indeed. Those artifacts I’ve found in shallow caves are usually in good shape depending on how much use they had. Those I’ve found when farmers plowed the fields in spring you can find a lot but with few eXceptions they are worn and sometimes broken from the plowing.
            My best find was a 2.5 foot rock bowl used for grinding corn by hand. It was used so much the center was worn down. It was intact. Skinning implements were found in caves with the arrowheads etc found in fields and close buy woods.
            This was an ideal location in far northwest Arkansas. A couple of caves in a rock bluff. At the bottom was a large water source whixh was large creek. From the cave you could see a great distance and spot the enemy. Oh well it was fun!

      • Samuel Suggs

        this is a really cool knucklehead trike

  • flyingburgers

    Nice review. Just a suggestion: put the MSRP or street price in the specifications list or somewhere prominent at the top. After looking at the picture, that was my next question: I wouldn’t have been interested in the product at all if it was $400.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      $59 if I remember correctly.

    • Michael Y

      Duly noted. I’ll definitely keep that in mind for the future. That being said I have found this knife on sale for as little as $33.17 on amazon.

  • verymiddleeuropean

    They should add some spikes on this, and then it would be fully ready for usual radioactive wasteland applications. The Dark would be affraid of You. Now it`s just too utilitarian to be really useful.

  • allannon

    Interesting article. I tend to stick to known designs for things, but it’s just personal; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    As mentioned below, it looks like a modern take on an Ulu, which is an Inuit (I think) design for a stone/bone skinning/chopping knife, the design of which is still pretty commonly used.

    Shouldn’t it be on thew new All Outdoors site, though?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      To me it looks like a variation of the Ulu. Then again some of the Inuit migrated as far down as the lower 48. Maybe the locals made a variation of what was found and thus this tool. Just speculation though.
      As far as AllOutdoors they have a complete staff, editor etc. We decided to write articles on knives months ago. We’ll have a variety of types written about.

      • allannon

        Oh, there are a host of broad-bladed knife designs; arguably the common kitchen mezzaluna could count. My g’grandmother had a skinning knife g’granddad made from the end of some brush blade that served much the same purpose when they slaughtered something. Good designs are pretty universal. ;) Just look how often the Browning pistol action has been used as the base for pistols.

        Regarding AllOutdoors, I was mostly curious why a utility knife, evaluated from a camping/survival perspective, was here instead of there?

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Our articles are totally seperate. We don’t compare who is doing what usually.

      • junyo

        I thought the same thing. The problem is looking at it, it would seem to have less utility than a ulu; I can’t imagine that the paracord wrapped metal is as comfortable or gives you the same ability to control or apply force to the cutting edge as the handle of a good ulu. And doesn’t actually seem to be able to effective double as a useful hatchet.

        You get a lot closer to true dual function with one of the Cold Steel Frontier hawks with a friction fit head. Which costs all of 25 bucks.

        • Samuel Suggs

          or any decent kukri period end of story no discussion kuri is the best knife

  • ThomasD

    At roughly $35.00 I’d be a taker.

    But, rather than rounding off that bottom curve, keep it square so that it can be used as a scraper. That way you can cut a mounting groove into a suitable piece of wood in order to make a field expedient chopper that will hold up better than if side-lashed, or slipped into a full width split.

  • Drapetomanius Grimr

    Nothing wrong with the basic design, and $60 isn’t a ripoff if the steel is good, but I don’t trust any knife maker that doesn’t give an accurate steel accounting.

    I’d also rather have a slab grip that was attached with slotted screws so as to be field removable. Paracord grips suck, they have always sucked, and they will always suck. They aren’t comfortable, they hold water and crud, and they cause blisters.

    • galen066

      Nothing to say you couldn’t modify the knife by removing the paracord and putting your own handle slabs on with Chicago screws.

  • gallannd

    It’s not even good for killing, shouldn’t be on the firearms blog.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Not all guns or other items are posted because they can kill. This isn’t Soldier of Fortune;-) Personal protection sure but it’s more about our hobby than anything.
      If our primary topic was geared toward killing I wouldn’t be here nor would most anyone else.

  • Julio

    Mr. Suggs,

    Perhaps I’m alone in this, but I’d find your contribution to this blog 100 times more interesting if it were 100 times less frequent.

    You probably don’t feel like doing me a favour, but if you do, please, when you feel like posting, just take a breath and say to yourself: “It’s not all about me: it really isn’t”.

    Because it isn’t.

    If that’s not working for you, maybe you’d consider starting up a blog of your own, then you could fill it with all the stuff you know, like and think, and people could visit if they wanted?

    Or not, if they didn’t.

    • Samuel Suggs

      why wasnt this posted as a response to one of my comments I would have recived an alert through my disqus account. second I suspect that your problem with my posting isnt related to “Frequency” but to the relatively crass and obtrusive nature of my comments also my exstreamly off track comment about Michael Y’s self description probobly irritated you which is defintly understandable. what I am trying to say is that yes my comments should be better composed but no they should not be less freqent and no I do not have time to start a blog nor do I desire to randomly speak to an audience that dosent desire to disccuss but to critqe my posting

    • Samuel Suggs

      on a side note did you read through my Disqus

      Share

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        What about Disquis?

        • Samuel Suggs

          its one of the comment systems this website uses your “Senior Writer TFB” account is set up with it. the name is shown in red and if you click on it it will open a menu that shows comments from all the websites that account has been used to comment on it also lists responses to your comments

          • milo

            i do believe he meant more of “what about your Disqus?”

          • Samuel Suggs

            well in that case I was wondering wheather or not he came to his conclusion bye reading through all my comments or just looking at a few comment threads ive contributed to just curiouse about how I am being viewed

          • milo

            All in all I’m relatively indifferent to the content, but I will say I would prefer it if you would cut down on the pictures a bit. It kind of goes under the law of diminishing returns for me, where as the more pictures I see the less of a reaction I get, try to go for impressive things. Also don’t really bother attempting to reply to people about “hate”. From experience as a radio DJ back in college you wont really get much of a positive attitude for changing or reacting because of it. Instead just ease yourself into a flow of your own brand of humor but don’t try too hard at it. Occasionally I do read some comments that I don’t understand, but then again if I really feel I need to know what it means I’ll just ask the “come again?”. Really more so, I just read comments that have any errors in a thick Slavic accent for humor. whelp, that’s my two cents. and have fun being in the community.

    • Samuel Suggs

      are you same julio creditited for this image on this page http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/04/19/steyrs-upcoming-50-bmg-rifle/

      • Samuel Suggs

        sorry image didnt post please respond

  • milo

    intresting design but i think it would. put too much stress on the carpals when using it by itself, good testing mike, pretty thorough.

    • Michael Y

      Thanks Milo. You are correct, the design leaves a lot to be desired in the comfort department. It’s compactness and utility in a pinch are its better attributes.

  • Josh Baker

    I’m buying one, I like the things it can do not to mention its like brass knuckles with a blade.

    • Samuel Suggs

      *SIGH*

  • Mike Jones

    Our BAD at FK on the material. It is 7CR17 which is almost identical to 440A composition wise. It is heat treated to 56-58Rc. We say you shouldn’t hit it with a stone or metal but we did to test it and it did not break.

  • Bear68
  • Andre Raul

    Nice to find your blog with valuable information. http://www.knivesandsurvival.com/