Schrade SCHF37 Review: Features, Pros, Cons of This Survival Knife

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By Bryan Lynch •  12 min read

A knife is almost everyone’s favorite piece of gear, and it’s definitely in my top five.

When I was younger, I used Schrade knives quite a bit. But as I got older, I sort of got away from them. This isn’t because I had an issue with the company or their products; I just started trying out other brands.

Full tang blade

But for this article I hopped back on the Schrade train to test out a new knife – well, new to me anyway. The Schrade SCHF37.

The Schrade SCHF37 definitely looks like it is marketed towards the bush crafter and outdoor crowd, and its price point is very appealing. However, I am a believer in you get what you pay for, so let’s see if the Schrade SCHF37 delivers the goods.

In this post, I will review:

Schrade SCHF37 Frontier 12.4in High Carbon Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade...
  • DIMENSIONS: 12.4 inch (31.4 cm) overall length with a blade length of 7 inches (17.8 cm) and a...
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 1095 Powder Coated High Carbon Steel with a black, ring textured...

Last update on 2022-12-07 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SCHF37 Specifications and Features

Before we dive into the full review, here’s a quick look at the specs of the SCHF37:


Schrade SCHF37 Review

Hands On

I’ve had the SCHF37 for several weeks now, and I think I have had enough time with it to give you some of my opinions.

Style and Build

The SCHF37 looks like it is designed for heavy use. It has a full tang construction, which is always a plus in my book, and it has a black powder coating to help protect the 1095 carbon steel. While the coating does reduce maintenance and reflection of light, I always like to remind people that the blade coating isn’t particularly friendly when it comes to food preparation.

Having said that, I have encountered some coated blades that have a very rough finish to them, but the finish on this knife is relatively smooth.

powder coating material

The 1095 high-carbon steel blade is 7 inches long with a slight drop point and hollow grind. The overall length of the knife is 12.4 inches, which is on the larger end of the spectrum for an outdoor knife. But the blade length offers more than enough area for work to get done.

The drop point makes the tip on the SCHF37 rather blunt. I tend to like more of a point on my outdoor knives as they are better at penetrating materials and allow for finer detail work.

Schrade SCHF37

While the overall blade length is 7 inches, there is only 6 inches that has the sharpened cutting edge. There is a one inch section taken up by a generous finger choil between the handle and the start of the blade. I am a big fan of these, as they me to choke my grip and have greater control for certain carving tasks.

large finger choilI think a little more attention could have been paid to the cutting edge, as there were a few rough spots on the factory edge right out of the box. But the knife was certainly sharp enough to pass the paper cutting test when I received it.

The spine is just under a 1/4 of an inch, making for a rather thick blade. I think many people find this as an invitation to use the knife to baton cut wood. Personally, I don't believe in using a knife for that task unless it is absolutely necessary, so I didn't test this knife out in that manner.

I think a little more attention could have been paid to the cutting edge, as there were a few rough spots on the factory edge right out of the box. But the knife was certainly sharp enough to pass the paper cutting test when I received it.

The spine is just under a 1/4 of an inch, making for a rather thick blade. I think many people find this as an invitation to use the knife to baton cut wood. Personally, I don’t believe in using a knife for that task unless it is absolutely necessary, so I didn’t test this knife out in that manner.

knife with thick spine

Weight

At 14.5 ounces, the knife is noticeably heavy, which I don’t mind. The balance point is just before the finger choil. This makes the knife heavier in the front (blade heavy) and therefore gives it a little more “oomph” during chopping tasks.

If you are a fan of a lighter weight knife, then I would say this knife isn’t for you.

TPE Handle (Grip)

The scales on the handle are made from TPE, a kind of rubbery plastic. The grip is made up of a bunch of circles and squiggly designs that surprisingly give the handle just enough grip. There is jimping on top of the handle (forward section for your thumb) and underneath the handle (toward the rear for your pinky and ring finger)

scale tpe material

The top jimping is just fine when using the knife for short periods. However, the jimping is rather aggressive, so I would recommend wearing gloves if you plan on using the knife a lot.

I have heard of some people using sandpaper to smooth these areas out, but I think I’m just going to leave them as they are. For one, that would remove the coating, and if I’m not careful I could muck up the scales a bit.

top jimping
bottom jimping

If you don’t like the look or feel of the grip, the TPE handle could be exchanged for aftermarket or custom grips by simply removing the recessed hex bolts.

Lanyard Hole

On the butt of the handle, there is a large pre-drilled lanyard hole. The hole is big enough that I had no problem threading a piece of 550 paracord through it. The scales around the lanyard hole have been cut away, which aesthetically I don’t care for, but from a functional standpoint I do like.

Recessed hex bolts and lanyard hole

On other knives that I have used lanyards on, the cordage eventually starts to wear away at the handle, but since it’s bare metal around the lanyard hole, this won’t be an issue. This also means I don’t have to worry about damaging the scales if I want to use that portion of the handle as an impact tool.

Accessories

Ferro rod and sharpening stone

The last section I’m going to cover are the extras that come with the knife. When you purchase the SCHF37, you also get a nylon sheath with a hook-and-loop fastener. This can be used as a belt loop so that you can easily carry the knife on your belt line.

Belt sheath

On the bottom of the sheath are two strands of general-use nylon cordage that can be used as a leg tie to help secure the sheath and to keep it from bouncing around. I wore the sheath in this manner for a while and it was comfortable enough. The total length of the cordage comes out to about 40 inches. I went ahead removed the original cordage and replaced it with a similar length of 550 paracord. Because why not?

The sheath does come with a large snap that secures the handle of the knife. So far, the snap has remained pretty tight, and the larger size of it makes it easier to operate when wearing gloves.

Overall, the sheath is pretty standard and nothing special. I don’t expect it to hold up after extended rough use, but you have to remember that this is a budget buy.

On the front of the sheath there is an exterior pocket that houses two extra accessories, a sharpening stone, and a ferro rod with striker. For some people these extras may be a nice touch because then they don’t have to worry about purchasing them separately. But in my experience these extras on budget buys aren’t so great.

However, I was surprised by the size of the sharpening stone. Usually, when a stone comes with a knife, they are quite small (you usually have to hold them with only two fingers). But this one measures in at 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide and 3/8 of an inch thick. This allows me to comfortably and safely hold it so that I can maneuver it around while I sharpen the blade.

knife sharpener

And you do have to hold the sharpener. I tried placing it on a hard surface, but the bottom of the sharpener is too slick, and it kept sliding around. I should note that the sharpener is not really a sharpening stone but rather a plastic block with what appears to be a diamond sharpening surface.

After using the blade for a few weeks, I could tell that the edge was getting a little dull so I used the sharpener to touch it up. It worked decent, and it is nice to have an easy way of carrying a sharpener with me. When I was done, I simply rinsed the top of the sharpening stone off with some water and wiped it down.

On to the ferro rod. Tools for starting fire are kind of my thing, so I was excited to see how this one worked. Like almost all ferro rods, this one came with a black coating. So before you try to use the ferro rod, you have to scrape that coating off to get down to the actual material. I did this with the scraper that was included.

ferro rod

Did the rod produce sparks? It did, and it actually produced more sparks than I had expected. As I previously mentioned, most ferro rods that come with a knife aren’t usually that great, but I have absolute confidence that I could get a fire going with this one.

economy knife belt sheath

Putting the Survival Knife to Work

The first thing I did was to test the sharpness of the knife out of the box, which meant I used the ever popular “paper test.” This can be a bit awkward with a big knife, but I found the sweet spot and was quickly shaving curls from the edge of the paper.

Cool. It cuts papers – what else?

Well, I use paracord a lot, so I definitely need something to cut that. While the SCHF37 might be considered overkill for cutting 550 paracord, it cut through four pieces like butter.

cut cordage

While I don’t support using a knife for batoning, I will use it as a light chopping tool from time to time. The SCHF37 chopped it’s way through this green one-inch piece of wood with ease.

Cool, but what about something not so aggressive?

Well, I mentioned earlier that I enjoy making fires, and do you know what’s good to have for starting a fire? Feather sticks! You can make feather sticks as large or small as you need them, but since this is such a large knife, I wanted to see how it would do making smaller ones. By looking at the picture below, I give this knife two thumbs up for this task.

Okay, but what if I need to cut my jeans so I can make some denim shorts for summer?

Not a problem! The Schrade SCHF37 pierced through this denim with ease and left a relatively clean cut.

Warranty

Schrade offers a lifetime warranty, but it is limited to material and manufacturer defects. The warranty does not cover damage from misuse and abuse.

Pros

Cons

Schrade SCHF37 Frontier 12.4in High Carbon Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade...
  • DIMENSIONS: 12.4 inch (31.4 cm) overall length with a blade length of 7 inches (17.8 cm) and a...
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 1095 Powder Coated High Carbon Steel with a black, ring textured...

Last update on 2022-12-07 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Questions About the Schrade SCHF37

Q: Are aftermarket grips available for the SCH37?

A: Yes. You can find aftermarket grips for the knife, and you can also design a custom grip.

Q: Does the Schrade SCHF37 have a flat grind?

A: No, it has a shallow hollow grind.

Q: Is the knife made in the USA?

A: Unfortunately no, the SCHF37 (and most Schrade knives) are made in China.


What People Are Saying…

Here are some common complaints – the most concerning of which is the issue with quality control:

Some customers report the knife breaking on first-time use. But the customers got their replacement knives in days, which didn’t break.

However, there is a small chance that you will get a low-quality knife because the SCHF is a mass produced product.

The second gripe that customers report is that the grip of the knife feels awkward because of the narrower handle, large finger choil, and sharp top jimping. Using gloves reportedly makes using the knife a lot more comfortable.

Other than this, there are no issues with the knife.


Verdict

To summarize, my issues with the SCHF37 are:

But it’s important to keep in mind that this knife comes in at under $50, and for that price, I am happy with it overall.

It’s a good knife for outdoor survival uses; it’s sharp enough that I was able to easily make feather sticks, and the large finger choil makes choking up on the grip very comfortable. Its weight made it a good light-duty chopping tool. Also, the size and thick spine allows me to comfortably use it as a draw blade.

While the sheath, sharpening stone, and ferro rod are not the best in the world, they do work, and I am glad that they come with the knife.

If you are on a budget and are looking for a hunk of metal (I mean that in a positive light) that almost feels like a small hatchet (that you can also use and abuse in the outdoors), I would recommend taking a look at the Schrade SCHF37. So, far its been fun to use and the price is hard to beat!

Schrade SCHF37 Frontier 12.4in High Carbon Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade...
  • DIMENSIONS: 12.4 inch (31.4 cm) overall length with a blade length of 7 inches (17.8 cm) and a...
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 1095 Powder Coated High Carbon Steel with a black, ring textured...

Last update on 2022-12-07 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.