Survival Gear Review: Fallkniven Jarl Knife

It wasn’t until I wore the Fallkniven Jarl  on my belt for a while that I realized that the majority of the art we will Best Buscraft Knifehave with us during a bug out will be the art of our equipment.  Now while I find the Glock as sexy as any other gun, I do have a personal affinity for fixed blade knives since they represent thousands if not tens of thousands of years of human evolution.  In other words the Glock is a memory from my senior year of high school while the long knife is part of my genetic code.

Old World Craftsmanship for the Future Old World

The Fallkniven Jarl draws upon the craftsmanship and technology of Fallkniven we come to love and turned up the Best Bushcraft Knifevolume on while turning down the tactical implications. The Fallkniven Jarl is not a survival knife in the traditional sense, nor is it a massive blade with which you could hack and slash your way out of a world WROL. Instead, the Jarl is a precision instrument of impeccable quality, refined fit, and unusually high performance steel. In other words, the Fallkniven Jarl is cutting edge art for the bleeding edge of survival.

Last update on 2020-07-01 at 03:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

High Tech for Light and Dark Times

From the oil-treated curly birch handle, to the nickle-silver fittings to the unbelievably sharp blade. As much as I’mBest Survival Knife drawn towards tactical knives for their utilitarian design, I am confident that the finer points of humanity will backfill the tactical aspects of survival. While a Gerber LMF  might be the one to grab when you race out the door into the fight, the Fallkniven Jarl is the one to grab when you want to represent what made dignified society in the first place.

Unfortunately the Walking Dead and its kin have taught the public that true survival will be with a blunt instrument.  Regardless of the Gerber product placement and its run of zombie tools (not to be confused with the truly deadly Zombie Tools made right here in my neck of the woods).

Also Read: Gerber eFECT Military Tool

What we have now is a failure to communicate the finer points of cutlery when it comes to the survival genre. Those in the mature hunting stage of life have plenty of fine cutting accoutrements to grace their belts and kits, but the younger set is still infatuated with mean looking knives regardless of their contribution to the collective finer points of life. And the onslaught of Chinese blades, whether knockoffs or one-offs, has left us with a confusing array of steel edges that do more then cut; they represent what we think of ourselves.

Survive or Thrive?

It might be controversial to say, but survival is more than surviving, it is thriving. And to thrive means excitement Best Bushcraft Knifeabout the tools we wrap our hands around every day. I learned long ago that half the fun of pushing the limits outdoors is trusting your equipment to be a full partner in the adventure. So now imagine that your choice in gear today must last you the rest of your life. I know the price of this blade can put it out of reach.  At a flat 300 Washingtons (current Amazon listing), make you ask if this really is the edge you need. However, when compared to custom builds, three bills is a steal. Some of my new favorite customs have base models more than this and the good ones exceed five Benjis just to play.

Don’t Hurt Yourself

The Fallkniven Jarl is a medium sized 3.8” clip point blade of 3G steel.  The name Jarl is Swedish for Duke or Earl, or in other words, the right hand man to the King… going back a thousand years that is. The Jarl is the middle child of three brothers, one smaller, one larger.  An inch shorter in blade length is the Fallkniven Juni, and the older, bigger bro is the Fallkniven Krut .  Not quite a fancy mythical name, but it does have a 6.2 inch blade. From what I can tell, krut means gunpowder. Interesting moniker for a knife.

The 3G steel of the Fallkniven Jarl convex ground blade is hardened to a Rockwell of 62. In some circles, this number wouldSurvival Knife Reviewbe on the high side for a field knife, perhaps too high. But that kind of thinking works better with lesser steels or for other knife purposes.  There is a perpetual trade off between edge holding hardness and sharpening hardness so when one overlays the duties of hunting onto this blade, it make perfect sense to have a very strong ultra sharp edge that may require more attention than most when in need of a bath and a shave.  I’d suggest that carriers of 3G blades extend the same courtesy they do as with their gas tanks.  In other words just as you keep your tank above half full and top it off whenever the wind changes direction, keep your 3G blades sharp by giving them a touch-up whenever the edge moves out of perfection. If you wait until you knife needs to be towed to the shop, the amount of bench time needed to find edge perfection will be plenty.  So to compare steel hardness it is important to weigh all the variables in the equation and not just the Rockwell number.

Another consideration is how you will use the knife.  Imaging you slip the Jarl from its warm sheath in order provide to an exit for the guts of your deer. If the blade only contacts organic material, then great.  However, if your critter happened to give up the ghost in the mud or sand, your knife may encounter small but formidable obstacles that will do more than dull the edge. It might actually chip it.  3G steel has a great reputation for durability in such environments, but getting the dings out of 3G will make anyone want an electric belt sander like the Work Sharp .

Last update on 2020-07-01 at 03:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One in the Hand

If you were to grab a cylinder of clay and squeeze it like you would a knife handle, you would end up with a knife Best Survival Knifehandle in almost the same shape as the Fallkniven Jarl's knife handle. A slightly barrel-shaped grip swollen in the middle but just the right amount of constriction at the ends. To ensure a the smooth handle doesn’t end abruptly with your fingers continuing onto the blade, a subtle nickel-silver guard stops your hand mid-slide keeping it firmly where it should be.

The curly birch wood handle is about as far from textured as naturally possible. While some knives advertise their grips as grippy or their scales as scaley, the Fallkniven Jarl is just the opposite, at least when dry. While it could be argued that a silky smooth handle is not the most desirable of knife traits, especially with a fairly directional clip point blade, the feel and hand rotations of the Fallkniven Jarl's grip is nothing short of magical. But when a little sweat, blood or water enters the mix, the grip gets a little grippier.

Related: Fallkniven A1 Review

One of the qualities of wooden knife handles is that wood has low temperature conduction.  Unlike dense handle materials, the wood warms quickly to the comforting embrace of palm and fingers.  And like other hand tools, there is just some primal attraction about wood compared to modern synthetics.  But primal does mean care which is why many modern designs have evolved beyond natural fibers.

The clip point blade has an otherworldly sheen that proves that Fallkniven has been busy making this knife more Best Survival Knifethan special. Normally clip points better serve the hunter crowd over the bushcraft folks. In this case, Jarl’s belly is full of life and will process wood better than most. The sharp point can pose a snagging problem in lightly trained fingers, but the cost of this blade should prevent it from landing in the wrong hands.

The spine of the blade has a sharp 90 degree edge that combined with the steel hardness easily scratches the hell out of any ferrocerium rod  it contacts. The unsharpened swedge that occupies about half of the upper side of the blade leaves a smaller length of spine compared to traditional bushcraft-specific rides.

Like all other Fallkniven knives, the Jarl arrived more than shaving sharp. The build quality is exceptional and sheath was free of even minor imperfections. That didn’t last long however as the few days of hard forest wear challenged the leather’s self-healing properties.

Holstering

The minimalist sheath for the Jarlis a piece of fine leather artwork complete with dangler. The highly consuming Best Survival Knifefriction fit of the sheath confines the knife in all positions except an inverted heavy blow. Extracting the Jarl from its home is done with thumb-forefinger grip either all the way, or until enough of the grip is exposed to slide down the birch for a firmer grip. The Jarl can be dropped into the sheath for temporary holding, or pushed down into its upright and locked position for serious carry.

For those uninitiated to carrying danglers, they are reminiscent of Deputy Best Bushcraft KnifeRick’s Python carry in The Walking Dead  TV show. The sheath, or holster in Rick’s case, swings freely on a D ring that allows a fairly large amount of movement compared to the common belt-loop variety. Danglers are a throwback to a simpler time when carrying a knife and gun was part of normal life. They ride lower. They swing freely. They don’t hide at all. What dangler sheaths do well is provide excellent service when sitting as well as standing. And danglers also provide an easy deployment and resheathing depending on the particular design. For riding horses, driving cars, and even sitting on a stump around a campfire, the dangler is a fine choice. Maybe the best choice. No thigh straps needed.

Final Cut

Normally survival situations have little room for creature comforts. But that is only if the features providing the comfort come at a cost. In the case of the Fallkniven Jarl, the only cost is upfront. So when you have to rely on your gear as much as your pulse, don’t forget the finer points of life. Those points that remind us all why we will hang on and fight towards the future. There is no turning back when the downhill slide begins, so how you prep your kits now is what you will have then. Me? I have some useful and deadly things that remind me of just how good we once had it. And the Fallkniven Jarl is one of them.

Last update on 2020-07-01 at 03:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Doc Montana
Written by Doc Montana

Doc honed his survival skills through professional courses, training, and plenty of real-world situations, both intentional and not. Doc lives to mountaineer, rock climb, trail run, hunt, race mountain bikes, ski, hunt, and fish. Doc Montana holds PhD’s in both Science Education and Computer Science and currently teaches at a University in the northern United States. Read his full interview here. Read more of Doc's articles.

8 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Fallkniven Jarl Knife”

  1. Here is where a name states it is a quality piece.
    I have no idea of the durability of this handle material but the blades are superb.

    This has all the points of a good knife and all the knifes mentioned are great options
    I can understand where legal limits drive design.

    Reply
  2. So in essence, the main differences between the SK1 Jarl and F1 Swedish Pilot Survival knife are a clip vs. drop point blade and a synthetic handle vs. the curly birch handle ? I own the F1 but admit, that Jarl is a classy looking blade.

    I prefer the flap sheath over the pouch. Paranoid over accidentally losing it, really bad if that is your only knife. Thats just my issue though.

    Thank you for your review.

    Reply
    • From a distance, the F1 and Jarl seem similar, but up close they are really two different animals.

      In addition to the blade shape difference, the steels are different as is the feel of the blade thickness. Both blades start out at 0.18”, but the F1’s blade tapers immediately towards the edge making it feel and preform like a thinner blade compared to the Jarl.

      The F1 has a slighter thinner feel, softer laminated VG10 steel while the Jarl has a solid, harder 3G steel. A way to think about the difference between steels is that the Jarl’s 3G is more like a high performance sports car. The returns during use are amazing, but it does require additional time and effort to maintain the edge. And if you don’t maintain the edge, it gets monumentally harder to get the blade back up to speed.

      On the other hand, the F1’s VG10, while not as hard, will take a beating and field sharpen back to a fighting edge with much less effort. To continue my auto analogy, the VG10 is like a high-end 4WD vehicle. Maybe not the flashiest, fastest, or even the most comfortable to use, but will preform in all conditions, and if damaged, you just get the hammer and pound it back into service. (Well, not quite, but you get the idea).

      The grips are a big difference in both shape and material. Both are great, but the Jarl’s wood does have limitations in durability, while the Thermorun is extremely practical but won’t last forever even if cared for (talking in terms of decades here). Kind of like a Magpuled AR compared to a AAA Grade Fancy wood stock.

      The implications of art and the finer points in life are at home with the Jarl. Either knife will get you back to the good times, but the Jarl will help make you feel better it all. IMHO, of course.

      And in case anyone missed it, I reviewed the F1 a while back: Read about it here:
      https://survivalcache.com/survival-gear-review-fal

      Reply
  3. Excellent follow up Doc Montana.

    I appreciate information in a world of so many choices and nowhere to physically handle all the products out there it is good to have reviews and opinions to filter through before making sometimes expensive decisions.

    I love all the knifes listed I like full tang over push / partial or rat tail tangs or tangs to tapered at the guard makes a weak point IMO.
    Knowing what you have and how to use it so as not to break or damage it / or maintain it is very important to the end user,

    Reply
    • Hey Snake,

      Thanks for reading.

      Informed opinions can be rare these days. Each of us authors here on this site and shtf.blog have speciality areas with many years of experience along with a point of view that provides validity for the review. I can see wilderness out my window. Not just the forest, but actual 100% USDA certified wilderness. I had a bear with cubs break into my organic compost pile over the weekend, and can deer hunt while still able to see the shopping mall in the distance. All this leads to my point of view. Other authors live in small towns, big cities, east coast, west coast, north and south.

      Why I tell you this is that many gear review sites offer one perspective; their perspective. They also review what they have while I pursue gear to review and never engage in a review for something I don't like which, is actually most gear. Not that it might be bad or dangerous, but that the gear does not suit my needs or talents, or have earned my trust. So in the end, I will study, use and write about some very nice but expensive knives and other gear knowing full well that most readers will not run out and buy it. But the readers will learn something that they can take away and use later to make decisions. Our collective goal here is to help readers prepare for uncertainty with knowledge and gear. The rest is up to you.

      Reply
  4. The decision as to what knife/knives are best can be a very personal one. It is highly dependent on what the person in question wants the blade for, what level/types of training that they have and how much money they believe is reasonable to spend on a knife in the first place. While I don't doubt Doc Montana's evaluation of the Fallkniven Jarl as a good knife and likely worth the money that they are charging for it, it is not the sort of knife that I would carry. It's not that I don't carry knives, and not that I am unwilling to potentially spend upwards of $100 to $200 U.S. for a blade that I might want, but I just don't see that particular knife as filling a niche that I need filled.

    For all practical purposes, I am never without (unless going to a courthouse, trying to get on an airplane, or in other similar situations where I know I'm going to be going through a security checkpoint/metal detector operated by people with no sense of humor) two knives. Both of them are folding knives which I carry in small cases worn on the right side of my belt. One of them is the Swiss Army equivalent of a Leatherman tool. I prefer the Swiss Army variant to the Leatherman, and regardless of which of those pieces somebody might carry (or their Gerber, SOG, or other name brand equivalents) they are almost impossible to beat from a sheer "utility" standpoint. While this covers almost anything one could reasonably want a small knife to do from a utility standpoint, it doesn't handle potential defensive use scenarios that well.

    For possible use as a defensive weapon that when carried in a belt case won't attract attention I have a Cold Steel Triple Action Tanto Point folder. Alas, I don't think that Cold Steel makes that particular model anymore. It has a serious strike against it from my point of view in that it has no hand guard at all. Thus one has to be careful how one holds it, positioning it so that the butt of the weapon is braced against one's palm lest one have their hand potentially slide forward onto the blade if one encountered a lot of resistance to a thrust that they made.

    The reason that I am willing to live with that is simple. The way the weapon is made, when the blade is out and the handle scales are in their proper position, there is no way that the blade can be forced to close onto your fingers. Even if Arnold Schwarzenegger caught it just so with a 20 pound sledge, the knife would get knocked out of your hand, but it would NOT close on your fingers.

    Now, given that I would normally have those two knives on me in almost any foreseeable circumstance where I could have knives, then the Falkniven Jarl does not fill a niche that I need filled. If I wanted to carry an additional fixed blade sheath knife (and for a SHTF scenario I would) then a fixed blade sheath knife with a blade no longer than that of one of the folders I am carrying just doesn't do it for me. Nope, if I am going to carry a fixed blade sheath knife, then I much prefer Crocodile Dundee's concept of what a knife is to the vast majority of small sheath knives offered on the market today.

    Part of the reason for that is many more years (*cough* decades *cough*) and pounds ago than I really care to contemplate I had been a halfway decent collegiate fencer. The bigger the knife, the more one can apply fencing tactics to it. That was part of the "secret" of the Bowie knife way back when. Jim Bowie had been trained in how to use a sword, and while details of his original design are somewhat hard to come by, the knives that eventually came to be known as "bowie knives" could by and large be described as "sawed off sabres".

    That is what I have literally ended up going with. My current sheath knife that goes in the bug out bag is a Cold Steel 1917 Frontier Bowie. This piece is actually made in India by a company that has been manufacturing swords for the better part of a century or more. The design is quite simple. They literally took one of their cutlass models and shortened the blade to 12 1/4". The hand guard got modified and cut down somewhat, but it is still an effective hand guard. Information supplied by the original company with the blade indicates that it successfully passed the British proof test. I can most definitely use fencing tactics with it, it is big enough that it would tend to make a certain psychological impression on anyone who might end up facing it, and it could also be used to parry a much larger weapon (such as a machete, baseball bat, etc.) without having to worry about the blade breaking or the hand guard failing.

    Reply
  5. Nice review. As a Fallkniven junkie, I can see you are in the same boat. Fallkniven makes a solid production knife with custom quality. I've owned many over the years and have since sold off or passed on all except two. I edc the juni model daily with a ball chain around my neck and a large folder. Outdoor activities see me carrying the volcano model, which combined with the lam CoS steel is phenomenal. The new pro series are the only knives due to come out that has peaked my desire for a new knife since I got the volcano 2+ yrs ago. I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts about them

    Reply

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