That’s especially true when it comes to the knives I select. Sure I appreciate fine art, but trinkets that dazzle the eye quickly pale in my estimation if they can’t also perform the work I demand of them.
Recently I had a chance to put a couple of Flexcut fixed blades to the test. Both the Seeker and the Nomad models are attractive, yes, but not in a Hollywood phony glitzy sense. Each comes in a wooden presentation box with plexiglass lid, but don’t let that fool you. You can tell from the start these are no-nonsense blades and will see more time on the belt and in the hand than on display in those boxes.
FLEXCUT SEEKER MORE TRADITIONAL
The Seeker is a knife that balances a traditional look with modern craftsmanship. This full-tang knife is made of reliable 1095 carbon steel. It has a 4.125-inch drop-point blade that’s a very robust 0.175-inch thick. That doesn’t make it a pry bar, however. It has a nice, hollow-ground edge, a distal taper, and a swedge on the spine leading to a fine, usable point for detail work.
So, whether you’re drilling a hole in a leather belt, notching a board for a bow and drill fire kit, making tinder, or performing heavier chores, such as chopping pine boughs for an emergency shelter, there’s appropriate real estate along the edge to get the job done. The configuration of the blade protects the hand from sliding up the edge should things get wet and slippery.
The Seeker’s handle is excellent. It’s made of Sapele hardwood with white G10 liners and it’s thick and well contoured. Too often knives are designed for carry convenience. They’re made to be carried often, but used very little. Not so with the Flexcut Seeker. The hand-filling scales provide a comfortable grip for long sessions crafting and improvising what you need in the woods. There’s a lanyard hole too that’s large enough to run a length of paracord through it.
THESE FLEXCUT KNIVES ARE ATTRACTIVE, SIZED RIGHT, SOLIDLY BUILT, WELL CONFIGURED IN BOTH BLADE AND HANDLE, AND THEY’RE MADE IN THE U.S.”
The Seeker comes with a brown leather sheath that features a retaining strap with snap to hold the knife securely. The leather halves are stitched and riveted. The rear piece of leather extends to form loop that should be ample for most belt widths. If I was to find fault with anything about the Seeker it would be that I would have hoped such a beefy knife would come with a beefier sheath. That being said, I have similar sheaths that came with other knives and they’ve held up very well over many years of hard use.
FLEXCUT NOMAD IS A WORKHORSE
The Flexcut Nomad is equally a beast of a blade, but it’s an altogether different knife, not just the same old grind with a different handle. The Nomad is also a full-tang design with a four-inch drop-point blade of 1095 carbon steel, but it has a high, flat grind. The blade is wide, which gives it an ovate leaf shape. At its thickest, the blade is a hefty 0.15-inch.
The handle is black canvas Micarta with orange G10 liners. The scales are contoured to include a finger groove and they taper at the back end. The handle is plenty thick for comfortable use. Some folks with large mitts might like a bit more length to the handle, but I found it a good fit. There are ample holes front and rear on the handle suitable for lashing or adding a lanyard.
The Nomad’s sheath is black, foolproof Boltaron with an orange spacer that matches the knife liners. The sheath holds the knife with a friction fit and there’s a drain hole at the bottom to let out moisture. There are numerous attachment points around the sheath to give you plenty of options for lashing it to a pack or other gear.
The sheath is ambidextrous. It comes with a leather dangler that can be positioned for either right- or left-side carry. That’s great for a mixed up person such as myself who uses a handgun with the right, but mostly uses a knife with the left. Blame that on my mother who kept switching the spoon from my left hand to my right when I was a toddler. The sheath dangler features two snaps – a nice addition – so you can remove the knife from your belt without the need to undress in front of Mother Nature.
ALL YOU COULD ASK
Both models arrived with excellent, sharp edges. I switched back and forth from the Seeker to the Nomad, cutting a variety of materials that presented themselves as good candidates to work with these blades. Both performed very well. Both were comfortable in use and handled very well. I never had to fight with these knives to make a cut. I seemed to prefer whichever model I had in my hand at the time. I didn’t conclude I liked one over the other.
Each of these Flexcut knives has much of what I want in a fixed blade for either bushcraft or general outdoor use. The 1095 carbon steel is proven to be good for this type of knife. Just wipe it down with an oily cloth after use and touch up the edge occasionally and it should last a lifetime. These Flexcut knives are attractive, sized right, solidly built, well configured in both blade and handle, and they’re made in the U.S. To top it off, they’re reasonably priced too. Take your pick between these two at a suggested retail price of $149.95.
FLEXCUTHAS ITS ROOTS IN WOOD CARVING
Flexcut knives are handmade in Erie, Pennsylvania. While the company might not be a household name with many knife enthusiasts, that might change if the company keeps producing affordable blades of the same quality as the Seeker and Nomad.
The company was founded in 1986 as Falls Run Woodcarving with a custom carving shop and woodcarving school. In 1992, the company began to manufacture knives and other tools. These days, Flexcut Tools makes more than 300 products, many of which are tailored toward the woodcarving community.