Field-testing a military combat knife can be a challenging task. In most cases, its potential as a weapon will need to be based on simulations and theory rather than actual experience. Given that actual close-
combat use of edged weapons is limited even in elite spec-ops circles, this isn’t really as big of a problem as it might seem.
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I have always said that infantry combat is a lot more like an extended camping trip during which every once in a while someone shoots at you. It then follows that 90 percent of the time your main concern about your knife is that it be a good field tool. Of course, that other 10 percent of the time means you need something that will equally have your back when the lead starts flying. Which brings me to the new Adept 1010, a tanto from Steel Will Knives.
The Adept 1010 is an Italian-made weapon with a 5.91-inch-long, 0.20-inch-thick blade of N690C0 stainless steel hardened to 58-60 Rockwell. A black PVD coating is used to protect the blade from possible corrosion and/or light reflection. The handle is made of G10, and the overall length of the knife is 11.34 inches. In its Kydex sheath, the knife weighs 17 ounces.
One of the first features I noticed about the Adept’s sheath is that it provides both a double-snap keeper strap as well as a molded spring-tension sheath mouth. Let me go on the record as saying that there is no way I would go into combat carrying a knife secured by the Velcro straps featured on many modern combat knives. Once you have lost a knife on a parachute jump, you understand that a knife needs at least two means of locking it in place. This sheath does that. And if that isn’t enough, you can add a loop of paracord around the knife handle.
The blade’s tanto point should aid in penetration through heavy clothing and web gear in close-combat situations. The other side of the tanto coin is that it handicaps the blade for utility chores and makes it harder to resharpen. Basically, you are forced to resharpen two edges separately with this blade type.
Going back to the extended camping trip reference, one of my favorite test mediums for a combat field knife is one of the softer green hardwoods, red alder.
Part of the point here is to evaluate all knives on the same material, and red alder is about as common as hardwood gets in the Northwest. It just so happened that I needed to stake up a row of Asian snake beans in my garden.
The project started with me cutting 11 poles from a sapling patch in our timber stand. Each was then sharpened to a fine point with the Adept and driven in to the ground with a small sledgehammer. If you need to match this task to military field use, you can say each was the equivalent of a survival spear, a defensive-position punji stake, a limits-of-fire ranging stake, a shelter pole or maybe even a last-ditch defensive weapon. Any one that has done time in an infantry unit can tell you that there are a lot of reasons to use your knife cutting stakes.
The Adept 1010 proved, well, very adept at the chore. Resharpening was equally easy on the new Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System I was evaluating at the same time.
Steel Will has created an excellent all-purpose field knife in this model, and I would have no problem carrying it into harm’s way.
For more information on the Adept 1010, please visit SteelWillKnives.com or call 877-969-0909.