An intelligent balance between edge retention, utility, and strength, Pro Tool Industries new J. Wayne Fears Ultimate Survival Knife has a clip-point blade that remains full-thickness at its tip right to the hollow-ground edge.
The Ultimate Survival Knife…that’s a pretty big title to claim in this world of super-alloys, automated machining, precision hardening processes, and so many synthetic materials that the word plastic isn’t even applicable anymore. So when I set out to evaluate Pro Tool Industries’ new J. Wayne Fears Ultimate Survival Knife, it was with the slightly-raised eyebrow that I might present to someone who’d just claimed to have invented the internet.
The USK was shaving-sharp, right out of the box, I’d expect nothing less from SAE 1095 high-carbon steel. My first impression while handling it was that the knife in my fist was too well refined to have been a first attempt; this latest knife in Fear’s Ultimate gear line is a model of functional simplicity that almost certainly could not have occurred through happy circumstance.
It wasn’t really surprising that the USK’s 5-inch long, 0.120-inch thick (9.75 inches overall length) full-tang blade was ground from the original high-carbon knife steel, hardened to 58-59 Hrc. The 1095’s properties of edge retention and strength are equaled by few other alloys, and surpassed by fewer yet. Pro Tool’s Mark Scheifley explained to me that 1095 was mandated by the Fears design team because “It embodies the traditional values that are a hallmark of the Fears line.” Scheifley adds with pride that not only is the Ultimate Survival Knife made in Pottstown, PA, USA, so are all of the components used in its assembly, including blade steel.
An intelligent balance between edge retention, utility, and strength, Pro Tool Industries new J. Wayne…
by Joe Flowers / May 1, 2012