Pairing up the 5 3/8-inch PSK-3 with the 2-½ inch Thorn makes a lot of sense for an outdoor tool set. This match-up allows for a great mix of a heavy camp knife with a fine blade suited to everyday cutting tasks.
Like many custom makers, Phil Rose’s passion for knives goes back to when he was a kid. Phil’s interest in outdoor survival started when he was 7 or 8 years old and, as part of that, he became interested in knives designed for that task. He made his first knife while working at Kelly’s Cutlery in Modesto, California, back when he was a teenager. He moved on to start a Kydex sheath and holster business called Dura-Tech and worked the gun show circuit before doing a stint in the Army. Phil saved up for tooling and machinery while he was in the service and started making his own knives when he got out. By making his own knives Phil finally had a chance to make the type of knives he had always looked for, but never completely found from other makers or companies. He didn’t just start making knives for outdoor survival, but rather a complete package consisting of the knife, firesteel, sheath and accessories designed to take you into the woods and bring you back safely again.
Practical Survival Knife
The PSK-5 carries a 3-inch spear point blade and is sized perfectly for light backpacking trips or even everyday carry. The three-fingered grip is well contoured and comfortable even during extended use.
To fulfill his goal of making a survival knife like he wanted it to be made, Phil actually came up with a line of knives called the PSK, or Practical Survival Knife, series. These are basic, functional knives with clean lines and well-thought-out handles. You won’t find any gimmicks here, or an effort to make a knife into something that it isn’t, just a solid working blade with a comfortable handle and useful shape and grind. Phil works primarily with 5/32-inch or 1/8-inch 154CM or CPM 154, and S30V steels and puts a full flat grind on his knives.
The PSK series uses a spear point design, which is a good all-around shape that works well for many survival and bushcraft-oriented chores. He uses Micarta, G-10, or carbon fiber for his handles and liners are optional. One of the unique features on Phil’s PSK knives is the “Spine-Sparker” notch that he adds to the spine to act as a dedicated spot for striking a firesteel. Not all blade spines work well with a ferro rod so Phil makes sure that his have a spot dedicated to that use since fire is one of the key elements in basic survival. In addition to the PSK line of knives, Phil also has a line of smaller neck knives and does some kitchen knife work as well. He has done some folders in the past and hopes to do some more in the future as time permits. Phil’s dad Henry is starting to work with him in the shop now, too, so that may come about sooner rather than later with an extra pair of hands helping out.
Pairing up the 5 3/8-inch PSK-3 with the 2-½ inch Thorn makes a lot…
by Steven Bronson / Mar 1, 2011