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SEAL Pup Elite Gear Review
First, a word about the importance of a good knife
In mine and many other people’s opinions, the most important piece of equipment that you will carry with you when backpacking or camping is a knife. The knife has been in human’s toolkits since the Paleolithic and it is a testament to how useful it is that it has not been replaced. If you have ever watched Survivorman or other outdoor survival shows the one piece of gear that they are never without is a knife. Knives can be used to complete a plethora of tasks including, cleaning and skinning game, digging, whittling and crafting wooden tools, shelter building, fire building, and, obviously, as a means of self-defense.
Things to consider when purchasing a new knife
Due to the knives importance as a piece of equipment on the hiker, backpacker, hunter and adventurer’s toolkit, it is important that you invest in a quality blade. When shopping for a new knife, do your research. You should be taking into account, what do you intend to use this knife for? What are the conditions that this knife will have to endure? How large of a knife will be necessary? (with knives bigger is not always better) What type of steel is it made out of? Is that steel tough? Corrosion resistant? Does it take a good edge, or is it tough but hard to sharpen? All of these are important things to consider when purchasing a new knife.
I spent a good couple of months researching the SEAL Pup Elite before making my purchase. After receiving the blade in the mail and opening the package, I was ecstatic! Just based on looks, this knife is mean looking, but does it live up to its moniker, based off some of the most elite warriors of the modern age?
Before I give my verdict, lets review some of the features of the knife. (This will get a little technical so if your only interested in the verdict scroll down past the jargon) The specific knife that I purchased is the SEAL Pup Elite-Black TiNi. The specifications of this knife are as follows: The blades length is 4.85" and its width is .185". The overall length of the knife is 9.5”. The knife weighs 5.4 oz. I went with a straight edge since I have a back-up folder that has a combo, but you can also purchase the knife with a serrated combo edge. The blade is made out of AUS 8 stainless steel, and on the Rockwell scale of hardness it has a rating of 57-58. The handle of the knife is made out of glass reinforced nylon and the finish of the blade is a hardcased black TiNi (Titanium nitride) coating.
I love this knife! As I said before, it's a mean looking knife, especially with the black TiNi coating. This is by no means a big fixed bladed knife but for my purposes (hiking, backpacking and general camping) its perfect. The blade came out of the box razor sharp, and I could literally shave with it. Also, over repeated use the blade holds its edge very nicely and once dull it is fairly easy to bring that razor edge back if you have a little experience sharpening knives. After repeated use it has proved to be very tough and I have even used it to baton wood.
Another feature I like about this knife is the rasping on the back of the blade for notching wood. The handle is very ergonomic and feels perfect in my hand. (I do not have very large hands though, although I don't feel it would be a problem for somebody with giant gorilla hands) Also, I have been unlucky in that my past few backpacking trips this fall it has pretty much down-poured the majority of the trip, and the handle maintains a good grip even when wet. Furthermore, even after continuous use in wet conditions, there have been no signs of corrosion at all. This is mostly due to the AUS 8 stainless steel. Granted I am cognizant of drying the blade off, but not anally so. The knife is light and does not add noticeable weight to my pack, which backpackers all know is a huge concern. The knife comes with two sheath options, a nylon sheath and a Kydex plastic sheath. I choose the Kydex sheath and am very happy. It can be attached to your belt, Molle webbing or your leg, and has a small notch in it for quickly cutting line without removing the blade fully. The snap on the sheath is very tough and you will not have to worry about the blade falling out once its in the sheath.
Overall this is a GREAT knife both for the price and in general. I would highly recommend this knife for anyone, the beginner backpacker, the seasoned veteran outdoorsmen, the general camper or anybody else in the market for a solid blade.
- Bushcraft Connoisseur | Purveying the best gear, tools and techniques for bushcraft and backpacking.
- My Trip to Survival School
- Cleaning and Oiling your Samurai sword
Another one of my hubs. This ones on maintaining a katana (some of this maintenance is applicable to knives as well)
- Backpacking Allegany State Park
One of my hubs describing my first backpacking trip.