We’ve already given Schrade’s SCHF3N Extreme Survival Knife our thumbs up. But what about the SCHF3? Is there even a difference? Let’s take a look at what this version has to offer and how well it holds up to its title “Extreme Survival Knife.”
Like the SCHF3N, the SCHF3 is a full tang, fixed blade knife. Both knives are also of the same size and weight. The SCHF3’s entire length is 12 inches with a 6.4-inch blade and a Micarta handle that’s 5.6 inches long. It’s a bit on the hefty side, weighing 1.37 lbs. Both blades are made from 7C17 High Carbon Stainless Steel with a clip point or Bowie design. So, what’s the difference? It’s in the edge of the blade. The SCHF3N is a straight edge while the SCHF3 is partially serrated.
PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY
So, we’ve already established that there’s only one difference between the two knives. And Schrade must be given points for offering two different configurations of a knife with these specs. After all, you can’t please everyone with just one knife. But before we get into discussing my view on that particular point, let’s first look at how some of the features of this knife rate.
I’ve always held the opinion that a survival knife should be full tang and a fixed blade. This is because it lends to the knife’s durability and strength. The type of material used to make the blade also adds to those characteristics. Now, I must admit that I have always preferred high carbon 1095 steel over all the others simply because I believe that it’s extremely tough and can take all the abuse you can think to put it through. Plus, this type of steel maintains an edge very well.
With that being said, 7C17 high carbon stainless steel is not something to sniff at. This material is also rock solid and has qualities of high carbon and stainless steel that I like – corrosion resistant and great edge retention. With a knife like this, you can be sure that batoning and chopping wood in damp or wet environments won’t affect its performance at all.
Like the SCHF3N, the length and weight of this knife are almost perfect. I’d prefer the knife to be a little bit shorter (around 10 inches) but… for its purpose (survival), the SCHF3 holds its own. It can perform demanding tasks such as batoning and chopping with ease. As for detailed work, I’d say it can still perform pretty well if you use the right edge.
Now on to the main point – the partially serrated edge. Personally, I don’t like partially serrated edges. I’m a straight edge kind of guy because it is overall more versatile. A knife with a serrated edge, even a partial one, gives you two clear disadvantages. First, a serrated edge isn’t that good for carving or batoning/chopping. Second, it’s much harder to sharpen.
On the other hand, a partially serrated edge can be a tad more convenient because you get two types of edges for the price of one. You can do push cuts using your straight edge and slice through tough material like rope using your serrated edge. All that being said, I would have to admit that, after putting this knife through rugged use and tough conditions, it performed pretty well. And that’s all you really need for a survival knife.
Before move onto the sheath, I must say that the handle on the SCHF3 is very ergonomic. The deep finger grooves are just right, giving you a very solid and comfortable grip. There’s also jimping on the back of the knife which gives you extra leverage when you’re doing detailed work. The lanyard at the end of the handle is just added insurance in case it does slip.
As for the sheath, it’s a pretty good one especially at the price you’re paying. Multiple attachment points, adjustable Velcro straps, and a large front pouch for your sharpening stone, fire starter, and compass. Quite possibly the best thing about this sheath is that it can be used by left-handed or right-handed people. Just take out the plastic insert, turn it around, put it back in and you’ve got your left-handed sheath!
WHY WE LIKE SCHRADE'S SCHF3 EXTREME SURVIVAL KNIFE
At this price, you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck. The SCHF3 is solid, tough, and looks really wicked. It has the perfect length and weight for performing demanding tasks. It feels really good in your hand. It can serve as both survival knife and combat knife. And the sheath ain’t bad. With the SCHF3, you definitely get more than what you pay for.
View Schrade's SCHF3 Extreme Survival Knife on Amazon!