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Dogs of War field knife

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Dogs of War field knife

Rowan H. Robbertze (April/2012)

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The intent for reviewing this knife is to look for an affordable, reliable and durable field knife that won’t rust in wet environments and can keep its edge till it gets back to civilisation.

 

The knife being reviewed is made by DOW (Dogs of War) Blades and Outdoor Tools and is marketed as a field knife.

Knife:    Overall length: 220mm full tang fixed blade.

              Blade: 105mm

Cutting edge: 90mm

              Handle: 115mm

              Thickness: 3.5mm

              Steel: 440A

Sheath: Black Nylon

 

Price R200.00

 

For this review I will be using the knife as a general-purpose camp knife, preforming normal camp choirs.  This will include preparing food, opening cans, lighting fire, batoning and making tent pegs and a new base for my fire-bow.

Out of the box the knife was reasonably sharp, just not sharp enough for my liking.  The knife sharpened easily and took a keen edge.  I also added a lanyard for safety.

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I usually collect broken branches and make a fire accordingly.  Bigger branches I burn through on the fire instead of chopping them.  As batoning is always a request I decided to use the knife for that purpose.  As this is not a Rambo sized knife the biggest branches I batoned trough were roughly 40-50mm.  I was also able to baton through the length of the 50mm branch that was roughly a meter long.  Except for some scratches on the blade there was zero damage.  The edge remained very sharp and did not have any chips, cracks or deformation in it.

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Using the knife with a fire-steel to start a fire was a total fail.  I ended up using a backup knife (I always have a Leatherman) to accomplish the task.  There was no sharp edges on the back of the blade, due to it being very nicely finished,… looking good s not necessarily better.  I will put an age on the back of the spear point blade to rectify this for future use.  The edge could have been used, but I never use my cutting edge on a fire-steel.

For opening the can, the point held up for penetration and the edge tore through the metal of the lid.  The point and edge did not deform or chips as is normal in low quality stainless steels.  As expected it did blunted the edge and added some character forming scars, but it was still usable for general cutting work.

The knife was used to prepare and process all my food.  Cutting up some tomatoes, cheese even bead was very easily accomplished.  Preparing the meat was also a breeze and it handled both the raw and cooked meat with ease.

Making the 4 tent pegs and base for the fire bow started with batoning out a long enough branch, which was done with ease.  For batoning I use another piece of wood to hit the back of the blade, never a hammer, other knife, rock or pipe.  In short nothing that is the same hardness or harder than the blade.  The spear point blade has a very nice belly with no dead spots.  Carving, cutting and scraping was accomplished with ease.

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For what the DOW is marketed, it delivers 100%.  The knife also looks cool with the camo handle and the way the lanyard holes are positioned, it can be used as a spearhead.  At the price it will have few equals.  Except for failing to lighting the fire with the fire-steel, the DOW exceeded my expectation.  It is an excellent choice as a survival, field, camp, hiking, bush and home use knife.  It has very good edge retention and did not rust in a very wet and rainy environment.  The knife kept a decent edge for 3 days of field work, but it could have lasted another day or 2.

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The knife has a comfortable handle that you can choke-up on.  With batoning, the handle loosened and moved, but seems to have settled in its new position.  You cannot loosen or tighten the bolts that the handle is fixed onto the tang with.  The sheath is very, very basic, would have loved leather or a Kydex sheath.  But at the price it is more than sufficient.

If you need an affordable, usable knife for the outdoors the DOW field knife should be on your list to buy, you will not be disappointed!

DOWKT.docx

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Nice review Rowan, I am always impressed by how far we have come in terms of performance with these inexpensive fixed blades from China. Long gone are the days of crappy pot metal knives!

How does it compare to some of your knives by more mainstream manufacturers? 

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Hey Rowan - edited the original post to include what was written in the .docx file, just so people had one less click to go through (and so in case they don't have Microsoft Word or anything like that, it'd still be easy for them to view your review!).

Using the knife with a fire-steel to start a fire was a total fail.  I ended up using a backup knife (I always have a Leatherman) to accomplish the task.  There was no sharp edges on the back of the blade, due to it being very nicely finished,… looking good s not necessarily better.  I will put an age on the back of the spear point blade to rectify this for future use.  The edge could have been used, but I never use my cutting edge on a fire-steel.

I hate it when survival knives with rounded spines don't come with cut outs so you can use your firesteel with it easily (the Gerber Bear Grylls has a cut-out for instance).

Really good first review, Rowan! Looking forward to your others!

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Dear Thomas,

Thank you for reading and commenting on the review.

Yes, the Chinese knives have come a long way!  If you take that most of the expensive knives you buy are also manufactured in China it is both impressive and scary.

Compared to other Stainless Steel knives made by Kershaw, Boker and CRKT the knife is very close to what they offer.  The before mentioned brands all have better sheathes but are at least 3 times the price or more.  Finish on the mainstream knives is also a little better.

If brand is not an issue I would rate this knife in bar with the normal mainstream manufacturer blades.  All of the brands have flagship knives that are very expensive and yes these knives are better.  But at the price they better be.

Sadly compared to “some” stainless steel custom knives, the DOW is preferred.  It has a sheath that fits and works, not like some of the shoddy custom sheaths I have.  Handle is plastic so not affected by the elements like wood.  The blade is not so hard that it chips and it can be reshaped easily and it is a fraction of the price.

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Thank you Elise,

Because it happens so often that knives don’t have a place to spark the firesteel, I carry a scraper I made from an old folder blade with me.

My dad, who goes into the bush for weeks sometimes, has never even used a firesteel,… he believes in matches and the survival knife he takes is the Cold Steel KUDU.  So shows you if you know what you are doing your equipment is not the most important.

You would laugh if you hear what gun he uses J

WP_20150809_021.jpg

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Because it happens so often that knives don’t have a place to spark the firesteel, I carry a scraper I made from an old folder blade with me.

Good point.

I often feel it's a good idea to have a knife with a place to spark the firesteel in case you lose your scraper, but usually the two are attached anyway (if you lose the scraper you've often lost the firesteel as well) and at that point, of course, you wouldn't need that place to spark a firesteel anymore!

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Dear all.

Here is how the DOW looks after I sharpened the false edge.  It strikes a perfect spark now.  Honestly other than testing it to see is it works, I never used it to start a fire.

Kind regards,

Rowan H. Robbertze

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On 8/9/2015 at 9:17 PM, Rowan said:

 

Thank you Elise,

Because it happens so often that knives don’t have a place to spark the firesteel, I carry a scraper I made from an old folder blade with me.

My dad, who goes into the bush for weeks sometimes, has never even used a firesteel,… he believes in matches and the survival knife he takes is the Cold Steel KUDU.  So shows you if you know what you are doing your equipment is not the most important.

You would laugh if you hear what gun he uses J

 

WP_20150809_021.jpg

I like your dad already, especially if can close the Kudu without severe self harm! I bought my dad one, it didn't end well and I wish I had kept it myself...

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On 8/9/2015 at 9:17 PM, Rowan said:

 

Thank you Elise,

Because it happens so often that knives don’t have a place to spark the firesteel, I carry a scraper I made from an old folder blade with me.

My dad, who goes into the bush for weeks sometimes, has never even used a firesteel,… he believes in matches and the survival knife he takes is the Cold Steel KUDU.  So shows you if you know what you are doing your equipment is not the most important.

You would laugh if you hear what gun he uses J

 

WP_20150809_021.jpg

Edited by Manicmechanic71

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