Outdoor Edge ‘Swing-Blade’ (Kombikniv E8)
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- Last updated: 13/12/2016
A few years back I had the opportunity to test the EKA E8 Kombikniv, an innovative dual bladed hunting knife designed by professional Swedish hunter Thomas Ekberg. At the time I said that it made a very good impression for quality, practicality and price. But now there’s a new version available called the Swing-Blade, made with input from David Bloch of Outdoor Edge, and I have to say, the new version is even better.
The new Swing-Blade (or Kombikniv) features a blade unit with a hunting (cutting) blade on one end and a ‘sprettern’ (opening or gutting blade) on the other. Both are formed from one piece of AUS 8 stainless steel, vacuum heat treated and subzero quenched for superior edge retention, with a Rockwell-C hardness of 57-58. This is one of the changes from the first version, as the original blades were made of Sandvik 12C27, although both steels have similar properties; excellent corrosion resistance and good edge retention. The whole blade unit swivels on a central axis point, so that when one of the blade profiles is in service, the other is safely tucked away in the handle.
Other important changes are that on the original version the hunting blade featured an unusual curved spine, a curved belly and a modified (straight) clip point, but this has been replaced with a more conventional drop point blade featuring a short grooved section on the spine for close control work. The gutting blade remains virtually the same as on the original, apart from an extra grooved section on the spine. Looking like a medical instrument, the gutter features a concave blade with a razor sharp single grind on the inner curve, a broad 3mm thick spine and a blunted tip. This ensures that you can cleanly ‘unzip’ the skin of the body cavity without puncturing organs. This blade is also good for stripping meat from bone. This ‘sprettern’ style blade is becoming more preferred to a standard guthook in Scandanavia, and it’s certainly more versatile.
Perhaps the most important change is that on the original Kombikniv there was no lock as such, only the user grip on the knife handle stopped the blade from swinging through its axis. On this new Swing Blade version a small button lock – recessed in a depression on the handle near the axis pin – has to be pressed to release the blades and allow them to be pivoted into position. Simply push the lock button and the blade swings through its axis and changes the Swing-Blade from a drop-point into a gutting knife.
The handle is made of black textured Kraton, a rubber like material, giving a positive, non-slip grip, even when wet. A brass bushing sandwiches the axis pin and extends down the inside of the handle to form the liner.
In effect this is a ‘fixed blade’ knife, as one of the blades is always in service, so a heavy duty black Cordura nylon sheath with locking tab is included in the package.
This is a clever design, and it works well. The Swing-Blade carries a lifetime guarantee against becoming defective due to a manufacturing or material fault, so the manufacturers seem to be quite confident with their product!
Perhaps the most amazing ting about this new locking version is that it is priced at £44.95 – that’s around £15 less than the original EKA E8.