Designed by Paul Sheiter, the Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife is a knife designed around simplicity. Sheiter opines that “the more complicated a product becomes, the more likely it is to fail when your life depends on it.” That’s why the Blackbird SK-5 is created with a prominently minimalistic look and greater emphasis on function. This knife looks utterly plain that it can be mistaken as a simple kitchen knife. However, it is designed to maximize functionality and ensure that it works as expected. Its designer aims to make sure that handling the knife should be very intuitive and familiar to make optimally utile especially during emergencies.
Who its For?
The Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 survival knife is meant to be used by everyone. It is designed to provide a great balance of dimensions, weight, features, and usability. It is something that should be easily used by anyone who needs a survival knife in whatever location or situation.
Simplicity is the main highlight of the Blackbird SK-5. It is intended to provide users something that is familiar to use so it can serve its purpose better. It features a plain edge blade. The build is solid enough to withstand the challenges most survival knives are subjected to. The blade is made with superiorly tough steel that possesses an impressive edge-retaining ability. This knife does not need sharpening every so often. The blade is resistant to rusting or corrosion. The blade also features a full-taper grind for optimal carving efficiency.
The sharp edge along the spine of the blade, on the other hand, is designed to help strike a spark from flint-and-steel fire starters. Moreover, the knife comes with a rounded and Micarta covered handle that offers comfortable grip. The knife also has a lanyard slot and it comes with a MOLLE compatible sheath that has a belt loop.
- Total knife length 254 millimeters (10 inches).
- Blade length 127 millimeters (5 inches)
- Blade thickness 3.3 millimeters (0.13 inch)
- Blade hardness rating 58-60 HRC
- Overall knife weight 238.14 grams or 8.4 ounces
- Blade material 154CM steel
The 154CM steel blade material is an American-made steel noted for its excellent toughness and rust-resistance. This knife is a full tang type and the handle is securely attached to the blade by a triple anchor system designed to resist abusive shocks or stress whenever the knife is used to baton or hit things like a hammer. Moreover, the Blackbird SK-5 features a spear point and center lined tip designed to provide a high degree of point strength and efficiency.
Arguably, the Blackbird SK-5 could be one of the least attractive survival knives available. It is plain looking at best. However, it offers a design and form that is very familiar to anyone who has used a knife a few times. It is a tool meant to cut, slice, chop, pierce, stab, or probe. All these functions are adequately served by the Blackbird SK-5. It is a no-frills survival knife anyone can take advantage of.
Because of the focus on simplicity, the durability and solid build for the Blackbird SK-5 are easily achieved. It makes use of durable and tough materials for both the blade and handle. Users are likely to feel the solid build quality every time they use this knife. It is designed to be heavy duty and long lasting. Cleaning and maintaining this knife is also relatively easy.
All in all, the Blackbird SK-5’s straightforward approach to being a survival knife seems to be hitting the right points. The familiar design makes handling very intuitive and easy for frequent even for those who are not accustomed to using other more typical survival knife designs. For experienced campers or outdoor adventure seekers, however, this knife may not be the right choice. Some may not find the concept of “kitchen knife simplicity” very appealing.
The simple design of this knife can attract those who are new to survival knives. Build quality is great while the materials used for both the blade and handles are excellent. The Micarta-laden handle makes for a good and comfortable grip although some may not like the way it looks.
This knife satisfactorily covers the basics of what a survival knife is expected to do. It is great for “amateurs” who may only need something familiar, durable, and reliable. For those who understand the fundamentals of survival knives, however, this knife is just not enough. It does not have enough weight and heft to efficiently do chopping. It is also too short to be a reliable survival knife. There are many other knives with better designs, in terms of aesthetics and function.