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American Overlander: Vulture Equipment’s Cholera

Every time a new knife comes across my desk I first hold it to find its balance. I open it and close it a few times to understand its mechanical operation or its sheath fitment, and inspect it closely to study some of its finer details of construction.  Then––I just start cutting stuff. I cut paper, tape, cardboard, wood, twine, rope, soda cans, bread, meat, vegetables, plastic, anything that begs to be separated into multiple pieces.

When the Cholera arrived from Vulture Equipment Works it sat on my desk for four days. During that time, I looked at it, picked it up every once in a while, and removed it from its sheath to stare at the blade. I would become mesmerized by the fine and organic lines of detail within its linen micarta handle. I’d take it in and out of its formed Kydex sheath just to hear and feel it click securely into place. I walked around the office showing it to people, not letting them touch it, but just look at it in fleeting glances. Four days passed before deciding what to cut with it first.

Knives are tools but knives can also be works of art, which is why so many people collect them. The problem with collector knives in my opinion, is that you usually don’t want to use them because they either don’t cut very well or they’re too delicate. The Cholera on the other hand is a sculpture that integrates time-tested elements of form and functionality into a knife that you can’t help admiring, but can’t wait to use.




If you’re a knife aficionado, you’ll appreciate the technical details of the Cholera. It has a full tang design made of 3/16” thick 1095 steel that hass been heat treated to 60 Rockwell, acid washed, and clear coated with Cerakote to inhibit rust. The entire knife is 10-inches long and the blade is 5.5-inches and shaped to a modified Gyuto design with a 90% sharpened false edge, a Trocar style tip, and a modified scandi grind on the cutting edge.




More than just well made, it is thoughtfully designed.  Balanced right at the index finger groove of the handle, the blade is long enough to be versatile but not so long as to be awkward. The handle features detailed ergonomics that allow for control of the blade without any sharp pressure points to the hand. There is also a pronounced finger guard just in front of the handle to give your finger a solid purchase. The Gyuto blade design, which roughly translates to “meat sword” in Japanese, has a natural and easy to use shape.




The Kydex sheath holds a magnesium and flint fire-striker. 


There are a lot of knives in the $25-$50 range that are bought, used, and ultimately forgotten in the back of a drawer. Then, there are the knives in the $300, $500, $600+ range that are only ideal as collectibles. This knife is just shy of $200, $189.99 on the website. It is the kind of knife that you use, show to your friends, appreciate it for its refined construction, and take with you on every trip in search for more reasons to use it. Eventually it will be passed on to the next generation of your family. That’s right, the term “legacy piece” is reserved and rarely used in today’s world of mass produced inexpensive products, but this knife will remind you of your great grandfather’s watch, or his craftsman tools with the lifetime warranty that you’ve never had to redeem. (Made in the USA)