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Field Tested :: Fitzroy Bushcraft Knife

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Overland Journal’s Fall 2022 Issue. Photography by Charlie Garrity.

A proper bushcraft knife is a piece of gear that often gets overlooked. Unlike a multi-tool or the classic Swiss Army knife, Fitzroy designs their products to be knives foremost—that can do multiple tasks. I learned long ago that a multi-tool is a great item to keep, but it’s average at best in its performance. You’ll need a proper knife if you need to cut, whittle, slice, or even pull off light chopping.

For the last 18 months, I have been using the Bushcraft, which is designed to be durable, strong, easy on the hands, and versatile. It slices tomatoes with ease yet can hammer through thick ropes when needed (4mm full tang blade). I’ve used it to cut Dyneema ropes, Manila 2-inch rope, hammer out kindling from a log, and slice onions and vegetables for a camp dinner. The blade has proven to stay sharp and tackles the tasks with stride. The handle fits my hand well with and without gloves, and its wet-weather grip is a surprising attribute. The black leather sheath works well and keeps the knife secure, providing effortless removal while being snug enough to not fall out during movement on the hip.

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Fitzroy Knife Company is a small knife company based in Bristol, England. Their catalog is small, offering just two items: the Bushcraft and a Fire Steel. The attention to quality and fit and finish is what you’d expect from a small artisan company. The knives are manufactured in Maniago, Italy, by artisans using modern and classic building techniques. Blade options include D2 carbon steel, best for tough use and easy to sharpen, and N690 stainless steel, a more sanitary offering with increased weather durability and the ability to hold an edge longer, though they are more work to sharpen. I chose the N690 for its wet weather capabilities. Both blades are flat ground and non-beveled. Your grip options are G10 (fiber-reinforced plastic, Black) and Micarta (Composite or Natural Hessian). Having handled both, I can’t feel or discern which handle works better in practical use. There are large thumb grooves on top of the blade for detailed carving that work well.

This knife will easily fit into any overlander’s kit, and you’ll be set for everything from cooking to woodwork. The 4.25-inch blade works well for most applications and has enough weight to feel substantial but not excessive.

$200 | fitzroyknife.com

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Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, Sean Gorman was born to explore. After climbing the highest peaks in the US, he set his sights on guiding some of the highest mountains around the world. His first car, a 1961 Land Rover Series II-A (that he still owns), became a tool, and he learned his love of off-road exploration. Combining the guiding skills from multi-month mountain expeditions and his love of off-pavement vehicle-based travel, he started his own business. He now consults on vehicle development and designs driving programs for automotive manufacturers. If you can’t find him in some remote corner of the world, you might find him piloting his vintage airplanes around the sky.