Spotlight: LionSteel B40 bushcraft knife
With the LionSteel B40 a new star was introduced to the bushcraft world. The fact that LionSteel is excellent at producing outdoor knives is something they already proved with successful editions such as the M4 and the M5. With the LionSteel B40 they introduced a specific bushcraft knife. With a typical LionSteel style.
Designer Michele 'Molletta' Pensato
Master designer Michele 'Molletta' Pensato designed the B40. Almost all popular LionSteel knives of the past few years were made by Molletta, so it makes sense that he was the one to design this knife as well. He has a particular background. During the day he namely doesn't work in the world of knives, but in banking. Archaeological adventures and hikes make him realize that he needed a good knife. However, because he couldn't find one that suited his needs he designed one himself. LionSteel produced it and a glorious collaboration was born.
A couple of years later Molletta produced LionSteel's most successful designs. The entire M-collection, KUR, TRE, ROK and SR models were all designed by him. He received many Blade Show awards. If you ask us Molletta is the most underexposed top-designer of this generation of knife makers.
Sleipner: unknown, unloved
Mollette and LionSteel selected Sleipner for the steel. A relatively unknown type of steel that is made by the firm Böhler-Uddeholm located in Austria. We sometimes hear that people will reject a knife because the blade is made from Sleipner. These people, however, never used this type of steel in real life.
Sleipner really is a great type of steel. It is, technically speaking, sometimes even called a 'powdered steel version' of D2. We noticed that Sleipner is incredibly tough. You can put a lot of strain on it without breaking the knife. At the same time Sleipner retains its sharpness for a long time. You could, for instance, baton stacks of wood and still be left with a razor-sharp knife. LionSteel prefers working with Sleipner, and they definitely mastered the heat treatment.
If you need to think of one downside of Sleipner it is the corrosion resistance. Salt, acids and moisture can leave you with some discolourations or even rust. Nothing you can't fix with a little bit of tlc but still.
LionSteel added a stonewashed finish to the B40. As such traces of use are hardly invisible. The steel is also more polished to make sure rust can't adhere to the blade.
Pure bushcraft knife
Anyone who is familiar with the bushcraft world knows that the B40 is a real bushcraft knife. The tip is pointed enough to cut a bow drill divot in a board. Because of the straight handle you can take hold of the knife in many different ways.
The blade height is also a little lower than the knives from the LionSteel M-collection. As such you will have a little more control over the precise cutting jobs. This is especially great for wood work.
At the front of the handle you will find a subtle finger guard. This guard is large enough to make sure your hand doesn't end up on the edge. However, LionSteel, of course, rounded the guard to make sure your finger can easily lean against it without it becoming irritating.
Sharp pommel, round spine
At the end of the handle a part of the steel tang is sticking out. It has been enhanced with a lanyard-eye, practical for a wrist strap. The most important goal of this protrusion, however, is the sharp edge that is sharpened on one side of the pommel. With it the sparks will shoot from a firesteel. The pommel is also great when scraping wood shavings for tinder.
When you use the LionSteel B40 you notice what an advantage this is. The spine of many conventional bushcraft knives is sharpened. This also works fine, and you even have a larger part you can use. But it also means that that sharp part will prick your thumb when you put pressure on it. LionSteel neatly rounded the spine of the B40 to make sure you can comfortably place your thumb or index finger on the spine.
The perfect size
If you want to have some control over what you are cutting a gigantic knife won't do you any good. As such you could ask yourself if a blade of 15 cm or larger will be helpful when you are carving wood. A blade length of approximately 10 cm is perfect. Large enough to split kindling and small logs, and compact enough to remember where the tip is.
The handle of the B40 is also precisely large enough. Even with large hands you will still have enough room. In terms of ergonomics Molletta also thought about how you use a bushcraft knife. The facets on the handle might look a little angular at first glance. They, however, are neatly rounded and ensure that the knife won't rotate in your hand. The vertically placed texture ensures that the knife won't shoot from your hand.
The front of the handle is slightly bevelled. As such you can place your thumb on the side of the blade for sideways movements.
It wouldn't be a real LionSteel knife if there wouldn't be a couple of amazing handle materials. You can choose from Santos rosewood, olive wood, green canvas micarta and two colours of G10. These types of wood make the knife look extra chic. They are, however, a little less strong, and a little more sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. So if you travel a lot this might not be the best choice.
G10 and micarta are something else completely. Both incredibly stable and strong materials. G10 might be a little stronger, micarta, according to many, feels better in hand. In addition, the fibres in the micarta can swell up when wet, giving you more grip especially in wet conditions
Bushcraft and more
In the basis the LionSteel B40 is an amazing bushcraft knife. All classic characteristics are there. And yet, we still believe it is capable of much more. Hunters, for instance, will really appreciate the B40, and with a G10 or micarta handle it is also a great option during survival situations.
The LionSteel B40 is a versatile bushcraft knife, perfect for almost everyone. From hikers who love to bring a solid knife during their trips, to anyone who wants to build a fire in their backyard. The core of the target group, however, is and will of course remain the bushcraft community. With the LionSteel B40 they have found a new favourite.
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