Fantasy Island Knife Review
A Fictional Product ComparisonOctober 5, 2020
This is a showdown.
Choose one of these four knives to be your companion in the most common survival scenario.
Scenario: While flying alone over the vast ocean, a sudden engine malfunction sends your airplane into a fiery dive towards the ocean below. While pulling up on the yoke in a useless attempt to stabilize the craft, you spot an island far below. Equipping your chute, you pull the plane towards the island, and leap out the door.
Choose your Knife...
Cut And Run
"What a mix of smoke, fire, and water..." you think, looking at your plane's wreckage as you peacefully glide down to the bizarre island located below. It's covered in a lush forest, so it seems unlikely that it formed recently- but according to your maps, there is nothing here. You glide your parachute into the dense canopy of the island below. The giant leaves begin smacking every inch of your body and thick branches batter the sides of your legs and shoulders- "FWACH!" your parachute snags the treetops, jolting you with such force you're left dazed.
Regaining your senses, you recognize you're suspended 10 feet off the ground, surrounded by dense forest. Distant first, you hear the cracks of twigs and rustling of brush as something rapidly approaches, you estimate its distance to be 100 yards. You pull the cable to release your canopy, but nothing happens. You reach for your knife and grab the parachute's riser (where the cords converge into a single strap)...
You hastily saw the blade back and forth against the riser. Making little progress and hearing the commotion nearing your position, you focus on the edge of the strap. Finally the sharp blade begins making way through the first strap. After 15 more short saw strokes you fall to one side as you clear the first riser. Grabbing the second riser, you notice a deafening silence falls over the forest. The oddest sensation washes over the center of your chest, like ice and fire, you look down at a crudely made arrow protruding from your sternum. The stabilizing fins are made of the most beautiful feathers you've ever seen. Fade to black.
You slide the riser strap into the gut hook of the knife, and with one swift outard pull, you slice clean through the nylon strap, dropping you to one side. You grab the other strap, looking to the jungle floor beneath you, then looking towards the approaching commotion. Fifty yards away you spot the approaching creature, you cut the strap. You get your feet beneath you as you fall to the forest floor. The ground is soft, but the pain in your feet is intense. You begin blindly sprinting through the thick brush. After nearly 20 seconds of panicked running, you hear a blood curdling screech from where you landed. Somehow, you begin running faster.
You begin sawing at the nylon strap with the serrated edge of your knife. The knife's ability to cut through the riser is immediately apparent, and it only takes a few seconds to cut through the first strap causing you to unexpectedly list to one side. You begin sawing at the second riser and are just threads away from separation when you notice a heavy silence fall over the forest. Not one to hesitate, you drag the knife across the strap one final time. In your one second of free fall, "THWACK!" something strikes a nearby tree. Landing on your feet, you take off as fast as you can in the opposite direction of the movement. "THWACK!" A tree ahead is struck by an arrow. You pull a hard right and make your escape deep into the woods.
You calmly take the serrated edge of your blade to the riser. One, two, three strokes and you fall to one side. Noticing the approaching noise, you grab the other strap: one, two, three. You fall to your feet on the ground below, and crouching down you carefully take cover behind a nearby fallen tree, grasping your knife in the ready position. The running noise slows to a cautious approach. Through a small crack in the fallen tree, you see it. "My God...", you think. It looks at your canopy in the tree tops and tilts its head to the side, processing what it sees. It screeches unlike anything you've ever heard, and continues running in search of its prey.
Night is approaching, you need a place to hunker down. Amidst the dense foliage, you spot a stone outcrop, forming a cave the size of a small car, providing cover in every direction besides one. This will be home. Looking around, you spot plenty of logs and branches laying in the brush. You begin gathering the wood, and hauling it back to your cave by the arm full. You will sharpen sticks into pikes, and stick them in the ground pointing towards the entrance. It's not perfect, but it will prevent whatever's out there from rushing you. The larger pieces of wood will be used to start a fire to keep you warm and keep the bugs away. You will employ a technique called batoning to split the wood so that it's the right size for its specific application.
Hey, you survived! Granted, you're in bad shape. You came to consciousness with a piece of wood jutting out of your chest, hanging 10 feet off the ground. You snapped the arrow shaft at the base, and freed yourself from the parachute. Now in your cave, it's time to get to work. After easily whittling the thinner sticks into spikes which you stake in the ground pointing outwards, you focus on batoning the larger logs to make a fire. Placing the blade on the log, you wack the spine of the knife with another stick, driving it deep into the log, quickly splitting the log into perfect pieces of firewood. You sleep well knowing that you're protected, and the fire keeps you warm and keeps the insects at bay.
The sharpened sticks are quickly done, your knife makes easy work of the whittling- but you think twice about batoning with this knife. The risk of breaking the blade is too high, you decide instead to try to burn the whole log. The bark prevents the log from catching fire. You're protected by the spike defenses, but you sleep poorly as you constantly wake up shivering, itching from bug bites.
Whittling the sticks proves challenging, but not impossible, as the serrated portion of the blade is not suited for the task. You manage to make your spike defences, but not as many as you hoped. You begin to baton the larger pieces of wood and have no trouble making appropriate sized logs. You're comfortable thanks to your fire, but you didn't sleep well as you laid awake questioning your defences.
"Perfect", you mutter as you lay eyes upon your cave. Taking inventory of your wood, you begin making defensive spikes with absolute ease (you've done this a million times). Unfortunately you won't be batoning firewood, as your knife is double sided. You spend the night staring at the entrance to the cave with a thousand yard stare, not quite asleep, not quite awake. Just like home.
You've survived the night. You find yourself hungry and very thirsty. Looking around the lush island, you recognize there will certainly be fresh water somewhere, but where? It doesn't take you long to recognize that there are palm trees everywhere, and these palm tree likely got here from tactical seabound seeds, otherwise known as coconuts. Approaching the base of the tree, you find big green coconuts scattered everywhere. Now you just need to peel the husk and carefully pierce the coconut to collect its water content. You place the tip of your knife on the coconut and gently hammer the pommel with a stick.
Quickly, you pierce the shell. Through this hole you drink the delicious water. Then, using the flat spine of the knife, you bang the coconut gently while rotating it, cause it to split open revealing the white flesh. Thirst AND hunger, satiated.
Your blade is beginning to warp. You finish puncturing the coconut very gently as to not break the blade, and through the hole you made you drink the delicious water. It's too bad that the back of your blade is a gut hook, you'll have to use a different technique to open the coconut. You spend the next 20 minutes banging the coconut on various objects until, exhausted, you gain access to the sweet interior (slightly mutilated at this point).
It's not particularly easy as the pommel feels somewhat disconnected from the blade, and because of its sharp angles the stick keeps glancing of the pommel. Eventually though, you make a hole in the coconut. Through this hole you drink the delicious water. Then, using the flat spine of the knife, you bang the coconut gently while rotating it, cause it to split open revealing the white flesh. Thirst AND hunger, satiated.
Quickly, you pierce the shell. Through this hole you drink the delicious water. You could probably hack the coconut open with your knife, but you choose not to, because you've actually been eating bugs this whole time and aren't hungry. Again, just like home.
Great, there are coconuts and bugs everywhere, sustenance will not be an issue. The mystery creature hunting you with a bow however, needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, this isn't on your terms. As you're dicking around with coconuts, a familiar silence falls over the forest. You quietly slink behind a tree, pressing your back against it, knife upright against your chest.
You hear it, footsteps approaching your tree. It knows you're here somewhere. When it's close enough you'll strike.
You swing around the tree plunging your knife into the creature stopping it in its tracks- its own blade only millimeters from your face. It falls to the ground.
You swing around the tree plunging your knife into the creature, it strikes you as well. You try to pull your blade out again but it's stuck. The creature strikes again.
You swing around the tree plunging your knife into the creature, it strikes you as well. You remove your blade and continue striking rapidly. Badly injured, you best the creature.
As ridiculous as this piece is, these are the situations going through a guy's head when imagining field usage of a product: worst case scenarios in which the decision made during the purchase process will ultimately decide their fate (perhaps yours are more grounded in reality).
Will most knives be used on envelopes and product packaging? Of course- but don't try to stifle my imagination, especially when I'm packing for a camping trip in bear country.