Some time back, I asked my friend Rook, of River Bottom Blades, for a pair of Kephart style knives, based on some he had done in the past. I wanted two knives, for myself and my son. Rook agreed to do the blades, though he was not yet ready to go back into production on knives.
I asked for something a mite different. I wanted a 5 inch blade, with a handle of equal length, made from 1/4 inch 5160 stock. Now, this was turning a Kephart into a tank , I suppose, but I had my reasons. I got the handle scales made from Osage, as I like that wood, and find it very durable , better than most unstabilized woods.
I also got a ferro rod with matching Osage handle to go with each knife.
I added the ranger band to keep the ferro rod in place, at least for now.
This picture shows the spine thickness, compared to my Turley Dogwood, which is 3/16th thick.
Here is a side by side shot with a Becker BK-2.
The Kephart blade is almost as massive, and I think certainly as tough and indestructible as the Becker. It is a bit livelier in my hand, and likely a bit better suited for some camp chores, while giving up very little in chopping ability.
This picture shows a Cold Steel Pendleton light overlaid on the Kephart blade. I was intrigued by the closeness of the blade profile, despite the massive difference in size.
Today I got out for a few minutes and actually got to cut a few things. Not a true field test, but the first time I have had a chance to do anything in several weeks.
I whittled out a hast little sling shot handle, and cut a couple of crude pot hook notches, after cross battoning some small limbs.
Obviously, i need to get out and do some real field testing yet, but my first impressions are very, very good. This blade is likely to replace my BK-2 as the main belt knife when carrying only one blade. It has almost as much heft and sheer strength, while being much easier to use for small cutting tasks. It is not a Puukko, nor yet a machete, but it can sure fill a lot of the territory between those two extremes.
I want to give Rook my thanks for this pair of knives, they are exactly what I had envisioned. I wish I could have pictured the pair side by side, but my son has his with him, and I never got a chance to photograph the pair. I intend to rectify that the next time he comes by.