TRC South Pole knife - full review after couple of months of outdoor use

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by PiterM, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. PiterM

    PiterM Scout

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    This is a slightly more detailed version of my review posted at ITS Tactical recently. So grab your coffee and enjoy!

    Genesis. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This DaVinci quote perfectly describes the TRC South Pole knife and you really can’t get a knife with more classic lines. When you think about an “Outdoorsman Knife,” this is probably the exact shape that springs to mind. The South Pole features an almost five inch precision ground (full flat) drop point Elmax blade, well-sized handle and canvas micarta grips with an enhanced “diamond” texture. The attention to detail on this simple, classic and beautiful blade really blew my mind.

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    Fit and Finish I’ll start off with something I usually save for the end of these articles and that’s fit and finish. TRC has really outdone all the standards of the knife industry with the South Pole and as a result the knife is flawless. The flat grind has a very fine machine satin that’s really attractive. The spine is slightly rounded for comfort, but is still sharp enough to throw huge sparks from a ferro rod with ease. There’s no doubt this is a top tier knife and the simple, high-quality black packaging only highlights the class of this knife.

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    Comfort of the South Pole Yeah, it's a very comfortable knife to use and the grip is absolutely secure. This is thanks to the CNC machined diamond pattern, which provides grip regardless of water, sweat, blood or other items. No problem with gloves too, grip is big enough even for thick work gloves. Additionally, the tang of the handle is perfectly rounded and polished, which, makes the overall appearance super premium. I have large hands and it fits like a well made glove. And last but not least – lanyard hole is big enough for 550 paracord, of course.

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    Sheaths A good knife needs a good sheath. And South Pole features the best production kydex sheath I’ve ever seen (believe me, I’ve seen quite a few.) The sheath is thick and works to keep the knife secure in any position, while also allowing it to be drawn out smoothly and easily with the formed thumb ramp. Actually I’ve been making kydex sheaths for knifes for over a decade and this is the first blade I haven’t even been tempted to make my own sheath for. Instead, I made a dedicated pouch and loop attachment to keep some essentials with the knife when I want a complete outdoor adventure package. TRC also offers an optional leather sheath that I feel is also perfectly executed. I feel it’s very rare these days to have a company produce such high quality kydex and leather sheaths.

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    Blade Durability in Real Life Use I’ve been carrying the South Pole for 3 months and have used it in the forest, fishing and countless other outdoor activities. The edge geometry allows it to cut and slice effortlessly. Carving, making feather sticks, and whittling things in camp was also a breeze, thanks to the Elmax 60-61 steel. This steel stays sharp for a long time, but isn’t too hard to sharpen with my Work Sharp Field sharpener.

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    Overall, the classic blade shape and full flat grind make it great for most camping and hiking applications. For some more serious testing, I tried batoning 3 to 3.5 inch pieces of wood and had zero issues with the blade or edge. Just check that picture below, especially scars on a baton from pounding on my knife!

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    Additionally, cutting hemp rope was a breeze, with the knife allowing me to push cut on and on to my heart’s content. Did it in the field, on a 'cutting board' previously prepared (of a small log) with my knife. The Elmax blade material and phenomenal heat treatment from TRC make the South Pole a durable powerhouse. Tip is strong, but still fine cuts and punctures well.

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    Conclusion I keep asking myself how something so simple can be so good? I honestly feel that the TRC South Pole could be my one and only outdoor and camping knife, and I'd be not disappointed. It’s an extremely versatile knife and I struggle to find any weak point with it. The only note I might give is that the 4.25mm spine could be a bit thick for kitchen use.

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    The price of the South Pole isn’t low (295 EUR, which is around $335,) but it’s fully justified by the design, materials and execution. Especially when you consider that these knives are made and hand ground in good old Europe, exactly in Lithuania. So if you’re looking for an uncompromising outdoor tool, look no further than the TRC South Pole. It’s now an integral part of my camping and bushcrafting kit, with no signs of going anywhere.

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    In fact, when my son joins the Boy Scouts it will become his camp knife I guess :)

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    Thanks! Hope you enjoyed…

    P
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  2. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Great review and pics!
    Dominick..........
     
  3. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Indeed, great review.
    Thanks for posting!
     
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  4. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Very good review! Would you say this knife falls in the factory, semi custom, or custom knife category?

    Seems like the maker has taken the time and attention to detail to make a quality knife.
     
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  5. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Looks like a nice knife, but I really have to wonder at the name. Seriously.... bushcraft in the Antarctic?
     
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  6. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Looks like a very good knife.
     
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  7. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Bushmaster

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    Where are the pictures? Not showing for me on Firefox
     
  8. Odd-Arne Oseberg

    Odd-Arne Oseberg Scout

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    Seems nice. I put it on the list of things to buy in 2-3 years if I still want it. That's how I buy most gear. Years of research.
     
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  9. Sharpthings

    Sharpthings Scout

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    Well done review! Many Thanks
     
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  10. Jaeger

    Jaeger Supporter Supporter

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    Very well done review. Your pictures are outstanding.
    I keep seeing this brand pop up. I'm going to have to make it a point to check them out.
     
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