I’ve written about knives before, but knife reviews aren’t a common thing for me or for this blog. It is something that I’ve been meaning to do more of and perhaps this review will be the first of many. Or maybe it won’t. Either way, I’m really excited to be reviewing the Field 3.0 from Toor Knives for a few reasons. First and foremost, my excitement comes from working with a pretty sweet knife from a pretty cool company that is doing some pretty awesome things. But I’d argue that most of my excitement comes from how this review came to be, which is where we will start.
You see, I attempted to start a blade thread on Twitter. This in of itself wasn’t something new. It’s something that I do from time to time where I post a picture of some item and encourage folks to share pictures of their stuff on the thread. This is a good way to get folks to learn about options that are available in the market. Sometimes the threads are about firearms. Other times they are about knives or some other piece of gear or activity. Anyway, a person I often interact with posted a reply in this knife thread where he mentioned Toor Knives. In the spirit of the thread and having a good time, I replied back with my approval for Toor Knives, because I do think they make some great products, and semi-jokingly mentioned that it would be really cool to have Toor Knives send me a knife that I had been drooling over for review. Much to my surprise, Toor Knives responded with a direct message. In the message exchange, they mentioned that sending a limited edition sprint run knife for review didn’t make sense to them from a marketing perspective, but that they would be willing to send me a knife from their core product line for me to review. I named a few models that I thought would be suitable and useful for the activities I participate in and they agreed to send me a Field 3.0 for me to review. This was pretty cool and completely unexpected.
Disclosure time. I don’t have a financial relationship with Toor Knives. I like what they do and what they stand for as a company. I also own a few of their knives that I’ve purchased with my own money and may review in the near future. However, they did send me the Field 3.0 for me to review at no cost to me. They also put zero constraints on what I could do with the knife or say about it. They simply sent me the knife and told me to do my worst with it. So here we are.
The Field 3.0 retails for $250. That’s a price point that will likely cause some hesitation for most folks. However, the price is inline with many other high quality production knives which are made with quality materials. Is the price worth it? Perhaps, but it depends on several factors and it’s ultimately up to every individual. My hope with this review is to help make the answer to that question clearer for you and I will also share my personal opinion on it. Let’s begin with reviewing what one receives for $250, which includes:
- A nice foam-lined box that makes for a very nice presentation that feels somewhat luxurious,
- a card contained a the founder’s message, a blurb about the outdoor series product line this knife belongs to, and an overview of the lifetime guarantee,
- a sticker (or what the cool kids today would refer to as a slap),
- a microfiber cleaning cloth,
- a single application tube of FrogLube,
- a Kydex sheath,
- and the knife itself.
It’s worth pointing out that the sheath does not come with any attachment system, but is compatible with several attachment options that can be added on when ordering direct from Toor Knives for a corresponding fee.
Let’s walk the 6.5 ounce 8 1/8″ knife from tip to butt, or whatever the rearmost part of a knife is called.
As one might expect, the tip is a very sharp point that marks the beginning of the drop point blade which is made from CPM 154 steel. The 3 5/8″ cutting edge of the blade sweeps gently back and creates a long belly that allows for well controlled and moderately precise cuts that are suitable for many different tasks like carving or skinning and quartering game animals.
The grind is not quite a full flat grind as it starts a little bit under the spine, but I’d consider it a flat grind which is conducive to slicing. However, the 3/16″ thick blade is a bit too thick for making ultra-thin and delicate slices that might be necessary for masterpiece culinary presentations, but this isn’t a high end kitchen knife so it would be unfair to demand that from it. On the other hand, the thickness and the grind allow the knife to slice deeply and wedge itself into wood which works remarkably well for tasks like feather sticking or batoning wood. The heel of the knife terminates at a choil that is too small to place a finger on.
The first several inches of the spine are sharp which lend themselves well to shaving bark or wood and can be used to throw sparks from a ferrocerium rod. I was a bit concerned about the gray colored KG Gunkote finish on the blade, which is intended to provide abrasion, chemical, and impact resistance, as coatings often make sharp spines on blades useless for throwing sparks, but this wasn’t the case. The spine on this blade throws sparks and the coating is functional and looks good.
On the spine as one approaches the hand, we find some jimping that I could live without, but others like. The jimping is aggressive enough that it provides good traction for the thumb when performing push cuts, but not so aggressive that it tears up your thumb. I don’t mind the texture, but I don’t find it necessary and in all honesty jimping gives me pause. The pause comes from seeing that more often than not when a blade breaks during hard use, like batoning, the break often involves one of the valleys in the jimping. That’s not to say that this knife won’t take the abuse as there are many knives with jimping that hold up well to hard use, but does give me a little bit of pause.
The knife features a full tang which I think is very desirable in a hard use knife. The tang begins with a large and pronounced finger groove on the bottom. This groove is comfortable and creates a very good index that one can use to control the knife. The forward most part of the groove creates a guard that is very effective at protecting the fingers from slipping on to the edge during stabbing and thrusting motions.
The handles on the tang begin with a thin G10 black liner and scalloped G10 handle scales which in the case of this knife are a bright hunter orange that Toor Knives calls “Backcountry Blaze”. The texture on the scales is aggressive and allows for a secure grip on them which is very unlikely to slip. My only complaint about the handles is that they are thin and have some sharpness along the edges of the scales where they meet the liners and exposed tang. These sharp edges create hotspots that I have noticed after prolonged use. However, the hot spots can be mitigated by using gloves. I have to admit that the small aggressive scales make work easy, secure, and comfortable while wearing gloves. I was concerned that the recessed hardware that secures the scales to the knife might create additional hot spots, but the truth is that I haven’t noticed them.
At the butt of the knife we find a lanyard hole on the exposed tang. The exposed tang does have a couple of sharp angles that may function as a glass breaker, but that’s not something I’ve tested.
The full Kydex pancake style sheath that comes with the Field 3.0 is good. It provides positive retention with a tactile and audible click and includes a retention adjustment screw. There is a little bit of material near the opening that serves as a thumb ramp which aids in removing the knife from the sheath quickly and consistently. There is a peephole at the bottom of the sheath which is important as it allows moisture to drain from the inside of the sheath. The riveted holes along the seam of the Kydex pancake form a pattern that interface well with most of the popular attachment options including soft loops, Ulti-clips, MOLLE mounts, and belt mounts.
That pretty much covers the physical aspects of the knife and sheath where I have alluded to some of the opinions I’ve formed over the past month. I suspect the next thing that y’all might find interesting is learning what I’ve done with the knife so far and my thoughts on it.
What have I done with the knife so far? Well upon receiving it, I figured the best way to get familiar with it was to start using it for everyday mundane tasks around the house. The very first thing I did was use it as a package opener. Yeah, that is far from the hard outdoor use this knife was designed to handle, but I’ve found that something as simple as opening packages tells you a lot about how a knife performs with small fine grained tasks and gives one a good idea at how well a knife retains an edge. The Field 3.0 performed well at this task and the edge held up very well.
The next thing that I did was use the knife in the kitchen to heal with meal preparation. Outdoor or camp knives are going to be used for this a fair bit. While I wouldn’t expect a camp knife to be as precise as a chef knife or other kitchen knives, I do expect it to work moderately well at slicing and dicing vegetables and meat. The Field 3.0 did okay at this. As I mentioned, the grip started creating some hot spots after prolonged use and I experienced this when preparing larger or more complicated meals that required longer preparation times. There were sometimes when having another inch or two of cutting edge would have made meal preparation easier and faster, but nevertheless the knife worked.
I also used the Field 3.0 as a food consumption utensil. While it wasn’t a serrated steak knife, it worked very well for this task.
Frankly, when it comes to meal preparation and consumption, this knife works very well for situations where it’s just oneself. I would prefer a larger knife for preparing meals for more than one person.
In terms of working with wood, I’ve batoned a few smaller pieces of wood with diameters of 3″ or less. This is very doable and works well, but it’s not a big knife and as such it’s not something I would attempt with thicker pieces of wood. Delimbing? No problem assuming we are talking about small limbs. Feather sticking is easy peasy. Small carving tasks like making notches or tent pegs are no problem. If this was the only knife I was taking with me outdoors, then I would want to pair it with a small or medium sized saw or an ax to break down larger pieces of wood to a size that is workable with this knife. Even so, I’d be more comfortable with a larger knife, like the Field 2.0, instead to provide a little more versatility and utility.
The CPM 154 steel choice for this knife, in my opinion, is incredibly smart for a knife that is intended for hard use outdoors as it’s arguably one of the most well rounded steels. It’s a steel that isn’t so soft that it will bend and roll easily, but so hard that it is brittle and chip when put to the test. It’s fairly corrosion resistant and won’t require an absurd amount of tender loving care. It will hold an edge fairly well and will take an edge when sharpened without too much trouble. It’s a jack of all trades and a master of none, which is near perfect for a well rounded knife that might be abused in various environments and relied upon for a myriad of various tasks from working wood to processing food.
At this point, my overall impression of the Field 3.0 is that it is a solid and capable small knife that will work well as a secondary knife for smaller and finer grained tasks. Given how well it is built and its design, one could make it work as a primary knife, but I think that is suboptimal for that role. I’m also still forming my opinion of this knife. I need to spend more time with this knife outdoors and I also want to get through a hunting season with it as I suspect that it will lend itself well for field dressing and breaking down medium sized game into quarters. As such, y’all can expect a follow up review to follow after deer season.
Do I think this knife is worth $250? At this juncture, all I can say is that signs point to yes. That said, there are several options in the market at this price point that are of equivalent build quality that will work for the same role, some of which might be more comfortable in hand. If nothing else, it’s worth consideration. Folks who are on the fence between the Field 3.0 and one or more other blades, might want to consider that the Field 3.0 is entirely built and assembled in the USA by a company who values people and goes out of their way to employ Veterans while staying true to the values of the American Dream.