Initial Impressions of the Dan’s Depot Woodsman
One of the nice things about Facebook is that one learns of opportunity at the speed of the Internet. Recently I was fortunate to spot a limited offering of a bushcraft knife from Dan’s Depot and quickly jumped on it: just $4.95 shipping and handling, no cost for the knife itself. I was buying something sight-unseen, untested, and wholly unknown, but for $4.95, how bad could it be?
Actually, it turned out that a better question is how good could it be. What arrived promptly in the mail was good-looking Mora clone (a lot like the Mora Companion) in a tan sheath. I could immediately tell that the fit and finish were not up to Mora standard, but still–it had a nice heft, a really comfortable handle with a rubberized, grippy feel; a scandi-ground blade, and the sheath even had a drain hole in the bottom. The whole knife is a little under 9 inches in length.
I quickly got out my fine sandpaper and did some polishing of the blade, removing lettering on the blade that had the Dan’s Depot logo and WOODSMAN emblazoned in bold capital letters–just my own personal preference, of course. The metal began to acquire a sheen, so I turned then to the blade. The blade was reasonably sharp (not Mora sharp, but quite serviceable), but I found it had one area that was ground irregularly–an almost imperceptible hollow in the bevel–and noticed that the tip of the blade was squared off, not sharpened to a point. Using medium and fine stones soon yielded a better edge, and subsequent batonning, carving, and fire starting tests made me grin widely: this knife is capable of getting a lot done! The great mystery for me is the steel: I don’t know what it is, what its edge retention is like, or how it will hold up to the elements. By the speed with which it took an edge, I think it may be a softer steel, but for $4.95 I am very happy with my purchase.
For those who want to see more, I have at the link a video with batonning and carving tests and an attempt to throw sparks with the spine.