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Username Post: Review of ML Bird and Trout Knife.        (Topic#923448)
Journeyman KnifeNut!
06-10-12 13:09.50 - Post#2476522    


To compliment my Kephart - I ordered ML's Kephart companion - a very true replica of Horace Kepharts companion knife. I liked the knife - but didn't love it - so - for me - it was a catch and release. Wanting to have a companion knife - I ordered ML's Bird and Trout Knife. I was quoted a price and a time frame and I received the knife early and the price was right on the money.


OAL: 7.491
Blade Length (from handle): 3.829
Edge Length: 3.662
Blade Thickness: 0.089
Blade Height: 0.972 at rear of blade
Steel Type: 1090 hand forged High Carbon Steel
Handle Length: 4.118
Handle Thickness at butt: 1.041
Handle Thickness in middle: 0.856
Handle Thickness at Ricossa: 0.698
Handle Width: About 0.800
Handle Material: Tiger Maple

Initial Impressions:

I owned this knife for about six months before actually getting around to making a sheath out it. When I did - I made a tutorial to make up for the time loss. It sat in my knife roll for a time - but then found its way to the kitchen. I did the majority of the testing in the kitched with steak, veggies and fish. I always think that Matt's stain on his handles are a little dark - so I usually strip his finish back and finish it myself. I use a hand rubbed poly and put two or three very thin coats on it. Matt uses traditional stain and sealing and no one else has ever reported a problem - this is just my preference.

Fit and Finish:

The pictures at the top of the review were the ones that Matt sent me before sending out the knife. When I received this knife - I was very happy with what I unboxed. The blade is hand forged 1095 High Carbon Steel. and can be ordered with the forge marks or not. I love ML's rustic look and I like the idea of leaving some of the protection on the blade so I leave it rustic. I am always amazed at how flat Matt's knives come and, frankly, how well ground.

The convex grind on this blade is low and even, which makes sense considering the thickness of the blade but like all ML knives are very sharp and very strong edge. Matt puts a lot of work into his edges and they come very sharp. I stropped it to a high shine and found that the knife was extremely sharp. I have said in other reviews that ML knives are one of, if not the only, knife that I do not spend time with sharpening and honing the edge before using it.

Blade Geometry:

The blade is a straight back knife with an edge that sweeps up to the point. It is a low sabre ground convex edge. The blade is very thin and slightly flexible with hand forged unfinished flats. The spine is very square and even. I found in using this knife that it is not quite a fillet knife and not quite a game knife. It is certainly a bird and trout style knife in that it bridges the gap between a thin flexible fillet knife and a thicker game knife. I found that it does good with both fish and foul in the kitchen.

In fact - if I had to design my ultimate steak knife for my kitchen - this would be it. It sizzles through mean - is nimble enough to trim up steaks and fillet a fish. After getting this knife I decided to make a bunch of jerky for an upcoming family camping trip. I bought 4 pounds of lean shoulder roast - tossed it in the freezer for a while to firm it up - and had no problem cutting even 1/8th inch strips off the roast. I simply wiped the blade down - admired the gained partina - and put it away. I would love a kitchen full of Matt's knives.

When using this knife on fish, because it is not as thin as a fillet knife, the blade excels on larger fish but can be pressed into service with smaller fish as well. With that said, I wish at times the blade could be a bit thicker when working on larger jobs - but that is the nature of this knife. It is a compromise knife - and when paired with a knife like the Kephart - I find that there is little I can't do in the kitchen or around camp.

In Hand / Handle Design:

The handle is a very simple almost tear drop design that is thinner at the front of the blade but thicker at the butt. It also gets fatter at the butt to allow you hand a sure purchase while wet. I love how this knife is so light and nimble in the hand. It is designed, primarily, for the modified hammer position (finger on top of the blade) but can be used in any way you can imagine for skinning game or filleting fish.

I find it very easy to move this knife about in the hand, from choking up to moving through animal joints and doesn't have much of an issue in any position.

Sheath Shots:

I made my own sheath for this knife. 8-10 ounce leather from Wickett and Craig. 1/2th inch welt, double stitched with belt loop and dangler. I made my own sheath - but if you want a more rustic 'period' style sheath - look to ML.

Overall feelings after nearly a year:

When I want an nearly all purpose knife that is smaller and nimbler I put this on my hip. It finds its way into rotation when I am around a 'car camping' experience. It makes fuzz sticks, marshmallow pokers, and takes care of the kitchen with ease. When paired with a larger camp style knife (Like the Kephart) I find it is a perfect companion.

I feel like I am almost mailing these reviews in when I do an ML knife. But I have found it is NEVER a matter of quality with his stuff - but a matter of taste. If you like his types of designs - you will not be disappointed with his work. Maybe that is why I own so damned many of them.


Master Member KnifeNut!
06-14-12 21:38.43 - Post#2477489    

    In response to Talfuchre

Thank you for posting the review. appreciate that.

ML Knives
Master Member KnifeNut!
06-18-12 09:54.34 - Post#2478100    

    In response to MLknives

Well done!

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been


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