The Schrade SCHF38 is a solid, full tang knife.
It has a sabre grind, quarter inch thick blade which lends itself nicely for tougher use such as batoning and chopping.
I believe that a survival knife should fall in that category of “sharpened prybar”, capable of cutting, chopping, prying, hammering, digging, or axing its way through anything on its way and this knife does that.
The blade is 5.8” long, but given the mass it has it’s a good chopper for its size. On the other hand, with a fat blade like this you don’t have the finer edge you’d find on a thinner blade, so while it does cut it’s no carving knife. A bit of work reprofiling the bevel can certainly improve its performance though.
The blade is 1095 carbon steel and my sample was correctly heat treated without any visible chips or dents after batoning and chopping.
The tip of this knife is VERY strong.
The knife comes with basic but functional nylon sheath, a diamond sharpener and a rather nice quality ferro rod. Given the price, its surprising the amount of stuff you get for your money besides a sturdy blade made of quality carbon steel such as 1095, found in Becker and ESEE knives costing two or three times more.
Schrade SCHF38 Frontier $30.97
The only con I can think of is the handle. Trying to please the horde of youtube commandos Schrade went nuts with jimping on this thing, using it both on the front and back of this knife’s handle. Jimping is… I don’t want to offend so lets leave it there. If they had left it as is without the stupid jimping this knife would have been a 10/10 in the budget knife category.
The good news is that scales are easily removable and making your own scales capable of covering the jimping isnt that hard. I already ordered a couple micarta scales which I’ll be using on mine. I’ll post pics once its done. As it is, it’s still very much usable as a survival or emergency blade but I’d rather do without the jimping for extended use sessions without gloves.
I just checked and the SCHF 38 Frontier is currently selling for $30.97. That’s a steal and wouldn’t hesitate to order a couple to beat around or to include in survival kits.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”