What is Mike Stewart of Bark River's Favorite Knife?

9th May 2014

Well, Mike couldn't limit it to one.  He went for three.

The first is the Canadian Special, followed by the Bushcrafter and the Ultra-lite Bushcrafter

People ask me all the time which knife is my favorite. It is the one I designed for me— the Canadian Special. I designed this very selfishly to fit in my hand perfectly. I don’t have an extra small hand, but not a really large hand. I would say a medium to medium/large hand.

A lot of people have said the Canadian Special does not fit their hand. That is fine. We have sold thousands of this knife so they must fit somebody else besides me. When I put this in my hand it just feels right. I have perfect control of the knife. I don’t have to choke up. The point is in the center.

It has a nice straight portion of the blade you can use for food prep. It has a curve for skinning.

I don’t expect this to be everybody’s favorite knife. I expect it to be my favorite knife because I designed it for me.

Then people ask, “What is your next favorite knife?” My next favorite is our Bushcrafter. I looked at all the bush crafters out there on the market and saw what they had in common. And saw what I did like and what I did not like about each of them. And then I came up with this as Mike Stewart’s interpretation of a Bushcrafter.

It has what appears to be a Scandi grind. It is not because we do not do flat Scandi grinds. We do not do them. It is a convex Scandi which is lile the original Scandi - not like the ones they market today.

They are like the grinds that the Scandis had on their knives. They are convex. It is impossible to have a flat edge that you sharpen by hand. They get convex. The Bushcrafter is designed convex.

If you look at the point, notice it is in the center which is what I like. The bushcraft guys will tell you that is for drilling and it is. It works for that.

For batonning, look at the other commonality in the cushcraft knifes. Notice the grind does not go all the way up to the top. It has an upper shoulder to spread the wood. Same thing on the Bshcreafter. It batons wood faster.

Does it have enough belly for skinning? Absolutely. To be a skinning knife- no. But to accomplish the job, yes.

The knife has a straight area on the spine for food prep.

It has an ergonomic handle. It does not have finger grooves. It should fit everybody’s hand pretty well. Nothing that locks you into holding the knife in one position.

There are many possible grips and the Bushcrafter is comfortable regardless of the one chosen.

The next question is, “What is your next favorite knife?” I think it is one of the most innovative knives we have ever designed— the Ultra-lite Bushcrafter. It weighs only 2.7 ounces. It is a smaller version of the Bushcrafter, but not a knife you can’t get a full grip on. You CAN get a full grip. It is only 90 thousandths thick, but it it is 3V so you get plenty of edge stability. You can horse this knife. It has all the features of the larger Bushcrafter. You can carry this knife. At 2.7 ounces, even with the sheath you don’t even notice the knife or that you are wearing it.

So, one, two, three— Canadian Special, Bushcrafter, Ultra-lite Bushcrafter. Those are the three that I like the best.