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The search for Mongo (and then there were 2) Login/Join 
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Those of you that have seen some of my past posts here, know that I spend a lot of time in the woods. Most of my life, my cutting tool choice has been the standard axe, saw, belt knife trio, but a few years back I realized that I’m getting old and swinging an axe isn’t as safe as it used to be. So, I started looking for larger knife that could handle the light to medium chopping and splitting functions of a short axe, and still be comfortable for smaller work. I settled on the following tasks as a test for what could fill this role:

1) One stick fire - process a 5–6-inch hardwood log(split, feather, shave, spark a ferro rod)
2) Figure 4 deadfall (carving and notches)
3) 6-foot tripod (chop and delimb)
4) Food prep (dice an onion)
5) Carve a utensil (shallow spoon)

Some things I learned along the way;

Kukris, recurves, and specialty blades, like the Trakker, while all great blades, were a pain in the ass to maintain in the field. Lighter blades were not very capable of processing frozen hardwood without significant effort. The balance point of the blade needed to be far enough forward of the handle to be effective for delimbing, clearing, and chopping, but close enough to comfortably perform lighter tasks. Flat grinds suck at splitting. Some blades’ harmonics were so bad, it felt like an electric shock when struck. Some produced hot spots after minimal use. A lanyard hole needed to be available so that I could support the handle on my forearm and choke up on the blade for smaller carving tasks, better if a hidden attachment. Since vendors don’t let you try blades out and send them back, it took a while given my budget but…

…Meet “Mongo” …



This knife has been flawless and was shaving sharp out of the box. All boxes checked; sharp, 90-degree spine, hidden lanyard, excellent ergos, etc. With excellent blade geometry, it performs all necessary tasks with ease. Edge retention is such that field maintenance is a breeze. Requiring only 10 – 15 minutes with a strop after a day’s use to bring it back to shaving sharp, it has yet to see a sharpening stone. While I’m not a big believer in the “one tool option” thing, this could certainly fill that role if needed.


Oh, and here’s the “didn’t make the cut” pile:

This message has been edited. Last edited by: pace40,


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Pace
 
Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been hunting for a large bladed knife. I was looking at a Bowie style but like your review.

I tried to track down where to buy a knife like yours and come down to Work Tuff.
Did you buy yours through Work Tuff? or did you buy from Aurora Borealis?

There is a new model that has a different steel (Bohler K329) and has a slightly different blade with a cut out in front of the handle. It also has a slightly thinner blade ( .23 vs .27 )
https://www.worktuffgear.com/p...izzly-k329-satin-blk

What are your thoughts on the newer version, I don't see your model as available.

Thanks.
 
Posts: 4450 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by armored:
Did you buy yours through Work Tuff? or did you buy from Aurora Borealis?


I actually bought mine from DLT Trading but it is a WTG build. Alex @ Aurora Borealis licensed his designs to WTG a few years back to shorten the backlog in production. You can add your name to the wait list at DLT and they will contact you when available. WTG does a really good job on their heat treat. I have beat this blade through frozen black walnut, maple, and poplar without a single roll or chip.

quote:
What are your thoughts on the newer version, I don't see your model as available.

Thanks.


I prefer carbon steel over stainless due to ease of field maintenance, but I have zero experience with K329 so can't help with that. As far as overall design of the new blade, it looks that it's the same blade as the Kodiak with a finger choil. The Grizzly is 1/4 lb. lighter though, so balance is probably a little different. As far as the choil itself, I can say that due to the blade geometry of the Kodiak with a slight down angle of the handle and thinness and angle of the riccaso, it doesn't need a finger choil for up close work and the sharpening choil it does have is perfect.

Hope this helps!


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Pace
 
Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like it. Reminds me of the old WWI and WWII field bolos that Army and Navy medical units had on hand for cutting/chopping stuff.
 
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That’s a beast of a blade. Rewatched Predator a few days ago and it reminds of some of the giant blades the characters carried.
 
Posts: 1034 | Location: Petal, MS | Registered: January 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the Kodiak model you have over the newer Grizzly model, I don't like the finger cut out at the rear of the cutting edge, I also prefer the thicker spine on the Kodiak.
I will try to contact Borealis to see if the Kodiak model is still available from him directly.

I had thought I wanted the WTG Wilderness Bowie until I saw your Kodiak.

Looks like I can't contact Alex at Borialis with out a Facebook active account, that won't happen.
 
Posts: 4450 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by armored:
Looks like I can't contact Alex at Borialis with out a Facebook active account, that won't happen.


Sorry, can't help with this either. I don't Face or Twit or anything else other than SIGforum.

Hopefully, WTG will do another run of Kodiaks this year. I will pick up another one if they do. 1 is none and 2 is 1 and all that. I like this blade that much.


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although this blade ships with a perfectly good kydex sheath, I’m more of a canvas and leather guy when it comes to my woods gear, so it’s off to the leather bench to make a new suit for Mongo. Since I’ve become middle torso challenged in my old age and this setup will weigh in excess of 2 pounds when completed, in order to keep my pants up, a baldric rig is in order;

cut and glue


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Last cuts and a little deco. Out of dye, so, at a standstill until I make some more.



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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So far, so good. Stitching, straps, and polish tomorrow.



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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did get a hold of Alex, he said a new run of the Kodiak was planned with WTG.
 
Posts: 4450 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^^^^^^^
Great news. I hope they make them in SK85.


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's not perfect but it's not plastic.



Oil, polish, and done!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: pace40,


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well done!
 
Posts: 4450 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I planned on waiting until Work Tuff Gear dropped another run of Kodiaks before grabbing a spare, but, this one popped up. It’s new in box from a run by Aurora Borealis Knives prior to Alex’s collaboration with Work Tuff. A slight premium paid but nothing like I would have expected.





ETA: Just came across a video by Alex explaining the design history of the Kodiak. This second blade is actually from the first run done by Vic Lin @ Work Tuff. The WTG logo appears in all later runs after licensing.

video here

This message has been edited. Last edited by: pace40,


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You just have to rub it in!
 
Posts: 4450 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yea...I thought about that after I posted...Sorry Frown

If I see any more, I'll give you a shout. There is one on fleabay now, but it's in Bohler K329 and a little pricey.


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey armored

Email sent!


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Posts: 371 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for keeping me in the loop.
 
Posts: 4450 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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