With its slim form, V Nives provides a Beast of a knife for tasks from the mundane to heavy duty. BY EJ SNYDER
THE V NIVES ALTERED BEAST IS AN EDC ANIMAL IN THE FIELD AND THE HOME
Knives play an important role in our lives, and there are many out there to choose from—with a variety of types and primary uses. I know my grandfather was a big fan of the jackknife that he carried in his pocket, prepared to have it at the ready for any task. He always said he’d never be caught without a good knife on him. I believe that this thought process developed from his service in WW2 and I remember that the day we laid him to rest, his jackknife was in his pocket.
So, whatever the task, no matter where you are, having a knife ready for action is imperative. Enter the Altered Beast!
I saw Mike Vellekamp at an event earlier this year, and once he handed me the Altered Beast, I knew it was special. I saw how passionate the President of V Nives was about his products, but I could actually feel the spirit of this blade conveying that to me as soon as I took hold of its blaze orange grip. Well hell, I’m a sucker for anything with the name Beast in it anyway. I really liked the whole look and vibe of this 10.25-inch knife from the start and the wow-factor was in full effect.
It surprisingly had a bit of noticeable weight to it, at 10 ounces without the sheath, and it was complemented with a nice balance. It fit quite well in
“IT SURPRISINGLY HAD A BIT OF NOTICEABLE WEIGHT TO IT, AT 10 OUNCES WITHOUT THE SHEATH, AND IT WAS COMPLEMENTED WITH A NICE BALANCE.”
my large hands and had a well-placed choil with jimping on the thumb ramp. The blade was clearly cool-looking, with a nice blade design, and the color contrast of the scales and steel really makes it pop.
A Solid All-around Tool
Over the last couple of weeks, I have used the Altered Beast in and out of the field to get used to handling it and was rather happy with how it performed on a variety of tasks.
The Altered Beast was to be my new companion for the next couple weeks, so I attached it to my belt with the included belt clip and headed out the door. It was at that time that I got ambushed by my first task, a freshly delivered well-packaged box of gear, screaming to be opened. It cut right through the heavy-duty tape with ease and I decided that it needed the old cardboard test as well. A mere 20 minutes later, all my newly delivered items sat on top of a bird’s-nest of cardboard.
It came very sharp from the start and I felt it was only fair that this blade gets the same edge test as the others, so I gave it the leather and heavy-duty tire cutting tests—the Altered Beast honestly ate well.
It didn’t need to be sharpened at this point, but it was very convenient that right on the sheath is a sharpener, so I figured I’d give it a try. The easy- locking clip on the sheath made it simple to detach it from my belt, grasp the sheath, and slide the blade through the “V” sharpener. Talk about no longer having excuses for handing a dull blade to a buddy. With this nicely thought-
out feature, you will no longer have to be worried about being embarrassed.
Not long after, I was handed the ever-dreaded to-do list, with what seemed to be a never-ending array of tasks to accomplish before I could set out for an overnight camping and fishing trip. Great! I truly needed the Altered Beast to chew through this list without burping.
I had some yardwork to do, which included laying down a new flowerbed, repairs to the shed roof, fixing a torn screen door and other things. Every step of the way, the Altered Beast was there. I cut shingles to fit, used it to cut the new door screen to size, and cut through the heavy-duty plastic border edging for the flowerbed. By moving my hand back on the handle, I was able to get enough leverage for the 5-inch blade to have its way with some overhanging limbs.
The butt comes with a lanyard hole for attaching a piece of cordage, perfect for use as a retention lanyard. After many other tasks were completed, I even used it to open up a can of cold beverage, just because I could.
In the Field
While loading my gear in the Jeep and trailer, I used the Altered Beast to cut several strands of parachute cord to length, as well as some thick nylon rope. It went through it like a hot knife, with no issues or binding at all.
As I arrived at the campsite, I got started setting up right away. I needed to carve some stakes to secure some trotlines and hang the bear bags high—a task made easy with the finger choil and jimping on the thumb ramp. I do, however, have some concern on where the finger choil meets with the blade. I’m always conscious that as one is out in the field for extended periods of time, one can let their guard down some and that’s where injuries happen. I felt that there may be the potential for possible injury here, so always be very aware when using this feature to prevent injury.
I wanted to teach my kids some primi-
“I CUT SHINGLES TO FIT, USED IT TO CUT THE NEW DOOR SCREEN TO SIZE, AND CUT THROUGH THE HEAVY-DUTY PLASTIC BORDER EDGING FOR THE FLOWERBED.”
tive fire techniques and the point of the blade was very good for boring holes and notching in the wood for making fire hearth boards. I also needed to make a cooking tripod, so I used the Altered Beast to chop down a few poles, by using a club for batoning on the strong spine of the knife to fell the saplings. I notched some grooves into the upper portion of the pole and tied them together. I then used the knife to gut, clean, and fillet the fish we caught, as well as chop up carrots and cut potatoes for dinner.
When getting the fire ready for dinner, I showed the kids how to make feather sticks with the knife and found that the edge geometry did a good job here. I could see this knife easily handling many of the tasks needed for bushcrafting or a survival situation—outside of some major firewood chopping.
I found that I like how narrow this blade is because it makes for a really nice spear point. Later that night, I made a spear for frog gigging by attaching the Altered Beast to a sapling and securing it with paracord. The slenderness of the blade made it very easy, while the alternating grooves in the scales aided in the security and stability of the knife while attached to the sapling.
Put a Little Wild into Your EDC
Overall, I was very impressed with the Altered Beast and have nothing to complain about. I liked its capabilities, what it brings to the tasks at hand, its durability, dependability and its edge retention throughout its use as a utility knife. I used it for an extended period of time, doing task after task, and my hand never got tired or developed any hot spots or blisters.
I am a big fan of blades that can do many things and the Altered Beast did not disappoint! I love blades with some character. I would have to say that if you want to put a little wild into to your everyday multi-task knife, the Altered Beast would answer the call and clearly “alter” the way you open your mail! KI
“I NEEDED TO CARVE SOME STAKES TO SECURE SOME TROTLINES AND HANG THE BEAR BAGS HIGH—A TASK MADE EASY WITH THE FINGER CHOIL AND JIMPING ON THE THUMB RAMP.”
Below: The sleek sheath is injection molded, holds the knife steadfast, and is very durable. It has a “V” notch sharpener built in and comes with a locking clip that prevents losing the knife when attached to your belt or pack.
Above: The knife is very sharp and keeps an edge well, as seen here cutting through thick nylon vehicle tow straps.
Below: The spine is sturdy and thick enough to withstand a beating with a nice batoning area. The forward thumb jimping aids in the finer tasks at hand and prevents the thumb from slipping.
Bottom Left: The knife had a strong point that proved excellent for boring a drill hole and cutting notches in a hearth board for your bow drill kit.
Bottom Right: It surprisingly cut through the thick steel-band off-road tire and the full-size handle aided in leveraging the task.
The Altered Beast easily made creating a feather stick a breeze.
Tohpe Railgtehrte: dthbearsmt’js suiztseidmihaidweacsatrhvienpgeurpfeact fcraomg pgmig atsen. ap. It easily sharpened the points so that no bullfrog stood a hopping chance of escaping.