WILD CHILD

Knives Illustrated - - News - STORY AND PHOTOS BY EJ SNY­DER, LEAD PHOTO BY JOSHUA SWANAGON

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!

First Im­pres­sions

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.

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