Gear Review: Coalatree’s Haswell Survival Knife

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Let me just start by saying this is a seriously handsome knife, if you’re into that sort of thing, which I am… as of right now.

Coalatree—the eco-minded Utah-based makers of hammocks, blankets, and outdoor apparel—has one unique item in its repertoire that noticeably stands out from the rest: the Haswell Survival Knife.

About five years ago, Coalatree released a limited number of 50 knives, which sold out almost immediately. Now they’re back in stock, and a limited supply of 200 knives will include a handmade sheath (blade cover), hand-stitched by Diamond Jim, one of Utah’s most skilled leather workers.

A member of the Deseret Trades and Artisan Cooperative, Diamond Jim uses 19th-century tools and techniques to craft his works of art. The heavy duty sheath matches the heavy duty knife, and you’ll feel like a proper badass with this thing attached to your belt.

Coalatree Haswell Survival Knife

First Impressions of the Haswell Survival Knife

Each Haswell Survival Knife is hand-forged in charcoal by professional blacksmiths, and it shows. Each one is unique. The knife is rugged and heavy and feels durable.

Pulling it out of its thick leather case, I notice the knife still has black marks on the blade and indentations from the tools that shaped it. It already looks like it has some stories to tell.

This knife is not technical. It’s not pretty and it’s not perfect. It’s also not lightweight. At 14 ounces, it’s pretty big and heavy. It’s not something you’d take backpacking or anywhere you’re measuring weight.

MORE: The 10 Essentials for Outdoor Survival—Plus 10 More Items to Bring on Your Next Adventure

About the Haswell Survival Knife

The Haswell Survival Knife is made from 1095 high-carbon steel and features a full-tang blade, which means that the knife is made of one solid piece of steel and is presumably strong and tough.

Both the knife and sheath are made with brass rivets.

The wedge-shaped edge offers maximum efficiency for cutting, batoning, shaving, and more.

And it’s sharp. The Scandinavian grind blade (or Scandi grind, if you’re up on the lingo) is perfect for everyday bushcraft and outdoor survival.

We tested it on branches and around the campsite—i.e. opening a package of sausage—and it more than delivered.

Note: see the comment below from a consumer who purchased the knife and was disappointed to find out it’s made in China. Just because Coalatree is based in Utah, and the sheath may be made in the US, it seems the knife itself is not.

MORE: Essential Packing List for Your Next Camping Trip

Knife specs

  • Blade length: 4″
  • Overall length: 8″
  • Weight: 14 oz
  • Tang: 3/16″
  • Edge: Scandi Ground
  • Material: 1095 high-forged carbon steel
  • Rivets: brass
  • Handle: walnut
  • Sheath: Veggie-tanned leather
Coalatree Haswell Survival Knife

Yay or nay?

Definite yay.

This knife makes me want to start a knife collection. I love that it’s not only a great survival/outdoors tool, but it also feels like a real piece of art.

It’s rugged and handsome, and you can tell it’s hand crafted by skilled tradesmen. It’s made from high-quality materials and designed to last a lifetime, and I look forward to using it for years to come.

MORE: Click here to learn more about the knife

Coalatree Haswell Survival Knife at Minneopa State Park

4 thoughts on “Gear Review: Coalatree’s Haswell Survival Knife”

  1. Just got my Haswell knife in the mail from Coalatree. Looking forward to a well made knife from Utah with a limited run first thing I noticed was the box said “ Made in China”. That’s weird, I thought I was getting a knife from a blacksmith in the United States. The knife is nice but there are things about it that lead me to believe Its not made as described in coalatree write up. I contact costumer service and got a e mail back saying ,”yes the knife is in fact made in China”. Many calls to Coalatree and no return calls. I guess I will be sending it back simply because for the price I did not get a knife made in the USA.

    1. Wow, I’m sorry to hear that! I know they are based in Utah, and at the time I posted this, some of the knives came with a hand-made leather sheath by a blacksmith in Utah, so I assume that part would be made in the US. I don’t see on their website that the knife itself is made in the US, though. I can see how that’s misleading, and I’m sorry if this article lead you astray. I’ve updated it to clarify so it doesn’t happen again. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. I too was disappointed to read this knife was made in China because I like to support USA craftsmen.
    However, the knife looks good and it has completed the initial few tasks I have asked of it (I just received mine 2 days ago). We’ll see how well it holds up over time.
    If this tool does hold up and Coaltree properly supervised the Chinese manufacturers I have no real issue with the place of manufacture. Quality and value are quality and value wherever they originate in my mind.
    Would I have a warmer feeling if it were a USA made product? Of course. Am I going to cry a bucket of tears because it is not, only if turns out to be junk. Then Coaltree will get a strong letter of complaint.

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