Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winchester Wood Hunter G-1340 Review

This knife is one of the first ones I ever used when I started spending time in the woods here in the US. It has proven to be a perfectly good knife, so I though I would review it here in case some people are looking for a non puukko style low cost knife.

Knife Length:
8 inches (203 mm)
Blade Length: 3 3/4 inches (95 mm); cutting edge 3 1/2 inches (89 mm)
Blade Thickness: 1/8 inches (3 mm)
Blade Width: 1 inch (25.4 mm)
Blade Material: Unknown stainless steel
Blade Hardness: Unknown
Type of Tang: Full
Blade Grind: Hollow ground with secondary bevel
Handle Material: Wood inlays
Sheath Material: Nylon
Cost: $13.00

This Winchester knife is the smallest one of several similarly looking knives made by the company. It costs about $13.00, and can often be found for much less. It certainly qualifies as a low cost knife in my book.

When the Winchester Wood Hunter G-1340 is compared to the Mora 1, it becomes clear that it is a very different knife design. It is a much more traditional hunting knife design, with a wider, more curved blade. The blade is almost twice as wide at that of the Mora 1, but its cutting edge is a bit shorter, coming in at 3.5 inches. The Winchester is hollow ground with a secondary bevel. The angle of the bevel is fairly narrow, although a bit wider than that of the Mora 1.

The Winchester Wood Hunter G-1340 is a full tang knife. The handle is created by placing part wooden and part metal scales on the sides of the tang. The handle is as short as that of the Mora 1, and is very narrow. It has very pronounced finger indentation. This makes the handle comfortable in certain positions, but not in others.

I was not able to find any information on the hardness or type of steel of the blade. That being said, it has proven to be quite usable. I have no idea how it will perform in a destruction test when compared to other knives, but I have used it for a long time without any problems. The steel is a bit soft, so you will have to touch it up, but I have never found that to be a problem.

I pulled the knife out of storage and put it through some basic tests.

The Winchester has a very wide and solid blade with a full tang. As such, it had no problem batoning through a 2-inch log.

There was also no problem with truncating. While the blade is strong, it is reasonably thin, making it easy to push through the wood.

After that it was still sharp enough for some feather sticks. Like I always say, when it comes to feather sticks, the grind of the knife is not important. It all comes down to how sharp it is and how much practice you have.

Since this is a full tang knife, I drove the tip of the blade into a log by hitting the back of the handle. The knife had no problem, and did not show any damage.

The Winchester comes with an adequate sheath. It holds the knife securely, although there is some wiggle. It does not have a quick attachment loop, but other than that it is quite a solid, no-nonsense sheath.

The Winchester Wood Hunter G-1340 has always been a surprise to me. It is made in China out of unknown materials and comes at a very low price, but despite all that it is very well made and over a number of years has continued to perform without any problems. There are much more expensive knives with much lower quality. Its bigger brother was even used by Les Stroud on Survivorman during the last season.

I much prefer the Mora 1 from a design standpoint, as I am a big puukko fan. However, if you are looking for a different style knife at a low cost, the Winchester is certainly one that you should keep in mind.