Friday, May 24, 2019

COGHLAN'S Multi-Function Camp's not bad for five dollars!

Hello my friends!  Sorry I have been gone so long! It has been a busy year thus far, and I've been busy with life and other projects. Anyhow, earlier today I was shopping at RITE-AID and decided to peruse the Sporting Goods/Camping section. I noticed that COGHLAN'S had changed the handles of their traditionally red-handled camp knife to a very attractive green color:

The green color was unique and new to me...kind of the same shade as the U.S. Park Service vehicles. I decided to pick one up and add it to my collection of camp knives: 

...and, since I had the knife in packaging, I decided to go ahead and do a quick tabletop review on it. 

Basically, the COGHLAN'S  Multi-Function Camp Knife is a Chinese-made copy of the classic Swiss Army Knife [SAK] pattern or "style". It is marketed by COGHLAN'S  LTD, a well known outdoor products based in Winnipeg, Canada []. If you are not familiar with COGHLAN'S, they offer a large variety of camp gear items, usually at a budget price.

This camp pocket knife measures appx. 3.5" [91mm] closed with a blade length of 2-1/8" [55mm], for an open length of 6" [15.5 cm]. The knife's tools include:

1. Spearpoint blade
2. Can Opener
3. Phillips screwdriver
4. Corkscrew
5. Combo bottle cap lifter/slotted tip screwdriver.

As well, the plastic handle scales house a toothpick and tweezer. 

The blade has a typical factory grind sharpening...not spectacular, but adequate. The blade was almost certainly stamped out on a press and then passed a couple of times over a belt grinder to achieve a working edge. This knife blade is probably constructed from a low quality stainless steel. My experience has been that these knives will take a good sharpening but won't hold an edge.

Here is a video review I shot on this pocket knife:

The profile of the pocketknife is very slender, much more so than a VICTORINOX due to the lack of tools, and it carries very comfortably in the pocket. The backsprings are good and there is no side-to-side wobble or play when the blade or tools are deployed. 

My only criticism was that the toothpick was lodged too tight in the handle and had to be pried out. I discovered some sprue from molding in the toothpick channel. I scraped it smooth, and this allowed the toothpick to be easily withdrawn and replaced.

Personally, I enjoy collecting "knock-off" copies of Swiss Army Knives. It's fun to compare them, how they differ, and also to see if they can be made better by proper sharpening and tuning up the stamped/hastily made tools, such as squaring up those rounded screwdriver tips and putting an edge to those rounded-dull can opener blades.

Price of this pocket knife as of this moment is about $4.59 USD at RITE-AID. As I see it, this little knife offers utility for the person on a budget who perhaps wants to have a pocketknife for trail and camp but cannot afford to spend more.  I also see it as having usefulness as a light EDC pocket carry folder which won't arouse concerns if observed, such as paring an apple at the office. SAK's are sold and recognized globally...there are very few people do not know what a "Swiss Army knife' is. 

I also think this would make a fine starter pocket knife for a youngster such as a Boy or Girl Scout who is just learning knife handling skills. At that price point if it becomes damaged/lost it is of no great loss, versus a better quality pocketknife.

Happy Hiking!

[Bushcraft Woods Devil]

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