By John Campbell
This tool, I found has become one of my favorites. This is set up just how I like to see a chopper. I am not a fan of belt carrying a large blade. I have always preferred to shoulder carry a chopping tool of this size. To me it makes sense to do this because the weight is distributed much more evenly; not only that but it is also easier to take off and put back on should you need to remove it quickly.
This hulk of a blade came with a ferro rod as well as a sharpener. This is a pretty good package for such a tool in my opinion. I have always been a fan of carrying the tools I need in as compact of a package as possible. When the blade is in the sheath it makes a nice clean looking kit.
The Bolo is secured by two snaps on the sheath along with an adjustable strap around the handle. The sheath also features a removable pouch that holds the sharpener and the ferro rod.
When I tested this tool I did some minor chopping, mainly branches that I could use to make small traps or even shelter covering. I found that the 3/16 inch thick blade sliced through with a very clean cut. I also noticed that the handle was not going to slip and was large enough for my big mitts. The blade felt secure even with sweaty hands I had no worries of accidentally throwing the blade.
In the photo, you can see the blade has cut a small branch from the tree. This one was less than a ½ inch in diameter but throughout the day, this blade was cutting ½ to 1-inch branches with no issues. The downward angle of the blade aided in chopping and put the sweet spot of the edge right were you want it.
Testing the ferro rod against the back of the blade proved to be very successful. The 90-degree angle of the spine turned the ferro rod into a flamethrower. The amount of sparks I got from this not only made it easy to light the tinder but put many of my other ferro rods to shame.
Personally, I am very happy with this tool. I can see that it is set up with survival in mind. I think they did a great job on this design and it will serve the user well for a very long time. I have seen this on line in some stores for as low as 40 bucks. In my opinion, there is no way to beat the quality that you are getting at that price. This is one point that literally floored me. You really are getting a lot of blade for the price. As so many people know, I love my pricey blades but I had to try this one. I am glad I did.
Taking a closer look at carrying this tool, I am partial to this carry method. The strap is adjustable to very large sizes. My being a larger person I have no issues shouldering this blade. I find that it is very easy to maneuver and swing the sheath from forward to rear as needed. This will keep the blade at the ready at all times.
- Blade Length: 14″ (35.5 cm)
- Blade Steel: Titanium Coated 3Cr13 Stainless
- Overall Length: 21.3″ (54 cm)
- Handle Material: Safe-T-Grip
- Sheath Material: Nylon with Carry Pouches for a Fire Steel and Sharpening Stone
- Weight: 1 lb. 10.8 oz.
My final thoughts on the Schrade Bolo:
Overall, the blade is awesome; there is no denying that by any means. The sheath retention is very good; even you forget to secure the handle the blade will not fall out. The carry strap was what interested me in this item in the first place. I can sum this up with one word…AWESOME! I think it is about time a knife company did this. There are those of us that are tired of having only one option of carry. I have even gone as far as designing my own sheaths just so I can get away from belt carrying my blades.
Having the removable pouch with the goodies is a major plus and a great selling point of this blade. I do not see these as cheap gimmicky items, these work and they work very well. The rubberized handle allows a sure grip even with sweaty hands. I found this out first hand while testing this blade. It was over 100 degrees and my hands were very sweaty, the tool never slipped. The handle feels very good in the hand, even with my giant hands. The ferro rod is a very good tool as well. I was very pleased with the sparks and the amount of them it produced. The sharpener was used on this tool as well as the Schrade Axe. It had no issues restoring the edge on the tools. As I said in the Axe review some steels turn me off, once again, this type of stainless I have had a lot of luck with and makes a great addition to this tool.
Keep your eyes open for updates on this item!