Review: The Grohmann Original Design knife
“I expect you will it treat it as roughly as is needed, bordering on outright abuse, to see how it stands up...” Jeff MacDonald from Colonial Knives had sent a Grohmann Original Design knife to Fieldsports HQ. And he was clearly confident that the knife would stand up to the test. But would a humble journalist be best placed to really test the knife and see how it fared for everyday use?
The answer was no. At least not properly given the timeframe we had. If I wanted to give you, the reader, an honest and useful review, I'd have to use the knife for at least six months. So I decided to pass on the task to my brother Ben – a full-time gamekeeper who relies on a good knife everyday to do his job – knowing full well that if it didn't cut the mustard (no pun intended), I'd be told quite bluntly and I'd then have the unsavoury job of passing this feedback on to Jeff.
Thankfully, the Grohmann Original Design impressed. And continues to do so. Ben has used the knife on a daily basis for a month now, for everything from cutting the string on bales for his feed rides, to dressing game, gralloching deer and cutting hazel tealers for snares.
“Over the years, I've used a wide range of knives – from the cheap and cheerful which cost less than £10 to very expensive custom-made options that you're forever worried about losing,” comments Ben. “The Grohmann Original Design knife sits between the two extremes; it's not prohibitively expensive, but it's clearly made to last.”
Upon first hanging the knife from his belt in its oil-tanned sheath, Ben commented on its profile. “It's unobtrusive and doesn't get in the way,” he said. A good start. “The knife fits snugly into the sheath, and so reduces the chance of losing it whilst out and about. But with that in mind, I did remove the nylon wrist thong as I thought this might snag on something and drag the knife out of its sheath. Perhaps a metal ring clip that attaches to the sheath might be better.
“Indeed, the traditional look of the knife with its rosewood handle, whilst very pleasing to the eye, would make it difficult to find if ever you dropped it outdoors.”
“The profile and design is ideal for a multi-purpose knife,” Ben continues. “Not only does the Atlantic salmon-shaped handle sit comfortably in the hand, aided somewhat by the offset handle, but it's strong enough to cut through hazel sticks, and will deal with bone when jointing a gamebird. Pressure can be applied whilst maintaining full control of the knife, which is important. It's also of a profile that lends itself to more delicate tasks like skinning and breasting smaller gamebirds.
“The blade, which is fixed, has impressed me so far. I've snapped a few tips of knives in the past, but haven’t managed that with this one yet. The high-carbon stainless blade holds its edge well, and does not require regular sharpening for everyday tasks.
“One of the things I like most about the knife, however, is how easy it is to clean. There are no nooks and crannies which harbour dirt, blood or flesh, which is important for a knife being used to prepare game and venison for the table. In the same vein, water has nowhere to sit and cause corrosion.”
About Grohmann knives
The Grohmann Original Design model is the first model developed by the company in 1957. It is still in production by Grohmann in a small seaside community called Pictou in Nova Scotia. They employ around 30 people from the area and everything is done by hand from tempering the steel to the finishing touches – and with up to 53 steps in the process.
Each of the Grohmann belt knives come with a custom-designed oil tanned sheath, and are supplied in a gift box with a lifetime limited warranty, and tips on care and sharpening.
Fieldsports readers can use the code FIELDSPORTS10 to receive a 10 per cent discount on Grohmann knives from the Colonial Knives website until December 31, 2017.