Deep down in the inner most part of man where life begins, in his marrow, his DNA is imprinted with a wild heart. The heart of a woodsman, the heart of a mid-evil warrior and the heart of a primitive hunter are yearning within man to get out into the wild. To be one with nature, to be the victor, to be the hunter and to prove he is not the prey, the victim or the defeated. The Habilis Bush Tool taps into that inner man. When you hold this knife/tool you are what you were created to be.
Habilis, of course, is the perfect name for this tool and frankly for all the products created and sold by Habilis Bush Tools. The word habilis comes from an association with crude tools. Habilis’s root meaning is skillful, apt, ingenious and skillful human. Basically, habilis means self-reliance. Self-reliance is the goal of every woodsman, survivalist and bush crafter practicing his or her art.
My Bush Tool came with the JRE leather sheath which we will discuss in more detail later, as I want to give you my initial thoughts on this tool. When I unsnapped the safety strap and pulled the tool from its perfectly fitted sheath, I was amazed how well it fit in my hand. It was like the Bush Tool was molded to personal specs, fitting like a glove in my hand it was like it became an extension of my hand. My mind was immediately bombarded with, it’s a knife, no it’s a spear, no it’s an axe and I now see why they call it a tool. The uses of such a tool are only limited by your mind and skill set. I can’t even begin to imagine the experiences, time and effort that went into creating this product.
The Bush Tool Specs as listed on their Habilibushtools are:
1095 High Carbon Steel
10 1/4″ Overall Length
5 1/4″ Blade Length
3/16″ Thick Blade
Pseudo-Scandi Grind with a secondary bevel
Gun Blued Finish
Choice of Custom JRE Industries Leather Sheath or Custom Kydex
The Bush Tool Features:
Continuous Curved Blade
Handle has two-lanyard style sleeved holes in the scales and a third hole at the pommel
Spine is sharp and at a 90 degree
There is no doubt that this is an excellent tool to add to your kit, no matter if you are in the wilderness for business or for pleasure. Taking down small trees, processing firewood, creating a shelter or fine carving a spoon are all no problem with the Bush Tool. Any bush crafting tasks you may need to accomplish are made easier by having the Habilis Bush Tool. Another feature so simple but unique, is the additional hole in the handle not seen in other survival knives. This makes the knife easy to be tied securely with para-cord or other cordage to a shaft to make a deadly spear. The thickness of this blade enables you to use it as a prying tool without the worries of breaking. The Habilis Bush Tool would have been an asset to me during my years in fire service, as it would have made a great personal hand tool to be used as an escape or rescue tool. During testing I also found that the anvil gave me a natural handhold for using this as a drawknife during certain woodworking tasks. Again, I could go on and on about the possibilities this tool has to offer in the field.
The JRE sheath is created by JRE Industries. It in itself is a work of art. Open carrying of a large fixed blade knife has always been difficult for me because of society’s influence on what is acceptable as an EDC (every day carry). The days of the western frontier carrying a Bowie knife strapped to your leg with its personalized fancy leather sheathes are gone. To open carry more than a large folder in America creates so much attention. If we could only return to the days of a knife and pistol strapped to our side with a rifle slung over our shoulder. I think people would respect each other more if everyone were to carry weapons. My passion for having the tool I need on me at all times remains, in spite of what society dictates. Saying all that to say the Habilis Bush Tool is the perfect size and weight, but the combination with the JRE sheath limited my carry to the field or the bush only. I found myself not wearing this tool when I went out to eat with my wife just due to the size. I know I probably don’t need the Bush Tool when I am eating out but have you ever tried to use the knives they give you in a restaurant? The Bush Tool slices through meat like hot butter and I love the reaction I get when I pull it out to cut my steak while everyone else struggles cutting their meat. I think for me I will purchase a kydex sheath also for my Bush Tool to give me an alternate way of carrying when I am not in the woods. This would allow me to EDC this tool much easier depending on my attire. The JRE sheath is adaptable in many ways with a little ingenuity. This sheath is a handsome high quality leather dangler. I found that the dangler belt loop attached right at the balance point of the knife. This caused the handle to fall over thus it was always hanging out banging into everything. The JRE sheath has a lanyard hole at the bottom and top of the knife sheath. Once I tied a piece of Para-cord around my leg the JRE sheath put the Bush Tool right where I needed it to be. I am not one to add numerous accessories to my knife sheath. If you like adding survival, fire, fish or tool accessories to your sheath the JRE is perfect for those options. I will use this sheath with the knife when I am camping, hiking or bush crafting and add a kydex sheath to my kit to EDC the Habilis Bush Tool.
I want to end this review on the Bush Tool, not the JRE sheath, because this is truly an ingenious design on the Habilis Bush Tool. Finding the right combination of knife and sheath for my activity will probably make the Bush Tool my EDC for a while. The list price for this primitive but modern tool is $199.00. I think this a fair price when you can own one tool that eliminates purchasing and carrying so many others. One rule in bush crafting is a component of your kit must do at least three functions to be accepted to the kit. The Bush Tool surpasses that by a long shot. For those in the tactical and combat arenas, this is an awesome weapon. It may not be the lightest for knife fighting, but the weight for real men is good, adding a little more power to your strikes for deeper penetration and destruction. The handle and pommel are perfect for an aggressive knife-fighting weapon. Developing the right techniques with this tool could be devastating to your opponent.
For you that are serious about living and surviving in the outdoors, I would advise you to visit the Habilis page to see their line of products. Your life may one day depend on having the right tool. Get your own Habilis Bush Tool. It lives up to its name and you can definitely reach a level of self-reliance with this tool. -RCR