Ontario Old Hickory Butcher Knife Review
If you are on a bushcraft budget and are looking for an American made knife, then take a look at the Ontario Old Hickory 7" Butcher Knife. It's a great knife and can be bought for just a little more than $10.
Butcher style knives were used by early frontiersmen because they are a great all around knife. They are great for game processing, camp chores, and fire starting.
Old Hickory has been making these knives since 1924. They are also a great knife if you want to customize your bushcraft knife. The blade can be cut down and the handles changed. You can create your dream knife on the cheap.
Let's take a look at some of the features on this butcher knife as it comes in the package.
Blade Length, Blade Thickness, and Knife Weight
- 7" Blade Length
- 10 3/4" Overall Length
- 0.100" Blade Thickness
- Weighs 5.4 Ounces
What Comes in the Box?
Blade Design Advantages & Disadvantages
Skinner Blade Design - The Ontario Old Hickory has a wide curved belly which aids in it cutting through thick layers. The downward angled tip helps eliminate accidental punctures when skinning a hide.
The one disadvantage to this blade design is the tip isn't as good for piercing and puncturing.
The Old Hickory also has a flat grind blade. This is the easiest blade design to sharpen and it helps reduce friction when slicing through something.
The back of this knife blade has a nice 90 degree spine. This allows you to use it with your ferro rod to throw lots of sparks. It's a good knife blade to get that fire started.
1095 High Carbon Steel - High carbon steel is what I look for in my bushcraft knives. It throws a spark when used with flint which is always a plus. 1095 carbon steel is also easy to sharpen and holds a decent edge.
The disadvantage to carbon steel is that is more prone to corrosion than stainless steel. To combat this simply apply a light coating of oil to the blade every so often. I recommend you use a food based oil like olive or vegetable oil. That way when you use your knife for food prep you don't have to worry about contamination.
Handle (Scales) Material
Hardwood Handles - The Old Hickory has hardwood handles secured with brass compression rivets. The handles do occasionally come loose when batoning with the knife. Simply epoxy them back on if this happens.
The other option is to change out the handles to something else. I prefer wood but you could go with Micarta. The knife is only around $10 so you have plenty of money left to play around with different handles.
No Sheath - Unfortunately the Old Hickory knife doesn't come with a sheath which isn't surprising since this knife is only around $10. The good news is with all the money you save you can buy your own or make one.
If you want to buy one I suggest the Ka-Bar USMC Leather Sheath. This knife fits perfectly into this quality leather sheath.
The Ontario Old Hickory carries Ontario's Limited Lifetime Warranty. If the knife ever fails due to a factory defect or workmanship, simply return it to Ontario's New York location.
They will repair or replace the knife for free. However, since this knife is so cheap to buy I would think you are better off just getting a new one rather than paying for the shipping to Ontario's facility.
- 1095 High Carbon Steel
- Skinner Blade Design
- Full Grind
- Full Tang
- Very Cheaply Priced
- Made in the USA
- No Sheath
- Handles can come loose
The Ontario Old Hickory 7" butcher knife is my favorite budget bushcraft knife. I don't know of a better priced full tang American made knife on the market today. The closest would probably be a good Mora knife but they aren't full tang and are made Sweden.
It's also a great knife to customize for those beginners that want to make their own bushcraft knife. You can practice on several of these and not break the bank. Grab a few today and see what designs you can come with.