Fällkniven F1xb Review Tungsten Carbide

It is extremely difficult to describe exactly what makes something feel just right. The harmony of many factors, all being present simultaneously perhaps? As one of humanities oldest tools a knife is something familiar within in all of us. We have ancient knowledge from our ancestors who made use of such a timeless and ‘primitive’ tool. So it is interesting that even to this day we are seeing new designs and thoughts evolving this archaic object into new ideas. What makes a knife feel just right? It is the feeling that is instantly transmitted to the user upon using the tool, the comforting knowledge that this knife can be put to good use and will not let you down. Feeling good and balanced in the hand and with a blade roughly the same size of the middle finger all make for a good knife. Allowing for precise use to be exacted upon the tool and your tasks accomplished. The middle finger length is a distance that is familiar for the mind to control and always improves the dexterity of the knife. Read our full Fällkniven F1xb review.

Fällkniven F1xb in the wilderness

The Fällkniven F1xb is a delight to hold in the hand and quickly imparts a strong character, both in looks and in feel. In the background its impressive materials and smart design help protect the user in ways not normally found on knives. Please enjoy our full Fällkniven F1xb review (Tungsten Carbide version). One of the latest knives to be released and a cutting edge take on a timeless tool.

Fällkniven F1xb firelighting

First Impressions

For a knife with a full tang and seriously thick blade stock (5mm) it feels remarkably dextrous in the hand. Even the sheath is nice and thin, almost discreet even. You notice the locking mechanism on the side of the knife immediately, something unique to this range of knives. The draw of the knife is so smooth and clean and it goes back into the sheath with a nice audible click too. The blade coating is also striking in that it’s so subtle. Its colour seems most peculiar, a weird shade of grey and silver that resists reflecting the light. It coats the entire knife metal and puts a nice finishing touch to a very good looking tool.

Blade & Steel

The Fällkniven F1xb uses a very fancy stainless steel called Laminated Cobalt-Special. The inner core is ‘wrapped’ by 420J2 which is low carbon high chromium and which offers superb resistance to corrosion as well as increasing strength. The inner core which forms the edge itself is made from Cobalt-Special stainless steel. After reading a ton of information about steels it all starts to become a blur. What I can conclude from several evenings research is that the Cobalt-Special steel has a very good balance between corrosion resistance and wear resistance while allowing the user to sharpen it with relative ease. Stainless steels are the new kid on the block, so to speak, and as a result evolution is still happening with the different element blends forming them. In short I do prefer to look at real world use for an idea as to how a knife will perform. For a survival knife, the F1xb holds its edge really well, has not corroded in the slightest and when it comes to sharpening it is reasonably easy to do so. That is to say sharpening any stainless steel is, for the most part, not pleasant and so one should always take care to treat the edge with respect out in the field so as to avoid hours spent restoring a ruined edge from hasty field work.

Fällkniven F1xb handle scales texture

One disadvantage of this fancy steel is that the outer layer cannot readily strike a firesteel. Make sure you therefore always carry a firesteel striker whilst out in the field.

Blade Geometry

The blade uses very substantial stock and at 5mm thick it is most certainly a very robust knife. The blade length is just slightly longer than my middle finger, which results in a very balanced feeling knife. The slight drop coupled with a tapered point make it very useful for drilling and piercing. There is one change of angle in the middle of the blade from which then it seamlessly tapers towards that beautiful convex edge.


The handle is pretty neat and slender, yet on the other hand it fills the palm well and settles into place extremely well. The textured Thermorun scales are very grippy without being aggressive towards your hand and they can even be removed completely. This allows you to totally clean the knife after a long trip for storage or when you have used it for game prep and it therefore needs a deep clean. The crevices of the pattern do collect and hold onto dirt so consequently you may find yourself having to get a toothpick to get all that hidden stubborn dirt out. Hardly a big issue but important to note if doing game prep as hygiene is so important. To remove the scales you will need a TORX screwdriver.

Fällkniven F1xb sheath

The Thermorun scales work well with gloves in the winter environment, especially as the handle itself is a good length. The scale material does not get overly cold but nevertheless the thin nature of the thin scales coupled with the large blade stock running exposed down the middle which together will steal your warmth if using this knife bare handed in extreme cold.

Overall the handle is a delight to hold which surprises me each time I pick it up to use. The handle is so thin and yet so comfortable to hold, even for prolonged periods. Certainly this is not a carving knife but camp chores requiring an increased amount of time and you can be assured the handle remains comfortable throughout. Having the ability to remove the scales is fantastic, yes there is a risk of losing screws but some thread-lock applied after reassembly will give you peace of mind. The handle length is really spot on with the F1xb, the butt protrudes just the right amount to lock against the inside of the hand. There is also a lanyard hole present and luckily it is far down towards the end of the handle so it never gets in the way of the user. Sometimes on knives the lanyard hole can be too far up the handle resulting in a much undesired hot spot. The F1xb has a wise design with the lanyard hole well away from the users hand. The tang also protrudes a little so you could use it for light pounding or mashing if you really needed to.

In addition there is a small finger guard, the shape of which is rather angular and square on first inspection. Perhaps leading some to believe it would dig into your hand but actually the contour on the handle section is wonderfully smooth and unobtrusive and you don't notice it at all. You are blissfully unaware of the finger guard in the forehand, backhand and the much loved chest lever grip. A mark of a great knife is when it feels comfortable in all three grips. The angular shape of the guard is actually needed for the locking mechanism on the sheath. The shape has to be angular for it to produce that audible click on complete insertion of the knife back to the sheath.

Field Use

My favourite immediately noticeable feature of the Fällkniven F1xb is its handle. When using it for such common tasks as making feather sticks, splitting wood or cutting cord the handle fits so well in the hand. The textured scales really help in aiding grip and the overall length of the handle means it feels very secure in the hand. As the handle is so good it allows you to positively control the blade all from very fine tasks to more rugged chores and everything in between.

Fällkniven F1xb feathersticks cuts

A real treat to use, one really must feel the handle to understand how well it fits in the hand despite its lack of an overly contoured palm swell. Of course, it is not just the handle that makes a knife and the blade must play its part too. The convex grind is a workhorse of geometry, yet it can also produce those fancy wafer thin feather sticks too. For endless carving you may find it a bit of a chore, for that task specifically go with a Scandi grind instead. The convex is strong and robust yet still able to cope with these finer tasks to a very high standard. As there is more metal ‘behind the edge’ on a convex grind it is far less prone to chipping or rolling than compared to a more traditional Scandi grind. This does require the user to rethink their approach when presenting the knife to the wood and will necessitate a slight change of angle between the edge and material being cut if your aim is to produce feather sticks or fine wafer cuts. A convex edge works in a very similar way to an axe so practice first by making feather sticks with your axe and progress onto the F1xb.

Fällkniven F1xb sheath lock

Making fire with the Fällkniven F1xb is a dream. Once you get your feathersticks dialed in with the convex edge the rest of the process is so smooth. The F1xb splits your kindling with ease and you can remain confident that the convex edge will be preserved due to its inherent strength. It goes without saying that this is not a replacement for a maul and suitable care should be taken to not be splitting too large a piece of wood with the F1xb. As you start to prepare your fire site the F1xb can be used for the entire process, battoning down your fuel wood, splitting the kindling and making feather sticks. Still, due to the tungsten carbide coating you cannot strike a firesteel and so a separate striker will be required. Once you have your tinder ignited the knife can be replaced in its sheath and it is always comforting to hear that audible click to remind you the knife is seated correctly. The Fällkniven F1xb goes one step further here, as once you have sheathed the knife you can now lock the blade using the locking switch on the sheath’s side. A very reassuring feature indeed as before you stand up to move around camp you can be sure that the knife is safe and secure. A really impressive feature and one that I feel sure will be seen on the competition in the months and years ahead.

Sharpening and Maintenance

Keeping an edge keen, sharp and full of bite is vital for any cutting tool. A dull edge only increases the chance of injury and guarantees weak results in cutting. If your edge is dulled then you have to supply extra force behind the blade in order to affect the cut, a recipe for disaster as well as strain. The advanced steel in the F1xb does indeed hold its edge well and so frequent stropping is the first port of call for edge maintenance. Much like an axe you do not need to sharpen this knife often due its convex edge and like an axe stropping often delivers the best results. I use two compounds applied to a flexible strop to get super results. The flexible strop is important as you want to follow the curves of the convex edge and not flatten them by using a solid backed strop. Likewise you also need to take care to not make the edge fat and heavy by letting the strop wrap around the edge completely. Use the natural contours of the blade and let them be your guide when stropping and do it lightly too. After prolonged use you may wish to take it to a stone for some more aggressive sharpening. There are plenty of options on the market but my favorite for convex edges is to use a foam mat along with a variety of different grits of wet and dry paper. This method may not be the most glamorous but it gets the job done time and again without running the risk of destroying that convex geometry. You can get some really fine grits too and really put a keen edge on your F1xb. Most importantly the steel on the F1xb can handle a fine edge and indeed hold onto it. This means it is worth the effort in taking your time to sharpen the F1xb properly to fully take advantage of its high end steel. Furthermore you can make a miniature field sharpening kit out of the foam and wet and dry paper to get excellent results out in the field without the need to carry a large bench stone.

I selected the tungsten carbide coated version and yes it is true that this will wear off, not only with use but with sharpening too. On the other hand compared to my Fällkniven F1dz the coating on the F1xb seems to last a lot longer and resists getting removed by battoning, something that very quickly started to erode the coating on my F1dz.


I have already mentioned the unique locking mechanism found in this range of Fällkniven X knives. The F1xb has this lovely locking feature too and fresh out of the box you will find a little piece of para cord attached to aid its opening when using gloves. For me this cord got in the way and so I quickly removed it and for winter I have made a much less fiddly version.

Custom suede pull tab F1xb

The sheath is strikingly slim with multiple mounting options. Formed out of Zytel, a synthetic material made from fiberglass reinforced nylon, it has many advantages for use as a knife sheath. It is strong and stiff, resistant to abrasion and has high resistance to solvents. The F1xb sheath as two side slits and one on the base, which allow you to pass webbing through for mounting options. It would have been nice to be able to fit a tek-lok for horizontal carry but the dimensions are slightly off to do it easily, mainly the problem is of fitting the screws through the slits.There is a reasonably long dangler loop but I would extend this a little to increase comfort when sitting and getting in and out of vehicles. Fällkniven do make a sheath option for the F1xb with a metal clasp to easily attach to a belt, make sure you check that out if you are needing to remove a knife quickly and regularly throughout a day. The sheath has a drainage hole which is actually more like a long slit at the base of the sheath, expect rapid drainage with this one!


The F1xb is a fantastic piece of kit. A very well put together package of a robust, sharp knife and a safe strong sheath. This all results in a more than capable survival knife and if you select the F1xb over the larger sized versions in the range then you also get a very dextrous tool that feels very balanced in the hand. The F1xb can be worn on the belt where it goes unnoticed until you call upon it to fulfill most tasks found outdoors. The subtle blade coating is very strong and holds up much better than Fällkniven’s previous technology. It is also very non reflective with its strange dull grey colour. It does however collect fingerprints like there is no tomorrow. The draw of the F1xb from its sheath is really excellent and in addition its reassuring audible click when seating the knife back in the sheath is totally wonderful. A really nice touch indeed and only adds to the safety of using this tool by having feedback to inform you the knife is seated correctly.

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