An Xtreme Knife for Extreme Times

Unless you are still using flint tools, you are aware of Knives of Alaska, the Texas-based company whose president, Charles Allen, is in fact an Alaska guide and bush pilot. I've seen him at work, and he is the real deal, as is his cutlery. Knives of Alaska now has a new line of minimalist slicers and dicers called the Xtremes, and I had the opportunity of trying out the Model V, which is the largest of the series.

Like Models I through IV, the V is made of D2 steel (at Rc 59-61) with a skeleton grip. Its 5-inch drop-point blade has a one-inch serrated section at its rear. The entire knife is coated with Emralon, which is a very tough rustproofer. The XTremes come in Kydex sheaths and are supplied with a yard of parachute cord to wrap the handle, and I strongly recommend that you use it, as it makes for a much more comfortable grip than the bare steel.

In the sheath, handle wrapped, the Model 5 weighs only 8 ounces and is as flat as south Texas. It's very tough, requires no maintenance except sharpening (and that pretty rarely), will do very well as a hunting knife, and costs $79.99.

The Xtremes are sold direct only, not through dealers. You can get one by going to knivesofalaskaextreme.com, where you can see all five models. Or you can get several. That's fine with me, and probably with Charles Allen, too.