When I hear the term tactical knife I have come to expect to see a very large black knife with a blade designed for limited special use. This was what I was expecting when I had the opportunity to field test a Russian made A&R tactical knife, model Korsar. When the knife arrived I was very pleasantly surprised. The knife is very attractive as it has a highly polished blade, stainless heavy duty guard, stainless pommel and a handle made from Birch bark. 

A&R has been in the cutlery business for some 150 years and they are noted for making a wide variety of knives from a Russian high alloy stainless steel, called 95X18, which is considered by many blade smiths to be one of the best materials in making forged blades. This is the steel that is the heart of the fixed blade Korsar knife.

The Korsar drop point blade is full tang design with a false edge on the forward edge of the spine and a fuller groove on the blade for lateral strength and lighter weight. The 1.25-inch wide blade is 6.10-inches long and .75-inches thick giving the blade strength for heavy duty camp chores, use in survival situations and self- defense. The handle is a large enough, 4.5-inches long, to fit a large hand or for use with a gloved hand. The pommel is equipped with a hole in the event a lanyard is used with the knife.

The Korsar has an overall length of 10.8-inches and weighs 9 ounces. It comes with a quality made black leather sheath that can be worn on a belt or clipped to web gear. Also the knife comes with a padded nylon zip-up case for storage when not in use.

A&R Korsar holds an edge well.

I tested the knife thinking about it as a survival knife. I used it to split kindling, dig holes, cut brush for shelter making, skinning deer and as a camp cooking knife using it to bone out meat and slice roast into thin strips for making jerky. It served all purposes well. The blade has a published hardness of 57-58 HRC. I found it to hold an edge well and was quick to re-sharpen using an  Eze-Lap sharpener.

Splitting Kindling Digging Holes Cutting Brush

While the Korsar is considered a tactical knife I found it to also be a high quality general purpose hunting/survival/camp knife that if needed has enough strength and a design to be used as a self-defense knife as well.

The Korsar quality general purpose hunting/survival/camp knife

The knife has a MSRP of $269. For more information www.russianblades.com.