Adventure Medical Kits has released their new Sol Core Lite Survival Knife and already won over Backpacker Magazine who has referred to the product as a “Killer Deal.” Is it really a killer deal?
Dimensions: 3.5″ x 0.875″ x 0.5″
Batteries: 2 CR1220 batteries, included.
The blade is a short and very thin AUS-8 drop point affair, a folder with liner a lock. It is advertised to excel at survival tasks where blade control is necessary. We found the blade to be small and thin but rather dextrous and sharp out of the box. AMK refers to the liner lock as “robust”. Relative to the size and thickness of this thin, little blade almost anything seems robust. At any rate, it is functional.
This is not a meat and potatoes, hard working, pounding, chopping, batoning, boar-spearing survival knife. It is a small, light duty, string and rope cutting, whittling, notching, bandage trimming blade that is fixated in a plastic handle which may have a limited lifespan under duress.
The light is a single, 10 lumen LED that runs on 2 CR1220 batteries which are included. It’s surprisingly bright considering the source. Run time is said to be 15 hours. It would do fine as a get around camp light or to illuminate a late night project or bathroom run but 10 lumens is, well, 10 lumens and relying on it as your only light source on an outing might be a mistake.
The whistle is allegedly rated at 100 decibels. Ours was ear-piercing to the user and remained effective out to 50 yards which is as far as we tested it. Most rescue whistles on the market achieve 120 decibels or more but considering this one is built into the butt of a knife one might cut it some slack. 100 dB is still loud.
Removable belt clip. Ok.
The handle is plastic and houses a battery and LED light. It held up to the light duty use we put our knife through – whittling, notching a 1×4, push-cutting several strands of paracord. It will probably not withstand a large amount of rugged, wear and tear use.
Our Overall Impression is that the price point for this knife should be at the magic sub $20 range at which point (no pun intended) it becomes irresistible as an all around camp or backup knife or an emergency kit item. It is clearly not made for medium or heavy-duty tasks and its long-term durability might be questioned. Along those lines, labeling it as “survival knife” will probably offend the sensibilities of a very large audience. Perhaps Emergency Knife, Backpack Knife or All-Around Knife is better?
In the end the blade is sharp, it is super lightweight for all you backpackers, and it pulls off some extra features with style. We would like to see it cost a few dollars less but as long as people are buying it for the right reasons, most will be well satisfied.