Down Under Knives is a new cutlery company started by knife experts with over ten years of full-time experience in the knife industry. In fact, the founders of Down Under Knives have been making and selling knives, evaluating hundreds of designs for both business and pleasure, and working with metal and leather for most of their lives.
After noting the minor deficiencies in other bowie knife designs, the company was conceived around the shared vision to create the ultimate bowie knife– a knife that should have been designed and built decades ago and yet no one has done so.
The Down Under “Outback” Bowie knife starts life as a bar of 440C stainless steel that is heat-treated to form hardened a cutting edge (Rockwell 58-59) with a flexible spine (Rockwell 45-46) to absorb shock.
In addition, it features and an overall length of 16 inches with a highly polished, 11 inch, Clip Point blade that measures 6mm (1/4”) in width, with a straight edge, a shallow saber grind, a fuller (blood groove,) and a wide Ricasso.
The “Outback” also has a brass quillion, a 7mm x 17mm partial tang covered by an Ebony wood/stacked leather handle and a brass pommel. The knife is supplied with a heavy-duty leather sheath tooled to resemble Crocodile hide with an integral boot to contain the included sharpening steel.
Down Under’s comment about this knife is:
“This is not a wall hanger – we set out to create the most devastatingly effective Bowie knife ever produced and (we) designed every detail like we mean it.
Hack, slash, chop, cut, crush. This is one blade that will never let you down.
We believe in putting our money where our mouth is, so we back this claim with a full five year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The handle is skillfully crafted out of genuine ebony wood, leather and brass with an ultra-strong tang that will not twist or break in heavy use.
The solid, bead-blasted, brass, handguard (hilt) and pommel complete the distinctive look. The Outback is truly both a great example of the knifemakers’ art as well as the most rugged, dependable, tool an outdoorsman could wish for.”
So, while the owner’s of CERTAINLY will not win any writing contests (in fact, they desperately need a professional to rewrite their product descriptions,) they do know how to make GREAT dedicated outdoor knives.
Also, while I REALLY like the Outback Bowie, I have to question whether or not it is actually the ULTIMATE bowie knife. On the other hand, in all fairness, I have to say that it is ONE TOUGH KNIFE!!!
Thus, if that makes it the ultimate Bowie knife, then I guess it fills the bill. For instance, the huge, differentially tempered, blade combined with the shallow saber grind on the edge, do make the knife an excellent heavy-duty chopper.
In addition, whoever designed the clip point blade for this knife is quite possibly a genius since it is both VERY pretty and VERY functional at the same time! Plus, the very large, hand-filling, stacked leather/ebony wood handle is also just about indestructible.
However, other than looking cool, I am uncertain that the fuller actually removes enough metal from the blade to significantly affect its balance and I absolutely despise wide Ricassos because they eliminate the sharp edge right where I need it most for carving!
In addition, I REALLY don’t like brass quillions or a brass pommel on a knife , especially for hunting because no matter how much tin the Brass contains, it always tarnishes without repeated polishing and thus, I would have preferred for them to use stainless steel instead because it’s much harder and it doesn’t tarnish.
However, the choice of 440C for the blade is a very wise one since 440C is a very hard steel (0.95-1.20% Carbon) and yet, it also contains Manganese (1.0%) and Molybdenum (0.75%) which increases toughness and hardenability as well as containing 16% to 18% Chromium which makes it highly corrosion resistant.
Thus, while I REALLY like the Down Under “Outback” bowie knife, I personally do not believe that it is the ULTIMATE Bowie knife. However, it is one tough mother of a knife and, in my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful bowies on the market today.
However, I desperately wish Down Under would do away with that huge Ricasso and replace the brass quillions and pommel with stainless steel.