EKA Swede 7 First Impressions Review

Ethan Allen
 
 
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I got the EKA Swede 7 folder yesterday. I thought it looked nice and promising already as pictured on the EKA web site. I also received some photos of this model directly from EKA around November last year. I messed up the forest photos, so I just took some in the evening walking.

After a very quick try I can only say that I will be carrying this one a lot. As the birch wood on this item is so nice I get the urge to get one more to keep this one unused for the collection. Really silly!

Have a look at the EKA web site for specifications

 

An attempt try to state priorities for a choosing a folding knife:

1.) Aesthetics and character
2.) Good feel and ergonomics in my hand
3.) Generality and ease of use in cutting
4.) Stability and long term durablility
5.) Reliable and precise folding mechanism (but no need for one hand opening etc)
6.) Good (enough) blade steel
7.) Build quality and symmetry
8.) Price

This will probably seem backward to some of you, but read it like this: number three for example is very important, but it will not even be evaluated if not 1.) and 2.) have been passed.

The quick conclusion is that the Swede 7 knife scores very favorably all the way through the list. No innovation, no “tactical,” no other gizmos but a solid tool built on proven solutions.

The Swede 7 is a pleasure to hold and use. I have not had the time to do anything useful with it but it seems to perform really well.

 

Any negatives?

At first the thick end felt awkward. I don’t know if it is built like that for blade tip protection. I think I get used to it.

I am very partial to EKA knives from more than 45 years of experience I got my first EKA Swede 45 around 1970 when I was ten. It is still (one of) my favourite knives.

I have only been doing knife forum reading and (folding) knife collecting since last summer. Lots of nice discoveries and knowledge to pick up but EKA remains my preference. If I continue the hobby maybe things change…

A comparison to three other EKA folders which each lent features to the new Swede 7.

Swede 38 (45) The classic Evrell legacy model, the screw assembly (although not exactly the same)
Nordic T8 The strong full flat grind drop point + the “Nordic” checkered pattern
Swede 8 The lock + fit and finish of modern machinery

For me, this knife beats the T8 and Swede 8 for general use. Still, the Swede 38 with the carbon blade is special to me.

I have the information that the handle is modeled after a Torbjörn Evrell prototype from 1969. Would be fun to see the prototype.

The knife is delivered in a simple black cardboard box, a good quality genuine brown leather sheath and a small leaflet stating the 10 year warranty. http://www.eka-knivar.se/en/warranty. I think a sheath for a folding knife is a contradiction to my “folding knife philosophy.” I will not carry any folding knife in a sheath. The blade was very sharp. It does not say on the knife or on the box, but I presume it is Sandvik 12C27 as the other current EKAs.

A comment on the birch wood. EKA has issued a number of models in curly birch. Don’t know when that started. I have also seen Swede 88, Swede 92 with this wood. Traditionally EKA used Bubinga. I think bubinga is probably more durable. I have some marketing brochures from mid seventies where they state that it is ok to put the bubinga knives in the dish washer if one wants. The fixed blade Nordic knives I have seen are the H8-, A10-, W11- and JoF7 models in birch. I just happened to walk passed a bunch of about 25 Nordic H8 birch on sale. (I traded a H8 for a T8 from MartinEden). There was great variation in wood pattern and shine. I picked up the three I liked the best. All of the others were pleasant looking, but I think you need a bit of luck to get one with really rich “personality.” Just guessing.

Here is another comparison with two other EKA knives with curly birch handle; Swede 92 and Nordic H8.

Thanks to Soundoptics and ©BritishBlades for allowing us to use this article

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