Customer Reviews: Ontario Knife 7025 7-Inch Butcher Knife
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on December 31, 2014
After having read most of the reviews on this knife, and seeing some videos about it being repurposed for a sort of bush knife, I went ahead and ordered one, just because ...

(Inner voice: "What the heck, it's eleven bucks.")

I have to admit ... when this knife was delivered I was very disappointed on a variety of counts. The grind was ridiculously poor. It was so crude with burrs that when I attempted to slice carrots with it, it was more of a saw than a knife edge. Further, the scales weren't even symmetrical; one was longer than the other.

(Inner voice: "Well, it was eleven bucks. Live and learn.")

I spent an evening in my chair observing it in my hands, turning it over and over and thinking.

(Inner voice: "Well, it IS 1095 carbon steel ... and after all it was only eleven bucks.")

That night, I wrapped it in paper towel and dowsed it with apple cider vinegar and then wrapped that in plastic wrap. I left it on the counter overnight to put a patina on the steel. The next morning when I unwrapped it, it was black with oxidation. A good wipe down left it an aged gray and looking much sweeter. After the wood had dried, I rubbed in some oil.

(Inner voice: "For eleven bucks, this thing is kind of cool now. I kind of like that the scales are uneven. It's ... unique.")

A few days later, I spent an enjoyable, slow, cathartic two hours with a two sided oil stone and put an edge on it that only 1095 carbon can brag about. When finished, it aced the paper and the hair shaving tests. I rubbed in a few more coats of oil into the scales, and then a light coating of oil on the steel. By then I had developed an odd affection, even a love affair with it. Sitting in my chair, turning it over and over again, I realized exactly why there were so many great reviews. It really is a good piece of steel; it's nostalgic-looking, crude but elegant, old-timey ... and it took me to get it to that state of grace.

(Inner voice: "I can't believe this great knife was only eleven bucks!")

Finally, I pulled the trigger and ordered the Ka-Bar 7" leather sheath for it, because any fixed blade you carry needs a good sheath.

(Inner voice: "I can't believe I paid sixteen bucks for a knife that cost me eleven bucks.)

Moral of the story ... for under twenty dollars, and if you are willing to make this into a real cutting tool, you too can discover the endorphin-producing euphoria of falling in love with an Old Hickory, and press it into service on your belt. Sure, it's no high dollar, exotic wood, custom made bush craft model (that you're almost hesitant to use because it's too pretty.) But, it's practical, it's sharp, it's made in the USA and it's all yours.

Outer voice: "And it's ELEVEN BUCKS."
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on November 27, 2008
As the name implies, this is a butchering knife, and that aint no lie. My father bought 3 of these a few years back, and gave one to me to help him slaughter beef and pigs. Being "old school", my father whetted his knives on the old stones. His technique kinda sucks, so of course they don't get honed into shape like original. Luckily, he was smart enough to purchase a B&D wet wheel grinder that I use with excellent results every time.
The Old Hickory knives my dad bought sit in a drawer and he uses some stainless steel variety with a white plastic handle, honed on a whet stone. It won't even hold an edge long enough to cut thru hot butter. The Old Hickory knife I have keeps a pretty good edge, and even my brother in law was quite impressed with it (he is a fanatic about sharpenining knives). Even after my dad took a hand grinder to my knife (after mistaking it as his...he complained they were "too thick to sharpen"), it still holds an edge and manages to slice right thru a bull hide with ease. I think I'm gonna scarf up those knives and keep them for myself.
I also have the chef knife, and love it too. It also keeps a very good edge and is easy to sharpen. Definitely recommend that too. I used to have a stainless steel version, but got tired of sharpening it every stinkin time I used it.
The only drawback to these knives by Ontario Knife is the hand-washing required. Don't even attempt to put these into the dishwasher unless you like rusty damaged knives. But, like any good tool it requires some care to keep it in good condition. I hand-wash mine and towel-dry them immediately. The Old Hickory knives I have were bought about 8 or 9 years ago, and they have a potential life span of decades.
I'd love to get the entire set of these things for my kitchen. They are easy to sharpen, hold an edge, and have substance to them. Originally was going to give it a 4 star rating for the hand-washing, but instead giving 5 because they are so durable, functional, and fit well in your hand.
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on September 5, 2015
I used this to make an excellent bushcraft knife from, very easily. I simply removed a forward portion of the blade using a cut-off wheel (frequently dunking the tip in ice water), then re-shaped with a belt sander. Then I removed the scales and added some of my own. For an afternoons work, it's one of my favorite knives. And for the price you can't do better. Easy win.
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on April 17, 2013
This knife does everything and does it well. No complaints at all. For the price it cannot be beat. Needed sharpening out of the box, but not too much. Keep some mineral oil on it and it wont rust.

Fits perfectly in the standard KABAR knife sheath - also available for ~10 dollars on amazon. Great combo.
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on January 10, 2011
I had an older Old Hickory 7" butchers knife and bought this to have an extra. Compared to the old knife, the blade is thinner and there's a slight amount of flex in the blade. This hasn't affected the knifes performance, but it's worth noting if you're looking to replace an older knife. Construction is good all around. The wooden handles and rivets were all cleanly done. My only real complaint is that the knife was fairly dull out of the package and I had to spend an afternoon sharpening it. I understand that the knife comes on a vacuum packed piece of cardboard and they don't want people cutting themselves while it's hanging on the store shelves, but it is an annoyance. It is decent steel though and once you get it sharpened, it holds an edge for a good while. If you're expecting to have a razor sharp edge out of the package, this isn't your knife. As every Old Hickory review has mentioned, it's straight steel. It will rust if you put it in the dish washer or keep it in the sink. All in all, if you don't mind sharpening a new knife and having a non-stainless blade, this is a good knife for a great price.
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on June 25, 2014
I've had many versions of Old Hickory knives over the years. Hand-me-downs from my parents and grandparents. They make great kitchen tools. And the affordable prices make them exceptional values these days. They are easy to sharpen using a sharpening steel or whetstone, and they perform very well. Just bought a replacement 7" butcher last week. This version makes a good utility knife since it can slice 'n dice anything you put under it. Did a forced patina on the blade just for kicks using brown mustard to help minimize rusting and to add a rustic look. Also sanded down the walnut handle a bit to round out the edges and make it more ergo-friendly. Coated the handle with olive oil and now it looks great. A rock star in my kitchen. Even next to all my high-end stainless steel cutlery. Highly recommended!
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on June 3, 2013
This knife may have been made for the kitchen, but I love it for a starter wilderness knife. The blade is made of good steel and features a scandy grind. It'll just rip a ferro rod like nothing. Overall can't be beat for the money.
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on November 22, 2013
I bought this knife on the recommendation of Dave Canterbury for a budget bushcraft knife. At less than $11, it definitely meets the budget requirement. Out of the package it will also throw good sparks off of a ferro rod. It has a decent weight to it and rests comfortably in the hand. It is full tang, and the blade is 2.1 mm thick. My initial batoning tests were a little disappointing. I wasn't able to get through a 4 inch log more than half an inch. I think this was due to the blade being quite dull out of the package. After I put a good edge on it, I will try again and update the review.

***UPDATE 12/29***
I got the knife shaving sharp (my arm is just about bald now :) ), and it improved it's batoning capability quite a bit. It works almost as well as my Ontario SP-8, with a few more whacks to get through. Still, I only give it 4 stars for the fact that I had to spend quite a bit of time sharpening it. I don't think it would have even done well in the kitchen with as dull as it was out of the package.
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on March 1, 2014
This style of knife has been used for centuries by the old frontiersmen and pioneers. There is a reason this knife has been around for so long. It's stood the test of time! This knife is great for the person who is looking for a low budget bushcraft knife. The only real drawback of this knife is that it's not offered with any type of sheath.... That is most likely due to the fact that Ontario Knife Company never really intended for this knife to catch on as a bushcraft knife... If you notice, this knife is really supposed to be a "kitchen knife". Maybe if enough people write to Ontario Knife Company, they may start to produce a sheath for this knife. Until then, I've found that the 7" leather Ka-bar sheath fits this knife perfectly! Definitely recommended if you don't want to spend the capital on a custom sheath for a $10 knife!

Out of the package this knife comes with a somewhat dull edge, and on my particular model, it appeared as though they left the portion of the blade nearest the handle only partially ground. This resulted in me having to take time and grind it to a properly sharp edge. Once sharpened, this knife takes a fine edge and holds it rather well. The blade is made from 1095 high carbon steel (the preferred steel for outdoors knives).

If you are planning on using this blade as a bushcraft knife, my suggestion to you is to purchase some boiled linseed oil and apply a coat or two to the handle and allow it to dry and set before taking this knife into the woods. The boiled linseed oil will harden as it dries and will protect the wood handle from moisture and risk of warping or cracking.

For those of you that don't know, boiled linseed oil is commonly used to treat wooden axe handles and protect them from moisture. Boiled Linseed Oil can be purchased at any hardware store such as Home Depot. You may even be able to find it at some Wal-marts.

Great knife for the money! I've added some pictures of mine. I added a forced patina to my blade with mustard and a sponge. Let me know what you all think!
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on July 20, 2015
Awesome knife. I use it at my BBQs. I also bought a knife sharpener and this knife is as sharp as a razor now. Do not be disappointed because the knife is not extremely sharp straight out of the box. Just buy the sharpener and you'll not regret your purchase.
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