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· Registered
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

This is a review of the Ontario Blackbird SK-5.

The Blackbird SK-5 is a Kephart style survival knife made by the Ontario Knife Company and designed by Paul Scheiter. I bought mine through Hedgehog for $109.00.

The "SK" stands for "survival knife", and the "5" designates a 5" blade. Here are the specifications:

Overall Length: 10.00"
Blade Length: 5.00"
Cutting Edge: 4.875"
Blade Thickness: 0.13"
Blade Material: 154-CM
Hardness: 58-60 RC
Blade Style: Spear Point
Blade Grind: Flat
Blade Finish: Satin
Edge Type: Plain
Handle Length: 5.00"
Handle Material: Micarta
Handle Color: Black
Weight: 8.40 oz
Knife Type: Fixed Blade

The way I would describe the Blackbird SK-5 is that it's kind of a "Mora on steroids". It's got a full tang, 1/8" blade and excels at fine wood carving tasks. From making feather sticks to notching, to carving intricate detail to fashioning shelters, throwing sticks, bows, fish hooks, it does it all. The blade is considerably more beefy than a Mora, and at 5" long, batoning wood is a breeze. The spear point gives the tip of the knife exceptional strength and stability as the tip runs along the long axis of the blade right down the middle.

The handle geometry of the Blackbird SK-5 is outstanding. The handles are neither too thin nor too thick and my hands never get fatigued even with very involved wood work. The workmanship of this knife needs to be seen in person to be believed. It's simple - yet elegant.

A guy I know commented he prefers his Becker BK-2 over my Blackbird because the BK-2 is much heavier and as such is a superior choice for chopping wood. While I understand his argument, I don't think a knife is a very good choice for chopping wood in the first place. (That's why God created axes). I have a BK-2, and I find it too heavy, and too cumbersome to be a good tool for fine woodworking tasks. The Becker also isn't very good for use with a ferro rod (even with the paint stripped off - as I did with mine). The quality of the steel and workmanship between the Becker vs. the Ontario knives are night & day. I would compare the workmanship of the Ontario Blackbird SK-5 to be on par with knives costing many hundreds of dollars. Yet I only paid $109 for mine. BTW, using a ferro rod with the Blackbird is effortless. It shoots lava. :)

I own a number of "survival" type knives (including a 30 year old Mora), a Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife, a Becker BK-2 and the Blackbird SK-5. The SK-5 is my #1 - by a long stretch. It's just an amazing knife that was designed by somebody who knows a LOT about knife building, has a simple yet elegant design and is a pure joy to own. My advice - buy it. :) :thumb:

Doc Smith

P.S. I am in no way affiliated with the Ontario Knife Company or any of it's affiliates. But when I discover an outstanding product I am excited and enthusiastic about sharing the good news with others.

· Svensk hamster
3,050 Posts
The Blackbird looks like the top choice if you want stainless survival, it looks great! BTW, Creek Stewart uses one I have seen, but he has bought a Hedgehog custom sheath for it, which make me wonder what you think of the sheath??


· Banned
448 Posts
Good review.

I am a huge Ontario fan and my next purchase will be the SP6.

I have seen the SK-5 on a few occasion in the last few years and have been interested in knowing more about it, thanks for sharing.

I also have owned a BK2 and I also am not a big fan of it. Its so heavy and short that it takes too much energy to produce a little amount of work.
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