This River Cuts

White River Makes Some Mighty Fine Outdoors Knives
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White River FC 5

White River Knives has never been a company to flood the market annually with the latest, greatest trends that may or may not play out in the cutlery marketplace. Instead, this family business located in Fremont, Michigan, chooses to keep a steady flow of new products at their own pace. The company, owned by the Cammenga family and led by father John, pick and choose the new additions to their line with care and a goal of giving people a lot of knife for their money. White River’s specialty is fixed-blade knives for outdoors enthusiasts like hunters, anglers, campers, hikers, Bushcrafters and survivalists.

White River Pro Filet 6"

Big & Little Fixers

The brute in the White River line is the Ursus 45 and like its name, it’s a bear of a knife. This 9.50″ workhorse’s capabilities run the spectrum of heavy-duty field chores — from shelter building, fire and food prep, game processing and any other tasks requiring a stout fixed blade. The Ursus 45’s blade is a versatile 4.5″ Drop Point that delivers the goods with Crucible Industries’ premium CPM S35VN stainless steel. The blade spine is squared for striking sparks off a fire rod.

The ergonomic handle has ample palm swell and is a full-tang construction with an exposed lanyard hole in the base. For handle scales, the user has a choice of Black or OD Green Linen Micarta. The icing on the Ursus 45 cake is its Black Kydex sheath, replete with a fire rod holder, with ferro rod included. The Ursus 45 can wear a lot of hats and kick butt doing it.

The White River Model 1 Pro is a small fixed blade that outperforms its size. The Model 1 platform is their most popular series and we feature the Pro version here. This is a versatile knife, 7.0″ in overall length, with a high finger choil that allows the user to choke up on the blade for tough, concise jobs — yet the Model 1 is every bit as capable of handling light chores and detail work. The 3.0″ CPM S35VN stainless Drop Point blade is ideal for small game processing as well as preparing fire sticks, wood carving, or cutting up venison steaks in the wild. Some even prefer it as an EDC because it is quicker to draw, and there are no parts to break. Weight is a svelte 3.2 oz.

The Model 1 is outfitted with G10 scales, while the Caper version offers up Micarta scales and the Backpacker paracord. There are optional colors and patterns for all three versions and all can be had in a Black PVD coating as opposed to the Stonewashed version shown here. All Model 1s come with a black Kydex sheath, or you can wear it as a neck knife.

White River Ursus 45

Bushcraft Bonanza

White River’s Jason Tietz designed FIRECRAFT series fixed blades are both innovative and well-made. These are primarily Bushcraft/Survival knives and we feature two of them here. First up is the FIRECRAFT FC 3.5 Pro, a compact 3.8-oz. fixer with a deep-bellied 3.5″ blade of CPM S35VN stainless steel. There’s a divot on the blade spine specifically for throwing sparks from a ferro rod for fire starting, which, in true White River fashion, is included on the sheath. There’s fine jimping south of the divot for an enhanced grip.

This full tang knife has a ring at the base for dangling it on a small tree limb or clipped to a backpack while not in use to keep it from getting lost in the leafy muck and mire common in campsites. Nice touch! The handle scales, as with the company’s Pro series knives, are G10 composite, checkered for excellent grip. An index finger choil just below the blade adds to further enhance purchase. Our sample had a handsome set of OD Green scales with Orange liners, but you can have your choice of others. White River doesn’t scrimp on choices.

The FIRECRAFT FC5 is another variant in the company’s line of Bushcraft and survival fixed blades. This FC series sports the same blade style as the Pro model above but in 4″, 5″ and 7″ lengths and with a solid (no ring) handle made for using a bow drill. The 5″ blade is featured here. The handle sports many of the curves found on the Pro, but the rounded base is outfitted with a healthy sized tubed lanyard hole. The star of the show, however, is its conical bow drill pivot embedded dead center below the finger choil. Provide your own bow and drill shaft and you’re ready to make fire. The FC5 tops the scales at 8.0 oz. and is 10.0″ in overall length. The FC5 comes with a black Kydex sheath with a ferro rod attached, so you have two options for fire-starting with this fixer. Ingenious. Kudos to designer Jason Tietz and the White River team. These are truly innovative and sound knives.

White River FC 3.5 Pro

White River Model 1 Pro

Fish ’N Fowl Fare

The Exodus 3 is a small fixed-blade knife whose purpose is getting down to the nitty-gritty when the small details matter most. Manufactured by White River for Exodus Knife and Tool’s Adventurecraft line, the host manufacturer decided to carry it in their own line. The Exodus 3 is 7.2″ overall length with a 3.15″ S35VN stainless blade, perfect for processing winged game, gutting and cleaning small fish, and performing light chores around the camp, such as making fuzz sticks for fire tinder. It also makes for a stealthy, easily concealable EDC. Available in Canvas or Black Micarta scales, the Exodus 3 weighs a paltry 2.3 oz. and is delivered with a black Kydex belt sheath or can serve as a neck knife.

With so many lakes, a Michigan cutlery manufacturer would be remiss if they didn’t offer a fillet knife. White River offers three styles of these fish processors, and the Pro Fillet is featured here. This upscale fillet knife is offered in 6.0″, 8.0″ and 10.0″ blade lengths of White River’s favored Crucible Industries’ S35VN stainless steel. The blade thickness is 0.095″ and comes with a wicked sharp leather-honed edge. The Pro Fillet’s ergonomic handle scales are available in three textured palm-gripping options: Green/Black G10, Black G10, and Maple and Black Richlite. All Pro Fillets are delivered with a Black Kydex sheath.

White River Knives is known for delivering the innovative design, top-shelf materials and fit and finish of many custom knives without the custom price. Check out their website and prepare to be impressed.

For more info: WhiteRiverKnives.com

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