I owned a Cold Steel Pendleton Mini Hunter years ago. I never really did much with the one I used to own because I didn’t have a sheath that made it very practical to carry but the knife itself was excellent. I thought of it as a paring knife on steroids which is to say it was an excellent utility knife that was quite stout.
Fast forward to earlier this year when I was looking for a knife with some basic requirements – stainless, large and stout enough to baton sticks of a reasonable diameter for fire making, small enough to EDC, and with a 90-degree spine. The idea was that, when coupled with a Swiss Army Knife (with saw) and a ferro rod/lighter, it would be the foundation of a sort of EDC-able survival kit. Surprisingly, this was difficult to find in a relatively affordable production knife which drove me back to the Pendleton Mini Hunter. It not only fits this niche but I found that it has become extremely affordable. I purchased one for just $35.
The knife itself is excellent. The flat ground AUS-10A blade is 3″ long and .130″ thick at the spine which is quite stout. It features a drop point blade shape that has a distal taper to the tip rendering a strong but useful point. The handle is molded rubber that allows a four-finger grip (though it is narrow) and is comfortable to use even when cold thanks to the lack of exposed tang. It has a small guard that is unobtrusive and the 90-degree spine throws sparks like a champ.
In use, it really does feel like the most useful paring knife if your kitchen but 10X as durable. It may not sound like it initially, but that is supposed to be high praise. It can cut your apple for lunch, trim a thread, dress your deer, or start a fire in challenging conditions which is pretty impressive for a knife that costs $35, weighs 2 ounces, and is exceedingly easy to carry… as long as you spend a bit more money on sheaths.
When it comes to sheaths, there are a ton of options. I can only speak to the two I’ve tried. The first is a KSF (Knives Ship Free) Pocono Pocket Sheath. This leather pouch sits gracefully in your front or back pocket and has room to carry a ferro rod (which I do) in addition to the knife.
The sheath second option, a kydex sheath from RK Kydex, is probably the better option considering the versatility, availability, and affordability. I set mine up with a single snap loop which makes it easy to carry on my belt, as a neck knife, or in the pocket. I had this sheath in days, the quality is excellent, and I only paid $28 for it which is very affordable compared to most of the market. I highly recommend these sheaths.
The combination of the Cold Steel Pendleton Mini Hunter and the RK Custom Kydex Sheath was perfect for fleshing out my pocket survival knife idea. It is on my belt as I type this. I think this knife would make a great addition to anyone’s kit or a great gift.
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