I have always loved hollow handle knives, so naturally, when I wanted a custom one, I decided to make it myself. I wanted to make, not just a hollow handled knife, but a real tool that provided the necessities for use in the wilderness, or survival, or whatever. The M.O.A. System is not just one knife, but a system that applies to and can be added to my large hollow handle knives.
They are primarily made of 1/4″ stock in CPM 154 stainless steel. There are several models that fall under the M.O.A. platform, and I will be happy to answer any questions about a particular blade shape or model. There are several of the different models pictured on this page, and I regularly come up with new work, which I try to post also.
I use a full flat grind typically, as it’s my favorite for these types of knives. I believe it gives the best combination of strength, and cutting ability. Moving down the blade, I used a stainless guard, which I silver soldered in place.
As far as handle material, I live in the Pacific Northwest, and wanted to make sure I did all I could to prevent rusting. I used 316 SS, commonly referred to as Marine Grade stainless. The handle is cord wrapped, with approximately 20-30 feet of braided cord.
I offer a unique option for the handle, which is a thin layer of “micarta.” I apply this to the handle before the cord is wrapped on there. It is optional, and there are several advantages. It allows me to contour the handle, giving it an egg shape. This improves grip, helps to index the knife, and is particularly comfortable if you have larger hands. It also helps to absorb heat/cold, helps reduce shock from impacts and chopping, and also leaves you with a comfortable handle if the cord wrap ever needs to be removed for emergencies.
The butt cap is aluminum. I know that having a compass in the butt cap is very popular, but I decided not to put it there for a couple of reasons. One, if you use the butt of the knife as a hammer, it may damage the compass. Two, you would then have to unscrew the cap every time you wanted to use the compass. And three, I put something else there.
I have always had a hard time using the small ferro rods that fit into hollow handle knives. By the time you hold onto them, there’s not much area left to strike. And if it’s wet, you have next to no grip. So I put a threaded sleeve on the ferro rod, so that it can be screwed into the buttcap.
Now you have something to get a good grip on, and can strike the full length of the rod. While we’re here, I will go ahead and briefly discuss the contents of the “survival kit.” I have only put the compass and the ferro rod in there. Everybody has different preferences and needs, so you can put what you want in there. The items are rolled up in the cloth, which is impregnated with wax. Now, in addition to keeping everything together, if you need emergency tinder, simply cut off a strip of the cloth, and you have an easily ignitable tinder source.