I am a knife guy. I have been for a long time and never really realised it until these past few years as my awareness of EDC and outdoors stuff has increased. Different kinds of knives have interested me for a long time and I have created a little collection too, almost completely unaware!
This is partly because my father, who is a career soldier, has always told me that a man (and more so a soldier) needs to have a watch and proper knife. And so he has gifted me many knives and watches over the years. I have bought several knives for outdoor activities myself too, and one of the most recent ones being the Varusteleka Mini-Skrama.
This review will be twofold, I will review the Mini-Skrama knife along with the Survival Sheath that I bought from our good friend Vegvisir Creations. This is because these two different items are an inseparable pair in my kit and so it makes sense to tell you guys about both of them in the same article.
Janne is the sole artisan craftsman behind the company named Vegvisir Creations. He is a visionary whose eye for EDC solutions for wilderness and tactical survival gear is amazing. He deals mostly in kydex and paracord, but he is very capable of other handy work too. He is also an UN/NATO Peacekeeper veteran, so he definitely knows what he is doing.
Varusteleka started its life as a Finnish military surplus store. Today they are the single most largest military surplus store in Europe and they have released several of their own lines of original products too.
Our gear loving days have started through purchases made from Leka and several of the items we have reviewed have been bought from Leka! Needles to say, they have had a huge impact on us and continue to be a frequent shopping place for us still.
And we know they have noticed us too, we have been told they have called us “ants with quality”! We are a small deal, but we do have our moments, don’t we?
One of the Varusteleka’s line of original products is called Terävä (Finnish, which roughly translates to Sharp). Terävä is comprised of knives and other edged tools and the products are rather well known amongst bushcraft people around the world these days.
One of the best loved Terävä products is the Skrama knife. Or it is something between a large knife and a machete. Great for hacking branches, chopping wood etc. Well this is the baby brother of that knife.
Terävä line has two mini sized knives, the Mini-Skrama and the Mini-Puukko. They are both full, bare tang knives with different blade profiles. The Mini-Skrama has the same dropping sheepsfoot kind of point, that the larger Skrama has too.
As the name suggests, the Mini-Skrama is a small knife with the blade length only at 80mm and overall length at 185mm. The blade is a 3,25mm thick and weighs only 125g.
The steel is 80CrV2 carbon steel that is very traditional in Finnish knife industry. The Terävä knives have all had a heat treatment that leaves the outer layer of the steel softer that essentially makes the blade more resistant to wear and less prone for material defects.
The spine of the blade has been ground and beveled to be easier to use with ferro strike rods. The bare tang grip allows the user to customise the blade to better for his/her own needs. People use a lot of paracord handles, but some have fashioned scales out of G10 and wood for theirs too.
A Mini-Skrama costs 29.99 on Varusteleka and you can find it here.
The Survival Sheath
Each sheath that Vegvisir Creations makes is an individual piece and customisable to your needs. For the Mini-Skrama I opted for jos basic survival sheath design with a ferro rod and holder on the side.
The construction is basically a kydex sheet folded over itself, with the blade profile molded into the kydex. It is then bound together with metal rivets. There is a drain hole in the bottom, nicely hidden in the back of the sheath. He has also done a little notch for thumb on the spine side to ease the unsheathing.
The ferro rod holder is a separate kydex piece screwed on the backside of the sheath. The ferro rod I got with it has a tiny paracord handle done by the man himself to match the knives handle. AND the rod has a key ring with a bungee loop that ingeniously secures the rod to the holder!
The attachment of the sheath is twofold, another invention of Janne. There is a Blade-Tech molle-lok for single column and a 1” rubberised webbing belt loop.
All his products’ costs are calculated by him when the design and it’s features are agreed upon.
Utility Knife I Needed
The Mini-Skrama has intrigued me for a long time, but they always seemed to be sold out. When they finally restocked them I leaped for the chance. And I haven’t regretted it, it is a solid knife.
When I inboxed it (or opened the envelope and took it off of its protective cardboard sheath) the quality of the craftsmanship was apparent. The edge was razor sharp and rest of the knife left untreated for the end user to do with it as they see fit. I chose to leave it as it is, hoping to see some cool patina building on it after long use.
The handle is quite perfect for my hand and the blade length just long enough to be useful on most camp and outdoors uses, but not too long or short to be unusable. Shaving wood and making feather sticks is a perfect task for it. But due to the rugged nature of the knife it can be used to split smaller wood too, although the blade profile might not be best suited for the task.
I have never before successfully lit a fire with a ferro rod. I have tried a few times and failed miserably. There I said it. But to be fair to myself I have never been taught how to do it or seen anyone else do it, besides some videos of course.
So when I got the Mini-Skrama and eventually the survival sheath too, I was determined to get learning again. Otherwise I would have a piece of real usable kit hanging around with me totally for nothing.
A perfect opportunity to test out the skill was one spring afternoon earlier this year, when I was heading out to the woods for a bit of coffee and biscuits. After the hike and propping up of the Jetboil and Aeropress I noticed something that should not happen. I had not packed my matches. Poor preparation, I know. But I had the survival sheath and the ferro rod with it, so once more unto the breach!
After several attempts, trying different combos and kindlings we found from my pack and surroundings, I finally struck fire! It sure was not as easy as people make it seem, but we did it! Carefully with a lit stick we fired up the Jet Boil and soon enough we had warm cups of joe in our hands.
So the ferro rod (or to expand, the survival sheath) Mini-Skrama combo is brilliant and makes, in my humble opinion, a top notch survival combo.
Sheath for all Occasions
The Vegvisir Creations sheath was a no brainer for me. For the past half a year I have been chatting with Janne and seeing all his innovations, I knew I just had to get a sheath from him to try out for myself how they work. Varusteleka still does not sell a sheath for the Mini-Skrama, and it is supplied only with a cardboard sleeve, so I needed a sheath anyway.
After getting my Mini-Skrama I soon sent it to Jannes workshop for the custom sheath. He did the sheath to fit my exact knife and the paracord handle. This is not only custom made, but rather highly tailored handicraft work to suit the customer perfectly. When we had agreed on all the specs of the sheath (attachment options, colour, hand-side etc.), he redid my poor first attempt at a paracord handle for free and sent back the knife with the sheath.
And boy was I happy when I got it. Everything was just perfect. Well rounded edges, no loose screws, all around quality hardware. He even did a small matching paracord handle for the ferro rod!
What I really like about the sheath is that because Janne included both attachment options to the sheat, the molle-lok and the belt loop, it is easy to carry in what ever circumstance. If I want it as a part of my survival/bug-out pouch I can just add it to the side. If I am heading out for a hike I just add it to my belt or the pack, no big deal. The molle-lok even allows it to be attached to most webbings, not just molle. And when I am walking about the campsite or do not have a pack with me, I can just quickly slip the loop to my belt.
Only Positive Thoughts
I really do not have anything to complain about the sheath or the blade. If I would really have to dig something about the sheath I would say that the attachment options being on one side of the sheath makes it a little unbalanced. But I understand that this is due to a manufacturing issue, makes the process easier to put the attachments on the same place as the rivets holding the sheath together. And it mainly is a pouch arrangement issue really, the blade does not weight that much that it would tip the sheath to either way.
About the knife there is only one issue. I had the Mini-Skrama recently with me on a cabin trip and I had oiled the blade and serviced it beforehand as it should be. My wife cut some strawberries with it and left it unwiped for some hours. I then noticed that the polished blade had taken some dark patina on it. I cleaned and oiled it after thoroughly, but the patina stayed and is now pretty vulnerable to slight rust. It might just be me and my poor skills of maintenance, but this is an issue I have with the blade all the same.
I am not an expert in survival or knives. But I am an eager learner and somewhat of an outdoorsman, and to me these two products make a brilliant team for my outdoors adventures. The Mini-Skrama is just small enough for all the little things you need an outdoors knife to perform, but also large enough to tackle some of the more demanding tasks, or atleast helps a great deal with them. I like the customisation it allows the user handle- and sheathwise.
The Survival sheath is a little masterpiece of innovation and customwork. And I am not saying this just because I am friends with the man. He really puts his mind, experience, time and effort in these and you can see and feel it. This is not a mere bend piece of plastic, it is a work of art. In my sheath I especially like the versatile carry options and the ferro rod holder. I can guarantee you this will not be my last Vegvisir Creations sheath.
Small, manoeuvrable blade
Ruggedised for demanding tasks
Somewhat prone to rust and patina
Best materials and hardware
Ferro rod and knife matching paracord handles (that really is dope!)
Versatile attachment options
Slightly off-balanced because of the attachment points position
I received this product via my own funds. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
This post originally appeared on the blog Noble & Blue and is reposted here with permission by the original author