Knife Review: Fällkniven PXL Folding Knife

In this review of the Fällkniven PXL (‘bm’ version – black micarta) folding knife, we take a very close look all over this beautiful liner lock.
Direct from the Fällkniven designer himself, Peter Hjortberger, is the statement that the PXL is the largest folder he will ever design; if you need a larger knife, then a fixed blade becomes the better choice. Fällkniven knives are practical tools, designed to work hard and efficiently, with the design intent firmly on performance and practicality.
The PXL now has an Elmax steel blade and comes with either black micarta or Elforyn (an imitation Ivory) handle scales.

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the Fällkniven PXLbm, from handling to technical measurements.

What’s in the box?:
The presentation box comes in a white card sleeve (making it almost disappear in the Tactical Reviews all white studio). Slipping the sleeve off to reveal the black box inside with the knife nestled in a foam liner.

A good look round the PXLbm – Things to look out for here are:
This gallery is intended to show lots of the design details up close, including how the knife is put together and how it functions.
The black micarta handles (with inset badge) are polished and have a precise fit to the liners and bolster. You can see the single position pocket clip, plus how it is attached. On the blade, the engraving, thumb stud, grind and choil. Designed with a liner lock, you can see the lock engagement and detent ball. There is a lot to take in.

The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

The blade is made from Elmax steel.

The Factory edge up close:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.

NOTE: pay attention to the scale shown in the images and the near zero-grind; there is only a very small micro-bevel visible for the PXL’s factory edge.

What is it like to use?

My impression is that all of the Fällkniven folders I have handled have a similar ‘crisp’ feel to the finish. What I mean by this is that the edges of the liners, and lock-bar are on the verge of being sharp. Where another material or component is directly next to the liner, this provides a seamless transition and overall this personal observation doesn’t impact on usability at all. Gripping the knife to make cuts, you have the smooth rounded parts of the handle and bolster touching your hand. It’s more when you explore the knife (as if a worry stone) and your fingers find the inner edges of the liner are noticeable. It is most evident when unlocking the blade as where you press on the lock bar also has a crisp edge to it.

On first checking the knife in this review, there was some lock-stick. The crisp edge where you press on the lock bar to release it made this stand out more. Rubbing over the lock surface with a pencil sorted the initial lock-stick straight away and this has not come back.

Also on first looking over the PXL I had wondered if the narrow looking thumb stud might be hard on the thumb to operate – this was unfounded and it is well suited to the knife’s action.

Now, let’s talk pocket clips; so the PXL has a compact pocket clip and this is in the typically less popular tip-down orientation. On discussing this with Peter Hjortberger, the reasoning behind this is to provide a pocket clip which has minimal impact on the grip and handling of the knife. Like this it is also less disruptive to the overall design to not add additional clip positions. It is certainly true that no pocket clip makes the grip of a knife more comfortable.

For Fällkniven, a pocket clip is seen as advertising that you are carrying a knife, which is often not ideal in a public place. Because of this most folding models in the Fällkniven line up do not have a clip at all, although they are being added to three folding knife models, the PXL, the PXLx and the PCx.

Although described as a ‘large folder’ (and the XL in the model name), to me this is more of a medium size folder. It is a good fit to the hand, being neither too small to get a good grip, nor too large for the pocket. In my hands (taking XL size gloves) it is a very comfortable fit.

The simple combination of brushed stainless and polished micarta makes the PXL an elegant EDC companion. The compact pocket clip does provide a way to secure the knife to your pocket or to webbing or any other fixing point that suits. I would tend to carry with the clip holding it to an internal divider or pocket in a bag, rather than a trouser pocket. When using it in a trouser pocket the compact clip fits very well, neatly fitting over the edge seam of the pocket and holding securely.

Steel technology moves on, and I am slightly conflicted over the change to a single steel blade construction from Fällkniven. I did always like the visible San-mai line that a layered Fällkniven blade displayed, but now the (overall beneficial) switch to solid Elmax takes the San-mai line away. Of course the distinctive convex grind still makes the blade unmistakably Fällkniven in both looks and cutting ability.

That convex edge – seriously sharp and fine factory edge, and the grind makes it a very effective cutter.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

What doesn’t work so well for me

Some slightly sharp edges on the liners and lock release.
Initial lock-stick – this has gone with use and pencil lead.

Things I like

Elmax blade steel at HRC 62.
Convex near-zero-grind edge. (Very fine micro-bevel)
Compact pocket clip has minimal effect on handling.
Elegant design and finish.
Precision action.
Comfortable grip for hard work.
A knife built to last and hand down the generations.

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