Survival Gear Review: The Vulture Cholera Knife

Earlier this year, Vulture Equipment Works debuted their new Cholera fixed-blade knife at SHOT Show, where it was declared "People's Choice Knife Shot Show 2014." That's quite an endorsement, but will I make this knife my choice for a wilderness EDC blade? Follow along and find out.

First things first, I had to ask what was up with the name "Cholera?" Normally you'd want to avoid something like cholera, right? It turns out that this catchy bug is one of many pathogens that can live in the guts of a vulture (the company's "mascot"). President and Chief Designer of Vulture, William Egbert Jr., spent years of R&D coming up with this wicked blade design, and he says a nasty knife name was just what he wanted. Fair enough.

So what kind of knife would carry such a name? The overall blade design is a modified gyuto knife. The Japanese word "gyuto" translates to "meat sword" in English. I did some carving on a venison quarter in my kitchen to get a feel for its butchering capabilities and can confirm that the meat sword moniker is fitting. But there are more chores in the wilderness than just butchering meat. My next task was fabricating some trap parts. This bigger than average blade performed like a smaller blade when carving wood. Usually, large blades lose effectiveness for small tasks, but not the Cholera. It has a great feel, and the shaping details of the handle are quite comfortable.

What about the blade?

The steel is heat-treated 1095 high-carbon alloy steel with a Scandi grind profile, which I believe to be the best profile for butchering and wood carving. The blade is made more durable with a clear Cerakote finish. You can also drill and pierce with this knife, thanks to the false edge at the tip of the knife's spine. Dark linen Micarta handle scales give you a good grip on the knife, wet or dry. Additionally, there is a recess in the blade with a tapered notch for striking the firesteel that's included in the set. This firesteel fits snugly in the Kydex sheath, and is composed of one ferrocerium rod and two 3/16-inch magnesium rods to create an extremely hot ignition. Vulture's impressive blade is a fine example of their company philosophy, "Build It Right & Build It American." This is the best new knife I have worked with this year, and I can't wait to use it in my next survival class.

Here are the specs:
Blade Length: 5.5"
Overall Length: 10"
Blade Thickness: 3/16"
Knife Weight: 9.5 oz.
Knife, sheath and fire starter weight: 13 oz.
Origin: USA
Price: $190