Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mcnees Custom Knives: PSK Kit

Marines are feared Amphibious Warriors. Their trained to fight, kill, and survive (among many other things). So when I found out a former Marine had developed a Personal Survival Knife, I had to check it out.

This is the Personal Survival Knife developed by Jonathan Mcnees of Mcnees Custom Knives out of the great state of Alabama. Mcnees Custom Knives offers everything from culinary knives to tactical folders and everything in between.
The Personal Survival Knife kit is a very well thought out concept. Off the bat, wearing a survival system on your person will ensure you have it and not be separated from it. While frequenting Montana during the winter months, I've heard horror stories about people dying after being separated from their packs containing survival gear. The kit contains all the essentials to make a survival situation a little more manageable.

The kit consist of:

  • fixed blade neck knife
  • firesteel and striker
  • whistle
  • sheath
  • 7 ft of paracord
  • button compass
  • signal mirror
  • 30 ft of 30lbs test spiderwire
  • 2 small panfish hooks
  • flashlight
  • sheath and beaded chain
The button compass and signal mirror is built into a kydex square. It can be removed from the chain and used independently of the system. The design helps to conceal the signal mirror when not in use. In a tactical environment this is paramount, so that you don't give away your position to hostiles. Another feature that I really appreciate is that the button compass is a dry compass. This is the first button compass I've seen of this style that isn't liquid filled. Liquid filled compasses generally lose fluid and bubble up. They also freeze and slow in movement in colder temperatures. The kydex square has a hole in each of the corners. In case you would like to attach to your wrist with paracord- making navigating easier. 
Helping aid with cooking and regulating your body temp is the fire steel. This is a generous fire steel, much longer than many out there. The handle is in constructed of G10 and formed into an hourglass shape. The hourglass shape holds the fishing kit. There are two small panfish hooks and spider wire braided fishing line. I prefer smaller fishing hooks in my kit because large fish and small fish can be had by them. Spiderwire is my fishing line of choice (I have it rigged on all my baitcasters). It's small diameter to test strength is unbelievable. It also provides an extremely sensitive feel for those light bites. Spiderwire is strong enough to be used for other field craft as well. Basically Spiderwire was a good choice.  A lanyard hole secures the fire steel by way of a bungee cord to the sheath. At the other end of the bungee is a small but very high pitched whistle.

Because of the knife's heat treat it cannot be used as a firesteel striker. So a striker is included and is attached to the knife lanyard. Also attached to the lanyard is a sweet yellow cord lock that has a mini-flashlight. The flashlight has 3 settings: low, high, and flashing. The flashing light can be used as a visual signal for distress.  

The sheath is kydex and can be worn with or without the components. Depending on your use, you may not need to carry all the equipment. Making it an EDC necker option. The sheath is suspended by a standard dogtag chain. Dog tag chains are comfortable and can be broken away to prevent injuries. The sheath is wrapped with 7 feet of paracord. If your reading this I don't need to tell you how awesome paracord is. 
Lets move on to the most important part of any survival system. The blade of the neck knife measures 2 1/2" with an overall length of 6". Its a full tang knife made of 1095 steel. The blade has a nice patina look to it and is razor sharp. There is some jimping on the spine of the blade.


I was really surprised at the ergonomics of this knife. Most small knives don't feel secure when used or are uncomfortable. The PSK was neither. The handle is made of slab G10 scales that has a nice textured grip. They are secured by two stainless hollowed tubes. In the center of the grips is a glow-in-the-dark dot, aiding in finding the PSK Kit in the dark.

As I said above, the knife feels great in the hands. The handle contours to the hands shape and with help of the lanyard, it feels really secure in use. Most survival kits lack in the cutting tool department. The addition of a fixed blade knife would definitely help in field craft.

Many people pack their survival gear in their packs. That is a bad practice and could make an unpleasant situation worse. Being that the kit is worn around the neck it's less likely to get lost in an accident or survival situation.

The PSK Kit can be had in tactical black (shown here) or in a high-vis orange. It retails for $198 (a little higher priced than I'd like to see).

If your interested in this knife check out Mcnees Custom Knives

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