Svord Recreates Massive Traditional Cleaver

New Zealand fixed blade and folder maker Svord has turned out the Carcass Splitter, an enormous cleaver fixed blade. The massive tool takes inspiration from traditional butcher implements.

Many North American users will recognize Svord as the maker of the quirky and popular Peasant Knife folders, but the shop’s catalog extends well beyond into a variety of fixed blades catering to all sorts of needs. Bryan Baker, the founder of and master cutler at Svord, also adopts smaller scale projects that interest him. Previously this cutlery wanderlust led to projects such as the Ned Kelly Toothpick or the historically correct Von Tempsky Bowie.

The Carcass Splitter is the latest in this line of unusual projects. In today’s knife world, cleavers have become something of a fad, with the blade shape being utilized on all sorts of knives, right down to tiny, EDC-style blades. But there is nothing EDCable about the Carcass Splitter. It comes with an 11 inch blade and full tang construction, and measures over two feet in overall length.

Svord works with several different carbon steels but settled on 8670 for the full tang Carcass Splitter. Originating in the 40s, 8670 carries forward a lot of the traditional traits of carbon steels: good edge retention and impressive toughness; both of these characteristics help the Carcass Splitter in its role as a, well, splitter of animal carcasses. “The carcass splitter is a traditional tool of the village butcher and is used to cut a hanging carcass in half,” Baker explains.

As such he gave the Carcass Splitter a differential heat treat. The blade itself is kept at 58 C on the Rockwell scale, while the handle is 45-48 C, maintaining the edge retention capabilities but giving the frame the resilience it needs to hold up to major impact. “The blade has a hand applied differential temper,” Baker adds.

This means that yes, the Carcass Splitter is ready for work. But as a small batch, handmade creation it is likely to function more as a collector’s piece, a work of art. Baker goes on to point out that the historical models for his Carcass Splitter also functioned as more than mere tools. “Its was always used as a symbol for the said profession.”

Knife in Featured image: Svord Carcass Splitter

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