[Product Review] L.T. Wright Knives Camp Kitchen & Bushcrafter HC Knife Review

At Overland Expo East last year I had the pleasure of crossing paths with the crew at L.T. Wright Knives yet again.  A perennial favorite at both overland and off-road shows in the Mid-Atlantic area I’ve spent more than a few minutes <cough> hours <cough> drooling over their knives.

Checking out the LTWK booth at the 2017 Overland Expo East event

The end of 2017 they debuted their new Camp Kitchen.  It features four handcrafted chef knives ranging from a Large Kitchen Knife to a Small Pouter.  Together they cover all the bases for any kind of camp cooking.  The set also features a wood cutting board and comes bundled together in a handcrafted Blue Ridge Overland Gear clam-shell bag.  Read on for my full review of the set and a bonus review of the LTWK Bushcrafter HC Knife…

Legacy: Your grandchild’s knife

When I saw my first LTWK Camp Kitchen set I instantly started to drool.  Many future meals cooked over the camp fire, on the Skottle, or on my tried and true cast iron skillet started dancing through my mind.  The only downside was the price.  Let’s be honest, at nearly $600 this set is by no means inexpensive.  However, with a proven history of quality products this isn’t the type of set you buy and throw away or forget about in a few years.  This is a true legacy product.  This is the kind of knife set that your grandchildren will be using long after your overland rig has rusted away.

When someone like LTWK partners with someone like BROG, you know you won’t be disappointed by what’s inside.

Four knives + cutting board + a pouch for other utensils

Pardon the oil on the chef knife.  This was a literal “out of the box” photo.

Utility: Not just a Camp Knife

Anyone who leaves their camping gear in the garage to collect dust when they aren’t traveling is wasting money.  When you invest in quality gear you use it ever chance you get.  I think I’ve cooked just as many means on my Skottle in the driveway as I have out in the woods.  Same goes for the LTWK Camp Kitchen Knives.  When they aren’t loaded in the trailer for a trip they are sitting on my kitchen counter ready to be used in the house.

But let’s be honest, it’s more fun to cook outdoors.

Durability: Handcrafted for balance

One of the true tests for any knife is how it feels in the hands.  There is nothing more than an ill-balanced knife that is either too blade heavy or too handle heavy.  Not only that but a knife that is too heavy overall will become unwieldy when you’re cooking a large meal.  A good chef’s knife should be just heavy enough to chop through anything but also light enough that is nothing more than an extension of your hand.  LT has hit a home run with the large chef knife.

Yes, it slices and dices

Improvement: Nothing’s perfect

There’s one downside to the LTWK Camp Kitchen set.  Don’t worry, it’s not the knives, nor is it the BROG Bag (although a hook on that would be nice).  It’s the cutting board.  The only downside I have found with the set as a whole is that the cutting board is too soft.  The razor sharp edge of the knifes cuts into the soft wood of the cutting board leaving it nicked and scared after it’s first use.  My only suggestion for improving the set would be to swap the cutting board for one made of bamboo.  It will be more resilient to damage, easier to clean, and therefore safer and more sanitary in the long run.  That said, the size is great and the drip-trough is a nice touch.

This was the second time I used the set.
You can see the cutting board already shows signs of wear.
It’s still a good cutting board, but it won’t last much longer.

Bonus: A good beginning

I always carry a pocket knife.  I have since I was a young boy.  Between my time in the Boy Scouts and watching MacGyver there was always a Swiss Army Knife in my pocket (yes, even at school at least till the helicopter nanny patrol liberals put a stop to that).  These days I’ve swapped the multi-tool versatility of the Swiss Army Knife for a simple single blade folder.  While nothing fancy it gets the job done.  It’s my utility knife.  It cuts cardboard, tape, sausage, wire, cheese, or whatever I need it to cut whenever I need it to.  As such, I knew if I ever got my hands on a premium handcrafted knife it would have to hold up to that abuse.
LTWK Bushcrafter HC with sheath and fire starter.
Hangs nicely off the belt and is on-deband whenever you need it.
The LTWK Bushcrafter HC is just that knife.  While there are multiple grinds and blade metals available, I opted for a flat grind and a spring-steel blade.  While by no means a “fancy” knife I wasn’t too concerned with looks.  I’m not looking to imitate Crocodile Dundee and wipe it out going, “That’s not a knife… THIS is a knife.”  I don’t have anything to prove.  What matters more to me is a knife that can handle the abuse of the abuse of an all-around utility blade.  If you’re looking to dip your toes into the water of premium handcrafted knives, you can’t go wrong with an LTWK Bushcrafter HC.
Would you do this with a cheap knife?
After opening the can the LTWK Bushcrafter HC showed not a single sign of abuse.
Now THAT’s a knife.

Summary

If you ever happen to wader by the ECOA camp and smell the sweet savory smell wafting off the Skottle, there’s a 100% chance the meal was prepped by an LTWK camp knife.  Not sure there is any better way to summarize such a great product that will last not just one lifetime but many lifetimes to follow.
Men in aprons, how else did you expect this to end?
Thank you to L.T. Wright Knives, Blue Ridge Overland Gear, and Tembo Tusk for their support in making this, and articles like it, possible.