When adventure photographer William Egbert Jr. emerged from years of rehabilitation after a near-fatal accident, he was faced with the prospect of having to reinvent his career. Still an adventure junkie, Egbert began making high-end equipment straps for other adventure photographers, the kind of quality straps he’d use to protect his own equipment, under the brand name Vulture Equipment for the birds of death he managed to fight off in order to survive his accident. But this year he took his rugged creativity to the knife world, where he sought to offer outdoorsmen the only knife they’d ever need. The result was the Cholera Fixed Blade survival knife, a nasty name for an even tougher knife.
The Cholera’s name isn’t exactly music to the ears, but Egbert isn’t worried about turning away customers. “Hey, if they can’t get past the name then they are pretty small in their own entomology”, he says, explaining that the knife’s name actually comes from the disease that buzzards carry on their beaks, feet and and stomach (they’re immune to it). His customers aren’t the type to chafe at such a thing; they’re covered in sweat and grime half the time. Egbert’s Cholera is a knife for “all-mountain use”, and to that end — to be the one knife outdoorsmen grab for every imaginable need — the design is a series of perfect compromises.
The thick, 3/16-inch blade has a dull side that’s durable enough for tough work on heavy brush, but the Scandi edge — the simplest edge a blade can have and the easiest to resharpen — means you can get the knife back to a razor edge for preparing all the food you’d want to cook atop the campfire.
All this power and versatility comes in an extremely compact setup. The 5.5-inch 1095 high carbon alloy blade — a metal that is easy to resharpen at the cost of attracting surface rust — is perfectly balanced by the dark linen Micarta handle, which brings the blade’s overall size to 10 inches and allows for a variety of grips. The handle is small, but its smart design, which Egbert pored over, allows the user to fit the blade easily into the palm of his hand and make a fist to exert extra power, while also allowing alternative hand placement for more finesse cutting.
At a price of under $200, this type of utility is unheard of. Throw in the Kydex sheath with a rotating belt attachment and a built-in ferrocerium and magnesium fire starter and you’ve got the best knife of the year.
Blade Length: 5.5 inches
Blade Material: 1095 high carbon alloy, 58-60HRC
Blade Thickness: 3/16 inches
Blade Grind: modified Scandi grind
Handle Material: linen Micarta
Overall Length: 10 inches
Weight: 12.5 ounces
Includes: Kydex sheath w/ ferrocerium and magnesium fire starter and red genuine 550 cord