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The M1 Backpacker Pro’s blade measures 3 inches, while the Firecraft FC5’s blade comes in at 5 inches.

I was introduced to White River Knife and Tool at the 2019 SHOT Show. I knew them by reputation and I was rather curious about their product line. I spent a little time at the booth checking out a few of their knives but had to run sooner than I’d have liked so I wouldn’t miss an appointment.

What struck me right from the start was how functional their knives are. Sure, they are nice to look at, too. But, anyone can make a flashy looking knife, decorated with bits and baubles designed to catch the eye. It takes skill, knowledge, and experience to design and build a knife that functions as good as it looks.

White River Knife and Tool is a familyowned and -operated business located in Fremont, Michigan. They offer a very comprehensive warranty on their work, which is a testament to their quality as well as their focus on building relationships with customers. They currently have a couple dozen knife models, in addition to custom offerings. Many of their knives have a variety of color options available for the handles, and a few offer a choice between Kydex or leather sheaths, though there may be an added charge for the latter. I recently received two of their knives for review. The Firecraft FC5 and the M1 Backpacker Pro.


The Firecraft FC5 was designed to be a survival knife that not only stands up to real-world use but is actually useful in a bad situation. This was evident from the moment the knife hit my hand. The first thing I noticed was the bow drill divot in the handle. This is a great feature as having a smooth socket makes the bow drill fire-starting method easier. And it wasn’t just that White River thought to include this divot on the handle but that they designed the sheath with a hole right where the divot is located, allowing the sheath to protect your fingers from the blade as you crank on the bow drill.

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About American Survival Guide

American Survival Guide January 2020,