When we talk about folding knives, the first thing that comes to mind is a folder with a blade tucked in it, which slides out through a thumb stud or pops out like a switchblade. What if it can be a little more. Russian knife manufacturing company Atroposknife has brought a unique knife to the market which is designed to be functional from top to bottom – A Fortel knife.

Fortel knives are designed by a Russian bladesmith named Konstantin Sazhin. From a baton-looking appearance, it turns into a knife and then even a longer bladed knife; for such quirky features, this knife is also known as the transformer knife. The pun is obvious, just instead of giant robots, it transforms into a larger knife. The knife can be used as a fisherman’s knife for featuring a large grip and longer blade, which is very efficient for filleting fish, the sharp prongs that are also featured works smartly for stationing fish before dealing with it. However, for such exclusiveness and distinct feature, these don’t come cheap. In this article, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about Fortel knives, and what to look for in them.


Overview of Fortel Knife

Fortel knife is a marvel of a model, however, it’s not designed for a daily carry per se; the mechanism to unsheathe the blade requires quite a few steps, deeming it awkward to use as a regular utility knife.

Konstantin Sazhin’s knife manufacturing company “Atroposknife” customized this knife as mostly a fishermen’s knife, but you can also use this versatile piece in the kitchen and outside on chores that require a longer blade.

From the angle of appearance, the knife seems like a cool piece, and if you didn’t know about it, your first guess about it wouldn’t be a knife. The knife is designed with two slim barrels made of wood that has been hollowed out to fit the blade inside. To release the blade, both the barrel-like parts need to come apart. Both ends of the handle are capped with metal; you may find a yellowish stripe on the spacer of the top cylinder. That also houses two sharp prongs that can be used as a fork to pin something down and the clasp that secures the tubes. The metallic parts are mirror polished and flaunt sterile aesthetics.

Uncovering the blade requires you to unlatch the lock first; it’s a twist open, then the notch needs to be pulled outwards from the angled channel. The lock is designed most securely, so there’s no chance of accidental slipping or opening. The tubes themselves are tightly fit, so the attempt to open is met with ample resistance each time.

The semi-extended blade is also useful for many causes, but the handle may feel small for some. So, it can be extended by attaching the top barrel to the bottom. The same latching mechanism holds the two pieces securely, designed to not wobble even one bit.

Finally, the most interesting part – extending the blade. Many people won’t even guess that apart from the unsheathed part of the blade, there’s a hidden blade tucked in the handle! it’s the rest of the length of the tang and not a different blade. Notice the space in the micarta handle, and similar slit in the metal parts too, align them before pulling the blade out, and voila! You have a longer blade. Then, twist the ring of the handle to move the slit from the opening. So, the blade doesn’t slide down while working and gets safely affixed into that position.


Types of Fortel Knife

Fortel knives are a unique design, belonging only to this on the model, but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into variations, mainly there are models available in different sizes. The one which is pro-fishing comes a lot larger than those that are modeled compactly for easy carry – smaller and lighter in shape. In terms of design, you can find two types of Fortel knives in the market.

  1. Custom-made Version: This is also known as the original Fortel knife. custom made in the birthplace of Fortel knives – Russia, by the Atroposknife knife brand. The Russian micarta knives take a long time to produce and have a better finish. The coating is smooth, and the solid micarta wood is pretty nice to hold. The yellow spacer strip is one of the telling features of this version; this version is also slightly longer and slimmer. The knife features a chisel grind blade with mirror polish. The whole construction is fit and rugged just as you’d expect from the high price it comes for.
  2. Production Version: Due to the Russian Fortel knives being super expensive, so “Lord & Field” designed a more affordable version of the Fortel knife to distribute in the North American region. This version of the Fortel comes with a rough textured finish with a tone lighter than the original version. The orange-ish spacer material is another distinctive thing about it.

While locking, it makes a satisfying click sound, which is a nice addition; it also offers a smoother opening, where the Russian version feels tighter when drawing out. The bevel is also on the opposite side, which is a plus for pinch opening the blade. It offers a flat grind blade which is only a tinge shy in length from the original model.


How to Choose the Best Fortel Knife

Size & Weight: Besides the mini model designed for compactness, the fishermen’s version varies from 150mm-265mm in length when closed. And full-length open knife measures between 275mm to 480mm.

Blade length & Material: Similarly, the semi-extended blade ranges from 70mm-125mm in length, and the whole tang measures 127mm-225mm. Depending on the model, the material of the blade varies; the most popular one is made of superior D2 steel, which presents excellent rust resistance and durability, offering an HRC score over 60. Other versions of the Fortel knife also come with Damascus steel, Dragon glass steel, etc. The edges of these blades are extremely sharp and retain an edge for the longest time so it hardly ever needs to be resharpened.

However, the sharp edge is faced towards the opening, so it’s easy to get hurt if you aren’t looking, better to drag the knife down through the blunt edge.

Handle: The handles of the Fortel fishermen’s knife are made from solid Russian Micarta wood. Aluminum was used to construct the metallic part of the build. The slim handle makes the best use of extra length; the joints are strong and don’t rattle when moved. The featured forks are pretty functional too; the other tube comes with openings for the prongs to slip in. you may also find Fortel knives with handles other than micarta wood, such as G-10 handle, different wood material or plexiglass, etc. choose one that suits both your taste and needs,



Q: What is a Fortel Knife?

A: Fortel knife is a type of fisherman’s knife designed in Russia. The knife comprises two wooden cylinders; that house a fork and a long & sharp blade. The structure is secured with reliable locking mechanisms.

Q: Where should I buy Fortel knife from?

A: Depending on your budget, you can either buy from the original manufacturing company, Atroposknife. Or you can go for Lord & Field’s more affordable option, that’s very close in both looks and functionality to the original version.

Q: Can I sharpen my Fortel knife?

A: You’ll seldom need to, but yes, you can. Use diamond-based stones if you own the Russian version; otherwise, whetstones, sandpapers, or sharpening rods will do the job just fine. Note that, sharpening hardened steel will be more of a chore than stainless steel.


Common Uses of the Fortel Knife

The knife is initially designed to use as a fish filleting knife. The spikes inside the handles are used to hold the fish steady while filleting it. Due to the knife’s long blade and a large handle that offers better grip and stability when maneuvering, it’s one of the best options for filleting fish.

Another accepted use for this particular knife is while camping. This long-bladed knife can replace your kitchen knives in the wild; pin those freshly caught or cooked meat with this knife-fork combo – built-in cutleries are that will prove to be a lifesaver! Put the spikes to use if you need to puncture anything; these can also be used in self-defense as they’re sharp enough to take an eye out. Get creative with this innovative knife, sky’s the limit.


Final Verdict

Fortel knives are a unique piece that will have you guessing what this is; if you aren’t familiar with it. Due to their distinct characteristics and appearance, these are knife enthusiasts’ favorite collective items.

So, whether you’re looking to get a Fortel knife for its functionality or as a hobbyist, you are going to want to know some basic facts and features about the knife. Learning all the angles will help you decide for the better. Hopefully, this article was able to help you in that context. Good Luck!

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