American knife-crafting company HomeTown Knives, of Madison, Wisconsin, is known for its hand forged Damascus steel, proving that this high carbon, folded metal with the water-like patterns is as tough as it is beautiful.  Their Damascus Tracker HT-16 SawBack Tanto ($165) is a blocky, solid ribbon of straight-edge steel, reaching out of an ergonomically designed handle.  The tip is squared off and ready to serve as a small axe or skinning tool.

Using 1095 high-carbon steel folded with 4340 high-tensile steel into blades ranging from 200-900 hundred layers of oil-quenched hardness, HomeTown’s craftsmen temper the blades to a Rockwell C hardness of 57-58 (in case you didn’t know, that’s A LOT of hardness!).  To accent this solid blade, is a custom sheath made of hand-formed sheep skin.

Measuring an impressive 12 1/2″ in length with a 7 1/2″ blade, and weighing in at 1 1/2 lbs, the HT-16 will most definitely hold its own in survival situations, even if you never use it for skinning a bear, but just for flint or wood chipping.