Hardcore Hardware Australia is a knife and tool company dedicated to developing heavy duty equipment. Their target market is Law Enforcement, Military and Emergency service personnel. They have also produced a product in cooperation with S.O.E.R., the MFE01 Rhino. Although their product’s intended usage is in a professional scenario, their entire line is available to the public. While having a firm customer base in Australia and New Zealand, HHA has been growing in popularity in North America due to their attractive designs and overbuilt qualities. The knife featured in this review is the MFK03-G and is the company’s mid sized field knife.
The overall dimensions are 9.5” with a weight of 10.3 oz for the knife and 13.7 oz including the sheath. This is fairly weighty, but not surprising when the blade stock, thick handle scales and full tang build is taken into account.
The 4.45” blade has a drop point pattern with lines familiar to that of other combat utility fixed blades. The primary bevel is a hollow grind. This helps to reduce the rather substantial .24” blade stock more than a flat grind would in its place. A secondary bevel produces the knife’s working edge.
The point is slightly elongated for improved penetrating cuts . This feature is augmented with a long swedge that fully meets the opposite bevel giving the tip a diamond cross section. While acute, the tip is still reinforced with a good amount of material. The spine has a run of aggressive, flat top serrations well suited for chopping through materials. Although the knife has a choil for sharpening it would be good if the plunge line was be pushed back a bit so that the edge is even right to the end and without a lip.
Both edges of the knife favor a tough, hard wearing geometry over finer slicing. This is something to take into consideration when dealing with all knives in the ‘hard-use’ category. If you are looking for something to peel apples with than this may not be the knife for you (real men eat the skin anyway). It may not be an ideal bush knife either since the sharpened back edge will limit thumb placement for fine work and wood processing type tasks. With that in mind, I don’t believe those kind of jobs are really the intention of the HHA line up.
The 5” handle begins after double guards (quillions). This is an important feature. It allows you to put a good amount of energy behind penetrating cuts without worry of slipping onto the edges. If fact, the whole handle really supports bearing down on the blade. The G10 handle scales are very thick and fill the hand for a solid grip. Traction is reinforced with a milled, diagonal texture that grabs your hand or gloves nicely. To help lock everything into place there is a first finger groove followed by scalloping for the rest of your fingers. While effective, the edge contouring doesn’t feel restrictive. The back of the handle is slightly curved and nests against your palm comfortably.
The pommel is exposed and comes to a point to be used as an impact tool or glass breaker. Its ramped shape and jimping allows for thumb placement in a reverse grip. Slightly flared, it effectively prevents slipping off the end when pulling on the handle. Overall the handle design is excellent but like the blade, its toughness comes with some weight. While the tang has slots removed to trim the knife up, the handle scales are solid underneath. To cut a few more ounces there could be some material removed from the back side without overly impacting the integrity. All of the edges are chamfered with the exception of the T10 fastener’s counter bores which could benefit from some. Criticisms aside this is one of the most secure handles I’ve used.
A great fixed blade needs an equally competent carry system and HHA delivers. The company has teamed up with Blade-tech to create its vacuum molded Kydex sheaths. The fit is secure and the retention excellent. Although snug the MFK03-G draws effortlessly when needed. A thick rubber strap loops over the front guard and snaps down on a raised post holding the knife firmly in place. The sheath can be attached using either a Tek-Lok® or Molle-Lok® for multiple positions and mounting options on popular platforms.
Overall the MK03-G lives up to the brand’s ‘Hardcore’ value proposition. The knife is overbuilt and will certainly meet any excessive use without difficulty. As previously mentioned, these knives aren’t designed for any delicate work. While able to perform your average utility tasks, dishing out heavier slices, chops and penetrating cuts is where this product will excel. While the knife will undoubtedly get beat up when used to its fullest, it is great to see the fine level of fit and finish put into the workmanship. In closing, it isn’t surprising that HHA is gaining popularity, they deliver a great package that’s eager to be put through its paces in demanding scenarios.
If you are looking to purchase the Hardcore Hardware Australia MFK03-G please consider our affiliate sponsor BladeHQ
For more on Hardcore Hardware Australia, visit http://www.hardcorehardware.com.au
Total Length: 9.5″ (240 mm)
Knife Weight: 10.7 oz (292 g)
Weight with Sheath: 13.7 oz (388 g)
Length 4.4″ (112 mm)
Hardness: 58-60 HRc
Thickness: .24 (6 mm)
Finish: PTFE (Teflon)
Length : 5.04″ (128 mm)
Black G10 Scales
Country of Origin : Australia