By Nick Italiano
The Stowe Away is made by Jason at KPaw Custom knives and was designed by Outdoorsman Rick Stowe. I’ve had my Stowe Away for about a year now, and it has long been a favorite everyday carry and light hiking knife. This past week I decided to use it as my only knife for all cutting tasks, and I am not disappointed in its performance! While it is a compact knife, it is built to handle some big tasks.
Being that this is a full custom knife, you should expect some slight variations in each finished knife, but I will break down the specs of mine to give you a general idea of what to expect. The blade is 2.75 inches long with a sharpened edge of 2.5 inches. The overall length of the Stowe Away is 6.75 inches. The overall weight of my Stowe Away is 3.67 ounces, which can vary based on chosen handle materials and thickness.
Jason offers a few different steel options on his knives, primarily high carbon steels that he heat treats in house. My Stowe Away is 1084 high carbon steel and it’s as tough as it gets. The spine of the Stowe Away is sharp enough to perform scraping tasks and strike fero rods.
Jason does make all his own leather sheaths and offers few different options including pocket sheath and belt sheaths.
The first thing that came to mind when I first say the Stowe Away was “This knife has a lot of handle” This very beneficial when it comes to putting it to work, offering great blade control in finer cutting tasks. The handle is narrow in the front and swells up as it gets to the butt of the handle. This makes the Stowe Away just feel amazing in your and and gives some great palm molding in various grips. Through pronglonged use I found no hot spots or premature fatigue. Overall the handle design and ergonomics are among some of my favorite.
This week I put my Stowe Away through my typical testing and use, which includes foraging, food processing/meal prep, and wood processing/fire starting.
Previous to this week I have used the Stowe Away in light foraging tasks, but pretty much any sharp knife can handle cutting plants. Where it really matters comes to mushrooms, thick roots, and thicker woody stems. When it comes to mushrooms you want something sharp and nimble and the Stowe Away fits the bill here.
Mushrooms are delicate and you always want to ensure you are doing as little damage to the organism as possible, so the compact nature of the Stowe Away really shines here. I was able to easily get into the crevices of a decaying log to cut away some mushrooms without damaging the underlying wood.
When it comes to cutting roots and thicker woodsy stems the Stowe Away performed admirably on account of the sharp edge and tough 1084 steel. This is an area where a larger thicker knife is preferred, but the tough 1084 held up well to rigorous cutting in thick roots.
In the food prep area I had the opportunity to trim some chicken and pork this week. Once again that small sharp blade came in handy as I was easily able to navigate around bones cut off unwanted tough tissue and excess fat without loosing valuable meat in the process.
Finally I did some basic wood and fatwood processing to prep some fires. The small blade made is really easy to to shave both wood and fatwood to creating tinder and kindling. I was able to use the spine to scrape fatwood dust to help get my fires started. The blade is a little on the small side for any serious batoning, but it held up nicely to some very light batoning.
Though all this work, the blade edge held up very well. No chips, no rolls, and no need for sharpening during the week. The spine also held up well through all my scraping tasks.
All in all if you are in the market for a conpact custom knife, that you can use for both EDC and outdoor tasks, the Stowe Away is a phenomenal choice. It is a highly capable little knife that is good looking. The ability to customize your choice of steel, handle materials, and finishes really allows the end user and knife that suits there individual tastes.