bow drill divot on a pocket knife

Pocket Knife Bow Drill Divot: My Survival Folding Knife

Unless I’m flying, I definitely have a pocket knife on me. Like many of you, I tend to carry the flavor of the week, rather than “the one.” Finding that perfect knife is difficult, hence why we tend to turn into knife collectors. This week, I want one that that inspires me to do what I like to do: bushcraft things. I want a folding knife that has a bow drill divot. Unsurprisingly, the market is pretty narrow for this specific use case.

Adding a Bow Drill Divot to a Pocket Knife

To hack one together, I purchased a Ganzo Firebird in D2 tool steel that I could modify to fit my purpose. The scales are made from Micarta and the liners appear to be stainless – enough for a bow drill divot. I’ve tried to make a bow drill divot on another cheap knife, but the G10 scales ended up melting from friction.

The qualities I looked for in this knife we’re scale materials that could hold up to heat, and circles cut out in the liner that I could use to create a deeper, more stable divot.

pocket knife bow drill divot

The Ganzo Firebird FH41 fit the bill and I quickly put a drill to the scale.

bow drill divot on a pocket knife

Carving a pointed tip spindle is easy with a thing blade commonly found on most folding knives. The flat grind made this quick. 

Additionally, the palm-sized nature of a pocket knife made this a really nice hand hed divot. 

tinder bundle being ignited

Getting a coal with the right materials takes around 30-seconds. In this case, I warmed up the board, scraped off the car from the spindle, and steadily increased my speed on the spindle when going for a coal.

The handle material holds up well enough with the spindle rotating on the knife blade itself. I can see slight char on the Micarta but no signs of melting. 

friction fire with a pocket knife bow drill

We have fire, baby! 

With my pocket knife and shoes with laces, I know I’ll have a way to make fire anywhere I go. It’s nice not having to source one more thing. 

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