Vulture Equipment Works Cholera Fixed Blade $190; vultureequipmentworks.com
The Good: Extremely versatile, great balance, extremely durable.
The Bad: You have to kick down almost 200 bones for it.
The Awesome: You get what you pay for.
Cholera is something that you usually want to avoid, but in this knife’s case, you definitely want to seek it out.
Named after one of the pathogens that can live in the digestive tract of the companies mascot, Vulture Equipment Works’ Cholera Fixed Blade knife has thoroughly infected our hearts. The blade is a modified version of the Japanese Gyuto or “meat sword” design. You had me at meat sword.
The heat treated 1095 high carbon alloy steel lives up to the name. I carved up tri tip hunks and turned chicken into strips of meat with no issue. It’s more than just a butcher’s tool: the blade is just as adept as intricate wood carving and whittling as well. The false edge on the blade’s spine allows it to drill and piece, and the scaled Micarta handle is grippy in wet or dry conditions.
It even has a recession in the blade made specifically for the included magnesium fire starter and sparker. My favorite part? It’s tough as hell. When a tool is this useful, you want it to stay with you for a while, and the Cholera lives up to Vulture’s “Build it Right and Build it American” philosophy. The full tang blade has kept its edge throughout several months of testing, it’s survived countless drops and even an impromptu knife-throwing competition.