I’ll tell you this right up front — the Lapwing is my first Nordsmith knife but it for damn sure won’t be my last. I’ve been playing around with the Lapwing for a couple of weeks now and it has become my go to fixed blade for all sorts of jobs around the house, especially food prep. It is a smallish knife and very nimble.
Nordsmith founder David C. Andersen has said that he designed the Lapwing to be a partner or companion to their Canteen knife. I don’t have one of those so can’t say how it compares but I can say that the Lapwing just might be the most truly useful knife I’ve had in a long time.
Overall length is 7.75 inches, with a blade running 3.75 inches. The actual sharpened edge is 3.25 inches. This is a full tang knife made of AEB-L stainless steel. AEB-L is an interesting material. Without getting into the technical aspects, AEB-L performs similarly to many of the so-called “super steels” without costing an arm and a leg. It is great with edge retention and overall toughness without being impossible to maintain.
The Lapwing has a convex grind, which is one of my favorite grinds. While many outdoor knives have a Scandi grind, on a knife this thin (3/32 inch thick blade) that grind wouldn’t work well and, frankly, would be pointless. Between the thin blade and the convex grind, the Lapwing is a great utility knife, suited for a wide range of applications that don’t require a large, heavy knife.
The handle is green canvas Micarta with yellow G10 liners. There is enough texture to the handle to provide a positive grip without feeling overbearing. The contour to the handle is comfortable and I felt no hot spots or other discomfort even after extended use. I have good-sized hands and the knife never felt lost in my grip, despite the knife’s relatively small size compared to other field knives.
The knife fits snugly into the included pouch style leather sheath. I would recommend adding a lanyard of some sort to the knife to allow for easier removal from the sheath. This isn’t absolutely necessary but many users might find it useful. Plus, having extra cordage available is never a bad idea.
So, how does the knife perform? I used it to prep a couple of meals and it was just plain awesome. It sliced through raw chicken breasts like they weren’t even there. No hesitation, no pulls, just clean slices every time.
Broccoli was also no challenge at all. This is but one example of how nimble the knife is as it was able to fit into the head of broccoli and cut off pieces without any trouble at all.
Taking the knife outside, I tried my hand at a feather stick. Now, I’ll readily admit that my skills with feather sticking aren’t the greatest but the Lapwing made it pretty easy. Again, the thin blade and sharp edge account for that.
And when I say sharp, I mean SHARP! It arrived shaving sharp right out the box. And, I expected no less given the warning (and promise) on the box itself.
Many of us like a true 90° spine and the Lapwing delivers on that as well. The spine is sharper than the cutting edge on some knives I’ve bought online in the past.
The Lapwing holds that edge well, too. Even after prepping two meals, making a few different feather sticks, and cutting open various packages and such, the edge feels just as sharp as it did when it came out of the box.
My only criticism of the Lapwing, and it is a minor one, is that the edges on the choil are as sharp as the spine.
This is not a huge deal and most folks might not be bothered by it at all. But I felt the edge there sort of catch on my finger as I used the knife here and there. It is an easy fix on my end, just a few seconds with a file or something will break that edge. But, I feel as though there would be benefit to including that step in the finishing stages of the knife production.
Overall, I truly love the Nordsmith Lapwing. it is no frills, no nonsense knife that does exactly what you need a knife to do in 99% of outdoor as well as kitchen applications. You can find it here for $175.00 on the Nordsmith website.