Chris Reeves Hollow Handle Knife Review

One of the "holy grail's" of the survival community has to be the Chris Reeves Hollow Handle knife. It ranks right up the M6 Scout Rifle among other things. I had been on the hunt for one for around 10 or so years. A good friend of mine gave me this one a few months back. It's known as the Mountaineer model.

This particular hollow handle knife is much different than many others on the market. Most hollow handles are a two piece design that has a weak point where the blade meets the handle. The Chris Reeves Hollow Handle series is CNC machined from a solid piece of A2 tool steel. The blade has a hollow grind- making it extremely sharp. Each knife has what I believe is a Kalgard coating.

This particular model is known as the Mountaineer. It features a 5 1/2" blade with an overall length of 10 1/4". The only problem with the One-piece series is that they have become quite rare. From what I understand is that the gentleman that machined these for Chris Reeve decided to retire. Chris at the time felt that he should also retire the hollow handle series out of respect. Being that they are discontinued- many folks decide to hold onto them for collector pieces. Making it difficult to find them on the market or to actually go out there and beat them up in the field.
The butt cap is machined from 6061 aluminum. This enables you to place a compass in the butt and use it without it getting fouled by the butt cap. The knife doesn't come with a compass but I was able to fit the 14mm SERE compass from our store in there. Its secure without the need of glue or epoxy. The butt also has a hole for a lanyard.
Inside the hollow handle I keep a few redundant items. Obviously the compass for aiding in direction finding. A Triple Aught Design Survival Spark that not only showers sparks, but also has a needle and thread wrapped around the shaft covered by shrink wrap (check out our review of it HERE). For tinder I included a couple of the Tinder Quik tabs. They are excellent compact waterproof tinder materials. The other item I included was a fishing kit sealed in a drinking straw. It contains around 20 ft of line, two lead weights, and two hooks. I wouldn't want to depend on these items as my only gear, however they are there if I need them.
I may also construct another sealed straw with water purification tablets and place inside. Another idea would be to place some local currency in there as well.
The differing hollow handle knives come with varied designs of sheaths. The Mountaineer comes with a "pouch" style. The leather is good quality and has a belt loop that can be taken on or off with a snap button. You'll notice the Chris Reeves logo stamped in the center of the sheath.

Overall I really enjoy this knife. If you can find one and afford it- I would say jump on it. If not for anything else look at it as an investment. These knives are continually increasing in value because they are becoming extremely rare. If any of you out there own one; let me know your thoughts.


  1. I have one and find it a truly amazing knife. In addition to the Chris Reeve, I also own a Randall Model 18 and a very old Timberline hollow handle. While a Randall is always regarded as the bench mark, the Chris Reeve is so much stronger. I don't use it or the Randall for the very reasons you cite.

  2. This knife seems pretty cool. Is it made of a one single piece of metal? Because from the picture it looks like the handle and the blade arent separated

  3. I have one, it is milled from a single piece of stock. Great knife, also don't use it at all because I cannot replace it. Once asked Chris Reeve (you know he is an African American...sort of), are you going to start making thess types again....he just smiled.

  4. Have three of these awesome knives. These are the only hollowed handle knives that I will use and trust. Has anyone out there used them in a cold weather environment?

  5. Rock climbing allures every type of folks via many strolls regarding living, but anyone who's definitely enthusiastic about it hobby understands just how critical it is to confirm your own climbing resources before each and every clamber. Pre-climb apparatus safety checks ought to turn into program and it also a very good idea to create a guide. Mountaineer's tool

  6. Nice write up on the knife. I own a few Chris Reeves knives and I love them all.

    Did you ever do a video on this knife?

    If not, you should and show the kit you keep in it now.

    In mine, I took a sewing bobbin and put about 50 to 60 feet of 30 pound test braided fishing line on it. I could fit 2 split shot sinkers in the bobbin hole and then taped two, #8 hooks on each side of the bobbin, 4 total.

    I also took a coffee stiring straw, cut it down to about one inch and filled it with potassium permanganate and sealed the ends, for emergency water treatment. That is enough PP to treat A LOT of water.

    I took 2 more stiring straws wrapped each with 6-8 inches of duct tape to repair my water bags if they get a hole, and filled the straws with a PJ soaked cotton balls.

    The water bags are 2 Gerber breast milk bags and are very tough.

    A small needle that the fishing line fits through.

    A small compass.

    Then a tiny 1/8" x 2" ferro rod for fire.

    It's tight, but it fits and covers a lot in an emergency.

    I wouldn't use iodine tablets or any tablet, because of the shelf life and once you open them, they're dead in no time if not used right away. Plus they take up way too much space in any small emergency kit, in my opinion anyway.

    Keep up the great work.