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KI_1308_C2 5/31/13 2:26 AM Page C2

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KI_1308_3 5/31/13 2:22 AM Page 3

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KI_1308_4-6-TOC.CX 6/7/13 1:01 AM Page 4

AUGUST 2013
VOLUME 27, NO. 5
www.knivesillustrated.com

COVER STORY
14 The Knife Of The Living Dead
5.11s Knife Of the Living Dead made by
Fox raises the ante on zombie knives
By ABe eliAs

FEATURES
20 Nothing Grim About This Reaper
Bucks Reaper lives up to its bush knife reputation
By Jim Weiss And mickey dAvis

28 One Name, Two Styles


Your guide to camping knives and camp knives
By J. Bruce voyles

34 Art In The Medium Of Steel


Artists using a sharpened steel canvas
By J. Bruce voyles

44 How High Does The Condor Rodan Fly?


Our testing team works out the Condor Rodan
By Jim Weiss And mickey dAvis

52 The Shadow Warrior


The Katz Knives Kagemusha lives up to the name
By ABe eliAs

58 A Key To Dating Buck Knives


The mystery surrounding the age of your Buck knife has been solved
By J. Bruce voyles

60 Rare Combination
A well-known poet/novelist and a knife collector all rolled into one

62 Tooling Up For The Zombies


A guide to zombie knives and those who produce them
By J. Bruce voyles

68 Gerber SEALs It
Gerber Gear reviewed by a Navy SEAL and a professional law
enforcement officer
By clint thompson

74 Fixed Blades, Folders And Custom Designs


Knifemaker Pohan Leu is a rising star in all the major
handmade categories
By les roBertson

80 Master Jim Schmidts Legacy Chronicled


Francesco Pachis photo history of the legendary maker is here
By ki stAff

knives illustrAted (issn 0898-8943) vol. 27, no. 5 is published 9 times a year, January/february, April,
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4 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_5 5/31/13 2:23 AM Page 5
KI_1308_4-6-TOC.CX 6/7/13 1:02 AM Page 6

AuGusT 2013
Volume 27 Number 5

EDITORIAL
Editorial Director: Doug Jeffrey
Editor: J. Bruce Voyles
Managing Editor: Jeffrey rick
Art Director: ronald Abella
Cover Design: eric Knagg

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
James Batson, Abe elias, B.r. Hughes, Mac overton,
clint Thompson, Doc Wacholz, J.B. Wood,
les robertsoncustom Knife Field editor
COLUMNS
8 Q&A
ADVERTISING What is a vintage handmade knife?
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10 Points Of Interest
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KI_1308_7 6/4/13 12:19 AM Page 7

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KI_1308_8-9-QA 6/3/13 1:29 AM Page 8

The knives in those early days are

Q&A
crude by todays standards, often
crude by the makers later work, but
they mark the early period of the
cutlery artists development.

WHAT IS A VINTAGE
HANDMADE?
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY J. BRUCE VOYLES
sidered antique Bowies, not vintage
handmades.

MODERN FACTORIES
ELIMINATE THE NEEDS
With the emergence of cutlery factories
following the Civil War, there was no
need for handmade knives, and the genre
all but faded away. A functional usable
knife could be had more economically
from a factorys output at the hardware
store.
There were an isolated few who kept
the art alive during the early 20th centu-
ry, and they were supported by serious
outdoorsmen who wanted more than the
standard factory issue. Supplying this
small market were knifemakers like
William Scagel, Rudy Ruana and Bo Ran-
George Herron earned his place in the Cutlery Hall of Fame. His impact on sporting knives and
encouraging new makers is unequalled. Added to this ivory-handled set is scrimshaw by dall. Those knives are in a category all
another top vintage knifemaker and artist, Michael Collins. their own, based on the makers name,
and they have their own following of col-
Q: Is there a difference between ways been items of necessity and conve- lectors. A Randall collector will say he
antique knives and vintage hand- nience since the first explorer set foot in collects Randalls; he will not say he col-
made knives? If so, what is it? America. Village blacksmiths, urban surgi- lects vintage handmades.
cal instrument makers and silversmiths
A: The simple answer refers to the ear- have all made knives by hand. Those THE MODERN
ly examples of the modern handmade era, made between 1827 and 1865 are con- HANDMADE KNIFE
but theres more to it than thatand we The modern handmade knife burst into
have to go back to the beginning of mod- TIMELINES popularity in the early 1970s. People like
ern knifemaking to get a clear answer. COLONIAL KNIVES: Pre-1800 Bob Loveless and Bill Moran started gar-
ANTIQUE BOWIE KNIVES: 1800-1865 nering national publicity. A.G. Russell and
NECESSITY VINTAGE FACTORY KNIVES: 1865-1950s a dozen or so others formed the Knife-
CLASSIC HANDMADE KNIVES: 1950s-1970s
The answer is not simply old knives makers Guild, and by 1972 the industry
VINTAGE HANDMADE KNIVES: 1970s-2000
made by hand. Handmade knives have al- had its first knife magazine.
8 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com
KI_1308_8-9-QA 6/3/13 1:29 AM Page 9

Bob Enders was one of the first folder makers who expanded into multi-blades. His name carries weight and popularity today.

The knives in those early days are rectories of the Knifemakers Guild. If you NAMES
crude by todays standards, often crude by were a professional maker you were in The list of knifemakers who fall into the
the makers later work, but they mark the that group as there was no other knife- vintage handmade category highlights the
early period of the cutlery artists devel- maker organization until the American very best of handmade knivesin caliber
opment, and as such have their own his- Bladesmith Society was formed. of the knives and of the men themselves.
torical value. These are the first category Names on this list include Loveless,
of vintage handmade knives. Other tan- DID YOU KNOW? Moran, Herron, Lile, Collins, DeFreest,
gents are dated handle materials or styles, The Knifemakers Guild was founded in Easler, Gaston, Pass, McBurnette and
1970 when A.G. Russell blocked a group of
such as ivory Micarta handles, boot tables at the Sahara Gun Show and invited Hartsfield, to name a few.
knives, snap-clip hangers on sheaths, or knifemakers to join him there. With the graying of the founders of this
Shaw-Liebowitz acid-etched blades. The American Bladesmith Society was modern era of knives, the category of vin-
founded in 1976 by Bill Moran, Bill Bagwell,
These all can be traced to a specific time Don Hastings and KI contributor B.R. Hughes. tage handmades is a growing segment,
in recent historyand are not at the fore- The Professional Knifemakers Association and now has not only the attraction of a
front of popularity today. was founded in 1993 for full-time well-made handmade knife but as a piece
knifemakers.
of history too. KI
NO LONGER MAKING KNIVES
All of these sub-sectors of vintage
handmade knives pale to what is the
largest accepted definition of a vintage
handmadeand thats a knifemaker who
had a degree of prominence at one time
but who has passed away or stopped
making knives. This list includes a whos
who of knifemakers who paved the way
for the estimated 3,000 working knife-
Frank Centofante was President of the Knifemakers Guild in the pinnacle of its popularity.
makers. Most members of the vintage One of the reasons it was there was his guidance. He was a most deserved member of the
knifemaker club are found in the early di- Cutlery Hall of Fame.

Pat Tomes is a vintage handmade maker, and a modern maker as


Walt Kneubuhler was a legend among the Rendezvous and black well. However, he announced his semi-retirement in July 2010. His
powder re-enactorsand his knifemaker fame soon came to output is a fraction of what it was before he retired, and his earlier
prominence among modern handmade collectors. Hes a much knives are solidly vintage handmade, like this two-blade trapper from
desired maker, and as vintage handmade as it gets. a New York collection.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 9


KI_1308_10-12-POI 6/3/13 1:32 AM Page 10

Points Of
INTEREST
CASE MOSS GREEN
BONE IS HERE
he W.R. Case & Sons 2013 Limited Edition collection is here! The bright polish of the Case Bomb shield and
T nickel-silver bolsters provide a stark contrast to the smooth moss green bone handles. All eight patterns
feature surgical steel blades and special blade etching. Production is limited to 3,000 of each pattern.

THE

CASE
LIMITED EDITION
COLLECTION #11624 (6318 SS) MEDIUM STOCKMAN #11626 (610096 SS) SMALL TEXAS TOOTHPICK
3 5/8 inches, weight 2.5 ounces 3 inches, weight 1 ounces

#11621 (TB61546 SS) BACKPOCKET #11625 (6220 SS) PEANUT #11620 (6254 SS) TRAPPER
4 5/8 inches, weight 3.6 ounces 2 7/8 inches, weight 1.2 ounces 4 1/8 inches, weight 4 ounces

#11623 (62131 SS) CANOE #11622 (61953L SS) RUSSLOCK 11627 MUSKRAT
3 5/8 inches, weight 2.9 ounces 4 1/4 inches, weight 2.7 ounces 4 inches, weight 2.6 ounces

10 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_10-12-POI 6/3/13 1:32 AM Page 11

LIGHTWEIGHT
BENCHMADE
EMISSARY
T he Benchmade Emissary is a lightweight knife featuring an AXIS-Assist
SPECS
in a thin package. The blade is a modified drop-point blade with am- 470-1 BENCHMADE
bidextrous thumb-stud opener. The handle is a CNC-machined billet of high- EMISSARY
strength aluminum alloy and features a reversible deep-carry tip-up pocket OPEN: 6.9 inches
clip. The made in the USA design is by Warren Osborne. CLOSED: 3.9 inches
BLADE: 3 inches
STEEL: S30V
Featuring an AXIS-Assist HANDLE: Aluminum alloy
in a thin package. WEIGHT: 2.2 ounces
MSRP: $205

MANIX2
PIONEERING
CONTINUED
T he Spyderco Manix2 Lightweight model pioneered the use of fiberglass-reinforced
co-polymer (FRCP) as a handle. Spydercos new Manix2 Black Lightweight continues
the evolution by offering all the features of the original translucent blue-handled version
in low-profile black.
The soul of the Manix2 Lightweight is its flat-ground CTS BD1 stainless steel blade. The knifes
handle is injection molded from black FRCP and includes Spydercos Bi-Directional Texturing pat-
tern. This handle construction reduces the overall weight of the knife to 3.0 ounces42 percent
lighter than the original G10-handled Manix2.
It also incorporates a steel insert that forms the foundation of Spydercos patented Ball Bearing
SPECS
SPYDERCO MANIX 2
Lock mechanism. This mechanism locks the blade in the open position, yet allows it to be closed CLOSED: 4.66 inches
with either hand while keeping fingers safely away from the cutting edge. BLADE: 3.37 inches
For the ultimate ease of carry, the Manix2 Black Lightweight features a reversible wire clip that HANDLE: FRCP
can be configured for left- or right-side tip-up carry and an oversized lanyard hole that allows the STEEL: CTS BD1
WEIGHT: 3 ounces
easy attachment of fobs and lanyards. MSRP: $124.95
Contact: Spyderco, 820 Spyderco Way, Golden, CO 80403, 303-279-8383, www.spyderco.com

CAMILLUS
CARNIVORE Combines a machete with a
MACHETE bevel for digging.

T he Camillus Carnivore machete combines a machete with a bevel for digging,


SPECS
an integrated wire cutter, and a chisel point. The handle is in a camo pattern,
CAMILLUS CARNIVORE
and comes with a ballistic cloth sheath. OVERALL: 18 inches
Contact: Acme United Corporation, 60 Round Hill Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 STEEL: 440 stainless, titanium bonded
WEIGHT: 7.34 ounces
MSRP: $29.99

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 1 1


KI_1308_10-12-POI 6/3/13 1:32 AM Page 12

BAD BLOODS Available in either a


DREADNAUGHT fixed-blade or folding-
blade version.
H allmark Cutlery is presenting Sean Kendrick designs under their Bad Blood trade-
mark, headlined by their Dreadnaught model, available in either a fixed-blade or
folding-blade version.
For more information about Bad Blood knives or other Hallmark Brands, contact Hall-
mark Cutlery, P.O. Box 220, Kodak, TN 37764, 866-585-3912. www.hallmarkcutlery.com
SPECS
BAD BLOOD DREADNAUGHT
FIXED BLADE
OVERALL: 9 11/16 inches
BLADE: 4 11/16 inches
HANDLE: G10 with mosaic pins
MSRP: $89.99

BAD BLOOD DREADNAUGHT


SOLID SINCE 1998 FOLDER
CLOSED: 5 11/16 inches
Sean Kendrick, designer of Hallmark Cutlerys Bad Blood line, has been making BLADE: 3 inches
knives professionally since 1998. His awards include Best Tactical Knife at the 2010 HANDLE: G10
Spirit of Steel Show. MSRP: $62.99

A.G. RUSSELL
SKORPION HAS
FEATHERLITE
STEEL
HANDLES
T he thing thats revolutionary about A.G. Russells Skorpion is the Featherlite Steel
handles. Stainless steel has long been used for knife handles but the downside is
The Skorpion and the
that its very heavy. A.G. and Phil Gibbs, engineer for A.G. Russell Knives, have devel- Small Skorpion are the
oped a method to retain the strength and durability but reduce the weight. They call this first knives made using
Featherlite Steel.
The Skorpion and the Small Skorpion are the first knives made using this new method this new method of
of weight reduction. The methodology is based on the same concept as the fuller or weight reduction.
blood groove in a blade, which not only reduces the weight but adds strength to it as
well. Working with this concept, they have designed handle sides of stainless steel that
SPECS
are thick enough for good, strong lock contact and to allow them to radius the edges for A.G. RUSSELL
a comfortable grip. They removed as much of the steel from the backside of the handle SKORPION
as possible yet still retain the strength and integrity of the handle. CLOSED: 4 inches
Theyve added a flipper to the back of the blade and a hinderer stabilizer to the lock BLADE: 3 7/16 inches
WEIGHT: 3.2 ounces
for stability. The hollow-ground blade is 8Cr13MoV at 57-59 Rc.
MSRP: $75
The Skorpion is a 4 -inch closed stainless steel frame lock, with a 3 7/16-inch blade,
that weighs 3.2 ounces with the deep pocket clip installed. Suggested retail is $75. SMALL SCORPION
The Small Skorpion is a 3 -inch closed stainless steel frame lock, with a blade that CLOSED: 3 inches
measures just a hair less than 3 inches long. It weighs only 1.8 ounces without the clip. BLADE: 3 inches
WEIGHT: 1.8 ounces
Suggested retail is $65.
MSRP: $65
For more information call 479-631-0055 or email lynnd@agrussell.com. KI
12 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com
KI_1308_13-GUESS 6/3/13 1:37 AM Page 13

Name The
MAKER
CAN YOU NAME THE WHAT YOU WIN,
HOW TO WIN
UNNAMED MAKER?
IDENTIFY A KNIFEMAKERS WORK, AND YOURE
Were adding a new rule to the
contest. If you enter, please include
ELIGIBLE TO WIN A FREE ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION your mailing address and name (not
just your email name). It makes it
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JIM COOPER much easier to mail a magazine to
you when we have your mailing
address!
The first winner for each knife will
receive a one-year subscription to
Knives Illustrated. If you already
receive KI, you can have your choice
of extending your subscription or
receiving a one-year subscription to
one of our sister publications (Gun
World or Bow & Arrow Hunting).
Please specify on your entry.
Among the correct entries, we will
also draw for a second winner. So be
sure to enter, even if youre not the
first one to respond.
Send your guesses to
bvoyles@beckett.com.
Please mention promotional code
A713LO11-AUGUST13
Winners are limited to one win
every 12 months.

HOW WE DRAW
HERES YOUR HINT: The great state of Texas has a history of rough and tough men who The method we use to determine
are big on action and never subtle. This said, the delicate lines and flowing artistry of this
who wins among the correct entries:
Texas maker exhibits that stereotypes are often misleading.
Entries are placed in numerical order,
and a random number is generated
by a random number-generating
website (www.random.org).

ANNOUNCING THE
WINNERS
SEND YOUR THE JUNE WINNERS
ENTRIES HERE The first correct entry for the
June issue of KI was Lucas Guffee
Send your entries to of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The winner of a
bvoyles@beckett.com one-year extension to his Knives
Illustrated subscription by a random
drawing among all the correct entries
The hint for our unnamed maker last issue was a near
giveaway. What was said was, In the world of art knives, this is R.C. Crisp of Sevierville,
Texan stands tall. A veteran maker, with signature dragonfly Tennessee.
embellishments, he keeps his numbers low and his prices high. If All who enter have two chances to
you need a fix for an exquisite piece, call in the doctor! The maker win. Those who dont enter have zero
is Dr. Fred Carter, former President of the Knifemakers Guild. Now chances to win! KI
see how you do in naming this months unnamed maker.
knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 1 3
KI_1308_14-19-COVER 6/3/13 2:23 AM Page 14

This is the actual


handmade prototype of
the 5.11/Fox USA KOLD
(Knife Of the Living
Dead) with toxic green
handle.

T
actical gear company 5.11 want-
ed to jump into the wave of zom-
bie interest. But how?
Step one was to talk to the manufacturer of
their 5.11 knives, Fox USA, and in doing so tap
into the design talent of Foxs Mike Vellekamp.
The result is the KOLD, the Knife Of the Living
Dead.

FOX USA BEGAN IN ITALY


Fox USA manufactures many of the 5.11 knives
exclusively, and the KOLD design comes from Fox
USA head Mike Vellekamp. Vellekamps road to
being in charge of FOX USA began when he start-
ed talking to the Italy-based company about pro-
ducing one of his original designs.

5.11 AND FOX TEAM UP FOR A NEW


ZOMBIE SLAYER KNIFETHATS KOLD

1 4 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_14-19-COVER 6/3/13 2:23 AM Page 15

KOLD HARD FACTS


SPECS:
OVERALL: 16 inches
BLADE: 11 inches
STEEL: AUS8
HANDLE: Neon green fiber-reinforced nylon
MSRP: $159.99

No zombies were hurt


during the formation of this


article, because there are no such
things as zombies.

BY ABE ELIAS
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MIKE VELLEKAMP

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 1 5


KI_1308_14-19-COVER 6/3/13 2:23 AM Page 16


The conversation turned to Foxs Ameri-
can distribution lines, and from those talks
Fox USA was born, but not just as a distri- Weve often seen moves by other
bution outlet. The team there creates and
manufactures parts of their knife line in non-knife companies to offer a knife line, and
its apparent they have little feel for knives or
America, making the company very much
a part of the made in USA knife produc-

the market theyre moving into. Many of those


tion family.
Very much like Fox Italy, Fox USA has
become a family affair with Vellekamps are not around very long.
daughter Harmony Vellekamp running part
of the administration of the business.
Mikes go-to person is Roland Hinojosa.
Vellekamp often takes the time to go to There are three hooks on the spine that
the other factories and teach the workers are double-edged sharpened on the inside
there himself. Since Fox USAs inception, as if theyre gut hooks. The steel is AUS 8.
theyve been steadily growing, producing Overall the blade is a weight-forward de-
knives for other companies to market un- sign that comes with a contoured handle
der their own brand name, such as the with a front integral guard and a rear
Browning Black Label line. hooked integral pommel designed to lock
your hand in place.
KOLD Handle material for the knives will be
The KOLD has an overall length of 16 textured neon green fiber-reinforced nylon
inches from tip to pommel. The blade is a (FRN) and the knife will have a sug-
compound ground recurve measuring 11 gested retail of $159.99.
inches and is hollow ground on the long
edge while being convex ground on the 5.11 ENLISTED KNIFE TALENT
tip edge. 5.11 is the source for the KOLD.
5.11 is known for its innovative
tactical clothing and gear. When
MIKE VELLEKAMPS they wanted to offer a line of
KNIFE CREDENTIALS knives, those knives had to
match the reputation of their
Mike Vellekamp has worked in
other products, and 511
the knife industry since 1993,
beginning when he was 18 years avoided a common pitfall.
old. He got his start at Golden
Manufacturing in Golden, Colorado,
which was owned by Vince Ford.
Golden Manufacturing was A look at the blade pre-
eventually acquired by Spyderco powder coating gives a
and Vellekamp would wind up sense of the complex
working for the Spyderco family for Vellekamp takes a break in the back alley just outside of grind. A hollow grind
a Taiwan factory where hes training the staff to make on the recurve
the next 12 years. After Spyderco, knives. section and an
Vellekamp joined up with Blade- aggressive convex
Tech, where he met Roland grind on the front
Hinojosa, now with him at Fox USA. make for
Vellekamp stayed with Blade-Tech impressive
for six years before becoming a lines.
managing partner at Fox USA.
In 2007, Vellekamp received the
Knife Rights Freedom Point
Award for his part in addressing
the problems with Washington
States statutes outlawing
assisted-opener, automatic knives A picture commemorating the day that a new knife bill
was signed into law in Washington State, for which
and the manufacturing of them Vellekamp had worked to see passed. Back row left to
within the borders of the state. right: Representative Bruce Dameier, Laurie DeMars,
Economic Development Specialist Robert Allen, State
Representative Hans Zeiger and Mike Vellekamp.
Front: Governor Christina Gregoire.

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KI_1308_14-19-COVER 6/3/13 2:23 AM Page 17

A close-up look at the spine reveals the The KOLD almost resembles a dragon
razor-sharp hooked spikes on the back with descending from the sky, which gives it a very Mike Vellekamp puts on the primary edge for
double-sided sharpening. aggressive look. testing before powder coating begins.

Weve often seen moves by other non- The smart companies get the experts with Mike Vellekamp, who has been
knife companies to offer a knife line, and and 5.11 made that move, starting their around the knife industry for two decades
its apparent they have little feel for knives knife program by working first with Steve and is now running Fox USA. To cap things
or the market theyre moving into. Many of Tarani, an expert on the use of force and off, 5.11 added Mike McCourt to run their
those are not around very long. edged weapons. Next they partnered up knife division. McCourt has a 30-year his-

FOX USA
SPEAKS WITH
AN ITALIAN
ACCENT
Fox USA is a branch of
Fox Italy, which was started
in Maniago, Italy in 1997 by
Oreste Frati, whos been
joined in running the
company by his son
Gabriele Frati.
Mike Vellekamp had first
approached Fox about
producing a design of his
called the Profili (profile
in Italian). Mike opened up
talks with Gabriele about
their American distribution
lines, and soon Fox USA
was born.

The Amico line will be the


new offering for Fox in the
coming year. The entire line
will be made in America.

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KI_1308_14-19-COVER 6/3/13 2:23 AM Page 18

On the floor at Fox USA, Vellekamp is hands-


Vellekamps office is where he spends time on, balancing making the knives and running
designing future knives for various company the business. He still gives the product his Vellekamp grinds by hand a prototype for
lines. personal attention. one of his upcoming designs.

tory within the cutlery industry. You cant


ask for more than having all of your team
members on the same page.
McCourts passion for knives and ability
to bridge product lines within the compa-
ny allow him to help make the 5.11 knife
line compatible with other 5.11 gear, such
as a pocket-style knife that carries a de-
sign to fit 5.11s specialty tasked clothing.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


ABOUT ZOMBIES Surrounded by Taiwanese workers that hes
showing how to grind, Vellekamp will work
There are numerous approaches to de- with the workers on this skill until hes
scribe a zombie. All descriptions revolve satisfied they can perfume the task.
Mike Vellekamp and the Fox founders son,
Gabriele Frati, pose together for a photo at
THE ORIGIN OF 5.11 Fox USA.
5.11 Tactical began by
producing clothing for rock around the attack on the living and the
climbing. A climb thats a level eating of human flesh.
5.0 is easy, 5.10 is difficult, and
One camp of zombie lovers favors the
level 5 with 11 difficulty means
the climb would be extremely idea of a virus infecting living humans and
difficult, to the point of seeming
impossible, but then someone
achieves it.
When their pants were utilized
by FBI agents during training,
word spread and the frenzy for
FBI pants prompted the
tactical clothing trend pioneered
by 5.11.

Even though its primarily an art


piece, the KOLD still can do the
job of a cutter as Vellekamp
Mike McCourt heads knife line One of the many standard 5.11 models being
proves on a rainy day.
research and development for 5.11. assembled and prepped to be shipped.

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KI_1308_14-19-COVER 6/3/13 2:24 AM Page 19

CONTACTS
5.11 TACTICAL
1360 Reynolds, Suite 101
Irvine CA 92614
1-866-451-1726
www.5.11tactical.com

FOX USA 98375


9918 162nd St., CT E #14
Puyallup, WA
253-845-5550
www.foxknivesusa.com
A wave of production headed to Browning with knives
produced exclusively by Fox USA as part of their Black Final assembly going on before shipping out a group of
Label line. knives made for the Browning Black Label line by Fox USA.

theories, he would have to say to play it


safe and go with zombie decapitation
should the need arise. If things are still
kicking afterward, time permitting, experi-
mentation will be in order.
Please note that no zombies were hurt
during the formation of this article because
there are no such things as zombies.
While the authors not normally a fan of
mall ninja style blades, in this case, with
Roland Hinojosa, the right-hand man at Fox
The crew at Fox grinds and performs quality
the tongue-in-cheek approach that 5.11
USA, reams out pivot holes for the 5.11 folder
checks on various parts of the knives. blades. and Fox USA have taken with this project,
it lets you know that although you can cut
turning them into flesh eaters. Another de- moving and fearlessly attacking, without with the Knife Of the Living Dead, in reali-
scription is they will come back from the being deterred. ty its all in the interest of having fun.
dead and feast on the living. No matter what the speed of the attack Were sure this knife will become a col-
There is some division on zombie or the cause of the transformation, one of lectors item in its own right, but with the
speed. Some say zombies will be slow the common thoughts seems to be that you standards of both Fox Cutlery and 5.11
and relentless and that it will be the idea have to damage their brain to dispatch a represented, the KOLD is also a workable
of being outnumbered that will cause zombie. Although this author has never quality knife for those who do not need to
fear. Others look at zombies being fast- had a chance to actually test any of these fight off zombies. KI

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 1 9


KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:49 AM Page 20

THE BUSH KNIFE IS REBORN


TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JIM WEISS AND MICKEY DAVIS
EXCEPT AS NOTED

W
ith a name like Reaper one would expect Bucks
newest knife to be both menacing and wicked. To
some it may be, but the more practical will discover a
modern tactical survival knife based on a 100-year-old design.
In those days, such a knife was called a bush knife, and Buck
Knives revives both the name and the design.

The Reaper is made from virtually indestructible materials, according to


Buck. The tang and blade are black traction coated, and the full-tang blade
and textured handle help make the 11-inch knife an effective survival tool,
Buck says.

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KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:50 AM Page 21

SPECS
OVERALL: 11 inches
BLADE: 6.75 inches
BLADE THICKNESS: 0.15 inch
STEEL: 420HC with black traction coating
HANDLE: Injection-molded nylon in
Reaper Black Camo or Viper Snakeskin
WEIGHT: 8.5 ounces
MSRP: $90
MADE IN THE USA

The Buck Reaper is advertised


as a must for serious
adventurers and rescue
teams, and designed for
demanding conditions.
(PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)

Its a stout blade with fine


geometry, should cut easily
and its coating looks good.

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KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:50 AM Page 22

According to Buck Knives Operations General Manager Bill Keys, their Buck Reaper is a tactical survival knife based on a 100-year-old design,
and is referred to as a bush knife. Its advertised as a must for serious adventurers and rescue teams, and designed for demanding conditions.
The Reaper is shown here with an M1 Garand, 30-06 rifle.

We took a close look at the Buck Reaper


to see if it would live up to the advertising
Its very light, py surface plus a palm swell in its middle,
designed for the users hand.
from two anglesthat of custom knifemak- strong, bloody sharp, Buck Knives indicates that there are two
er Paul Granger, and actual in-the-field and could be carried handle design choices for the Reaper
use by Mark Allen Prince. We look at it overtly or covertly Reaper Black Camo or a Viper Snakeskin
from a makers standpoint first.
in a multitude of pattern. Granger likes the handles wrap
design, saying its pure aesthetics and a
A KNIFEMAKERS REVIEW OF THE fashions. thing of beauty.
REAPER
HANDLE IS A HIGHPOINT
According to Granger, the handle is a
highpoint of this knife. It has a nice grip-

420 HIGH CARBON STEEL


BREAKDOWN
Chromium (Cr) 13.60
Manganese (Mn) 0.50
Silicon (Si) 0.75
Sulfur (S) 0.03

Carbon increases hardness and resistance to


wear, improving edge retention.
Chromium increases hardness, strength,
toughness and resistance to corrosion and
wear. A content of 12-14 percent of chromium
classifies cutlery steel as stainless.
Manganese increases hardenability, strength
and wear resistance by removing oxygen
from molten steel.
Silicon also increases strength and removes
oxygen from molten steel.
Sulfur increases machinability. The blade is marketed as a kukri type with jimping fore and aft of the thumb stop, with a
choil forward of the finger stop. (PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)

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KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:50 AM Page 23

THE KNIFEMAKER AND THE


WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR
Custom knifemaker Paul Granger
(www.palehorsefighters.blogspot.com)
specializes in making fixed-blade knives of his own
unique design as well as in traditional patterns.
Hes created a line of lightweight, non-metallic,
non-ceramic knives currently in use by the
American and Canadian Military, multiple police Paul Granger
departments, and both the FBI and the CIA.
Mark Allen Prince is a professor of Law
Enforcement Technology/Special Operations at
Central Ohio Technical College, a former USDOE
SRT operator, and spent 20 years in local law
enforcement special operations and training. He
has developed and teaches courses in homeland
security and special operations for military, state
and local special operations personnel and
organizations, and is an instructor trainer certified Mark Allen Prince
by the late Colonel Rex Applegate.

The Reapers handle is comfortable in any grip handling position.


The butt end of it flares outwarda well-grounded, logical feature
that guards against having the knife fly out of the users hand when
swinging it. The butt tang extends beyond the handle material a lit-
tle bit; helping to guard against damage to the handle material
should the butt be used to break glass or other strikes. The handle
is made of injection-molded nylon. The guard is adequate.
Granger would have had the lanyard holes at the butt of the
Many martial skills people would enjoy the benefits of the Reapers
handle made with chamfer so that the rough edges of the holes design. It shines in this area as its very light, strong, bloody sharp, and
would not wear on a lanyard cord. could be carried overtly or covertly in a multitude of fashions.

FASTER, SMOOTHER, SAFER

FX350
Frame-Lock
New for 2013

Titanium-Nitride
coating on blade
and frame

EXCLUSIVELY FROM:

8033 NE Holman
Portland, OR 97218
Single-sided handle
1-800-426-5858
design has exposed 503-234-4545
FRAME-LOCK frame on reverse Fax 503-234-4422
www.COASTportland.com
info@COASTportland.com

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KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:50 AM Page 24

BLADE IS SHARP well. The limited swedge, or false edge on


OUT OF THE BOX top of the blade at its point, is advanta-
This blade is a drop point, with a hollow geous for good penetration. Some knife
grind. It was sharp out of the box. owners sharpen such swedges.
Jimping (perpendicular grooves on the Granger measured the blade at 5/32-
tang) where the handle meets the guard inch thick and tested its hardness on the
area of the knife and on the spine of the Rockwell C Scale as 57HRC. Its a stout
blade just adjacent to the guard area work blade with fine geometry, should cut easily
The Reaper skull is hiding in the handle
design. (PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)

THE REAPER
IN THE FIELD
T he Buck Reaper arrived at the castle of Mark Allen Prince for its field
test on a cold winter day at the end of December. Heres his
evaluation.
OILED GRIP STILL HAS TRACTION
Next I coated the handle with cooking oil and stabbed the stump
underhand for 50 reps. I was very impressed with the traction the nylon
handles provided! My non-gloved hand did not move much at all, and
WINTER TEST FOR OUTDOOR SURVIVAL there was no pain involved. Next, I inverted the grip in my hand and with
I tested and worked with the Reaper throughout the month of January my thumb over the pommel, I stabbed overhand 50 reps. It was a delight
and into February. to perform this task.
The Reaper is marketed by Buck Knives as a bush knife. As you know,
the term bush these days normally refers to outdoor survival. So as I TOUGH ENOUGH TO PRY?
normally do, I tailored the field evaluation to these types of tasks for the When I approached the wooden pallet, I was a bit concerned. The
Reaper. Reaper does not have a thick or pry-bar style blade, nor is the knife
When I began working with the knife, two things stuck out in my mind: marketed as a tactical blade per se. However, as a woodsman, Im
1) this knife is light in weight, and 2) the quality of the sheath does not aware of instances in which prying is a critical task. So with a bit of
match the mission of the blade. anticipation, I thrust the blade between the two oak boards. I had to
The overall length of the knife is 11 inches, with 6.75 inches being the hammer the blade in between the boards with my fist. Once in, I began to
blade. Blade thickness is 0.15 inches. The blade is marketed as a kukri gently pry. I noticed the blade began to flex or bend. I then shoved the
type with jimping fore and aft the thumb stop, with a choil forward of blade in farther and began prying once more. The blade was inserted
the finger stop. The blade is of full-tang design with a false edge on the deeper into the boards, which caused more of it to flex. Eventually the
backside of the tip. Its made of 420 HC blade steel. The knife is coated board did come free on one side, then the other. Upon close inspection of
with a black traction coating. Two glass-reinforced nylon slabs are the Reapers blade, I found no permanent bend or chipping of the edge.
screwed onto the knife as a handle. An ominous-looking skull serves as a Mission accomplished.
reminder of the knifes namesake on the right side handle. The knife
came razor sharp. PENETRATING STEEL
I then went to the old Jeep truck bed for the penetration test. I
LAIN SHEATH thought that if anything could break the tip off the blade, this would be
The sheath is of a basic and rudimentary design which is devoid of any this activity. I selected a virgin spot on the old metal, inverted the knife in
of the desired necessities of todays knife purchaser. No hook and loop my hand for an ice pick plunge, measured the stroke several times, and
retention devices, no polymer, no MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load- then released the stabbing technique with a controlled but forceful
carrying Equipment) anything, no drain holes, no multipoint lashing strike.
slots, no universal-ness, and not even a hole at the bottom of the sheath The knife actually bounced off the truck bed. I inspected the bed and
to affix your 550 cord to tie it to your leg. then the knife. The tip barely penetrated the bed, and was not chipped.
The sheath is black nylon with a basic belt loop, and includes a plastic So I did this again. Again, there was a moderate penetration wound from
insert. The knife is secured in the sheath via one silver metal snap, and the tip of the Reapers blade and yet no breakage of the tip. I counted
has a tendency to rattle in the sheath. The sheath can only be worn on that as a victory for the Reapers resiliency. The Reaper was easy to re-
the right side. sharpen after evaluation tasks with kitchen steel.

CHOPS THROUGH A 5-INCH LOG WORKS IN THE KITCHEN TOO


While in the bush, the Reaper did a fantastic job at chopping. In the kitchen, the Reaper was utilized in slicing steaks, and blocks of
Although a bit on the light side for such tasks, I was impressed with its cheese and onions. The design of the Reaper with the jimping and choil
ability to chop through a maple log about 5 inches in diameter. It took a matched with the deep-belly design of the blade and the swell of the
while, but did in fact complete the task. It batoned wood for the fire with handles with their excellent texture, allows the Reaper to operate deftly
ease and deftly performed the task of carving small gorge hooks from in the hand of one who wants to push it to its limits in fine cutting and
both pine and maple branches for survival fishing gear. carving tasks.
Regarding its anti-personnel capabilities, I think the Reaper serves as
ABUSED WITH A HAMMER an excellent slasher/cutter with a suitable ability for penetration. If one
I abused the Reaper with the standard steel claw hammer test where I would do a little work on its false edge, this attribute could magnify
struck the blade on the left, right, spine and pommel sides 100 times significantly. I think many martial skills people would enjoy the benefits
each. The black traction coating was quite resilient, but did give in a bit of the Reapers design. It shines in this area as its very light, strong,
on the spine side. Stabbing and chopping the ol poplar stump 100 reps bloody sharp, and could be carried overtly or covertly in a multitude of
each yielded great results with a lot of wood flying through the air. fashions.

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KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:54 AM Page 25

Paul Granger measured the blade at 5/32-


inch in thickness and tested its hardness on
the Rockwell C Scale as 57HRC.

and its coating looks good. It should take a


lot of sharpening before it gets thick.

420 HC BLADE
The blade measures 6 3/4 inches, is
made of 420HC steel bearing a non-reflec-
tive coating. 420HC is a good stainless
steel that is made of the following steel
components: chromium, manganese, sili-
con and sulfur.
Carbon increases hardness and resist-
ance to wear, improving edge retention.
Chromium increases hardness, strength,
toughness, and resistance to corrosion
and wear. A content of 12 to 14 percent of
chromium classifies cutlery steel as stain-
less. Manganese increases hardenability,
strength and wear resistance by removing
oxygen from molten steel. Silicon also in-
creases strength and removes oxygen
from molten steel. Sulfur increases
machinability.

FINGER GROOVE ON
THE SMALL SIDE
Granger found one unfortunate weak-
ness with the design of the blade area, in
the finger groove part of the guard that

THINGS LOVED ABOUT


THE BUCK REAPER
Light in weight
Nylon handles with traction
Resilient blade coating
Razor sharp out of the box
Fantastic at chopping
Strong tip

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 2 5


KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:51 AM Page 26

runs into the cutting edge of the blade.


When he grabbed the knife tightly with
his trigger finger forward of the guard, his
finger was not clear of the blades edge.
For him, the finger cutout was too small,
but might not be for a user with smaller
hands or thinner fingers. He would enlarge
the cutout to 1 inch.
As it is, if the knifes user choked up or
used this finger cutout when doing certain
types of cutting, an average-sized hand
would risk a cut on the finger. This would
be especially true if the user was wearing
gloves because the thickness of the glove
between the finger and the guard would
move the finger even closer toward the
cutting edge. Granger nicked his finger
demonstrating this. Other than this feature,
the knifes a good one.

SHEATH IS NOT IMPRESSIVE


While Buck Knives certainly has pro-
duced some fine sheaths in their history,
this nylon sheath is adequate but not im-
The sheath is black nylon with a basic belt loop, and includes a plastic insert. The knife is pressive. It has a plastic liner thats sturdy,
secured in the sheath via one silver metal snap, and has a tendency to rattle in the sheath. The with a minor attaching flaw that Buck
sheath can only be worn on the right side.
Knives is evaluating. Granger felt the setup






Just ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!


$
8 99
2 6 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com
KI_1308_20-27-REAPER 6/3/13 2:51 AM Page 27

The sheath has a plastic liner thats sturdy,


with a minor attaching flaw that Buck Knives
is evaluating

could be better. Theres also a drain hole


in the liner but not in the sheath.

NOT A GRIM PURCHASE


All in all, I think the folks at Buck Knives
have made an excellent blade for those
going into the bush. And, with the knife
retailing at around $100, it makes the The Reaper did a fantastic job at chopping. Although a bit on the light side for such tasks,
Reaper not such a grim purchase! KI Prince was impressed with its ability to chop through a maple log about 5 inches in diameter.

Dont worry. This wont sting a bit.


The Skorpion with Featherlite Steel Handle
- weighs little more than Titanium.

SHOP ONLINE AT
www.agrussell.com

A. G. Russell Skorpion
AGFR-C4S-L Skorpion $75.00
For a free catalog, call 479-878-1644, Dept #Y0813 AGFR-C3S-M small Skorpion $65.00
th
2900 S. 26 St. - Rogers, AR 72758 To order, call 1-800-255-9034.

Copyright 2013 A.G. Russell Knives

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 2 7


KI_1308_28-33-SPECIAL 6/3/13 3:10 AM Page 28

BY J. BRUCE VOYLES

T
here are camping knivesand then
there are camp knivesand there is
a difference. You get two for one in
this article. We delve into both.

CAM PING KNIVES


The camping knives you should want to
own de-
pend upon on the type of camping you do.
The knife
in your pocket or on your belt when you
camp is
your camping knifealthough that may not
be the
ideal knife for your camping trip. Anticipate
what
your camping tasks will be, hunt for the
perfect
knife to perform those tasks, and add that
knife to
your camping kit.
We were attending a NASCAR race in Bristo
l, Ten-
nessee, when the awning brace on our motor
home
broke, necessitating repair with tie-wraps
and care-
fully trimming the excess to fit in a tight space
, as
well as working with some bolts and screw
s. It was
a rental and we were woefully undertoole
d. Luckily,
Daniel Winkler came up with a large Leath
erman

BUYERS GUIDE TO CAMPING KNIVES AND CAMP KNIVES

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KI_1308_28-33-SPECIAL 6/3/13 3:11 AM Page 29

Coming home from a week on


a river bank and trying to
explain to your wife why you
lost her favorite paring knife is
not anything the boldest
outdoorsman wants to face.

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KI_1308_28-33-SPECIAL 6/3/13 3:11 AM Page 30

Super Tool that was indispensable in the


repair. The fact that the late knife dealer
Bob Neal was camping with us and added
his expertise as a Delta Airline mechanic to
handle the repair didnt hurt.
Since that trip both my camping ruck-
sack and everyday carry bag both have
Leatherman tools therein, and both are
used regularly.

SAWING OFF THE


TOOTHBRUSH HANDLE
On the other hand, a backpacker is not
They dont call them multi-tools for
likely to need the largest multi-tool that a
nothing. Its hard to use a Bowie knife
motorhome camper might require. For a to do this. (LEATHERMAN TOOLS PHOTO)
purist who cuts the handle down on their
toothbrush to save weight, every ounce of But even with the lightweight obsessed, Defending yourself against a bear with a
every item has to earn its place in the there are still other compromises and con- knife is never recommendedbut in a worst
backpack. That doesnt excuse my belief siderations. case scenario, I would rather have a big
that every camping situation could use a When backpacking into bear country knife than a small folder in that situation.
multi-tool. There are lightweight multi- where firearms might be prohibited, a While a multi-tool is a requirement, and
tools. Swiss Army knives in the small heavy camp Bowie might give reassurance a big camp knife an option, there are
blade configurations are exceptionally to the sounds of animals crashing through many more choices of cutlery that need to
light. the laurel when you stop for the night. be made. I break it down into three parts.

1 2 3 4
CHARGE ALX OKC BLACKBIRD CASE XX-CHANGER KERSHAW
154 CM clip-point knife blade Overall length: 10 inches Model: #0137 CAMP TRADER
420HC serrated sheepfoot blade Blade length: 5 inches Closed: 5 inches
Diamond-coated file Two handles with interchangeable
Blade thickness: 0.13 inches Handle: Rosewood
Wire cutters blades that include:
Steel: 154 CM Weight: 12 ounces
Screwdriver bits 6-inch cooks blade
Rockwell hardness: 58-60 HRC MSRP: $133.95
Pliers 6-inch fillet blade
Handle: Micarta Comment: Four blades come with
Saw 6-inch saw
Sheath: Nylon this knife: clip, drop-point, saw and
MSRP: $109.95 3.63-inch spatula
MSRP: $217.94 guthook. Any one fits in the frame 3.63-inch spoon
and then works as a conventional
LEATHERMAN TOOL 3-inch spoon
OKC lockback folder. Nylon cutting board
GROUP, INC. Ontario Knife Co.
Black nylon storage case
12106 NE Ainsworth Circle P.O. Box 145 W.R. CASE & SONS Steel: 420J2 stainless
Portland, OR 97220-9001 Franklinville, NY 14737 P.O. Box 4000
800-847-8665 Owens Way Weight: 48.9 ounces
800-222-5233
www.leatherman.com Bradford, PA 16701 MSRP: $119.95
www.ontarioknife.com
814-368-4123 See Kershaw contact info on pg. 32
www.wrcase.com

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THREE BIG CATEGORIES will suffice for these needs, but for a vari-
1. CAMP SETUP ety of uses you might anticipate, its hard BATONING
Batoning is beating a knife blade on the back
Stringing up a tarp, tying down a tent to beat a Swiss Army knifewith many
with a blunt object while holding to the
peg, or wrapping a wood tripod over a blades and tools that are comfortable to handle. This method is ideal for splitting
campfire means there always seems to be carry aroundor back to the required mul- wood for kindling or cuts on small saplings,
a rope or paracord that needs to be cut. At ti-tool with a workable knife blade. The as shown here. (ABE ELIAS PHOTO)
other times, youll need a branch whittled emphasis here is on a workable knife
into a tent peg to replace the original one blade. On some multi-tools, the knife blade
left at home. Any good-cutting pocketknife borders on being a mere decoration.

CAMP KNIVES 2. FOOD PREPARATION


The camp knife is not necessarily a knife People who do much cooking know that
designed for camping in modern timesits
a knife is the primary tool in the kitchen.
more a description of a style of knife. Granted
that the knife could be useful around a camp. From salad to steak, a workable household
The camp knife has a general description knife is required. While it may seem out-
of being 10 to 15 inches overall, with a heavy- doorsy to tackle a radish with your drop-
duty blade, and the defining criteria in my point skinner, keep in mind that household but even that long, slender blade will not
estimation is if you can chop with it. If you
knives are designed with one thing in beat a 10-inch chefs knife when dicing an
cant chop with it, it cant be a camp knife.
This also means the heavy blade will mind, food preparation. A drop-point onion.
stand up to batoning, and is not going to hunter is not. The right knife for the right Our recommendation for this category is
work well for slicing tomatoes for the evening job is something every knife enthusiast twofold. Leave your knives in the kitchen
supper. If you have a good camp knife, it can should understand. alone. Knives do get lost on camping trips,
also do hatchet work. However, a hatchet
A good outdoor alternative (and a ne- and coming home from a week on a river
cannot do knife work!
cessity in a fishing camp) is a fillet knife, bank and trying to explain to your wife

5 6 7 8
SPYDERCO BUCK TRAVEL VICTORINOX A.G. RUSSELL
BUSHCRAFT MATE SPREADER SWISSCHAMP FIELD KNIFE 2
Overall: 8 3/4 inches Blade: 4 7/8 inches Closed: 3 1/2 inches Overall: 12 inches
Blade: 4 inches Steel: 410 HC Handles: Red polished Cellidor Blade: 7 1/8 inches
Steel: O1 Sheath: Injection molded Width: 1 inch Thickness: 1/4 inch
Handle: 4 3/4-inch black G10 Extras: multi-function fork that also Weight: 7 ounces Steel: AUS-10
MSRP: $299.99 serves as bottle opener, can opener, MSRP: $99 Handle: Black Micarta
Comment: The universal sheath has flathead screwdriver Comment: 33 tools are contained Weight: 13.7 ounces
multiple eyelets for lashing or you MSRP: $75 within this single knife MSRP: $175
can use the belt loop for belt carry.
BUCK KNIVES VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY, A.G. RUSSELL KNIVES, INC.
SPYDERCO 660 S. Lochsa Street INC. 2900 S. 26th St.
820 Spyderco Way Post Falls, ID 83854-5200 7 Victoria Drive Rogers, AR 72758-8571
Golden, CO 80403 800-326-2825 P.O. Box 1212 800-255-9034
800-525-7770 www.buckknives.com Monroe CT 06468-1212 www.agrussell.com
www.spyderco.com 800-442-2706
www.swissarmy.com

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 3 1


KI_1308_28-33-SPECIAL 6/3/13 3:12 AM Page 33

may be, but whenever we think of a spe- ner because theyre trying to peel a potato
cific knife and compare it with our camp- with a -inch thick folder, you star will
CAMP VS. CAMPING
CAMPING KNIFE
ing needs, we start making compromises rise among your companions as the practi- Any knife you have with you when youre
to make it fit in a category for which it is cal man with the right tools. camping
not the perfect knife. And in that rare instance when you may A knife that you would find useful in your
personal camping experience
My remedy? Take a specialized knife for be the butt of jokes because of the large
every anticipated purpose. Then, when number of knives you bring, remember the CAMP KNIFE
your hunting buddies lose their knife, or standard answer: Im a knife guy. Its 10-15 inches
forget to bring it along, or the cook is what I do. Thick heavy blade
Suitable for chopping
blowing it when its their turn to cook din- How can they argue with that? KI

13 14
1
GERBER/BEAR 13 ESEE JUNGLAS
GRYLLS PARANG Overall: 16 1/2 inches
Overall: 19.5 inches Blade: 10 inches
14
Blade: 13.5 inches Steel: 1095 powder coated
Weight: 19.4 ounces Handle: Canvas Micarta
MSRP: $35 Weight: 22.5 ounces
MSRP: $201
GERBER GEAR Comment: Hammer pommel,
14200 SW 72nd Ave.
Kydex sheath is optional
Portland, OR 97224
800-950-6161
ESEE KNIVES
TransEquatorial Solutions, Inc.
www.gerbergear.com
P.O. Box 99
Gallant, AL 35972
865-933-8436
www.eseeknives.com

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 3 3


KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:24 AM Page 34

THE ARTIST AS KNIFEMAKER


REVEALED IN SHARPENED STEEL

BY J. BRUCE VOYLES
PHOTOS BY SHARP BY COOP

A
n art knife is the rare pinnacle of
cutlery achievement. The ability
to produce cutlery art requires a
level of skill above those even known as
top knifemakers. Producing top quality
knives is not enough. The cutlery artist
is more than the meticulous craftsman
who can grind a clean line, or the maker
of the perfect combat knife or those
whose design works well in fitting the
hand and is efficient for skinning a deer.

TOP: Gray Taylor of Kingsport, Tennessee, is a maker


you will find at the Art Knife Invitational. This folder
is engraved by Mitch Moschetti of Mills River, North
Carolina. RIGHT PAGE: Barry Davis of Castleton, New
York, takes the embellishment approach to art,
producing his own forged Damascus, but calling on
Don Stephan to carve the gold-lip pearl handles.

3 4 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:24 AM Page 35

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 3 5


KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:24 AM Page 36

ART IS MORE
To be a good art knife maker one is by nature a
top craftsmanbut on the other side there are a
lot of top craftsmen who will never be a good art
knife maker. Art is more than fit and function.
What makes an art knife? Art is in the eye of
the beholder, and I feel the only real criterion
thats valid is you know it when you see it. Art is
that personal. Art appeals to the emotionsand
thus an art knife must call out to you and provoke
those emotions.
The elite organization for the art knife maker is
to be named among the 25 members invited to
the Art Knife Invitational, where the best of the
best meet every other year in San Diego, Califor-
nia. There are others outside that select few too,
but among the thousands of knifemakers in the
world only a handful produce true art knives.

To be a good art knife maker


one is by nature a top
craftsmanbut on the other
side there are a lot of top
craftsmen who will never be
a good art knife maker.

Texan Joe Kious provided a cutlery


canvas for the elaborate engraving of
Ron Skaggs along a Civil War theme.

3 6 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:24 AM Page 37

Michael Walkers
knives are among the
most desired in the
worldand
commonly bring in
five figures. He calls
this lock a crowbar
lock. His success is
well deserved. Walker
invented the liner lock
used by nearly every
manufacturer in the
worldand as it was
not patented hes
received no royalties
or little credit for that
pivotal innovation.
Hes an Art Knife
Invitational maker.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 3 7


KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:25 AM Page 38

TWO DIRECTIONS
The art knife goes in two directions. One genre
is led by makers like John Jensen, who has formal
art training and has succeeded in producing sev-
eral knife showings at art galleries and museums.
These knives are not gauged by only their em-
bellishments, but their overall form from a sculp-
ture point of view.

EMBELLISHMENT
The second direction for some art knife makers
is for those who consider an art knife one covered
in scrimshaw, engraving and carving, either of
the handle material or the steel itself. A subcate-
gory includes the hand-forging pioneers who cre-
ate designs in the steel itself by producing mosaic
Damascus. At the top of this group are the talent-
ed few who can do all the knifes embellishments
themselves and can proudly proclaim the magic
words, sole authorship.

THE ART KNIFE INVITATIONAL


The AKI was the brainchild of long-time collector
Phil Lobred, who in concert with some top makers
patterned an invitational knife show limited to a
handful of makers, who were limited to the number
of knives they could offer. Mix in an elegant location
overlooking the marina in San Diego, and producing
the premier cocktail party in the cutlery industry, and
the result is an event featuring the top makers, the
top knives, and the top buyers.
As a collector, Lobreds goal was to provide
incentive to further the art of top-end handmade
knife collectingand through the AKI he achieved
that goal. His support of the genre is unequalled.
Today the Art Knife Invitational is limited to 25
makers. If a maker drops out, the replacement is
selected by the other 24 members. Its held every
two years at the Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, and
this year it will be October 26. For information on
attending contact Art Knife Invitational, 2803
Emerson St., San Diego, CA 92106. Email is
artknifeinvitational@gmail.com.

3 8 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:25 AM Page 39

Steve Hoel of Pine, Arizona, is a


long-time Art Knife Invitational
maker whose unique style is
impressive and always a new twist.

Dellana is one of the few


Art Knife Invitational
makers, and this gold and
jeweled folder shows why.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 3 9


KI_1308_40 5/31/13 5:56 AM Page 40

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KI_1308_34-41-ART 6/3/13 3:25 AM Page 41

As a knife collector rather than an


art collector, all art knives have an ap- A drop point and enough
peal to me. And with the prices com- belly for skinning makes the
mensurate with the talent and time it Nyala useful in a multitude of
takes to produce them, many of us may applications. The integral handle and
never own a great art knifebut its blade is sturdy and practical.
still possible to enjoy these art knives
without fronting the cash. We can en-
joy an art knifes beauty, form and the
talent of the maker who produced it via
photos like the ones you see here. Look
at the photos and do some art appreci-
ation of your own. KI

CONTACT:
When makers get to this talent level their
knives are available via their websites
and those websites are great for seeing
more of their work. Some makers shown in
this article do not have their own websites,
although many of their knives may be seen
on the websites of aftermarket dealers.

These makers do have websites:


Elizabeth Loerchner-www.ecloerchner.com
Marcello Garau-www.knifecreator.com Todd Begg of Petaluma,
Dellana-www.dellanadesigns.com California, takes the
Ron Best-www.ronbestknives.com folder far beyond
function with this hand-
Gray Taylor-www.cgraytaylor.com
shaped pierced titanium
handled folder.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 4 1


KI_1308_42 5/31/13 2:24 AM Page 42

U.S.A. MADE PROD


Making Pattern 22 Making Pattern 23 Making Pattern 32

Our J2308 440C satin finish blade shown above is completed


Illustrated above G2231 Orange G10 Basket Weave texture with the K233 Brass Bolster and 1/4" Brass B660 Corby Rivets Pictured above is our J3248 154CM
preshaped handles, J2208 440C satin finished blade, K226 Fasteners. Fitted with our D2325 Rosewood Dymondwood Brass Bolster and 1/8" Brass Pins.
Stainless Steel Bolster and A461 1/4" Stainless Steel T6 Torx preshaped handle, sanded and buffed to a high finish. Ink Walnut Dymondwood preshaped
Fasteners. to a high finish.
Pattern 22 Blades Pattern 23 Blades
Pattern 32 Blades

Pattern 23 blades are cryogenically processed during heat


Pattern 22, our most popular hunter blade, is cryogenically
treated and razor sharp. The blade is flat ground for strength. treating and flat ground for optimal edge holding. Overall length
Overall length 8 3/8", Blade Length 3 1/2", Blade Width 1 3/32", 9 9/16", Blade Length 4 5/8", Blade Width 1", Blade Thickness
5/32". Bolster holes 1/8", Handle Holes 1/4", Thong Hole 1/4". Pattern 32 blades are cryogenical
Blade Thickness 5/32". Bolster holes 1/8", Handle Holes 1/4",
Available in 440C, D2 and offered in peened or satin finish. treating for optimal edge holding
Thong Hole 1/4". Available in 440C, D2 and offered in peened
or satin finish. Overall length 7 5/8", Blade Length
CAT.# STEEL FINISH TEMPER HRC PRICE
Blade Thickness 1/8". Bolster hole
CAT.# STEEL FINISH TEMPER HRC PRICE J2308 440C Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95
Thong Hole 1/4". Available in D2, 1
J2208 440C Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95 J2328 D2 Satin Cryo 59-61 29.95
peened or satin finish..
J2228 D2 Satin Cryo 59-61 29.95
Torx Fasteners Handles
Bolsters CAT.# STEEL FINISH TE
J3228 D2 Satin C
J3248 154CM Satin C
J3208 440C Satin C
Orange G10 - Honeycomb J3289 Damascus Etched C
Olive Drab G10 - Basket Weave J3298 1095 Satin C
J329K 1095 Black C
Bolsters are offered in 260 Torx Screw assembly includes J329G 1095 Green C
brass and 410 stainless, two 1/4" stepped brass J329T 1095 Tan C
both with matching pins. In bushings and four T6 torx
two thickness 3/16" for G10 screws. Use with G10 and
contoured handles and 1/4" Micarta textured handles. Blue G10 - Honeycomb Red G10 - Honeycomb
Bolsters
for Dymondwood handles. CAT.# TYPE ALLOY PRICE Contoured & Textured Handles for Pattern 22 and Pattern
Listed below. B451 Torx Brass 3.95 23. Dymondwood handles are smooth with no texture. The
CAT.# THICK ALLOY PRICE A461 Torx Stainless 4.95 G10 handles are available in Basket Weave and Honeycomb
textures. Cut slightly oversize for proper fitting to blade and
K211 3/16" Brass 6.95 Corby Fasteners bolster.
K216 3/16" Stainless 6.95
K213 1/4" Brass 6.95 CAT.# COLOR MATERIAL TEXTURE PRICE P
K214 1/4" Stainless 6.95 D2125 Rosewood Dymondwood None 16.95
D2149 Black Ink Cocobolo Dymondwood None 16.95
Thong Tubing Corby assembly includes two G2111 Black G10 Basket Weave 21.95 C
Optional thong hole tubing is G2131 Orange G10 Basket Weave 21.95
1/4" brass bushings and two Bolsters are oversize, for B
listed below. Use TM64 drill to G2151 Olive Drab G10 Basket Weave 21.95
1/4" corby rivets. Use with proper fitting and include two A
drill handles. G2123 Red G10 Honeycomb 21.95
Dymondwood handles for matching pins. Customers
CAT.# DIA. ALLOY PRICE flush surface. G2133 Orange G10 Honeycomb 21.95
G2143 Blue G10 Honeycomb 21.95 generally fit bolsters and
B210 1/4" Brass .75 CAT.# TYPE ALLOY PRICE polish front edges before
A210 1/4" Stainless .99 O
peening it to the blade.
TM64 .252" HSS Drill 3.25
B660 Corby Brass
A624 Corby Stainless
3.49
3.49
Making Pattern 45 CAT.# THICK ALLOY PRICE
l
d
Making Pattern 44 K323 3/16" Brass 6.95
C
K324 3/16" Stainless 6.95
B
A
T
The photo above shows our completed J4508 440C satin finish
The photo above shows our J4408 440C satin finish blade blade. Braided with PC127 Desert Camo and PC102 Black Handles
completed with PC125 Imperial Red Paracord. Paracord.
Pattern 45 Blades
O
Pattern 44 Blades

Black Ink Walnut Dymondwood


Pattern 44 flat ground blades. Overall length 6 1/2", Blade
Pattern 45 blades. Overall length 7 3/16", Blade Length 3 1/4", Contoured & Textured Handles for
Length 2 1/2", Blade Width 1 1/8", Blade Thickness 1/8".
Blade Width 1 1/16", Blade Thickness 1/8". Available in D2, handles are smooth with no textu
Available in D2, 440C and offered in peened, satin or Teflon
440C and offered in peened, satin or coated finish. available in Basket Weave texture.
coated finish.
CAT.# STEEL FINISH TEMPER HRC PRICE CAT.# STEEL FINISH TEMPER HRC PRICE CAT.# COLOR MATERIA
J4408 440C Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95 J4508 440C Satin Cryo 59-61 29.95 D3251 Black Ink Walnut Dymondwo
J4428 D2 Satin Cryo 59-61 29.95 J4528 D2 Satin Cryo 59-61 39.95 D3253 Black Ink Rosewood Dymondwo
J4498 1095 Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95 J4598 1095 Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95 G3211 Black G1
J449K 1095 Black Cryo 57-58 29.95 J459K 1095 Black Cryo 57-58 29.95 G3221 Red G1
J449G 1095 Green Cryo 57-58 29.95 J459G 1095 Green Cryo 57-58 29.95 G3231 Orange G1
J449T 1095 Tan Cryo 57-58 29.95 J459T 1095 Tan Cryo 57-58 29.95 G3251 Olive Drab G1
KI_1308_43 5/31/13 2:24 AM Page 43

ODUCTS BY JANTZ
Making Pattern 31

1
6
Our Completed J3148 154CM satin finish blade with K316

N
8 154CM satin finish blade with K323 Stainless Bolster and A461 1/4" Stainless Torx Screw Fasteners.
B ss Pins. Handled with D3251 Black The handle is M3131 Red Linen Micarta with Basket Weave
eshaped handle, sanded and buffed texture, sanded and buffed to a high finish.

ER
Pattern 31 Blades

TT
Pattern 31 flat ground blades are cryogenically processed during

PA
c yogenically processed during heat heat treating for optimal edge holding capability. Overall length
g holding capability. Flat Ground. 7 5/8", Blade Length 3", Blade Width 1 1/8", Blade Thickness
e Length 3 1/8", Blade Width 1", 5/32". Bolster holes 1/8", Handle Holes 1/4", Thong Hole 1/4".
ster holes 1/8", Handle Holes 1/8", Available in D2, 154CM and offered in peened or satin finish.
in D2, 154CM, 440C and offered in
CAT.# STEEL FINISH TEMPER HRC PRICE
J3128 D2 Satin Cryo 59-61 29.95
TEMPER HRC PRICE J3148 154CM Satin Cryo 58-59 34.95
t Cryo 59-61 29.95 J3189 Damascus Etched Cryo 58-60 69.95 Pattern 61
Cryo 58-59 34.95 J3198 1095 Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95 flat ground
Cryo 57-58 29.95 J319K 1095 Black Cryo 57-58 29.95 blades are
Cryo 58-60 59.95 J319G 1095 Green Cryo 57-58 29.95 cryogenically
Cryo 57-58 29.95 J319T 1095 Tan Cryo 57-58 29.95 processed
Cryo 57-58 29.95
Cryo 57-58 29.95 Bolsters Torx Fasteners during heat
treating for
Cryo 57-58 29.95
optimal edge
holding capability.
Fasteners Overall
7 3/4,
length
Blade
Length 3 1/4,
Bolsters are offered in 260 Torx Screw assembly includes Blade Width
brass and 410 stainless, two 1/4" stepped brass 1 1/4, Blade
both with matching pins. In bushings and four T6 torx Thickness 9/64
two thickness 3/16" for G10 screws. Use with G10 and (.140). Bolster
Package of 6 handle pins contoured handles and 1/4" Micarta textured handles. holes 3/32, Handle
available in brass and for Dymondwood handles.
CAT.# TYPE ALLOY PRICE Holes 3/32 and
stainless steel. Listed below.
B451 Torx Brass 3.95 3/16, Thong Hole
CAT.# THICK ALLOY PRICE 1/4. Available in D2,
CAT.# SIZE ALLOY PRICE A461 Torx Stainless 4.95
K311 3/16" Brass 6.95 440C and Damascus
for
wo
B826 1/8 Brass
A846 1/8 Stainless
1.99
1.99
K316 3/16" Stainless 6.95 Corby Fasteners steels. Offered in
K313 1/4" Brass 6.95 peened or satin finish.
ers K314 1/4" Stainless 6.95 Choose bolsters, fasteners,
nd Thong Tubing
ore
Optional thong hole tubing is
Thong Tubing handle material and more
from our 114 page full color
listed below. Use TM64 drill to Optional thong hole tubing is Corby assembly includes two online catalog.
CE drill handles for tubing. listed below. Use TM64 drill to 1/4" brass bushings and two
drill handles. 1/4" corby rivets. Use with
95
CAT.# DIA. ALLOY PRICE Dymondwood handles for
6 95 CAT.# DIA. ALLOY PRICE
B320 1/4" Brass .75 flush surface.
B310 1/4" Brass .75 CAT.# TYPE ALLOY PRICE
A320 1/4" Stainless .99
A310 1/4" Stainless .99
TM64 .252" HSS Drill 3.25 B660 Corby Brass 3.49
TM64 .252" HSS Drill 3.25 CAT.# STEEL FINISH TEMPER HRC PRICE
A624 Corby Stainless 3.49
J6128 D2 Satin Cryo 59-61 29.95
Handles J6108 440C Satin Cryo 57-58 29.95
Orange G10 - Basket Weave J6189 Damascus Etched Cryo 58-60 79.95
Black G10- Basket Weave

DOWNLOAD OUR
ONLINE CATALOG AT
wood Black Ink Cocobolo Dymondwood
dles for Pattern 32. Dymondwood Contoured & Textured Handles for Pattern 31. Dymondwood knifemaking.com
t no texture. The G10 handles are handles are smooth with no texture. The Micarta and G10
exture.
MATERIAL TEXTURE PRICE
handles are available in Basket Weave texture.
CAT.# COLOR MATERIAL TEXTURE PRICE 1-800-351-8900
Dymondwood
Dymondwood
G10
G10
G10
None
None
16.95
16.95
Basket Weave 21.95
Basket Weave 21.95
Basket Weave 21.95
D3149 Black Ink Cocobolo Dymondwood
M3131
G3111
G3131
G3151
Red Linen
Black
Orange
Olive Drab
Micarta
G10
G10
G10
None 16.95
Basket Weave 16.95
Basket Weave 21.95
Basket Weave 21.95
Basket Weave 21.95
JANTZ
G10 Basket Weave 21.95 G3161 Blue/Black G10 Basket Weave 21.95
KI_1308_44-51-WEISS 6/3/13 3:30 AM Page 44

QUICK FACTS
OVERALL: 10 1/2 inches
BLADE: 5 1/4 inches
BLADE THICKNESS: 3/16-inch
STEEL: 1075 High-carbon steel
COATING: Epoxy black powder coating
HANDLE: High-impact polypropylene
SHEATH: Handcrafted welted leather
WEIGHT: 0.80 lbs
MADE IN EL SALVADOR

4 4 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_44-51-WEISS 6/3/13 3:30 AM Page 45

According to Mark Prince: The


Rodan is a 5.25-inch fixed drop
point-style blade with an
approximate 5.50-inch handle
made of high-impact
polypropylene. The blade is 1075
high-carbon steel with a black
epoxy powder coating. Its sheath is
made of handcrafted welted
leather.
(PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)

C
ondor Tool & Knife claims
the Rodan is a work knife.
We put it through the
grinder to see. It survived hammer
blows and hardwood pallet de-
structionand more.

A WEAPONS INSTRUCTORS
FIELD TEST
BY MARK ALLEN PRINCE

The Condor Rodan arrived at the castle


on a cold December morn. It came in a
crisp and sharp-looking white cardboard
box titled Condor Tool & Knife from Orlan-

HOW HIGH DOES THE do, Florida. When I opened it, I was
pleased to find the simplistic survival
knife that Id been reading about. The Ro-
dan is a 5.25-inch fixed drop point-style
blade with an approximate 5.50-inch
handle made of high-impact polypropy-
lene. The blade is 1075 high-carbon steel
with black epoxy powder coating. Its
sheath is made of handcrafted welted
leather.
I worked with the knife for a couple of
weeks both indoors and out. As its mar-
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY
JIM WEISS AND MICKEY DAVIS FLY? keted as a survival knife, I took it to task
inside our standard field evaluation.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 4 5


KI_1308_46 6/4/13 12:20 AM Page 46

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KI-1308-Spotlight 6/3/13 8:20 AM Page 47

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KI_1308_44-51-WEISS 6/3/13 3:30 AM Page 48

100 HAMMER BLOWS


First I went to the ol poplar stump for
the steel hammer test. One hundred
whacks on the spine and each side of the
blade proved that the Condor was not brit-
tle. And I must point out that the powder
coating only left the spine from the strikes;
the sides were left relatively unharmed.
I was a bit concerned at first about
striking the pommel with the hammer, but
then I determined that if it was in fact a
survival knife, it should be able to with-
stand such an event. One hundred reps To gauge the Condors ability to demonstrate
finesse, Mark Prince grabbed a small piece of
from the steel hammer proved that I was hard maple where he meticulously carved a
correct! So excited about this fact was I gorge hook for fishing.
that I ran out and purchased a coconut
from the Dominican Republic (by way of CHOPS BUT LIGHTLY
Krogers), took it out into the frozen Ohio When looking over the Condor Rodan, Paul I took the Condor to the woods where I
winters night and shattered it with a Granger immediately liked the way the butt chopped through a maple tree that was
curves downward into a birds-head shape.
pommel strike from the Condor. about 4 inches in diameter. Although the
This design keeps it from flying out of the
Next I hacked, and then stabbed, the users hand as he or she is chopping with it. Condor is not tiny, the blade style and


stump 100 times each. Although the knife length coupled with its light weight made
did not arrive razor sharp, it was sharp this a bit of a chore. The blade worked
enough to chop a lot of the stump away. very well at chopping branches and ba-
The Condor Rodan toning wood for the fire.

BEEN THERE AND knife is simply built


DONE IT REVIEWERS for one purpose: THE PALLET TEST
At the wood pallet pile, I ham-
PAUL GRANGER work. mered the knifes tip in be-
Custom knifemaker Paul Granger tween two boards. I
(www.palehorsefighters.blogspot.com)
then grasped the
specializes in making
fixed-blade knives of knife firmly,
his own unique design OILED HAND SLIDES
as well as in traditional I coated the handle with canola oil for
patterns. Hes created the stab test, but quickly terminated this
a line of lightweight,
part of the evaluation as the handle was
non-metallic, non-
ceramic knives too round and too smooth to prevent my
currently in use by the hand from sliding dangerously close to the
American and edge of the blade.
Canadian Military, multiple police
departments, and both the FBI and the CIA.

MARK ALLEN PRINCE


Mark Allen Prince is a professor of Law
Enforcement Technology/Special Operations
at Central Ohio Technical
College, a former USDOE
SRT operator, and spent
20 years in local law
enforcement special
operations and training.
Hes developed and Mark Prince hacked,
teaches courses in then stabbed, the
homeland security and stump 100 times
special operations for each. Although the
military, state and local special operations knife did not arrive
personnel and organizations, and is an razor sharp, it was
instructor trainer certified by the late Colonel sharp enough to
Rex Applegate. chop a lot of the
stump away.

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KI_1308_44-51-WEISS 6/3/13 3:30 AM Page 49

According to Mark Prince: At the wood pallet pile, I hammered the knifes tip in between two boards. I then grasped the knife firmly, prying
upward and pressing downward with my knee to pry the board loose. The blade began to bend. I continued to pry and the blade bent more.
Eventually the board gave way and the knife came free.

prying upward and pressing downward PENETRATING A with a most convincing keeyie, I at-
with my knee to pry the board loose. The STEEL TRUCK BED? tempted to thrust the Condor through the
blade began to bend. I continued to pry Then I took the Condor to the steel truck bed. I failed, but did manage to penetrate
and the blade bent more. Eventually the bed for the penetration test. I grasped the the old 77 Jeep bed about inch without
board gave way and the knife came free. Condor with both hands overhead and breaking off the tip. As the knife is known

THE CONDOR FROM A KNIFEMAKER PERSPECTIVE


BY PAUL GRANGER

BIRDS HEAD HANDLE


When looking over the Condor Rodan, custom knifemaker Paul Granger immediately liked the
way the butt curves downward into a birds-head shape. This design keeps it from flying out of the
users hand as he or she is chopping with the knife.
The handle is made with a single guard thats squared a bit, with an indent in front of the guard.
The guard is somewhat ramped; Granger would prefer that it was curved since such a ramp might
make the users knife slide up if his hands were wet. There isnt a swell to the handle, but the sides
do taper a bit going into the guard, about where it would rest in the sheath.
The Condor Rodans handle is thick, which might contribute to hand fatigue if the knife was
used for a while. Though not completely round, it might be round enough so that the knife might
tend to turn in the users hand if hes doing heavy-duty cutting.
The handle is made of polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer.

SIMPLE SHEATH
The leather sheath is very simple and fairly well made. There isnt a liner, but there is a welt built
into it. A new knife often must be squeezed into a sheath, so it could take a while to break it in
enough to insert the knife with one hand.
Also, in looking into the sheath, Granger could see stitches for the belt loop, something he felt
wasnt a good idea because theyre at risk of being cut when first putting the knife into the sheath.
While nice looking, due to the stitch issue, Granger is reluctant to endorse it.

The sheath is a very basic piece of equipment


as well. Its designed to be worn on the right- BLADE IS 3/16-INCH
hand side of the knifes user. The blade was not razor sharp out of the box. Granger measured its thickness at 3/16-inch, but
it looked thicker. It has a black finish called Ultra Black. Its constructed with a drop point and a
convex grind, the type of edge that might be found on a hatchet.
CONDOR SAYS The Rodans made of German 1075 high-carbon steel, hardened to a 56-58 HRC. This is a good
The company notes that its Condor working hardness. A convex blade gives it a durable edge as well.
Rodan knife is simply built for one purpose: The grind is not very symmetrical, but this is more of an aesthetic thing. With the whole blade
work. This tough utility knife has a hidden made with a convex grind from its top to its bottom--or cutting edgeGranger felt it would take a
tang that goes all the way to the back of the skilled knife sharpener or a custom knifemaker to sharpen it, rather than a less skilled person.
handle, and will take anything you throw at Sharpening would be done by holding the blade to a slack belt. With carbon steel, Granger
it. With an indestructible handle made of suggests that the user rub the blade lightly with rust-proofing oil after every use.
polypropylene, the company feels this all- On the Condor Tool and Knife website the MSRP is $49.98. For about 50 Yankee dollars, this El
terrain knife will stand the test of time. Salvadoran bird should be flying high on the American market.

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KI_1308_44-51-WEISS 6/3/13 3:31 AM Page 50

The blade was not razor sharp out of the box. Granger measured its thickness at 3/16-inch, but it looked thicker. It has a black finish called Ultra
Black. Its constructed with a drop point and a convex grind, the type of edge that might be found on a hatchet. (PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)

Condor Tool & Knife states: This tough


utility knife has a hidden tang that goes
all the way to the back of the handle, and
will take anything you throw at it. With an
indestructible handle made of
polypropylene, the company feels this
all-terrain knife will stand the test of
time. (PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)

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KI_1308_44-51-WEISS 6/3/13 3:31 AM Page 51

ROOTS OF THE CONDOR


According to Condor Tool & Knife, the company traces its proud
history back to 1787, the year Gerb Weyesberg Company was founded in
Solingen, Germany. The quality of the swords, military knives,
agricultural tools and household cutlery they manufactured made
Solingen the cutlery capital of the world. Over the generations, the
worlds largest manufacturer of swords and knives found it necessary to
expand operations to other countries to better serve its customers.

EL SALVADOR
BECOMES THE NEW HOME
In 1964, the company formed IMACASA with a new plant in Santa
Ana, El Salvador, filling it with state-of-the-art German equipment, and
sending some of their local employees to Solingen for extensive training.
Today, the factory is turning out quality machetes, knives, axes, shovels
and other hand tools.
IMACASAs Central American operations were sold in the 1980s to
local investors. Today its one of the largest machete and shovel
manufacturers in the world, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a
week, to fill an increasing demand for its products.

SHOVELS AND MACHETES


TO KNIVES
In 2004, IMACASA developed a first-quality line of tools and knives
According to Mark Prince: As for its ability to resolve malevolent
for the North American and European outdoor markets. Condor Tool & human attacks successfully, the Condor is about as basic as a good,
Knife was born. no-frills survival knife can be, and a basic knife that will do just fine in
the hands of someone motivated and trained to protect themselves
with it. (PHOTO COURTESY OF P.J. RYAN)
to be high-carbon steel and will rust if not properly maintained,
I did not feel the need to submerge the knife in the 24-hour sea that while it was attached to my belt, at no time did I feel con-
salt bath test. cerned about losing it.
To gauge the Condors ability to demonstrate finesse, I grabbed Field evaluation results: muy bueno! KI
a small piece of hard maple where I meticulously carved a gorge
hook for fishing. Then I took the Condor to the kitchen where I
carved steak, mushrooms and onions for dinner. For finer tasks,
the Condor performs very well.
As for its ability to resolve malevolent human attacks success-
fully, the Condor is about as basic as a good, no-frills survival
knife can be, and a basic knife that will do just fine in the hands
of someone motivated and trained to protect themselves with it.

BASIC SHEATH
The sheath is a very basic piece of equipment as well. Its de-
signed to be worn on the right-hand side, and other than friction,
has no retention devices to report. However, its important to note

The grind is not very symmetrical, but this is more of an aesthetic


thing. With the whole blade made with a convex grind from its top to
its bottom--or cutting edgeGranger felt it would take a skilled knife
sharpener or a custom knifemaker to sharpen it, rather than a less
skilled person.

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KI_1308_52-57-KATZ 6/3/13 3:37 AM Page 52

The scale and liner are well relieved to allow


for easy access to depress the 1/16-inch liner
to unlock the blade. The action is nice and
smooth and the blade rolls open with just a
little thumb pressure.

SPECS
OPEN: 8 1/8 inches
BLADE: 3 inches
STEEL: XT80
HANDLES: Cherry, Kraton or Ivory Micarta
MSRP: $183 or less, depending on handle material

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KI_1308_52-57-KATZ 6/3/13 3:38 AM Page 53

OUR TEST SHOWS THE KATZ KAGEMUSHA


LIVES UP TO THE NAME

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY ABE ELIAS

T
he name Kagemusha is
Japanese for shadow war-
rior a bold name for any
knife. We tested the Shadow War-
rior to see if it was worthy of the
name. Heres our evaluation.

The Kagemusha strikes you as different,


having a subtle flow of matching lines
when closed and then symmetrically op-
posing when open.

SCOOPED SPINE
FORMING A SWOOP
Katzs Kagemusha is a midsize knife
with an overall length of 8 1/8 inches and
a blade of 3 inches. Kagemushas blade
profile can best be described as a drop-
point edge with a scooped spine forming
a swoop to the tip. A Japanese stainless
steel called XT80 is used for the hollow-
ground blade.

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KI_1308_52-57-KATZ 6/3/13 3:38 AM Page 54

Theres no doubt that the appearance of the Katz Kagemusha is unique, as its
available with a variety of handle materials including Kraton and cherry. On top is
the black texture Kraton model with a solid hollow-ground razor edge. On bottom
is the cherry version with 2/3 serrations.

The knife comes in a variety of handle BREATHTAKING AGGRESSIVE blade in place. The company provides a
materials to adorn the stainless steel frame CUTTING pocket clip for carrying.
construction. Katz uses various materials I found the serrated pattern that Katz
such as cherry, Kraton and ivory Micarta uses to be aggressive to the point that it BEST FOR RIGHTIES
for scales. Theres also a scrimshaw ver- will take your breath away. Katz uses a The knife is made for the right-handed
sion with ivory Micarta. Blade edge config- stainless steel liner lock system with a user, as the liner lock is accessed from the
uration comes in either razor or 2/3 serrat- thickness of 1/16-inch for locking the right and the stud being only for the
ed, and both versions are super-sharp
right out of the box.

Due to the style of pocket clip, the knife


doesnt sit deep and low in the pocket, which A beautiful crisp hollow grind forms the thin, sharp edge. Hollow grinds often give the blade
tends to be a drawback if you want to carry the look of an idealized knife. You can also see that the Kagemusha is a handful, which I would
your knife in a subtle manner. say places it on the large side of a midsize knife.

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KI_1308_52-57-KATZ 6/3/13 3:38 AM Page 55

Kraton scales
are best for everyday
carry and a bit of
tactical use.

right-handed. The knife has a unique look


and anyone should be able to identify this
one from a mile away. Part of the unique
look is how the scales do not totally cover
the frame. Both scales shadow the contour
of the frame, but never actually run to the
edge. I refer to this as an island-style
scale. Scale presentation affects both the
look and the feel of the knife. Although
lengthwise the handle is plenty roomy,
the minimalist use of scale material ex-
poses the edge of the frame and keeps the
knife trim in profile. To me, this is one of
those things that would have to be to your
taste, not only for the look of it but for the
feel as well.

DIFFERENT SCALES
FOR DIFFERENT USES
The different scale options vary with the
intended use of the knife. Kraton scales
are best for everyday carry and a bit of
tactical use. Adding to the tactical appeal,

A through-frame design is a bonus for pocket TRANSLATION


carry since it allows for easy cleaning as Kagemusha is Japanese for shadow
debris eventually builds up in the body of the
warrior.
knife.

A quick-opening and razor-sharp knife becomes a favorite tool for odd jobs like splitting the
sheathing on this 14/2 wire.

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KI_1308_52-57-KATZ 6/3/13 3:38 AM Page 56

I found the serrated


pattern that Katz uses
to be aggressive to the
point it will take your
breath away.

The aggressive serration pattern makes easy work of leather; a job usually left to thinner
blades.

the Kraton scales are textured like theyve long-use periods. With the exposed frame
been bead-blasted. against the palm of my hand, I dont think
On the other hand, the cherry scales I would be doing any carving with this
tend to dress up the design and give it a knife.
somewhat understated gentlemanly look.
There are no sharp edges on the frame, DID YOU KNOW?
ISLAND SCALE: A handle that does not go
but it still feels different from a full-scale
all the way to the edge of the steel frame.
construction. This knife is not meant for

A slight amount of pressure to


push the knife forward allows
Between the thin hollow-ground blade and the aggressive serration pattern, the Kagemusha is me to slide through this yucca
wildly sharp. Katz uses a varying pattern which allows for aggressive cutting on a number of plant root so I can harvest the
different materials. plant for fibers.

5 6 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_58-59-BUCK 6/3/13 3:45 AM Page 58

SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF DETERMINING THE AGE OF YOUR BUCK KNIFE


BY J. BRUCE VOYLES

This mouse pad produced by Buck Knives details all the important dating information one needs to determine the age of
your Buck knives.

5 8 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_58-59-BUCK 6/3/13 3:45 AM Page 59

I
n the early days of organized
knife collecting, the only reli-
able method to determine the
age of a knife was when the
company changed their trade-
mark. For instance, when it be-
came a government requirement
that the country of origin be
stamped on knives exported into
Canada around 1965, many com-
panies were forced to change
their logos to reflect thisamong
The American Bladesmith Society
them Buck and Case.
Offers the Annual
Mid-America Symposium
Case implemented their annual dating
system in 1970. Others followed suit, in-
cluding Puma, Bear and Robert Klass
August 23-25, 2013
Cutlery. Buck began dating in 1986.
Their dating system is unique and has Hosted by
been alien to all but the most die-hard
Buck collectorbut no more! Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil
Miami County Fairgrounds
DATING SYSTEM REVEALED
Buck changed all that with a detailed Troy, Ohio
mouse pad/counter protector that was a
one-stop explanation of their dating FEATURED DEMONSTRATORS x Camp sites available
system, and so we offer it herein case
Jerry Rados Joe Keeslar x Knife Show & Auction
you would like to date the Buck knives
Lin Rhea Jim Batson x Edge Demonstration on Sharpening


that you own. KI
Bill Wiggins Butch Sheely x 'HPRQVWUDWRUV5RXQG7DEOH

Bucks dating system DZ&^


is unique and has been alien ^KWK
to all but the most


'ZK,--
die-hard Buck collector
but no more! ENUNN11/ENG
&^--

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 5 9
KI_1308_60-61-POCKETKNIVES 6/3/13 3:52 AM Page 60

KNIFE ENTHUSIAST IS A POET


AND AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR

BY J. BRUCE VOYLES, PHOTO BY CHUCK WARD

A
poet and award-winning author
and a knife enthusiast is a rare NOTABLE AUTHORS AND
combination. When the poet KNIFE ENTHUSIASTS
writes of pocketknives, its rarer still. Pulitzer Prize-winning
playwright and producer David
Ron Rash exemplifies that rare combi-
Mamet is a knife enthusiast who
nation. has featured knifemaker Bill
Recently my daughter handed me a well- Bagwell in a cameo in his movie,
worn old copy of Oxford American magazine, Things Change, as well as
folded back to a poem titled Pocketknives. attending the New York Custom
Knife show. (Mamet was also
I think you missed this, she said, and in-
producer of the TV series loosely
deed I had. As I read Rashs poem, I discovered based on Delta Force, The Unit.
he understands the knife enthusiast experience James Jones, author of From
as only someone in tune with the subject can: Here To Eternity and The Thin
the knife as a tool, heirloom and, as Rash de- Red Line, kept favorite knives on
a shelf behind his desk.
scribes it, saved and traded.
Songwriter Guy Clarks The
I wanted to bring this poem to KI readers. I Randall Knife is a required tune
emailed Rash about his interest in knives. He on any knife enthusiasts play list.
responded, Knives have been a ritualistic part
of my life, along with his permission to republish his point within these pages.
His interest in knives began at the age of five.
I got my first knife when I was five. My grandfather, who was bedridden and dying of
cancer, gave it to me. Rash said.
While KI doesnt typically publish poetry, but there are few poems Ive read that cap-
ture the essence of the subject as well as Ron Rash in his poem, Pocketknives. Read it
and see if you agree. KI

THE WORK OF RON RASH


Ron Rash is the author of The Cove and of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New
York Times bestselling novel, Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels,
One Foot In Eden, Saints At The River and The World Made Straight; three collections
of poems; and four collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the
2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry And Other
Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of
the O. Henry Prize, Rash teaches at Western Carolina University.
You can find more about Rash and his work his at http://www.harpercollins.com/
authors/33503/Ron_Rash/index.aspx

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KI_1308_60-61-POCKETKNIVES 6/3/13 3:52 AM Page 61

POCKETKNIVES
By Ron Rash

Carried like time, consulted


as often when the sermon
droned on past noon, a hay bailer
broke a chain, any other
lingering moments their scarred
and calloused workflesh idled,
the blades pried free the way wives
might slip a ribbon, that same
delicate tug as forge-craft
sharpened what light sun or bulb
provided as they trimmed dirt
from the undersides of nails,
surfaced splinters, bled blisters,
a tool made more than a tool
when they rasped whetstones across
thinning steel until it flashed
pure as silver, the a rag
doused in oil to rub new-bright
the handles hewed from antler,
pearl, stained wood grain, ivory
laced with brass or gold, the one
vanity of men caught once
when dead in a coat and tie,
so ordered from catalogs,
saved and traded for, searched for
in sheds and fields if lost, passed
father to son as heirlooms,
like talismans carried close
While not the specific to the bone, cloaked as the hearts
subject of Rashs
Pocketknives, any of those men who never spoke
knife enthusiast would
be happy to save, trade their fears and hopes, let words clen
ch
for or pass along to an
heir a knife like this
inside a lockjawed silence.
four-blade congress by
Texan Bill Ruple.
(Chuck Ward photo)
Copyright RON RASH
used with permission of the aut
hor

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KI_1308_62-67-ZOMBIES CX 6/4/13 12:31 AM Page 62

TOXIC GREEN HANDLES TO COMBAT


A NON-EXISTENT ATTACKER

BY J. BRUCE VOYLES
PHOTOS BY THE MANUFACTURERS
OR AS NOTED

Z
ombies arent realare
they? Zombies are more
easily dispatched with toxic
green-handled knives, if the mod-
ern offerings of cutlery manufac-
turers are any indication. The
avalanche of toxic green-handled
knives is just starting. Other
companies are coming on board
the zombie trend with other
knives as well.

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KI_1308_62-67-ZOMBIES CX 6/4/13 12:32 AM Page 63

The ZT (Zombie Tools) knife-making


team has gained fame for hosting what
was an entertaining two-show
Discovery Channel series about
prepping for zombies. Here Jennifer
Fleming-Lovely holds their Felon
model. (CHRIS LOMBARDI PHOTO)

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KI_1308_62-67-ZOMBIES CX 6/4/13 12:32 AM Page 64

By some definitions, the zombies of genuine concern are not alypse then youre prepared for everything else, is one line of
those under some witchdoctors spell, but rather humans driven reasoning.
to the point of zombie-like behavior due to some calamity or nat- From a knife enthusiasts standpoint, one thing the zombie
ural disaster such as a pandemic. Driven by an uncontrollable wave does offer is another variety of knives to own. If its a brief
need for cannibalistic food, theyre unstoppable except by head- trend that fades away, then collectors in the future will likely pay
shots or decapitation, from which toxic green ooze pours from the a premium for green-handled knives made back in the day.
head. Heres a look at the emerging torrent in the variety of zom-
Humans driven to the extreme of a zombie-like apocalypse gets bie-related knives. If you dont like these knives, hang on, be-
traction among those in the prepper community when they imag- cause just like a zombie attack, were sure there are more head-
ine a worst-case scenario. If youre prepared for a zombie apoc- ing this way!

ZOMBIE TOOLS is not only making and forging knives for the zombie apoc-
alypse but have shown prepping in other ways on two segments of a television series
on the Discovery network, Surviving Zombies. There were only two shows produced
although the channel wanted more. As the ZT group says on their website, We had to
make the choice between shutting down our business to spend our time as jerkoffs on
TV, and continuing to be jerkoffs making blades and growing our business. The deci-
sion was pretty easy; wed rather make blades.

FELON BONE MACHETE


The ZT (Zombie Tools) Felon is their The ZT team calls their chopper the
homage to Jim Bowie and the American Bone Machete. From the leather-wrapped
knifemaking tradition. They describe the handle to the patterns of the ferric chloride
knife as heavy enough for a vicious slash, acid bath, at more than 2 pounds its more
but long enough for classic cut-and-thrust than a handful.
swordplay. Overall: 25 inches
Overall: 19.5 inches Blade: 17.5 inches
Blade: 12.75 inches Steel: 5160
Steel: 5160 Thickness: 0.20 inches Rob Lawlor is the grinder
Thickness: 1/4 inch Weight: 2 lbs, 4 ounces on the Bone Machete he
Weight: 2 lbs, 2 ounces MSRP: $324.95 holds. Hes described as
a member of the Zombie
MSRP: $274.95 Tools inner circle.

PESTILENCE CHOPPER
Overall: 15 3/4 inches
Blade: 10 1/4 inches
MSRP: $75.63

KA-BARS ZOMBIE KILLERS


KA-BARs ZK (Zombie Killer) line pioneered the genre, describ-
ing their knives as designed to perform under the most rigorous, FAMINE TANTO
unexpected and apocalyptic situations. The toxic green Kraton Overall: 13 1/2 inches
handles can be removed and replaced with a set of interchange- Blade: 7 5/8 inches
MSRP: $75.63
able black handles for more traditional users. A nylon sheath
comes with each fixed blade, and theres even a folder and some
other designs not pictured. The larger fixed blades use SK5 steel,
the folder AUS8A and the neck knife 5Cr13.
Some of the knives in this line include:
KARON FOLDER
Overall: 7 7/8 inches
Blade: 3 3/8 inches
MSRP: $40.98
WAR SWORD
Overall: 15 1/8 inches
Blade: 9 3/4 inches
MSRP: $75.73

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KI_1308_62-67-ZOMBIES CX 6/4/13 12:33 AM Page 65

BOKER
The Boker Nano designed by David Cur-
tiss is not sold as a zombie knife, but hey,
its the right color, and as the zombie afi-
cionados say, You never know for sure.

BOKER NANO
Overall: 4 3/4 inches
Blade: 1.89 inches
Steel: 440C
Handles: Zytel
Weight: 2.82 ounces
MSRP: $62.95

WEARING OF
THE GREEN
The toxic green color associated with
zombie knives and other accessories
reportedly comes from the brain
matter of zombies when split open as
seen in the classic movie,
Night of the Living Dead.

NOT JUST KNIVES


The zombie craze extends to ammunition
manufacturer Hornaday, which produces
its zombie rounds in a variety of
calibers, with the mandatory toxic green
centers. The rationale? Just in case.

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KI_1308_62-67-ZOMBIES CX 6/4/13 12:33 AM Page 66

GERBER MACHETE is a component of the Apocalypse Survival Kit. Its also available separately.

GERBER GEAR The BEAR GRYLLS PARANG is a standout component of


While not going for the toxic green handles, Gerber Gear the Gerber Gear Apocalypse Survival Kit.
has still addressed the zombie apocalypse preparation market
with their Apocalypse Survival Kit containing a Gator Ma-
chete, Camp Axe II, Gator Machete Pro, Bear Grylls Parang,
LMF II Infantry, DMF Folder and Epic. MSRP for the kit housed
in a special roll-up carrier is $349.

DID YOU KNOW?


In the second season of The Walking
Dead the survivors discover a cache
of Gerber Gear knives and tools,
including many of the items in the
Apocalypse Survival Kit.

ZOMBIE HACKERS.COM
A company specializing in gun coating has branched out into cus-
tomizing several production knives in their special patterning, with
prices ranging between $65 to $110 including the knife or machete.
You can see their entire line at www.zombiehacker.com.

The ZOMBIE SHANK is a specialized The ZOMBIE HACKER 1 combines a toxic A long machete is the choice for this spe-
coating on a SOG fixed blade. green coating with red special effects. cial coating on the ZOMBIE HACKER 3.

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KI_1308_62-67-ZOMBIES CX 6/4/13 12:33 AM Page 67

10:55 AM Page 1

If youre
prepared for a
zombie apocalypse
then youre
prepared for
everything else.

ZOMBIE HACKERS
OTHER HAT

Custom Digital Designs goes beyond


zombie style, such as coated handmade
knives from Fiddleback Forge. The toxic
green and blood red coatings on
production knives under the Zombie
Hacker name is a product of Custom
Digital Designs of Cumming, Georgia.
Their primary business is camouflage
Duro-coating firearms and other materials
for tactical applications. They have also
added their camo patterning to handmade
knives as well, working with Dogwood
Custom Knives and Andy Roys Fiddleback
Forge. KI

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 6 7


KI_1308_68-73-CLINT 6/3/13 4:13 AM Page 68

THREE GERBER GEAR GREATS FOR


NAVY SEALS, LAW ENFORCEMENT
AND THE BUG-OUT

BY CLINT THOMPSON
PHOTOS BY CLINT THOMPSON, GERBER GEAR
AND WWW. SEALSWCC.COM/SEAL

W
hen a Navy SEAL unit is tasked to hump it
up a steep mountain to say howdy to some
dirt-bag types, they seriously consider the
weight theyll be carrying.

Due to the movies, we believe an average SEAL carrying a full


load of weapons, ammo and battle rattle could pack a 200-
pound wounded buddy up and down hills for 10 miles and need
little rest. But, in fact, gravity and fatigue all have an effect on a
Navy SEAL just like everyone else.

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knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 6 9


KI_1308_68-73-CLINT 6/3/13 4:13 AM Page 70

Anything to help the SEALs complete issued or own an M-4, AR-15 or like-plat-
their mission and at the same time make
When I was form rifle. Because the Gerber Individual
toting the load a little easier is utilized Deployment (ID) Kit contains a Gerber Re-
and appreciated. The items here from Ger- in Kosovo and Iraq, con light of sensitive nature, only military
ber Gear fit that goal.
I had a bug-out bag or law enforcement can purchase this
item.
ONLY WHAT YOU NEED within a few feet of me The Gerber Individual Deployment (ID)
Eddie is a Navy SEAL, and he says that
at all times. Kit contains vital items organized into a
when he was faced with a hard march, he very handy kit, which will attach on your
kept the equipment to the basics. Outside battle rattle. Eddie liked this kit because it
of his ballistic vest and helmet, he would many dirt-bags we can stuff into the back contained several essential tools he al-
take his rifle, ammo, fixed-bladed knife, vi- of a patrol car (cubic feet body mass). ways carries. He carries a multitool, com-
sion enhancement and communications. pact flashlight, cutter for flex cuffs and a
Finding and taking out the bad guys in the GERBER GEAR HAS tool to complement his rifle. The Gerber ID
mountains is exhausting work. So in think- EQUIPMENT Kit contains a Gerber MP 600 multitool,
ing about equipping yourself, you should So the proper equipment, vehicles and eFECT Weapons Tool (to work on your M-4
consider only the essential items. Outside gear are needed to achieve our objectives. and the like), Recon M-II restricted flash-
of ammo for the shoulder-fired weapon and When I start considering my proper gear, I light, safety strap cutter and the MOLLE-
possibly a handgun, youll also need sup- think of Gerber Gear. Gerber has an exten- compatible Tactical Nylon Sheath. Eddie
porting tools and specialized equipment. sive list of gear to assist civilians, the mili- and I both examined each of these tools
What equipment would one need when tary, law enforcement or a contractor go- and evaluated their worth as an essential
going in harms way or surviving in an en- ing into a potentially dangerous arena.
vironment of total civil breakdown? When Even if you only want to equip your bug- GERBER GEAR INDIVIDUAL
Eddie and his unit are tasked with a mis- out bag with the basic tools needed to sur- DEPLOYMENT (ID) KIT
sion, they consider the objective, how vive, Gerber can be your one-stop shop. Total kit weight: 24.04 ounces
theyre going to get there and how theyre Sheath with components dimensions:
4x2x6 inches
going to get back. Based on this, they gear GERBER ID KIT RESTRICTED Coyote brown sheath: 5 ounces
up with only the equipment needed. TO MILITARY AND LAW eFECT (M-4 platform tool): 5 ounces
This holds true for law enforcement as ENFORCEMENT MP 600 (multiplier): 8.16 ounces
well. We consider what our objective of I picked out the Gerber Individual De- Recon-M II (restricted light for
the day will be, how well get there and ployment (ID) Kit as a must for those of you Military and LEO): 3.46 ounces
Strap cutter: 2.21 ounces
how well return. We also consider how in the military or law enforcement who are

The Individual Deployment (ID) Kit is a must for anyone whos under arms in harms way. I would also highly recommend this kit for law
enforcement officers who are issued an M-4 or AR-15 for duty. I wish I had one of these when I was in Iraq.

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IN THE FIELD
EVALUATORS
In the world of going into harms way, its
best to have the proper equipment which is The Gerber EZ-Out folding knife
best suited for the task at hand. One of my with its serration is perfect for your
good friends happens to be a current Navy bug-out bag. The EZ-Out is a light, strong
SEAL who, for obvious reasons, we will call folding knife made in the good old USA. I love
Eddie. Eddie agreed to help me with this knife.
evaluating various types of tools and cutting
devices. The opinions in this article are eFECT Weapons Tool from Midwest USA, be in it. What would you take if you
strictly Eddies from a Navy SEAL point of an online dealer. were to have only a few minutes to gath-
view and my point of view as a veteran law
enforcement officer who has served and
er your critical gear and weapons? Thats
protected under fire on three continents. GERBER GO BAG what should be in your bug-out bag.
FOR THE BUG-OUT You should first build your bug-out bag
component of our load of equipment. We Im evaluating the Gerber GO Bag for from the foundation up. Gerber Gear has
both recommend them for military and law those of you who are concerned about come up with what I believe is a portable,
enforcement use. possible events which give you the need very functional bug-out bag called appro-
In no way would I leave out those of you for a bug-out bag. There are many types, priately the GO Bag, which is a good
who are not currently in the military or styles and designs of bug-out bags on the start.
law enforcement. If you do not fall within market. The GO Bag contains well-thought-out
these two categories you can start your When I was in Kosovo and Iraq, I had a components. The bag itself is well made in
own ID kit with the purchase of a standard bug-out bag within a few feet of me at all the USA. The GO Bag, hereafter referred to
Gerber Recon light, the MP 600 multitool times. I know about the need for a bug-out as Bag, is equipped with some basic
from your local Gerber dealer and the bag and have a good idea of what should items Eddie and myself feel are necessary

The Navy SEALs spend as much time in and on the water as they do kicking dirt and rocks. One has to adapt to your surroundings and be able to
function in all conditions. SEALs are the worlds finest specialized fighting unit, but more than that they work seamlessly with other outstanding
heartbreakers and life takers like the Army Rangers.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 7 1


KI_1308_68-73-CLINT 6/3/13 4:14 AM Page 72

to survive in a potentially hostile environ-


ment in a situation which would
cause you to move from your home or cur-
rent location.

THE BAG MAY HOLD


MORE THAN YOU WANT TO
CARRY
The first item of the Bag is the bag itself.
Gerber has multitools that are
The Bag contains many handy compart- world famous for their functionality,
ments, which have great potential for stor- quality and dependability. The GO Bag has
the MP 600 multitool in black, which is a
ing items.
perfect addition to anyones grab and go
bag. I was issued one when I went to
GERBER GO BAG Kosovo and Iraq.

The Gerber GO Bag includes:


Maxpedition Mongo Versipack in black, Im not going into how many and what other liquids. The screw-in lid of this
Gerber embroidered they could be used for, as everyone will water bottle is designed to clip onto the
MP600-ST (sight tool), MOLLE mounted
have a different idea what they want to Bag, but it also fits securely and nicely in
EZ-Out DPSF
Open: 8 inches include in the Bag and where to place its compartment on the left side of the bag.
Blade: 3.5 inches those items. I will say the Bag is functional Wash and rinse out this bottle prior to us-
Closed: 4.5 inches and carries well when applying the side ing.
Steel: Black S30V strap. With the side strap fastened snug- Also in the Bag is the Gerber MP 600
Weight: 2.8 ounces
gly, the Bag holds to your side just in case multitoola great multitool for action
Recon Task Light
Lightsource type: LED you need to run and dive for cover. The types. Its constructed of stainless steel
Lightsource quantity: 1 bag is reinforced in all those places need- with a black oxide finish. It has functional
Output color: white, red, green and blue ed to take the stress of the weight it can needle-nose pliers with crimper jaws. The
Modes: steady red, white, green and blue potentially hold. multitool can be opened with one hand,
Housing color: black
In fact, the Bag can hold much more which Eddie and I like. There is one tool
Housing material: anodized aircraft
aluminum than youd want to pack. My idea is to on the MP 600 that can be used for front
Battery type: AA keep it simple and as light as I can. sight adjustment for the M-4/M-16/AR-15
Weight: 2.6 ounces rifles. Also, theres a carbon scraper, ser-
Frog Lube CLP 4-ounce liquid bottle INCLUDED WITH THE GO BAG rated/fine edge knife, carbide wire cutters,
Metal water bottle
Within the Bag is included one 12- long-reach Phillips screwdriver, lanyard
Rite-In-The-Rain note pad
Pocket Reference Guide by Thomas J. Glover gauge stainless steel water bottle, which ring, and can opener/bottle opener. The
can contain about 20 ounces of water or tool is carried in a MOLLE-compatible
black nylon sheath. The MP 600 and
sheath are made in the USA.
Other cool items included in the Bag are
the EZ-Out DPSF lockback folding knife
with a 3 -inch serrated blade, Recon

If youre forced to move out in a hurry, an


excellent companion to the defense weapon
of choice is the Gerber GO Bag. The GO Bag
is not only equipped with functional tools
and a reference book but it carries very well.
A handy side strap when used keeps the bag
from swinging and banging on you if theres
cause to run for cover. Be alert and be safe.

If youre considering building a bug-out bag, you can go a long way to that end by getting the
Gerber GO Bag. Gerber has come up with a good start in the right direction. If you take your
personal survival seriously then you need to build your bug-out bag with a solid foundation.
I love this bag and am using it while I protect and serve.

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KI_1308_68-73-CLINT 6/3/13 4:14 AM Page 73

task light, note pad on which you can


write in the rain, and 4-ounce plastic bot-
tle of Frog Lube. Frog Lube is a non-toxic
all-natural gun cleaning, lubricating and
protection liquid which seems to be work-
ing well in my 1911 duty gun.
PROVEN,
One of the vital things Gerber put into
the Bag is the Pocket Reference Guide
written by Thomas J. Glover. This book is LIKE THE
TEAMS THAT
nothing short of amazing and contains so
many subjects and references that I will
not attempt to name them, but it starts at
Abamperes (the basic electromagnetic unit

USE THEM.
of electric current in the emu-cgs system
of units) and ends with Wounds, bdominal.
The Pocket Reference Guide covers A to Z
in 768 pages, all packed in a 5 3/8-inch
package.

Conclusion/needs proper
subhead
If youre looking for some gear to take
with you into battle, or youre about to
kick in the front door of the dirt-bag
palace, or surviving in the wild bugging
out just ahead of the zombie herd, Gerber FORGED
OUT OF TRADITION.
Gear has what you need--and what you
should have. KI
HARDENED
IN THE FIELD.

HONED
FROM EXPERIENCE.

SOG knives and tools are born of the military, preferred


by U.S. Special Forces teams for decades. So whether
youre answering the call of duty or arming yourself with
innovation, lead the way with SOG. sogknives.com
TAKE POINT.
TM

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 7 3


KI_1308_74-77-LES.CX 6/7/13 1:03 AM Page 74

Pohan Leu is a notable exception


to the many talented new
knifemakers.

BY LES ROBERTSON
PHOTOS BY CHUCK WARD
& MITCHELL COHEN

W
hile attending a knife show in New
Jersey in November 2010, I ran
across a table with several clean and
well-made Japanese tacticals. They featured
good materials and were fairly priced. The
maker standing on the other side of the table
was Pohan Leu.

Pohan was friendly and engaging when answering


questions about his knives. Believe it or not, this is not
always the case with knifemakers at shows. He was
quick to point out that the knives and designs of Phil
Hartsfield had a big influence on the types of fixed
blades that he made. The knives were lightweight, well
balanced, comfortable in the hand and sharp!
Pohan Leu is a notable exception to the many talented
new knifemakers. He offers that rare combination of an
ever-increasing skill set and a willingness to listen to
This folder is called the
what his clients want. Bluephin. Its a full-size 4 1/8-
inch blade folder, with a closed
NO PRE-PROGRAMED MACHINES length of 5 1/2 inches. The
frame is titanium with lightning-
Pohan builds his knives using the stock removal strike carbon fiber scales.
method. He emphasizes that he does not utilize any pre-
programed machines. All the work on his knives is done
by Pohan. His fixed blades are all made with A2 steel.
Tool steel will always be my choice for fixed blades
due to their edge holding even during difficult to cut ma-
terials, Pohan says.

POHAN LEU, WHO MAKES FIXED BLADES, FOLDERS


AND CUSTOM DESIGNS, BOASTS SKILLS IN BOTH
KNIFEMAKING AND LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS

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KI_1308_74-77-LES.CX 6/7/13 1:03 AM Page 75

FOR
ANOTHER LOOK
If you cant make it to a show
Pohan attends, view the
gallery of his knives at
www.leucustom.com

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 7 5


KI_1308_74-77-LES 6/3/13 4:41 AM Page 76

The Sardeen sports a 2 5/8-inch blade,


within a full titanium frame, with stainless
hardware and a G10 backspacer. (MITCHELL
COHEN PHOTO) The Pohan Tanto is a hefty 17 inches overall with an 11 1/2-inch A2 steel blade. A silver scorpion
is the theme for the menuki. (MITCHELL COHEN PHOTO)
The handles for Pohans fixed blades are
primarily nylon and cotton wraps impreg- Show. The tactical folders offer several
nated with epoxy resin. Other options are combinations: with or without bolsters and WHERE IT ALL STARTED
While working at an indoor range in 2003,
available, featuring a more traditional your choice of G10, carbon fiber or light-
Pohan was approached by his co-worker Gary
Japanese stingray skin under the tradition- ning-strike carbon fiber scale. A textured Grassfield about making knives for some
al wrap as well as a menuki. All of his finish is also available on some of his fold- extra spending cash. Being attracted to
fixed blades come with custom-molded ers. His frame-lock folders feature the IKBS knives and money (then again, who isnt)
Kydex sheaths. Theyre all set up for multi- bearing system in conjunction with a flip- Pohan made his first knife in 2003. Not one
whos easily pleased, he did not have a knife
ple carry configurations by utilization of ei- per opener. These folders are extremely
for sale until 2006.
ther a large or small Tek-Lok attachment. smooth to open with a great lock-up.
The edges for his knives are tested prima- PRICES AND PLACES
rily by cutting paper or a heavy rope such STEEL CHOICES Prices for Pohans fixed blades range
as Manila rope. Pohan initially used A2 for his folding from $200 and up. Folders with a thumb
knives. After a conversation with R.J. Mar- stud start at $485 and those with flippers
INFLUENCED BY THE TOP tin, he switched to stainless steel utilizing start at $525. His current delivery time is
While incorporating tactical folders into CPM 154 for about 18 months. Today, he six to eight months. Currently he attends
his lineup, Pohan sought out help from utilizes CPM S35VN for all of his folders. the Knife Expo in Pasadena, California, the
several well-known folder makers, includ- As a full-time maker, Pohan has the Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia, and the
ing Bob Terzuola, Eddie Baca, Lucas Burn- freedom to build basically what he wants. New York Custom Knife Show in Jersey
ley, Brian Fellhoelter and Joe Caswell. His Hes quick to point out that the majority of City, New Jersey.
first folder was sold at the 2011 Blade his knives are custom orders. On the other I can attest to the fact that Pohan brings
hand, show inventory gives him a chance a large selection of fixed blades and a very
SHOWS WHERE YOU CAN SEE to try out new ideas and gauge reaction to good selection of folders.
POHAN LEU KNIVES his new designs and/or materials. With a Pohan will do his best to implement
The Blade Show, Atlanta, GA business degree from Cal State Fullerton, your design or design elements into your
The Knife Expo, Pasadena, CA
he understands the importance of direct knife. Listening to customers and doing
New York Custom Knife Show, Jersey City, NJ
feedback as part of his marketing plan. quality work makes the difference. KI

QUICK LOOK AT
POHAN LEU KNIVES
Favorite steel for folders: CPMS35VN
Favorite steel for fixed blades: A2
Fixed blade prices: $200 and up
Folders with thumb stud start at $485
Flipper folders start at $525
Delivery time is six to eight months

Dubbed the Aikuchi tanto, this knife is 15 inches


overall, with a double-ground blade and a dragon
menuki. (MITCHELL COHEN PHOTO)

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KI_1308_74-77-LES 6/3/13 4:41 AM Page 77

REACH OUT
Pohan can be contacted
by email at
pohanleu@hotmail.com

The Bluephin 2 is 1/2-inch shorter than the


standard Bluephin at 5 inches closed with a 3 1/2-
inch blade. The model shown features a diamond
milling pattern but the knife is available in other
patterns and textures via custom order.

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 7 7


KI_1308_78-AD INDEX 6/5/13 11:17 PM Page 78

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Hilliard, OH 43026-2495 Knife Center Of The Internet 39
(614) 777-8833
customerservice@riversedgecutlery.com Niagara Specialty Metals 67
Olamic Cutlery 55
Heimerdinger Cutlery Inc. Paracord 65
4207 Shelbyville Rd. Randall Made Knives 78
Louisville, KY 40207
(888) 267-9572 SOG Specialty Knives 47, 73
www.heimerdingercutlery.com
Southeastern Custom Knife Show 65
Spartan Blades USA 65
Spyderco Inc. 25
Tandy Leather Factory 47
TOPS Knives 5
Tormach LLC 3
Tru-Grit, Inc. 67
Tuff-Writer 73
W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. 2
WILSON COMBAT 67

Attention Shop Owners:


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78 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_79 6/7/13 9:19 AM Page 79

Visit our new website today!


www.KnivesIllustrated.com

The premier
knife magazine
s The hottest knives and latest
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sThe latest news, views, and reviews
sHard testing of knives and the results
KI_1308_80-SCHMIDT 6/3/13 4:48 AM Page 80

MASTER JIM
SCHMIDTS
LEGACY
CHRONICLED
THE FIRST MAJOR BOOK ON THE
LEGENDARY MAKER IS PUBLISHED
BY KI STAFF
PHOTOS BY FRANCESCO PACHI
The initial announcement of the

K
nives by Jim Schmidt, the legendary knifesmith,
book. The artwork of the knife
are among the most desired in the knife collect- under the brush fades into a
ing world. Its common for a Schmidt knife to photo of an actual knife.
bring in five figures. The market is so limited that a
close circle of collectors immediately snapping up any
available Schmidt knife makes it difficult for new col-
lectors to become familiar with the ABS Mastersmiths His body of
legacyor even see one of his knives. That was until work bears
now.
James A. Schmidt, The Great Master, is a photographic historical
testament to
narrative of this late knifemakers career, with photos by Francesco the high ideals
Pachi and text by Mike Haskew. The purpose of this book is to pay
tribute to the life and the work of Jim Schmidt, Pachi said.
that Jim
Jim used only the finest in natural handle materials and his A group of Schmidt knives
championed.
own flawless Damascus steel, Pachi added. His body of work photographed by Pachi.
bears testament to the high ideals that Jim championed, including
his strong belief in the concept of sole authorship. KI

QUICK FACTS
232-page book
Limited edition of 500 copies
Retail of $160
Contact: Francesco Pachi, Loc.
Pometta 1, 17046 Sassello (SV),
ITALY, www.pachi-photo.com,
info@pachi-photo.com.

PHOTOGRAPHERS
FAVORITE PRINTER
The book was printed in Verona,
Italy by Editoriale Bortolazzi-Stei,
acclaimed in the photographic
community for the exceptional
quality of their work, having
printed volumes for
photographers that include
Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon
Francesco and Mirella Pachi at work during the production of the book. and Henri Cartier Bresson.

8 0 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


KI_1308_81-SHOWS 6/3/13 4:49 AM Page 81

AUGUST 29-31, 2013 Plaza Cutlery


LAS VEGAS, NV Embassy Suites of Garden
Usual Suspect Networks Gathering Grove/Anaheim South
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino 714-549-3932
www.usngathering.com dan@plazacutlery.com

SHOWS
SEPT. 20-22, 2013 OCT. 26, 2013
LOUISVILLE, KY SAN DIEGO, CA
Knifemakers Guild Show Art Knife Invitational
Seelbach Hotel Sheraton Hotel
502-585-3200 artknifeinvitational@gmail.com
www.knifemakersguild.com

UPCOMING KNIFE EVENTS SEPT. 21-22, 2013


WINSTON-SALEM, NC
NOV. 10, 2013
MARLBORO, MA
NCCA Show

T he shows and events listed here are knife shows and knifemaking
seminars. They should not be confused with gun and knife shows, at
which a show promoter may have thrown in the and knife hoping to lure
Southeastern Custom Knife Show
North Carolina Custom Knifemakers
Holiday Inn
978-544-5348
Guild Lndcain1@aol.com
a couple more tables of knife dealers.
Show locations and dates do change for a variety of reasons, so we rec- Benton Convention Center
ommend contacting the show managers to confirm the date and location 336-593-8324 NOV. 22-24, 2013
before traveling. jbhege@embarqmail.com JERSEY CITY, NY
www.ncknifeguild.com New York Custom Knife Show
JULY 12-13, 2013 AUGUST 2-4, 2013 Westin-Jersey City Newport
BELLEVILLE, IL TOLEDO, OH SEPT. 28, 2013 417-866-6688
Belleville Knife Expo First Glass City Show CLAWSON, MI www.fiftyfiftyproductions.
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds Stranahan Great Hall Wolverine Knife Collectors Club Net/nycks-info.php
618-889-2563 419-376-7299 Show
bvilleknife@yahoo.com Knights of Columbus Hall JAN. 17-19, 2014
AUGUST 3-4, 2013 586-786-5549 LAS VEGAS, NV
JULY 26-27, 2013 CROSSVILLE, TN Antique Arms Show and Invitational
NEW HOLLAND, PA Cumberland County Knife Show OCT. 11-12, 2103 Knifemakers Show
Dutch Land Knife Show Cumberland County Complex JANESVILLE, WI 760-202-4489
Liberty Fire Co. No. 1 931-484-6431 Fall Show gunshowpro@aol.com
610-678-6132 Donnie.moody@hotmail.com Holiday Inn Express/Janesville www.antiquearmsshow.com KI
Conference Center
JULY 26-27, 2013 AUGUST 16-18, 2013 FAX 414-479-9765
PLEASANTVILLE, PA DENVER, CO rschrap@aol.com
Queen Cutlery Collectors Show Denver Custom Knife Show
Pleasantville Fire Hall Crown Plaza-DIA OCT. 12-13, 2013
814-827-3673 903-489-1026 WESTCHESTER, OH
www.queencutlerycollectors.com whiskersknives@aol.com Shaving Collectibles Extravaganza
Wesleyan Conference Center WANT
JULY 26-27, 2013
ROGERS, AR
A.G. Russells Knife Event
AUGUST 23-25, 2013
LEXINGTON, KY
Central Kentucky Knife Show
513-755-1447
www.razormeeting.com LISTED?
If youre producing a knife
John Q. Hammons Clarion Hotel OCT. 12-13, 2013 show, please let us know
Convention Center 859-623-1419 GARDEN GROVE, CA at bvoyles@beckett.com.
www.knifeevent.com thomp@adelphia.net California Custom Knife Show by

AMERICAN BLADESMITHS HAMMER-INS


For information on these please see www.americanbladesmith.com
July 12-13, 2013 Oct. 5-6, 2013
AUBURN, ME TOPEKA, KS
New England School of Metalwork Washburn Institute of Technology
203-457-5591 785-484-0146
macevitale@yahoo.com sculver@americanbladesmith.com

Aug. 23-24, 2013 Oct. 18-20, 2013


TROY, OH VISALIA, CA
Miami County Fairgrounds College of the Sequoias
419-832-5801 559-636-0501
sheelyblades@gmail.com mvknives@lightspeed.net

Sept. 14-15, 2013 Oct. 19-20, 2013


WASHINGTON, AR CLYDE, NC
Texarkana College Bill Moran School of Bladesmithng Haywood Community College
903-838-0134 828-226-1551
billrhughes@cableone.net wncbill@bellsouth.net

knivesillustrated.com KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 8 1


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Knife room owners are collectors in the

On The true sense of the word. The knife room


says more about the depth of interest than
any words could.

EDGE A SAD COLLECTION


Perhaps the saddest collection Ive seen
was not a knife room, but a knife base-
ment. The owner was serious, in both
dollars spent and quantity of knives, but

PERSONALITY that was as far as it went. He had knife


after knife that he had ordered from this
club or that mail order offer, still in the

TRAITS BY J. BRUCE VOYLES


unopened shipping packages. The shelves
along the walls were crammed with un-

REVEALED BY
opened knife-bearing boxes.
My thought was why was he buying
these knives if he didnt care enough

STORAGE HABITS about them to open the box? The first


time he saw all of his knives outside their
mail packages and spread out in one
place? It was when, as the auctioneers of
WHERE do you store your knives? cial success. He can afford to devote the his collection, we opened the boxes and
How you store your knives is often a mir- square footage within his home or office displayed the knives on our auction tables
ror of your own personality. to knife storage. The room is proof that he during the preview.
Do you have your knives behind two has the financial stability to own enough In the end, he did get to see his knives
locked doors with one of them a gun knives to require a knife room to display in a knife roomthe auction preview
vault-style door? I bet you have your guns and store them. room. He was a knife owner, but Im not
there tooand you have a high regard Ive been in several such knife rooms, sure I could call him a collector. He didnt
(and concern) for security. and reacted much like my granddaughter get it.
Are your knives locked away in a safe in the doll aisle at Toys R Us.
deposit box? Odds are youre an investor The first knife room I saw was that of a NO KNIFE ROOM
and are more concerned with the value of physician who collected his knives in the I confess I do not have a knife room. I
your knives than getting them out and 60s, far ahead of the collecting boom. He have an unorganized knife house. Not in
playing with them. had the outer wall of a large room in his quantity or quality of knives, per se, but
Do you display your knives on every home lined with original retail showcases there are knives in the stand beside my
wall in your house? Id guess youre not ranging from floor models to countertop chair, in my desk, on my dresser, on my
only proud of your knives, but youre also cases. He was so crammed for space that work table, on the shipping table. I live
the type of true collector who enjoys tak- some countertops were on top of the floor surrounded by knives.
ing his knives to shows to compete for models. The knives consigned to my auctions are
display awards. In the center of the room was an island locked away and secure, and the few rare
Do you go for low-end knives in aver- of display cases obviously purchased knives I own are there as well. But most of
age condition, and are not bothered by empty and his collecting goal was to fill my knives are more personal knives. Most
much rust? I bet your tools are in the each with original knives. I was there to hold memories or stories, either from their
same shape. By the same measure, if your appraise his knives for donation to a local history I have researched, or knives that
knives are gleaming, spotless, well oiled, college. The knives in that room were the provoke memories of the time of their ac-
securely stored but available in other Dr. James Golden collection, still housed quisition, who was with me, who I bought
words, knives that are obviously loved today at Southeast Kentucky Community it from, or perhaps the show I was attend-
you will often see other items of rarity and and Technical College in Cumberland, ing when it was obtained.
collectability, and in top condition as well. Kentucky. I do not think you could say my knives
Ive been honored to visit several col- are stored but more that they are spread
KNIFE ROOMS lectors knife rooms, and within those throughout my home. I like to keep such
The ultimate for knife storage is your knife rooms one can feel the common knives close at handto touch, to see, to
own knife room. Anyone with a nice knife bond shared among the fanciers of these feel, to stir the memories. And, yes that
room has had a certain amount of finan- finely crafted bits of sharpened steel. does say a lot about my personality too. KI

82 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED AUGUST 2013 knivesillustrated.com


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