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Showing posts from April, 2023

From War to Wilderness: The Fascinating Evolution of K Bar Knives

 From War to Wilderness: The Fascinating Evolution of K Bar Knives As a long-time admirer of knives, I have always been fascinated by their history, uses, and evolution. One brand that stands out for me is K Bar, a name that carries a rich legacy in the world of knives. In this article, I will take you on a journey from the origins of K Bar knives to their evolution over time, their use in World War II, their place in popular culture, their modern-day making, and the latest news and updates on this iconic brand. Introduction to K Bar Knives K Bar is an American knife-making company that has been around for over a century. The company was founded in 1898 by Wallace R. Brown in Tidioute, Pennsylvania. The name K Bar is a combination of the first letter of Brown's last name and the word "bar," which was a term used by cowboys to describe a saloon. The company started by producing hunting knives and pocket knives, but it was not until the outbreak of World War II that K Bar k

Assault Knife: The Bowie Knife

Assault Knife: The Bowie Knife There have been many colorful characters in the history of Knifedom, but few, if any, have reached the vibrancy of Jim Bowie! Jim Bowie’s Assault Knife, the Bowie Knife had a legendary status and history all it’s own even beyond its famous, and perhaps even infamous inventor! There were of course the tales of the man himself who famously told his fellow Congressmen: “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas!” and whose legendary skills as a knife fighter were probably more than just legends. A man who fought and died at the Alamo with a cast of other larger than life men, but left behind a legacy which was named for him, an assault knife, the Bowie knife. How the Bowie knife came to be There were possibly two early versions of the Bowie knife developed before the “final” version was made. The first was a knife forged from a file by a smith named Jesse Cleft in Avoyelles Parish in Louisiana for James Bowie’s brother Rezin. This was supposedly t

Blade Style: Wharncliffe | One Folding Knife One Blade: Your Choice?

Blade Style: Wharncliffe | One Folding Knife One Blade: Your Choice? If You Could Only Have One Folding Knife With One Blade, What Would That Blade Be? Blade style: Wharncliffe blades are an overlooked style which deserves a better place in knifedom! No matter how much we like something, most of us are still looking for ways to improve it. Little things, to just make something that tiny little bit more usable, more beautiful, more practical, it is just human nature to do so. It is also human nature to seek things that will work better, faster or easier. That is one of the ways we make progress as human beings. Tool Specialization Sometimes we want a tool that will make a specific task or type of task easier. Often we invent things that will only do one job, and sometimes that is the very best thing, like human specialization. I don’t want my brain surgeon to also be a part-time plumber. There is, however, a rational for having a very “generalist” approach to many things, often in

The Buck 110 Folding Hunter

The Buck 110 Folding Hunter This knife and its locking system may be the most significant event in the history of knives since the invention of carbon steel! In 2014 Buck Knives celebrated the 50th anniversary of the most significant event in the history of folding knives since carbon steel! They also celebrated because this innovation may well have been the salvation of the company, and possibly even the salvation of the industry! The Buck 110 Folding Hunter Back Lock What was this monumental innovation? It was a locking system which upon opening the knife to the fully open system, locked it down tight and rigid like a fixed blade knife. This invention, when used with a large sharp knife could keep you from chopping off some fingers with an accidental closure, and made it possible for a knife of the type and size needed for hunting and defense to be placed inside a pocket, or in a small scabbard on a belt without getting all that unwanted attention one might get when carrying a fi

Buck Chinese Made Knives Are they Any Good?

Buck Chinese Made Knives Are they Any Good? You might be surprised at our conclusions! In the end, I reached a conclusion that even I didn’t expect. I do not dislike foreign made knives. In fact, I love those great German and Brittish and French and Swiss and Japanese knives, but I always prefer them to be made in their respective countries! The problem is that there are few knifemakers throughout the world who make all of their knives in their home country. There are a number of different variations on this theme. For instance, French knife maker Opinel does not use French steel but rather relies on Sandvick from Sweden, which is great steel. Honestly, I don’t see a problem with that. Some companies make all of their own components and then have them assembled elsewhere. Some of the old Solingen German knife makers do it this way around I understand. There are even variations in the variations, but that is getting a little far down the rabbit hole for this article. Still, by f

Buck Stockman Knives

Buck Stockman Knives Buck Knives Buck stockman knives have been around for about a hundred years. I have owned one and been a fan for about 50 of those years. It has been a good relationship! My first was a simple buck stockman 301 which I recall being a very nice knife, but can not recall where it might have ended up. A couple of years later I bought one of those new-fangled Buck 110 folding hunters and carried it in my pocket for many years. I never made my way back to a 301 stockman during that time. There were always a lot of Schrade Walden knives for cheap, and Case knives, and I bought several of all of them over the years. Case yellow handle knives in either the Trapper or the Stockman became my standby and I used them till they were used up! Case yellow handle knives in either the Trapper or the Stockman became my standby and I used them till they were used up! However recent Case purchases and subsequent events sent me back to look at the Buck Stockman 301. First, I bough

Case Copperlock

Case Copperlock Case Copperlocks are great little thin Lockback knives. This short video will tell you a little about them plus show you a variation from the normal Copperlock blade type. Please note the video is upside down.

Case Stockman Knives

Case Stockman Knives Knife size For the purpose of testing I tried to get knives of nearly the same size from all For the purpose of testing I tried to get knives of nearly the same size from all makers tested. Turns out that that is not completely possible. The “large” stockman knives from Buck fall between the Case large Stockman and medium Stockman. I chose a Case large Stockman and a medium Case Stockman for testing. Country of origin Since all Case knives are made in the United States, I had no foreign version with which to compare them other than those made by other manufacturers. I will do those comparisons after I am done with the initial articles. Blade material I chose knives with stainless steel since all the other knives we are comparing are stainless steel by default. Handle scale material I chose bone handle scales since I wanted bone handled Case Stockman knives for my collection. I will note here and elsewhere that as a matter of sheer practicality, I consider

Case Wharncliffe Mini Trapper

Case Wharncliffe Mini Trapper I purchased a Case Wharncliffe mini trapper through Shepherd Hills, Case’s largest distributor. The knife came with yellow Delrin handles and the Wharncliffe style blade was of stainless steel. In my search for the perfect all purpose blade, I have come to the conclusion that the Wharncliffe blade is as near to perfection as can be when performing all knife tasks. In truth, it does most tasks better than the blades that were designed specifically for each task! Read more about that in this post: Blade Style: Wharncliffe | One Folding Knife One Blade, Your Choice? A little background is needed: I have been a Case knife owner and fan since I was about 5 years old! I know that sounds a little crazy to the modern mind, but it is true and was not all that uncommon in rural America 5 or 6 decades ago. Hey, when I was a kid you could order guns from Sears through the mail! Times have changed! I have long been a serious fan of Case pocket knives, and have even

Drop Point Custom Camp Knife | J.B. And Son

Drop Point Custom Camp Knife from J.B. And Son: a review On this page, I will review the drop point custom camp knife from J.B. And Son custom knifemaker from East Texas. Let’s start with the basic stats and specs for the drop point custom camp knife: Specs: Blade Material: 1095 high carbon steel. Blade Length: 5″. Grind: Flat. Handles: Shop made burlap micarta made with polyester resin with yellow poly spacers Pins: Stainless steel cutlery rivets that are countersunk and pressed into place. Gimping: Filed thumb grip. Very attractive file work. Spine: 1/8th” wide with a 90-degree grind for fire starter. Lanyard: Extension of full blade tang protruding from handle end in an attractive fashion. Please do remember this concerning the drop point custom camp knife: Because these are hand forged custom knives, the specs may have slight variations which are a part of any custom knife. Your’s will be unique to you! I have been carrying the knife for a week or so now, and have

Folding Knives: A Knife-less Man Is A Lifeless Man!

Folding Knives: A Knife-less Man Is A Lifeless Man! Folding Knives make it possible for the modern man to always be a man with a knife, because: “A knife-less man is a lifeless man!” There have been many times and places when and where that old Viking proverb has been true. Some of us have experienced it and lived to tell the tale. For that, we are grateful. Most knives have specific purposes There are many types of knives, most designed to meet one human need or another and most are not so great at meeting multiple needs. A sword does its intended work well but is pretty much worthless for carving or whittling. A butter knife would not work well for carving either and would fail terribly as a sword! Most fixed blade knives, while great for hunting and skinning are inconvenient for carry in modern urban life and are also a little large for many of the most intricate operations of day to day life. Fixed blade knives Most fixed blade knives, while great for hunting, skinning and s

High End Knives: William Henry Pocket Knives

High End Knives: William Henry Pocket Knives High end knives from William Henry are knives made for those with discerning taste, and a big wallet, but are they worth the price? You decide. Most of us who have a working or tactical relationship with our knives would be a little resistant to the thought of a folding knife costing more than 100.00 or 200.00 dollars. For many, probably most of us, that would be in the upper range or maybe even out of range. You can pick up a great American made Case or Buck that will function flawlessly for farm and ranch use, or for hunting or defense for 50 bucks give or take. You could pick up a good fast opening light weight “tactical” knife from one of these or another company specializing in such knives for about the same, and certainly under 200.00 as well. Some of us might even top out at the 3 or 4 hundred dollar range for that “just right” tactical knife that is so fast to deploy that one might think it had read the bad guys mind before he e

Hollow Ground Blades Versus Flat Or Convex Blades

Hollow Ground Blades Versus Flat Or Convex Blades The truth about hollow grinding I am going to jump right out in the beginning and offer this opinion, which is actually the fact: There is no advantage to flat ground knives or convex ground knives unless one is using the knife as a froe for riving planks or shakes from a block of a tree round. Why do I bring such a thing up? I must have read 15 different forums with a hundred different people guessing, and they all got it completely wrong! How can so many people be so wrong for so long? These forums are internet age, and none of the discussions seem to have people who date back to the time when the purpose for hollow grinding was clear and EVERYONE understood the purpose! It is almost bizarre! Why does hollow grinding exist? It is simple. Hollow grinding has almost always been used in very high-quality knives and razors because it is easier to sharpen! As one sharpens the blade and gets past the initial wider part of the blade,

Imperial Schrade Knives-TDI-Taylor-Brands

Imperial Schrade Knives-TDI-Taylor-Brands I really, really hate to see an American icon go broke, or go out of business, or even go out of the country, but of those 3, I would rather see them move out of the country! Why? Because as long as they exist there is a hope for revival! There is a chance for a return to their former glory! Such a company is/was Imperial Schrade Knives-TDI-Taylor Brands! Imperial Schrade Corporation Imperial Schrade Corporation was built from a number of companies in the early part of the last century. They have had at various times and were having financial trouble. Operating expenses were high and they sold the brand to Taylor Brands in 2004, and is now known as: Imperial Schrade Knives-TDI-Taylor Brands. Imperial Schrade Corporation was built from a number of companies in the early part of the last century. They have had at various times and were having financial trouble. Operating expenses were high and they sold the brand to Taylor Brands in 2004, a

Jefferson's Knives: A Tale Of Two Future Presidents And William Shakespeare!

Jefferson’s Knives: A Tale Of Two Future Presidents And William Shakespeare! Jefferson’s knives, from several mentions, in his memorandum books, we know that Thomas Jefferson purchased a number of pocket knives between 1767 and 1819. One of these knives looks a lot like a modern Victorinox Swiss Army Knife with about a dozen tools between the scales, with the exception of its obvious carbon steel blades and its degrading wood handle. This last one can be seen in Jefferson’s collection at Monticello, and while interesting for many reasons including its likely Sheffield manufacture, and technology, has no real bearing on the tale at hand. It is sufficient to say that Jefferson seems to have been like many if not most Americans regarding the utility of keeping a pocket knife on one’s person. Most men of letters in those days had somewhere about the office a knife of the type used to sharpen a quill pen, hence the term “penknife”. These were often desk knives of the sort sometimes used

Kershaw Leek: Product Review

The Kershaw Leek may just help change my mind concerning modern knife designs! “Tactical” Knives I have never been a big fan of what people call “tactical” folding knives. In fact, I have never been a fan of calling anything tactical outside of a purely tactical situation. I am often amused at hearing someone talk of a “tactical knife” while discussing the merits of a “tactical sheath” made of “ballistic nylon”! What a gut buster! The blades on such knives are usually too short, seem to be designed solely for slashing, have big bellies and with all the emphasis on lightness, (When did everyone become so weak that 3 or 4 ounces is just too heavy for a man to carry?) the new knife breeds are so light that they don’t have the heft to be truly effective in a real world conflict! With my old Buck 110, even if I can’t sling it open in 2 milliseconds, I can still use it like a hammer or a roll of quarters to add momentum to a punch, and it has a four inch blade with a massive chunk of st

J.B. And Son Knives

J.B. And Son Knives Jonathan Bolton is the owner operator of J.B. And Son Knives, producers of high-quality custom made knives in the little town of Lindale in East Texas. Jonathan is known for his custom worked blades and scales, both sometimes made from odd and exotic materials, including a recent knife forged from a 1951 Harley Davidson piston rod! What a great and unique idea! Jonathan Bolton and J.B. And Son Knives In his own words I am going to let him tell his story, and his businesses story in his own words, You will want to read it because it is an awesome story for several reasons: ‘I have only been making knives for about 4 years, I started in 2013 the first year or so I was selling under the name bushcraft and metal works. When my son was born I changed the name to what it is today. My father is a knife collector so I grew up with knives being a pretty big deal. I got my first knife at the age of 6, it was a Swiss army knife. I have always been an avid hunter and ou

Knife Quality Decline Results In The Fall Of Western Civilization!

I fully expect to read this headline someday soon: Knife Quality Decline Results In The Fall Of Western Civilization! Okay, I know that’s not true, but it sort of seems like it! Is Knife Quality On The Decline? Knife quality is a big issue for me! I have bemoaned the fact that for a few years now the products that I purchased from my favorite cutlery company have been below the standards of their previous products. I have advanced the idea that this deviation from their previously amazing record for over 100 years is a sign that Western civilization is crumbling. I know, that is a little mellow dramatic, but it almost seems that way. My anecdotal evidence for the declining quality of knives For more than 5 decades I have been able to walk into a feed store or hardware store in almost any rural part of the country, pick out one of the knives in the companies display case, take the one in the box the proprietor gave me, pay for it, stick it in my pocket without more than a cursory

The Ides Of March

The Ides Of March The Ides of March is about doing things together! It is not just about stabbing, but about coming together to stab in groups! The Ides Of March is almost upon us! March 15th was the date when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death for the purpose of preventing tyranny. 60 men, led by Brutus and Cassius, participated in the mass stabbing! The story is well-known apart from its historic significance due to the artistry of the Bard of Stratford. William Shakespeare wrote his play from the perspective of a monarchist, thereby attributing to Brutus and Cassius the worst of possible motives, treason against the King! Those of us who are familiar with the historical account, and understand democracies and republics see it in a much different way. Shakespeare was a man of his time and place, as we all are. His story and the historic story have lessons for us today. The types of knives used The Romans had a number of swords that went through a number of chan

Republic Of Knives

Republic Of Knives Republic Of Knives, what is it about? Republic Of Knives is first and foremost, about knives! We are not, at the moment at least, attempting to found a new republic known as “Knives”, although we think that would be an awesome republic, and we may have to give that idea some serious thought in the future! Republic Of Knives Is about the state of Knifedom! Once again, we are not concerning ourselves with a state called “Knifedom”, but the state, that is, the condition of knife “culture” and knives in today’s world. Not all is well. There would appear to be a decline in the stability of commercial handmade or mostly handmade knife companies in their respective home countries with the movement of much of the manufacturing to countries where labor is less expensive, and in some cases, where quality may be questionable. This has some mixed results. On the other hand, there seems to be a resurgence of custom knife making and hundreds of talented custom k