ZINIO logo

Blade May 2021

BLADE magazine is the world’s #1 knife publication, covering all aspects of the industry: knifemaking, how-to’s, collecting, legislation and knife rights, and much more. Inside each issue you’ll find: Coverage of the hottest and most collectible handmade knives and their values Complete listings of the industry's most important shows and events Knife collecting tips from the experts The most up-to-date knife legislation info

Read More
United States
Caribou Media, LLC
13 Issues

in this issue

3 min
readers respond

BLADE Show West This letter is to the powers that be that pick the city and the time for BLADE Show West. After the first BLADE Show West in 2019 in Portland, I called a friend and fellow knifemaker in Idaho and asked him about the show. I indicated that I would like to go/participate in the next one. The first words out of his mouth were “they are a different people in Portland. The show didn’t do as well as it was thought it would out West.” Shortly thereafter I had back surgery and a heart attack and was unable to participate for the next two years. Last year the show was scheduled late in the year where there is the chance of snow in the mountains and hazardous travel in the…

1 min
how to reach us!

VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.BLADEMAG.COM TO: • Sign up for our free newsletter.• Renew your magazine subscription. There’s a subscription link in the nav bar.• Comment on our site stories written by BLADE® staff members and others. LOOK FOR BLADE MAGAZINE ON: SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES: Visit us on the Web at www.blademag.com or call 877-485-6426. Outside USA: 386-246-3419. BOOK SALES: Visit us at www.gundigeststore.com or call 920-471-4522. BACK ISSUES FOR SALE: Subject to Availability. Call 920-471-4522. ADVERTISING: Contact Lori McDaniel at 715-498-3768 or lori@gundigest.com, or request a media kit by writing to: BLADE, 5600 W. Grande Market Dr., Appleton, WI 54913. LETTERS OR ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS: Steve Shackleford, Editor BLADE Magazine 5600 W. Grande Market Dr., Ste. 100 Appleton, WI 54913 or email steve@blademag.com.…

1 min
cover story

The sowbelly pocketknife is award-winning maker Bill Ruple’s first-ever six-blade slip joint. Blade steel is CPM 154 stainless, and the handle is amber-dyed Sambar stag. The integral bolster is 416 stainless, as is the handle frame. For more on the cover knife, see page 12 and/or contact Bill Ruple, Dept. BL5, 201 Brian Dr., Pleasonton, TX 78064 830-570-0056 rupleknives@live.com. The image of the sowbelly is by SharpByCoop. For more on Ruple and the balance of the makers who constitute the South Texas Cartel, see page 12 as well. The knife at top left is the MIK-05PS, a medium infantry knife from Halfbreed Blades (page 34). At top right photographed by BLADE® field editor Abe Elias is the Little Bugger by TOPS Knives (page 70). And, photographed at bottom left by Marty Stanfield…

3 min
the slip joint mystique

Anytime the subject of knife history is broached, the slip joint is always in the mix. From the classic pocketknife makers of 19th-century Sheffield, England, their 20th-century descendants in the American Northeast, today’s great custom and factory knifemakers and all points in-between, the slip joint takes a back seat to no knife. This issue BLADE® touches on but a small part of the slip joint mystique with stories on a “cartel” of some of today’s top custom makers of the genre in south Texas (page 12), the mystery of the half stop (page 28), and a rundown of some of the latest examples of the barlow (page 20), an old-time pocketknife favorite. Slip joint—the word itself raises the blood pressure of some old-timers who insist pocketknife is the proper name for the…

9 min
the cartel comes clean

There’s a common thread that the members of the South Texas Cartel share. Sure, they’re all accomplished custom knifemakers. Of course, they excel in the craft of the multi-blade slip joint. But the greatest common factor is Bill Ruple, teacher, mentor and, well, godfather of the group. “The Cartel started off as a group of guys that I taught to make slip joint knives,” said Ruple (page 29), a renowned veteran of the multi-blade. “We get together as often as we can and share ideas and talk knives. It’s loosely modeled after the Montana Mafia* that includes Rick Dunkerley, Shane Taylor, Wade Coulter, and Barry Gallagher—all great friends of mine. We knew we couldn’t infringe on the ‘Mafia,’ so we became the Cartel.” According to Ruple, the Cartel started out as a…

1 min
the knife i carry

“After many months of tracking the owner of this knife and then persuading him to sell it to me, I finally managed to acquire it. It’s a Rick Hinderer XM-18 3.5-inch spearpoint. What’s special about it is that it’s one of a very few pieces es that are part of his Containment Series, and is designated a CS-20. It has a special place in my collection because 2020 will forever be known as the COVID year, and this knife is very adequate for that time.” Marco Cano, Houston, Texas “Cutting is something I do at various times and places on a daily basis—and the knife I carry for the purpose is the Buck 110 Slim Pro.” Mitchell Palmer, a letter via e-mai “I carry a Colonial Model 2205 and have done so for many…