category_outlined / Hunting & Fishing

Blade January 2019

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

United States
Caribou Media, LLC
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13 Issues


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readers respond

How To Join The Guild My name is Calvin Robinson and I am the former Knifemakers’ Guild director in charge of membership. I would like to encourage anyone interested to pursue membership in the Guild. The Guild is constantly adding new members, mostly knifemaker members both Voting and Probationary, though we also have other membership categories: Youth, Honorary, Associate and Knifemaker Emeritus. All are explained in detail on the Guild website www.knifemakersguild.com. I would like to explain some new requirements for Probationary Membership that seem to have caused confusion with longtime members and applicants alike. Two new forms are now required along with the Application: a Comments Sheet and a Score Sheet. The same four voting members who sign the Application must make the observations about the applicant’s knives on the Comment Sheet…

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cover story

ABS master smith Aaron Wilburn’s mosaic damascus bowie won both Best Fixed Blade and Best In Show at the 2018 BLADE Show West (page 34) and is this issue’s cover knife. The handle of mammoth ivory sports domed nickel-silver pins, nickel-silver trim and filework. The guard, spacer and frame are Morovian Turkish twist damascus. Blade length: 12 inches. The maker’s list price of $5,000 for a similar piece includes a horsehide-lined sheath of 9-ounce leather boasting basket-weave tooling and alligator skin trimmings. “The guard, spacer and frame are Morovian Turkish twist damascus.” For more information contact Aaron Wilburn, Dept. BL1, 2521 Hilltop Dr., #364, Redding, CA 96002 530-215-9911 Wilburnforge@yahoo.com, wilburnforge.com, or see the story on page 34. Bladegallery.com photographed the cover knife. The inset image of the Cold Steel Double Agent is by Marty…

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made-in-america force

Much has been written and reported on all fronts—pro and con—about the import tariffs instituted by the administration of President Donald Trump. At the recent BLADE Show West (see page 34), Mike Vellekamp, headman of V Nives, predicted the tariffs are going to result in a “shift” in the factory knife market that will create a new “made-in-America force.” Here’s how he sees it going down. Manufacturers in Asia, especially China, have been able to make better inexpensive knives than U.S. manufacturers for years now due in no small part to low labor, advertising and other costs. Largely as a result, Chinese manufacturers have dominated the market for “price-point” or inexpensive knives in America. However, as a result of the tariffs, Mike opined, in order to maintain profits the Chinese will be forced…

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fit and finish 101

Fit and finish is bandied about so often in cutlery circles it’s almost become one word, pronounced something like fittenfinnish. A newbie collector who hangs around seasoned custom knifemakers, purveyors and collectors soon learns the “fit-and-finish thing” is a mighty nice trait for the knives in his or her stable to have. All that being said, is fit and finish the key to a knife being all it can be, or does a knife exhibiting it simply look nicer and cost more? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between? We recruited a panel of authorities to help sort through it all, including purveyors Neil Ostroff of True North Knives, Dave Ellis of Exquisite Knives, Dan Delavan of Plaza Cutlery, and seasoned custom maker Tim Britton. We started by asking our authorities…

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the knife i carry

“Christmas 1986 my father gave me a new Randall drop-point hunter with tan Micarta scales. In my opinion it is the ultimate tool for field dressing and skinning whitetail deer. Over the past 30 years I have carried it constantly while deer hunting. At some point I took to notching the sheath for each deer cleaned. I wish I could buy my sons new ones but the model is discontinued. I guess they will have to fight over mine.” Scott Stover, Jasper, Texas “I carry a Buck 112. I like the Buck 110 too but the smaller 3-inch blade of the 112 fits my needs better.” Sammy L. Morrison, a letter via e-mail “My Benchmade Rift is a great carry knife. I like the feel of the textured handle and the cutting performance is…

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4 paths to collector glory

HOW TO BLAZE YOUR OWN PATH 1: It’s hard to resist t using knife, and hunters lead the way due to their sheer numbers and relative economy of price. Landon Robbins outfits his drop point in 1084 carbon steel with a handsome hamon and desert ironwood. Overall length: 8.5 inches. His list price for a similar piece: $450 (includes a custom leather sheath). (Chuck Ward image) What puts a collector on edge? It can be a single attribute of a custom knife such as a stag handle or a blued guard. For others it can be the combination of materials, design/style and/or the maker. For most collectors it is about deciding what is in and what is out of their collections. They control the direction of their avocation. What is it that turns someone…