Robertson's Custom Cutlery custom knives Les Robertson knife expert | 706.650.0252

Welcome to Robertson’s Custom Cutlery!  We offer an excellent selection of in-stock knives, with  an emphasis on “value” pricing. Featuring today’s market leaders and those who will be in the future.  Exclusive designs, limited editions and expertise provided with regards to investing in fine custom knives.

I have been involved in custom knives in one way or another for the last 30 years. I have been a full time custom knife dealer since 1995.  As with many of you, I started off as a user of custom knives. In 1983, I was a Second Lieutenant attending the Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning Georgia. I was headed to the 101st Airborne to assume command of a rifle platoon.  Having witnessed several factory knives that failed, I turned to custom made knives in order to find one I could count on in the field.

I spent 5 ½ years with the 101st at Ft. Campbell, KY.  I traveled all over the world, operating in some of the harshest environments on the planet, carrying several knives to field test. This allowed me the opportunity to test different steels, handle materials, etc. In addition to our constant field time in and around Ft. Campbell, I was fortunate to attend Jungle School in Panama and Northern Warfare School in Alaska. While stationed in South Korea, my knives and I were tested again. The knives I carried definitely got a good work out when I was selected to attend SERE (Survival Escape Resistance and Evasion) training with personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group.

In addition to my military training and experiences, I have trained in several different martial arts, achieved the Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician –Ambulance Certification, Emergency Rescue Technician and Vertical Rigging and Rescue Technician Certifications.  I am a PADI Certified Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver with the majority of my experience in the Caribbean.

In 1987, I began Robertson’s Custom Cutlery.  My business has never been merely about buying and selling knives as there is always something to learn.  In 1989, I won my first of 42 custom knife display awards received over a five year period.  In 1992, I gave up displaying to participate in the custom knife judging that takes place at most shows.  Highlights include judging at the Blade Show, the U. S. Knifemakers’ Guild Show and the Canadian Knifemakers’ Guild Show.  When I first started judging, I was paired with other judges who had significantly more experience with custom knives than I did.  Their insight into what to look for provided (and still does) me with an invaluable education.  This education has made me a very “discriminating” buyer.  Judging is one of my favorite activities as it presents you with the opportunity to compare the work of several knife makers at once.

After receiving this education, I decided to try my hand at designing.  Generally, these projects were maker collaborations with my contribution being the addition of “design elements.” In 1997, Bob Neal and I introduced the custom knife world to something it had never seen before or since!  LDC Custom Knives; which was comprised of 2 sets of 10 different folders and 1 set of 5 different fixed blades.  What made these sets unique?  Each knife in the set was made by a well-known custom knife maker and in order to get serial numbers 1 – 25 you had to buy the entire set.  A total of 50 were made of each knife.  The last set of knives featuring 5 fixed blades graced the May 1999 cover of Tactical Knives Magazine.  LDC Custom Knives grew from listening to what the collectors wanted in a custom knife…not the so called “experts” who told us this concept would never work.

In April 1995, I left the Army and after receiving my Masters in Business Administration a month later, I became a full time custom knife entrepreneur. I launched my website: in 1998.

As the LDC project ended in 2001, I started Vanguard Knives. This was a departure from LDC as, while limited in numbers, there were no sets. Vanguard Knives has included both fixed blades and folders. To date, there have been 58 different models, with each one having sold out.  Much like the LDC Knives, the Vanguard Knives came from talking with thousands of collectors and listening to what they wanted.

In 2003, I once again provided the custom knife community with something that had never seen done before…or since.  I wrote a book called, “Custom Knives Buying Guide.”  The idea behind the book was to help, primarily newer collectors, sort out the myriad of ideas and information that is associated with the custom knife market in a small, pocket size handbook.  “This is the best $10 you will ever spend with regards to custom knives,” declared Knife World Publication. The guide was updated to reflect the current market in 2012.

Mr. Steve Shackelford, the Editor of Blade Magazine, was kind enough to offer me my first opportunity to write for a magazine. My first article appeared in the fall of 2006. I have since written numerous articles for Blade on both custom knife makers and the business of custom knives. In 2009, I was made the first and only custom knife dealer to earn the distinction of Blade Magazine’s Custom Knife Field Editor.

In 2007, I was approached by Mr. Bruce Voyles to write a regular column for Knives Illustrated.  Bruce is one of the giants of the knife business so I was flattered that he would ask me to write for KI.  I am the only custom knife dealer with a regular column in any knife magazine. In 2009, I was named the Custom Knife Field Editor for Knives Illustrated, as well.

I love to talk knives, so I have done (and continue to do) seminars at major knife show over the last 20 years for both makers and collectors.

In 2013, I had the honor of being nominated for the Blade Cutlery Hall of Fame! I’m very grateful for this honor.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions. I look forward to doing business with you in the near future.

Best Regards,
Les Robertson