• Custom knife expert for 35+ years
  • Exclusive designs & limited editions
  • Personal customer service
  • Offering custom knives from some of
    the best custom knife makers in the world
07
MAY
2024

Tips for Today’s Custom Collectors

Posted By :
Comments : Off

5 TIPS AND 4 F’S
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  JUNE ISSUE 2024  PAGES 78-82

Since 1985, Les has been collecting custom knives. What began as a neccessary tool in the field at Ft. Cambell, KY; developed into a full-time business. Needless to say, his experience over the years is invaluable to today’s custom knife collector. He enjoys simplifying his knowledge in this article for the Blade Magazine’s June readers with 5 TIPS and 4 F’s.

Blade Magazine Cover June 2024 Les Robertson Field Editor article

Blade Magazine Article by Les Robertson Field Editor June 2024 Collecting Tips

Bose Slip-Joint Folder and Fisher Damascus Test Bowie featured in the Blade Magazine article June 2024

15
APR
2024

Spencer Clark

Posted By :
Comments : 0

The biggest surprise for me about Spencer Clark was to find out he was only an Apprentice Smith within the ABS.  Apprentice Smiths usually do not incorporate unique design elements early on in their work.  Incorporation of cut outs in the guard and recurve blades were a noticeable separation from the AS standard fare.  I found his departures refreshing.

Spencer’s designs have the flow that most seasoned custom knife collectors appreciate. Too often the guards from new makers are big and chunky.  This can break up the flow that the guard should provide from the blade to the handle. His guards compliment the symmetry of the blade grind and the exceptional ergonomics of his handles.  All these features combine to give the owner a delight for their senses.  Spencer is one of those rare makers whose abilities belie the short time that he has been making knives.

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

24
FEB
2024

Tactical Cover Knife Just In

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Tactical Knives: A Very Short History
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  FEB ISSUE 2024  PAGES 36-41

Les wrote this article and Blade Magazine choose to feature the Gosciniak Harbinger on the cover. Les & Piotr collaborated on the knife design specs offered exclusively from Robertson’s Custom Cutlery. We just received the knife from Poland and know you’ll be pleased with the outcome. In the same wooden box came some of your other favorites… The Tracker, Breaker & Caymans- both OD green & black handle.  You may preorder the Stealth Dagger I & II which are coming in late March.

Gosciniak Tactical Harbinger Fixed Blade Featured Magazine Cover Survival Knife

Gosciniak Tactical HarbingerBlade Magazine Feb 2024 Tactical Knives Les Robertson

Gosciniak Tracker Tactical Fighter Stealth Knifemaker from Poland

Gosciniak Tracker

Gosciniak Cayman OD green handle Tactical Fixed Blade

Gosciniak Cayman OD

Gosciniak Breaker Tactical Fixed Blade

Gosciniak Breaker

Gosciniak Cayman Black handle Tactical Fixed Blade

Gosciniak Cayman Black

Recently, Les was interviewed for an upcoming article in Blade magazine on what knives or market sectors would be hot in 2024.  His response was, “Tactical fixed blades will be hot in 2024.  They offer so much variety in materials, design(s), and carry configurations.  This style of knife will always pique the custom knife buyer’s interest and they come in at an affordable price.”

Piotr Gosciniak’s version of this classic dagger features a slightly shorter blade with a fuller down the center. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a blood groove. Instead, the purpose of the fuller is to lighten and stiffen the blade without sacrificing blade length. At the same time, it can help the maker achieve a better balance for the knife. Piotr’s Stealth Dagger features a 6.3” blade, while the Stealth Dagger II features a 5” blade. Both feature 80CrV2 steel with black Cerakote. The black G-10 handle is laser-cut to give the knife a better gripping surface. For additional control, this knife has a scalloped guard.

Gosciniak Stealth Dagger Tactical Fixed Blade

Gosciniak Stealth Dagger

Gosciniak Stealth Dagger II Tactical Fixed Blade

Gosciniak Stealth Dagger II

27
JAN
2024

OUTDOORSMAN’S COMPANION

Posted By :
Comments : Off

What to look for in a custom hunting knife and some sharp examples.
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  NOV ISSUE 2023  PAGES 42-46

Blade Magazine Outdoorsman's Companion Hunting Knives Nov 2023 Field Editor, Les Robertson Kuberski Cochran malosh

21
JAN
2024

CUTLERY COUNTRY QUINTET

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Les’ Five Favorite American Custom Knife Makers
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  MARCH ISSUE 2022  PAGES 24-28

Blade Magazine Custom Knife Field Editor Les Robertson 5 favorite American knife makers March 2022 RJ Martin Walter Brend George Herron Steve Randall Dave Broadwell

20
JAN
2024

MOSAIC DAMASCUS RIDES AGAIN!

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Reboot of an Exciting Genre Awaits Fans of the Forged Blade
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  JAN ISSUE 2021  PAGES 50-54

Blade Magazine Mosaic Damascus Custom Knife Blade Editor Jan 2021

 

19
JAN
2024

PATTERNS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Damascus comes in several patterns, each of which affects overall knife value.
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  MARCH ISSUE 2021  PAGES 56-59

Blade Magazine March 2021 Patterns Matter by Custom Knife Field Editor Les Robertson types of forged Damascus steel ABS Master Smith Steve Randall

15
JAN
2024

HOW TO COLLECT CUSTOM HUNTERS? Part 3

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Completing this 3-part series talking about Collectible Influencers.
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  NOV. ISSUE 2020  PAGES 34-38 

Blade Magazine Nov 2020 Cover-Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor How to Collect Custom Hunters Blade Magazine Nov 2020 Cover-Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor How to Collect Custom Hunters Blade Magazine Nov 2020 Cover-Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor How to Collect Custom HuntersBlade Magazine Nov 2020 Cover-Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor How to Collect Custom Hunters Blade Magazine Nov 2020 Cover-Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor How to Collect Custom Hunters

14
JAN
2024

HOW TO COLLECT CUSTOM HUNTERS? Part 2

Posted By :
Comments : Off
In this 2nd part, Investment Users are discussed.
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  OCT. ISSUE 2020  PAGES 26-31 

Blade Magazine Oct 2020 Collecting Custom Hunters Part 2 Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor Investment Users

14
JAN
2024

HOW TO COLLECT CUSTOM HUNTERS? Part 1

Posted By :
Comments : Off

In this first article of a 3-part series, the subject is Collectible Users.
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  SEPT. ISSUE 2020  PAGES 30-33 

Blade Magazine Sept 2020 How to Collect Custom Hunters by Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor

14
JAN
2024

ONE MAN’S BLADE SHOW MASTER PLAN

Posted By :
Comments : Off

How to make the most of your time and money at the Blade Show?
by Custom Knife Field Editor, Les Robertson
BLADE MAGAZINE  NOV. ISSUE 2020  PAGES 34-37 

Blade Magazine article by Les Robertson Custom KniBlade Magazine June 2020 Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor One Man's Blade Show Master Plan Only time in history the show moved to August. Blade Magazine June 2020 Les Robertson Custom Knife Field Editor One Man's Blade Show Master Plan Only time in history the show moved to August.

16
NOV
2023

KNIVES 2024 is out!

Posted By :
Comments : Off

The KNIVES 2024 publication is out! On pages 16-21 of this 44th edition, Les has written about several Eastern European Knife makers offering value-priced knives.

Knives 2024 cover featuring Les article Eastern European Makers offering value pricing
Overpriced knives led him to research who was making custom knives, both in the US and worldwide, with good value. After saving photos on social media, he discovered many of the makers whose knives he found interesting were from Eastern Europe. Much like in the US, prices ranged from reasonable to extreme.

Komorosky Paladin II Tactical Fighter Slovakia stealth sleek

Komorosky Paladin II Tactical Fighter

He contacted well over a hundred makers asking questions about materials, construction techniques, pricing, sheaths, and additional photos. Here are a few knife makers that stood out…Michal Komorovsky of Slovakia; Maksim Tjulpin of Latvia; and Piotr Gosciniak of Poland. Although there are challenges working with international makers, their work offers quality for the money.

11
NOV
2023

Shout Out to Fellow Veterans

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Shout out to all my fellow US Veterans… Thank you for your service, sacrifice and support! Happy Veteran’s Day!
Gosciniak Stealth Dagger tactical fixed blade fuller Kydex sheath

This is a Piotr Gosciniak Stealth Dagger.  As a former Infantry Officer, I appreciate Gosciniak’s designs are purpose-driven; these are tools meant to be used. The fuller, textured handle material, and thumb serrations add to the knife’s capability in the field. $400.00

13
OCT
2023

HOLA! from ARGENTINA

Posted By :
Comments : Off

HOLA!
Aficionados a los Cuchillos de Caza
(Hello! Hunting Knife Fans)
We are featuring our latest custom hunters straight from Argentina.

RCC has been working with Cristian Silva and Matias Funes for three years now. We have always found their work clean and better than many of the Journeyman Smiths in the ABS.

Les has featured these two talented makers in articles he has written for Blade Magazine and The Knife Annual. All of these knives feature excellent balance and handle ergonomics. In addition to the quality of their work, their prices are among the most competitive in the world!

CRISTIAN SILVA Cristian is an Award-Winning ABS Journeyman Smith.

CRISTIAN SILVA PECCARY FORGED DAMASCUS DROP POINT HUNTER
Forged Flame Pattern Damascus.  His knives have a high quality fit and finish. The Amber Red Stag handle has natural texturing for extra grip.  $650.00

CRISTIAN SILVA IBEX FORGED DAMASCUS DROP POINT HUNTER
Forged Flame Pattern Damascus
These knives were built in Argentina. This hunter is an exceptional example of Silva’s exemplary skill. Nice grip from the natural texture of the Amber Red Stag handle.  $525.00

MATIAS FUNES Matias is an ABS Apprentice Smith from Argentina. 

MATIAS FUNES FORGED INTEGRAL STAG HUNTER
Light and well-balanced. The serrations on the top of the blade and the choil are slightly radius to allow the user a wide variety of handling options  $425.00

MATIAS FUNES FORGED KOA HUNTER
Excellent all-around hunter. At home, dressing out game of all sizes. Outstanding balance and excellent handle ergonomics.  $395.00

MATIAS FUNES FORGED STAG HUNTER
Exquisite hunter with slightly larger “belly” to help with deeper and longer cutting with less effort.  $450.00

MATIAS FUNES FORGED FEATHER PATTERN DAMASCUS INTEGRAL HUNTER
Light, well-balanced, and exceptional handle ergonomics. Desert Ironwood handle.  $550.00

MATIAS FUNES FORGED FEATHER PATTERN DAMASCUS HUNTER KOA
Light, well-balanced, and exceptional handle ergonomics.  $575.00

14
AUG
2023

Russ Andrews’ knives offers “smooth transitions”

Posted By :
Comments : Off

I was introduced to Russ Andrews’ work at the 2008 Arkansas knife show. While only an ABS Journeyman Smith at the time, it was apparent to the keen observer that it was only a matter of time before Russ earned his Master Smith Stamp, which he did in 2008.

Russ Andrews, ABS Master Smith, forged Duplex Ladder Pattern Damascus for this Hawthorne 10 Bowie.

Perhaps the best way to describe any of you Russ’ knives is “smooth transitions.” That is to say, the design of the knife flows effortlessly from one design element to the next. The blade grind flows smoothly from the front of the guard to the tip of the blade. As your eyes move towards the handle, there is an almost seamless transition through the guard to the end of the handle, which has exceptional ergonomics. While I know it is not the case, Russ’ knife handles fit your hand so well that they appear to have been made for each of their new owners.

Russ Andrews forged Damascus Hawthorne 11 Bowie ABS Master Smith

Russ’ knives feature only quality materials. Most of his knives feature Damascus; however, he does use W-2 and 5160 carbon steels. His hardware features both Damascus and stainless steel. He prefers Ancient Ivory such as Mastodon, Walrus, or Stag for handles. Russ makes each of his leather sheaths. Many feature inlays, such as snake skin and alligator skin.

Russ has stopped taking orders from very few clients. I’m proud to count myself as one of those clients. Should you decide you want one of Russ’ exceptional knives. Please let me know.

15
MAY
2023

Gosciniak & Sandow Featured in Blade Magazine June 2023 issue

Posted By :
Comments : Off

GOSCINIAK STEALTH CUSTOM DAGGER & SANDOW FAIRBAIRN-SYKES DAGGER were just featured in the June issue of Blade Magazine. The article titled, “Daggers…You Get the Point” was written by Les Robertson of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery and appears on pages 78-87. The article talks about the history of the dagger and some of the lessons he has learned while using a dagger in the field: 1) Don’t believe the hype and 2) Only use custom made daggers with a full tang.

Gosciniak Black Stealth Dagger in Blade Magazine June 2023 You Get the Point

The texture of the Black Micarta on the handle of the Piotr Gosciniak Stealth Dagger gives the user additional grip, particularly in a wet environment. The fuller reduces the weight of the Blade while at the same time improving its strength. The thumb cut-out provides the user with extra stability while using the knife.

Blade Length: 6.3″ Overall Length: 11.5″ Blade Steel: 80CrV2 Blade Finish: Black Cerakote Handle Material: Laser-cut textured Black G-10 Sheath: Custom-made Kydex sheath by the maker $425.00

Piotr Gosciniak has been making custom knives in his home country of Poland since 2017. Having a keen interest in the military, Petr decided to focus his talent on making tactical knives. He occasionally uses carbon steel such as 80CrV2; most of his knives are built using high-quality stainless steel such as Elmax or Sleipner. He also offers Cerakote coating for his knives. Piotr prefers synthetic handle materials, Micarta, G-10, or Carbon Fiber.

As a former Infantry Officer, I appreciate Piotr’s knives’ clean, crisp lines. His designs are purpose-driven; these are tools meant to be used. The fullers, textured handle material, and thumb serrations add to the knife’s capability.

Sandow Fairbairn-Sykes Dagger in Blade Magazine June 2023 You Get the Point

True to the original Fairbairn-Sykes, this Brent Sandow Dagger is quick, fast and meant for serious work. The scalloped guard for the user’s thumb allows for better control. Sandow lives in New Zealand.
Blade Length: 6.75″ Overall Length: 11.75″ Blade Steel: D-2 Blade Finish: Flat Black Gun Kote Guard Material: Stainless Steel Handle Material: Checkered Stainless steel $625.00

Michal Komorovsky Paladin II Tactical Fixed Blade Slovakia DCL coating featured on the cover of Blade 2-2023
06
FEB
2023

Komorovsky Paladin II is featured on the Cover of Blade Magazine!

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Michal Komorovsky made this custom Paladin II Tactical Fighter exclusively for Robertson’s Custom Cutlery. It was featured on the cover of Blade Magazine (2/2023). It is Sleek, Stealthy, Sexy and deceptively quick. Michal is from the country of Slovakia Republic. $895.00

15
JAN
2023

About Knifemaker Szymek Szlagor

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Szymek Szlagor has been making knives since 2017 in his home country of Poland. Building a knife for himself led to building knives for his friends. And this led to him becoming a full-time knife maker. His favorite part of making his knives is the forging and machining of carbon steel and Damascus. He prefers 5160 carbon steel and combining K720 and 15n20 to make his Damascus.

His handle material preferences are natural materials such as stabilized wood and antlers. For his everyday carry (EDC) knives, he prefers to use Micarta. He feels that making knives is a beautiful job. He is taking a piece of steel, giving it shape, and improving it till it becomes a tool that will be used and passed down from generation to generation. Having handled his work, he has accomplished his goal.

30
OCT
2022

Bushcraft Knife

Posted By :
Comments : Off

What Is a Bushcraft Knife? Bushcraft knives are often considered more for all-around general purposes than survival knives. Designed to handle various outdoor tasks like building a shelter, starting a fire with a Ferro rod, batoning (splitting wood with a knife and mallet or a stick used as a hammer, etc.) Blade lengths are generally between 3 and 6 inches. As they may be required to perform various tasks, some need the blade to be very strong, so it is best to have a full tang. Depending on the situation, the blade length, steel, and handle materials are all subject to interpretation. As this is not a survival knife per se, you can pick the configuration that best suits your intended environment.

What’s the difference between bushcraft and survival?
Simply put, survival methods are about unexpected emergency situations, keeping yourself alive, and getting back to the safety of civilization. Bushcraft is about using nature to sustain yourself for protracted periods in the wild, often voluntarily.

Bushcraft skills provide for the fundamental physiological necessities for human life: food (through foraging, tracking, hunting, trapping, and fishing), water sourcing and purification, shelter-building, and fine craft. These may be supplemented with expertise in twine-making, knots and lashings, wood-carving, camp craft, medicine/health, natural navigation, and tool and weapon making.

28
OCT
2022

About Knifemaker Petr Dohnal

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Petr Dohnal and his son Peter have been making knives for 21 years in their home country of the Czech Republic. Working as a computer graphic designer, he realized he wanted to build something with his hands, so he chose to make custom knives.

As with many makers, his favorite part is forging the blades, usually Damascus. In addition to making his own steel, he uses Elmax, Vanadis 8, and M390, as well as others. He understands that the knife’s intended use will often determine the steel best suited for specific environments or tasks. He primarily makes hunters, Bushcraft, and camp knives.

His handle material(s) of choice are natural ones. He likes stabilized wood and antlers for his knives. I find Petr’s knives a joy to hold in your hand…sleek, well-made, superior balance, and handle ergonomics. Take a look at Dohnal Knives on RCC!

24
SEP
2022

Knife Shows – Make the Most of Your Time and Money

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Knife Shows: Make the Most of Your Time and Money

By Les Robertson

 

There are numerous custom knife shows across America. There are big shows like the Atlanta Blade Show and many smaller regional shows. They all have one thing in common, custom knives. Custom knife makers bring knives featuring different styles, materials, and prices. Whether the show is small or big, you can give yourself an advantage by researching the makers before you attend the show. 

 

Pre-Show:

Today even smaller shows have a website or a social media page providing you with an exhibitor list. Often there is a link to the maker’s website or social media page. Utilizing this list, you will know which makers will attend and possibly which knives they plan to bring. In addition, you can contact the maker and ask questions about their knives before the show. Doing so can help you decide if you are interested in this maker’s work. While this strategy works for smaller shows, I find it essential for larger knife shows. 

 

Who, where, and what:

The exhibitor list will help you identify who will be at the show. Most show websites will also give you their location in the knife show. I go through the exhibitor list and create my list of which makers I want to see. Clicking on the website next to their name allows me more time to look at their work. What I learn about the maker and their knives may move them up or down on my priority list. 

 

There will be some makers that may not be familiar to you. Clicking on their website will introduce you to the maker and their work. You are possibly adding to the list of makers whose work you would like to see. Or removing makers from your list as you have no interest in their style of knives.

 

Possibly as important as who; where will keep you from wandering the show looking for a particular maker. Once you have identified whose knives you want to see, you can list where these makers are in the front and combine this with your list of who you want to see. It can save you hours of wandering the show. 

 

What about the knives? It is the main reason you are at the custom knife show. Knowing what the makers are bringing and hoping to finish for the show is beneficial. This will allow you to move the maker up or down your priority list.  

 

Often makers will post what they plan on bringing to the show on social media and their website. If there is a maker you are particularly interested in, I highly recommend you seek out photos of the knives they will be bringing to Blade. You can locate many of the knives the makers intend to bring on the more popular social media sites. I believe you will find that it is to your benefit. On these social media sites, pricing may be missing. There is nothing wrong with asking the maker the price of the knife. 

 

Time and Money:

Although a show like the Blade show is three days long. You will be amazed at how quickly the time slips away. The same can be said for your money, as that will move quickly from one hand to another. To help you with time and money, I suggest you find pricing before the show from the makers that interests you. Unfortunately, too many makers are guessing at their prices or asking well-intentioned fellow makers for pricing guidance. These pricing methods do not benefit you as a collector. However, doing so may help you prioritize the makers on your list. 

 

Pricing:

Several factors can go into pricing. Doing research ahead of time can give you an insight into a particular market sector and that maker’s position in it. Research can help you to develop a sense of fair pricing for custom knives with certain materials. Having this information can save you time and money. It allows you to focus on makers who provide you with the best price and the potential for your new knife to hold its value. 

 

Opportunities Abound:

Custom knife shows offer opportunities to handle knives from past, present, and future legends. You can also meet makers who reside outside the United States. Whose work you would most likely not have a chance to handle. Please take the opportunity to meet the maker and handle their knives; you don’t usually get the opportunity to do so. It is a great learning tool to see how makers worldwide make their knives. 

 

If you plan to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire a

knife through a lottery. Be sure to know where and what time the lottery is. Generally, a ticket or one-half of a playing card must be in the lottery. Be sure to get there early enough to secure one of these. 

 

A Few More Tips:

Check the exhibitor list before the show opens and plan who you want to see. Have a pen and something to write on. It would help if you planned to take photos of the knives that interest you. This information could help with decision-making during and after the show. Have a map, so you know how to find the maker’s location. Then, get the knife or knife you want. I found doing this increases the enjoyment and decreases the stress of the show. 

 

Learn about us.

 

 

19
SEP
2022

What is San Mai Steel?

Posted By :
Comments : Off

San Mai steel, much like Damascus steel, is incredibly durable, even though forged and cut into blades. In addition, the cutting power, particularly of San Mai steel, is exceptional. The process, however, of making this type of steel is wholly different. The unique combination of the core of high carbon steel or Damascus and stainless steel is why it has such unique characteristics and looks.

San Mai steel originates from Japan. The Japanese term San Mai means three layers. And that’s the most accurate description because these blades consist of a center core made using hardened steel and two outer layers or edges made with more pliable, milder steel.

This forging method includes the best of both worlds – carbon steel and stainless steel. The carbon steel in the center creates a sharp edge for cutting and slicing. The stainless steel layers that surround the core provide excellent shock resistance—at the same time, preventing the carbon steel from being damaged. This combination of various elements is responsible for the unique attributes and legendary popularity of blades constructed of San Mai steel.

24
AUG
2022

Custom Knives: Collectible, Investments, or Just For Fun (part 2)

Posted By :
Comments : Off

continued from part 1

Mike Malosh forged Scagel style Skinning Knife Stag

Mike Malosh Forged Scagel style Skinning Knife with Stag $375.00

Custom knives are comprised of two large market sectors; fixed blades and folders. These move in cycles as smaller market sectors cycle within the larger market sectors. Before the internet, this could last a decade or more.  Today the cycles are there, but the knives in the smaller market sectors move in and out of favor much quicker. Within those cycles are even smaller sectors. They are the trends that can last anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. As I discussed earlier the matrix gave me insight into the pricing of custom knives. Let’s be honest, if you had the choice between two knives of equal quality and materials from makers of equal skill and reputation; you would more often than not buy the less expensive one.

The issue of buying what you like nagged at me as I knew from my own experience it would cost you money in the long run. This made no sense to me before I created my matrix and even less sense to me after. Given there are thousands of knives available worldwide at any given time, why would you buy a knife for your collection knowing when you sell it you would lose money? Conversely, the question then has to be asked why a maker would price their knives knowing that they won’t sell for that price.  In a business, environment pricing is not arbitrary.  An example of a basic pricing formula would include such costs as (material, shop time, etc.) + Labor + business costs (marketing, printing, etc.) + profit = price.  Other costs can be added or subtracted.  After talking with hundreds of knife makers I found few if any used any kind of formula. More times than not a fellow knifemaker helped them price their knives.   From a maker’s perspective that can make sense.  The advising maker has been around for a few years, makes a similar knife, and has a feel for the market. For you makers reading this, take heed to the lesson in the next paragraph.

Matias Funes forged Koa Hunter custom knife ABS Apprentice Smith Argentina.

Matias Funes forged Koa Hunter ABS Apprentice Smith from Argentina. $350.00

At the 1991 Knifemakers Guild show, I was standing at a very well-known maker’s table.  A new maker approached him and asked him to look at his knife and give him his opinion. The well-known maker looked the knife over and asked the new maker what he sold this for.  The new maker replied, “$210.00.” The well-known maker smiled and said, “you should be asking $325 for a knife this nice.”  The new maker beamed, thanked the well-known maker and went back to his table.  He promptly raised the price of his knife by 55% based on nothing more than his fellow makers’ suggestion.

In a few minutes, a customer approached the well-known maker’s table and asked about the $375 price tag on one of his knives.  The potential customer indicated he felt the price was a little high.  The well-known maker was quick to point out that his knives are a bargain at that price.  Pointing down the row to the new maker he was just talking to.  The well-known maker replied, “See that young man down there, he has only been making knives for 2 years. He has a similar knife to the one in your hand  and his price is $325.00.”

To say I was stunned is putting it mildly.  While you may not feel that your fellow makers are your competitor, the fact is that he or she is. You don’t ask your competitors to price your knives.  A custom knife maker should know their position in any given market.  If they don’t, it is incumbent on the collector to know.  This will keep you from overpaying for a knife.

As we all know or have at least heard, the value of anything is determined by what someone will pay for it.  This concept is exactly what can and often does skew the pricing for one maker or even an entire market.  There are buyers where the retail price does not matter. They will spend what it takes to get the knife often bordering on the absurd.  This is particularly true of the bid-up knives that have become “the show within a show” at knife shows around the world.  As the identity of the individual(s) become known and they buy more of a particular style of knife or maker they are sought out by sellers.  The ‘flips” begin and the “bubble” starts; more on this later.

Stephan Fowler ABS Journeyman Smith Forged 4-Bar Twist Damascus Bowie Rosewood

Stephan Fowler Custom Forged 4 Bar Twist Damascus Bowie with Rosewood ABS Journeyman Smith $899.00

Investing in custom knives does not have to be about getting enough Return On Investment (ROI) to pay for a child’s college education or a beach house.  For those of you who do invest you probably understand that seldom if ever you make enough off of one stock to accomplish the aforementioned goals.  I would suggest you invest in custom knives at an entry level. For this discussion, we shall compare investing in custom knives to the Certificate of Deposit (CD) offered by your bank.  As of this writing, my bank was paying 0.01% APY for a $2,500 minimum opening deposit for six months. Should you cash in that CD after one year you would receive $2,525.00.

Given the cost of a college education today or a beach house; doing the basic math on the equation above shows us that investing in CDs is not the way to go either.  Applying the same 0.01% to a custom knife you purchased for investment purchase  you bought a $500 knife and sold it for $505.00 you would get the same return as you would on a 6-month CD from your bank.  I don’t know about your bank, but mine does not have a 6-month CD with a minimum deposit of $500.00.  No, I am not taking into account shipping costs.  Just as I am not deducting the capital gains tax on your $25 profit from the bank. Being an investor can take a little spontaneity out of your knife buying/collecting.

Scot Matsuoka Viper Custom Titanium Tactical Folder

Scot Matsuoka Viper Titanium Tactical Folder Excellent Lock-up! $499.00

By this point, you understand that the custom knife market moves in cycles.  In the mid-1980s a new knife sector captured the collective imagination of the custom knife market. This knife was called the interframe folder.  Some of you may have never seen one or even heard of this type of knife.  A 440C blade, the frame was two stainless steel scales and generally a lock back.  In the scale or scales, a pocket was milled out and an inlay was put into this pocket.  Generally, Elephant Ivory, Abalone, or some type of Pearl was the inlay. The knives were clean, unique, and filled your hand with some heft and the collectors couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t long before the collectors wanted something a little different so embellishments were offered.  Engraving, gold inlay, and even gemstone inlays became available. This added to the delivery delay and increasing the demand.  The ever-increasing aftermarket prices were being paid by collectors in Japan.  As it happens this country’s economy suffered a significant downturn. The knives found their way back to dealers in the United States. The knives were sold again in the aftermarket with the buyers unaware that the bubble had burst. Leaving the owners with very expensive knives that would never return their initial investment.  The same can be said for the tactical folder of 2010 – 2018.  It was all about the name and the demand.  Many of these knives were poorly made.  They were sold almost entirely by the hype in the aftermarket.

Greg Keith ABS Journeyman Smith forged Ladder pattern Damascus Bowie

Greg Keith Forged Ladder Pattern Damascus Bowie ABS Journeyman Smith $1,250.00

Today in mid-2022 as you read this, many of you have no doubt been watching the upward spiral of forged blades in the custom knife market. This is due to exposure to forged blades on TV and fact that the work is done by one person and primarily by hand.  The forged knives seem more than fairly priced when compared to the tactical folders of 8 to 10 years ago. Unlike the tactical folders, there are no drawings with rabid buyers waiting to own the knife only long enough to flip it. However, most in-demand makers sell out quickly raising prices and the demand for their work. The consistent problem with this market has been in pricing by the mid to lower-level Journeyman Smiths.  Many ask Master Smith prices, for no other reason than they think they can get it. In some cases they do; however, that buyer will regret that decision when the time comes to sell or trade that knife in the aftermarket.  Homework is the key.  You, as the buyer, must know the maker’s position in the custom knife market sector and pay accordingly. My recommendation is that you view the previous two paragraphs as a cautionary tale.

Piotr Gosciniak Custom Explorer Tactical Fighter Survival Knife

Piotr Gosciniak Custom Explorer Tactical Fighter $395.00

Whether you are a collector, investor, or just buy an occasional custom knife.  I would suggest you do your due diligence about where the market cycles are and which way they are moving.  Understanding the makers’ position in a particular market sector will subsequently indicate what their knives should be selling for.  There is nothing that says the mantra can’t be changed to “I buy what I like, but at a value price.”  Who knows, maybe doing a little homework could get you that beach house!

About the author: Les Robertson https://bit.ly/3PySsRO

22
AUG
2022

Custom Knives: Collectible, Investments, or Just For Fun (part 1 of 2)

Posted By :
Comments : Off

 

Craig Camerer forged damascus lightweight hunting knife ABS Journeyman Smith! Additionally, he is a Forged in Fire (TV show) Champion

Craig Camerer forged Damascus lightweight hunter ABS Journeyman Smith and Forged in Fire Champion $375.00

“I buy what I like.”  This, of course, is the mantra of custom knife buyers around the world. In 1984, while serving as an Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader in the 101st Airborne, I bought my first custom knife.  I bought “what I liked” with the caveat “that I could afford.”  What I wanted was the Sly II by Jimmy Lile.  I ended up with a hollow handle fighter by Robert Parrish, an excellent knife in its own right. My first custom knife was bought to be used. The idea of a collectible or an investment with the purchase of the Robert Parrish knife was not something I even considered. As many of you know buying that first custom knife leads to your second custom knife. A fellow Army Lieutenant and knife collector asked if I had ever been to the Blade Show.  After responding no, planning started for our “assault” on Knoxville, TN to the 1985 Blade Show.  Then; as now, it is three days of heaven for knife aficionados.  It was at that show that the hook was set deep. Over the next two years as a collector, I bought, resold, and traded over $10,000 worth of custom knives. I was purchasing custom knives utilizing the mantra. Part of the joy of buying any collectible is that spontaneous rush you feel when you purchase or trade for that object of desire. However, it did sting a little every time I sold one of my collectible knives and lost money on it.  Something had to change. I had to attain a better working knowledge of the custom knife primary and aftermarkets. I was going to have to do some homework.  

Thad Buchanan Loveless style Custom Boot Knife $900.00

In 1986 I went to the best source for information at the time- Knives 1986. Then; as of now, this book is an invaluable resource.  Utilizing the different categories and numerous photos, the book helped me to focus my search.  Utilizing the index of makers in the back, I was able to get in touch with the makers I was interested in.  Information was gathered; materials, delivery times, and pricing. This allowed me to compare each knife to others in a particular category gaining what I thought to be a substantial level of knowledge regarding the custom knives market. In September of that year, I took the next step and became a custom knife dealer. Nine years later in 1995, I became a full-time custom knife dealer.

In 1993 while working on my Master in Business Administration (MBA), I was fortunate enough to be able to use my business model for many of my course assignments. It was during this time I created my custom knifemaker matrix. Referencing the maker index in the back of Knives ’93, I categorize each maker with the type of knives they made. Pricing for comparable knives was added to the matrix. What became obvious was the pricing was all over the map. To make some sense of this, I started with a base price  giving makers additional points for things such as awards, magazine articles, magazine covers, delivery time, aftermarket prices, etc. 

With no surprise the top makers of the day rose to the top of the list.   However, as we all know each custom knife category can have several hundred makers.  My objective for this matrix was to show the position of each knifemaker in a category based on my criteria.  Let me stress this was my criterion and the bias that came along with it. The matrix showed me which knives were: overpriced, priced correctly, or underpriced. As you can imagine this information would be invaluable to a fledgling custom knife dealer. This was some serious homework!

Gordon Romeis full tapered tangTactical Fighter

Gordon Romeis Tactical Fighter $500.00

Custom knives as investments have generally been received with looks and comments of derision. As I wrote earlier, I was a user who became a collector who embraced the mantra (buy what you liked that you can afford). As I paid for these knives I invested a substantial amount of time and money into them. My introduction to the aftermarket was the investment of $10,000.00.  No single person or group of people conspired to create the loss I encountered. The loss occurred because of the lack of understanding of the custom knife market. Perhaps the next few paragraphs can give you a better insight into the market that is custom knives. (see part 2)

About the author: Les Robertson https://bit.ly/3PySsRO

08
JUL
2022

Journeyman Smith – What You Should Know

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Journeyman Smith – What You Should Know

As you look at some of the custom knife makers’ work on our website, you will notice that some have the designation “Journeyman Smith.” So often, I am asked what this means, so I thought I would write a brief synopsis.

In the later 1980s, I was introduced to forged blades. What drew my attention were the custom Damascus knives made by some of the ABS Master Smiths.  The top makers were asking $100 an inch (including paying for the tang) for their knives, handle material, and a sheath.  For example, Master Smiths would routinely price a  10″ Bowie with a 5″ handle at $1600 – $1800 (depending on handle material.) Remember, this was the 1988 price!

Looking for a less expensive forged knife option led me to carbon steel knives. Not knowing what I was looking for, I became an ABS Associate Member in 1988.  Then I started to be educated on what the Journeyman Smith designation meant and why it was important to me.

Requirements for the performance test to become a Journeyman Smith (JS):

  1. Eligibility: The candidate for JS must be an Apprentice Smith member for at least two years. At this point, they can take their performance test with an ABS Master Smith.  However, they must have been an Apprentice Smith for at least three years before they can test for JS.
  2. Performance Test: The JS candidate can only test with carbon steel blades. There are guidelines for the knife to be used. This test is a 4-part event. The JS candidate must pass all four parts of this test to become eligible to test for JS.
    1. Rope Cutting: This aims to test the edge geometry and sharpness.
    2. Wood Chopping: Is required to demonstrate the edges’ toughness. A construction grade 2X4 is used for this test.
    3. Shaving Hair: This is to demonstrate the edge retention of the blade.
    4. Bending: Is done to show the applicant can heat treat a knife with a soft spine and hard edge. The differential heat treatment allows the blade to bend and not break. This type of heat treat could be an advantage on a hard-use knife.

 

Having met the time and performance test requirements, the JS candidate may now test for their JS Stamp (the JS in script you will see on their blades.)

The candidate will submit five knives with carbon steel blades for judging.  This testing occurs at the Blade Show and several other locations during the year.

Makers will be awarded the JS stamp and certificate upon passing the judging portion of the requirements.  For many, the next step is to become a Master Smith.

In addition to the performance test, most ABS makers will spend time learning this craft with other JS or MS makers.  Some will attend the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing at Texarkana College in Texarkana, Texas.  Additionally, there are hammer-ins set up across the country.  These are usually done over the weekend and further enhance the attendee’s skills and abilities in making forged blades.

As you can see, custom knife makers with the JS designation have put a lot of time and effort into becoming Journeyman Smith.  The blade smith’s knowledge is evident in the custom knives they produce. As with any endeavor, some JS makers will be better than others.

Over the past 28 years, I have had the opportunity to visit several custom knife makers’ shops. It is always interesting to watch their “process.”  In addition, I have attended classes on making and judging forged blades, and I have had the opportunity to evaluate finished knives at several shows in the US and Canada.

At this point, I have developed a pretty good eye for quality work at all three levels: AS, JS, and MS custom knives.  Both their current work, potential, and the price the makers charge for their knives are also essential to me. Too many JS makers are asking for too much money for their work.

What I look for is:

  1. Quality: Their fit, finish, and flow are commensurate with the rating in the ABS and their time-making knives.  Example: Several JS makers are better knife makers than some MS makers.
  2. Position in the market: What is the makers’ current position in the custom knife market sector compared to the competitors?
  3. Price: This should be influenced by #2. Additionally, the materials used, the demand for their work, and how their retail prices hold up in the aftermarket.  Right now, too many makers’ prices are not commensurate with the position in the market.
  4. Improving Skill Set: Are JS makers improving their fit, finish and flow? Are they moving towards making Damascus, San Mai, blades with Hamons, and the materials used? Are they incorporating Stag, Premium woods, and Ivories as part of their handle material(s) options?
  5. Communication: Do they answer emails or return phone calls promptly? Do they make sure (to the best of their abilities) you are receiving the knife you want?  Point: Communication is a two-way street.  Both the customer and maker must communicate clearly and concisely.

When you see a knife maker with the JS designation on my website, you can be sure I have vetted them.  Over thirty-five years, I have developed the skills on what to look for in all aspects of the knife.  As a result, I feel I am working with some of the best Journeyman Smiths in the world. I would encourage you to look at their knives on my website and continually develop your knowledge of forged blades.

For additional information on what it takes to become a Journeyman Smith, I would recommend you follow this link the ABS website: http://www.americanbladesmith.com/index.php?section=pages&id=172

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

 

07
JUL
2022

Master Smith – What You Should Know

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Master Smith – What You Should Know

As you look at some of the custom knife makers’ work on our website, you will notice that some have the designation “Master Smith.”  So often, I’m asked what this means, so I thought I would write a brief synopsis.

In the late 1980s, I was introduced to forged blades. What drew my attention were the custom Damascus knives made by the ABS Master Smiths. The top makers were asking $100 an inch (including paying for the tang) for their knives, handle material, and a sheath. For example, Master Smiths would routinely price a  10″ Bowie with a 5″ handle at $1600 – $1800 (depending on handle material.) Remember, this was the 1988 price!

This led me to look for less expensive options, which at that time primarily meant carbon steel. Not knowing what I was looking for, I became an ABS Associate Member in 1988. Then I started to be educated on what the MS designation meant and why it was important to me.

Requirements for the performance test to become a Master Smith (MS):

  1. Eligibility:The candidate for MS must be a Journey Smith member for at least one year. At this point, they can take their performance test with an ABS Master Smith; however, they must have been a Journeyman Smith for at least two years before testing for MS.
  2. Performance Test:MS candidates can only test with a pattern-welded Damascus blade per the test knife specifications. There are guidelines for the knife to be used. A test is a 4-part event. The MS candidate must pass all four parts of the test to become eligible to test for Master Smith.
    1. Rope Cutting: This aims to test the edge geometry and sharpness.
    2. Wood Chopping:This test demonstrates the edges’ toughness. A construction grade 2X4 is used for this test.
    3. Shaving Hair: This is to demonstrate the edge retention of the blade.
    4. Bending: This test demonstrates the applicant can heat treat a knife with a soft spine and hard edge. This process is known as “differential heat treat.”   This type of heat treat could be an advantage on a hard-use knife.

Having met the time and performance test requirements, the MS candidate may now test for their MS Stamp (the MS in script you will see on their blades.)

The candidate will submit five knives. This testing occurs at the Blade Show and several other locations during the year. At least one of these knives must be an art knife meeting the ABS requirement of a traditional pattern welded Damascus European Quillion type dagger with at least three hundred (300) or more forge welded layers. The rest of the knives must be of different designs, varieties, and varying steel types to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to make a wide range of classic blades. While not required, a folding knife with a Damascus blade can be submitted as one of the candidates’ test knives for their MS stamp.

In addition to the performance test, most ABS makers will spend time learning this craft with other JS or MS makers.  Some will attend the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing at Texarkana College in Texarkana, Texas. Additionally, there are hammer-ins set up across the country. These are usually done over the weekend and enhance the attendee’s skills and abilities in making forged custom blades.

As you can see, makers with the MS designation have put a lot of time and effort into becoming Master Smith.  The knowledge they have gained can be seen in their knives.  As with any endeavor, some MS makers will be better than others.

Over the past 28 years, I have had the opportunity to visit several custom knife makers’ shops. It is always interesting to watch their “process.” In addition, I have attended classes on making and judging forged blades. And have had the opportunity to evaluate finished knives at several shows in the US and Canada.

I have developed a good eye for quality work at all three levels: AS, JS, and MS knives.  In addition to the current work and potential, the price the makers charge for their MS-designated custom knives is also significant to me. Once a maker earns the MS stamp, there is no further testing required. Unfortunately, several MS makers are resting on their laurels. Many of these makers would have difficulty earning the MS stamp if they were to test today. With the prices asked for by some of the Master Smith knives. Collectors must know what to look for in an MS maker’s work.  Collectors should be more critical of mistakes on an MS knife than on a JS maker’s knife.

What I look for is:

  1. Quality: Their fit, finish, and flow are commensurate with the rating in the ABS and their time-making knives. Example: Several JS makers are better custom knife makers than some MS makers.
  2. Position in the market: Where is the maker compared to its competitors in the current market? This is especially true in the MS knife market. Considering there are only, according to the ABS website, 113 active Master Smiths worldwide, understanding each of these makers’ position in the market is the best way to get the best quality knife for your money.
  3. Price:This should be influenced by #2. The materials used, the demand for their knives, and how their retail prices hold up in the aftermarket. Right now, too many makers’ prices are not commensurate with the position in the market.
  4. Improving Skill Set: Master Smiths should be able to move comfortably between carbon steel and Damascus and all other forms of forged blades. Their fit, finish, and flow should be excellent. In addition, all should be able to incorporate a vast array of handle materials, including Stag and Ivories.
  5. Communication:Do they answer emails or return phone calls on time? Do they make sure (to the best of their abilities) you are receiving the knife you want? Point: Communication is a two-way street. Both the customer and custom knife maker must communicate clearly and concisely.

When you see a custom knife maker with the MS designation on my website, you can be sure I have vetted their knives. Over thirty-five years, I have developed the skills on what to look for in all aspects of the knife. As a result, I feel I am working with some of the best Master Smiths in the world. I would encourage you to look at their knives on my website and continually develop your knowledge base regarding forged blades.

For additional information on what it takes to become a Master Smith I would recommend you follow this link the ABS website: http://www.americanbladesmith.com/index.php?section=pages&id=172

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

15
JUN
2022

Broadwell/Vanguard Tactical Sub-Hilt Fighter

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Currently, there is a lack of custom, tactical sub-hilt fighters being made. For various reasons, knifemakers like Walter Brend, Bill Luckett, Jim Siska, and Schuyler Lovestrand, (just to name a few) are no longer making their much sought after classic sub-hilt fighters.

With this in mind, RCC commissioned David Broadwell to make 5 Limited-Edition tactical sub-hilt fighters exclusively for their Vanguard line of knives.  Les has mentioned David’s abilities in several articles over the last 20+ years in regards to sub-hilts. Broadwell has created knives in the past for both the LDC and Vanguard series. Les will tell you he thinks Dave builds some of the best sub-hilt knives in the world! 

Broadwell Sentinel II Vanguard Sub-hilt Fighter Tactical Exclusive limited-edition

SENTINEL II CUSTOM KNIFE

Blade Length: 8″
Overall Length: 13″
Blade Steel: PM-154
Blade Finish: Hand Rubbed Satin Finish Guard and Sub-Hilt Material: Stainless steel
Handle Material: Black Micarta with black canvas micarta, stainless-steel spacers, stainless steel lined thong holes.
Sheath: Custom-made leather sheath by Kenny Rowe

When Les came to David with this project, he was excited to be apart of it. This knife amplifies the 4Fs- Fit, Finish, Flow and Function. With its excellent balance and handle ergonomics, it is the epitome of what a tactical sub-hilt fighter should be.  Act now to get on the waiting list!!

Price: $2,350.00

Place Future Order

05
MAY
2022

What Defines the Best Custom Utility Hunting Knife? Part 1

Posted By :
Comments : Off

If you are a knife maker wanting to enter a utility hunter for judging at the 2022 Blade Show, you should read this first…

 

Very popular in his home country of Slovakia, Jan Hafinec outfits his custom utility hunter (shown above) with a 5-inch blade of forged C105 carbon steel sporting a flashy double Hamon. The handle is made of Presentation Desert Ironwood.  Guard and sub hilt: stainless steel  Overall length: 10″  A custom leather sheath by the maker completes the package. Fisher’s price for a similar knife is $699.00 (Impress by design image)

When it comes to custom knives, the best utility hunters have many of the features outlined herein. (Note: There are two parts to this blog.)

Countless articles have been written about hunting knives. Primarily, the stories discussed which knife is best for which game.  The two main features that get the most coverage are the blade style/shape and the length. The knife referred to commonly as the hunter is more than likely a utility hunting knife.
No matter where you are if you are using a guide—hunting or fishing—more than likely your guide is the one doing the dressing of the game. Chances are, he is using a utility hunting knife with some of the following features.

Blade Steel
If you ask 100 people what the best steel is for a hard-use field knife, you probably will get at least 50 different answers. Why? End users are very loyal to steel that has proved itself in the field.

The two primary choices for blade steel are carbon and stainless. Each has its pros and cons. Stainless steel’s biggest advantage is that it is rust-resistant, meaning it will require less maintenance. Stainless is not code for “no maintenance.” Yes, stainless steel will rust.

Carbon steel requires maintenance. Many things will make carbon steel rust, several examples being the blood from the game that is being processed and some types of vegetation, including vegetables. However, the rust can be held to a minimum or eliminated simply by cleaning and oiling the knife after use. Keep in mind that storing your carbon steel knife in a leather sheath can also cause rust, especially on a wet blade, as the tannic acid used to process the leather can cause rust spots.

The winner of Best Utility Hunter at Blade Show 2018, ABS Master Smith Josh Fisher’s hunter (above) has a 4.25″ blade of 1084 carbon steel, a Ringed Gidgee handle, and a guard of brushed Stainless Steel. Overall length: 8.75″ The knife comes with a custom-made leather sheath. Josh’s price for a similar knife is $685.00. At that show, he earned both his ABS Master Smith (MS) stamp and the B.R. Hughes Award for the best knife submitted by an MS applicant.  (Eric Eggly/PointSeven image)

Karis Fisher (above knife photo) is the daughter of ABS Master Smith Josh Fisher. Karis not only earned her ABS journeyman smith (JS) stamp in March, she also won the Joe Keeslar Award for the best knife submitted by a JS applicant. The 4-inch blade is 1084 carbon steel and the handle is Vintage Micarta®. Guard: 416 stainless steel. Overall length: 8.5″ Sheath: custom-made leather.  Karis’ price for a similar hunting knife is $375.00.

While carbon steel can rust, it does have two advantages over stainless steel if the blade is forged. First, several blade smiths forge distal taper into their carbon steel blades. The taper removes weight from the blade, thereby making the knife lighter in weight and thus easier to carry and manipulate. Second, carbon steel blades can be differentially heat treated to give them a hard edge for sharpness and a softer back for malleability. The latter results in a blade with greater flexibility that is much more likely to bend rather than break under high stress.

The steel you choose for your utility hunting knife should be one that can be sharpened in the field and fit the requirements for what you want your knife to accomplish. Remember—it is always best to resharpen your knife before it gets dull!

Ideal Sizes

Having judged custom utility hunters at the Blade Show for over two decades, I can tell you there is no one ideal size. That said, most of the judging competition winners feature a blade between 3 7/8 and 5 inches in length. (For the makers reading this, please do not submit your 10-inch bowie or 2-inch miniature in this category for judging.) Among the accompanying images for this story are three past winners of the category at the Blade Show. Note the differences and similarities of these knives. In addition to dimensions, the importance of handle ergonomics cannot be overstated! Most handles will feature some kind of contouring and generally will be between 4.5 and 5 inches long.

The 5-inch blade of W2 tool steel with Hamon headlines a utility hunter by Jim Crowell. (pictured above) The handle is black canvas Micarta® and the guard is stainless steel. Jim made the leather sheath. Overall length: 10″ This knife was made for the author. Jim’s price for a similar knife is $850.00. (Impress by design image)

click below for the rest of this article. Thanks!

Part 2

01
MAY
2022

What Defines the Best Custom Utility Hunting Knife? Part 2

Posted By :
Comments : Off

Guards

For the most part, integral guards are utilized as a quicker, less expensive way to make knives. Most are simply squared off to give the illusion that they are somehow protecting your index finger/hand. I learned the hard way that such a guard is not meant for hard work. If you are going to use a knife with this type of guard, wear a glove.

Ben Breda Best Utility Hunter Blade Show 2019 Blackwood

Ben Breda won Best Utility Hunter at Blade Show 2019 for his model (photo above) in a 4-inch blade of W2 tool steel with Hamon. The handle is sculpted African blackwood with a bronze “S” collar and the blade is stainless steel. The knife comes with a leather sheath by Breda. Overall length: 8.75″ Ben’s hunter price for a similar knife is $575.00. (SharpByCoop image)

Most custom utility hunters have a single guard with some amount of curve built in to give you a better handle ergonomic. Additionally, it will provide some protection for your index finger/hand. The primary metals used for such guards are brass, nickel silver, and stainless steel. While brass is a favorite among factories and new custom makers, the biggest problem is it is soft.  It can be easily nicked or cut, making it uncomfortable to hold. Stainless steel guards provide the best protection and the least amount of maintenance for your knife.

Handle Material

If you are looking for a category of custom knives to collect or use that have diverse handle materials, utility hunting knives lead the way. Synthetics, wood, ivory, bone, antler, mother-of-pearl, and others—you name it, utility hunters have it.

Malosh Custom Elk Hunting Knife

Mike Malosh opts for an elk antler (above photo) with black and maroon Micarta® and stainless steel spacers for the handle of his utility hunter. The 6-inch blade is a W2 tool steel and the guard is stainless steel. Overall length: 10.75″ The knife comes with a leather sheath by Malosh. Mike’s price for a similar hunter is $390.00. (Impress by design image)

When many outdoorsmen dress their knives to impress, they want stag. Unfortunately, stag is experiencing two things simultaneously, and neither is good. Because of lack of supply, the quality is going down and the price is going up to the point that the ancient ivories are now becoming an alternative. After talking with knifemaker Mike Malosh at Blade Show 2021, I have started to order some hunting knives with elk. While not as popular as Sambar Stag, it is a great handle material and has a nice look.

My experience in the field has made me a true believer in synthetic handle materials. The two most popular are Micarta® and G-10. Canvas Micarta is my personal favorite. As the name implies, there are bits of canvas included when the Micarta is made. This gives the handle a little more grip when wet. Westinghouse Micarta is gaining in popularity. Often it’s referred to as “vintage or antique” due to the fact most of it was made before 1960.

Carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel, twice as stiff, and lighter in weight. This gave rise to numerous commercial applications, eventually finding its way into the custom knife market. Initially used by custom makers for scales on folders, you can now find them using it for fixed blade handles, too.

The advantage of synthetics over natural handle materials is synthetics don’t shrink and, for the most part, are impervious to the elements. That said, natural handle materials can dress up a knife.

Sage Advice

The custom utility hunting knife will be a workhorse in the field. Consider the factors I have outlined before you maker or buy one. What will you primarily use it for? What size handle is best for your hand? Will you be able to do the maintenance required for the blade steel? Can you sharpen the knife in the field and, if not, will you be able to practice how to do so before you get there?
I prefer a 5-inch blade as my experience has taught me that a big blade can do little knife chores, but not the other way around. As my 7th-grade shop teacher always said, “Use the right tool for the job.” Sage advice!

19
OCT
2021

Features of the Top Custom Utility Hunters

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Blade Magazine October 2021 RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB by Les Robertson pgs. 54-57

The hunting utility knife is a workhorse in the field.  Consider these factors before you purchase your knife.  What will the knife be primarily used for?  What size handle is best for your hand?  Will you be able to do the required maintenance for the knife’s steel?  Can you sharpen your knife in the field?  If not, practice before you get there.

I prefer a 5″ blade as my experience has taught me that a big blade can do little knife chores, but not the other way around.  As my 7th-grade shop teacher always said, “Use the right tool for the job,” sage advice. 

“Ideal size for a hunting utility knife,” you ask.  Having judged this category at the Blade show for over two decades, I can tell you there is no one ideal size.  That said, most of the winners feature a blade between 3  7/8″ and 5″.  For the makers reading this, please do not submit your 10″ bowie or 2″ miniature in this category for judging.  

Jan Hafinec with forged double hamon 5″ blade

In addition to dimensions, the importance of handle ergonomics cannot be overstated.  Most handles will feature some kind of contouring and generally will be between 4 ½” and 5″ long. 

Today, diversity is the word.  There are numerous steels and handle materials to choose from.  Once again, consider what the knife is going to be used for then pick the steel and/or handle material accordingly.  You will find that a well-thought-out hunting knife will become an all-around camp knife, as well.

Mike Malosh 6″ blade, Elk antler handle

12
SEP
2021

JUST WHAT THE MARKET IS ASKING FOR…

Posted By :
Comments : Off

The custom knife market is cyclical. You can find articles I’ve written on this topic in Blade Magazine, Knives Illustrated, Knife Annual and; of course, my Custom Knife Buying Guide over the last 20 years. Basically, either folders or fixed blades dominate the market, but only for a relatively short time. Right now the market is being dominated by fixed blades. Why? There are two main reasons.

First, the tactical folder dominated for 7-8 years; however, bid-up knives and “flipping” became the reason to buy. Most buyers could not tell you why a knife they were looking at was worth the money they were paying. What they did know was that if they got the knife, they could immediately flip it and make money. However, as we all know, bubbles are not meant to last.

The second reason is overpricing. The maker’s position in the market is key. The better you know the maker’s position in a particular market, the better you will be able to determine if the prices they are asking for their knives are accurate. Makers who chase the aftermarket prices will drive up their prices to an unsustainable level. This drives many collectors from that market to another market. Why?  The one rule many makers don’t understand or ignore; collectors collect. Most makers do not understand what their position in a particular market is. Case in point: At least 80% of American Bladesmith Society Journeyman Smith members overprice their knives. This is why they take home so many of their knives from shows. Most price their knives utilizing guidance from Master Smiths. While they may know the MS market very well, they are not as well versed on the market for 200 (give or take) JS makers.

Within the larger cycles of folders and fixed blades are smaller cycles in either larger market. A case in point: The return of the tactical fixed blade. While most categories of knives never completely go away. Often they are overshadowed by the dominant knife category within that cycle. While doing my research for the 2021 Blade Show, I noticed a trend of several makers with basic tactical fixed blades. By basic I mean a blade, integral single or double guard, and synthetic material scales. Most are designed to be worn on your belt and are more utilitarian than anything else. I like these knives primarily because of their price point. Many are between $250 and $350, which is where they should be priced.

The maker whose work caught my eye while doing my research for this year’s Blade show was Brian Selby. His work is solid and clean and at a price point that is at the entry-level price for a custom knife.  “Great value” comes to mind.

Another maker I recently discovered is Piotr Gosciniak from Poland.  Piotr offers several models, some offering very distinct grids.  I like the fuller he puts incorporated into some of his blade designs. His knives are a little larger than Brian’s, but they too are rock solid with excellent fit and finish.  The texturing he does on the Micarta scales add to the handle ergonomics.

We continue to discover new knifemakers/knives to meet you needs. Please browse our website www.robertsonscustomcutlery.com where we strive to offer just what the market (you) is asking for.  If you don’t see it, let us know what custom knife you are looking for via this link.

 

28
JUN
2021

BLADE SHOW 2021 – Les’ Take

Posted By :
Comments : Off

The 2021 Blade Show was the 35th Blade Show I have attended. There is no doubt that Covid had a substantial impact on the show. Most of the international makers and collectors were not there. It appeared that several US-based collectors and makers chose not to attend for reasons that were their own. That said, the show had plenty to offer, with comradery being at the top of the list.

It was great to once again visit face to face with old friends and meet new acquaintances. While the attendance and table numbers may have been down from previous years, there was still enough to see to fill your days at the show. Having been a judge this year for the custom knife competition, I found I could have used those two hours back to walk the rooms. That said, being a judge does have its merits as you get to look at some of the very best knives that the Blade Show has to offer, side by side.

Mike Malosh Forged Hunter Copper liners Custom Knife Great Value
One of my goals each year for the show is to find new makers to work with. This year I found two such makers; Mike Malosh and Brian Selby. Mike specializes in William Scagle type knives. However, this year he offered handles that were a little more conventional. I bought a hunter with black Micarta and a camp knife with an Elk handle. I purchased both of these early on Friday. It was a good thing I did. Mike sold all 28 of the knives he brought before the end of the day. Apparently, others saw the same things I did. Quality work at a value price.


I purchased 3 knives from a maker new to me, Brian Selby. He specializes in EDC tactical fixed blades. His Folsom Necker has a 2.1″ blade with a Kydex sheath that offers multiple carry options. His Full-Size Folsom features a 4″ blade. All have Black DLC coating and textured G-10 scales. I particularly liked his Kydex sheaths as they locked up great and secured the knife. Once again, these knives featured quality work at a value price.

RJ Martin Q36 LSCF Tactical Folding Knife Signature model Orange peel Finish Titanium
RJ Martin fresh off his exceptional Tactical Knife Invitational Show the weekend before Blade, he brought 6 knives to Blade and of course, sold out. RJ was nice enough to bring me a Q36 with Lightning Strike Carbon Fiber scales and an S110V blade.

I stopped by Stephen Fowler’s table and there was a Bowie he brought that looked great. Not surprisingly he had sold the knife before I got to his table. He did; however, have a smaller knife featuring his exception Fire Starter Turkish Twist Damascus. I ordered the Bowie that was on his table with this steel and Desert Ironwood. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. Check back…

As it is with most shows, some sell out, some sell at least a few and others sell nothing. Too many makers still do not understand their position in the market that they are competing in. Subsequently, their knives are overpriced and they continue to not understand why. No, it is not the crowd, the promoters, or the medical circumstances surrounding the show. Today’s buyers are very educated on what knives should sell for. Consequently, when they see overpriced knives; many, not all, will walk away from the table. I have been encouraged by the Editor of Blade Magazine to write yet another article on this very subject.

I’m sure the Blade Show will be back in 2022 in all its glory. The showroom will be packed with knives and collectors. Have to say, I did enjoy being able to move about the show freely this year, a plus for fewer attendance.

25
JUN
2021

Damascus Bowie Knife Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Damascus Bowies category page)

The Bowie knife is named after its owner who made the Bowie knife famous: Jim Bowie. Most think of a Bowie as a knife with a long blade. Variations of Bowies exist with a 4″ blade. These were a favorite knife of the river boat gambler. This knife was often referred to as a “Vest Pocket” Bowie. Bowie blades can reach up to 14″; however, the

The Damascus Bowie is reintroduced.
Many objects of legend and lore will fade after 189 years, but not the Bowie knife. Thanks in no small part to the American Bladesmith Society (ABS) and the men and women who form this organization. The forged knife has been kept alive around the world. Bill Moran, the patriarch of the ABS, is credited with the rediscovery of creating Damascus.

Damascus is basically the combining of two or more steels. In the case of most forged Damascus blades today, those steels are a basic carbon steel such as 1084 that is combined with 15N20. The nickel in 15N20 steel resists the acid etch and stays shiny. It is the combination of the etched and shiny that give Damascus its distinctive look.

The majority of forged blades are flat ground. Simply put, this means the blade tapers all the way from the spine to the edge from both sides. Doing so makes this a more difficult grind as the maker has to remove a lot of metal. The advantage gained is a lighter blade that maintains its integrity.

Another technique utilized with forged blades is differential heat treatment. Basically, this creates a harder edge and a softer spine. The blade will generally have a temper line showing the difference between the harder and softer parts of the blade.

The carbon steels that are used are too numerous to mention them all here. The primary ones used with forged Bowie blades are; 0-1, W-2, 1075, 1084, 1095, 5160 and 52100.

There are three basic types of handles. First, the hidden tang; which is exactly what it sounds like. A hole is drilled and shaped through the center of the handle material to make room for the tang. Epoxy is often used as the adhesive to keep the tang and handle material together.

Depending on the material and maker, the handle may or may not have a pin through the handle. This type of knife handle will also lend itself to the take down handle. The handle is built in a similar fashion, but to a higher degree of fit as no glue is used to secure the tang and handle material. The handle is held together with a type of nut or finial that screws onto the tang providing the necessary pressure to keep the handle secured. Generally, a tool is provided to remove the device that is holding the knife together.

Second is the mortise tang. The tang will be shorter and the handle material will be spit. The inside of the handle material will have a slot cut evenly on both sides. This will allow the tang to be sandwiched in between both pieces of handle material. This technique will almost always have a combination of epoxy and some type of pin through the handle. An advantage of this type of handle is the reduction of weight. This can really help with a hunter/skinner, as well as, aid in the balance of the knife.

Third is the frame handle. Basically, the tang is slotted into a frame and handle material is added to each side. When completed it gives the illusion that the knife has a full tang. Generally, constructed with both hidden and pins that show. This is the most complex method of the three. Expect to pay more for this type of handle.

While all Damascus is forged, how it comes to be on a knife can differ. Makers who forge their knives generally will make their own Damascus. While many makers who utilize the stock removal method, will purchase their Damascus from a third party who specialize in making Damascus.

Bowies created by the stock removal method primarily differ from forged Bowies in two main ways:

1) Steel: Basically, stainless steel is used as opposed to carbon steel.

2) Handle: Generally, either a full tang or hidden tang construction.

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

25
JUN
2021

Damascus Fixed Blades Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Damascus Fixed Blades category page)

The majority of forged blades are flat ground. Simply put, this means the blade tapers all the way from the spine to the edge from both sides. Doing so makes this a more difficult grind as the maker has to remove a lot of metal. The advantage gained is a lighter blade that maintains its integrity.

Another technique utilized with forged blades is differential heat treatment. Basically, this creates a harder edge and a softer spine. The blade will generally have a temper line showing the difference between the harder and softer parts of the blade.

Damascus fixed blades can come in all lengths and styles. (Click to see these examples)
Skinning Knives
Fighters
Damascus Bowies

While all Damascus is forged, how it comes to be on a knife can differ. Custom knife makers who forge their knives generally will make their own Damascus. While many makers who utilize the stock removal method, will purchase their Damascus from a third party who specialize in making Damascus.

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

25
JUN
2021

Slip Joint and Multi-Blade Folding Knife Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Slip Joint and Multi-Blade Folding Knives category page)

The majority of slip joint and multi-blade folders made today are based on designs from, in some cases, the 1880’s.  Handle materials such as, jigged bone, Stag, wood and even Ivory on slip joint folding knives is nothing new.  Steels and handle materials have been upgraded since then and today.

Two terms often associated with slip joint folding knives are “Walk and Talk.”

Walk

The polished part of the spring front where the tang end and torque point move when opening and closing the blade.

Talk

The sound a blade makes when it snaps open or shuts at the end of the walk, causing knife people to speak of the “walk and talk” of the pocket knife.

The custom versions of these knives started to gain in popularity in the 1990’s.  This was due in large part to the custom knife maker Tony Bose.   Tony is considered the premier slip joint folding knife maker in the world.

While slip joint folding knives may have been the preferred folder of your father or grandfather, these knives have nothing on the custom versions that are being produced today.   The quality, steel(s), tolerance’s, and material choices help to keep the knives from two centuries ago still relevant today.

 

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

25
JUN
2021

Hunters and Skinners Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Hunter and Skinner category page)

The smallest of the hunter group is a bird and trout knife. This knife features a small thin blade that can be used to field dress game birds and filet fish.

Perhaps the most recognizable hunter is the Loveless designed drop point hunter. This knife generally features a 3.5″ to 4″ blade. Most feature a single guard and a wide variety of handle materials. Among the favorite handle materials is Stag. Not only does this make your knife look good, the lands and grooves of the Stag antler provide an excellent grip, especially if your hand is wet.

“Skinners” or skinning knives are aptly named. These knives feature an up-swept blade that is designed to remove the fur or pelt from the animal.

As the game becomes bigger such as Moose, Bear, etc., hunting knives tend to get a little longer. This allows the hunter to quarter the game and pack the desired meat of the animal back to camp for further processing. There, once again, the hunting knife will become the primary tool for the final processing of the meat.

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

25
JUN
2021

Presentation Fixed Blade Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Presentation Fixed Blade category page)

Another aspect of the presentation fixed blade may be additional embellishment.  This would include engraving, blued fittings often with Gold inlay.  If the knife has a handle made from Ivory you may see it scrimshawed.  On occasion you may see any or all aspects of the knife with some carving.

The word Presentation can be misleading as it gives you the idea this knife is merely something to be put under glass or hung on the wall.  Make no mistake, the knives are fully functioning.  If necessary they would do exactly what they were designed to do.

 

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

24
JUN
2021

Damascus Hunter Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Damascus Hunters category page)

The size and type of the blade design will depend on the animal, bird or fish. The smallest of the hunter group is a bird and trout knife. This knife features a small thin blade that can be used to field dress game birds and filet fish.

Perhaps the most recognizable hunter is the Loveless designed drop point hunter. A damascus hunting knife generally features a 3.5″ to 5″ blade. Most feature a single guard and a wide variety of handle materials. Among the favorite handle materials is Stag. Not only does this make your knife look good, the lands and grooves of the Stag antler provide an excellent grip, especially if your hand is wet.

“Skinners” or skinning knives are aptly named. These knives feature an up-swept blade that is designed to remove the fur or pelt from the animal.

As the game becomes bigger such as Moose, Bear, etc., hunting knives tend to get a little longer. This allows the hunter to quarter the game and pack the desired meat of the animal back to camp for further processing. There, once again, the hunting knife will become the primary tool for the final processing of the meat.

While maintenance of your blade is always recommended. Damascus is more susceptible to rust than most blades. Once you are done using your knife. Wash it and wipe it off, then put a light coat of oil on it. After the trip, be sure to not store your custom made Damascus blade in the leather sheath. The tannic acid used to prepare the leather can lead to your blade rusting.

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

23
JUN
2021

Damascus Folding Knife Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Damascus Folders category page)

Precious gem stones such as Jade or Lapis Lazuli can be used for custom knife scales. Another option is reconstituted stone, such as dyed coral. Other stones such as Tiger’s Eye, Malachite and even Agates have even been used for Damascus folding knife scales.

There are many types of unique patterns created in forged Damascus like twist, ladder, swirl, mosiac, star, etc.

Locks can range from, lock backs, liner lock, frame lock, push button locks.

Clips may or may not be used. The issue with using a clip with a folding knife using natural handle material will be the drilling of the holes for the screws. This hole may lead to an immediate crack or one that forms years later as the handle material contracts and expands.

While all Damascus is forged, how it comes to be on a knife can differ.   Makers who forge their knives generally will make their own Damascus.   While many makers who utilize the stock removal method, will purchase their Damascus from a third party who specialize in making Damascus.

 

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

20
JUN
2021

Tactical Folding Knife Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Tactical Folder category page)

The criteria I came up with for the tactical folder category of the custom knife judging for the Blade Show is as follows:

The blade should have a non-reflective finish that can be bead blasted, acid washed, some kind of coating. Even a machine satin finish so the blade will not reflect light.

Bolster (if used) could be stainless steel, Titanium, Aluminum (yes, that used to be used for bolsters on tactical folders) or Zirconium. Again, your choice, but, as with the blade it should have a finish that does not reflect light.

Handle material will be of a synthetic nature. These would include G-10, Micarta or Carbon fiber, as examples.

If stainless steel, Aluminum or titanium are used for the handle and frame, then as with the blade, it will have to have a non-reflective finish.

At the time, no mention was made of opener’s, clips or locks. In 2018, the majority of tactical folders had a flipper opener, a liner or frame lock. Most have a clip that are now predominately set to the blade and is carried tip up inside the frame.

Well-known tactical folder maker, Bob Terzuola, wrote what is considered by many to be the definitive work on the subject: The Tactical Folding Knife: A Study of the Anatomy and Construction of the liner Locked Folder

If you have a chance to look on page 4 of this book, Bob gives thanks to all those who helped him with this book. Quote: “I would like to thank Les Robertson and Bob Neal for helping me define what a tactical folder is.”

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at  or (706) 650-0252.

20
JUN
2021

Tactical Fixed Blade Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Tactical Fixed Blade category page)

Guard (if used) could be stainless steel, sometimes carbon steel will be used. Generally, if that is the case, the guard will be coated with something like cera-cote or blued. Again, your choice; but, as with the blade it should have bead blast finish or one that does not reflect light.

Tactical fixed blades can also feature a metal feature at the end of the handle called the pommel, skull crusher, glass breaker, etc. This too should feature a non-reflective finish.

Handle material will be of a synthetic nature. These would include G-10, Micarta or Carbon fiber.

Tactical fixed blades are credited with the introduction of Kydex and Kydex lined Cordura nylon sheaths. Even today these are mainstays for tactical fixed blades.

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

05
MAY
2021

Shawn McIntyre

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Shawn McIntyre offers his clients around the world a selection of handle materials that rival anyone in custom knives. Shawn is an ABS Master Smith! Hardwoods, Stag, Horn and Ivory make up the majority of his handle materials. I have also received some knives with handles that were made for the roots of trees which were stunning. Shawn uses most of the same high carbon steels that most of the ABS makers uses. His favorite seems to be 1070. It is in Shawn’s Damascus where you really see his ability with steel. His standard pattern Damascus is beautiful; however, it is his Mosaic Damascus blades that are really something to behold. As for guards and other hardware, Shawn primarily uses Stainless Steel and Damascus.

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

25
APR
2021

CONGRATS TO JOSH FISHER, MS

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Congratulations to Josh Fisher for achieving his Master Smith rating from the American Bladesmith Society.  Additionally, he was awarded the Dr. Carl Nelson Award for the best knife submitted by a Master Smith Candidate.

Nelson Award Winner 2021

Josh Fisher ABS Master Smith Forged Custom Damascus Fighter Best Award Winner

Also, congratulations to his daughter, Karis Fisher, for being awarded her Journeyman Smith rating from the American Blade Smith Society.  She also won the Joe Keeslar Award for the best knife submitted by a Journeyman Smith Candidate.

A very special achievement for both of them!!

Click here to learn more about the custom knife maker, Josh Fisher.

Josh Fisher Master Smith ABS Mosiac Damascus

Josh Fisher ABS Journeyman Smith Forged Custom San Mai Stag Hunter

Josh Fisher, ABS Master Smith Twist Damascus

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

06
APR
2021

Tools for Serious Work- Tactical Fixed Blades

Posted By :
Comments : 0
WC Johnson Recurve Bowie Tactical Custom Knife Hefty Bead Blasted Survival

WC Johnson Recurve Tactical Custom Bowie In Stock $555.00

I have written over the years about my theory on custom knives trends moving cyclically with smaller cycles moving within. Today we are seeing the reemergence of the tactical fixed blade cycle.  No, this is not the first time this has happened but it has been a couple of decades.   Routinely at shows I attend, I am asked for my opinion on new or even established maker’s tactical fixed blades.  There are, of course, the questions of quality, but over the past several years the question asked of me most often has become; “Is this knife worth the money?”  

With so much information available today it can be difficult to differentiate the honesty from the hype.  Whether you are building a collection or looking for that knife that will be utilized as the tool it was designed to be.   Many of today’s collectors are looking for value in the knives they are buying.  Not so much with an eye towards investment but will the knife hold its value. Those looking for a tool want the very best they can get for their money.   

Dwyer Cave Bear Tactical Fighter

Duane Dwyer Cave Bear Tactical Fighter In Stock $750.00

Thirty-seven years ago, I arrived at the 101st Airborne as an Infantry officer.  It was there I was introduced to what would be called today’s tactical fixed blades.  Back then there were often called combat or fighting knives.  When I purchased my first custom knife it was bought as a tool, not a combat or fighting knife.  The US Army was kind enough to issue me both an M16 rifle and a .45 pistol.  I was on my own to buy a quality custom knife.  That first knife was the 8” Robert Parrish hollow handle survival knife; great field knife.  I feel this knife has the finest serrations ever put on a fixed blade. However, it was those very serrations that made the knife non-deployable so I had to find a replacement.  The replacement knife was the 8 ½” Model 2 by Walter Brend.  

Walter Brend Model 1 Tactical Fighter Custom Knife Survival

Brend Model 1 Tactical Fighter             In Stock $2,450.00

That is not to say that other custom knives were not purchased.  I rapidly went from user to a collector who used most of his knives.  I was fortunate enough to have attended the US Army’s Jungle and Northern Warfare Schools.  Additional training areas included the desert and other more friendly environments. These locations provided numerous opportunities to try out different styles of knives. I gained a wealth of knowledge of what styles and materials worked and what did not. 

There were then and are now many basic entry-level tactical fixed blades.  In most cases, these knives are lighter and slenderer for easier carry.  They come in two types: no guard or an integral guard.  Guards are on the knives not to aid you in defense of assailant with another knife.  They are primarily there to protect your hand from slipping onto the blade.  A secondary feature of a guard, especially a double guard will give better control of the knife. 

Neill Schutte Custom Knife Loveless Style Tactical Dagger South Africa

Neill Schutte Custom Loveless Style Tactical Dagger In Stock $875.00

The problem with an integral guard is the damage it can and will cause to the area of hand between your thumb and forefinger.  Authors note: I would highly recommend wearing a good quality leather glove while using one of these knives. Yes, this is the voice of experience and several field-expedient butterfly bandages to take care of the wound caused by just such a fixed blade. Today many of the knives come with an integral guard covered with the handle material making it more comfortable in the hand.  If that area is nothing more than a square or rectangle without the edges being rounded; well, you have been warned. 

These styles of knives and hunters are more times than not a maker’s first attempt at making a knife due to their limited budget and ease of building.   Many of these knives will fill the bill for exactly what you are looking for a knife to do. But understand that this style of knife lends itself to waterjet or other types of outsourced cutting of both blade blanks and scales. As long as the maker acknowledges this as part of the knife making and their pricing reflects this, there is nothing wrong with this.  It helps the maker produce a quality knife faster, make more of them and keep the price down.  This benefits the user/collector, as well.

By now, you have come to surmise that I am a fan of guards on my tactical fixed blades; in particular, double guards. Both for the safety and control, they offer the user. An issue for a collector or user can be finding tactical fixed blades with double or even single guards.  The market for these knives may be limited, but the sense of control you feel in your hand while holding one makes the hunt worthwhile. Between a 6 and a 9-inch blade is the sweet spot for these knives.  My experience in the field taught me that a big knife can do a smaller knife chore, but not the other way around.  

Having one of these knives in your hand gives you a feeling that you can accomplish whatever task lay before you.  Do some research and, if possible, handle some of these knives at the next show you attend. Appreciate the craftsmanship and skill level that goes into these custom knives. 

There is a reason that these particular tactical fixed blades are not mass-produced. Check out our collection of fixed blades here.

03
MAR
2021

Rod Chappel History

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Rod Chappel was published in the very 1st Blade Magazine back in 1973…

Rod Chappel Blade Magazine 1st Edition 1973 American Blade History

The 1st Blade Magazine! The American Blade Vol. 1, No. 1 May – June, 1973

Many of us are lead into custom knives because of the failure of a factory-made knife we were using.  That was the case for me and was also the case for Rod Chappel.  In 1967, a factory knife failed on a hunt that lead him to explore making custom knives.  His first stop on this journey was to the legendary Bill Moran for more information on how to forge blades.   The next stop was to spend time in the shop of legendary maker, Gil Hibben.  Then with the help and guidance of legendary knifemaker, Harvey Draper, he started making knives. 

Rod Chappel 1st Custom Knife Harvey Draper History

Rod Chappel holding the first knife he ever built in Harvey Drapers shop. (photo: The American Blade)

In 1970, Rod started making custom knives full time in his Grandfather Roderick Davis’ boat shop in Spokane, Washington.  This is why the knives from the 1970s’ have the mark “Davis Knives” instead of his CHAPPEL logo. As a former architect and civil engineer, he felt comfortable first putting knife designs on paper like a blueprint, if you will. He had a deep appreciation for perfection. He had many designs, but note the Lewis & Clark, Mini Mag Bowie, Coeur D’Alene Fish Knife and Woodsman Bowie (Combat Bowie). They may look familiar since they are currently on our site. 

Rod Chappel Original Knife Drawings *

Rod Chappel Custom Knives Blue Prints Combat Bowie

Rod Chappel Original Knife Drawings *

Each Christmas Rod would build one knife to be sold to buy his children Christmas gifts.  These knives are all marked Christmas, followed by the name of the knife.

In 1984, my wife and I were headed to Chicago returning from our honeymoon, I was reading the Inflight Magazine.  In this magazine was an article on knife photographer, Jim Weyer.  One of the featured knives in that article was the Rod Chappel Hunting Leopard Combat Bowie with an Ivory handle.  At that time, it was the most incredible knife I had ever seen!  Instantly I became a huge fan of his knives.

Over the next 20 years, the search for a Chappel Hunting Leopard Combat Bowie with an Ivory handle began. I had bought a couple of smaller Chappels, but it wasn’t until 2004, (ironically I was flying out of Chicago) when I had purchased my first Ivory-handled Chappel Hunting Leopard Combat Bowie at a show there. 

Rod Chappel Hunting Leopard Combat Bowie Walrus Ivory Collectible Custom Knife Number 001

Due to his Alaskan Native American lineage, Rod was able to legally utilize supreme handle materials such as walrus tusk ivory or whales teeth for some of his knives. Rod’s knives are instantly recognizable with their sweeping grinds and carved handles.  His knives are very collectible and difficult to find.  He achieved what most makers/artists strive for; a unique look and/or style.  Rod Chappel passed away in 2017, but his artwork remains ever alive and inspiring for collectors and sportsmen alike.

 

*photo from the original American Blade magazine article about Chappel.

25
FEB
2021

Bowie Knife Defined

Posted By :
Comments : 0

(cont. from Bowies category page)

The Bowie knife blades can reach up to 14″ in over all length; however, the sweet spot for a Bowie blade length is 9 – 11.”  Jim Bowie’s knife had a 9.25″ blade.

The majority of custom forged blades are flat ground. Simply put, this means the blade tapers all the way from the spine to the edge from both sides. Doing so makes this a more difficult grind as the maker has to remove a lot of metal. The advantage gained is a lighter blade that maintains its integrity.

Another technique utilized with forged blades is differential heat treatment. Basically, this creates a harder edge and a softer spine. The forged blade will generally have a temper line showing the difference between the harder and softer parts of the blade.

The carbon steels that are used are too numerous to mention them all here. The primary ones used with forged Bowie blades are; 0-1, W-2, 1075, 1084, 1095, 5160 and 52100.

There are three basic types of handles. First, the hidden tang; which is exactly what it sounds like. A hole is drilled and shaped through the center of the handle material to make room for the tang. Epoxy is often used as the adhesive to keep the tang and handle material together.

Depending on the material and maker, the handle may or may not have a pin through the handle. This type of knife handle will also lend itself to the take down handle. The handle is built in a similar fashion, but to a higher degree of fit as no glue is used to secure the tang and handle material. The handle is held together with a type of nut or finial that screws onto the tang providing the necessary pressure to keep the handle secured. Generally, a tool is provided to remove the device that is holding the knife together.

Second is the mortise tang. The tang will be shorter and the handle material will be spit. The inside of the handle material will have a slot cut evenly on both sides. This will allow the tang to be sandwiched in between both pieces of handle material. This technique will almost always have a combination of epoxy and some type of pin through the handle. An advantage of this type of handle is the reduction of weight. This can really help with a hunter/skinner, as well as, aid in the balance of the knife.

Third is the frame handle. Basically, the tang is slotted into a frame and handle material is added to each side. When completed it gives the illusion that the knife has a full tang. Generally, constructed with both hidden and pins that show. This is the most complex method of the three. Expect to pay more for this type of handle.

Bowies created by the stock removal method primarily differ from forged bowies in two main ways:

1) Steel: Basically, stainless steel is used as opposed to carbon steel.

2) Handle: Generally, either a full tang or hidden tang construction.

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

01
FEB
2021

Investing in Custom Knives: Part 1 of 5

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Most custom knives are both made and bought with little or no thought given toward being something with investment potential. Collectors collect. Collectors buy what they like, and for many of them, there is no such thing as “investment-grade” knives.

Several years ago, on an internet knife forum, someone asked if custom knives are good investments. The answer from the majority was no. Most of those belonged to the IBWIL (I Buy What I Like) Club. They were quick to point out that mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc. were better investments. Given their performance in the past couple of years, perhaps an argument can be made for having some investment-grade custom knives in one’s portfolio.  Fast forward to today and the market is doing much better.  However, so are custom knives.  Had you bought with an eye towards investment several years ago.  Many of those knives, if sold today would “beat the street.”

I know this will sound obvious, but dealers are not collectors. Dealers are professionals who, in theory, do not get emotional about a purchase. Truth is, that is not 100-percent accurate, as my collection will attest. As someone who has bought and sold custom knives for a living for the last 23 years, I feel I have been an investor for some time now. Regarding any type of investment, the phrase that pays (literally) is: Return On Investment (ROI). This is your net profit…that is to say what you made on the investment after all the expenses have been accounted for. There are five keys to investing with and in custom knives.

1. Due Diligence

Do your homework; learn everything you can before you buy. There is no excuse for not knowing about a maker and his or her knives before you buy. Knife Magazines, Annuals and the Internet are a wealth of information. Perhaps the greatest ally of the collector today is the internet. Searches can provide you with an insight to makers and their knives that can give you a competitive edge with your investing. One caution: A majority of people who participate in online forums do not use their real names. Subsequently, any and all information they offer should be subject to extensive scrutiny. Always check your sources for accuracy.

This is a 5-part blog that will continue on Wed. 6/27 so come by to keep learning about collecting custom knives for investments.

Read:

Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net.com or (706) 650-0252.

 

29
JAN
2021

Custom Fixed Blades for All

Posted By :
Comments : 0

FIGHTERS, HUNTERS AND BOWIES

We continue to try to add more knives to meet your custom knife needs.  If you have something specific in mind, please contact us and we will try to help or order it for you. 

 
Walter Brend Model 1 Tactical Fighting Custom Knife

WALTER BREND MODEL 1 FIGHTING KNIFE

Billy Mace Imel integral Custom Hunting Knife

BILLY MACE IMEL INTEGRAL DROP POINT HUNTER

Loyd McConnel Drop Point Hunter Custom Knife Desert Ironwood engraved handle pins Great value full tapered tang

LOYD MCCONNELL DROP POINT HUNTER

Mark Terrell Modern Scalpel neck Knife skeletonized handle Sharp Custom Knife

MARK TERRELL MODERN SCALPEL NECK KNIFE

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

27
JAN
2021

Investing in Custom Knives: Part 2 of 5

Posted By :
Comments : 0

2. Position in the Custom Knife Market

A maker’s position in a market is not always so obvious. Early on, when I was primarily a collector, I noticed (after spending several-thousand dollars) that just about every knife I bought and later sold lost money. I was confused as to why this was happening, since I did a lot of homework. What I thought was “homework” was; in fact, doing a lot of research to pick out what was really my favorite knife, not which knife would hold its value or even go up a little.

Years later, while in graduate school, I developed a theory regarding the pricing of custom knives. I called this “index” the Robertson’s Maker Market Matrix. Basically, what it did was compare every maker who was in KNIVES 1992 to every other maker who built a knife in a similar category. Then price comparison started between the makers, followed by materials, time making custom knives, reputation, a few other variables and patterns started to form. By creating this matrix, I found I quickly started to separate the makers into strata within a particular market. Almost without exception, the top three to five makers in each stratum rose to that position because they offered value pricing for their knives.

Know the market; know the maker’s position in the market; determine if the knife is appropriately priced. If yes, purchase the knife, and then be sensitive to the factors driving a particular maker and/or his work in that market. The purpose of investing in a custom knife is to sell it for a profit. This sensitivity will indicate to you when the time is right to sell to achieve your goal.

A couple years ago a collector came to me at the Blade Show. He had heard that a collector had spent more than $100,000 on custom knives at the show. He asked which knives I would spend $100,000 on at the show? My reply was $50,000 cash and $50,000 in custom knives. Surprised, he asked why so few knives. My job is to buy knives that will resell for a profit. I replied that I probably could not get every knife offered in a drawing, so I would have to buy knives that are offered for sale to anyone. The number of knives (even at the Blade Show) that could be resold for a profit is limited. He asked why that was. I replied that it’s because the majority of custom knives are overpriced. Not with malice aforethought, but nonetheless, overpriced.

Pricing is difficult. Often, new makers will rely on established makers to give them pricing guidance, or merely look at a knife similar to the one they have built and estimate what their knives should sell for. This is why it is incumbent upon the investor to look for value pricing in their investment knives. Most collectors don’t know the makers position in the market, and apparently most don’t care, which is good for the makers. Consequently, they don’t know they have over paid until it is time to sell the knife. Then, the aftermarket lets them know how they did. Remember, your fellow collectors are the aftermarket.

This is a 5-part blog that will continue on Sat. 7/7 so come by to keep learning about collecting custom knives for investments.

Read:

Part 1     Part 3    Part 4    Part 5

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

11
JAN
2021

Investing in Custom Knives: Part 3 of 5

Posted By :
Comments : 0

3. Value Pricing  

Many people mistakenly think this means the best price or cheapest price. In fact, a value price is one that, given the maker’s position in the custom knife market, provides the buyer a value, regardless of the price tag. Basically, this price offers the potential for the knife to hold its value. In some cases, the purchase price will enable the owner to sell the knife for a profit.

Custom knifemakers are considered to be the primary market.  That is to say buying from them directly will eliminate any previous owner.   Whereas the aftermarket is specifically comprised of previously owned knives.  This ranges from a used/carried/sharpened knife to those who have never been used/carried/sharpened.   The custom knives in the latter category dominates the sector of the aftermarket where those who buy and resell or  “flip” operate.  You have probably seen videos or photos of the owners showing off their knives while wearing some type of glove on their hands.  This is especially true if something like Timascus is used.

The custom knife market moves in cycles.  From 2000 to 2010 forged blades seemed to dominate the market.  Starting in 2009 as interest waned in forged blades, tactical folders became popular again. Over the last 9 years, the tactical folder market saw buyers with the ability to “flip” a knife for almost an instant profit in the aftermarket. Starting in late 2016, the aftermarket started to cool.  Today for many that market has become stagnant.  The reason for this is and the waning market for forged blades in the early part of the 21st Century is the same.

Increased demand lead to escalating prices.  This led to more collectors being shut out of that particular market sector.  I have always stated that “collectors want to collect.”   Meaning simply collectors want to add to their collections.  If they can’t participate in a particular style or type of knife, they will turn their collector’s eye to another style or type of knife leaving the bloated (prices) behind for knives that are priced on the makers position in the market and not the hyped up aftermarket.   Unfortunately for many who either didn’t read my article about tactical folders in Blade in March 2016 (or ignored it), they now have knives in their possession that they will never get even close to what they paid for it.   While this may not be an issue for collectors.  It is an issue for investors!

There is short term investing and long-term investing.  With regards to custom knives, the best is probably short term collecting.   That can be anywhere from immediate re-sale to 2-3 years.   A mistake often made by investors/collectors is that they think the particular market they are in will keep going up.  In 2000 to 2007 flipping houses became all the rage.   Multiple TV shows,  books, magazines and commercials talked about professionals coming to your town to teach you the secrets.   Most of us were familiar with what happened in 2008.   Ten years later there are some people still underwater in their mortgage.  Generally, this is why short term investing is the way to go.

More on Short-Term Investing in this 5-part blog on Investing in Custom Knives.

Read:

Part 1    Part 2    Part 4    Part 5

 

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at customknives@comcast.net or (706) 650-0252.

MENU