Robertson's Custom Cutlery custom knives Les Robertson knife expert
customknives@comcast.net | 706.650.0252
19
OCT
2020

NEW FLIPPER FOLDERS

Posted By :
Comments : 0

11 Custom Folding Knives Added

A wide selection of custom folders have been added to the website. Click on the links below to the specs. Keep in mind there is only 1 of each and many can no longer be ordered so don’t delay.

Andre Thorburn Model L36M Tactical Folder Engraved Julien Marchal South Africa Knifemakers Guild Custom Knife

Andre Thorburn L36M SOLD

Richard Rogers 4F

Brian Nadeau Typhoon Faux Wrap SOLD

Zermeno Azrael Punisher

Scot Matsuoka Maka

Brian Nadeau Typhoon Tactical Folder Custom Knife Flipper Opener Contoured Titanium

Brian Nadeau Typhoon SOLD

Zermeno Mini Azrael

Brian Tighe Rade

Mikkel Willumsen Tactical

Sniper Bladeworks EP

RJ Martin Q36 SOLD

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.

14
OCT
2020

Collecting Custom Hunting Knives

Posted By :
Comments : 0

 In the recent 3-part article in Blade Magazine, HOW TO COLLECT CUSTOM HUNTERS, Les discusses 1. Sept. issue) Collectible Users 2. Oct. issue) Investment Users 3. Nov. issue) Collectible Influencers. Often, the first custom knife someone buys is a hunting model.  Perhaps a skinner, semi-skinner, caper, bird & trout, or even a filet knife. These knives are purchased primarily to be used on a hunting or fishing trip where they might end up helping to produce a trophy mount or even dinner! 

Blade Magazine September 2020 Part 1 Collectible Users

The most popular custom knife style is the hunting knife.For decades knife makers and collectors have invested in these knives. Bill Moran even sold his family farm to become a full-time maker and we’re all glad he did. He is credited with the revival of the forged blade in the USA. Buster Warenski, who is considered the finest maker of the 20th century, started out primarily building hunters and skinners while working with Harvey Draper for three years. If the buyers of those knives could have only known how valuable they would become today.

Blade Magazine October 2020 Part 2 Investment Users

There are many influencers persuading us to choose one product over another. In the case of custom hunters, style, materials, technique and reputation of the maker may be considered. If the knives were created by a legend of the custom knife world, all the better. Some makers who are lesser-known to the newer collectors influenced todays makers and their knives; therefore, contributing to the knife value. Please check out the complete 3-part series in Blade Magazine.

Blade Magazine November 2020 Part 3 Collectible Influencers

COLLECTIBLE INFLUENCERS & LEGENDS

The W.E. Bill Ankrom Hunter was featured in the third part of the Blade Magazine article “Collectible Influencers” (November 2020 pages 34-38.) He is best known for the precision of his knives. Today, the majority of his work is high-end art knives.

W.C. Bill Davis Drop Point Hunter Bill studied directly with Bob Loveless. Bill was one of my favorite Loveless style knife makers. I lost count how many knives I bought from him over 25 years. His work was a true replica of Loveless’s work.

W.C. Bill Davis Duplex Drop Point Hunter (above) The knife shows the unique duplex blade grind.  The tip is designed for tasks that require more precision.  While the secondary grind offers extra strength for cutting harder materials. Full tapered tang with red liners, stainless steel lined thong hole. Bill passed away in 2015.

Schuyler Lovestrand H-2 Hunter  In my opinion, Schuyler is one of the top 5 stock removal makers in the world. His work always approaches perfection. In the 30 years, I have been working with him, his knives have never disappointed. SOLD

Fred Carter Integral Drop Point Hunting Knife Fred Carter began making knives in the mid-1970’s in Wichita Falls TX.  He was one of the pioneer’s in custom knives to build full integral knives.Today, he builds primarily high-end art knives. Additionally, he originally trained knife maker, David Broadwell.

Tim Hancock Forged Damascus Hunter  Tim was well-respected, awarded many awards and considered one of the finest Mastersmith’s in the world. He was a legend among his fellow Master Smiths. A gifted artisan, who incorporated several design elements into his work. He unfortunately passed away in 2019.

Other Hunting Knives Currently Available…

17
SEP
2020

Hand Forged Knives: What To Look For

Posted By :
Comments : 0

The forged blade conjures up both real and surreal images in the minds of both makers and collectors.  Makers let their minds eye see the blade take shape by their hand in their shop.  Every detail is considered until the knife or sword is complete.   Collectors envision how the maker got a piece of steel to the finished product as they hold it in their hand, delighted with the combination of materials, the quick/light feel and the balance sought after in all fixed blades. 

Larry Cox Forged Damascus Fighting Knife

Today the majority of makers who forge blades belong to the American Bladesmith Society (ABS).  This is not to say that a maker cannot produce an exceptional forged blade if they do not belong to this organization.   The ABS offers three rating levels.  First is the Apprentice Smith; this is the entry level for makers who want to learn what forging a blade and making a knife is about.   The next two ratings require testing.   Journeyman Smith requires the maker to be a member of the ABS for at least two years.   The maker must complete the Introduction to Bladesmithing course providing them with the basics for making a forged blade.   There are additional requirements for those wanting to be a Journeyman Smith.   After successfully attaining the JS rating, a maker will have to wait a minimum of two years before testing for Master Smith. All the testing requirements can be found on their website at www.americanbladesmith.com.  

Will Morrison Forged Bowie with Hamon SOLD

Early on I found what attracted me most to forged blades were how light the larger knives were, particularly the Bowies.  The forged blades feature what is called distal tapering.  The blades are forged in almost a wedge type shape, thick at the top and very thin on the edge.   This technique will reduce the weight on any forged blade.   The other feature that has really garnered attention is the Hamon or temper line.   This is created by differential heat treat of the blade.   Part of the aforementioned JS Test is for the maker to put a blade into a vice and bend it 90 degrees without the blade breaking.  The temper line is visible on all forged blades although you may have to look close as some will be camouflaged by a very good satin finish. Many of the knives today will feature W2 steel which if tempered properly will have a very distinct and unique temper line. 

Scott McGhee Forged Damascus Zulu Fighter

When looking at a forged blade it is not so different from looking at a knife that has been made through the stock removal method.   First does the knife appeal to me.   Let’s be honest here, there are knives out there that primarily will appeal only to the maker.  I like to see a proper blade to handle ratio.   Most handles will be 4 ½” to 5” depending on the type and style of knife.   I have seen knives that feature a 3 ½” blade and 5” handle.   Perhaps there was a specific purpose for that knife.  However, it just doesn’t look right.   Obviously a smaller or larger hand may require an adjustment to the handle length and possibly the blade length.   Part of the reason for a proper blade to handle ratio is to insure the proper balance for the knife.  Generally, about where the guard would be is where the blade should balance.  Some knives depending on the blade length and/or stock may balance a little in front of the guard.  Some knives with a bigger handle may balance a little behind the guard area.  As you hold the knife in your hands you will find the handle is an ergonomic fit or it is not.   Some knives just seem to become one with your hand and others can be uncomfortable to hold.  

Forged Blade: Handles

Handles on forged blades will basically come in 3 styles: Mortise Tang, Stick Tang, Frame.

Mortise Tang

A piece of handle material is split down the center.  Then the a pocket is created for the tang on each side.  Only enough material is removed so as to have the scales match back up when they are glued together.  On a very good job you will have difficulty finding the line where the two pieces of material come back together. On others it will be very apparent that the knife features a mortise tang configuration.

Scott McGhee Cottonmouth Fighting Knife

Stick Tang

The handle material will be drilled down the center and depending on the set up of the handle the tang may or may not go all the way to the other end.  Often wood handles with a hidden tang will feature a couple of pins to help hold the tang in place. This is done primarily as a back up and often the pins feature a mosaic pattern.   The other style generally found on Stag often referred to as “carver” handles.  As the piece of stag looks like one found on the older type carver sets used to carve meat at the dinner table.  Often these will feature a spacer of stainless steel or Damascus file worked to match the Stag.  The tang will come all the way through the handle and spacer and screw into a finial at the end of the handle.  You will find this often with Ivory with or without the spacer and finial.   Note that on both Ancient Walrus Ivory and Stag there may be a curve to the left or right which can add or detract from the handle ergonomics. 

Frame Handle

The third type of handle is the frame handle; which is exactly what it sounds like.  A separate frame which will also feature the guard is built with the handle material (and often liners of sometime) fitted into the sides of the frame. The tang is then put into the frame and is secured by pins and bolts that are under the handle material or they can be showing.   It can be deceptive as it appears to be a full tang knife.   That is your first clue that it is more than likely a frame handle.  This type of handle is the most expensive because of the amount of work it takes to create it. 

Forged Blade Steel

Depending on the intended use, the environment of use and any other unusual parameters the type of steel used can make a big difference.   That said while looking at a forge blade three things to look for are: 1) is the edge sharp.  Often people want to run their finger along the edge or across their thumb nail.   I would caution you about this.   I would suggest brining paper or a magazine with you.  Test the edge on something other than your body parts.   2) The blade finish.   What you are looking for here is straight lines from the front of the guard to the point.   Everything should be going horizontally on the blade. I find pointing the tip towards the lights overhead and looking along the blade a great way to see the finish.  3) Symmetry.  That is to say are any grinds equal on both sides.  Points where the grinds come together are the best place to look.  Example: the choil area, where you can often tell if the maker is left or right handed.  

Damascus while difficult to create has become more abundant.  Comprised not only of a combination of carbon steels and nickel, stainless steel Damascus is now an option. Damascus will go from the basic Ladder and Twist pattern to more exotic patterns and finally to mosaic patterns.  Literally your name, a flag, Santa and his reindeer, etc. can be put into Damascus steel.  Two things you will want to look for are an even acid etch on the Damascus. The other would be separations between the layers within the Damascus. 

I feel sheaths are a must for hunting knives, especially carbon steel hunting knives.   Often these knives are bought with the idea that they will be used and as such you will need something to carry the knife in.   If you are just putting the knife into your collection you may or may not want a sheath.  

The problem with sheaths for carbon steel and Damascus bladed knives is that it gives the impression to some that the knife can be stored in the sheath.  In the case of carbon steel and Damascus bladed knives they should never be stored in the sheath.  It is not will the blades rust it is how soon they will rust.

The good news for those who like sheaths is that there are several very talented sheath makers who can create whatever your budget can afford! 

Quandaries with Forged Blades, Rating Systems and Business Practices  

In the mid 1980’s when Damascus was making its first appearance at knife shows.  I ran into two well known Master Smiths who were touting their “secret steel and techniques” made their steel special.  It turned out that their steel and/or techniques were far from special.   I would caution you to be leery of any forged blade maker who would use the “secret” word.   

The forged blade makers out there do an excellent job in sharing their knowledge with their fellow makers.   The teaching at the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing in Texarkana Texas is done by Master Smiths.  Additionally there are other schools and hammer ins across the United States that allow the knowledge of the forged blade to be passed from maker to maker.  

While the ABS has excellent guidelines and testing procedures that makers must meet in order for their knives to pass the tests to attain their JS or MS stamp.   This does not mean that every knife build will maintain that high standard set for their test knives.   Today you will find some makers with a JS stamp are better than some of the makers with an MS stamp. This is primarily because of better equipment and better dissemination of information.  It is up to you to be able to compare apples to apples when it comes to materials and techniques that are used on similar knives.  

Purchasing Tips

Before you purchase or order a knife it is always best to talk with the maker.   Ask them about why they use particular materials for the knives on their table, etc.  While some may be slow to talk about their knives (as many makers feel this is bragging) once they understand you interested in their decision making process.  They should be more than happy to answer any and all questions.   If for some reason the maker won’t or can’t answer question(s) about their work.  You may want to consider finding another maker for your project or your collection.  However, understand that at a show they do have other people to talk with as well.   The more you as a collector know the better more specific questions you can ask.  

You should understand that most knife makers are part time makers.  As such their level of business expertise will vary.  This is why communication is so important between the maker and the buyer.   Two issues that can arise here are the delivery time and deposits.   With very few exceptions should you put a deposit down on a order.  An example would be if you are asking for very expensive materials to be used, i.e. gold, ivory, gem stones, etc.   You can expect the maker to ask you for money up front to purchase those.  Make sure to work out the money details at the time you place the order.  Makers who insist on a 50% deposit should be avoided.  For those makers who insist on payment in full up front.   Run don’t walk away from them. 

Delivery times are going to vary.  More than likely the maker will be late.  Understand this is not done intentionally.  Makers will give you their very best estimate of when your knife will be completed.   As you can imagine once you go more than 6 months out it can be difficult to give you an exact delivery date.   So plan on being a little patient and stay in contact with the maker.   Once again good communication is the key.

Just like the forged blade makers the forged blade buyers have a wide variety of resources they can use to educate themselves on what to look for with regards to knives in this category.   The ABS website is a wealth of information regarding what is expected of makers with a particular rating.   Given the amount of Hammer In’s and knife shows that are in the US there is probably one close to you.   A basic understanding of how a knife is made can go a long way to give you an appreciation/education on how easy or difficult some aspect of knife making can be.  The Internet can be mined for a treasure trove of aftermarket potential of particular a particular makers work.  

Knowing what a maker’s position in a particular market is allows you determine what you should pay for a given knife.   This will get you the best bang for your buck. 

Forged blades seem to offer almost a limitless variety of styles and materials. Making this aspect of the custom knife market something every collector should explore. 

Interested in purchasing a forged blade? Look at our selection here.

08
SEP
2020

RELOOK JIM SISKA’S KNIVES

Posted By :
Comments : 0

As a custom knife purveyor, I am always looking for custom knives which feature value for the money. This was the reason I bought my first knife from Jim Siska 32 years ago in 1987… and this holds true today.  Jim’s knives are the epitome of the four F’s: Fit, Finish, Function and Flow.  Those of you who already own one of his masterpieces know what I am talking about.  For those of you considering your first or next knife purchase, I cannot recommend a knife from Jim Siska highly enough.

Jim has made many custom knives for Robertson’s Custom Cutlery over the years; hunters, damascus hunters, presentation fixed blades, bowies, and tactical fixed blades. Here are four examples of his work we currently have available for you in stock. Click on the photos for details.

Siska Utility Hunter Stag Custom

Siska M16 Subhilt Custom Knife

These are all top quality custom knives from our featured maker, Jim Siska, at a great value. 

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.

06
SEP
2020

RESPECT “SWEAT LABOR”

Posted By :
Comments : 0

SOME LIKE IT HOT!

These New Damascus Custom Bowies & Camp Knives are just that… HOT!
These Bladesmiths put a lot of “Sweat Labor” into forging the Damascus steel prior to making the Bowies/Camp Knives. And this is no easy task!
This Labor Day, we pay respect to all the custom knife makers for their creativity, talent, determination and; of course, hard work that goes into each custom made knife.


Steve Randall Forged Mosaic Damascus Bowie ABS Master Smith custom knife Rare Fossil Walrus Ivory

Steve Randall Mosaic Damascus Bowie

Josh Fisher ABS Journeyman Smith Forged Custom Damascus Twist Pattern Camp Knife Frame Handle

Josh Fisher Twist Damascus Camp Knife

Stephan Fowler Forged Ladder Pattern Damascus Bowie Custom Knife Stag ABS Journeyman Smith

Stephan Fowler Forged Damascus Bowie

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.

26
AUG
2020

Daggers: A Brief History

Posted By :
Comments : 0
Neill Schutte Loveless Style Tactical Dagger II Custom Knife South Africa
NEILL SCHUTTE LOVELESS STYLE TACTICAL DAGGER
Neill Schutte Loveless Style Tactical Dagger II Custom Knife South Africa
NEILL SCHUTTE LOVELESS STYLE TACTICAL DAGGER II

The dagger. Unlike the blade designs that carry the names; hunter, fighter, Bowie or even sword, daggers almost always conjure up a singular image in the mind. Primarily, a blade evenly ground on either side of a center line to a point and sharpened on both sides. Now the steel or the guard (or lack thereof) or handle may differ from knife to knife, but the blade remains the same.

My First Custom Tactical Dagger

My entry into the world of custom knives in 1984 saw the emergence of the golden age of art daggers. Buster Warenski left no doubt that he was the Master Craftsman of that era. Other makers doing exceptional work during that time included Willie Rigney, Fred Carter, and Billy Mace Imel. For those of you unfamiliar with any of the previous names I would encourage you to utilize your “Google-Fu” and search these makers and their work out. Having been a fan of the F-S Dagger, I was forced to stop at the table of Billy Imel at the Guild show in the early 1990’s. On his table was his version of the F-S dagger; beautiful, sleek and deadly. I’m sure other makers had done this before, but this is the first Fairbairn Sykes custom tactical dagger I remember seeing. 

Dagger History

ROD CHAPPEL (DAVIS KNIVES) BOOT KNIFE

Daggers have been around as long as man. Early daggers were made of flint, ivory or bone either as a stand alone blade or attached to a piece of wood. As war and its weapons evolved, daggers were made from bronze and then later from iron ore. As armor, such as steel chain mail and plate armor were resistant to slashes and cuts, the need for a weapon to penetrate was created. The dagger was the ideal weapon for this using the reverse grip. The dagger was employed in a downward technique to increase the thrust and penetrative force. As armor fell out of favor the dagger became more of a weapon of choice. During the Renaissance era the dagger became popular as a secondary weapon to the sword; then to be used in concert with a sword. During this time the dagger became part of everyday dress and they were the only weapon the common man could carry without drawing attention to himself. During this time the dagger in the form of a bayonet attached to the end of the rifle was also implemented.   

Perhaps the most familiar daggers to us were the ones that started to show up during WWI. Trench warfare demanded weapons for close-in work to be developed. Given the close quarters in the trenches, officers moved from carrying sabers/swords to wearing daggers. This trend for the officers continued after WW1 and into WW2. WW2 will be remembered for many thing; however, it may be the golden age of tactical dagger designs. Even though the Fairbairn-Sykes (F-S) and Case V-42 weren’t developed until seventy-five years later, they still captured the imagination of knife users, collectors and knife makers. 

Fuller or Blood Groove

The fuller, or as some call it, the blood groove, is an additional step to this process. As it adds both time and an additional skill set to put this into the blade. A common misnomer is that the blood groove is added to allow blood to flow from a wound allowing the blade to be more easily removed. The other misnomer is that suction is created by the entry of the knife. The blood groove allows air to be introduced to the wound allowing for easier retrieval. The actual reason for the fuller is to remove weight from the blade while maintaining the strength. The act of twisting the knife would aid in retrieval much better than any groove in the blade.   

TIM HANCOCK FRAME HANDLED FORGED ARIZONA TOOTHPICK DAMASCUS DAGGER

Today’s Daggers

The custom fixed blade market is seeing a resurgence of tactical daggers. The tried and true variants of the F-S and Case V42 are making their appearance again.  

A classic design will always find those who want to either own or make a knife based on a classic design. Other makers are providing their take on one of man’s oldest blade designs. 

At first glance, the dagger blade seems to be a basic knife to grind. However, it is the symmetry of the blade that makes it very difficult to keep all four grinds symmetrical. It is the centerline from the front of the guard to the end of the tip that makes or breaks the symmetry. Failure to achieve that straight grind will eliminate the possibility of achieving that symmetry. Even for very well-known knife makers achieving the symmetry is not a given. While judging the custom knife competition at the Blade Show I have seen two knives; both with an asking price of at least $15,000.00 with a crooked centerline. Why the knife maker would knowingly let that knife out of his shop with that obvious mistake one can only guess.   

As was shown by the soldiers of WWII the dagger can and will be used for a myriad of purposes. However, the blade did not always lend itself to the job at hand. Many FS daggers were ruined as their owners broke the tips trying to open ration cans. While today most will find their way into collections. The lethality of the dagger has not changed and most will be able to accomplish the chore they were designed for all those thousands of years ago.

Interested in purchasing your own Sykes Fairbairn or tactical dagger? Place an order for one by Walter Brend here.

02
AUG
2020

Blade Magazine Custom Hunters Part 1

Posted By :
Comments : 0

“How to Collect Custom Hunters”

Blade Magazine Custom Hunting Knives Article Les Robertson September 2020 Skinner

With the Blade Show cancelled for this year, and hunting season upon us, check out Les’ 3-part article on collecting hunting knives in the current issue (Sept) of Blade Magazine. Les begins discussing collectible users on page 30.

A knife that is a collectible user may sound odd at first. Often, the first custom knife that someone buys is a hunting type knife. This includes a Skinner, semi-Skinner, caper, bird and trout, and even a filet knife.

These knives are primarily bought to be used on the next hunting or fishing trip. While they may end up helping to produce a trophy mount or dinner. This time shared with family and friends creates memories that last a lifetime. The stories are retold repeatedly and passing through generations, connecting people to past and future activities to come.

What memories do your knives hold?  

Part two will discuss investment hunting knives considered “users.”

Sign up for our Newsletter for previews of sales and arrivals of new 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

03
MAY
2020

BLADE SHOW 2020 POSTPONED

Posted By :
Comments : 0

We have been attending the Blade Show for 34 years so it is; of course, disappointing to report it will be postponed. Under the circumstances, however, it’s important everyone stay healthy so we can get together and enjoy our passion for knives in Atlanta August 7-9th. Mark your calendars and take care!

16
MAR
2020

FORGED SUB-HILTS FLOURISH- MARCH BLADE MAG.

Don’t miss the latest Blade Magazine article March 2020, “FORGED SUB-HILTS FLOURISH”  by Les Robertson

The article, starting on page 12 through page 18, discusses the pros and cons of building one of the most challenging fixed blades; the SUB-HILT-FIGHTER.
Some featured world-class knife makers in the article: Bob Loveless, David Lisch; along with expert input on making a sub-hilt from David Broadwell, Samuel Lurquin, Steve Randall and Josh Fisher.

HERE ARE A FEW SUB-HILTS WE HAVE AVAILABLE IN STOCK BELOW: (click on the photos to link to the specs.)
TIM HANCOCK DAMASCUS FORGED SUB-HILT FIGHTER
Tim Hancock Unique Forged Damascus SubHilt Fighter D'Holder ABS Master Smith Custom Knife

SCHUYLER LOVESTRAND JR. BEAR SUB-HILT FIGHTER
Lovestrand Jr Bear Custom Sub-Hilt Fighting Knife Handmade Stag

JIM SISKA M-16 SUB-HILT FIGHTER

Sign up for our Newsletter.

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.

23
FEB
2020

7 Tips for Buying Custom Knives

Posted By :
Comments : 0

We thought you might enjoy a recent article written by Mike Haskew in January 2020 on BladeMagazine.com, “7 Tips for Buying Custom Knives.” 

Les Robertson said many buyers/collectors make the mistake of overlooking a maker’s skill level, quality, customer service, and/or delivery issues because the knife can be sold immediately for a profit. The presentation Bastion Dagger by Tim Steingass features an armor-piercing tip. (SharpByCoop knife image)

1) Know the Trends

“This has got to be through the old way of human contact,” Bob Loveless knife specialist John Denton observed, “sort of like the lunchroom in school. You hang out, listen, see what is moving, what dealers are buying and, of course, now with the ‘inter-web,’ we have so much more information within seconds, while in the ’70s or ’80s we had to wait for BLADE® Magazine or the gun magazines to run stories on Loveless.

“Shows are still important to attend, but nowhere like they were years ago. Face to face is still part of the knife world.”

2) Maker Charisma

A lot depends on whether the maker has the kind of personality that appeals to the knife enthusiast. At Blade Gallery, Daniel O’Malley specializes in one-of-a-kind custom knives. The answer includes multiple factors.

“There are a lot of things that go into making a knifemaker’s knives ‘hot,’” he reasoned. “Part of it is the personality of the maker. When a collector meets a maker for the first time, the collector often has a picture in his head of what the maker will be like. If the maker falls short [of the collector’s expectations], it can be quite disillusioning.”

3) Customer Service

“[The maker] being willing to repair knives when there is a problem is also very important,” O’Malley continued. “It can easily make the difference in a collector continuing to purchase a maker’s work. It can even be the difference in whether a person continues to collect the maker’s knives over time.

“After all, if a collector has spent a large sum of money on their collection, it can be very nerve wracking to find that it’s hard to get a damaged knife repaired. Similarly, it can be comforting if a problem can be relatively painlessly solved.”

4) Do Your Homework

Les Robertson of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery offers custom fixed blade and folding knives, including tacticals and presentation pieces, as well as some exclusives. His take on the delicate topic of a maker’s reliability and the quality of the maker’s work is sage advice for knife enthusiasts in any price range or level of experience.

“I give my client the very best information I have at the time,” Robertson asserted. “This includes issues with a maker or the quality of their work. Often, a maker’s skill level, quality, customer service, and/or delivery issues are overlooked because the knife can be sold immediately for a profit.

“Given the prices of many of the custom knives today, I highly recommend that collectors do their homework before purchasing a knife.

“I realize this takes away from the thrill of instant gratification and removes some of the fun out of the hobby. Long term, though, you will feel great about every knife you have bought, and your wallet will thank you.”

Purveyor John Denton said he turned down $60,000 at the 2014 BLADE Show for this Big Bear in sheep horn and Dan Wilkerson engraving. (Point Seven knife image)

5) Set An Allowance

Everyone, it seems, has spending limits. The role of the dealer often involves assisting clients in determining how much to spend. Recognition of the amount of disposable income available keeps a buyer/collector in the game.

6) Collect With A Purpose

Denton advises customers to acquire some knowledge on prices and to assess their real purpose for buying custom knives in the first place.

“First of all, you want collectors to be educated,” he commented, “and not to be buying just to make money. That is the riskiest way to approach collecting. But then if they buy what they like and in three years can’t get 10 cents on the dollar, it will cut their knife buying down and drive them out of the market.”

Dealer Dave Ellis notes that the investment perspective differs greatly from that of the collector who wants to enjoy, build and retain knives for years to come.

“When I chat with newbies,” he remarked, “a lot of them get into knives from an investment standpoint. They have read in the Wall Street Journal that investing in knives is a good idea, or heard about a knife that was purchased for $800 and then sold for $8,000. I tell them to buy what they like first and to worry about resale later because if it doesn’t pan out, then they won’t have to hold onto something they don’t like.”

Taking a measured approach is key to successful, price-sensitive acquisitions.

“I tell the collector to pace themselves,” Denton said. “Get into a knife that will be easy to turn if you get tired of it down the road. I’ve had several people ask me to build them a $300,000 collection, and I tell them I don’t do that because they will get mad if they don’t make 14 percent growth per year—and they don’t know why they’re buying the knife.

“The true collector has studied the knives and the market, and he will realize what knives are worth and what he can resell them for.”

Those who are new to the custom knife market can tap a great resource in a top dealer. Advice on the market, prevailing prices and hot makers is only part of the relationship. High-end folders by BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Ron Lake, Warren Osborne and Jim Martin, along with Loveless fixed blades, are among Ellis’s offerings.

When Dave talks with a new buyer/collector, he asks a few basic questions.

“There are more heavy hitters getting in the game with lots of money,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean they are buying the right things. What have their interests been up to now? Did they grow up with knives? Do they carry and use a knife? What is their reason for buying now? Use it? Collect it? Give it to a nephew for college graduation? I don’t want to offer a $7,000 Loveless hunter when a $150 skinner by any smith will do.”

7) Attend Shows That Fit

Though knife shows may be one of many ways to gain information and see what is out there, the individual contact with dealers, makers and other knife enthusiasts is invaluable. Attending shows that mean the most to the individual buyer’s needs and wants helps in the education process and in finding the people and knives that enhance the experience.

Robertson attends the BLADE Show due directly to its diversity of custom knives for sale. He says that the Arkansas Custom Knife Show is also one of the premier forged blade shows and features apprentice, journeyman and master smiths in the American Bladesmith Society.

“The New York Custom Knife Show offers a variety of knives from very well-known custom knifemakers,” Robertson added. “This show in recent years has had more of a tactical knife flavor. The USN Show offers the widest variety of tactical folders you will see at any show in the world.”

These are just a few of Robertson’s picks. Other shows are out there, and many of them are quite beneficial to knife enthusiasts looking for certain styles of knives and/or makers.

Sign up for our Newsletter.

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.

05
FEB
2020

2 New Knife Videos Added

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery has added some new knife videos to our YouTube page. 

Click on the knife photos below to watch the knife videos and learn inside tips about these one-of-a-kind custom made knives.

TIM HANCOCK FRAME HANDLED FORGED ARIZONA TOOTHPICK DAMASCUS DAGGER KNIFE

Tim Hancock Custom Damascus Dagger One-Of-A-Kind Award Winning ABS Master Smith

 

DAVID BROADWELL CARVED FEATHERED BRONZE DAMASCUS FIGHTER

David Broadwell Carved Damascus Fighting Knife Bronze Fossil Walrus Ivory One-Of-A-Kind

 

Be sure to Subscribe to the Robertson’s Custom Cutlery Youtube page for future knife videos.

We appreciate your support!

Sign up for our Newsletter.

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.

20
JAN
2020

RCC YouTube Knife Videos

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery has added some new knife videos to our YouTube page. 

Click on the knife photos below to check them out… They may give you an new perspective on a few of our custom collectibles.

GREG KEITH FORGED DAMASCUS BOWIE WITH STAG

Greg Keith Damascus Forged Bowie Stag

Greg is an ABS Journeyman Smith.

BOB TERZUOLA TACTICAL RESPONSE FIXED BLADE KNIFE

Bob Terzuola Tactical Response Fixed Blade

This Limited-Edition run, serial #02, was a private order that ceased after 5 were made.

JOEL CHAMBLIN 3 BLADE STOCKMAN SLIP JOINT FOLDING KNIFE

Joel Chamblin 3 Blade Stockman Slip Joint Folding Knife Stag

Clean precision work is the hallmark of Joel’s work. One of the best slip joint knife makers in the world.

RON GASTON F-14 FIGHTING KNIFE WITH MAMMOTH IVORY

Ron Gaston F17 Presentation Fixed Custom Knife Mammoth Ivory Harpoon grind

Only F-14 I have ever seen with a unique harpoon grind on top, full tapered tang and dovetailed bolsters. Exceptional knife!

Be Sure to Subscribe to the Robertson’s Custom Cutlery Youtube page for future knife videos.

We appreciate your support!

Sign up for our Newsletter.

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.

31
DEC
2019

NEW MAKERS, NEW KNIVES & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Robertson’s Custom Cutlery welcomes two new custom knife makers and wishes everyone a Happy and Healthy NEW YEAR 2020!

We at Robertson’s Custom Cutlery would like to welcome custom knife makers Greg Keith and Paul DiStefano.

GREG KEITH FORGED DAMASCUS BOWIE WITH STAG

Greg Keith Damascus Forged Bowie Stag

Greg’s Bowie has great balance and excellent handle ergonomics. The curved guard allows the user positive control of this knife.  The fuller in the blade and the angled pommel really adds to the overall look of the knife.
Greg is an ABS Journeyman Smith.

PAUL DISTEFANO FORGED DAMASCUS BOWIE WITH DESERT IRONWOOD

Paul DiStefano forged damascus bowie desert ironwood ABS Journeyman Smith

Paul’s Bowie has great balance, a slight curve in the primary edge gives it exceptional cutting ability.  The handle’s unique flair at the end of the handle, provides the user excellent control of the knife no matter how they hold it.  Paul is an ABS Apprentice Smith.  I expect when he tests in June of 2020, he will become a Journeyman Smith!

Join us in welcoming these two talented custom knife makers to Robertson’s Custom Cutlery!

 

Sign up for our Newsletter.

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.

09
DEC
2019

GREAT COLLABORATION

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Cheers to David Broadwell & Josh Fisher for a beautiful custom knife collaboration.

David custom made this MLR Sub-Hilt fighter with the Wolf’s Tooth Pattern Damascus forged by a very talented Journeyman Smith, Josh Fisher.

Notice the unique “crushed ice” liners which accent the damascus. Les thinks David makes the finest sub-hilt fighters in the world.

$3,450.00

David Broadwell Forged Damascus Sub-Hilt Ivory

Sign up for our Newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

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
NOV
2019

HONORING OUR VETERANS!

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Take time today to remember and honor those who have given their time and more

to our country so that we may ALL live free in America.

HAPPY VETERAN’S DAY!

05
JUN
2019

Blade Show Opportunities

Posted By :
Comments : 0

BLADE SHOW INCOMING KNIVES
If you are looking for something specific and can’t make it to the show, let us know. Maybe we can help.
These are just a couple of examples of knives we are planning to pick up at the Blade Show in Atlanta.  Place your order now and we’ll ship it after the show!

Greg Keith Forged Custom Damascus Bowie

GREG KEITH FORGED DAMASCUS BOWIE WITH DESERT IRONWOOD
Blade Length: 9″ OL: 14″
Blade Steel: Ladder Pattern Forged Damascus with fuller
Blade Finish: Acid Etched
Guard: Stainless Steel
Handle: Presentation Desert Ironwood
Sheath: Custom made leather sheath by maker
Comments:  Great balance!  The fuller really adds to the overall look of the knife design.  Excellent handle ergonomics.  Greg is an ABS Journeyman Smith$1,100.00

Oostendorp Orbis 5

TONI OOSTENDORP ORBIS 5 TACTICAL FIXED BLADE
Blade Length: 5″
Overall Length: 9.5″
Blade Steel: O-1
Blade Finish: Black Cera Kote
Guard Material: Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Contoured and grooved black Micarta
Sheath: Kydex with Maxpedition knife pouch.
Comments: All Orbis knives are integral. The blade, guard and tang are all forged from one piece of O-1 steel. The pommel is glued and penned into position giving you the utmost confidence in the performance of this knife.
Toni is an ABS Journeyman Smith.  Click here to learn more about custom knife maker, Toni Oostendorp$800.00

Josh Fisher San Main Damascus Stag Custom Fixed Blade

JOSH FISHER CUSTOM FORGED DAMASCUS SAN MAI FIGHTING KNIFE
Blade Length: 9″ OL: 14″
Blade Steel: Forged San Mai, 416 stainless, Damascus core
Guard, ferrule, pommel material: Hot blued carbon steel guard, ferrule and pommel with stainless steel spacers.
Handle Material: Beautiful Stag
Comments: This knife is very similar to the one featured on the cover of Knives 2019.  It is also in the article Les wrote for Knives 2019. This fixed blade knife is the same knife design as the one which won the “Best Fighter Award” at the 2018 Blade Show. Josh is an ABS Journeyman Smith!  Click here to learn more about the custom knife maker, Josh Fisher.  $1,250.00

If you are attending the show, check out Les’ BLADE UNIVERSITY class. Click for details.

24
APR
2019

BLADE UNIVERSITY 2019

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Blade Show Blade University Atlanta 2019

BLADE UNIVERSITY

Saturday, June 8th, Les will be teaching a class as part of Blade University at the Blade Show in Atlanta, GA.  This will be conducted in room 109, starting at 9:45 am – 10:45 am.  The subject, “Is a Custom Knife Dealer/Purveyor For You? ” will benefit both knife makers and collectors.

For the purposes of this class, Les (whose focus has been only custom knives for 32 years) will be discussing specifically those dealers/purveyors who buy and sell ONLY custom knives.  Unlike some dealers who sell both factory and custom knives, those with instiutional or specific knowledge of custom knives will benefit both the knife maker or custom knife collector much more.

The following will be discussed in the seminar:
*Maker benefits for working with a custom knife dealer/purveyor
*Collector benefits for working with a custom knife dealer/purveyor
*Potential problems for makers working with custom dealers/purveyors
*Potential problems for collectors working with custom knife dealers/purveyors
This link https://bladeshow.com/education/blade-u/ will take you directly to the Blade University portion of the Blade Show website where you may purchase tickets ahead of time.  Last year both of the classes he taught sold out.  Hope to see you there…

Is a Custom Knife Dealer/Purveyor for You?

Saturday, June 8th 9:45 am – 10:45 am  Room 109

BLADE SHOW 2019   ATLANTA, GA
June 7 – 9
Fri. 2 pm – 7 pm    Cobb Galleria Centre
Sat. 9 am – 6 pm   2450 Galleria Parkway

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.

18
FEB
2019

ARKANSAS KNIFE SHOW REVIEW

Posted By :
Comments : 0

The Arkansas Knife Show

Saturday, February 16
Little Rock, AR

Congratulations to Logan Pearce for once again putting on a excellent custom knife show.

The custom knife makers ranged from newer ABS Apprentice Smith makers to World Class ABS Master Smiths.

Master Smith makers attending were Harvey Dean, Jerry Fisk, Jim Crowell, Steve Culver, Kyle Royer, John Horrigan, J.R. Cook, Lin Rhea, Bill Buxton and others.

Journeymen Smiths were well represented with Josh Fisher showing off his first Sub-Hilt Fighter.  Shawn Ellis won the Best Hunter Award and  Scott Gallagher won the Best Folder Award.  Other talented JS makers in attendance were Allen Newberry, Karl Andersen and Larry Cox.

Allen Newberry brought some nice silver wire inlay handled knives. Karl Andersen offered a good selection of take down knives. Larry Cox had some very nice Damascus and Ivory fixed blades.

I had very informative conversations with Apprentice Smiths, Mitch Cargile and Mark Fleming.  Both are doing clean work and attaining their JS Stamps will happen in the very near future.

The Arkansas show is second only to the Blade Show in both variety and quality of forged blades.  This show not only offers knives from a wide variety of makers, it does so in a relaxed environment.

The show will be moving from February to March for 2020.  I highly recommend fitting this into your knife show plans.  You will not be disappointed.

25
AUG
2018

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 sweet spot for Bowie blade length is 9″ – 11″. Jim Bowie’s knife had a 9.25″ blade.

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

25
AUG
2018

Jason Clark

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Jason Clark’s knives are the epitome of the 4F’s; Fit, Finish, Flow and Function.  His custom knives while primarily tactical often have a look of understated elegance. As these photos below show, his knives can easily transition between several categories simply by changing the materials.  Jason’s favorite steels are S35VN, B75P, N690 and 19C 22 and even San Mai.  He professes no favorite Damascus insisting he enjoys trying new steels as client requests them. They open smooth and lock up tight.  Their slim design and lightweight materials create an extremely comfortable to carry all day.  Jason’s knives are among the best for the money in the tactical folder or damascus folder category.   He has a variety of other styles to include a dagger so check out this custom knife maker’s work.

Jason Clark Custom handmade folding knife tactical NN1

Jason Clark Custom Tactical NN1 folding knife

Clark Damascus Handmade Folder

Jason Clark Damascus NN1 Custom Folding Knife

Jason Clark Custom NN1 Titanium folding Knife

Jason Clark NN1 Timascus Bolster,
Anodized Bronze Titanium Frame
Lightning Strike Carbon Fiber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

25
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

25
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

25
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

25
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

25
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

24
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

24
AUG
2018

Joel Chamblin

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Quality and precision are the hallmarks of a Joel Chamblin knife. This is why in 1998, Bob Neal and I chose Joel to make the very first folder for our exclusive LDC Series of custom folding knives.  Joel built the LDC-1 and LDC-101 .

Chamblin LDC-101 Prototype Exclusive Tactical Folding Knife

Joel Chamblin LDC-101 Prototype Tactical Folder

Known for a decade as one of the premier slip joint and multi-blade folding knife makers in the world, below is an example of the Remington 1123 Slip Joint Folder handmade by Joel.

Chamblin Remington 1123 Stag Folder Slip Joint

Joel Chamblin Remington 1123 Stag Slip Joint Folder

Moving seamlessly from one genre to another, Joel has once again focused his attention on the tactical folding knife market. He incorporates the most “in demand” materials expected in custom knives; S35VN blades, Titanium, Zirconium, Timascus and carbon fiber into his tactical folding knives.  He is producing some of the smoothest best built EDC folding knives available today.  Joel understands what “quality for the money” means and incorporates it into each knife he builds. Joel has recently retired so get these collectables while you can.

Custom knife maker Chamblin Joel PDK2 Tactical LSCF

Joel Chamblin PDK2 Tactical Folder w/ LSCF

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.

24
AUG
2018

Josh Fisher

Posted By :
Comments : 0

I met Josh Fisher at the 2017 Arkansas Custom Knife Show. I was immediately struck by the variety, quality and the pricing of his knives. Josh builds a wide variety of handmade fixed blades, as well as, slip joint folding knives. His fixed blade styles include, hunters, Bowies, and a variety of Damascus knives. His custom San Mai blades will compete favorably with any knife maker in the world as the knife he entered in the judging at the 2018 Blade Show will attest to. This is a photo of the knife Josh won the very prestigious Best Fighter Award in Atlanta GA. He also won the Best Hunter Award at the 2016 Blade Show in Atlanta GA.

Josh Fisher utilizes carbon steel, forged Damascus steel and San Mai blades in conjunction with just about any handle material you would like. Premium woods, Stag and Mammoth/Mastodon Ivories, as well as bluing are all in his repertoire.

What I like best about Josh is that he does not shy away from a challenge. Both myself and my clients have taken him out of his comfort zone on several occasions. This skilled custom knife maker combines functionality and aesthetics and he never disappoints! He utilizes a combination of functionality and aesthetics. Josh Fisher always leaves you wanting to see what he will makes next!

 

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.

23
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

20
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

20
AUG
2018

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 a 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

08
AUG
2018

Journeyman Smith – What You Should Know

Posted By :
Comments : 0

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

I was introduced to forged blades in the late 1980’s. What drew my attention were the custom Damascus knives being made by some of the ABS Master Smiths.  The top makers were asking $100 an inch (this included paying for the tang) for their knives, plus handle material and a sheath.  A 10” Bowie with a 5” handle would routinely be priced at $1600 – $1800 (depending on handle material.) Remember this was the 1988 price!

This lead 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.  It was then I started to be educated on what the Journeyman Smith designation meant and why it was important to me.

To become a Journeyman Smith (JS) some basic requirements have to be met:

  • 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 at least 3 years before they can test for JS.
  • Performance Test: JS candidate can only test with carbon steel blades. There are guidelines for the knife to be used. The test is a 4-part event. All 4 parts have to be passed in order for the JS candidate to become eligible to test for JS.
    • Rope Cutting: The purpose of this is to test the edge geometry and sharpness.
    • Wood Chopping: This is done to demonstrate the edges toughness. A construction grade 2X4 is used for this test.
    • Shaving Hair: The is to demonstrate the edge retention of the blade.
    • Bending: This test is done to show the applicant is able to heat treat a knife with a soft spine and hard edge. This is known as “differential heat treat.”  On a hard use knife, this type of heat treat could be an advantage.

Once the time requirement and performance test have been met.  The JS candidate may now test for their JS Stamp (that is the JS in script you will see on their blades.)

The candidate will submit five knives, all having carbon steel blades for judging.  This usually takes place at the Blade Show in Atlanta, GA, the first of June.  Recently the ICCE Show in Kansas City has been added as an additional testing venue.

Upon successful completion, the maker will be awarded the JS stamp and certificate.  For many, the next step is to become a Master Smith.

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

As you can see, custom knife makers with the JS designation have put a lot of time and effort into becoming a Journeyman Smith.  The knowledge they have gained can be readily seen 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.”  I have attended classes on making and judging forged blades, and I have had the opportunity to judge finished knives at several shows both 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.  In addition to the current work and/or potential, the price the makers charge for their knives is also very important to me. Right now, too many JS makers are asking too much money for their work. Given what prices were being asked by some of the tactical folder makers, it should come as no surprise.

What I look for is:

  • Quality: Their fit, finish and flow commensurate with the rating in the ABS and their time making knives.  Example: There are several JS makers who are better knife makers than some of the MS makers.
  • Position in the market: Where is the maker compared to their competitors in the current market?
  • Price: This should be influenced by #2. Additionally, materials used, demand 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.
  • Improving Skill Set: Are JS makers improving their fit, finish and flow? Are they moving towards making Damascus, San Mai, blades with Hamons, materials being used? Are they incorporating Stag, Premium woods and/or Ivories as part of their options for handle material?
  • Communication: Do they answer emails or return phone calls in a timely manner? Do they make sure (to the best of their abilities) you are receiving the knife you want?  Point: Communication is a two-way street.  It is essential that both the customer and maker communicate in a clear and concise manner.

When you see a knife maker with the JS designation on my website, you can be sure they have been vetted by me personally.  I spent a lot of time developing the skills on what to look for.  I feel I am working with some of the best Journeyman Smiths in the world. I would encourage you to spend time looking at their knives on my website and continually develop your own knowledge base when it comes to 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

 

05
AUG
2018

Toni Oostendorp

Posted By :
Comments : 0

It was the “look” of Toni’s knives that first attracted me. You could tell immediately the Bull Shark and Orbis models were made by someone who was a user. There were no wasted aspects of his knives. They are all business. The integral aspect of the knife gives the user complete confidence using his knives in the field. The handle materials are contoured and provide great ergonomics. I am a big fan of the rubber grips and I am happy to see that Toni offers this option. The Cerakote finish he provides in addition to making the knife fit in with the user’s environment or task, gives the carbon steel an extra layer of protection from rusting. Finally, his Kydex sheath is extremely well thought out and is among the best currently being offered by any maker in the World. Toni Oostendorp received his ABS Journeyman Smith stamp at the 2018 Blade Show!

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.

05
AUG
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

05
AUG
2018

Larry Chew

Posted By :
Comments : 0

This talented knife maker builds a superior tactical folder. Smooth is an understatement for a flipper opener that requires only minimal effort to open. Rock solid lock up combined with an excellent fit and finish. Larry’s Chew’s tactical folders simply put are among the best value for the money in the market today.  His combination of the voodoo pivot and surreptitious covert system should put one of his double action folders on your short list of must have tactical folders.

Utilization of Zirconium, Lightning Strike carbon fiber and super conductor has shown collectors that Larry Chew can utilize the materials that are in demand today.  You will be hard pressed to find a smoother opening folding knife. And if you do, these knives will come with a price tag of at least double.  If you are looking for an exceptional EDC (every day carry) under $800 be sure to check out Larry’s 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

05
AUG
2018

Jim Siska

Posted By :
Comments : 0

As a custom knife purveyor, I am always looking for custom knives which feature value for the money.   This was the reason I bought my first knife from Jim in 1987 and this holds true today.   Jim’s knives are the epitome of the four F’s: Fit, Finish, Function and Flow.   Those of you who already own one of his masterpieces know what I am talking about.  For those of you considering your first or next knife purchase, I cannot recommend a knife from Jim Siska highly enough.

 

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.

01
AUG
2018

How and Why Custom Knives Appreciate In Value – Part 3

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Today all the aforementioned outlets for custom knives still exist.  However, it is the Internet’s availability and ease of use that makes finding knives quicker by simply doing an Internet search.  Prior to the Internet there were collector to collector sales, but it was the Internet that transformed a process that previously could have taken weeks or months into a process that would take hours…maybe minutes.  The speed at which information could be obtained changed not only the way many custom knife buyers approached buying custom knives, but the speed at which the knives they were buying had the potential for appreciation.  Now many collectors include a maker’s potential or actual ROI (Return On Investment) in their buying decision.  Today, because of the speed at which some custom knives can appreciate in value; many collectors now range from those who at least consider makers knives performance in the aftermarket to borderline investors.

We all know that collectors of anything love to talk to other collectors of a like item.  This was not lost on some of the more tech savvy collectors.  Subsequently, Internet forums for knife collectors and their sub-set custom knife collectors were given a place to discuss knives.   It was on these forums that previously unknown or little-known makers rose to the level of “Most Wanted” in just a few short months.  Along with creating the newest “Hot” maker, the active hunt for ROI by collectors was born.

There are two scenarios with the “Hot” makers.  The first scenario has a custom knife maker creating a particular style of knife that the “forumites” love.  Usually the knife is offered at a price well below the market.  The maker in a very short period of time receives 50 plus orders for this knife.  The maker is on cloud nine as they have more orders than they have ever had before.  Generally, the maker is a part time maker and soon realizes that he has just received 1 – 2 years’ worth of orders.  The maker has fallen into the forumites trap without even realizing it.  The maker loves the buzz they are getting on the forum as those who are awaiting the knife love to talk about it.    Ultimately the knives arrive to the lucky first buyers.  The next group of knives are coming out as fast as the maker can produce them.  Somewhere during this second group is where the maker gets their first surprise.  Those who received the knives first have noticed that there are those who are willing to pay a premium in the aftermarket for the knife.  Example, the collector who received number 6 hears from number 48 on the list asking if the collector wants to sell.  A deal is struck and number 48 now has the knife.  Usually number 48 doesn’t take the time to let the maker know that they are no longer interested in the knife.  This type of transactions coupled with the maker taking too long for the fast-paced high energy forumites who decided that they are no longer interested in that knife.  As the next “Hot” maker emerges.  What happens is that many of those waiting for knives decide to spend their money on the next “Hot” knife maker’s latest fare.  Again, (in many cases) not telling the maker that they no longer want the knife they had on order.  Ultimately, due to the extended delivery times the maker ends up with knives that are not going to be paid for.  The knives they are left with are “old news” and no longer sought after.  In many cases previously owned knives from the “Hot” maker can be found for sale at a loss on the very same forum.  Note to custom knife makers reading this…always contact the buyer BEFORE you start the knife!

The second scenario is similar except the maker is even more of a part time maker…generally 20 knives a year or less.  This scenario is where the “Appreciation” is for those who can identify a maker and/or their knives early on that will have mass appeal.  As with the first scenario the knives are considered to be a “deal”.  Everyone knows that very few of these knives will be available drives the aftermarket price up to 8 times the retail price.  Eventually, the price becomes too high and collectors refocus what will be the next knife they want and return to the hunt for the next “Hot” maker.  Two items of note in this scenario; first, the maker only receives the initial sales price for the knife.  Second, it is because of the first item that a maker can step on to the slippery slope.  That is using the aftermarket price to justify a huge retail price increase.  Those makers who chose to do this will unknowingly limit their knife career.  As eventually the aftermarket price will come down and will leave the maker trying to sell knives for more money than the market will bear.

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

24
JUL
2018

How and Why Custom Knives Appreciate In Value – Part 4

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Perhaps the one constant over the time for making a custom knife appreciate is what I call the “Super Collector.” However, the Internet posed a “double edged” quandary for many of the “Super Collectors.”  Simultaneously allowing them better access to the knives they collect and removing most, if not all, of their anonymity.  The “Super Collectors” are willing to pay (in some cases) a very hefty premium to get the latest knife from their favorite maker.  For those lucky enough to get one of the knives the “Super Collectors” want will have an opportunity to make a very tidy profit.

Appreciation in the value of a custom knife is the result of a symbiotic relationship between the custom knife maker and the custom knife collector.  Like every other economic endeavor, the law of supply and demand exists in the custom knife market.  The custom knife makers create the knives and the collectors reward the maker for their efforts by buying the knives.  As the maker’s reputation grows their position in their market(s) improves.  This results in an increase in the demand for their work.  This demand will create a price premium in the aftermarket.  As discussed previously this affect can create a slippery slope for the maker should they choose to use the aftermarket prices to set their prices.

For a very small percentage of makers and generally reserved for the very top in their particular style(s).  The aftermarket starts to disappear as current knives go to a very select group of collectors.  This is followed by the elimination of advertising (if there was any) and limited attendance at knife shows.  When this maker does attend a particular show, there is generally one piece on the table and it; of course, has been pre-sold.  To make matters worse, after the knife is delivered the maker is off to spend time with makers, collectors, friends, etc.  Consequently, for the majority of the show, the maker is absent except for perhaps a photo or two on the table.

The maker who takes this path is doing their collector base a disservice.  It is important for those makers with a great collector base, to continue introducing themselves to new collectors.   This allows those collectors who were there at the beginning to sell some earlier pieces to help fund their next purchase.  Allowing the makers work to continue to pass into more collectors’ hands; while at the same time continuing to show collectors that their work holds and/or actually increases in value.  Failure to do this will signal that the maker has hit a plateau.  Ultimately, signaling their collectors to sell; as their prices have peaked.  The maker will continue to sell their knives however; their position in the market(s) will start to erode.  This continued erosion will result in newer collectors who will have never heard of them.

The 5th and final part will discuss how both makers and collectors can help custom knives appreciate in the 21st Century.

Read

Part 1    Part 2   Part 3   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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

23
JUL
2018

Sobral Knives from Argentina

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Knives from Claudio and Ariel Sobral!

These hand forged custom san mai fighting and Bowie knives just arrived from Argentina.

These talented makers have been featured in Blade and Knives Illustrated over the last couple of months.

Superb craftsmanship!  Click on the photos to see specs…

Sobral Custom San Mai Forged BowieSobral Forged Tactical Bowie Custom Knife San MaiSobral Custom San Mai Fighter Forged Knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Continue to check our “Incoming Knives” at the bottom of the HOME page for the latest information.   Yes, you can order any of these custom knives prior to their arrival since there is usually only one and a wait to get another one… Act quickly!

 

 

 

 

17
JUL
2018

How Custom Knives Appreciate In Value – Part 5

Posted By :
Comments : 0

As the custom knife world becomes “smaller,” this shrinkage brings with it additional global competition for the knife maker.  How can they help their custom knives to appreciate in value? The very technical advantages that the knife maker can use to their benefit can also be utilized by others to the detriment of that same knife maker.  Should a knife maker be able to respond to this opportunity they will have the access to a worldwide clientele.

As we move towards the end of the first decade in the 21st century there is the realization that simply making a knife and setting up at a knife show will do little or nothing to help a makers work appreciate in value.  Today’s savvy custom knife makers are incorporating all aspects of the custom knife market.  They do not merely limit themselves to making knives; they have initiated a team concept. Thereby increasing the demand for their knives and ultimately gaining an appreciation in their custom knives value.Steve Randall damascus bowie fixed custom knife

TEAM PLAYER
Most of us have been members of a team of some type.  However, the team I am speaking of is one that is more business in nature.  This team is selected to best utilize the methods and technologies available to help introduce the makers work to collectors worldwide.  Their team may include a working relationship with a knife magazine, a photographer, a web site, a dealer, a sheath maker, etc.

While many of today’s makers, while not active themselves on the Internet forums.  They have reaped the benefits of having satisfied collectors who are happy to share their latest acquisition with their fellow forumites, providing additional advertising.

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
The concept of the team is that each person does their part.  The maker’s talents lie in their ability to make the knives.  As such the makers need to maximize their time in the shop and utilize their “Teammates” skills to better advance their position in their market(s).  Too many makers feel they need to do it all, photography, sheaths, web site, etc.  By incorporating other artisans to collaborate on the makers work they will provide improved “packaging.”  Examples of this are utilizing a professional photographer such as Jim Cooper or Chuck Ward.  Both are respected photographers whose work has been featured in knife publications worldwide.  Many makers while building a great knife diminish the total package when it comes to their sheath work.  Once again, professional sheath makers such as Kenny Rowe, Larry Parsons and Paul Long can add their sheath making skills to your knife to improve the total package.

Without a doubt the best marketing tool a maker can use right now is their own web site.  However, to maximize this potential you need to advertise the web site exists.  The knife magazines are an excellent place for this…as not everyone is web friendly.  Additionally, your team member at the knife publication can provide you with additional opportunities for advertising in different formats, i.e. gun, hunting, fishing, etc. publications.  Obviously, when the knife maker puts their team together they will pick those team members that will best compliment their work.

While it looks as if I wrote this for the knife makers, in actuality I have written this as much for the collectors.  While most collectors will say that they buy what they like, the truth is… Wouldn’t it be great if your collection held its value…perhaps even went up a little?

MOST IMPROVED
The learning curve has shortened.  The information on how to make knives is found in publications, knife shows, schools, knife shows, hammer-in’s, and passed from maker to maker.  Consequently, makers are improving their work more rapidly than in any time in history.  Subsequently, as the skills “playing field” becomes more level what is it that will increase a custom knife’s worth?

MOST VALUABLE
As always innovation will lead the way.  However, the savvy collector will take note as to how the makers are presenting themselves and their knives.  As ultimately, it is the knife makers and their collectors who drive the pricing and therefore the custom knives appreciate in value.

Read

Part 1    Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

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
JUL
2018

Brian Nadeau

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Brian Nadeau is a two time Best Tactical Folder Award Winner at the Blade Show.  He is a fan of Titanium handles. “It is strong, light and can be anodized,” he said as the blade flipped open almost effortlessly and locked into place exactly where it should be.  Quality and value priced is how I would describe his folding knives.  If you are looking for a stylish, lightweight and well-built EDC folder I encourage you to look at Brian Nadeau’s 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

15
JUL
2018

Claudio and Ariel Sobral

Posted By :
Comments : 0

What attracted me to the Sobral (CAS) Knives were the variety of sizes and styles combined with their steel choices.   C.A.S. offers hunters, fighters, sub-hilt fighters and Bowies.  As custom knife makers, Claudio and Ariel Sobral are happy to discuss your idea(s) for a specific design you would like built. Often items are said to have “the look.”  The look is an appropriate description for C.A.S. knives.  They have preference for San Mai technique, which is both aesthetic and functional. The carbon edges show a “hamon like” dark contrast with about 80% of the blade as stainless. From the point of the blade to the pommel of the handle all of their knives have the flow that is an element of “the look.”

If you appreciate a fine big blade then I heartily recommend you look into obtaining a knife from C.A.S.  Be sure to check out the award winning work from Claudio who is now an ABS Journeyman Smith.

 

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
JUL
2018

Tim Steingass

Posted By :
Comments : 0

My favorite aspect of working with Tim Steingass is his versatility and drive for perfection. While building his knives if he is not happy with it, he will throw the knife away and start again, in lieu of finishing it.  His work ethic what drew me to his knives, but his work is the epitome of constant improvement.  Over the last 5 years, I don’t know if I have seen another makers’ work improve as much as Tim’s.

His attention to detail, versatility and incorporation of design elements give the collector so much to choose from. No matter the design, his lines are clean and the flow from the tip of the blade to the end of handle is exceptional.  There are no breaks or distractions as your eyes move from one end of the knife to the other.  See some examples of Tim Steingass 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

15
JUL
2018

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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

15
JUL
2018

Shawn Ellis – Forged In Fire Champion

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Due to the hours required by his full-time job, Shawn had to stop making knives for several years.  Earning his Journeyman Smith stamp for the second time, Shawn’s style has had years to develop.  Consequently, Shawn Ellis‘ work is not the standard fare you would expect from a JS maker.  Shawn uses a wide variety of handle materials to include wood, stag and Ivory.

Another design element of Shawn’s that will catch your eye is his bluing of the hardware (guards and pommels) on the knives.  You will primarily see this combination when using Ivory and Stag.  Combine that with his file worked spacers and ferrules and you have virtually an unlimited selection of handle styles to pick from.  Shawn Ellis is a Forged in Fire Champion!  Be sure to check out the knives from this ABS Journeyman Smith.

 

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
JUL
2018

Mike Deibert

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Mike Deibert, best known for his designs and execution. These designs feature that rare combination of functionality and aesthetics.  Mike utilizes a wide variety of carbon steels and presentation grade handle materials in the construction of his knives.  This lead to Mike winning the prestigious George Peck Award in 2012 while earning his Journeyman Smith stamp.  Since then he has incorporated Damascus steel and recently blued fittings into his repertoire.

Case in point, his Feather pattern Damascus has caught the eye of custom knife collectors around the world. Mike continues to impress me with his continual improvement as a knife maker.  Balance, handle ergonomics and crisp clean lines have become hallmarks of his knives.  He is one of those makers you always look forward to see what he is doing next.

Be sure to check out the knives from Mike Deibert, this ABS Journeyman Smith.

 

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
JUL
2018

Steve Randall – Versatile

Posted By :
Comments : 0

Steve Randall is an ABS Master Smith!   Perhaps best known for his Bowies and Fighters, his hunters are superb, as well.   When I think of his work the word “clean” comes to mind.  He is also extremely versatile in both his designs and steel. His versatility is best seen in his steel.  Steve will utilize a variety of carbon steels (1095, 1084, 5160, W-2, etc.)  He also makes and uses San Mai steel.  A San Mai blade would be three pieces of steel.  Steve prefers to use the high carbon steel 1084 for the core.  While either side of the 1084 are two pieces of 410 or 420 stainless steel.

One of my favorites is his Feather Pattern Damascus.  It is called this because of its distinctive pattern that looks like a feather.  Recently, Steve developed what he calls his “Cardiac” Damascus, due to it having the look of an EKG.  At the 2018 Blade Show, Steve introduced his new Sub-Hilt Bowie, one of my favorite knives he has made to date.

You are offered a myriad of options when it comes to his work.  Regardless of your choice, you will be pleased.

 

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
JUL
2018

Wess Barnhill – Multi-Talented

Posted By :
Comments : 0

This multi-talented knife maker has started to make his mark on the custom knife making world.  Excellent handle ergonomics, fit, finish and flow are trademarks of this talented maker.  In 2015 Wess Barnhill won the prestigious George Peck Award for the best knife submitted by a Journeyman Smith Candidate at the Atlanta Blade Show judging.  In addition to making exceptional knives he does both engraving and scrimshaw.

His lines are clean and crisp.  There is no wasted effort on his knives. Every aspect of his knives is done with a purpose.  While having the look of a piece of art; a closer examination shows they are all business.  When held in your hand his knives have that perfect balance that makes them a pleasure to use.  Be sure to check out the Wess Barnhill knives from this ABS Journeyman Smith.

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
JUL
2018

Ben Breda – A Natural

Posted By :
Comments : 0

This Journeyman Smith is one of the best at his level in the ABS.  In 2014, Ben Breda won the prestigious George Peck Award for the best knife submitted by a Journeyman Smith Candidate at the Atlanta Blade Show judging.  There is artistry to his work.  His subtle lines and design elements incorporated into each of his knives immediately catch your eye, moving you to want to handle his knives. Doing so only further increases your desire to own one of these exceptional knives.

His grinds feature the symmetry that gives his blades those crisp clean lines.  The guards provide the transition that continues the flow of the knife from the tip of the point to the end of the handle.  Ben’s knife handles will verify your initial eye test.  His handle ergonomics make the knife feel like it should; an extension of your hand.   Be sure to check out the knives from Ben Breda, this natural ABS Journeyman Smith.

 

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.

11
JUL
2018

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 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.

Makers 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 les@robertsonscustomcutlery.com or (706) 650-0252.

12
MENU