Aug 23, 20171577 views

Traditional Knives

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"Everything old is new again"
Alright, lets just start by getting this out of the way, traditional knives are not for everyone. They are often most thought of as the knives our grandfathers carried. Older knives that often take two hands to open and are rarely made out of steels outside of 1095 carbon steel, unlabeled stainless (usually in the 420-440 range) and other more 'budget steels' such as Case's crome vanadium used on its more 'premium' versions.
Often, instead of the modern 'wonder materials' such as g10's, carbon fibers, and titanium, their handles are made of bone, old woods, brass, and nickle silver. Instead of modern frame, piston, triad, or even liner locks, they rely on good ol' spring tension to keep the knife in place. In almost every way, these knives are, to put it bluntly, relics of the old ways.
But like many 'old things' they don't stay old forever. Not just in materials such as brass making a comeback but older crafts, brewing your own beer (craft beer craze comes to mind), as well as the desire for a more charming simpler time. Things that remind us to slow down, but don't slow us down in our day to day lives.
Things like these old knives have been making a comeback. In the edc communities, many are starting to re-evaluate and appreciate some of the older knives. While they will never be a good choice for a defensive or tactical knife, for an everyday tool knife, you may find yourself hard pressed to find a more eager companion. Often with multiple blades, specialized for specific tasks, these pocket tools always manage to find a creative use in the right hands.

And these blades aren't just stuck in the past. Case has been making knives pretty much non stop since the great wars, but more recent companies have sprung up, Great Eastern Cutlery, Northwoods, all taking classic designs and making them new again. Some even use modern materials in their construction, not only in synthetics, even g10 and micarta for scales, but even with blade steels. Case themselves are even offering blades in 154cm steel.

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I suppose what I am getting at is, are there any interests here in such old style knives? If so perhaps maybe we could try to organize a drop or two. I know I myself have started carrying one as a second blade in my front pocket, and find myself going to it more than my modern folders. For art, I use them to sharpen my pencils, I cut apples with them, and they never once merit a frightened glance in public, if anything they start pleasant conversations. Unlike say my 'murdery' ZT 0450cf, these knives have a simple elegance only an unassuming tool has. That alone makes them well worth working into my daily carry system. That and I find the variety of blades has given me more control in many day to day cutting tasks.
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Well i rather carry this type of knives they are just smaller and dont add any extra weight to your pocket most of all my knives are either Boker , or Shrade or Case xxx and they range from 1960s and up , some are worth alot and some are worth nust a little , but i right now have a collection of over 1800 pocket knives and just recently started making my own tatical knives qnd pocket knives , i do all the heating the steel and shaping it , so i have sone pretty nice oddly looking knives but they are all made of 100 percent steel and hold a excellent edge , some are as sharp as a new bought razor blade , and all are made in USA ,
Great Idea I would love a traditional knife with modern steel and handle
onojoe
Off the top of my head, Lionsteel and Benchmade already offer them.
I love carrying 2 knives. I carry a large tactical blade for a quick box cut or easy task. Also, I carry a slipjoint for using my knife in an office setting so I dont trigger anyone. You’d be surprised how often people are so scared these days of a non threatening modern folder. Also, sometimes you need a pocket scalpel and that’s what traditional knives are, it’s simply a more refined cutting tool for Apple slicing or delicate cuts. I’d love it if there was a mass drop collaboration on a modern Traditional. Maybe red linen micarta and brass bolstered Barlow? I love Barlow patterns
This is a good discussion. It's ironic as I recently went through my father's knives that he has stashed in his man jewelry box in his bedroom (right next to his Viagra...which I wish I didn't see). We had gotten on the topic of knives due to my new love for them and I asked to see his. I remembered he carried a large folding Buck on his belt loop for years when I was a kid. He now only has a small swiss army in his pocket that is completely worn down (he would sharpen it on the bottom of his coffe mug every few days, so it was pretty scratched up). I thought I was going to find a golden cache of treasure when he opened that box, but it wasn't anything special. He had about 6 knives and all were either Buck, swiss army, or...non-branded. They were all gouged, scratched and beaten. Some of the blades were even worse than the handles, and some weren't. Although, there was one exception, he had a Case knife that he had gotten from his father years ago. It was pretty well perfect and it had a very nice wood handle and tarnished brass surrounding it. I asked him why he doesn't carry it because it was still very sharp and I loved the handle. He said that he had borrowed it from his dad years ago when he helped him with a large wood-working project. They were building memory boxes for his 4 grand daughters (2 of whom were mine), so the project meant a lot to both of them. He had forgotten to return it to him right away, and since they hardly spoke to each other because they were both that old school man who hated talking on the phone or going to visit each other for no reason, my grandfather never got it back. He passed away a few months later and my father never had the heart to use it for fear it would get damaged. It was the only real item he had from his father that mattered to him. My grandfather was poor and didn't have much money in his pockets let alone a nice knife. So, my father always felt he robbed him of one of his very few nice things he had. Of course, I reminded him that my grandfather would have asked for it back if he had really wanted it. I sometimes think he may have known his time was close to being up and that he wanted my dad to keep one of his nicest possessions. Hopefully someday, my dad will pass that knife on to me.
swallace
Thanks for that. We always wonder what our dads have in their locked trunks, etc. And our sons will feel that way about the things we keep as mementos. I inherited my father’s and his father’s swords: Masons and military service. These are mementos that mean something and bind me to them, as we all shared military service and combat experience in command of platoon- to battalion-sized units. I wished we had actually talked more with each other about our service...but picking up their arms, I can imagine, ‘same s***, different decade’, lol! :)
I also have a great fondness for vintage and old-school items. I love carbon steel and anything handmade. My pitfall with folding knives happens to be the pocket clip. IMHO the pocket clip has been the single best thing to happen to folding knives with exception to the pivot.
I'd love to see a trapper or similar knife in S30V, maybe with linen micarta scales, but keeping brass bolsters.
dcardenal
It’s not quite a trapper but if you haven’t seen the benchmade proper it’s a solid modern traditional.
I love the classics patterns and would be in for one.
Great posts and discussion. I am envious of your collections. All of you. Not an EDC knife guy. Too much of a risk for me being me. But I wouldn't mind having one on my desk that just says VBMF. :D
Love the classic folder patterns, mostly the M/L Stockmans...I'd be in for one of them.
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I always have a traditional on me since I find a lot people freak out when they see a one hand opening knife.... GEC and northwoods is my go to choice
Old knives, yes please.
I do not own any grandpa's knives. I do like some of the offerings Case has. I guess they just never make my short list because I have my eye on other knives.
I have never had a problem using my "murdery" looking knives in public. Maybe it's just a PNW thing, but most guys have a knife on them, and a lot of the gals do too. So everyone seems fairly comfortable with it.
That said, I wouldn't mind owning a grandpa's knife or two! :)
I have seen at least one drop on here, but if i remember correctly the handle wasan awful color.
namhod
Most of the PNW is ok - just don't enter Seattle with anything more menacing than a butter knife, or the enlightened, "forward-thinking" locals will become apoplectic and have you locked up!
idoc72
Damn. Seattle has changed. Must have been those condominiums they built all around downtown in 200 when I lived there. Because back then you needed a murdery knife.: D
How I miss the rain...
When I was younger, like 15-30, I always carried a knife with all of the modern enhancements. They were soooo cool! At some point I traded a coworker for an old Case that he had been given by his grandfather. It wasn't really suitable for the work we were doing with them at the time. I actually made him pay me some for it too. I can't even remember what it was that I gave him for it. Sorry dude, you got screwed on that deal...
Fast forward a couple years, I found that thing somewhere and cleaned it up, polished the chrome and brass on it and sharpened it. The first thing I noticed was that I could actually put a sharp edge on it. I have never been able to get an edge like that on more modern wonder steels. Second thing I noticed was that it's actually a damned attractive knife. The third thing I noticed is that it holds that edge quite well. I have literally shaved my face with this knife more than a week after its most recent touch up (I missed a spot shaving with no mirror one morning...) with frequent use in between.
Now a year or two beyond that, I'm totally sold on "old fashioned" knives and they are pretty much all I carry. I would love to see Massdrop get another drop on CV blade Case knives. As soon as they do, I'm in for a new Stockman.
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I've got a Case "Cap Lifter" in the rotation and really enjoy it - basic, affordable, and I love the old school yellow derlin handles
Other options: Queen Cutlery Schatt&Morgan and a still-big customs market—cruise the collector/used custom sites like Arizona Customs or Tri-City
I especially like that Damascus steel one.
Living in Japan I can't really have anything like this. Knives can't be shipped here. And the laws are strict and a bit vague, with the cops having the final say. I think I can legally carry a folding knife with a blade no longer than 6 cm. It's illegal to even possess a knife in your home longer than 15 cm ... except for cooking or in a tool kit. Reading up on this stuff, I'm of a mind to dump my 4 cm mini Swiss army keychain knife, and try to find one with scissors, but no blades, just to be safe.
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Cloaca
Don’t rural schoolchildren still use kiradishis to sharpen their pencils and aren’t carpenters more into traditional tool knives and saws there? Probably out-of-date stereotypes now, right? It seems there are no shortages of traditional knife-makers in Japan, though, so I had just assumed a strong domestic collector market there.
Axeguy
A television show on pencils last night presented this as a popular pencil sharpener.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/カール事務器-鉛筆削り-エンゼル5-プレミアム-A5PR-B/dp/B00777UA9A/
You pull out the metal faceplate, put in the pencil, lock it with the levers, and turn the sharpening lever. The pencil is pulled in and sharpened to a slightly blunt 18-degree point. The show's 40-something host said he had used these sharpeners. Maybe they were the thing circa 1980.