Qualities of Hand Made Custom Knives
The highest-quality custom knives have several features that make them distinct from their machine-made, mass-produced cousins. A hand made knife should be forged of only high-quality steel, and exquisite care must go into all four aspects of the knife: blade, handle, guard, and sheath. Care of these four features is what makes for true collector knives, not just some fancy engraving of knife handles. True custom knives, whether they are collector knives or not, should be able to be used as a functional camp knife and not just sit in a collector case in a closet.
Preferred Raw Steel to Use
A high-quality hand made knife will be made of either 5160 carbon steel or 52100 carbon steel. Low-temperature forging with this steel allows for a high-degree of refinement. Triple tempering of this steel allows the spine to be soft while the edge is hard and sharp. For the guard, copper or brass can be alloyed into the steel or used pure. When selecting an SAE grade for the steel, O1 is the most popular.
Design the Blade with Style
The shape of the blade must conform to how the hand made knife is to be used. Collector knives are both pleasing to view and functional. A good camp knife must be able to take care of any camp function from cutting wood to field dressing an animal. The quality of the blade must be such that it stays sharp after repeated use.
Animal Bone and Horn Handles are the most Popular!
Knife handles should be comfortable allow the wielder to work the knife in the most efficient way possible. No one should have to adjust their hold on the knife after repeated use for comfort. Bad knife handles only diminish the quality of the cuts.
Hand Guard Both Cosmetic and Functional
The guard of a knife was once important in combat situations to protect against an opponent’s blade. Today, the guard is important in protecting the wielder’s hand against his/her own blade. In cases where excessive force must be used in a thrust against a strong object, a weak guard may break, causing the hand to slide onto the blade. The guard must be strong and not merely ornamental.
True Custom Knife Makers
There are some very reputable custom knife makers in the USA. They all have their own design capabilities and no one knife will be the same. There are knife makers that call themselves “custom” but use pre-stamped blades to start with that are cut on CNC equipment. A true “Custom Knife Maker” makes everything by hand by starting with carbon steel round bars!
Buying Fixed Blade Hunting Knife!
As a hunter, you want a knife that’s easy to carry, not too heavy, but tough enough to get the job done. This knife must also feel good in your hand as well as offer protection for your hand from the blade. Fixed-Blade Buck Knives are an excellent choice to carry with you on your next hunting trip and many years to come.
A clip point(shown left) is one of the most popular blades simply because it can be used for hunting as well as general purpose work. This knife will not work as fast as the drop point, but it can perform the same functions. This knife does not have the same curving or thickness to the steel, but the tang is much thinner for use with Fine detail work.
One of the main types of hunting knives is a drop point. The top of the blade is curved downward and is slightly larger and made from thicker steel than other knives. This Blade style is great for butchering any size game.
Any of the previous knives can include a gut hook on the end. This can assist in splitting the hide in the belly area and will making sure that you not expose the meat to any toxins.
Knife Handle Selections
Deciding on knife handle material is also important to you because some materials are more for looks like the cocobola wood handle. The wood handle is more susceptible to water damage if not kept dry and when butcher may get slick when drenched with blood. The rubberized and composite knife handles are generally less expensive are easier to grip when wet.
This is a starting point in making your decision on which type of fixed blade hunting knife to buy. I myself carry 2 knives on my hunting trips. The first knife in my pack is a caping and guthook knife used for field dressing and skinning, and drop point with for boning out the animal.