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Discussion Starter #1
When my youngest was starting to hunt with me, I got a small Case fixed blade w/sheath. It's now 12 years later and he still uses it, and considers it to be his second favorite. (He's really fond of my Loveless style A.G. Russel, and I have to keep an eye on him and it when he's finished using it. :) )
I now have a grandson that's about ready to take the plunge, and I'd like him to have his own, I'd like it to be a decent quality knife, take and hold an edge (safer to use, and easier to learn to use), but I can't decide on folder or fixed and the choices are much bigger now. A lot of the names I knew a long time are not the quality now they were, and some el cheapo's then have become high quality tools.

I'd appreciate any thought's or suggestions


Butler Ford
 

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What would you recommend for a kids first h

:wink: You know that question's durned near impossible to answer, don't you? :? Back when I was growing up the first fixed blade I owned was also either a Case or Western small fixed blade, probably the same one you're talkin' about. They still make them, although the Western tooling is now owned by either Case or Camillus. Promptly lost it, of course. Every kid carried a pocket knife, an to us a "real" hunting knife was some kind of fixed blade. My father let me pick out the next one myself. Walked in the local sporting goods, an dad walked up to a display of Ka-Bar knives sayin' he needed a new knife. He picked out one called the woodsman(slim 5" hunter blade, stacked leather handle), then told me to pick out a new one for myself.
Well, after due consideraton(I was 10 at the time) I picked out this big 5" skinner blade, had curves goin' every which way an' looked big enough to skin out an elephant on the spot. All the regulars had,of course, gathered around ta watch this here serious moment, an to give them credit, they were fairly gentle, outside of a few remarks like,"damn, Joe, you an the boy goin up ta Canada for moose? Don't know about you, but the boy's all set". Dad, never said a word, just paid the princely sum of $10.00 apiece an we left. I promptly went out with my new knife, an shot a rabbit out behind the house. I then promptly did a good job of almost takin my thumb clean off when I tried to field dress the durned thing. Still have the big ol' scar. I still own both those knives, an I still carry my Dad's quite a bit; both for the memories, an because it's a really good blade. That ol skinner still sits in the drawer; can't recall the last time I used it, but I pick it up now an then and just kinda shake my head. I'm a lot older now,an a knifemaker. I've a whole drawer full of all kinds of knives, both factory an ones I've made for myself, but NONE of them look like that ol' Ka-Bar. However, if I ever do go Moose hunting, I'm ready. Point of the story is, I guess, you can go ahead an' study blade shapes an the optimum steels an this an that an give the boy something that's based on your years of experience an study. Or you can take him to a sporting goods or cutlery store, an let him pick. You might cringe(inwardly) at his choice, but in the long run, an it might be years down the road, it's something he'll remember. He might hit it right on the head first time, or it might start him down a learnin road. Did me, an I'll always be grateful to the ol' Man for it. 'Times a knife can be more that just a tool for cuttin. Then again, I may just be turnin into a sentimenal ol' jackass. How's that for not answerin your question in a thousand words or less?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What would you recommend for a kids first h

:) Joel, I enjoyed yer remenessing, I do it alot more now too, but your right, you didn't help a bit! :)
I think I remember my first "real" knife, or I at least remember my first fixed blade, I remember that when I thought no one was looking I'd reach around and just touch it, I liked knowing it was there, and when I caught some looking I'd act like I was adjusting it on my belt.
I think I've about decided on a fixed blade, I'd like to have a 3" to 3 1/2" slim blade, but I'm a real advocate of drop point blades. I also prefer stacked leather, or a scale material that ya can hold on to when it gets wet and slimey. I guess if that little case were a drop point my problems would be over.
I thank you for your time and memories.

You mentioned being a knife maker, what types do you make? For yourself, others? Can I afford to even talk to you? :grin: You up for a challange?
I've made two, both good blades that would take and hold an edge, one a piece of crosscut saw and one file, but couldn't get the shape I wanted, and trying to come up with a good handle was a disaster. So I'll leave the knife making to you pro's.


Butler Ford
 

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What would you recommend for a kids first h

Now that you're bein a little more specific, maybe I can to. Personally, I think folks get just a little to carried away, when they start talkin' about blade shapes an blade styles when about all they're using it for is animals up to the size of deer. Lot of times it just boils down to personal preference, as far as the blade profile goes. Having said that, I'll have to admit that most of the blades I've built an used are droppoints. I also happen to be fond of clippoints, as long as they're the spey(straight) types an not the curved california or turkish clips. An I definitely don't like those that have a swedge(false edge) on the top. Really weakens the point, an that's a stabbin' thrusting design, and the one type of knife I absolutely refuse ta build are the "pure" fighting/combat knives. Goes against my grain, which is maybe strange since I'm retired Military(Navy). Then again, maybe not. When it comes to blade length, as long as the blade is long enough to do the job comfortably, its the right length. I tend to like blades around 5" long, but then I don't consider my knives ta be just for huntin. I do a lot of camping and hiking an canoeing an just messin around in the woods, an find I like a longer slightly heavier blade cause I use them for more than just cutting up game. Again, having said that, most of the knives I build for customers have 31/2-4" blades. Of the four "personal" blades I've built for myself, one is a long clippoint(5"), one is a droppoint(5"), one is kinda a hunter style(4" with straight back, but a lot of belly an a fine point), an one is a warncliffe(4" an which is gettin to be my favorite blade profile). I'm also abandoning the Loveless style droppoint and goin to one that has a lot more drop, a fine point, an a lot of belly; at least for animals up to the size of deer. Blade's more like a leaf shape, almost an ellipse. The standard droppoint might be fine if you're using your blade for a prybar or disjointing a moose or some other large critter, but is unnecessary(to me, an a number of my customers) for small game ta deer. That finer point is a lot more useful when skinnin out a deer, an will handle some of the caping chores if needed.
What's a lot more important to me is the steel type, and the edge and blade geometry. The only gind I do/use anymore is the flat grind. Used to do some sabre ground(where the blade is flat ground part way up the blade), an a couple of convex grinds but don't(won't) bother with those anymore. Have a total antipathy towards hollow grinds, not cause I can't do them, just won't waste my time. To me, an to a lot of other people who are building hunting knives vs. "tactical", ugly lookin' things, a thin bladed, around 1/8" diameter, flatground blade with a slightly convex edge, is the ultimate cutting blade. An that is absolutely true, has nothing to do with "personal opinion". Doesn't mean that you should go an throw out your sabre or hollow ground blade; they still cut just fine, just not as fine. Like I said earlier, you should use what you enjoy using; don't necessarily have ta listen ta some fool like me. Was lookin' through a bunch of old BLADE magazines the other day, an concentrating on lookin' at factory knife designs as far as huntin' blades go, an the one that hit me as the best is Cold Steel's Master Hunter. Also think the Grohmann blades are a great design(though the grind sucks) and some of the Fallkniven knives based on their Swedish pilot's survival knife design.
Far as steel goes, my standard is 154CM heattreated by D'Holder(one of the great knifemakers). It's not the best out there,BG-42 is better but a lot more expensive, but it's still a damned good steel. I also like D-2. Don't build carbon steel blades, cause there's no market for them, though there's some great steels out there, i.e. 0-1, an 52100.1095 an W-2 aren't bad either.Learned to make knives using old files(w-2), an the one's that were finally good enough to either sell or give away without cringing take one **** of an edge. Folks that have them,really like them.
Handle materials I like and use are stabilized woods, non-tropical, non- endangered woods(mainly curly maple an walnut), all the various micarta's(really tough stuff, an mainly good looking), Dymond(pakka)wood and occasionally some poly pearl, which is an art grade cast plastic with patterns like pearl except in all kinds of colors. The stickiest, non-slip material I've used is Canvas Micarta, only in the black canvas color. Not bad looking, an when finished to around 320 grit has a nice sticky texture to it. I know freakin' Loveless likes green canvas, but I suspect the old boy is color blind.
I could go on an on, but maybe this answers your question better, maybe not. As far as prices/challenges go, you'll have to e-mail me about that. Don't do buisness at this forum, although I will say that after someone's bought one of my knives, they often tell me I don't charge enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What would you recommend for a kids first h

:D Thanks Joel

I'll be in touch soon


Butler Ford
 

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What would you recommend for a kids first h

I really like my Buck 110 folder.It's built like a tank and holds an edge very well.
 

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What would you recommend for a kids first h

tranders, I had a buck 110 that I carried for many years and many places. but it was lost to a river in Korea my first tour. I loved that knife!! I thought that it was probably the most useful, dependable knife I had ever seen. I had mentioned it in conversation with my dad once and for Christmas that year, he sent me a Buck Duke, I believe that's a 500. When I opened the wraping and saw the Buck box I just knew I had a new 110, it wasn't, instead it was close to the uglyest knife I'd ever seen! Boy! Was I dissapointed! It was about a 3 1/2" drop point blade and the handles were some redish brown micarta rubbish. I was a helicoptor pilot, and as such felt absolutley naked with out a knife on my belt, so I put that nasty no class looking thing on. I hid it from anyone around me when I had to use it. Cutting this story short, every time I used that knife, I disliked it less. Soon I wasn't hiding it any more. I even started liking it. It didn't take very long till I formed the opinion that the short drop point knife made with decent metal had to be the ultimate general purpose knife design. The first time I took it hunting, I fell in love with the design. Thirty some years later, I haven't changed my mind.
 
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