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Thread: My Ontario Tru-Edge 12" Kitchen Bowie Knife

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Connecticut
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    My Ontario Tru-Edge 12" Kitchen Bowie Knife


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    Well, at least that's what I'm calling it for now. I just picked up this old knife and I can't find anything similar to it when I search Ontario Tru-Edge or Old Hickory. The blade is almost 12" and it's a little over 17" overall. Here's some pics I took of it next to some Old Hickory knives. They are the 7" butcher, 8" slicer, and cleaver. This knife really dwarfs the others.





    Here's a closeup of the false upper edge



    The first thing I noticed about this knife was how much bigger and blockier the handle is compared to the other Old Hickory knives



    So, anyone know what this knife is? I'm really liking these 1095 Ontario Tru-edge/Old Hickory knives. I'm going to learn how to re-handle kitchen knives starting with my Chicago Cutlery set, probably in micarta, and then do the same for my Old Hickory knives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Left Coast
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    Hello,

    This looks like an Old Hickory model 7-12 butcher's knife. It has been discontinued. It looks like the blade has been modified from the standard profile to add that "false upper edge".

    I'm not a fan of the Chicago Cutlery knives or the Old Hickories. The Old hickories have a very wide acceptable harness range from the manufacturer (HRC 53-58). If you get lucky and find a harder one, then good for you. I read that Chicago Cutlery made it's name in the meat processing industry in chicago based on their carbon steel cleavers and professional butchers knives. The stainless steel Chicago Cutlery knives that were all the rage in the '70s are supposed to be no better than the cheap Chinese-made SS knives available today. Not that my opinion on the matter should dissuade you from using them for projects.

    If you want real high-quality American-made carbon steel kitchen knives, I would suggest keeping a look out for old Dexters and Lamsons (carbon steel models only). They are fantastic.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
    vintage old hickory knives are slightly harder. got myself a 10 inch chef knife that's also vintage. i'd say around 58 RC. pretty tough old thing. i love it to bits.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpandsafe View Post
    Hello,

    This looks like an Old Hickory model 7-12 butcher's knife. It has been discontinued. It looks like the blade has been modified from the standard profile to add that "false upper edge".

    I'm not a fan of the Chicago Cutlery knives or the Old Hickories. The Old hickories have a very wide acceptable harness range from the manufacturer (HRC 53-58). If you get lucky and find a harder one, then good for you. I read that Chicago Cutlery made it's name in the meat processing industry in chicago based on their carbon steel cleavers and professional butchers knives. The stainless steel Chicago Cutlery knives that were all the rage in the '70s are supposed to be no better than the cheap Chinese-made SS knives available today. Not that my opinion on the matter should dissuade you from using them for projects.

    If you want real high-quality American-made carbon steel kitchen knives, I would suggest keeping a look out for old Dexters and Lamsons (carbon steel models only). They are fantastic.

    Cheers!
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Whoever modified the knife did a pretty good job. I like it a lot better than the butcher knife profile.

    Yeah, I make no pretensions about CC or OH as being high quality knives; I like them for their low cost and I can get them pretty darn sharp with the paper wheel sharpening system. The OH knives are so cheap brand new and the handles are pretty rough so they make a pretty good candidate for someone to learn how to re-handle. I'd rather screw up on a cheap knife than an expensive one.

    I have been looking at old Dexter knives, but I had never heard of Lamsons. Thanks for those recommendations, I will keep them in mind when I look to upgrade. I'm finding out knives can be pretty addictive, more so than guns, because they are more accessible cost-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by franzb69 View Post
    vintage old hickory knives are slightly harder. got myself a 10 inch chef knife that's also vintage. i'd say around 58 RC. pretty tough old thing. i love it to bits.
    I picked up an old Old Hickory 8" chef knife recently and I love it too. It makes cutting raw chicken for my dog a breeze.

  5. #5
    I have a few OH knives. They sharpen easily & are good for pounding meat if needed. They do rust though. Whenever I wash one, I dry it right then spray a little PAM on a napkin & wipe the blade down.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Foothills of the Rockies
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    I had one like that, but I cut it down into an 8" chef blade. The 12-14" butcher blades had thicker stock and seemed to have a decent HT. It's hot rolled 1095 so don't expect the world. I use this blade pretty often and it has a major patina on it now. If I wash it after use and dry it it doesn't need any oil. I like the bowie Mod on yours.






    They make great abusers..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Left Coast
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    Hey Cody,

    That's pretty nice! Did you replace the handle or just modify the existing handle?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    I did a mod on the existing handle. Thinned it out, rounded it off on the router table, and treated it with danish oil. Here is a current pic next to my 3V chef's blade. The two blades have been used a similar amount. The OH will patina if you look at it funny, and the 3V I had set at RC 59-60 has almost none. Don't forget that simple carbon steels leave a metallic taste on many foods. 3V doesn't.






    Don't want to hijack the thread. Does anyone else have any modified large Old Hichories?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area (south)
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    I have an Ontario Field knife that I thinned the blade and put some maple scales on. I use it as a kitchen knife. My kids call it the machete knife.

    I use it almost every day now. I just touch it up with a steel before I use it, haven't had to use the stone on it for several months.

    Ric

  10. #10
    Can someone help me, as to how to quickly identify "Old" Old Hickory knives versus the newer versions?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    SB, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by GripnCOLDSTEEL View Post
    Can someone help me, as to how to quickly identify "Old" Old Hickory knives versus the newer versions?
    Old = inset (stripes run lengthwise) created hash marks are around +- 30* off vertical
    New = hash per stripe either vertical or 60*. If hash on the left side (of blade) is vertical, then slanted for the right side.

    For thickness comparison, I don't have identical model for both new & old but I am quite certain that the old model is slightly thicker than newer model.

  12. #12
    I too have one of these, although my looks more like the standard butcher knife which I have one also. I have several of the carbon Old Hickory knives. Bought a couple in the local 24 hr convenience store. Suprisingly, they sharpen easily and hold a sharp edge. The 12' blade one, I bought at a living estate sale, have no idea how old, but very sharp and is easy to keep that way. use it to cut up brisket after cooking in my smoker. Love it. Gave $8.00 for it.

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