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Thread: Old Hickory Knives

  1. #1

    Question Old Hickory Knives

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    Are the Old Hickory knives by Ontario any good??? They are NOT stainless which makes me think its not OK for kitchen knives? Do the wood handles handle the dish washer?


  2. #2
    I bought a packaged set of three and think they are good value. They are a bit on the rough side - not that well finished, not all that sharp out of the package and the wood to metal fit is not perfect. A few minutes sanding work gets the grips flush with the tang and a bit of epoxy fills the gaps between wood and metal. The knives sharpen up easily and are simple to touch up on a steel once sharp. I think there are better carbon steel kitchen knives around but the Old Hickory knives still are great value. They are not suitable for the dishwasher.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    east coast,NE
    Old Hickory knives are inexpensive for what you get, but as 2manyknives mentioned, they are rough out of the box. I have several that I have tuned up to more than acceptable. Plan on sharpening the blade and sanding the scales, perhaps a bit of linseed oil on the wood. I treated the steel to a vinegar bath to give it a patina. Here is one that I cut down from a 6" skinner. If you just plan to use them in the kitchen as is, wipe them dry after use and you shouldn't have a problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Southwestern Ohio
    A number of years ago, Old Hickory was considered a Best Buy at Consumer Reports.

    Wooden handles will never hold up to dishwashing, after all, they are wood.

    Actually, no knives should ever be placed in a dishwasher with the exception of dinner knives. The heat and chemicals in the soap are one thing; the potential for banging around in the rack is another. Safety is an important consideration as well. It does not take much to hand wash a knife.

    Being carbon steel blades, they should sharpen quite nicely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    A little tiny town in NY state
    Quote Originally Posted by tim8557 View Post
    Safety is an important consideration as well. It does not take much to hand wash a knife.
    True! You've probably heard of the accidents - rare, but they happen - where somebody falls onto the open dishwasher rack and lands on a knife.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Bartlesville, Oklahoma, United States
    AH, grandmas old butcher knives. These are good cutters and perform well. They will stain up and look like crap in no time, leave stain marks on everything they cut like onions, and meats and what not but they sure do work.

    I know some guys that take these and cut them down into fine field working knives and also turn them into old time folders for reenactments.

    STR's Blog & contact info

    I make no apologies for being unable to maintain a monogamous relationship with a folding knife!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Northwester Ontario Canada
    The discussion about knives going into the dishwasher. I have run mine through the machine for over 20 years. This is a great oportunity to test your knives over the long term. I am amazed how well my knife handles have held up. I used stabilized rosewood, and epoxied the handles to the full tang and used cutlers rivets for mechanical fit.

    The outcome of all this washing has had no effect at all, glue, wood, rivets and blade are like new except for the finish. All it would take is a minute on the buffer and the handles would shine like new again. I wouldn't recomend using the machine on any knife with bone handles or unstabilized wood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Back when spyderco made kitchen knives, their factory rep told me they were dishwasher safe. They just cautioned to be careful where you put them, because if they bump against things, they may get dull.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Carson City
    I'm about to order some for the kitchen. They look to be a good value. Grand pa made some knives like these out of old saw blades and they are still going strong. The blades form a natural dark oxidation layer that helps to protect the steel. If the blade is polished steel all you need is a little flitz to keep it shinny. Personally I don't worry about stained kitchen knives it's really not a big deal. Stainless steel has been around for a hundred years carbon steel a couple of millennia.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Virginia, USA
    they're great if you're into "retro" knives. the ones i have arrived very sharp, and have held up well. they requre some care, but no more than one give a good cast iron skillet. i consider them a very good value.

  11. #11
    Here's a pic of the Old Hickory knives I bought, along with other carbon steel knives I use in the kitchen.

    The top three are the Old Hickorys, then:
    Cold Steel Hudson Bay Scalper re-handled with Australian Jarrah scales
    Old Australian made Gregsteel butcher's knife
    Russell Green River
    South African Okapi with pressed metal grip
    Russell Green River camp knife with Australian Jarrah scales.

    Of the lot, the Cold Steel is the superior blade in terms of edge holding. All of these knives with the exception of the Gregsteel can be purchased new (the Cold Steel Hudson Bay knives are getting a bit hard to find)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Erath County, TX

    Nice for the money. Had one for years that I

    picked up at the BX when on an extended TDY. Needed someting for the occasional cooking and food prep. Kept it for over 20 years using it as a kitchen knife. Easy to keep sharp. Washed in the dishwasher. Steel wool brings it out of the doldrums when required. I think it got relegated to planting tulips once and then I lost track of it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Oregon Territory
    The old carbon steel knives are great.
    I've used them for 50 years and there ain't much you can't do with them.
    I have a couple dozen, some user's and the rest in a box.
    There are so many different sizes and styles and if it does not please you,
    get out the file and shape it the way you want.

    Cheap, get them anywhere.

    Their not just a kitchen knife ,
    I've used them for EDC and Outdoor work,
    when I was younger and used to travel this great country,
    I'd just get one of the little paring knives and do a little file work on it,
    make a sheath out of cardboard and tape and that's what I would carry with me.
    If I had to toss it, hey, no big loss, just get another one.

    There just so inexpensive but good that there's no reason not to have a bunch.

    They will rust tho' so you gotta take care of them, its a drag when water gets under the handle
    and corrodes the metal and rots the wood and you get the little splinters in you hand.

    Personally, I never put them in a washer,
    I wash the blade then dry it and that's it.

    Get some and get out your file and make them the way you want them.
    It's the poor mans custom knife

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    l.i. new york
    i have a couple of them, i like the old time style of them,& that pattern embossed into the top of the blades, they dont hold an edge too long, but they art pretty cool, different.they do stain,too,but its expected.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Central Ohio

    Thumbs up Old Hickory

    I have a set and use them often. Mine came dull and I quickly reprofiled them using an extra-course diamond hone. I touch them up on the Sharpmaker medium rods. They work well, and they're very easy to keep sharp.

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