1. Don Hanson III – Ladder Pattern Bowie
Thought I’d give Don the first nod in recognition of the fact that he has arguably racked up the most nominations over the years. As with most years, I expect choosing between the compelling Hanson entries will prove difficult, but this recent piece Don posted up really caught my eye. The Damascus flat out rocks, the ivory is typically outstanding, and the lines traditionally Hanson (which is to say, excellent).
2. Jason Knight – Founders Bowie (Paranee Design)
Two great limited-run series of battle-ready blades were organised by collector stud Joe Paranee, who had input into the design and worked closely with the makers. Both are nominated as a series – a vote for any one knife in the series is a vote for all.
The first is the Jason Knight Founders Bowie – a superbly executed fighting blade that, to borrow a description from Paranee, delivers the power of a freight train with the handling of a Ferrari. Well done gents.
3. John White – Legacy #3 – Damascus Dogbone D-Guard
John White’s Legacy series of knives collectively reflect the state of the art for this extremely talented bladesmith. This particular knife presents a unique combination of two classic aesthetic elements of the bowie genre – the dogbone handle and the d-guard. Stunning engraving / gold inlay by Joe Mason highlight a compelling design.
4. Nick Wheeler Fighter (Paranee Design)
The design goals of combining BIG power AND speed in a compact, portable fighting knife were admirably achieved here. This series has a bit more variation as to handle material and blade finish, so I have selected two knives to represent the series, from the most basic (synthetic handle, belt finish) to the most fancy (premium wood, active hamon). Again, a vote for any knife in the series will be a vote for the whole series.
5. Steve Culver – Searles Bowie
The Searles represents an absolute classic design from the historic bowie genre, and this contemporary rendering by Steve Culver is one of the nicest I have seen.