While I like the modern blade materials and manufacturing concepts, I find myself becomming more and more interested in knifes with handles made of the traditional classic materials like stacked leather, Cocobola and Black Oak woods, Jigged Bone and even mother of pearl. Its hard to beat the performance, durability and charm offered by natural materials, don't you agree?
I hope American knife companies never outsource manufacturing to China, like so many countries are doing nowdays. I hope to be able to still have the option of buying a quality American knife, made in America. While Fallkniven's are now made in Japan, the Japanese have always had a very good reputation for producing high quality blades. Added to this Fallkniven knifes are designed in Sweden and quality controlled from Sweden.
What is you're ideal blade length size for you're favourite belt (sheath knife)? When I'm out camping and hunting, while I like somthing with a 5" to 6" (inch) blade, I prefer somthing 3.8" to 4.3", the latter being ideal. This is because I find this size more compact and better overall as I can use it for cooking and utility tasks in addition to just using it for hunting. I read somewhere recently that there was a tradition in times gone by for American Mountain Men to sport large bowie style knifes with blades up to 10 inches long! Australian Stockmen (Cowboys) used similar large knifes (VF-1 I think it was called and it was utilised in WW2 in the Pacific- Some American soldiers collected these). Here in Australia, particularly when I was young, and what I learn't from my father, was that anything 6" or more was considered a 'serious' knife. I find blade length has become an interesting topic for discussion lately. I don't know if it's my imagination, but the commonly accepted blade length for general purpose belt knifes (sheath knifes) seems to be getting shorter these days. Maybe this is because there has been an increase in backpacking, bush walking, and camping trends and a reduction in the traditional hunters and bushmen like us. I'm all for preserving wildlife, but it is getting ridiculous in some states in Australia. This is one of the reasons I left Sydney and now live in the Northern Territory- Australia's least Policed and most easy going state! They are maximising mining opportunities in some of our last most isolated, untouched and preserved areas like the Kimberley in Western Australia, yet denying people the right to hunt and even become members of knife clubs (like in WA). Maybe we are a dying breed! What is you're view on blade length?