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Dual role, fixed blade knife that folds?

Apr 27, 1999
Back in the 60's I got a German hunting knife (Hoffritz?) that had about a 7.5" blade and a folding handle. With the handle folded about 3.5" of the blade was exposed. The knife carried like a small hunting knife but could be used as either a long or short hunting knife.

Has anyone seen a knife like this latelY?
I saw some like that in Italy early this month. They were in a little store and were marked with an Italian brand name and made in Milan. They had stag handles, brass hardware and bolsters. They had a leather slipsheath. The "Hoffritz" you saw on the knife you're describing probably refers to the American chain of cutlery stores where it was likely bought, though it could've been a German make. The ones I've seen have a leverlock like a lever-action kick-spring auto, minus the spring. I'm not sure where you can get one in the states.

Yeah, I know what you're talking about. They're often sold as folding bowies. Not a bad idea really. Occasionaly they turn up in bins full of bargain-basement knives. Not exactly high-quality, but no repro's of the traditional European megafolders are. They are made for looks, but they don't work like the real ones. I am especialy resentful of the low-quality of many navaja replicas.

I've been messing around with the design for a while. I'm hoping to open a shop part-time early next year. I'm considering cranking some of these out.
Hey Snickersnee,
I doubt we'd make the same sorts of things, but I've set up a small shop myself and would love to give you any advice or other help I can offer when you start yours. Keep in touch, OK?


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
The knife I had was very high quality, made in Solingen, had chrome finish on the trim, stag grips, and very good steel in the blade. I bought it from a shop call Kingston House Cutlery (I knew the owner) and I believe the importer at that time was Solingen Cutlery, in Montrose, California. I really believe the manufacturer was named Hoffritz.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 23 June 1999).]

10-4 good buddy. Wouldn't mind some tips and advice at all. Especialy in the area of marketing. I'm doing this more as a service than a way to make money. But I would like people to know that my shop exists(or will in the near future). You can't buy a good navaja these days, so being the practical fellow I am, I intend to make them.

Feel free to e-mail me.

[This message has been edited by Snickersnee (edited 23 June 1999).]
Could very well be made by a German manufacturer named Hoffritz; I don't even know if the Hoffritz cutlery store was around then (it's definitely a German name, that's for sure). Did your model have the lever release locking mechanism?
If I ever get the time, I'd like to start my shop. I used to absolutely love putting together Bob Egnath kits, and "improving" existing knife designs.
I have seen cheap Pakistan versions in various catalogs. Smokey Mt comes to mind as does Bud K.
I saw one of the Pakistani versions in the Los Angeles criminal courthouse, when the public defender didn't have the time or budget to get a real expert witness, and so called me instead. The bum who owned it was charged with *both* "dirk or dagger" because of the exposed blade and "gravity knife" because with ten tries and a bit of oil one could make that gritty thing fling open on the tenth try.

Three day trial, two days of jury deliberation, and they finally acquitted the guy. He didn't walk, however, because while he was out on bail on the knife charge the cops hassled him again, and that time he hadn't had a chance to ditch the crack he was selling.


The knife I had did have a lever lock which was locally called a "switch" when on a switch-blade to distinguish from the "button" on a push-button knife. PS, hope you get your shop going. --Jeff


So in your professional opinion how did you categorize the knife in your trial experience? I would have argued that the knife required a seperate blade sheath and the blade never folded into the handle so that it could not be a gravity knife. (No more than the WWII folding machetes could be called pocket knives). The knife was generically a sheath knife with the option of changing geometries. As a dirk you would consider its characteristics in its unfolded state. It is essentially a long-bladed hunting knife with a single edge. Unless length alone makes it a "dirk" it should be looked at like any other hunting knife. If not concealed it should be legal.

The place I bought mine was on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena (over the hill from you). I carried it as my primary hunting knife in California for many years.
I didn't think to argue that it would flunk the statutory test of "having the appearance of a pocket knife," but concentrated on showing that the tenth-try flip test was an abusive test, since it would make illegal practically any lock-blade folder. And I testified that, as a knife that had the point end of the blade always exposed it was as much a "dirk or dagger" as a ball point pen. The definition in the statute covers all pointed things, and not just a purpose-built stabbing sort of knife or knives over a certain length.

The guy ended up getting off on "concealed dirk or dagger" because the prosecutor, who had a lot of other things to do, forgot to introduce any testimony to the effect that the knife had been concealed! The jury spent its two days of deliberation over whether that tenth-try flipping test was kosher.