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Favorite Custom Knife

Nov 15, 1998
Elishewitz, Nealy, Carson, Mad Dog, Reeves, Stout, Crawford, Brend, Polkowski, Emerson, Dozier, Ralph, Viele, Terzuola, Zowada, Hartsfield, Barr, Smith.....

Really tough. My favorite is the Krait by Darryl Ralph.

Dressed up tactical folder looks so good you can show to otherwise knife hating friends.

But not a mere ornament! Sharp 420V reverse curve blade in black. Titanium handle has pearl interlay! Jeweled. Filework looks great, too. Very well made.

Shows how good a custom can be.

[This message has been edited by FULCRUM (edited 27 February 1999).]

[This message has been edited by FULCRUM (edited 27 February 1999).]
Folder: Crawford Kasper Companion
Fixed: hmmm... Polkowski Kasper Companion/ Kasper Pug, and Dozier Agent (with exquisite checkering from Julie Marx of CHECKERMARX@compuserve.com of Ferndale, WA. Please see my thread "Checkering Services- Thanks Julie Marx and Beau Springer!")


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."
I don't want to uselessly flail a dead horse, but several of the mentioned knives and makers are pretty definitely more in the camp of "limited production" or "handmade production" rather than true custom.

My favorite custom knife is a M.U.C.K. that I made for myself. The heat treat is terrible, and it needs some serious improvements in that area, for which I'm likely going to pay someone else to execute this design for me, but it is *my* design. ;-) Actually, it's one of a series of designs that I call M.U.C.K. ;-)

When you too can have a M.U.C.K. then it will be a production piece. I'm shooting for a level of customer/knifemaker interaction that will still retain much of the *custom* flavor. ;-> Stay tuned. ;->
Folder: Large Sebenza by Chris Reeve

Fixed Blade: Quickening by RJ Martin and my
newly acquired Shadow IV by Chris Reeve.
Ah, here's one that's a bit easier to answer.

Medium Kit Carson Model 4, satin finished CPM 420V, red bone handles, titanium bolster.

Sound familiar?


Live Free or Die

David Boye Drop-Point Hunter. Cuts better than any other knife I've ever owned by a factor of at least two. Very comfortable and versatile. I like the organic aesthetic with the dendritic crystal pattern in the etched blade. A beautiful and superb cutting tool.

Best fit and finish: Bob Terzoula ATCF
Built like a tank: RJ Martin Q30
Built for the field: Mad Dog ATAK2

Steve how durable is the edge on the drop point hunter. I have heard good things about the edge retention of Boye's cast steel but little about its toughness. I am not talking about lateral toughness, but resistance of the edge to chipping and such.


I am afraid I can't tell you much about the toughness of BDS first hand, as I don't tend to abuse my Boye knives much. I gave a folder to a freind of mine as a gift, and he used it to break into his house after locking himself out, using it as a pry bar to force a window lock. It came out with a medium sized chip in the edge. It was pretty severely torqued though. It mostly came out during sharpening.

My notion is that BDS is somewhat less tough than well tempered 440C from bar stock, about on the same level as ATS-34. I got some email from a guy once who uses a Basic III to do maintenance on his boat, and he claimed to have done every mean, nasty job under the sea with it without hurting it.

Boye turture tested a 7" kitchen knife by cutting half way round a steel oil drum. He told me that the edge had a few nicks, but nothing major. The same knife is on display at the David Boye Gallery, and the edge is in pretty good shape.

I would put the edge holding on a par with tool steel, maybe even CPM steels. BDS is good utility knife steel, as opposed to tactical knife steel, I suppose. The things I like best about Boye knives are the cutting edge geometry, they outcut just about anything, and the earthy aesthetic. The custom knives all come with acid etched blades that show the dendritic pattern, and it's kind of a poor man's damascus in a way.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to spew about one of my favorite knives.

The Boye knives sound intriguing; has anyone thought about laminating the dendritic steel between a couple of slabs of something tougher? Just a thought.
Well, right now my favorite is the James Mattis utility/hunter I recently got from him. I'm using it every chance I get so I can review it later. I'm waiting for one of Rob Simonich's Talonite Cetans and one of Trace Rinaldi's Spooks. As each arrives it will probably become the favorite.
Your favorite custom will be one you had a direct hand in the design, manufacture or at least "custom tuning" of - for YOU personally. Mad Dog will always favor his Panther, Donna has the Voodoo Child #1 (which seems to be *different* from the 50 "production models" - grip shape isn't the same!) and me...well, The Outsider is the first thing I'd grab heading into a knife fight...and I don't expect that to change soon, unless I design or build something else.

Jim March
My favorite because of it's performance is my Cetan in Talonite made by fellow member Rob Simonich. I can hardly wait for my folder in 420V from Rob.


Tom Carey
Fixed custom is a six inch, satin surface blade with black hard rubber grip, Model 1 "Sanders" from Louisiana.
Steve could you describe the design of the blade that gives it the high cutting performance. I have unfortunately never handled one but I would never have guessed that they cut well based on the pictures I have seen, they actually look fairly thick and I would have guessed the opposite.

Of course the dendritic nature of the steel should give it excellent slicing abilities but can you push cut with it? This is a problem with the Mirage-X line.

Have you handled the Basics, do they have similar performance levels?