Favorite traditional pocket knife pattern and size?

Aug 24, 1999
What's your favorite traditional pocket knife pattern? Trapper? Stockman? Barlow? Gunstock? Jackknife? Penknife? Congress? Other?

What about size?

My preference tends to vary. I've been a penknife man for a long time, but now I lean more toward jackknives.

In a traditional pocket knife I like them small, usually under three inches unopened.

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.
Uncle Bill,
This is a "fresh" topic, with all the talk about Hi-tech around here!! Not that I mind that......
My all time fav Traditional knife is the Sunfish or Elephants Toe style. I have a Kydex sheath for one of mine and carry it once in a while just for something different!
I would like to make a Ti. Liner lock version of one and never seem to have time!
I think that would look sharp and be somewhat functional. It would be lighter than the originals too. The weight of one of the old ones pulls the pants down!
I'll have to vote for split-backspring whittlers expecially with Wharncliff and coping blades. I am also partial to sunfish and doctor patterns.
I've an AG Russell Wharncliffe Whittler that I often carry in the bottom of a pocket, to supplement whatever "tactical folder" I'm carrying at the moment (it can do detail work much easier than the tip of a 3-4" folder). It's the only traditional style knife that ever really caught my eye (I really like the Wharncliffe style, both for the blade and the handle), so I guess that would make it my favorite.

The other justification for buying it is that its 2" blade and non-locking mechanism render it courtroom legal ('round here, anyways), for the next time I get called for jury duty.

-- Carl
A 3 1/2 inch three blade stockman. The clip gets most of the utility cutting work, the sheepsfoot is mostly a scraper and the "dirty work", and the spey is kept "exacto sharp" for whenever there is "nut cuttin" to do!

I am also glad to see a thread about tradional patterns.
Ditto on the 3 1/2 inch and 4 1/2 stockman. I've carried a Buck, Case or Schrade for almost 40 years. Most useful design I know of.
I had an Old Timer stockman a long time ago, my first good pocket knife. Recently I picked up an Old Timer lockblade trapper with a blade around 3 inches that I like a lot.
My favorite traditional patter is the navaja.

My favorite size is the traditional 3 fingers in breadth and one plam in length, that's blade, not overall.

I'll take a clip on one this size, but on a good 17 inch Santiolo, I prefer a leaf-shaped single edged drop point.
4 inch Whittler.
I am looking at a Case XX Select with stag handles....will probably order it soon.

Yes....I have a special fondness for the navaja but have not found one of a reasonable quality that did not cost an arm and a leg.

Really like the Laguiole pattern, as well, but I have had the same experience as with the Navaja.

And AG Russell's Arkansas Folding Toothpick is a nice trad design with a modern steel blade (ATS34)....love mine.

It is refreshing to see a thread on traditional knives

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it's all gone

My favorite is the Sodbuster. I have an '87 Eye Brand with yellow celluloid handles that I use as a workbench knife. I have gotten spoiled by my Sebenza, though, and can't seem to carry anything else.

--Mike L.

Real men ride Moto Guzzis!
I have a fairly decent collection of antique pocketknives, but the one that holds the most mystique for me is this Remington Doctor's knife from the mid 1920's. Can you imagine a doctor making a house call and whipping one of these out in this day and age? Instant coronary.

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 19 September 1999).]
Hey, and while we're on the subject of classic patterns, here are a few oldies. Anyone have some more pix to share?
My new favorite traditional-type pattern is a Buck 503 drop-point lockback pocket knife. It has wood handle scales, nickle-silver bolsters, is 3 and a half inches closed with a 2 and three-eighths inch-long blade. It is very solid, excellent walk and talk, and is super thin and light. Now, whatever other knife I carry, I've been keeping it in my front left pocket.
I carry a 3 3/4' Drop point trapper by Bailey Bradshaw. The blades are 52100 which is not easy to find. The stag is great, and this 52100 really holds an edge.I also like a 3 5/8' stockman for every day use.If your looking for a new maker with no EGO in his pricing www.bpbradshaw.com

My Grandfather had a Congress with a Warncliffe, coping, spear and pen blade, 3-1/2" closed and stag handled. My first exploration into the advantages of different blade geometries on the railing of his back porch got me into some trouble, but I would say it is still my favorite pattern.


[This message has been edited by stjames (edited 19 September 1999).]
I have a fondness for the Congress pattern but with only one blade as a sheepsfoot. Second to that would be a Stockman. Rick those are some very nice looking knives you have.
"Saddlehorn" or "Heavy" Trapper.

Love that wide spey blade.


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