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Good Slipjoint Makers?

Oct 12, 1998
As a diehard Sebenza and Axis fan, I know this seems anachronistic, but are there any makers (production or custom) that have high quality slipjoints among their offerings? I've perused some of the standard Case, Camillus and Schrade offerings, but I've found them all, well, a bit lacking. Some of them remind me of some of the cheaper Boy Scout knives I had in my younger days. I'm thinking of something that can compare with some of the higher end Spydercos or Benchmades, that kind of quality and modern materials. Any thoughts? And for a long reach, how about custom makers?

[This message has been edited by DonL (edited 22 March 1999).]
Don L
Dan Burke and Wally Watson come to mind for traditional patterns..
The 700 series Buck line is an upgraded version of their standard 300 models and are nice looking.

I have a Puma Bantam (penknife) that I usually carry, but I don't know if they still make multi-blade slip joints.

Blade magazine has display ads with several multi-blade makers each month.
Weldon Whitley is worth considering as is
Eugene Shadley and R.C. Knipstein
In production knives have you looked at Schatt & Morgan, upper end Case, Hen and Rooster and even Bulldog? (Well, OK, maybe nix on the Bulldogs)

A couple of brands that are far less collectable, but feature models that I find acceptable are Bear MGC and Carl Schlieper's "Eye Brand". (I mention those last two, just in case you've not considered them. They are not really in the same league as the others, but they're a bit different than the typical American hardware store selection.)

If it helps, I've mentioned those more or less in decending order of quality of fit/finish, but keep in mind that paying more doesn't guarantee that you get more in terms of utility. Personally, I found the bladesteel in each sample of each named brand to be so totally lacking that I can't much recommend any of them, but the Schatt & Morgans and the Cases have plenty of admirers, (presumably, more for fit and finish than edge retention)

Hope that helps, somewhat.
Check out Raymond Cover Sr. I highly recomend him. I have a two bladed slip joint in 440V with honey pick bone scales. The fit and finnish is top notch. It was well worth the wait.


Tom Carey

One name : Eugene Shadley.

I collected a beautiful double slip-joint (one blade at each end, long clip & spey blades, 416 bolsters & liners, jigged bone scales) from him last year. Excellent fit & finish, lots of classy touches, slim and trim. In terms of workmanship it is up with the very best of custom makers, and all for the bargain price of $400-odd.

I placed my order, sight unseen via e-Mail. It was spot-on, and Eugene even phoned to check if everything was OK. A thorough gentleman. You can e-Mail Eugene at : bses@uslink.net

If you wish to go the factory route I have found the Schatt & Morgan range to be quite good. I've got one of their little navy blue handled Wharncliffe whittler's, and have used a sway-belly trapper (a good working folder). A G Russell is a good Internet source for them. Try : http://www.agrussell.com/

Regards, HILTON
Those AG Russell knives are certainly pretty. Another slipjoint that I have seen (pictures of) also strikes me as interesting is the Browning pocket knives with rosewood handles and AUS8 blades. You can see these at http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/knives/tradpokt/tradpokt.htm or at http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/browning/feather2.html .

I posted a question in the "Reviews" forum just the other day asking about the quality of Browning knives in general and got somewhat encouraging responses, though not completely favorable. This may not be Sebenza-grade or even "higher end", but it does appear to be at least a notch or two above the Camillus and Schrade level. I am certainly more encouraged by the blade steel of these than that of, e.g., the Henckels or Boker offerings with 440A at twice the price or the AG Russels with 440A at three times the price. Being a long-time woodworker myself, I also like wooden handles, even though I know they are not necessarily the most stable possible.

I haven't gotten around to actually ordering one of these yet, but if I do, I'll try to report on my impressions. (I don't plan on doing any destructive testing, though.)

Paul Neubauer
You are spot on if someone is looking for a beautiful 'traditional' slip joint. I've had the pleasure of meating Gene several times at shows, and the man is a true reflection of his work.
Someone else in that same range of workmanship is Bob Enders. He does multi-blade slip joints that are his interpretations such things as classic whittler patterns. Add to that Tony Bose and Joel Chamblin. All of their folders are first class, and each has his own unique style.
There are also a couple of up and comers out there doing very nice slip joints for reasonable prices. One is Bailey Bradshaw. He uses 52100 for his blades, and produces a nice, trim, folder.
Another slip joint maker that really impressed me is Dan Nedved from Montana. Most of his work is half the price of Shadley's, and he usually does single blade slip joints. Fit and finish are exceptional, and his designs are very clean.

Some of the Bokers are nice. I saw some at a gun show a few months ago. They were comparable to some Case knives at the same table.