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Help me find a good Barlow

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Hjalmar69, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    The Ulster uses standard construction.
    Thr imperial has stamped sheet metal side panel with thin riveted handle scales which are attached with folded tabs at each end of the frame.

    In the end they both do the same job, but yes the Ulster should be nicer overall.
    Hjalmar69, JohnDF and veitsi_poika like this.
  2. NMK85


    Nov 10, 2015
    That is gorgeous. Love the handle material, the extended bolster, and the blade shape.
    May I ask exactly what model that is?
    Will Power likes this.
  3. veitsi_poika

    veitsi_poika Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 25, 2016
    The Ulster 10OT was first made in the early 1960's. During that time, Ulster's and Imperial's were both made by "Imperial Knife Associated Companies" or IKAC using the same or similar machinery/methods... in my opinion the construction was a little better on the Ulster's but the blade quality would be near identical on both. If you are looking at the brown Delrin "sawcut" handled ones from that time period, they are comparable and the Ulster will probably run a little more costly. Like I mentioned, I know the Ulster 10OT or the Ulster 10 are good users... if the Imperial is from around that same time (see tang chart below) then you should like that one as well.

    Cutfinger, redsparrow and JohnDF like this.
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    If you want to get him a memorable knife, I would get a Case barlow (normal sized ~3.5" closed). I assume that Case is still making them. My last Case barlow was purchased at a knife show and it was very similar to my first "good knife" that I got as a kid and relied on so much as part of my life then. That memory never fades.

    A superb choice would be a LionSteel but I think tastes have to become a little more refined to choose one of those which are more expensive.

    I generally stay away from Bear & Sons products. Probably need to handle one again as it has been a while.
    Hjalmar69 likes this.
  5. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Just wondering why? I have two; single and two blade barlows. OK knives' not great, but good OK users.
    Cutfinger likes this.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I was just not very impressed with their QC with the ones I looked at. So, I stayed away from them. I would rather buy a Rough Ryder for less money where the quality is generally pretty predictable. They reportedly have a better line now, but I haven't handled one. I will make a point of handling a few on my next Sevierville TN knife store visit.

    That said, I won't buy a Case knife now in most cases unless I handle it in a store. I will pay the extra brick & mortar "fee" for the privilege.
    rje58 likes this.
  7. Hjalmar69


    Aug 3, 2019
    Well I found a couple of real nice looking Imperial and Ulster but they are asking 40 to 45 usd on an auctionsite
  8. Hjalmar69


    Aug 3, 2019
    Well he got mine actually, so I want a new one for myself
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The two blade Northwoods Madison Barlow is one I like. Hard to find now. It's fairly large.

    I think the classic barlow is the Case.
  10. sceva

    sceva Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    For a used one try ebay: A German Schmidt & Ziegler barlow was my first new knife. Bought for me by my Dad at the Idle Hours sporting goods in Marion Ohio.

    Blades Open.JPG Marking.JPG DSCN5941 Marking.JPG Mark Side.JPG
  11. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Thank you :thumbsup:

    It's a Russell Green River Works Barlow made in Germany by Böker in the early years of this century with Spear master, Pen minor in carbon. 3.5" closed.The bolster is brushed stainless and deeply stamped, they came in other scales: Redbone, stag etc and some were Clip, others Razor one arm openers. Also a very large single blade Grandaddy Barlow was made, you can still find these with patience and good quality knives all round.

    regards, Will
    NMK85 likes this.
  12. Rockon75

    Rockon75 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    Maybe I missed it, but your two-blade preference.....was that a main spear or a main clip?
  13. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Nope. :(
    Zippo/Case put the Barlow back "in the vault" after the limited run of 2019. :(

    Stupid for Zippo/Case not to make a Barlow when pretty much all of their competitors produce at least one, including Rough Ryder and {{{shudder}}} FROST {{{shudder}}}...

    I have no idea why Zippo/Case chooses to force a person who wants a new Barlow to buy a competitor's knife, or wait 5 to 30 years (or longer) for Zippo/Case to "take it out of the vault" again for a year (and charge an inflated premium price for it), or buy a used Case Barlow on the secondary market -- which doesn't bring a single penny (that would offset the cost of that "penny never spent to repair a Zippo lighter" Zippo puts in the box of every lighter that leaves the factory) into their coffers

    My guess is: "Zippo/Case has forgotten (or decided to ignore) the fact that the Barlow is a "staple" pattern; it isn't a "high end" or "premium" pattern."
    Zippo/Case also appears to ignore that historically the Barlow has always been a low cost "every man's work knife", and that the Barlow also made an excellent choice for a lad's first knife, which was likely to be abused, broken, and/or lost.
    Especially the low cost shell construction Barlow's, such as the "Prov. RI." and/or "IRELAND" Imperial, for example.
    Note: Some budget conscious adults also carried the inexpensive shell construction knives, since they had the same high quality blades as the more expensive knives with real bolsters and wood or bone or horn covers.
    (My maternal Great Grandfather was one of them budget conscious adults. :D )

    The "Pocket Hunter" (peanut sized two blade slipjoint folding hunter) that came out of the "vault" for 2020 will unquestionably be taken out of production again no later than December 31, 2020.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  14. Dave Dallam

    Dave Dallam Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 9, 2020
    How much are you expecting to spend?
  15. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    This jigged Delrin Barlow from Queen Cutlery was very inexpensive but a very decently made tough work knife. It's nice that it offers a Sheepfoot blade as an alternative . Cheap does not have to be cheap quality and this one is good example, it was also a product of the USA not the Orient.

  16. Hjalmar69


    Aug 3, 2019
    Sixty, seventy dollars for a new.
  17. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    You could try Ka-Bar.

  18. NMK85


    Nov 10, 2015
    Thanks much for the reply/info.
    Definitely going to be looking that model up tonight if I get some down time at work. I recently ordered my first Barlow (Case - should be here next week), but that one has my attention too, for sure.
    Will Power likes this.
  19. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    I just sold a really nice, unused, Colonial Barlow on the bay for a whopping $3.50. The deals are out there.
    JohnDF and Hjalmar69 like this.
  20. Hjalmar69


    Aug 3, 2019
    Found a Imperial that looks great. Can it be a good buy even if it has the cheaper construction?

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