Knife Makers like Bark River

dnuggett

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
342
Hey all-

I am new to the forum and new to knives in general. I have been lurking these boards for a little while now, trying to take in the wisdom and get an opinion on the various knife makers/manufacturers. I recently came across Bark River and I love the way some of their knives look. Their prices are about what I'd be willing to pay for a quality blade. So here is my question, what other makers are there that are similar to Bark River in look and feel, quality and price?

I am going to start making some purchases soon and I want to make sure I check out quality makers that you don't hear about everyday. Thanks!
 
Blind Horse makes some great knives. Most are on O1 and vary in style. I have a bush baby and a maverick scout by them and the are both great knives. They are priced right and sell fast if you run across one don't hesitate to pull the trigger. You won't be disapointed.
Regards
 
Bark River, to me = very high quality semi-custom knives; privately owned company.

Similar? Not too many, IMO.

A few that come to mind are:

Chris Reeve (though he's best known for his folders, notably the Sebenza);
Busse and family (i.e. Swamp Rat, Scrapyard)


Though I think Fallkniven is a different kind of company (bigger, and they outsource their manufacturing) I really like Fallknivens and have more than a few.

The F1, for example, is a really fine knife. :thumbup:
Especially the 3G steel version.
 
You may also try some custom makers here on the forum. JK and Koster build some nice customs for the money. They use some quality steels and offer several custom and popular styles. Both do outstanding work. There are sevaral others but I own knives from both of them.
 
Bark River is #1 in my book as dad as fixed blades go.
ESSE is another favorite who's quality, reputation, warranty, customer service and prices are outstanding. You will NEVER find anyone who has anything to bad to say about them or their knives.
Another option is the same catagory but priced much higher are Bussee.

In the folding knife world Chris Reeve Knives, Spyderco,Rick Hinderer, Strider and Benchmade are probably the most popular.
Striders quality control isn't good though and they are hit and miss but if you can ever pick up an SnG that is perfect then hang onto it.

There are other knife makers that are great but I dont have a whole lot of experience with such as Fallkniven.
 
Take a look at Rapid River knifeworks. They are made just 30 miles from the Bark river knives. Many people from both companies got their start at Marble Arms in Gladstone Michigan.
 
My Dad has a Bark River Smoke Jumper, it's really super fine and the leather sheath is uncommonly good also. He paid close to $200 for it, which I hear is a good deal for a Smoke Jumper but left me out in the cold. The Hudson Bay Camp Knife mentioned in another thread looks outstanding but the price is sky high also. (You can bet a used one will get my attention though!)
 
There are many top quality makers out there. Many have been already mentioned.

I own many Bark River and Fallkniven knives and find them to be comparable in quality and fit and finish. However you will be hard pressed to find another production company that offers the wide selection of models, and handle materials that Bark River does.

Custom makers can offer a wide variety of handle materials, steels, and designs to suit your preferences. Depending on the maker there can be long wait times.

You can't go wrong with Bark River, Fallkniven, or any of the other brands already mentioned.

Kevin
 
Dozier Knives springs to mind.

Dozier's are great, but they're handmade custom knives.

I emailed them recently about ordering one, and they told me that the wait time is about 18 months.


(A.G. Russell does keep some in stock for immediate purchase.)
 
You should give Andy Roy of Fiddleback Forge a look if you haven't already. He has his own forum here in the knifemaker's area. He uses 01 that is heat treated and ground well and I personally like his handle ergos much better than those of the Bark Rivers.
 
You should give Andy Roy of Fiddleback Forge a look if you haven't already. He has his own forum here in the knifemaker's area. He uses 01 that is heat treated and ground well and I personally like his handle ergos much better than those of the Bark Rivers.



It's funny you mention that,



...as Andy has selected Bark River to make his new "Mid-Tech" (semi-production) line of knives.



Some say only a company like Bark River could do Andy's design justice.



By the way, the Bark River Fiddlebacks are made from A2 tool steel.






Big Mike
 
You should give Andy Roy of Fiddleback Forge a look if you haven't already. He has his own forum here in the knifemaker's area. He uses 01 that is heat treated and ground well and I personally like his handle ergos much better than those of the Bark Rivers.

The Woodsman caught my eye.

Thanks all for the ideas, keep them coming!
 
I have a number of brands and from a maintenance point of view - rust and sharpening - I would try Fallkniven, though I don't know any maker that has the variety AND warranty of BRKT.
As for real value customs, you would not go wrong with John Landi, he uses a variety of steels and produces a great knife and usually keeps to his production schedules -that last phrase is important because custom makers are usually a one-man band so it does not take much to throw them off schedule.
 
Bark River fit and finish in my purchases were far below that of the custom makers on this forum that I have purchased from at the same price point. I may be in the minority based on my experience, but I would search out Koyote, Fiddleback or other makers from here first.
 
The first Bark River knife we ordered had a hole in the handle. (wood)
Sent it back and the next had two spots of rust on the blade. They came off and didn't leave much at all behind so it's not going back.
Looking at it close the handle is not evenly fitted to the guard all the way around. (one side is tight like it should be the other there's a gap) But, it seems to be a good solid blade and made to work. Blade is very thick all the way to the point and it's definitely made to withstand hard use.
 
Back
Top