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Montana knives

Aug 18, 1999
Back in the mid 70s I lived in Missoula Mt for awhile. There was a well-known kifemaker there in a little town close to Missoula out by the Blackfoot River. I think the town was called Bonner but I can't remember for sure. I remember seeing some of the knives made there--fixed blade hunting knifes that I think were made out of car or truck leaf springs. In those days I was lucky to have money to eat let alone disposable income for buying nice knives. But I always wondered about those knives. Anyone here know anything about those knives? Are they still being made?



Cogita tute

[This message has been edited by Hoodoo (edited 05 September 1999).]
I believe you're thinking of Ruana Knife Works Incorporated. Their address is:

8250 W Riverside Dr.,
Bonner, MT 59823

Phone: 406-258-5368

Those old originals by Rudy are worth a bunch if they're in good shape. They still make knives. Don't know if you have to wait or how long a wait it might be. You see a few Ruana knives on eBay from time to time.
Montana is blessed by being the home of quite a few makers whose work I would love to own. I would venture a guess without much reservation that the most famous out of Bonner is Rudy Ruana. He started making knives in the late 30's and many of his pieces bring high $. He mostly made working knives. Later on (I believe in the 60's) his knives were stamped with Bonner on the bolsters. These later knives are still well done, but are not as highly collectable. His family continues operating as Ruana Knife Works. Hopefully a real expert can chime in here and fill us in.
Yep, It's Ruana knifeworks. Located in Bonner about 9 miles east of Missoula. When Rudy died his bother in law (Vic Hangus) took over the business. Rudy also has a grandson (Steve Ruana) who lives in Missoula, and produces knives by the name of RHR Grand. A gentleman by the name of Frank Towsley has, what is the largest collection of Ruana blades. He displays every year at the Montana Knifemaker's Show, and routinely has 8 or more tables to display this collection.
Hope this helps!

Ed Caffrey
"The Montana Bladesmith"

You guys are amazing! Thanks for the great info.

Kinda wish I had one of those Ruana knives if for nothing else but sentimental reasons.


Cogita tute