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Most Iconic American Fixed Blades

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Trout Hound, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. Trout Hound

    Trout Hound

    Sep 28, 2014
    Hello All,

    So here's something I've been pondering on lately: In your opinion, what is the most iconic American traditional fixed blade? Or maybe it's a tie between two or three. The one that jumps to my mind immediately is the Bowie. What else? Thanks, and Merry Christmas!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. netguy1999


    Jan 11, 2006
    I would have to agree with the Bowie. Oddly enough I have never owned a fixed blade Bowie. I think I'm going to put that on my wish list. :)
  3. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    I'd say the leather stacked 4" to 6" hunting knives of the '20s and '30s many whose designs, like Remington, Case, Kinfolks, Western, Marbles, etc., continue to today.
  4. cardo

    cardo Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Growing up in the 50's and early 60's, I saw the Bowie on TV shows but I think the WWII Kabar was what I saw around me. The first knife I wanted, and got, was a Boy Scout stacked handle.
  5. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    The Buck 119 special
    Mk2 pattern combat knife ( ie ka bar )
    Western w49 Bowie
    Classic butcher such as old hickory or green river
    Shcrade sharpfinger
  6. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    Ontario 499 "Pilot Survival Knife"
    Kephart and Nessmuk knives
    Ontario/Old Hickory "Buffalo Skinner" and "Sheep Skinner" (Can also include the Russell Green River versions of these, as well)
    "Patch Knife" as widely used by the mountain man, even though it is basically what we call a "paring knife" today.
    Western L66?
    Buck 119 and 120
    Buck 103?
  7. tmd_87

    tmd_87 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 29, 2016
  8. Jsega51

    Jsega51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    I guess I automatically think of the hunting knives. So a drop point hunter, the Buck 102 Woodsman and of course the Schrade Sharpfinger.
  9. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Going back a generation or two, Marble's Ideal Hunting knife.

    It started the trend towards, and I use the term knowing it is misleading, the "blood groove".

    At one time, there were a host of imitators.

    Here's a nice history that Clem posted a few years ago:
    Here's an excerpt
    Here's a nice example (not my knife) posted by Clem in the above link.
  10. boy&hisdogs


    Dec 9, 2015
    I'd say the bowie is tied with the Ka-Bar. It's like comparing the Colt Peacemaker with the 1911. Both are about as American as they come, just of different generations.

    A Sharpfinger would be up there too.
  11. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    The Bowie may be the iconic type, but it would be difficult to point to a single concrete example, especially the knife in my mind's eye, a big trailing point or clip point fighter. Such a knife is almost certainly not the type of knife Bowie actually carried and fought with.

    OTOH, both the Kabar and the Buck 119/120 clearly derive from the archetype, so I would pick either, or both, as the iconic fixed blade.
  12. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Loveless hunter
    Randall Model 1
    Case V42
  13. Aias


    Aug 1, 2012
    I was going to post a pic of my Randall #5-6, but I think Frank nailed it... the other iconic fixie that comes to mind is a Kabar USMC... and if you follow the heritage backwards you get back to Frank's post.
  14. abbydaddy

    abbydaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    I am also going to have to go with the Bowie knife. But since there is no set definition of what a Bowie Knife is, and there is no certain agreement on what that Sandbar knife actually looked like that made him famous, I think that the most iconic American Traditional Knife that actually has a concrete definition and appearance is the USMC Ka-Bar.

    Not the most original post, but the thread is about iconic knives.
  15. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    The marbles ideal is definitely a good one.

    if there was one particular Bowie knife that's a highly recognizable American icon, I think we could all agree that the western w49 definitely fits the bill.
  16. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    I concur. The Marbles ideal heavily influenced hunting knives for half a century, and also the fighting knives of the U.S. military. As far as 'bowies' go, I think the term has lost all meaning, if indeed it ever had one. I see it describing everything under the sun that remotely resembles something otherwise known as a 'big knife.' All of the other knives mentioned here are very credible contenders, as well. :thumbup:
  17. Arathol


    Jan 1, 2003
    All this and not a single Woodcraft?

  18. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013

    See post #3 above:

  19. Mikael W

    Mikael W Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Good Q! :thumbup:

    Looking at the most iconic American knife from an European perspective, I agree, it's the Bowieknife!
    Since early boyhood, the myth and lore around the Bowieknife has always interested me.

    Today I have learned a lot more and I'm now aware of, that the style I prefer is called a Hunting Bowie and is up to 8" in bladelenght.
    The genuine and iconic Bowie's were primarily weapons and mostly larger than the later Hunting Bowie's.
    Nevertheless, they caught my imagination and I still like to see pic's of fine Bowieknives and read the storie's about them.

  20. wazu013

    wazu013 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2011

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